After acquiring the rights of Kirby’s catalog Dynamite Entertainment set out to create a new universe populated from the same mind that gave us countless comic icons such as Captain America, The Fantastic Four, Thor, the Hulk, Iron Man, the X-Men, the Silver Surfer, Uatu the Watcher, Doctor Doom, Galactus, Magneto, The Challengers of the Unknown, Darkseid, and many more.
The choice of Busiek and Ross gives the event an epic feel right out of the gate, but also, perhaps unfairly, raises the bar as to how good this series will have to be to be considered a success.
This introductory issue plays much like one of Marvel Comics’ classic What If…? stories. In 1972 Pioneer 10 was launched by NASA to explore Jupiter and the far reaches of the solar system. Included in the probe was a simple plaque about the Earth for any who might come across it. Jack Kirby created his own idea about what should be on the plaque for the Los Angeles Times.
In this story it’s his version that is sent into the outer reaches of known space, and his version which is discovered by a race of beings not dissimilar to the imagination of the artist (given the name Kirby in the comic) who drew them.
Busiek does a great job at setting up the world and giving us a solid narrative around the probe’s journey, which is actually far more interesting than the Kirby creations (at least the early glimpses we get). At on $1 this one’s an easy recommendation, but I’m still more than a little wary of shelling out $4 for the first issue. Worth a look.