Now you may read that headline and say, “Hey, Jack Kirby is already legendary!” and you would be right. Along with Stan Lee, Kirby laid a lot of the ground work for the Marvel Universe and gets co-creator credit for Fantastic Four, the original X-Men, and The Avengers, and on his own he did a lot of outstanding work including the Fourth World Saga for DC Comics, which includes The New Gods. Still, Disney will be enshrining Kirby’s status as a legend at this year’s D23 Disney fan convention by posthumously giving him a Disney Legends Award next month.
A Disney press release praised Kirby saying: “Jack Kirby first grabbed our attention in the spring of 1941 with Captain America, a character he created with Joe Simon. Kirby then followed this debut with a prolific output of comic books in the Western, Romance, and Monster genres–all a prelude to his defining work helping to create the foundations of the Marvel Universe. For the next decade, Kirby and co-creator Stan Lee would introduce a mind-boggling array of new characters and teams — including the Avengers, Hulk, Thor, Iron Man, Silver Surfer, Ant-Man, Wasp, Black Panther, S.H.I.E.L.D., and the Inhumans.”
Kirby was part of the first class of Eisner Hall of Fame inductees in 1987, and he continued working until his death due to heart failure in 1994. Kirby will become a Disney Legend along with “Princess Leia” Carrie Fisher, animated feature director Clyde “Gerry” Geronimi, comic artist Manuel Gonzales, “Luke Skywalker” Mark Hamill, Marvel Comics co-creator Stan Lee, writer and director Garry Marshall, director Julie Taymor, and living legend Oprah Winfrey. The Disney Legends Awards will be handed out by Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger on Friday July 14 at 10 am at D23 in Anaheim, California.