This is Day 29 of our month-long Jack Kirby Tribute online. The brainchild of Howard Simpson, you’ll be able to find the work of participants on your favorite social media platforms by the hashtag #KirbyArtTributes.
I actually posted today’s prompt (a Jack Kirby portrait) yesterday, in honor of Jack’s birthday. So today is catching up with yesterday’s prompt: Silver Star.
There are several unique things about this character. One is (if I’m not mistaken) the story started off as a screenplay, and Jack turned it into this limited series (The covers have a bullet reading “A Visual Novel.”). I believe Jack originally thought in terms of his Fourth World series at DC as an epic story that would come to a definite conclusion, but he wasn’t allowed to do that then. Limited series, or miniseries, just weren’t something comics publishers did yet in those days. If a book was a success, they wanted it to just keep going and going as long as possible.
The other thing about Silver Star was the fact it was not published by Marvel or DC! Pacific Comics was a startup publisher looking to establish themselves as a solid alternative in the marketplace. Though Jack had done work for other publishers over the years, at this point in time the “Big Two” were thought to be the only real game in town. So the news that no less a personage than Jack Kirby himself was going to create new comics for a new publisher was a Big Deal. It can’t be overstated how big that news was at the time. Pacific kicked things off with Captain Victory (stay tuned), but Silver Star was Jack’s next offering through them.
And this part is important: the indicias for both books read “™ & © Jack Kirby.” This was something he wasn’t going to get at either Marvel or DC, so I’m sure it mattered a great deal to him. Jack’s inspiration for the name appears to have come from the Silver Star Medal awarded by the US military for valor in combat. In fact, in the story, Jack has Morgan Miller gaining the nickname from his squad after he’s been awarded the Silver Star.
In the background of this image is the antagonist of the story, Darius Drumm. I’ve never tried to draw these characters before, so that was a bit of a challenge. I’m still not quite sure just how Silver Star’s helmet works…
Hope you enjoy, and please tune in again tomorrow!