Kirby and Wood draw a historian’s attention

Jack Kirby self portrait, circa 1970

Long-time comics artists Jack Kirby (1917-1994) and Wallace Wood (1927-1981) have received some attention from an unlikely source — the Twitter account of a prominent historian.

Michael Beschloss, who specializes in U.S. presidential history, put out a tweet on Sunday that referenced a work by Kirby and Wood without mentioning their names.

“Comic strip called ‘Sky Masters of the Space Force’ was launched 60 years ago next month,” Beschloss wrote on Twitter. The post included some Sky Masters artwork by Kirby and Wood.

Beschloss most likely wrote the tweet because the Trump administration has proposed the creation of a new branch of the U.S. military to be called Space Force.

The Sky Masters strip ran from 1958 to 1961. Kirby penciled, with Wallace Wood inking. The scripts were written by Dave Wood, no relation to Wallace Wood.

Kirby was also doing work at Marvel Comics. In 1961, he co-created the Fantastic Four with Stan Lee and Ant-Man with Lee and Larry Lieber. Other Kirby co-created characters soon followed, including Hulk, Thor, X-Men and the Black Panther.

Wallace Wood also worked at Marvel for a time. He took over art on Daredevil with issue No. 5. For the cover of No. 5, Kirby penciled with Wood inking. On the inside art, Wood both penciled and inked.

Wood soon redesigned DD’s costume. With Fantstic Four No. 39. Daredevil was the guest star. But Kirby was unaware about the new DD costume. Wood redrew the Daredevil figures (without credit) for the issue.

Here’s the Twitter post by Michael Beschloss.

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