Originally posted on Hero Complex - movies, comics, pop culture - Los Angeles Times:
This week, the Marvel Universe reaches a new plateau with the Hollywood red-carpet premiere of “The Avengers,” which unites the title characters from four film franchises — Thor, Captain America, Iron Man and the Hulk – to save Earth from a cosmic threat. The only person who had a hand in creating all of those characters was the late Jack Kirby, a titan figure in comics, but his heirs weren’t invited to the premiere; their presence would be awkward considering their legal quest to reclaim the rights to hundreds of his Marvel creations. That leaves Neal Kirby, Jack’s only son, on the outside looking in but in this guest essay he writes about the days when the Marvel Universe was as close as his family basement.
In 1961, I was the luckiest damn kid on my block — or maybe any block. My father worked at home. Everyone else’s dad had to drive into Queens or Brooklyn or take the train into Manhattan. And it was not some boring, old desk job; my father was Jack Kirby, the King of Comics, and — though his humble personality would have him cringing to hear this — he is regarded as the greatest comic book artist and creator – ever. (Sorry, Dad).