Is There Commercial Potential in Jack Kirby’s Eighties Characters?


A collection of abandoned character designs created by comic-book legend Jack Kirby for the animation studio Ruby-Spears Productions in the eighties are about to be revived by that studio's founders and Sid and Marty Krofft in hopes of turning them into franchises on par with Kirby's famous creations for Marvel. While it makes sense that the owners of this material would like to finally do something with it, the notion that unknown, untested properties like Roxy's Raiders and the Golden Shield will have much commercial potential seems a bit overly optimistic. For one thing, even though Kirby created his own fascinating mythology for DC Comics, the only bankable property he created since departing Marvel in the seventies is Darkseid, one of DC's best supervillains. More important, part of what makes Kirby's Marvel creations like the Hulk, Iron Man, and the X-Men so vital and resonant is that they've been adapted continuously for decades. Unless the Kroffts and Ruby-Spears are planning to update this stuff considerably, there's a good chance they'll be stuck with something dated, quaint, and only of interest to die-hard Kirby enthusiasts. [NYT]