While there’s no shortage of love and appreciation for late comic book legend Stan Lee, fellow icon Jack Kirby hasn’t always been so lucky in regards to getting the attention he deserves. Despite creating many of the world’s most famous heroes and supergroups (The Avengers, The Fantastic Four, Captain America, Black Panther, Thor, and The X-Men, for starters), compared to his colleague, Kirby has always been less of a household name for folks who aren’t deeply committed to comics. However, at last night’s Eternals premiere, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige was quick to give credit where credit was due.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Feige reportedly told the outlet Marvel’s latest film is a “love letter” to the late and great Kirby, and what “one man was able to do with a pencil, sitting at a little desk on the east coast.” Feige continued to gush about the creator as well as Eternals vision, telling reporters:
“We are very, very proud of it [Eternals].Yes, it’s ten characters nobody has heard of. But it is the heart and soul of what Jack Kirby brought to our universe.”
Feige’s love of Kirby comes as no surprise considering the first Marvel film Feige ever worked on was 2000’s X-Men, the first major film adaptation of one of Kirby’s works. However, in a world where Marvel and comic creators haven’t had the greatest of relationships as of late, it’s nice to hear one of the studio’s biggest names paying respect to an artist.
Unfortunately, Kirby passed away back in 1994, shortly before the premiere of X-Men and long before the birth of the “Marvel Cinematic Universe” as we know it. Feige says the fact that Kirby was unable to see any of what the Marvel Universe had become is one of “the current timeline’s” biggest “bummers.” However, it feels like we can safely say that Kirby — a man known for encouraging diversity in comics and creating groups of characters frequently viewed as “outsiders” by society — would most likely be all about the Eternals movie and Marvel Studios taking a chance on “ten characters nobody has heard of” to make a different kind of superhero movie.
Eternals, the latest entry in the MCU boasting a star-studded cast featuring Gemma Chan, Salma Hayek, Angelina Jolie, Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani, Kit Harrington, and more, hits theaters November 5.