The Facts of Life. . . Kirby Style!
"Where do giant, creepyass, floating space babies come from?"- If I only had a nickel for every time some curious tike asked me that question.
In my ongoing quest to educate the general public on the how's and why's of comic book science I've rarely, if ever, come across as fascinating a quandry as this one. Anybody curious enough to seek the answers to life's most puzzling mystery need look no further.
From the quite rad pages of Jack Kirby's 2001, A Space Odyssey I present for your consideration one Vera Gentry, explorer of alien worlds.
Observe the hapless astronaut as she discovers the Black Monolith hidden within the mawlike abyss of an alien cave.
Pretty freaky, huh? I know she's been chased into the cave by some crazy aliens and should probably be worried about them, but that monolith thing did just kinda pop up out of nowhere. Plus it's all glowing and floaty and stuff. Who wouldn't be tempted to stop and have a look?
Normally I'd feel sorry for her. I mean, so far she is having a pretty bad day. But little does she know that she's about to take part in one of nature's most precious and rare events.
This really is an accident when you come down to it. But that doesn't make it any less beautiful damn it! Was it just blind, stupid luck that Barry Allen was struck by that bolt of lightning? Was Bruce Banner's transformation into the Hulk any less important because it was caused by some no good, braindead, Snapper Carr wannabe? No! Of course not. It was fate! . . . mostly.
Either way, the results speak for themselves. When a hero and/or messed up genetic anomaly gets created, it's for a reason. It's been said that nature abhors a vacuum. Well, so did Jack Kirby.
Having been witness to the horror that is a four-color world bereft of gigantic foreheads, Jack Kirby must have felt it his duty to correct the mistake. His work is filled with enormous brows and huge noggins. Have you seen his design for MODOK? Do I even need to mention the Watcher or Prof. X? I believe he may have been given this assignment based soley on his knack for drawing really good looking big heads.
After stepping into the Monolith, the astronaut can't help but get sucked into some endless void that exists beyond all time and reason.
She has glimpsed the vastness of infinty with oh-too-mortal eyes. And like any mindbendingly disturbing representation of cosmic awesomeness worth its salt, it's chock full of Kirby Krackle.
Whenever I see those pictures from the Hubble telescope of distant galaxies and supernovas and stuff, I'm always a little disappointed that it doesn't look like this.
After soaking in the endlessness of creation for a while, it's off to that crazy weird retirement home for astronauts where every moment exists at once, and you start to age like a @%*$! housefly.
Although nature is beautiful, it is sometimes disgusting. Yes - just as the snake must shed its skin and the caterpillar must begin weaving its cocoon, so must the astronaut wither, and wrinkle away toward the brink of death. . .
Only to be transformed into a fantastic creature, brimming with the power cosmic. . .
Free of her former shell and secure in the confines of her space-placenta, the giant fetus sails off into the outer reaches of the universe to wait. And, perhaps, to watch?. . .