Rare are the instances of famed comic creator Jack “King” Kirby drawing Marvel Comics’ most-beloved costumed crime-fighter, the amazing Spider-Man. Most of Spidey’s early appearances were drawn by the no-less-legendary Steve Ditko, whose fluid style and strong sense of design pretty much defined the wall-crawler and left a solid blueprint for all artists who followed, but Kirby did occasionally work on the webhead as well. Though Kirby never closely followed the Ditko model regarding Spidey’s costume (webbing is drawn in irregular patterns, etc), his handling of the character definitely has a charm of its own. Here then are seven examples of Spider-Man as rendered by the King …
Spider-Man poster for Marvelmania Fan Club (1969). Drawn and colored by Kirby.
From The Black Book sketchbook (circa early 1970s).
Kirby presented the book of superhero sketches to his wife as a Valentine’s Day gift.
Another 1970s Sketch.
1986 Spider-Man Commission.
Detail from the cover of Marvelmania Magazine # 5 (1970).
Spider-Man, Thor, and Captain America “Toys for Tots” Poster (1969).
Penciled and inked by Kirby.
Strange Tales Annual # 2 (1963). Pencils by Jack Kirby. Inks by Sol Brodsky?
Note the absence of a spider symbol on chest.
What do you think? How do you rate Jack Kirby’s Spider-Man against Steve Ditko’s? Or John Romita’s or Ron Frenz’s or Todd McFarlane’s, for that matter? Who was the greatest Spidey artist of all time?