[PATREON EXCLUSIVE] Blow a Kiss, Fire a Gun: The Complete Kirby War & Romance

A couple are kissing on the couch with a woman looking shocked behind them

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Let us set the sultry Silver Age scene: a beautiful woman in red, her brunette hair a buoyant flip, gazes adoringly at the gun in her hands. She doesn’t see the man in a suit coming up behind her. Eyes shadowed by the brim of his hat, he pulls her close: “Here, let me show you how to load that, Anne!”

With a knowing smirk, Anne slides into his embrace. Four hands now caress the steel barrel of the rifle, that gleaming phallic symbol. “Mmm,” Anne murmurs. “You make it seem so delightfully easy!”

Now, turn the page. Witness another tender scene between a man and a woman. They’re both in uniform; her brother has just died in the war. A thought balloon hovers over the man’s head like an iron cloud: “How can I tell her the truth about him? What good would it do? I’d face a regiment single-handed sooner than hurt…this one girl!” Holding onto each other tightly, they disappear into the pink sunset.

War and Romance. Like two comic book titans clashing over the fate of humanity, they should be bitter foes, but under the pen of he-who-needs-no-introduction, Jack Kirby, they are more like star-crossed lovers. The Complete Kirby War & Romance is a beautifully-assembled restoration of Jack “The King” Kirby’s lesser-known, non-superhero Silver Age comics. Spanning roughly a decade of Kirby’s career from 1956 to 1966, many of the stories in this deluxe Marvel omnibus are reprinted for the first time and restored from his original pages. This book rescues forgotten issues of Battleground and Teen-Age Romance from dusty oblivion, making it one of the most unusual – but essential – volumes published by Marvel this year.

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Kayleigh Hearn

Kayleigh Hearn

Still waiting for her Xavier School for Gifted Youngsters acceptance letter. Bylines also at Deadshirt, Ms-En-Scene, The MNT, PanelxPanel, and Talk Film Society.