Apr 26, 2015

The 40 Years of Comics Project: Day 61 - 2001: A Space Odyssey #3, February 1977


Sorry. I don't have anything to say about this issue. The art is, as usual, beautiful and dynamic. But I can see where this is going. It's a two-part story, so I'll finish it off tomorrow, but then I think I'm going to take a break from 2001. Kirby's premise seems to be that every major advancement in human history has to do with the Monolith, and that every person who comes into contact with it begins a bloodline that, come 2001, ends in a "New Seed." Which, really, takes away from the grandeur of the original story. If there's a whole bunch of these evolved humans, then what makes Dave Bowman so special? Nothing, really.

So, yeah, this was another gorgeous-looking Kirby title wrapped around a thinly-veiled duplication of the original 2001: A Space Odyssey story. I can see why, once he creates Machine Man in issue #8 that Marvel decided to move the character to its own title.

I feel bad not posting much today, but I'm really put out with this comic. I had considered earlier in this project what it would be like to read visually impressive work that had a mediocre story, but I wasn't expecting it to come from Kirby. I've been reading scholarship about American Realism in the late 19th century, and how the word of Theodore Dreiser went from popular to criticized for his clunky prose, and back to acclaimed and canonized over the course of the 20th century. I wonder sometimes if this is what Kirby's place in comics history will turn out to be. His art is wonderful, but its meshing with the prose portions of the story are clunky, at best. But that clunkiness has an energy that is reflective of the energy of his visual storytelling. I'll ponder this a bit more.

See you tomorrow.

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