October 12, 2010

Titan Books Reviews: The Simon and Kirby Superheroes HC

The Simon & Kirby Superheroes
Publisher: Titan Books
Writer and Artists: Joe Simon and Jack Kirby

A big round of applause goes to Titan Books for their latest addition to their Simon and Kirby library, with their amazing new collection The Simon & Kirby Superheroes. These 480 full color pages of glory, wrapped in a hard cover, are beautifully reproduced with the highest of quality, showcasing the genius works of Simon and Kirby’s team-ups. Superheroes collects Simon and Kirby’s team-ups working on non-DC/Marvel superheroes, and boy did they do some awesome work outside of the two giants. The titles collected in this collection are their work on The Black Owl, Stuntman, The Vagabond Prince, Captain 3-D, Fighting American, The Double Life of Private Strong and The Adventures of the Fly. Also included is a wonderfully heartfelt introduction by Neil Gaiman, and two essays, one on the 1940s work in this collection and one on the 1950s work in this collection, by Jim Simon.

Plenty of originality and ingenuity is present here from these two giants. Fighting American, which was published during the Cold War by Prize Comics and then Harvey Comics, is amazingly awesome and the highlight of the book, telling the story of Nelson Flagg, who is transported into his dying brother Johnny Flagg’s body by the U.S government, and given the secret identity of the Fighting American to combat the Red Menace. Along with his sidekick Speed-Boy, although Fighting American may echo the adventures of Captain America and Bucky for some, these comics stand on their own and are packed with colorful entertaining adventures, as they tackle everything from Communists, Two-Headed Gangsters, to even a Soviet Union-Superman whose power of having the worst smell and stupidity on Earth gets him through anything.

Their work on Stuntman Comics also deserves a nice little shout out. This character has been lost to time, but thank God it is found again. Although the adventures of Stuntman are more common with the adventures of their day, Simon and Kirby know how to put an original stamp on things, as they spin the tale of Fred Drake, the man who really has no identity left in or out of costume, for by day he poses as a body-double for actor Don Daring, to do all of Daring’s movie stunts and such (but to nobody’s knowledge except Daring’s), and by night he’s the masked hero known as the Stuntman. The whole double dynamic of faking his life in and out of costume leads to some interesting tales and a whole lot of action. Also Simon and Kirby tackling Archie Comics heroes Private Strong and the Fly makes them worth a second look and great to be out of the vaults and in print again.

Titan Books, aside from the Gaiman intro and Simon essays, also have dug up unpublished tales of Stuntman, The Vagabond Prince, and Fighting American to add into the collection, giving us never before seen adventures, making this the ultimate collection for Simon and Kirby’s work on these characters, and giving this book an extra layer of coolness.

The Simon & Kirby Superheroes is available now, in stores and online for $49.95, and worth every penny.

Drew McCabe



  1. I saw this at NYCC and it looks great!

  2. Eli

    This sounds awesome, and I’m sure it’ll be on my shelf before too long.

  3. Billy

    Wow, what a fantastic book!

  4. […] entry in the Simon and Kirby Library from Titan Books, which also includes other swank books like Simon and Kirby Superheroes and Joe Simon: My Life In Comics. This beautiful 300 plus page hardcover […]

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