Jack Kirby Kamandi

The Panel: Kirby's boy hero engineers an escape from a holding pen in which Kamandi and some fellow humans are being held.

As much as the Kirby written and drawn series Kamandi has borrowed heavily from the "Planet of the Apes" movies, Kirby's take on a world ruled by animals is filled with ideas that are quintessentially Kirbyian: tribal animal groups that seem like not very distant images of some New York City gang trying to rule their 'turf.'

[Below] Cover and a page from a 1973 Kamandi (#4)

Kirby Cover to Kamandi 4 -

[Below] The spread from Kirby's "Superman" issue of Kamandi #29

Kamandi #1

[Above] Kirby's comic about "the Last Boy on Earth" seems heavily derived from the Planet of the Apes movie, but according to the Kirby bio book Tales to Astonish and also the Kamandi Wikipedia article (here) Kirby's ideas for Kamandi date back to at least 1957 (the Statue of Liberty motif, which directly recalls the first Apes movie, was apparently pushed on Kirby by then DC Comics publisher Carmine Infantino).

Named for the bunker called "Command D" where Kamandi lived with his grandfather (who may have been Kirby's other creation, OMAC, aka the One Man Army) he set out to discover if any intelligent human life was left on a planet over run with talking, scheming and warring animals. The original series lasted 59 issues.

The datajunkie blog site has been running a Kirby Cover collection (doesn't include Kamandi) here.

[Below] I read this story when it originally appeared. Kirby's referencing Superman (without him ever showing up in the tale) and building a gorilla cult based upon Superman's suit, which they handle like a deity's relic, was an idea well and away from the usual comic topic. Thoughtful, but with Kirby's dynamic, careening storytelling style. (See a spread from the issue here)

Kamandi #29

More Kirby:

Kirby Cover to Kamandi 4 - Kirby Cover Kamandi no 19

Kamandi 20 -


Jack Kirby

Jack Kirby

Fantastic Four #1, November 1961, Jack Kirby Cover

Fantastic Four #1, November 1961, Jack Kirby page

Amazing Fantasy #15, Aug 1962, Jack Kirby Spider-Man

X-Men #1, September 1963, Jack Kirby cover

Giant-Size Conan, 1975, Kirby cover with Elric

Tales of Suspense #39, March 1963, Jack Kirby and Don Heck Art

Kamandi #9, Sept 1973, Cover

Kamandi #9, Sept 1973, The Murdering Misfit Splash Page

Jack Kirby - Kamandi #4

Jack Kirby - Kamandi #19

Jack Kirby - Kamandi #20

Kamandi #22

Kamandi #23

Kirby - 2-page spread

Jack Kirby 4th World Omnibus

Captain America's Shorts - Jack Kirby Art

Joe Simon and Jack Kirby Superhero Book

Original Page Sunday, May 13, 2007 | Updated July 2012

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