Development Deal: Kirby Genesis
If there’s one thing that a quick look at the current state of television and movies will tell you, it’s that there’s not much need for original ideas when there’s so much out there ready and waiting to be adapted, updated or just outright ripped off. That’s why we’ve decided to help in that process with a series which offers up some of the things we’d like to see being brought to big screen or small. This week’s suggestion? Kirby: Genesis.
What Is It?
The umbrella title for a series of interconnected comic series, all based upon characters and concepts created by Jack Kirby – AKA “The King of Comics,” AKA “The Man Who Co-Created Characters Like The Hulk, Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, The X-Men and All Of Those Other Characters That Have Been Made Into Multi-Million Dollar Media Franchises” – that attempt to create a new modern mythology that is at once reminiscent of the “classic” Kirby material from early Marvel comics and his 1970s DC Comics career and also contemporary and in keeping with modern storytelling techniques. The central title, actually titled Kirby: Genesis, mixes influences from both 1970s superhero comics, Kirby’s own material and what feels like JJ Abrams movies to create something that hits the sweet spot of nostalgia and excitement easily. Various spin-off titles – Captain Victory, Dragonbane and Silver Star – focus on individual characters and expand the fictional universe past the central storyline, while trying to maintain the same tone in new genres (Science fiction, fantasy and… Well, I’m not entirely sure what genre Silver Star belongs to, to be honest).
What Could It Be?
After writing about DC Nation and Marvel Universe yesterday, it struck me: Kirby: Genesis could be an animated block all by itself. With the spin-off series, it has enough individual characters and scenarios to carry two main series and various shorts, and the various genres would allow for the shows to “feel” appropriately different within said block. It helps that Kirby’s creations were always suitably “high-concept” enough to have mass appeal, and especially kid-appeal (They should; throughout his career, kids were his target audience), on almost their first exposure – Something like Captain Victory mixes Star Wars, Green Lantern and other sci-fi pulp together into something that, if done right, could be irresistible as an animated series, with Dragonsbane‘s mythical mash-up and Silver Star‘s psychedelic super heroics not far behind, and that’s even before you get to the other ideas from Genesis itself, which include average guys making first contacts with alien civilizations, all-female space warriors and hidden civilizations under the world we already know.
Kirby: Genesis the comic book exists almost as much as a testament to the seemingly endless imagination of one man (These are the lesser-known creations, remember; the ones he discarded or which didn’t go anywhere on their first go-round) as anything else, and almost everything inside it is the kind of idea that, if treated with appropriate care and attention, could catch the attentions of today’s animation audience. As Cartoon Network and Disney XD start to use familiar faces in blocks to attract the male kid viewer, a smart competitor would snap up the Kirby: Genesis rights to create competition that comes from the same mind, offers the same kinds of story potential, but isn’t available as a movie or on Netflix in previous cartoon series. There’re multiple hits to be made, here.