What If… Stan Lee and Jack Kirby had their own multiverse-spanning adventures, alongside telling superhero stories at Marvel Comics? What If… said tales were brought to life by lifelong comics fan and cartoonist Pete Doree? Well, you get a very funny comic, that’s what.
Because Pete Doree’s Stan & Jack is a very funny comic, the more so if you’re familiar with the real history of the comic creators that feature and better yet, that so many comic creators of today are firmly behind the concept, such as folk like the Wallace Wood Estate, who are more than happy artist Wally Wood gets a guest appearance.
Said comic starts with Jack Kirby wanting to do nothing more than settle by the pool and read the sports section of his newspaper with a cool drink, only to be interrupted by Smilin’ Stan, who wants him to draw some pages (completed at lightning speed), only to be further distracted by the arrival of a portal to another dimension!
Stan and Jack take the plunge to find out what’s occurring in the multiverse, and so begins an adventure that’s a little more involved than those little cameos the pair used to make in early issues of the Fantastic Four (etc.). Along the way, we’re treated to the arrival of Gil Kane and Wally Wood in this first issue, building to a climax that I obviously won’t spoil here, but I do urge you to race over to Pete’s BigCartel store to buy the comic now to find out!
What makes Pete Doree’s Stan & Jack so much fun isn’t just that it’s very funny (no dead comic creators are harmed in the making of the strip, it’s all in good taste). It’s that Pete clearly knows his onions when it comes to US comics, surely no surprise given his articles on Bronze Age of Blogs, and Marvel Comics history, so there are plenty of digs at some of it as the story unfolds.
Wally Wood’s arrival proves particularly poignant, as he points out to Stan that, at the point this story occurs, he currently doesn’t work for Marvel… but he helps out Stan and Jack as they try to get to the bottom of who’s dragged them from the pool side and into danger, anyway.
I thoroughly enjoyed Pete Doree’s Stan & Jack. It’s fun, it’s affectionate and welcome light relief from the dark, moody and grumpy superheroes that are far from the originals the real Stan and Jack created together. Give it a try!