Published on August 8th, 2018 | by Kevin Given0
Review: The Prisoner ‘Original Art Edition’ by Kirby & Englehart
I am a huge Jack Kirby fan and this volume was sorely awaited by me (if it ever was published by anyone else, I didn’t know about it.) I also loved the Patrick McGoohan TV series and was disappointed when it was announced that there was a Jack Kirby adaptation, but it wouldn’t be published. Thanks to Titan comics though, it’s finally here!
Jack Kirby needs no introduction to anyone who’s been reading comics for any length of time. He is the King, nuff said. Gil Kane also needs no introduction, though not as well known as Kirby he still has a huge following and does great work also. For those who are too young to remember or just haven’t gotten around to watching. The Prisoner was a late 1960’s TV series starring Patrick McGoohan as a secret agent who resigned and then was “relocated” to an Island by his government in an attempt to decipher why he resigned. McGoohan had just completed another series about a secret agent called Danger Man in the U.K. and Secret Agent Man in the U.S. That secret agent was named John Drake and the debate rages to this day whether the secret agent, # 6 in The Prisoner was supposed to be Drake or not. This unfinished adaptation is pretty spot on to the pilot episode.
Mike Royer’s inks do compliment the King’s work. My favorite Kirby inker has always been Joe Sinnott, but Royer does justice to the king’s pencils and is a worthy addition to this issue. Kirby’s pencils are inherently thick (which is why he was the best Thing artist ever.) and I never liked it when he inked his own work, his lines, which were thick enough already, became increasingly thicker. I’m told that Kirby only liked to do pencil work and hated the inking part, perhaps that’s why his inks don’t match up to his pencils. So, an inker must take Kirby’s pencils and live up to the adage that less is more.
I had seen the Kirby pages before (not sure where) but I had never seen the Gil Kane pages, which were a treat because Kane is an awesome artist. Though his pages are more incomplete than Kirby’s and there’s no dialog added but the real highlight of this collection is writer Steve Englehart’s article at the end of this issue that describes a history of the adaptations that never got published and are presented here for comic book historians and curiosity seekers alike. Kudo’s to Titan for bringing this adaptation to lite. Now, if only someone would take on the original series, adapt it, and not be afraid to publish it, since we only got 17 TV episodes, then I’d be a real happy camper indeed!
The Prisoner ‘Original Art Edition’ by Kirby & Englehart
Writer – Jack Kirby, Steve Englehart
Art – Jack Kirby, Gil Kane
Letters – Mike Royer (inks also)
Publisher – Titan