“Phantom Force” by Jack Kirby Review


Phantom Force

Author: Jack Kirby

Release Date: 1993

I wish that Jack Kirby’s last comics could have been a stronger set than this one. Although his name is prominently featured throughout (literally, on the cover, tons of pages in the back, and liberally listed in the “created by” section) this book is likely more the work of Michael Thibedeaux. The story (in 8 issues plus a zero issue) is about an alien named Darkfyre who comes to Earth to get a sword being wielded by a hero named Apocalypse (when told that’s a stupid name, he changes it to Ragnarok) and his teammates Probe (a woman who exists to wear bikinis and make Ragnarok and Darkfyre feel horny), Gin Seng (really, that’s his name; he’s good at fighting), Sensei (Asian stereotype Kung Fu Master), Bobby (a kid who invents stuff) and Suzie (who can switch dimensions with a big guy who doesn’t get much backstory b/c he was supposed to have a four issue series explaining everything that as far as I can tell never came out).

The story is very decompressed, using 6 of the 8 issues to tell the story of Darkfyre getting captured and then escaping, with the first two issues feeling like a totally different series (and those being the only ones Kirby worked on). I probably would have liked this a lot more at 12 years old than I go in my 30’s. There is a light-heartedness to it that is fun at times, but overall the book feels like a generic good vs evil with lame versions of both. The one female character in particular gets the short end of the stick with mostly only scenes of being in peril while almost nude.



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