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Working-Class Comic Book HeroesClass Conflict and Populist Politics in Comics$
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Marc DiPaolo

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781496816641

Published to University Press of Mississippi: September 2019

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496816641.001.0001

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Jack Kirby

Jack Kirby

The Not-So-Secret Identity of the Thing

(p.191) Jack Kirby
Working-Class Comic Book Heroes

Andrew Alan Smith

University Press of Mississippi

Ben “The Thing” Grimm of the Fantastic Four is portrayed as a working-class “guy,” despite the vast amount of money at his disposal as a principal in Fantastic Four, Inc. However, his origins go back further than his first appearance in 1961, to the childhood of his co-creator and original artist, Jack Kirby. Kirby, a working-class Jew from the slums of Lower East Side New York City in the early part of the twentieth century, patterned Grimm after himself. Even after both Kirby and cocreator Stan Lee left Fantastic Four, successive writers and artists would include new pieces of background information about the character cementing the direct correlation between the fictional Thing and his real-world creator and alter ego, Jack Kirby.

Keywords:   Jack Kirby, Fantastic Four, Jewish Studies, Comics, working-class

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