Jack Kirby

Jack Kirby’s The Red Skull

“Created by Joe Simon, Jack Kirby and France Herron, the concept of the Red Skull first appeared in Captain America Comics #1 in March 1941, with the character of Johann Schmidt first appearing in Captain America Comics #7 in October 1941.”
– Wikipedia

Splash page Captain America Comics #7 - October 1941
Splash page Captain America Comics #7 – October 1941

Before we continue, a few words on Simon and Kirby by Jules Feiffer from his 1965 book The Great Comic Book Heroes:


Captain America Comics #6 - Page 8
Captain America Comics #6 – Page 8
Joe Simon and Jack Kirby
Joe Simon and Jack Kirby

And now, on to the Red Skull.
An iconic villian drawn by an iconic cartoonist.

I first saw the following origin story in 1976’s Bring on the Bad Guys.
The original story appeared in Tales of Suspense #66 – June 1965.
Click on image to go to slideshow.

Tales of Suspense 81 – Splash Page.
Pencils by Kirby – Inks by Frank Giacoia.
Featuring the Cosmic Cube (or as moviegoers would later know it by, the Tesseract).


Captain America 101 – May 1968
The unedited version on the left is one of my favorite images of the Red Skull.
Pencils by Kirby – magnificent inks by Syd Shores.
From the


And here’s a couple originals from that same issue.
Inker Syd Shores.



Last but not least, Captain America 212 from August 1977.


The following interior page was originally edited out of Captain Amereca 212, but was later inked by Mike Royer and added to a collected version years later.


And if I’m correct, that was the last story that Kirby did that featured the Red Skull.

For more on Jack Kirby treat yourself to Mark Evanier’s 2008 Kirby bio. Highly recommended!


By Jim Keefe

Jim Keefe is the current artist of the Sally Forth comic strip. From 1996-2003 he was the writer and artist of the Flash Gordon comic strip. A graduate of the Joe Kubert School, Keefe likewise teaches Comic Art. Teaching and speaking engagements include SVA in Manhattan, Hofstra’s UCCE Youth Programs, and most recently the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.