S.H.I.E.L.D. Vs. The Horrors Of The Modern World (Panels from STRANGE TALES #151, December 1966. Layouts by Jack Kirby. Illustrations by Jim Steranko. Words by Stan Lee. Lettering by Artie Simek.)
Suddenly almost everything in the Marvel Universe was reaching some kind of critical juncture, a point of no return. Nick Fury’s modern-day S.H.I.E.L.D. adventures in Strange Tales merged with Captain America’s missions in Tales of Suspense as the heroes teamed against high-tech organizations like A.I.M. (Advanced Idea Mechanics) and HYDRA for a kind of sci-fi paramilitary feedback loop. Here, too, science bounded forward at a dizzying, almost alarming rate—even the flurry of good-guy gadgets like Life Model Decoys carried disconcerting post-atomic associations of that which humanity is not ready to harness. A.I.M.—which consisted of shady industrialists outfitted like futuristic beekeepers—created the Super-Adaptoid and brandished a talisman known as the Cosmic Cube (“The ultimate weapon! The ultimate source of power! The only such artifact known to man—which can convert thought waves—into material action!”), which fell into the hands of the Red Skull, who’d just reemerged from the rubble of the Führerbunker after two decades. All you could pray for was to have the Orion Missile, or the Matter Transmitter, on your side.
An unpublished page from “Galaxy Green,” Jack Kirby’s unsuccessful pitch for an underground-style tabloid comic at DC in the 1970s. Tame as it is, this is probably the closest Kirby ever came to erotic comix.