Kirby: King of Comics is an unfortunate metaphor for the current state of the comic-book industry. The oversize book's pages are filled with eye- popping imagery—which made Jack Kirby a legend in the comic industry—but there's little else going on to hold the interest of anyone but the most die-hard comic fanboys.

Evanier is clearly in love with his subject, recounting details of Kirby's entire life with the same beaming reverence shared by most longtime comic readers. But Evanier, a comic writer and former assistant to Kirby, seems too caught up in the little details of Kirby's life to effectively dissect what actually earned him the nickname the King: his art.

That nickname is well-deserved. Kirby cocreated big names like the Incredible Hulk, Captain America, the Fantastic Four, and the X-Men, but the energy in his work—not to mention the sheer weirdness of later creations like Devil Dinosaur, Galactus, and the New Gods—was what truly set him apart from his peers. Unfortunately, Evanier's narrow focus never lets up enough to look at what the rest of the comics industry was doing during Kirby's groundbreaking years, and reads more like a press release for Jack Kirby's Greatest Hits.

It's unfortunate Evanier's storytelling is so flat. There are brief bursts of energy—such as a recounting of Kirby's tough-guy response to threats from Nazi sympathizers following Captain America's first appearance—but most of the time, his writing feels like filler. Kirby: King of Comics is worth the scratch for the art alone—the beautifully recolored and cleaned-up oversize art is sure to simultaneously class and nerd up any coffee table—but Evanier never manages to make Kirby's life more interesting than the accompanying pictures.