Which newly discovered Kirby superhero could be a Hollywood hit?

Could the Golden Shield—an ancient Mayan hero seeking to save Earth from ending in the year 2012—be the next Captain America? Is it possible that the Gargoids—scientists who gain superpowers after being infected by an alien virus—might become as popular as the Fantastic Four? Hollywood sure hopes so, according to The New York Times.

Jack Kirby, who co-created many of the Marvel superheroes that have recently been turned into blockbuster movies, created an estimated 600 production boards while working for animation studio Ruby-Spears Productions during the 1980s. Since then, that work has remained in storage and unseen while the studio has tried to figure out what to do with it.

"I love comic books, but this is a treasure," said Ariel Z. Emanuel, the co-chief executive of the William Morris Endeavor Entertainment agency, who is representing these Kirby works for Ruby-Spears and Sid and Marty Krofft (H.R. Pufnstuf, Land of the Lost). "It's like a boat sank at the bottom of the ocean, and all of a sudden you've uncovered it."

These newly discovered characters were created during a period when Kirby had become disillusioned with New York's comic-book companies and turned to California's animation studios instead. While working for Ruby-Spears designing characters and backgrounds for its Saturday-morning action series Thundarr the Barbarian, the ever-prolific Kirby drew presentation boards for new projects that never made it past the planning stages. But with studios hungry for new franchises, their time may have finally come.

Check out this NY Times slideshow for more never-before-seen Kirby heroes.

So what do you think? Will Jack Kirby's pedigree soon bring any of these characters to the screen?

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