Don’t let this ridiculous post get in the way of the fact that Klarion the Witch Boy is awesome.

§ July 8th, 2011 § Filed under jack kirby § 16 Comments

So on a whim, I thought I’d reread the early appearances of Klarion the Witch Boy from Jack Kirby’s The Demon:

…just because Klarion the Witch Boy is awesome:

…when I came across this little bit of comics trivia that I assumed nobody cared about, but, as you know, a little Googling will always dissuade the “nobody else cares about this” assumption. Anyway, in Klarion’s first appearance, his feline companion Teekl is described as a male cat, as seen in this panel:

However, a few issues later when Klarion makes his return appearance, Teekl is suddenly a girl cat:

And…okay, that was a bit strange. Not that the cat’s suddenly being female is strange, I mean that panel is damned peculiar. But things get a little stranger, and a little bit more lady-ish, as Teekl eventually transforms into a full-blown woman-with-fursuit:

As I said, this is apparently an issue with some folks, as the Young Justice wiki notes that “Teekl’s sex has often been a subject of variation and debate amongst writers and fans alike in comics and cartoons,” and the Wikipedia entry for Klarion has a separate section devoted to the Teekl gender issue. Both entries state that Kirby’s version of Teekl was female (as opposed to the current version of Teekl, in the Young Justice cartoon and in the Seven Soldiers comics by Grant Morrison, where he’s a boy cat), without mentioning the cat’s apparent maleness when first introduced by Kirby.

Of course, we’re talking about a magic cat, so one could assume its gender could be changed on the fly as necessary. I mean, clearly that’s the only logical conclusion.

images from The Demon #7 (March 1973) and #15 (December 1973) by Jack Kirby & Mike Royer

(updated 8/2017)

16 Responses to “Don’t let this ridiculous post get in the way of the fact that Klarion the Witch Boy is awesome.”

  • Joe S. Walker says:

    Here’s the answer: KIRBY FORGOT.

  • Jack Fear says:

    That sounds reasonable. I mean, it’s certainly not because Kirby was producing something like 16 pages a week with little to no editorial oversight, and either forgot or changed his mind or simply didn’t give a good goddam about Teekl’s gender. Why, the very suggestion is absurd.

  • ExistentialMan says:

    Of every funny book I read from the ages of 8 to 11, nothing came close to terrifying me as much as Klarion and Teekl. That book scared the BEJEEZUS out of me. I’m glad I didn’t catch the gender-changing issue back then because my pre-adolescent mind would have exploded.

  • philip says:

    Krazy Kat’s gender was pretty changeable, too, if I’ve been reading it right. Though Krazy Kat has never been as freaky as those few Kirby panels.

  • demoncat says:

    think the reason Teekels gender kept changing is one Kirby always had a bad memory so he proably forgot a few times the gender Teekel is suppose to be plus Teekel being a magic creature gives he she the ability to change genders if the writer chooses . after all the doom patrol had changing genders with REibus so Teekel changing gender should just be do to he she being magic and choosing what ever gender Teekel chooses to be.

  • CW says:

    Is it wrong that I find human female cat-suit Teekl kinda sexy? ;)

  • buzz says:

    C’mon, Jack couldn’t remember how many fingers the Thing had from page to page; his mind was focused on bigger subjects. You think he’s going to let something like a cat’s gender distract him?

    (The other answer is that Klarion had Teekl fixed after his first appearance…)

    I thot I’d seen every impressive Kirby panel out there (and, man, there are a lot of them) but “I’ve turned you into a tree…” is one of his best.

  • Happenstance says:

    3rd panel above: Holy Moley, Teekl was Death Cat before there was a Death Cat.

  • Anonymous says:

    that is one creepy looking cat.ah, the weirdness and majesty of Jack Kirby.

  • Mikester says:

    (yes, I know Kirby probably forgot…just tryin’ to have some fun here, folks!)

  • Sarah says:

    I’d like to smack that smirk off Klarion’s face.

  • Bear says:

    His face. Dear God, HIS FACE!

  • pell says:

    The answer is right there in the panel: “Change, Teekl, change!” :)

  • bkmunn says:

    Not aware of the controversy although I have read the first two Demon/Klarion team-ups, but years apart. Fascinating. Did a post about Kirby costumes with emphasis on the Demon/Klarion team on Mystery Hoard awhile back. I quite liked Morrison’s updating of Klarion’s origins and the Solomon Grundy tie-in.

  • Snark Shark says:

    it would appear that Kirby invented “furries”.

  • Jack Fear says:

    Dude, didn’t you get the memo? Kirby invented EVERYTHING.