Edited, written and drawn by Jack Kirby; Inked and lettered by Mike Royer; Colored by G. Roussos; Consulting editor Archie Goodwin.


     This basically serves as a broken down retelling of the Clarke/Kubrick story, with some embellishments and alterations.  The story opens as He Who Hunts Alone—the sole audience of the “Stone Spirit” that talks to his mind—lives up to his name with a wooden club.  The monolith not only gave HWHA (Hoohaa?) the knowledge of hunting with a weapon, but has made him fiercely independent and self-centered.  He hates the others of his tribe; the Stone Spirit, it seems, only reaches him.  The others can’t hear it.  When others of his tribe try to break in on HWHA’s assault on a Procamelus, HWHA fights them off with mighty bellows and swinging club, losing the animal as it darts for the forest.

     The wooden club, HWHA realizes, is insufficient for a quick kill.  He goes back to his cave as the tribal hunters secretly follow.  There, they witness their unfriendly fellow’s “discussion” with the stone spirit—a mysterious slab of mystical granite that inspires HWHA to create the first spear, a powerful weapon that causes his tribesmen to christen him Beast Killer.

     Here, Kirby pays tribute to the film’s famous bone/space ship edit; as Beast Killer throws his spear in one panel, the very next panel shows us astronaut Woodrow Decker—Beast Killer’s direct descendant—throwing an alien artifact screaming “This thing is useless!!  USELESS!!”

     In the year 2001, Decker and fellow space explorer Mason have crashed on an asteroid in their search for extraterrestrial life.  Ironically, they have made that momentous discovery at the cost of their own lives; while Mason remains confident that mission control will send help, Decker is certain that they will die, their incredible discovery useless to them.

     Decker dejectedly follows Mason into the dilapidated remains of an ancient ET structure, where Mason is attacked and killed by an alien creature living in its bowels.  As Mason’s body is dragged into the creature’s pit, the structure and entire asteroid begin to crumble around Decker.  He flees, jumping directly into a waiting monolith that transports him, without memory, to an idyllic country scene where he meets “Bill”, a straw-chewing country boy who begins to lead Decker up a country road to a house Decker will never see because with each step he is aging rapidly until he finally dies and is reborn as a Star Child, or New Seed, as Kirby refers to it.

     Here, the issue ends as enigmatically as the film; we, too, never see the house, learn who Bill is, or why he was in such a hurry to get Decker into the house.  This, ultimately, is a rather thoughtful rendition of the film for a younger audience, keeping with the picture’s sense of mystery while also adhering to the comic book medium’s demand for visual adventure.