REVIEW: From the pages of Marvelocity…
UPDATED 1/4/20: The magazine Back Issue #118 is out as early as Jan. 8 and it includes an interview by editor Michael Eury with artist Alex Ross about his failed Fantastic Four pitch. We first broke that story as part of our coverage of the book Marvelocity in October 2018, so it seemed like the perfect time to re-present it, to prep you for Michael’s excellent interview. (Click here for more info on that, plus an EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT from the issue by Steve Englehart.) — Dan
I don’t know if you’ve picked up Marvelocity yet, but I cannot recommend it highly enough. The coffee-table book, which celebrates the Marvel art of Alex Ross, is hands down the most spectacularly illustrated publication about comics I’ve seen this year.
Hardly a surprise, mind you. This is Alex Ross we’re talking about and the hardcover was produced with one of publishing’s top designers, Chip Kidd, along with first-rate photographer Geoff Spear.
The book, a companion to the beautiful, DC-focused Mythology that came out 15 years ago, is jammed with hundreds of Ross’ covers, prints, sketches and pages – even his designs for the opening credits of Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 2 and a series of busts based on his photorealistic style of art.
A lot of it you’ve seen before, of course, but it’s all in the presentation, an intoxicating brew of colorful detail that makes you believe there’s a world somewhere in the multiverse that looks exactly how Ross envisions it.
Even more fascinating, naturally, is what you haven’t seen – such as a new Spider-Man story and, startlingly, Ross’ doomed pitch to reboot the Fantastic Four in 2017 while Marvel’s First Family was still on hiatus.
It just goes to show you that even the biggest talents in comics don’t always get what they want – and what Ross wanted was an eye-popping comic that echoed the DayGlo ’60s while offering something fresh.
Just check this out:
Ross spells out his vision across six pages in the book, including designs, sample pages and even treatments for potential logos.
He never explains why the project wasn’t greenlit but we can imagine what might have been:
Marvelocity: The Marvel Comics Art of Alex Ross, is a 312-page, oversized hardcover, published by Pantheon. It lists for $50 and is available at comics shops, bookstores and online retailers. Miss it not, True Believers.