And here I was hoping Marvel Comics was going in a new direction with Axel Alonso leaving and new EIC C.B. Cebulski coming on board...
Similar to Marvel Comics removing Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning from the 2008 Guardians of the Galaxy comic book that inspired James Gunn's multi-billion dollar movie franchise, now it's learned that Marvel Comics is removing Jim Starlin from writing any future Thanos stories.
Jim Starlin created Thanos with Mike Friedrich in 1973, and Starlin's Infinity Gauntlet comic book has been the inspiration for the blueprint of Kevin Feige's Marvel Studios Cinematic Universe, which culminates next May and the following year with The Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers 4 starring Josh Brolin as Thanos.
Jim Starlin fills in CBR the following:
“For quite some time, I have had the privilege of pretty much solely determining where our Mad Titan would go in his fictional life. Thanos is the property of Marvel Entertainment, and with the movies on the horizon, Big Purple is about to enter the rarified classification of being a cultural icon, a character bigger than the comic books, writers and artists that birthed him. Marvel Editorial has made it clear they want fresh takes on the Titan, so who am I to argue with them?” Starlin added, recognizing that the character he created is bigger than himself. But before all is said and done, the writer still has a final, epic story left to tell.
“It’s been fun, Big Guy. Go out and have an interesting and entertaining life after.”
Now it should be made clear that Marvel Comics is a separate company at Disney than Marvel Studios, so it's not like Kevin Feige or the Russo brothers are responsible for not letting Jim Starlin continue to write Thanos.
I know Jim Starlin did express interest back in August that he wanted to write more from Thanos, and Starlin felt that he should be the one writing Thanos, which I whole heartedly agree with.
I created him. The stories I have written of him have always sold well or exceedingly well and are all still in print. I wrote the story the movies are being based on. Who should be writing his series now?
Similar to Starlin, it should also be noted that Abnett and Lanning weren't removed from their titles because of low sales (Editor Bill Rosemann confirmed sales were high).
I've also probably said it a hundred times before, but it's worth stating again: what a nice company Marvel Comics must be to work for when they fire you for inspiring billion dollar projects.
I will also add that at least Marvel Studios knows how to treat the comic book creators.
When Marvel Comics sh-t-canned Abnett and Lanning, James Gunn was cordial enough to bring DnA on the set of Guardians of the Galaxy, and Marvel Studios also recently brought Jim Starlin on a set visit of Avengers Infinity War.
Chris Pratt also recently took to Instagram to recount the first time he purchased the Infinity Gauntlet comic book, and Pratt's brother, Cully Pratt, then revealed video that he still had Chris' copy.
That's class act, and the same can't be said for Marvel Comics.
I'm totally flabbergasted right now.
Update: Jim Starlin has commented the following on this article on Facebook:
Just to set the record straight, Marvel Comics didn't pull me off any books, they just made it clear they weren't interested in using me on any of the tie-in series to the movies or regular series. Even though I lobbied heavily to write the Thanos on-going that task was twice given to other writers, which is Marvel Editorial's right to do.
What I objected to and what will be keep me from doing any further work for Marvel Editorial was Tom Brevoort approving a plot for the current on-going series, which was pretty much the same as the Thanos story arc in the graphic novel trilogy Alan Davis and I have been working on for Tom for close to the past year. He had 200 pages of script and 100 pages of pencils on this project when he gave the green light to a strikingly similar plot. The on-going will be in print before the graphic novel trilogy. To avoid spoiling anyone's enjoyment of these two stories I will not be summarizing the striking similarities.
At first Tom denied giving his approval to the plot. When that turned out to be false, he switched to claiming there was nothing similar about the two plots. When that didn’t fly he changed his story to it was all an accident. These changes of excuse and other bits of procrastination ate up a month, by which time the current Thanos on-going art team was too far along for anything to be done about the situation. Too bad for me. So I am moving on.
And, yes, Marvel Entertainment has treated me very well and generously. Them I like.
Original article continues:
You can read Jim Starlin's final Thanos story this February with the three-part Thanos: The Infinity Siblings with art by Alan Davis.
Here are the details and cover art. You can order on Amazon.
THANOS: THE INFINITY SIBLINGS OGN-HC
Written by JIM STARLIN
Penciled by ALAN DAVIS
Cover by JIM STARLIN
Jim Starlin and Alan Davis return in the first volume of a new trilogy! The Mad Titan has everything he ever wanted — but satisfaction is not in Thanos’ vocabulary. When a temporal distortion on Titan draws his attention, he finds the purpose he’s been searching for: saving himself! An old enemy lurks in the far future, and it will take the combined wits of Thanos, his brother Eros and time-travel master Kang the Conqueror to stop it — and save the Multiverse. But there are other players in this cosmic chess game — and Thanos may find himself outmatched! What lies ahead for the so-called Avatar of Death? 112 PGS./Rated T+ …$24.99 ISBN: 978-1-302-90818-8 Trim size: standard