Many readers define graphic novels by Marvel Comic’s first, The Death of Captain Marvel. Even more readers define great cosmic comics by the man who wrote and drew that work of fiction, the magnificent genius named Jim Starlin.
Few have contributed more to our love of space adventures, and in particular Marvel Universe adventures, than Starlin. And now, three decades after killing off a noble Kree warrior, the creator returns with a tale of his greatest creation along with a character he did not create but defined.
Thanos and Adam Warlock are back, and in graphic novel format, this summer in Thanos: The Infinity Revelation, which is part of a larger overall Starlin project under wraps by the House of Ideas. We also learn that Starlin re-teams with artist Ron Lim on a new previously unannounced project.
To find out more, Cosmic Book News M.E. Byron Brewer exclusively rendezvoused at the bar on Knowhere named for the creator and filed this interview with Mr. Starlin.
Cosmic Book News: First, Jim, how does it feel to be back in the Marvel Universe?
Jim Starlin: Like all jobs, it’s a mixed bag. It’s great playing with old friends, like Thanos and Adam Warlock. Tom Brevoort’s office has been good to work with; very responsive and professional. But I am getting older and there are no seventeen page comics any longer. When I started on the one-hundred-page Thanos graphic novel, all I could think was that I might well be on Social Security by the time I finish this job. Just kidding.
CBN: Can you tell us how this graphic novel featuring Thanos, or rather a trio of interconnected graphic novels, came about?
Jim Starlin: Well, the graphic novel came about when Marvel Comics and I decided to work together again, after a long spell of not dealing with each other. The graphic novel format was Tom Brevoort’s idea. Once I started coming to the end of that first project, I wanted to go onto another Thanos story I had in mind. A key character in the story was temporarily unavailable, so it was suggested I do a yet-to-be announced story arc that would lead into this delayed tale. I’ve still got two issues of that four-issue story arc to pencil and write. The third project was scripting a thirty-page story for an annual this summer. This sort of came out of nowhere, but it gives me the chance to work with Ron Lim again, so I couldn’t pass it up.
CBN: How does it feel to be handling characters that you either created or helped guide to their destinies?
Jim Starlin: It’s like hanging out with old friends again after a long separation.
Part of it is learning what they’ve been up to since I last saw them.
Some are doing better. Some have fallen on hard times. It came as a surprise to me to learn that Adam Warlock was dead.
CBN: Without spoilers, can you tell us how Adam Warlock works into this? Is it going to be a Warlock from another time, or the one that was featured in the Abnett/Lanning adventures of Guardians of the Galaxy?
Jim Starlin: Both. Neither. It’s complicated.
CBN: Any comments about what has happened to Drax the Destroyer in his evolution since you left Marvel?
Jim Starlin: To be honest with you, after a certain point I kind of lost interest in Drax back when. Warlock, Thanos and others I found much more interesting characters to play with. Drax and his blind hatred of Thanos was sort of a one-note pony. Which is why I eventually brain damaged him in Infinity Watch. I’ve found I’ve enjoyed what I have read of Abnett and Lanning’s version of the character.
CBN: What can you tell us about this Thanos/Warlock story in general?
Jim Starlin: It involves alternate realities, which is something I haven’t played with much before. The story’s very much about the dangers of acting on undefined urges and having to deal with the consequences afterwards.
The ramifications from Thanos: the Infinity Revelation will continue to reverberate long after the reader has finished that story. Thanos goes through a major change at the end of the tale. And Adam Warlock?
Can’t get into that just yet.
CBN: I saw some art with Eternity and some other concept entities in it. What will the roles of these cosmic heavy hitters be?
Jim Starlin: Foretellers to begin with and commentators who don’t know what they’re talking about near the end. Is that obscure and confusing enough for you?
CBN: Can you tell us of some of the cosmic Marvel stars that might be in this graphic novel?
Jim Starlin: Some of the Guardians of the Galaxy make a brief appearance and later in the story the Silver Surfer and the Annihilators stop by.
CBN: And you stated that all this connects up to current Marvel continuity, correct?
Jim Starlin: I tried to connect it up as best I could but Tom Brevoort wasn’t exactly forthcoming about what was taking place in the Infinity series. Now that it’s come to an end I realize I shouldn’t had Corvus Glaive standing in the background of one panel in the graphic novel, seeing that he gets killed at the end of the Infinity series. My story doesn’t start with Thanos having to get out of a block of amber either.
CBN: Anyway, Jim, we from Cosmic Book News welcome you back to creating great stories in the Marvel Universe. Speaking of which, any other projects current or future coming from the great mind of Starlin?
Jim Starlin: Just those I mentioned before.
Cosmic Book News and I would like to thank the great writer/illustrator Jim Starlin for taking time out of his very busy schedule to speak with us about this very special project. Thanks also to Marvel’s own Chris D’Lando, who helped make this rare interview possible.
“Thanos: The Infinity Revelation” hits stores this summer!