Comics: The Art Of Jim Starlin: A Life In Words And Pictures - Reviewed

There are very few comic book artists and writers that have had such a major influence on the industry like Jim Starlin has. Responsible for creating several major Marvel characters, his work has not only impacted the comic book industry, but it is also felt in the films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. His creations Thanos, Gamora, and Drax the Destroyer are all currently having a major impact on the MCU, as can be seen with the blockbuster release Avengers: Infinity War. New from AfterShock Comics is the excellent hardcover book The Art Of Jim Starlin: A Life In Words And Pictures, an important book for MCU fans that want to know a little bit more about the artist behind some of the major characters and storylines that are currently in the MCU, and some that are expected to make appearances soon. Featuring art from his time at Marvel and DC, as well as most of his other work, this is a truly special book that compiles all of Starlin’s art and features his take on his forty-plus years working in the comic book industry.

Jim Starlin traces back his forty-plus years in industry, providing a great deal of personal and professional insight, as we go on a journey of his life. He talks about his childhood years and his initial interest in comic books, his time in the Navy and some of his early influences. Then he goes into getting started in New York City as a freelance artist and then working at Marvel, getting his first full comic with the Invincible Iron Man #55 and creating Thanos and Drax the Destroyer. From there, he details his time with Marvel during the ‘70s and into the ‘80s, discussing why he ultimately left Marvel and ended up doing independent graphic novels before going to DC. While at DC, he ended up creating some of the most important Batman stories of the decade, with Death in the Family and The Cult. After that, Starlin goes back to Marvel for what ends up being the Infinity Gauntlet storyline.

Complimenting Starlin’s account of his career is the impressive collection of art that is contained inside of this book. From the beginning of his career up until his more recent work, we are treated to an immense amount of art. It includes cover art, pages in various stages of design, portfolio plates, paintings, and personal photos that all detail his long and storied career. It’s a magnificent assortment of art and for many readers will be the highlight of the book, making you want to revisit many of the comics and stories that he helped shape and create. If there’s any quibbles about the book, it’s that it doesn’t contain any of the full comics to read. It’s understandable that it doesn’t of course, seeing as the book is already at 300-plus pages without any additional material.

The Art of Jim Starlin will make a terrific addition to anyone’s library of art books, collecting together the career of a man who helped shape several important Marvel and DC stories.