Hailing from the talented hand of superstar artist Alex Ross, a new oversized art book published by Abrams ComicArts spotlights a vibrant collection of superhero paintings created for a commissioned mural at Marvel's New York City headquarters — and SYFY WIRE has an exclusive preview to share.
Arriving on April 20, The Alex Ross Marvel Comics Poster Book is a deluxe, 80-page collection that showcases individual, 11X16 inch illustrations Ross rendered for this special corporate project, with caped crusaders and crimefighters like Captain America, Ghost Rider, Cyclops, Vision, Wolverine, Daredevil, Spider-Man, Iron Man, Angel, Thor, The Hulk, Silver Surfer, Namor The Sub-Mariner and more all rendered in the Eisner Award-winning artist's signature style.
"Let’s call this book a positive side effect of me doing this commissioned mural for Marvel’s offices," Ross tells SYFY WIRE. "And Marvel didn’t say, 'Hey, make a bunch of single figure shots.' They just wanted a mural, so it could have been a composition of a hundred figures fighting with a background."
This is the first time these 35 images have been assembled in one prestige-format book, which includes 35 ready-to-frame, removeable art prints, each matched with illuminating commentary by Ross, rough drawings, preliminary sketches, and a bonus four-page gatefold of the combined portraits that created the dramatic mural for the House of Ideas' main offices.
"I envisioned a way by which I could create something with dual purposes," Ross explains. "That was the reasoning behind creating single figure shots, so that they could both be their own individual advertising pieces for other products, as well as a poster book like this one."
Ross believes that each figure being seen entirely on its own might not always jump out in the best way, but it was certainly designed to fit the specific attitude that might apply to each character.
"When I’m drawing a character, either with arms folded or some kind of more grandiose, tough-guy pose, it’s fitting what I know of the character and the way I personally perceive them as I’ve been reading them for 50 years," Ross notes. "When you take the Spider-Man poster page on its own, the fact that I had him kneeling down on the ground, I don’t blow up the figure on the page just so he fills more of the space. He’s small because all these are meant to be seen as a whole."
"With the text that I write with each character, I sort of highlight who I have a special affinity for," he adds. "If you read every single entry you’ll think I love everybody equally. Basically, I was mainly focused upon the boring guys. I love these stoic characters like Vision, Mr. Fantastic, and Cyclops. They’re not fun for the readers because that’s the straight man. But I thought, 'That’s me, I’m the straight man.' And I like that kind of guy because that guy gets stuff done!"
Now check out our exclusive peek inside Abrams ComicArts' The Alex Ross Marvel Comics Poster Book (Apr. 20) in the full gallery below.
All images from The Alex Ross Marvel Comics Poster Book, By Alex Ross, and Marvel Entertainment © 2021 MARVEL