Review by C.J. Bunce
If you only know Alex Ross from his extensive work with the DC Comics superheroes, get ready for a great book of poster art featuring all-new paintings of the superheroes of the Marvel universe. Bar none, Alex Ross is the creator whose coverage has received the most views and feedback in the past 10 years of borg (early on we looked at some of our most favorite of his artworks here and you can see all our coverage of his projects here). You’ve probably already checked out Alex Ross’s previously reviewed art overview books Mythology: The DC Comics Art of Alex Ross, Rough Justice: The DC Comics Sketches of Alex Ross, and The Dynamite Art of Alex Ross. Although Ross has created countless covers and projects like Marvels over the years, what you may not be aware of are full-figure, painted portrait, images of the Marvel Comics superheroes Ross installed last year in Marvel’s New York offices as a life-sized mural. All 35 individual character posters used in the mural are now available in a giant-sized book, The Alex Ross Marvel Comics Poster Book, full of premium cardstock, ready-to-frame posters, including a 44″x16″ foldout of the entire connected image.
We’ve shared his 1990s DC Comics character posters before (see here and here). Here’s what that looked like together in a single image that has been reproduced in prints millions of times since:
Ross’s painted art is a favorite of comic book fans everywhere. His unique style has become a trademark of sorts, and a must-have for a sure-fire successful launch of many new series. His prints, like those shown above and those in The Alex Ross Marvel Comics Poster Book, regularly sell at comic conventions for $20 each, which makes a book like this, listing at $24.99, a steal (Ross’s original color painted superhero works go for $4,000 to $25,000). Publisher AbramsComicArts was careful to have each character poster include on its reverse the description of Ross’s influence and design for that image, further making it easy to separate the poster prints. This book will find itself eventually selling as frameable prints all over the Internet.
Included is a discussion by Ross of the commissioning of this project, how he selected these 35 characters of all the hundreds of available heroes to incorporate in this project, and an image of four tiny superheroes he wanted to incorporate in 1:1 scale that would have been too small for the mural. As a bonus, the back cover pulls out to show a pencil-sketch print with Spider-Man taking center stage. The highlight of the book is a fold-out of approximately 44″x16″ of the entire mural. It looks like this image, but in brighter, more crisp detail:
Here is a video of Ross discussing his creation of this project:
A must for Alex Ross fans, superhero poster collectors and fans of Marvel Comics. You can order The Alex Ross Marvel Comics Poster Book now via Elite Comics or your local comics shop, or pre-order it here at Amazon (it lists an April 20, 2021, release date).
I still like comic books. And I am almost 80.
I look at them all.