James P. “Jim” Starlin is the American comic book writer and artist accredited with many firsts. But essentially he is responsible for a lot of Marvel’s cosmic/soap opera narrative arcs. He revamped Marvel Comics characters Captain Marvel and Adam Warlock; and created, most notably Marvel characters Thanos. He also created/co-created Drax the Destroyer, Gamora and Shang-Chi, Master of Kung Fu.
So it comes as a surprise that for someone so invested in the history of Marvel has now stepped down. A surprise… until you hear the details. Starlin told fans he would be departing from the comics publisher over what he says is a recent experience in which Marvel knowingly greenlit another comics storyline that had an extremely similar plotline to his upcoming trilogy of Thanos-centric graphic novels.
This week, it was reported that Starlin had been removed from his Thanos project after comments he made about the character’s future in an interview with CBR.com in which Starlin said that he understood that Marvel was planning on taking Thanos in a new direction in preparation for his appearance in Infinity War.
However, Starlin took to Facebook earlier this week to further clarify why he was departing from Marvel. Specifically, Starlin explained, he had also floated the idea of working on one of the publisher’s core Thanos titles, but was rejected. While he understands that Marvel may choose to work with other writers on certain titles, he believes that Marvel did him wrong by essentially letting another writer poach his story that was already in the production process:
“What I objected to and what will be keep me from doing any further work for Marvel Editorial was [executive editor] Tom Brevoort approving a plot for the current on-going [Thanos] 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 similaritie
In any case, it is an ugly state of affairs, as the strength of Marvel is the cinematic universe, but it does still hinge on the creative mustre of the comics, and we still need strong talent to bring the narrative arcs to fans that will resonate for years to come. And to have one of your best and brightest to leave in such a manner serves no good to anyone. Whether Marvel Comics will release a statement on this is also to be seen.
“What do you guys think? Marvel editorial not respecting veteran talent. Putting ‘old dogs’ out to pasture? Or is this a case of entitlement? Let’s hear your thoughts in the comments and via Facebook and Twitter @TheActionPixel”