by Chris Braly
“I am moving on,” says Jim Starlin, who has been penning a trilogy of Thanos-related graphic novels that he had dubbed his final Thanos story. Starlin created Thanos with Mike Friedrich in 1973, and Starlin’s hit mini-series, the Infinity Gauntlet has been the inspiration for Marvel Studios Cinematic Universe, which culminates in the next two Avengers films, first with The Avengers: Infinity War coming May 2018, and the following year and Avengers 4 starring Josh Brolin as Thanos.
It should be noted that Marvel Comics is a separate entity at Disney than Marvel Studios, so neither Kevin Feige nor the Russo brothers are responsible for Jim Starlin ending his Marvel career. The writer, whose next Thanos related work is a trilogy of graphic novels beginning with Thanos: The Infinity Siblings which is due out in February, explained that his decision to leave Marvel behind was due to a dispute with longtime editor Tom Brevoort.
Jim Starlin himself let people know on his Facebook page yesterday.
“Just to set the record straight, Marvel Comics didn’t pull me off any books, they just made it clear they weren’t interested in using me on any of the tie-in series to the movies or regular series. Even though I lobbied heavily to write the Thanos on-going that task was twice given to other writers, which is Marvel Editorial’s right to do.”
“What I objected to and what will be keep me from doing any further work for Marvel Editorial was Tom Brevoort approving a plot for the current on-going 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 similarities.”
Fans of Starlin were stunned. While Tom Brevoort has had controversies of his own in recent years, including battles with long-time Marvel creators, fans of Jim Starlin, he had never been accused of lying to creators. Starlin fans and and his creation Thanos the Mad Titan, wanted to know how this might affect the release of the upcoming Thanos trilogy that Starlin had previously stated would be his last Thanos story. The writer updated fans on the series in a later Facebook post indicating that the three books, “Thanos: Infinity Siblings, Thanos: Conflict, and Thanos: Ending, would still be published with Alan Davis currently working on the art to the second of Starlin’s three finished scripts.
Starlin had told CBR.com last week that he and Marvel were parting ways “for the last time,” but did not elaborate on the reason why, saying only that “Marvel Editorial has made it clear they want fresh takes on the Titan, so who am I to argue with them? It’s been fun, Big Guy. Go out and have an interesting and entertaining life after.” With this more recent series of Facebook posts, Jim Starlin provided more context for his decision.
We wish him much success and are hopeful that new Editor-In-Chief C.B. Cebulski can provide some much needed outreach to this famed and important creator to repair this rift if it is possible.