Marvel's THE AVENGERS End-Credits Villain Examined By Comic Book Creator Jim Starlin

Speaking to the LA Time's Hero Complex, Jim Starlin, the creator of the Mad Titan discusses seeing his creation in Marvel's The Avengers. villain

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By Mark Julian - 5/11/2012
Jim Starlin is something of a legend in the comic book community. If you have a character that needs to be killed then Starlin's your man. All jokes aside, Starlin has created some of the most memorable comic runs for both Marvel and DC and has created such well known characters as Captain Marvel, Adam Warlock, Shang-Chi and of course Thanos. Speaking to Hero Complex Starlin discusses his creation and his reaction to seeing Thanos on the big screen.


HC: When did you find out Thanos was going to be in the film — and was it hard to keep it a secret?

JS: I was only alerted by friends to Thanos appearing in the film a few weeks before the opening. They’d come across rumors about it on the Internet. So I had no problem at all about keeping that particular secret.

HC: Thanos has such a memorable visage and powerful aura — even in a Marvel Universe packed with cosmic-level characters. Did the character arrive fully formed in your imagination or did it take awhile to get the character to the now-familiar version?

JS: Thanos came to me while I was taking a psychology class in college after coming out of the service; the ol’ Thanos/Eros concept. I had him sort of roughed out before I ever started working at Marvel. When editor Roy Thomas asked me to do a fill-in Iron Man, I decided to add him to the mix. I showed some character sketches I had of the character to Roy, he asked if I could perhaps bulk up Thanos some and then let me run with it. Mike Friedrich then dialogued the issue. As time went on, Thanos just sort of grew organically on his own. Not sure where his loving Death came from. At the time I was recently out of the service and rather messed up. Hard to remember what was going through my head back then.

HC: On that topic, most villains in comics usually want to conquer or destroy things, but Thanos’ ends are more, well, romantic. Was there any specific inspiration that led to a character that — literally — courts death?

JS: I suppose the Mad Titan’s doing a Pepe Le Pew on Death was an offshoot of the death wish that I was probably entertaining around then. If I hadn’t had the outlet of writing and drawing comics, I guess there’s a good chance I wouldn’t be around today. But I got to vent and am still among the living and breathing.

HC: I spoke to Jerry Robinson once and I congratulated him on the billion-dollar success of “The Dark Knight” and he winced like I had poked him in the eye. Of course I instantly realized that watching Alfred, the Joker, Two-Face, etc. fill the coffers of Warner Bros. was like watching a son raised in another house with another family’s name. I don’t know the arrangements on this film, but has this project and its success been a mixed experience in any way?

JS: Very mixed. It’s nice to see my work recognized as being worth something beyond the printed page, and it was very cool seeing Thanos up on the big screen. Joss Whedon and his crew did an excellent job on “The Avengers” movie and I look forward to the sequel, for obvious reasons. But this is the second film that had something I created for Marvel in it — the Infinity Gauntlet in “Thor” being the other – and both films I had to pay for my own ticket to see them. Financial compensation to the creators of these characters doesn’t appear to be part of the equation. Hopefully Thanos’ walk-on in “The Avengers” will give a boost to a number of my own properties that are in various stages of development for film: “Dreadstar,” “Breed” and the novel “Thinning the Predators.”

HC: Where did you see the film and what was it like for you?

JS: I saw the film at a midnight showing at a local theater. Of course the audience was packed with comic-book crazies. It was like going to a comics convention. I had two heavy-duty geeks sitting behind me, narrating and commenting on the film throughout. I thought about asking them to pipe down but then realized they were actually adding to the experience for me and let it ride. My only surprise when I saw Thanos up on the screen was how violet he was. I always saw his exposed hide as being more grayish violet. I’ve only seen the film once and the Mad Titan appears quite briefly, but I had the impression he could perhaps use a bit more chin, but I could be wrong about that. I liked the voice.


There's a bit more with the man many consider the second godfather of cosmic [behind Jack Kirby] over at the source so be sure to click the link below. What did you think of the brief glimpse of Thanos at the end of The Avengers? Perhaps these subtle clues dropped in Thor and The Avengers are a hint of what's to come?




The Avengers is an American superhero film produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Pictures, based on the Marvel Comics superhero team of the same name. It is the sixth installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The film is written and directed by Joss Whedon and features an ensemble cast, which includes Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner and Samuel L. Jackson. In The Avengers, Nick Fury, director of the peacekeeping organization S.H.I.E.L.D., recruits Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, and Captain America to save the world from destruction.

Development of The Avengers began when Marvel Studios received a grant from Merrill Lynch in April 2005. After the success of the film Iron Man in May 2008, Marvel announced that The Avengers would be released in July 2011. With the signing of Scarlett Johansson in March 2009, the film was pushed back for a 2012 release. Whedon was brought on board in April 2010 and rewrote the screenplay that was originally written by Zak Penn. Production began in April 2011 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, before moving to Cleveland, Ohio in August 2011 and New York City in September 2011. The film was converted to 3D in post-production.

The Avengers was released in the United States on May 4, 2012 in 2D and 3D.









Running Time: 2 hrs 23minutes
Release Date: May 4 2012 (USA)
MPAA Rating: PG 13 for for intense sequences of action and violence, some disturbing images, and language
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Samuel L. Jackson, Tom Hiddleston, Cobie Smulders, Jeremy Renner, Clark Gregg, Stellan Skarsgård, Mark Ruffalo, Amanda Righetti, Scarlett Johansson and Lou Ferrigno The Incredible Hulk (voice) .
Directed by: Joss Whedon
Written by: Zak Penn (initial screenplay), Joss Whedon (revised screenplay)



Source: LA Times
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144 Comments
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Sanderman - 5/11/2012, 10:21 PM
that would suck to see your creation on the big screen and know you get no cut out of all the money that is being made
Super12 - 5/11/2012, 10:22 PM
Um...first?
BrotherStarkofMABMindz - 5/11/2012, 10:22 PM
Thanos is a boss, I can't wait to see Thor and Hulk duke it out with him. I think they would try to incorporate Thanos in the Guardians Of The Galaxy before The Avengers 2

Super12 - 5/11/2012, 10:22 PM
dang.
BigBossZombie - 5/11/2012, 10:22 PM
Agree about being too violet
TheGambitFreakIsBatmanOfCBM - 5/11/2012, 10:22 PM
The voice?! He didn't talk though, right? I've seen the movie 14 times, still haven't heard him speak. Any hoo, it's cool seeing these comic book writers/artists/creators sharing their experiences at these CBM screenings, nice to know their no different from us geeks.
BrotherStarkofMABMindz - 5/11/2012, 10:23 PM
Jeffery Wright for Thanos
Ryguy88 - 5/11/2012, 10:25 PM
Thanos appearing at the end was titstastic!..are we alowed to let the cat out of the bag now, has it been long enough?
TheTaskmaster - 5/11/2012, 10:28 PM
While I do agree that Thanos looked too violet, it could be argued that it was the lighting of the scene that caused it. They could easily alter his look before he starts getting real screen time and use that reasoning. After all it was really dark and the only real colors were dark colors.
Kayo - 5/11/2012, 10:29 PM
Thanos versus The Avengers could be an epic showdown in CBM history.
Jollem - 5/11/2012, 10:30 PM
Marvel's darkseid, created by jack kirby
johnnysnow - 5/11/2012, 10:37 PM
@SuspenseSmith - Ivan Ooze from GL?
JakeMurdock89 - 5/11/2012, 10:37 PM
I dont remember seeing the infinity gauntlet in thor, was it in odins throne room?
Ichaos - 5/11/2012, 10:37 PM
the purple color could just been the lighting
marknjoanna - 5/11/2012, 10:38 PM
wow i didnt know jim came up with thanos,i have ironman 55 (1st thanos) and knew jim did the art work on it but didnt know that.good job jim.
Vegeta - 5/11/2012, 10:40 PM
uhhh darkseid was created by jack kirby, doesnt he rank over all for copy rights except stan lee?
Vegeta - 5/11/2012, 10:42 PM
along with all of the new gods of apokolips and new genesis
nowtheresaBATman - 5/11/2012, 10:43 PM
@DoubleD sure about that? Darkseid 1970 - Thanos 1973
razor - 5/11/2012, 10:44 PM
If I had seen him in line at the theater I would have bought him a ticket, popcorn, Skittles and a drink! Jeez, Marvel!
nowtheresaBATman - 5/11/2012, 10:47 PM
"The Other" reminded me of Skeletor in that 1987 MOTU movie
ThePowerCosmic - 5/11/2012, 10:48 PM
I think that Thanos was just slapped together just to give a hint of what's coming. When he gets screen time as a main villain they will redesign his look. Why would they go through all the work just to see the side of his face. They showed as little as possible to let us know who was in control. That's why we didn't hear his voice...pronablt didn't even cast a voice actor yet.
marknjoanna - 5/11/2012, 10:49 PM
who is older thanos or darkseid.

i have no idea about darkseid,but the 1st thanos is a 20cent comic and should be around 1972.

anybody know darkseids 1st app.and the cover price and or year of the book.
FEJ - 5/11/2012, 10:49 PM
Why was his hand human color when he put it down to stand up? It was not the hand of his minion because he was already kneeling.
marknjoanna - 5/11/2012, 10:50 PM
ooops looks like dark is older thax for the info.
Vegeta - 5/11/2012, 10:50 PM
@marknjoanna Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #134 (November 1970)
marknjoanna - 5/11/2012, 10:54 PM
DC messed up when they did not make the new Superman movie using Darkseid or Doomsday.

DC finally had a chance to do it right and they went back to Superman 2 and General Zod

i think what made them do it is the fact that you have to go all the way back to superman 2 to find a decent non batman dc movie, and after bombs like superman returns and gl they are trying the safest thing they can think of.
marknjoanna - 5/11/2012, 11:00 PM
TheGoddamnBatman - 5/11/2012, 10:50 PM
Report Comment @marknjoanna Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #134 (November 1970)

thax. ill add that to my want list.
nowtheresaBATman - 5/11/2012, 11:01 PM
@DoubleD Man of Steel will NOT be Superman 2. Was The Dark Knight Tim Burton's Batman because the Joker was the villian again? Nooooooo. Were all in for a surprise w/ this new Superman movie & who's to say Darkeid won't show up in some way? Shit I like the fact MOS is starting out w/ just the Kryptonian villians instead of going balls out w/ something like Doomsday etc.
Jollem - 5/11/2012, 11:02 PM
i really hate to copy n' paste from wiki because a good chunk of my knowledge is pre-internet, but..

Starlin has admitted the character is influenced by Jack Kirby's Darkseid:
“ Kirby had done the New Gods, which I thought was terrific. He was over at DC at the time. I came up with some things that were inspired by that. You'd think that Thanos was inspired by Darkseid, but that was not the case when I showed up. In my first Thanos drawings, if he looked like anybody, it was Metron. I had all these different gods and things I wanted to do, which became Thanos and the Titans. Roy took one look at the guy in the Metron-like chair and said : "Beef him up! If you're going to steal one of the New Gods, at least rip off Darkseid, the really good one!"
nowtheresaBATman - 5/11/2012, 11:04 PM
Man of Steel is gonna be for DC what Iron Man was for Marvel. Just watch monkey see monkey do.
marknjoanna - 5/11/2012, 11:09 PM
DoubleD - 5/11/2012, 11:01 PM
Report Comment Everyone knows who Wonderwoman, Flash, Superman, Batman, and Green Lantern are. DC could easily make a Justice League movie, without intro movies like Marvel did.

tell you what dude you spend 200 mill (im guessing) on superman returns and it bombs.then spend 300 mill on gl and it bombs to. then spend whatever on j.hex and it bombs yet again. and see how easy it would be for you to make a jl movie ok.
marknjoanna - 5/11/2012, 11:12 PM
im real sure if ironman had bombed.i wouldnt have been at i max last friday watching the avengers
nowtheresaBATman - 5/11/2012, 11:12 PM
Didn't they push it into June 2013 while they were still filming?
marknjoanna - 5/11/2012, 11:16 PM
after stan lee and jack kirby i think rdj is the biggest thing to ever happened to marvel,but could be wrong on that one but as of right now thats how i see it
marknjoanna - 5/11/2012, 11:18 PM
man o man where would dc be without molan and heath(r.i.p) the last 5 years,scary to think about for dc fans i bet.
nowtheresaBATman - 5/11/2012, 11:19 PM
Could be a whole myriad of reasons why MOS was pushed back. Who knows- but I don't think DC/WarnerBro's aren't gonna F it up this time around w/ Supes.
marknjoanna - 5/11/2012, 11:23 PM
i know that sounds like it made money but if you invest 270 mill and it takes 2 years to get the 391 mill. thats not a good deal. even tho i know most would think so.its not trust me.if it was a good deal we would have watched superman return 2 (or whatever they went with) last year.trust me on this to.it bombed they pulled the plug on it and rebooted cause they had no choice.
nowtheresaBATman - 5/11/2012, 11:24 PM
Bullshit. I wouldn't even of watched a "Superman Returns Again" movie. lol Routh sucked. The anorexic chic that played Lois was terrible & where the hell was that "superbrat" storyline suppose to go? I don't even care what villian would of been in it. A sequal to SR would've been chalk full of Bryan Singer poison.
marknjoanna - 5/11/2012, 11:25 PM
1 2
nowtheresaBATman - 5/11/2012, 11:19 PM
Report Comment Could be a whole myriad of reasons why MOS was pushed back. Who knows- but I don't think DC/WarnerBro's aren't gonna F it up this time around w/ Supes.

well did you think they would last time.i know the pep that put that 270 mill up didnt think so.
marknjoanna - 5/11/2012, 11:28 PM
Bullshit. I wouldn't even of watched a "Superman Returns Again" movie. lol Routh sucked. The anorexic chic that played Lois was terrible & where the hell was that "superbrat" storyline suppose to go? I don't even care what villian would of been in it. A sequal to SR would've been chalk full of Bryan Singer poison.

whats the bs for dude. we are saying the same thing.it suked,it bombed and they had to reboot why bs me when we are saying the same thing
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