By Todd Allen
OK. That’s enough space. If you’re reading The Beat, you probably already know that the teaser at the end of the Avengers film revealed Thanos, death’s gentleman caller and the probable villain for Avengers 2. And you probably also know that Thanos was introduced in the 1970s by Jim Starlin coming to prominence as the big baddie for his classic runs on Captain Marvel and Warlock, long before the 90s revival with Infinity Gauntlet.
The Hero Complex, the comics blog at the LA Times, caught up with Jim Starlin and asked him about his experiences watching the Avengers movie. Come to find out, he wasn’t officially notified Thanos was in the film — he was clued in by friends who’d read some rumors on the Internet.
Here’s the tale of his compensation:
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.”
Popping over to Amazon, it looks like some of Starlin’s Thanos-related material is in print (whichwas not a given). Infinity Gauntlet is in print at at #387 in sales as I’m looking at it, so at least he’s getting some action there. Infinity War is in print. The Death of Captain Marvel is in print, but not the bulk of that run. Warlock is also out of print, though an Essential volume is due out in August. So it looks like Starlin will likely get some reprint money spilling out from the film.
As of right now, it doesn’t appear Starlin’s making a big deal out of it, but Kirby isn’t the only elephant in the room.
Incidentally, if you’ve never tracked down Starlin’s Dreadstar (mentioned in his quote), it’s worth your time to find.
Todd Allen wears a lot of hats. At various times he’s been (alphabetically), a bouncer, college professor, humor columnist, Internet producer and an NBA/WNBA Beat Writer, among other things. He’s the author of Economics of Digital Comics. You should probably read it.