Alex Ross is well-known for his photo-realistic artwork, and he has created many stunning photos that feature Marvel and DC’s heroes and even villains. This artist is now sharing his thoughts and opinions on the differences between the two companies’ characters.
While he was speaking about his coffee-table book, Marvelocity, he had explained that all of Marvel’s designs have a “kinetic quality,” and he had attributed this to the artists, Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko.
“There’s certainly an argument to make for the similarity of iconic status, but what’s always separated the two for me is Marvel’s material has always had a kinetic quality to it, particularly based on the design aesthetics of Steve Ditko and Jack Kirby. DC characters are not defined by a singular artistic voice influencing all the rest, but that’s what happened with Jack Kirby’s leadership of the entire Marvel brand. Everything is affected by what he led the charge of.”
Kirby is also known for co-creating a lot of Marvel’s characters, like Captain America, Thor, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, Black Panther, Doctor Doom and the Incredible Hulk. Ditko is known for Doctor Strange and Spider-Man.
Ross had praised the design of Marvel’s heroes, and he singled out DC’s role in the superhero genre:
“DC is the foremost component of where the DNA of what makes a superhero came from. They did the very first superhero in Superman, and the first great embodiment of the dark superhero in Batman, and of course the first female superhero in Wonder Woman. All those key things are lined up by them, and they go in a nice descending ladder of importance with their Justice League.”
Ross then added,
“With Marvel, it’s clear that Spider-Man is not the same kind of hero as Superman; Cap has similarities, but he has differences as well and has been used in very interesting ways that stop him from being a clone of any DC counterpart. The Marvel characters are all over the place regarding what makes them unique, and there’s a hip energy that’s been instilled in them since their creation. Every other superhero company follows the mold of having their heroes follow those archetypes that DC embodies, but Marvel broke away.”
Marvelocity will arrive on 2 October and will reunite Ross with the Chip Kidd, and feature an introduction by J.J. Abrams. This book will feature designs, covers, sketches, and artwork from Ross.