Thursday, 8 October 2009

Jim Starlin

And today is Jim Starlin's birthday. Jim was kind of the goth of The Bronze Age, being almost completely obsessed with death & destruction throughout his career. From Warlock witnessing his own demise, to Aknaton mercy-killing an entire galaxy, to Captain Marvel's sad end, and all the way up to Thanos falling in love with Death herself, The Grim Reaper stalks through Starlin's work like, well like Death I guess.
I never found Jim's morbid fascination remotely gloomy though, maybe because his drawing style is always as reader friendly as it is odd and disturbing. ( A neat trick! )
Here's what might be the ultimate Jim Starlin story, from the debut issue of Star*Reach. It's powerful, poetic and strangely beautiful stuff, full of loads of patented Starlinesque touches, not least of which being the kind of creatures that only Jim can give us. There's also the occasional nod to Ditko, obviously a huge influence on the young Starlin.
Somebody ( possibly Jim himself ) once referred to his style as 'Detroit Cosmic', and that describes it perfectly. He deals with real stuff, just in a whole other universe. Also love the way, as he gets older, he looks more and more like Aknaton.
Time to gloom out. Here's...The Birth Of Death!


  1. This is one of the few issues of Star*Reach I own. I was obviously attracted by the cover and then depressed-to-Hell by the contents.
    There's also another Starlin story in that issue where a character looking a lot like a young JS himself drops some acid and challenges Death to a metaphorical duel. He loses of course.
    Heavy stuff, man!

  2. That should read "metaphysical" not "metaphorical"

  3. You are on a streak of bringing back great memories. Ah, but those were some fun fanzine filled days!

  4. Just came across this blog, what a fantastic idea- I agree, some of the best stuff came out in the 70's. For my two cents, the time from when Starlin started his Captain Marvel saga- to the end of his Warlock days seems to be 'prime' Starlin. With Dreadstar, while there were some great moments, but I felt he was starting to repeat himself.... (although most of the Peter David stuff that followed Starlin's run was phenomenal) and while I still enjoy seeing his work now and then, it never feels as personal as did his early stuff, like this. (and won't even go into what a large disappointment his "Death of the New Gods" was).