Marvels

Beginning at the age of 19, Alex Ross began planning the project that would be his biggest splash into the world of comic books. Released in 1994, the comic book series Marvels showcases various points in the history of the Marvel Universe from 1939 to 1973 through the eyes of fictional photographer Phil Sheldon. In Marvels, Sheldon witnesses the birth of the Human Torch in 1939, battles between Captain America and Nazis during World War II, and the creation of superhero teams the Fantastic Four, the Avengers, and the X-Men in the 1960s.

Alex Ross Marvels origin story page 6, 1994 Gouache on paper Collection of the artist © Marvel Entertainment, LLC, all rights reserved. Used with permission.

Alex Ross
Marvels origin story page 6, 1994
Gouache on paper
Collection of the artist
© Marvel Entertainment, LLC, all rights reserved. Used with permission.


Within the exhibition Heroes & Villains: The Comic Book Art of Alex Ross, 17 original gouache paintings from the Marvels series will be on display, including the entire origin story for the Human Torch, which has never been seen by the public.

When viewing the exhibit, keep an eye out for hidden characters within Alex Ross’s paintings. Ross often includes subtle references to movie stars or comic book superheroes in his work, including DC Comics characters like Captain Marvel and Clark Kent hidden within Marvel paintings and Marvel characters like Spider-Man and the X-Men painted into books made for DC Comics. Also, portraits of Ross’s parents are frequently inserted into his paintings.

For more information, watch the video below made by AlexRossCollector:

Jesse Kowalski

Director of Exhibitions