Alex Ross is one of the most iconic artists in superhero comics. His painterly, Earth’s mightiest. So watching him plan out one of his largest projects — literally — is a fascinating way to spend a few minutes.
This week Marvel dropped a short video interviewing Ross as he set about planning and painting a vast mural of the publisher’s characters, set to be enlarged and printed on a massive wall at Marvel’s headquarters in New York. The enormous undertaking saw the artist sketch out an initial cast of some of the publisher’s most famous characters, and then expand it even further when given the opportunity, leading to a final piece that rendered 35 of the companies’ best-known heroes.
There’s obviously a few more modern heroes missing from the lineup (god, who wouldn’t want to see more of Ross’ Kamala Khan and Miles Morales, or Captain Marvel?), but a wall can only hold so many, and it’s still an incredible tribute to the enduring legacy of Marvel’s heyday. But aside from watching Ross at work — first sketching, and then inking, before ultimately painting his vast piece — the video has some cool insight into Ross’ process as an artist, and a particularly interesting tidbit on how he sees superhero costumes as the purest example of the human form. It’s well worth a watch.