Alex Ross: Battle of the Planets Artbook

    (Image, 2004)
™ and © 2004 Sandy Frank Film Syndication Inc.

Nobody can take a comic-book character and breathe life into it as well as Alex Ross. From Marvels to Kingdom Come and beyond, Ross has established “real” faces for many of comicdom’s icons.

What he has done with Battle of the Planets is nothing short of remarkable. Two-dimensional characters, stars of a grade-B cartoon (and, previously, a grade-Z comic) look vibrant and exciting. The covers reprinted in this volume are masterpieces, each and every one. The package, however, is mediocre. The paintings are full-page or two-page spreads, the latter of which are occasionally rotated to fit.

Rather than middle-of-the-road treatment, the project should have appeared either as a regular comic-book-sized gallery or as a more deluxe, squarebound package. The current product, while packed with beautiful art, is an awkward size and flimsy. Pictures are framed by a hideous border. Nevertheless, this package includes not only the regular series and one-shot covers, but alternate covers and lithographs that fans might not otherwise be easily able to obtain and enjoy. That alone makes the project worth $5.

— Jack Abramowitz

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