Cover of the Week 6/5 – Secret Wars #1 by Alex Ross

Secret Wars (2015-) 001-000

It is a travesty that I have not discussed the art of Alex Ross more often on this site. Aside from bringing realistic appearances into his work, he has incredible depth and texture to boot. He is truly a one of kind artist and very few people have ever really attempted to bring that elegance to the table. However this cover is not an example of those attributes I just mentioned because this is a group action shot which sits from afar and features numerous and small heroes flying and falling in space. It allows us to appreciate a whole new side to his art and how his attention to detail is incredible and consistent. I have often made comments about how artists draw people in the background with too poor detailing or too much detailing. There is certainly a balance that needs to be struck and it needs to resonate with how we see people from afar. There are exactly thirty-two characters on this cover and they are subtle and all delicately depicted. They range form the smooth cratered appearance of The Thing with his mouth gaped open in terror to the subtle blurs of Ant-Man. In fact Ross has been very clever in that the tiniest of characters have characteristic features that allow you to recognise them with ease, such as Medusa and Thor. It is his beautiful painted inks that bring the sense of a character without using the black bordering to cramp the more minuscule characters. If we then take a view from a far we can then appreciate his sense of composition. The heroes from both universes are floating in space whilst the two Earth’s collide causing an immense explosion. There is an impression of calamity that may indicate that the opposing universes may have been fighting but are now just falling away together with the impact. Though if you notice Silver Surfer is standing on his surfboard, just watching seemingly unaffected at all. A really nice touch in the war to end all wars, and who better to draw it than one of the most epic artists of all, Alex Ross.

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