A new look at Fantastic Four: Full Circle shows off the new art style of legendary creator Alex Ross. Fantastic Four: Full Circle is the first graphic novel that Alex Ross is both writing and drawing, and is also his first sequential work in over 15 years. The graphic novel comes from a collaboration between Marvel Comics and Abrams ComicArts, with the latter introducing its MarvelArts imprint. ComicBook.com exclusively announced Alex Ross' Fantastic Four: Full Circle in December, and the first look at the graphic novel reveals some of the stunning art that awaits readers when it debuts in September.
"I wanted to present a version of the Fantastic Four as close to a Jack Kirby style he envisioned for the series as he created the characters," Ross told The Hollywood Reporter. "His style informed the first 10 years of their existence and it's the shadow all artists have been working under for these last 60 years."
Known for his painted style of illustration on iconic titles like Marvels and Kingdom Come for Marvel and DC, respectively, Ross decided to more closely follow Marvel's Pop Art era from the 1960s. "I thought there was a way to connect with the Pop Art of the time period if I changed what I did, and presented that style and not my traditional painted style," he said.
He then revealed how Fantastic Four: Full Circle takes place after the events of 1961's Fantastic Four #51, where an intruder breaking into the Baxter Building sends them off on a mission to the Negative Zone. "It seemed very suitable for the material," Ross said. "To do the pop art aesthetic right, you couldn't do it with over-rendered, over-illustrated work. I needed to boil down what I do to a more graphic degree. Realism is my stock and trade, but you can still get that within a more high-contrast representation."
The story of how Alex Ross got involved with Abrams is an interesting one. After hearing Marvel was relaunching an ongoing Fantastic Four series after shelving the title in the 2010s, he inquired about working on the project. Unfortunately, those plans eventually went to writer Dan Slott and artist Sara Pichelli. After coming to terms with missing out, Abrams offered Ross the chance to work on Fantastic Four without having to meet a monthly deadline.
"I couldn't get the main title back then, but I could carve this one-of-a-kind take," he said. Ross concluded by stating his goal was to impress himself with his change in art.
"There's definitely a risk involved in varying what I do," Ross admitted. "But my greatest goal here was to impress myself."
Continue reading to see the preview pages for Fantastic Four: Full Circle. The graphic novel goes on sale September 6th and retails for $24.99.