Mike Deodato Jr. is known as a superhero artist, but what he really enjoys most is dark heroes like Thunderbolts or evil villains like Dark Avengers. With the debut this week of Thanos, the Brazilian artist tells Newsarama he feels like he "won the lottery."
Saving the spoilers for our seperate article on the issue (click here), Deodato - known as 'Deo' to his friends - tells Newsarama that Thanos' nihilistic sci-fi is something he originally made his name for in Brazil, and it's leading him to employ new techniques in his art.
Newsarama: Deo, what's on your drawing board today?
Mike Deodato Jr.: Big, bloody fighting between Thanos and the Imperial Guard.
Nrama: Today we're talking about Thanos. Don't take offense, but you're really gifted at drawing evil people - even before Dark Avengers. Would you agree with that? If so, why do you think that is?
Deodato: I grew up reading all sorts of horror books like Creepy, Eerie, Tomb of Dracula... I always had a fondness for the genre, especially in Brazil where terror stories were a bit scarier. Mainly because we had no Comics Code. My early works in Brazil were essentially horror and sci-fi, but since my first big opportunity in American comics was with super heroines, I ended up known mostly for drawing bad girls.
Nrama: You're coming into this from Invincible Iron Man. How would you compare and contrast that work with what you're doing with Thanos?
Deodato: Invincible Iron Man was more focused on relationships, losses, feelings, and a very emotional chapter in Tony's life, which demanded an extra effort of my art on body language and facial expressions. Such human material required a very realistic art approach.
Thanos is fantasy, terror, aliens, which asks for a more fantastical approach. For the technical aspect I am experimenting again with half tone dots, a technique I used in the eighties that I started enjoying again after seeing my Instagram friend Dan Panosian use it so masterfully.
Nrama: You've crisscrossed the Marvel U, and Marvel's top writer Brian Michael Bendis seems to be always game to work with you... So why is Thanos a project you wanted to do?
Deodato: I love to work with Brian. We live so far away, that we don't talk much or hang out together, but I consider him a very dear friend. I am sure we have a lot of collaborations ahead of us. Thanos is a book that I believe everyone would want to do. Who wouldn't? The most evil being in the Marvel Universe in his own series? I feel like I won the lottery.
Nrama: The solicits for Thanos #3 promise the Shi'Ar Imperial Guard - one of the largest team rosters ever. You've said you're already drawing it - so what do you think of that challenge of so many characters?
Deodato: I think that after fighting Thanos they will be no longer called "the largest team rosters ever." [laughs]
Nrama: Big picture, what are your goals for Thanos?
Deodato: Jeff is writing such a great story that I believe it will become an instant classic in Marvel cosmic history. My goal is to make it as memorable in my career as it were Thunderbolts and Dark Avengers. I want to deliver the work of my life.