By Jim Beard
Carlos Pacheco's not only a legend in his own time—and a newly exclusive-to-Marvel artist—he's also a proud True Believer.
"The Marvel Universe is still the most coherent super hero universe in the market," says the Spanish-born creator. "I love the sense of internal cohesion. Still a fan, dude.
"I was here from the beginning. In Spain the Marvel Comics started to be published years after they appeared in the USA, so this allowed me to be a Marvel fan since about FANTASTIC FOUR #1. I grew up with Jack Kirby, John Buscema, Neal Adams and John Romita."
It's those halcyon days of Marvel yore that formed much of what Pacheco utilizes today as a comic creator.
"I always loved the Roy Thomas days: AVENGERS with John Buscema, X-MEN with Neal Adams, CONAN with Barry Windsor Smith," he continues. "But obviously I couldn't escape also being snared by [Jim] Starlin, [Howard] Chaykin, [Walt] Simonson, [Chris] Claremont and [Dave] Cockrum, [John] Byrne, [Frank] Miller—oh my, I'm getting old!
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"As an artist, I think Marvel has an open the range of artistic freedom that's lasted years and though my roots are in the classic artists that gave Marvel the style that's built the legend, I find it very interesting to be part of this new creative community."
Pacheco's own legend grew among Marvel fans with his past work on such projects as FANTASTIC FOUR, X-MEN, and of course, AVENGERS FOREVER with writer Kurt Busiek. Now he's primed and ready to enter into his newest assignment: ULTIMATE AVENGERS, alongside fan-favorite scribe Mark Millar.
"Mark is simply incredible," enthuses the artist. "What Mark and Bryan Hitch did with THE ULTIMATES is the best thing Marvel has published in decades. THE ULTIMATES is to FANTASTIC FOUR #1 what the Fantastic Four is to the 1940's All-Winner's Squad: a giant step beyond for the super hero concept.
"Mark turns my head in a direction I wasn't always very confident of. And though the Ultimate Universe is still something that is growing up, THE ULTIMATES is one of the strongest and most readable books."
Pacheco makes no secret which of the Ultimate Avengers he's most looking forward to tackling on the penciled page.
"Definitely, the 'Bob Roberts' Cap," he volunteers. "Love the character—he's not Mr. Jimmy Stewart any more.
"'What do you think this A is for? France?' I love
In all it's the dichotomy between the Ultimate Avengers and their original Marvel Universe counterparts that the artist claims will spur him on to greater artistic heights.
"They are totally different from their classic Marvel versions, since the range of readers for the book is wider than the other books I've worked on. This is a challenge that, I hope, helps me to improve my art."
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