By Jim Beard
ULTIMATE COMICS AVENGERS 2 #1, out April 28, boasts not only superstar artist Leinil Francis Yu of SECRET INVASION fame, but Ultimate re-imaginings of Marvel's greatest heroes. That kind of a team-up doesn't happen by chance; Yu's the man with the Ultimate sense of design, just what and exciting title such as this needs.
"Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses, but so far Leinil seems to be flawless," says Yu's ULTIMATE COMICS AVENGERS partner, writer Mark Millar. "Every page [of the book] just has me drooling and he has an energy and excitement in his art that's maybe unsurpassed at the moment. He has such an unusual way of looking at these traditional heroes and the way he lays out the page is just constantly exciting to me. He can make someone watching television look as cool as a million space-ships exploding and I've wanted to work with him for the past decade.
"He knows how much I love him, I tell him every day, and I could not be more excited we're doing ULTIMATE COMICS AVENGERS 2 together. I've said it before and I'll say it again, but he's this generation's Jim Lee. He just makes comics look better."
Now take an exclusive peek into Yu's sketchbook, with his very own comments!
Yu: "Mark specifically wanted facial tattoos on our new Hulk. I'm not really a fan of what happened to Mike Tyson's face so I opted to make this one symmetrical. I still retained the tribal look but decided to make the lines bolder and stronger, a good fit for Hulk."
Yu: "I sent in a few sketches with Hulk and War Machine facing off. We decided on going with a more dramatic pose instead of an action shot. Also, this angle is the best way to make both of them visible. Hulk clearly won this round."
Yu: "I've always loved montage covers, since I'm a huge fan of [painter] Drew Struzan. We finally went with this sketch after going through a few other options mainly because this best depicts the storyline."
Yu: "One of the sketches for the first issue. Pretty straightforward and still very rough.The shield was rendered in 3D just so I could have as many angles as I wanted without needing ellipse templates. The pose is still very stiff and was roughly done. If I were to finish this, I'd probably pose in front of the mirror to really capture a natural pose."
Yu: "I love digital sketching [because] you can build on top of earlier drawings quickly and come up with variations with ease. This design is heavily inspired by Ariel Olivetti's earlier 'Captain Punisher' design [from PUNISHER WAR JOURNAL], which Mark Millar particularly liked."
Yu: "My very first page. I'm still a bit nervous starting my very first run with Mark Millar. I had no idea what adjustments I would have to make to make my drawings to fit the mood he is going for. I think I could've gotten away with more violence. There is very little carnage in these pages."
Yu: "One of the more easy pages to draw. No background, single figure. This is where I can just concentrate on the lone figure and just enjoy myself."
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