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New York Comic-Con 2007

Barry Kitson Exclusive to Marvel

Star artist returns to House of Ideas to resurrect The Champions

By Ryan Penagos

Champions sketch
by Barry Kitson

As announced at the Civil War: The Initiative panel at New York Comic Con, Barry Kitson has signed an exclusive contract with Marvel Comics. His first project? Resurrecting The Champions with writer Matt Fraction in a post-Civil War world. Kitson, best known for his outstanding work on team books such as Legion of Super-Heroes, brings with him a strong resume and praise from his peers. "I've been a fan of his work for what must be a decade now, and his talents have always staggered me," notes Fraction. "Why he's not spoken of in the same reverent tones of a Hitch or Quitely boggles my imagination. I'm looking forward to writing the ultimate Barry Kitson comic book. And while THE CHAMPIONS will be Kitson's initial project under his new contract, it's far from his first foray into the House of Ideas. From Alpha Flight to Avengers/Thunderbolts to Weapon X, Kitson's penciled for Marvel before, though never on something as big as THE CHAMPIONS.

convention piece
by Barry Kitson

"I'm really pleased about [working at Marvel, post-CIVIL WAR]," Kitson muses. "I honestly feel that right now Marvel is probably as exciting a place as it's been for a long, long time. There's a real sense that anything can happen, which comics used to have. There's such a great roster of talent at Marvel right now. Writers and artists. It's almost scary being part of it, but it's also really exciting." But the lure of working on Marvel characters isn't the only thing that brought Barry to Marvel. "There just seemed to be a lot of people that I've wanted to work with, have worked with or get on well with at Marvel." One of those people is editor Stephen Wacker. "I've been working with Barry for several years now and I'm thrilled he's decided to swim in the Marvel waters for the next few years," says Wacker. "He's a total class act with the knack for telling a story that's easy to take for granted on a day to day basis as you try and get these books out the door. Barry was an integral part of the equation on Legion of Super-Heroes over at DC, so I know how much he brings to the table from the art side and the story side. We've been talking over the last week or so, so I'm aware of what his first couple projects are going to be for us and it's fair to say that Kitson's going to be gaining a lot of new fans and making a lot of writers happy." While writers and fans have much to rejoice about, Kitson's probably the happiest of all. "I'm really finding it hard to think of any Marvel characters I don't want to draw. I basically learned to read [by] reading Marvel comics. My very first drawing I ever did was an attempt to sort of recreate a Jack Kirby Iron Man. Every staple Marvel character, I want to get a chance to draw them. I wouldn't like to pick out any five in particular. I feel like I've been working up to this all these years. I hope I don't blow it." We have a pretty good feeling Barry Kitson will do just fine. For more on THE CHAMPIONS and everything going on at the big show, visit our New York Comic Con hub for the full scoop.

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