Captain Marvel: Reality Check
Michele Bandini goes behind the scenes to discuss the art and influences for CAPTAIN MARVEL #128.
Let’s take a reality check-in with artist Michele Bandini and get an exclusive sneak-peek at pages from CAPTAIN MARVEL #128, out January 31. Carol Danvers is fighting tooth and nail to acquire the fabled Reality Stone, and we’d guess that with Bandini at her back, she’s got the edge on any competition…
Marvel.com: Michele, overall, who or what are your current artistic influences? When you look over the art for CAPTAIN MARVEL #128 with us, what occurs to you as a source for your work?
Michele Bandini: There are too many talented artists out there! The first names that come to my mind are Olivier Coipel, Stuart Immonen, Chris Samnee, Ryan Ottley, James Harren, and Pepe Larraz, and while working on issue #128 I had several paperbacks on my desk, including:
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 5: THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS by Brian Michael Bendis and Valerio Schiti
BLACK WIDOW VOL. 1: S.H.I.E.L.D.s MOST WANTED by Mark Waid and Chris Samnee
STAR WARS: KANAN THE LAST PADAWAN VOL. 1 by Greg Weisman Pepe Larraz
ALL-NEW X-MEN VOL. 1: YESTERDAY’S X-MEN by Brian Michael Bendis and Stuart Immonen
THE UNWORTHY THOR by Jason Aaron and Olivier Coipel
CAPTAIN MARVEL VOL. 1: RISE OF ALPHA FLIGHT by Michele Fazekas, Tara Butters and Kris Anka
Marvel.com: Wow, what a lineup! So, when you got the script for #128, what things really jumped out at you in terms of what you could do with it?
Michele Bandini: I had the chance to draw characters like Thanos, Nebula, and the Guardians of the Galaxy in a whole new light, but thanks to Margie and Mark, my editors, I even got the chance to draw Spider-Man and a few other big names in a cameo. I grew up reading Spidey, so it was like a dream coming true!
Marvel.com: We can imagine. What was your favorite thing you got to design for the issue?
Michele Bandini: The Justice Hall sequence for sure, and Spidey’s cameo!
Marvel.com: Your art looks so cinematic with a lot of great horizontal views—is this a conscious thing? How do you approach layouts like this?
Michele Bandini: I love movies and I think this has some influence on my layouts, so it’s 50% unconscious, but I usually try to use horizontal panels to make the storytelling more “cinematic and fluid” as well. I think it depends on what you have to tell; vertical panels are perfect for fast sequences or presenting a character, but in the end the most important thing is always the storytelling. That is what you should always aim for.
Marvel.com: In that great splash of Carol sitting there in the preview art we have, you focus in with separate boxes on the overall panel. What was the decision-making process in that?
Michele Bandini: I wanted to build a zoom-out scene, so I decided to use that solution to keep the entire figure of Carol at the middle of each panel, with separate boxes to focus on her expression on panel #1 and on the power handcuffs on panel #3. In the script I had three separate panels, but with this solution I was able to build a more cinematic sequence, I think. Margie and my editors are so nice to let me experiment with different solutions. It’s teamwork—everyone adds something to reach the final product, and I’m very lucky to work with team like this!
Marvel.com: What’s it like for you when you see your finished art colored?
Michele Bandini: I’m stunned. Our colorist Erick Arciniega is unbelievable; he knows how to enhance my inks and everything looks better with his colors! We’ve been on the same wavelength since our first issue on this series, so he already knows what kind of light I imagine for scenes. He is super-talented.
Marvel.com: What’s the coolest thing for you about working with Margaret Stohl‘s scripts? In what ways does she work to inspire you?
Michele Bandini: Margaret writes interactions between characters so well. She is amazing in how she can describe all the feelings and the emotional path of each character. She puts a lot of funny scenes in, too—just look what she did with Groot! I had a lot of fun with this alternative universe, changing the typical aspect of our main characters.
Since the beginning of our collaboration, Margaret has given me a lot of advice and references, but at the same time left me free to add or change things, like we did with the cadets on the Band of Sisters storyline. Real teamwork. As I said, I’m really lucky to work with such a nice and talented crew.
You can pick up CAPTAIN MARVEL #128 on January 31!