Most people nowadays grew up with some sort of association to comic books. I know superheroes were a big part of my growing up and I was a big fan of both DC and Marvel titles, the two big juggernauts in the comic industry. But in the 1990’s, when Marvel was the number one publisher of comic books and was at the height of its popularity, a group of artists joined together to form their own revolutionary comic book company and it changed the industry forever.
The Image Revolution is the story of Todd McFarlane (Spawn), Rob Liefeld (Deadpool), Jim Lee (X-Men), Marc Silvestri (Wolverine), Erik Larsen (Savage Dragon), Whilce Portacio (X-Factor) and Jim Valentino (Guardians Of The Galaxy), all top tier artists who were dissatisfied with the way they were being treated at Marvel. With artists not getting the credit or the compensation they deserved, these seven men set out to do things their way and created Image Comics. Going up against the two comic juggernauts was not a small task but Image Comics started a revolution that made their creators into rock stars and changed the way the comic industry was run. But it was not all wine and roses as their skyrocketed success almost immediately began to tear apart friendships and threw all of their lives into turmoil.
The Image Revolution is a fascinating look into a huge industry and is a great documentary even if you are not a fan of comic books. But if you are a fan, particularly of Image or Marvel, there is so much to love here. It is a true underdog story and a story of artists standing up for the recognition they deserve. And these guys went on to become the absolute best in the industry whether they stayed with Image or not. Although this is the story of Image Comics, a large part of that is the history of Marvel, of which there is much of that covered here as well. And the stories of these guys as individuals are as interesting as the company itself. These guys are all fascinating in their own rights and really put it all out there with their interviews revealing pretty intimate details about their lives from dealing with the success to balancing the art vs. commerce problems than come with it. There is lots of archival footage to see here and in depth and intimate interviews with all involved. It is an incredible story of success, failure and perseverance. Highly recommended.