Comics legend Jim Starlin aims his epic '80s superhero Dreadstar at the big screen

Just when the Marvel and DC strangehold on epic superhero flicks may end any fresh surprises in adapting old titles, Benderspink and Illuminati Entertainment have joined forces to bring Jim Starlin's galactic adventurer Dreadstar to the silver screen. Starlin was an instrumental figure in the world of comic books in the '70s and '80s, doing time as a writer and artist on such iconic titles as Captain Marvel, Iron Man and Warlock. Some of his most notable contributions to comics were the co-creation of Thanos, Drax the Destroyer and Gamora, as well as Shang-Chi: Master of Kung Fu.

Starlin's Dreadstar was one of the first creator-controlled titles after heavy hitters like Neal Adams paved the way for a more equitable sharing of the wealth for those toiling in the ranks of the funny books. Debuting in Epic Illustrated magazine in 1980, it's filled with pulpy goodness of the Flash Gordon variety with human-cat hybrids, snow beasts, evil sorcerers and telepathic warriors, telling the rousing tales of Vanth Dreadstar, last survivor of the Milky Way Galaxy, torn between two evil empires, the Monarch and the Church of the Instrumentality.

He's aided in his spacefaring battles by a crazy crew of survivors: a wise mystic named Syzygy Darklock, a powerful telepath called Willow and a bizarre cat-man, Oedi. Sounds similar to Starlin's motley band of mercenaries in Guardians of the Galaxy, yet unhindered by the interconnected universe of Marvel.

Producer J.C. Spink of Benderspink calls Dreadstar his favorite science fiction story growing up, apart from Star Wars.  Producing partner Ford Lytle Gilmore of Illuminati is equally smitten by the major score:

“Dreadstar is one of the most important comics on the 1980s, paving the way for creators to control their own creations,” said Gilmore. “After decades of Jim exercising that control and turning away countless Hollywood suitors, I'm excited he's trusting me and J.C. to do it right."

Are you ready for a new space swashbuckler roaming the galaxy, or is it getting too crowded in the cosmos?

(Via Hollywood Reporter)

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