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Marvel's two issue adapation of the film "2010." Cover paintings by Tom Palmer.

Marvel's two issue adaptation of the film "2010." Cover paintings by Tom Palmer.

Wow, only a couple of days away from a new year, and a new decade.

Well, 2010 is one of my favorite sci-fi movies, and I think highly underrated. Released by MGM in 1984 (the first year of the Copper Age of Comics) and directed by Peter Hyams, 2010 is of course the sequel to Stanley Kubrick’s 2001. Both based on / adapted from Arthur C. Clarke’s novels.

I was eleven years old in 1984, and my parents took me to see 2010…odds were good (since I was an outer space special effects nut since Star Wars) that I’d like the movie, even though I hadn’t seen 2001 and wasn’t familiar with this “Monolith” thing or the glowing floating space baby.

Loved the movie. Loved it, loved it. Great back-and-forth dialogue between Roy Scheider, John Lithgow, Bob Balaban, Helen Mirren, and rest of cast, jaw-dropping special effects, and some intense sequences. Very well directed. And while in the years since I’ve read much about it compared to the ground breaking 2001, many critics agree that 2010 is the more coherent film. (Well, I guess, how could it not be, with 2001‘s “I have to be stoned to get this,” final twenty minutes or so.)

Anyway, maybe a year ago I really discovered mycomicshop.com, and was using their great search functionality to browse comic back issues from the Copper Age era. I had never known that Marvel did a two issue 2010 adaptation, so that was an instant buy for me. Even if I wasn’t a fan of the movie, probably would’ve still picked ‘em up for those cover paintings, by Tom Palmer.

Yep, while Tom Palmer is one of the most respected and influential finisher / inkers in the business, some are not aware of how talented a painter he is as well…check out the Avengers 255 cover, for example. As for the 2010 adaptation interiors, Palmer provided the finishes / inks and colors…which made a lot of sense to assign him to the project, as he did significant work on Marvel’s Star Wars title, already having applied his talent to rendering space shots, ships, machinery, and actor likenesses.

More info / resources:

Atlas Comics ranked Tom Palmer #3 Greatest American Comic Book Inker, here’s their top five list, with Palmer included…

…and here’s ten minutes of 2010, which includes probably my favorite sequence, the dizzying spacewalk to the spinning Discovery:

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