Prepare to explore all the Marvel Universe has to offer with Busiek, Cinar & Ross’ The Marvels ongoing series

To close out last week, Marvel Comics teased that they would be revealing their “most ambitious series to ever hit the Marvel Universe” with creators Kurt Busiek, Yildaray Cinar & Alex Ross at some point this week. Turns out that point was today, as the curtain has been pulled back on just what this ambitious series is.

As announced by Marvel, the creators will launch a brand new ongoing series in May called The Marvels a sprawling series that will touch on the past, present and future of the Marvel Universe and bring in characters both popular and obscure from any time period to tell stories. The entirety of the Marvel Universe will be at their disposal for stories.

“The whole idea of THE MARVELS is to be able to use the whole Marvel Universe—not just all the characters in it, but all the history of it. The sweeping scope of the whole thing. I think I described it to Tom Brevoort as something like a Tom Clancy thriller, in that there would be multiple threads of story going on, and those threads could come together and split apart again, or maybe never even meet—there could be characters involved in a story that do something important but never meet the other characters in the story, which will very much be the case in the opening storyline, at least,” Busiek said in a interview. “Big stuff can happen in the Marvel Universe, but we usually see it confined largely to the Avengers in AVENGERS, to the FF in FANTASTIC FOUR, and so on. THE MARVELS is intended as a freewheeling book that can go anywhere, do anything, use anyone. It’s a smorgasbord of Marvel heroes and history.”

The series of course shares a similar title to Busiek & Ross’ iconic Marvels series from 1994 that followed reporter Phil Sheldon as he took in various iconic Marvel moments, but the title and Marvel Universe focus is where the similarities end.

“It’s not a team. It’s a concept, or a universe, depending on how you look at it. The Marvels features the marvels—all the many and varied characters of the Marvel Universe. The heroes, the villains, the oddities—all of it,” Busiek said. “So where Marvels was about an ordinary guy’s view of the marvels, THE MARVELS is about the marvels themselves. We’re focusing on the super-characters here, and big, sweeping adventure.”

Even with the sweeping scope, character is something Busiek said that will remain at the heart of the stories.

“But at the same time, I didn’t want to make it thriller-thriller-thriller all the time, one of those stories that starts to feel like a costume party with an army of heroes all doing the same thing. So I told Tom that I wanted to be able to slow down, see the characters as characters, too. Find out things about them that you don’t necessarily get to see in their usual adventures. Explore the humanity of the characters along with that big adventure. Essentially, take everything I learned from doing MARVELS (and Astro City and other books), and bring it back to an adventure-oriented series with a lot of scope and a lot of humanity,” he said. “There’ll be popular characters of today, there’ll be obscure characters from long ago—heck, there’ll be story threads that take place in the past, or possibly the future. We’re not limited to just the present. And there’ll be new characters, too, from the street-level to the cosmic. There are three new marvels in the first issue, although a couple of them are only seen for a panel or so. But we’ll get back to them. I’d say ‘the sky’s the limit,’ except in the Marvel Universe there’s a lot going on beyond that sky. And its all open to us.”

The Marvels #1 arrives this May.

Written by KURT BUSIEK 
Cover by ALEX ROSS

Kurt Busiek (MARVELS, Astro City) is back, with the biggest, wildest, most sprawling series ever to hit the Marvel Universe, telling stories that span the decades and range from cosmic adventure to intense human drama, from the street-level to the cosmic, starring literally anyone from Marvel’s very first heroes to the superstars of tomorrow. This first issue includes an invasion from orbit, a picnic in Prospect Park, super hero sightseeing in Manhattan, the All-Winners Squad in 1947, Reed Richards during his time in military intelligence, cosmic beings beyond space and time— and that’s only for starters. Featuring Captain America, Spider-Man, the Punisher, the Human Torch, Storm, the Black Cat, the Golden Age Vision, Aero, Iron Man and Thor, and introducing two brand-new characters, all beautifully drawn by Yildiray Cinar (X-MEN, Legion of Super-Heroes, IRON MAN) in the opening act of a thriller that’ll take us across the Marvel Universe…and beyond. Plus: Who (or what) is KSHOOM? It all starts here. And it goes…everywhere.

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