Marvel Announces New Series Featuring the Entire Marvel Universe

Marvel Comics on Monday announced The Marvels, a new ongoing series from Kurt Busiek (Marvels, The Avengers) and Yildiray Cinar (Image Comics' Noble Causes). Described as "the biggest, wildest, most sprawling series ever to hit the Marvel Universe," the expansive series takes readers "across the Marvel Universe... and beyond," with appearances from Spider-Man, Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, the Fantastic Four’s Human Torch and Reed Richards, Storm of the X-Men, the Punisher, and more, as well as introduce two new characters. In an interview with Marvel.com, Busiek teases the upcoming epic that can "go anywhere, do anything, [and] use anyone" from the Marvel Universe.

"I think I started with 'Anyone. Anywhere. Any time,'" Busiek said of his pitch for the series. "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."

While "big stuff" is usually featured in the pages of Avengers or Fantastic Four, Busiek added, "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."

"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," he continued. "The heroes, the villains, the oddities — all of it. So where Marvels (1994) 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."

Despite its all-star cast and sweeping storylines, Busiek wanted the book to avoid being "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." Instead, The Marvels will "explore the humanity of the characters along with that big adventure."

The Marvels Marvel Comics
(Photo: Marvel Comics)

"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," Busiek explained. "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," he added. "And it’s all open to us."

The Marvels
(PTHE MARVELS #1 preview inks by Yildiray Cinar. Photo: Marvel Comics)

In the first 30-page issue, readers will be welcomed into a story filled with "super heroics, espionage, betrayal, secrets, lost artifacts, lost geniuses, new alliances, murder, disaster, the CIA, other dimensions, mysterious manipulators."

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"The first issue starts out in Southeast Asia in 1947, shortly after World War II, when trouble was brewing there, and we also get to see Reed Richards before the FF’s flight, Flash Thompson in the Army, classic 1970s Thor and Iron Man fighting monsters, and more," Busiek teased. "We see the near future, we see an unusual tour of Manhattan, we see the Punisher, we see the return of possibly the least-expected Peter David character ever… All that and more in 30 pages."

Marvel Comics releases The Marvels in May.