Stan Lee to Produce “Crowning Achievement” of Graphic Novels With Romeo and Juliet Retelling

Well, it’s nice to see some people don’t change with age. Stan Lee has a new project, and the hype around it is just as hyperbolic as the praise he spewed in his prime. From the press release:

Romeo Juliet War cover

Stan Lee’s POW! Entertainment and 1821 Comics announced today that they will debut Romeo and Juliet: The War at New York Comic Con 2011. Stan Lee will be on hand to showcase the book and sign special limited edition mini posters promoting the title.

Yes, this marks the first press release I’ve seen for the October New York show. Can’t be too early, I guess — although I fear readers may forget they’ve heard about it two months from now. The book itself will be in stores at the end of November.

The credits are typical for this kind of project — Stan Lee “created the story” with Terry Dougas, one of the “entrepreneurs” behind 1821, “a new comic book/graphic novel company … devoted to bringing exciting, eye-popping new titles to the world of comics … highly devoted to story, content, and artwork that will move readers from beginning to end.” Leaving aside the idiocy of someone claiming they created the story behind a modern retelling of Romeo and Juliet — heck, it wasn’t even original to Shakespeare — the actual work is being done by Skan Srisuwan (artist) and Max Work (writer). Let’s look at the plot description:

Romeo and Juliet: The War takes Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers and places them in the futuristic sci-fi/fantasy Empire of Verona, the most powerful territory on Earth. The MONTAGUES, powerful cyborgs made of artificial DNA, and the CAPULETS, genetically enhanced humans known for their speed and agility, worked in tandem to destroy all threats to the city. With no one left to fight, the Montagues and Capulets found themselves a new enemy: each other.

Wow, robots and superheroes. That’s new. And here’s Stan again:

“This is the graphic novel I’ve always dreamed of doing. Take one of the world’s greatest stories, known and loved throughout the globe, place it against the background of a future age, a more violent, science-gone-mad age — embellish it with the most powerful, dazzling, illustrations ever seen, and produce it in the largest, most impressive format of all. Romeo and Juliet: The War! It’s the crowning achievement in this, the age of the graphic novel.”

There will also be a digital edition available through unique iPhone and Android applications. No price information on either print or digital is available.

4 Responses to “Stan Lee to Produce “Crowning Achievement” of Graphic Novels With Romeo and Juliet Retelling”

  1. steve B. Says:

    I’m guessing Romeo will be renamed Romeo Rogers and Juliet will become Juliet Jenkins

  2. Jer Says:

    Wow, robots and superheroes. That’s new.

    No Johanna, you don’t understand – in this one the robots and the superheroes HATE each other! And the robot kid and the superhero kid FALL IN LOVE! Their worlds will be completely ROCKED!

    Honestly I can see the appeal of grabbing Shakespeare and doing “your own version”. But damn – Romeo and Juliet has been done to death at this point and, frankly, the plot of that play just isn’t worth it. If you’re going to be derivative of Shakespeare, why not go bigger and go with something few people have touched? Henry VI in space? Or imagine how much fun you could have with a post-apocalyptic superhero dystopian Julius Ceasar/Antony and Cleopatra yarn?

    Nobody does these things – everyone goes right for Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet and MacBeth (with the occasional nod towards the Tempest – as with Forbidden Planet – or a few well recognized comedies like the Taming of the Shrew). I assume because they’re recognized as his “best” plays and they’re the ones that everyone had to read in High School (so film studio heads are familiar with them and want to throw money at them).

    Still – a space opera version of Henry VI – that has some possibilities. If only as a backdrop…

  3. DeBT Says:

    Hell, if you really wanted to do an epic version of Shakespeare, you’d do one where all his plays crisscross with each other, while subtly influencing the outcome of other plays. Think of Puck’s accidental involvement in A Midsummer’s Night Dream squared.

    Of course, such an involvement would be a monumental undertaking, and would be best served under the influence of someone obsessed with the material and do it in a manner that would make sense. The closest comparision would be Wayne & Shuster’s treatment.

    These Canadian comics were devoted fans of Shakespeare, and would parody his work whenever they got the chance. Their considered masterpiece is a cross between a classic and a Noir setting.

    We need more inspirational work like these, and not “updated” classics that just tell the same old story over and over.

  4. Good Comics Out January 25 » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    […] other news, Stan Lee’s “crowning achievement“, the graphic novel Romeo and the Juliet: The War announced last August, comes out this week […]




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