Marvel Launches Original Graphic Novel Program With Warren Ellis and Mike McKone on Avengers: Endless Wartime

Marvel has announced that Avengers: Endless Wartime, an original graphic novel by Warren Ellis and Mike McKone, will kick off a new line of similar publications. From the press release:

New York Times best-selling author Warren Ellis (Secret Avengers, Gun Machine) and chart-topping artist Mike McKone (Amazing Spider-Man) assemble the biggest heroes in the Marvel Universe — Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hawkeye, Wolverine, & Captain Marvel — for Avengers: Endless Wartime, a landmark original graphic novel scheduled for release on October 2nd, 2013. This movie-length epic launches an all new original graphic novel line for Marvel Entertainment, featuring the biggest super heroes brought to life by the best creators and debuts in a high-end, oversized format featuring sophisticated packaging and design.

An abomination, long thought buried, has resurfaced in a war-torn land — but now it wears an American flag. Faced with another nightmare reborn, Captain America will not stand for yet more death at the hands of a ghost from his past. Haunted by his greatest shame, Thor must renew the hunt for a familiar beast. Side by side with the great superheroes the world has seen, united to end the threats no one of them could face alone, the Avengers will stare down the greatest threat the team has ever faced. But is even their combined might enough to overcome a force of pure evil?

From the eighth dimension? The book will be available October 1 in bookstores, October 2 in comic shops. To gild the lily, Clark Gregg (who played Agent Coulson in The Avengers) writes an introduction and Stan Lee provides an afterword. Marvel is also going for a global approach, releasing the book simultaneously in Italy, Spain, Germany, France, Brazil, Finland, and Turkey in each area’s primary language due to a collaboration with international publisher Panini. Plus, the book comes with a free digital copy of itself AND “special augmented reality content available exclusive through the Marvel AR app”. There’s no information on what other books might be part of this publishing line, or when the second might appear.

The purpose appears to be to give new readers interested by the movie a single starting point, which is an admirable goal, if the sales outlets and marketing get on board. I guess the “Season One” line wasn’t as attractive, which I can understand — who wants to read another take on the team’s origin when you’ve seen that already? Movie viewers want more of what they liked on-screen.

I’m also glad to see the publisher realize that there may be an audience for longer superhero reads that don’t require following a serial publication, but here’s hoping that they actually keep this book in print instead of treating it like a periodical release, as they do so many others of their book-format comics. And I hope Ellis is able to keep the character interplay in the right voices, since that’s why the movie was so appealing to me. The preview pages suggest the answer is “yes”.

On a grumpy note, wouldn’t it be nice if this PR listed what the authors were really best known for, even if it came from another publisher, instead of sticking in credits based solely on loyalty? Ellis wrote Secret Avengers for all of six issues, if I’ve done the right research, and he’s better known for Stormwatch/Authority and Transmetropolitan. Heck, even at Marvel, his Iron Man is better known than a title that happens to tie into what Marvel’s pushing these days.

3 Responses to “Marvel Launches Original Graphic Novel Program With Warren Ellis and Mike McKone on Avengers: Endless Wartime”

  1. Rob Says:

    I was surprised at how well the dialogue in that preview matched the tone of the movie. I had to go back and check to be sure Whedon wasn’t listed as a co-author. Certainly not the team of world-weary bastards that Ellis normally writes…which makes me wonder how he got attached to this project.

  2. Mike Says:

    Well, Ellis is supposed to be working on something on the side with Whedon. It’s some kind of web project like Dr. Horrible, I think, but it’s never really been clarified as far as I know.

    It is strange, however, that they didn’t mention his Iron Man story since the new movie is based in part on it.

  3. Eric Gimlin Says:

    To be fair, mentioning the previous Avengers work of the creator of an Avengers OGN makes sense. As does the actual NYT best-seller. And listing more than a couple items would be overkill.

    If this was anything other than an Avengers book, then yes, not mentioning Transmet or Authority would be silly. But in context it seems like a reasonable choice.




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