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We found this press release to be of some interest: more info on Marvel’s new line of “Classic Comics.” including The Last of the Mohicans, Treasure Island and The Man in the Iron Mask. Marvel has been beefing up their bookstore offering with stuff like pacting with Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, Larell K. Hamilton and George R. R. Martin, but this initiative is clearly aimed at the book market as well. The books will be released initially as 6-issue pamphlet mini-series. (Click for larger images of the covers, above.)

Because you demanded it! Retailers and fans have demanded that Marvel bring some of the most timeless, enduring novels to life in comic book form and we’re happy to oblige with Marvel Illustrated, the House of Idea’s new line featuring the best of classic literature as adapted by industry legend Roy Thomas & a slew of talented artists. Over the summer, fans of all ages will be able to thrill to such tales as The Last Of The Mohicans, Treasure Island, Man In The Iron Mask and more, as Marvel provides the most in depth graphic literature adaptations of these stories to date. Adapted in six full length issues, each limited series re-telling of these renowned tales will stay true to the source material while presenting each story in our unique mighty Marvel style.

Beginning with May’s Marvel Illustrated: The Last Of The Mohicans, featuring the lush art of Marvel newcomer Steve Kurth and Denis Medri, James Fennimore Cooper’s 1826 novel is considered by many to be one of the great American novels. Exploring one of the most crucial periods in United States history, The Last Of The Mohicans explores the tensions between British colonists and the dwindling Native American population, all in the wild wilderness of the “New World.” Each issue will also feature special backup tales about series protagonist Hawkeye, an American who remains the mold for the definition of the word “hero.”

June sees the release of Marvel Illustrated: Treasure Island, with art by Mario Gully, featuring Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic tale of high-adventure on the great seas and buried treasure. Pirate Billy Bones hid his treasure with a man whose time has passed and now that man’s young son, Jim Hawkins, is the sole protector of the fortune. Unfortunately for Jim, Bones’ pirate crew wants the treasure for themselves and they’ll go through the young boy to get it! Don’t miss out on the series that first taught us that X marks the spot, that treasure is buries on tropical islands and showed us why we need talking parrots on our shoulders!

In July, Marvel Illustrated: The Man In The Iron Mask makes its debut, adapting the classic story by noted French author Alexander Dumas with art by Hugo Petrus! Continuing the adventures of the Three Musketeers, while also telling a stand alone story, The Man In The Iron Mask has been considered a seminal adventure tale since its publication in 1847 and features political nuances that still resonate to this day. King Louis XIV rules France, dragging the once great nation down in a quest to satisfy his own avarice. The best hope for France lies inside the prison known as the Bastille, where prisoner number 12 lies with an iron mask covering his face…for he is Philippe, twin brother of Louis! Imprisoned by his own brother to prevent Phillipe from vying for the throne, the would-be-heir dreams of the day when he can restore dignity to the French monarchy and if a band of rogue heroes have their way, that day will come sooner than later!

So this summer, when you’re looking for a story to transport you to a different world, look no further than Marvel Illustrated, home to some of the greatest stories ever!

Based on the Novel by JAMES FENIMORE COOPER
Adapted by ROY THOMAS
Cover by JO CHEN
On Sale- 5/2/07


Penciled by MARIO GULLY
Rated T+ …$2.99
FOC-5/24/07, On Sale- 6/13/07

Penciled by HUGO PETRUS
Rated T+…$2.99
FOC-6/21/07, On Sale- 7/11/07


  1. Does anybody know why these didn’t just go straight to trade for the bookstore market to begin with? The only reason why most direct-market shops would order these titles at all is if they mistakenly think that the Hawkeye in “Last of the Mohicans” is the bow-shooting Avenger or “The Man in the Iron Mask” is the latest Civil War crossover title.

    I could be way off on this, but it seems that making these comics loss leaders in the direct market is a strategy that guarantees more “loss” than “leader.” Then again, Marvel continues to push the Marvel Adventures titles in single issues and then digests, despite some truly abysmal DM sales, so maybe this isn’t such a strange idea after all.

  2. The problem here is no one is really demanding it. Penguin released a line of graphic novel classics that tanked in the bookstores. Plus I can think of 3 or 4 more lines that have also not performed well. The only market that really wants these is the library/educational market and they’ve probably already bought the stuff that’s already out there.

  3. I’m going to stand up in the shallow pool here, and say, I would certainly buy this because, Maqua looks absolutely incredible on the cover. 0_0. They could sell me 23 pages of panels of snow inside, as long as the next cover is as hot as that one.

    Now that’s what I call, proper-proportion.

  4. The pamphlet sales, low they may be, serve two purposes: it pays the cost of production, and it generates some reader interest which will help tradesales.
    Most of the classics I’ve seen are lackluster. Of note are the First/Berkeley Classics Illustrated line, and the rare interpretations out of England.
    If these titles have decent art and editing, they will do well in stores, libraries, and schools. I do find the ratings to be a bit curious. Maybe a trick to get kids to read them? Guess I’ll have to wait for the Scarlet Letter to find out!
    Oh, and if this works, Marvel will have cheap inventory that can be easily recycled and repackaged for years to come.

  5. I have to agree with Bulent’s sentiments, but I also find it hard to complain about comics that ANYONE will produce that actually give the market some literary cred and show that comics can be more than just superheroes. Good job Marvel! ;)

  6. I don’t think that making comics from old classics is going to give us any literary cred. In fact, I think it may even take away some. In order to have credibility, we must be sincere about what we do. People who don’t know about comics will see this as simplifying (or dumbing down) stories in order to (as Torsten Adair so thoughtfully put it) trick kids in to reading. That’s what it seems like to me; a trick. Nobody, not even kids, like to be tricked, and they will see that someone is trying to trick them. It seems to me that so many comics fans act ashamed about comics content when questioned about it. Even Alan Moore for whom I have the greatest respect, does this to a degree.

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