Penguin Classics and Marvel Comics will collaborate on a new series, the Penguin Classics Marvel Collection. The books will anthologize "the original stories and seminal tales of key Marvel characters," the publisher said. The initiative marks the first time that Penguin Classics has published comics.
The first three books in the series, Black Panther, Captain America, and The Amazing Spider-Man, will be published on June 14 of next year, in both a paperback sporting Penguin's iconic black spine and a collectible hardcover edition. Each will include a foreword by a contemporary young adult author—Jason Reynolds for Spider-Man, Nnedi Okorafor for Black Panther, and Gene Luen Yang for Captain America—and a scholarly introduction: by series editor and University of Oregon English professor Ben Saunders for Captain America and The Amazing Spider-Man and University of South Carolina English and African American Studies professor Qiana J. Whitted for Black Panther. More titles are to be announced.
“When we talk about what makes a classic, we consider the work’s ability to connect with an audience across time, in both universal and individual ways. Marvel’s sustained and rich engagement with generations of readers, one that also provides a critical social lens, a deeply personal reflection of the human condition, and a shared reading experience of such storytelling and artistic innovation, is a super power," Elda Rotor, v-p and publisher of Penguin Classics, said in a statement. "For instance, you can just say, ‘Spider-Man,’ and it opens up a whole world of stories and understanding. To me, that makes a Marvel classic a Penguin Classic. To have this opportunity to place the work of Stan Lee, Steve Ditko, Jack Kirby and many other historic Marvel creators on shelves alongside the world’s classics marks a very special chapter in Penguin’s publishing history.”