In a collaboration between Penguin Classics and Marvel Comics, the publisher will release the special edition Penguin Classics Marvel Collection, marking the first time that comics have been published through Penguin Classics.
Each of the curated comic book anthologies presents the “original stories and seminal tales of key Marvel characters” with forewords and scholarly introductions written by science fiction and comic experts. The collection includes work from Marvel creators such as Stan Lee, comic book artist Jack Kirby, illustrator Billy Graham, writer Joe Simon, Don McGregor, and more.
As the series editor, Ben Saunders also wrote the scholarly introductions for Captain America and The Amazing Spider-Man. Saunders is known as the founder of the world’s first undergraduate minor in Comics Studies. He has also served as curator for several museum exhibitions of comic book art.
“The comics produced at Marvel in the ‘60s can be compared to the most enduring popular music of that same tumultuous decade. Working at tremendous speed in what was widely regarded as a low-status commercial medium, the creators at Marvel initiated and participated in an aesthetic revolution,” Saunders says.
“These comics have now influenced writers and artists across all forms of media—from contemporary novelists to hip hop musicians to Hollywood filmmakers. It is not hyperbole but simply a fact: these classic Marvel Comics are foundational documents of our culture.”
The Amazing Spider-Man includes a foreword by Jason Reynolds, the bestselling author of many books including Miles Morales: Spider-Man, Look Both Ways and Stamped: Racism, Antiracism And You.
Eisner Award-winning comics scholar Qiana J. Whitted penned the scholarly introduction for Black Panther, with the foreword written by Hugo Award winner Nnedi Okorafor (Who Fears Death, the Binti novella trilogy). Okorafor has also written Black Panther and Wakanda Forever for Marvel Comics.
The first three books in the series, Black Panther, Captain America, and The Amazing Spider-Man will be published on June 14, 2022.