Abrams ComicArts and Marvel announce the September 26, 2023 publication of The Super Hero’s Journey by multi-talented, internationally bestselling cartoonist and writer Patrick McDonnell, creator of the beloved syndicated comic strip Mutts. The book is the latest addition in the bestselling Marvel Arts series, a collaboration between Marvel Comics and Abrams ComicArts.
Infused with the creativity, artwork, and heart of Patrick McDonnell, the graphic novel features classic Marvel Super Heroes, including the Fantastic Four, the Incredible Hulk, Captain America, Black Panther, and Spider-Man. Using the Marvel Universe as avatars, McDonnell brings together his inspirational and moral sensibilities from throughout his career and muses on how comics changed his life and set him on the course to become a cartoonist.
“The Super Hero’s Journey is my graphic novel love letter to the 1960s Marvel Super Heroes and their legendary creators. It was a childhood dream come true to have my art play along with the work of the great Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, and Steve Ditko. I tried my best to capture the magic, fun, and cosmic energy of those early comic book masterpieces in this arty mashup,” says McDonnell.
We begin with the Watcher—a being who exists outside the planes of space and time, who sees every moment that has happened, will happen, or is happening throughout the cosmos—as he observes Earth and the inner burdens of the Marvel Super Heroes. As the Watcher observes the villainous plans of Doctor Doom, who is harnessing the power of the Negative Zone and slowly spreading its negativity across our planet and destroying the human spirit, Mr. Fantastic is led on a meta journey that takes him through the pages of classic comic books and across scenes familiar and unexpected. Ultimately, our heroes discover a Zen solution in an unexpected fashion—one that aligns this book with the inspiring messages of McDonnell’s other beloved and award-winning books—leaving readers with a renewed sense of love, hope, and redemption.
The Super Hero’s Journey seamlessly incorporates panels from classic 1960s Marvel comics written by Stan Lee and illustrated by Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, Don Heck, and Vince Colletta and explores the need for connectivity, positivity, and even kindness while traveling through these classic scenes and situations. It offers an element of actualization and understanding through the lens of the globally recognized and beloved characters from the Silver Age of Comics.
McDonnell’s exciting and innovative entry into the Marvel landscape is a stunning and heartwarming new adventure for fans of classic Marvel comics, as well as fans of McDonnell’s comic strip and all-ages picture books.
The Super Hero’s Journey is in bookstores September 26th; pre-order your copy today!