Stan Lee and Virgin Comics Launch New Superhero Empire

Comic-book legend Stan Lee (Spider-man, X-Men, Fantastic Four, Hulk, Iron Man) has formed a new partnership with Richard Branson’s Virgin Comics. As part of this new deal, the 86-year-old Lee will return to comic-books as both a writer and editor and will oversee an entirely new universe of superhero characters.

‘What a dream assignment!’ says the energetic Lee. ‘I can’t wait to start pitting my newest, most exciting superheroes against comicdom’s most powerful, diabolical super villains and then have the fun of tossing them into far-out, thrill-a-minute adventures to challenge the readers’ imagination!’

“Stan Lee is a cultural icon and we welcome him to his new home, Virgin Comics, for this bold new chapter in his great legacy,” notes Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Group president and founder.

Ten new superheroes will be introduced in this new line of comics. As this team evolves, readers will learn that not all of these heroes are what they seem, as infighting, abuses of power and internal struggles will slowly challenge these heroes as they learn the real villains may lurk within themselves. The new world of superheroes is set to launch in early 2009 and will initially be introduced as a series of ten graphic novels linked into a series of online animated shorts. The story is intended to provide a seamless online and offline experience allowing audiences numerous entry points and engagement synergies as they immerse themselves into this universe of heroes.

‘As a creator, storyteller and visionary, Stan Lee has created characters that have inspired the imaginations of generations of audiences around the world and spoke to the core of humanity, transcending race, religion and culture’ says Virgin Comics’ CEO, Sharad Devarajan. ‘It is our greatest joy to bring him back to the industry he helped define, and though Stan’s creations have already changed the face of entertainment, we are confident that the best is yet to come.’

Virigin Comics was founded in November 2005 by Sir Richard Branson and Virgin Enterprises Ltd., alongside author Deepak Chopra, filmmaker Shekhar Kapur and entrepreneurs Sharad Devarajan, Gotham Chopra and Suresh Seetharaman. Feature films based on Virgin Comics’ characters are also in the works, including an animated feature The Secrets of the Seven Sounds, Guy Ritchie’s Gamekeeper, with Warner Bros and producer Joel Silver and Virulents with FOX, directed by John Moore (The Omen, Max Payne). Virgin Comics also formed a joint venture with NBC-Universal to create new science fiction properties for graphic novels and television with the SCI FI Channel. The first title in this series, The Stranded, premiered in January 2008 and has already been green-lit for further development as a television pilot. For more info visit www.virginComics.com.