The place – New York Comic Con 2011.
Amongst the throng of autograph-hungry fans sandwiched between a tiny table and the massive DC Comics booth, the atmosphere and air of anticipation was palpable.
The great Stan Lee parted the massive crowd (which was peppered with a few Doctor Whos and various other cosplayers) as he walked toward the comparatively minuscule table. He was alive with energy, and the thought would never cross your mind that the living legend was well into his eighties. Lee was sporting his signature white sneakers and tinted glasses and was exactly how you’d expect him to be – he was nothing short of ecstatic to be there.
Rather than waxing poetic about his past and legendary creations in the Marvel Universe (or spouting signature catchphrases), Lee had a different agenda and a new adventure to take his eager fans on. Lee has teamed up with West Coast comic publisher 1821 Comics and was introducing Romeo and Juliet:The War.
“We’ve brought Romeo and Juliet to the future!” Lee exclaimed to the attentive crowd.
Revealing very little about the world he envisioned in his latest work, he showed the beautiful cover art and explained, “The Montagues have a super power, the Capulets have a super power – it’s a war!”
After the very brief reveal of the new graphic novel, I had the opportunity to speak with Stan about his inspiration for the book.
“I’ve always been a fan of Shakespeare,” he said with his infectious smile.
With Shakespeare’s almost endless catalog of work to choose from, I asked him why he picked Romeo and Juliet as his first foray into the genre crossover. “[Romeo and Juliet] is the most well-known love story and one of the most well-known stories of all time! It’s my turn to take a crack at it.”