Marvel content is like a nice, yummy, warm cup of tea to me. But the announcement of Avengers: War Across Time made me spit that tea out and start flailing around on the ground like an animal. Marvel is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year and with that, they’re putting out absolute bangers! Following all the hype of the new MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) – or should I say MCM (Marvel Cinematic Multiverse) – content from D23, the new mini-series of comic books has been rather overlooked.
Avengers: War Across Time is a new comic book mini-series set in the post-Avengers #11 world in which they fight against Kang the Conqueror and his many cronies. “Thor! Iron Man! Captain America! Giant-Man and the Wasp! It’s the classic Avengers against the Hulk on the streets of New York, and the beginning of a showdown with Kang the Conqueror that will span the centuries!”
The limited series is headed by comic book artist Alan Davis and writer Paul Levitz. Alan Davis is known for his work on DC’s Justice League of America: The Nail and Marvel’s Avengers Vol. 3. And Paul Levitz has worked on DC’s The Legion of Super-Heroes, but his work doesn’t end there. Levitz is a well-rounded professor at several schools including Pace University. He instructs a class at Pace called “Transmedia & The Future of Publishing” in its M.S. in Publishing Program. And has worked in many title roles within the company, DC Comics, starting from when he was in college, and later serving as the president for DC Comics from 2002-2009. So, obviously, when I heard this, I silently asked God to have P.A.C.E Board (a club at Pace) get Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan to come to our university. We have an in P.A.C.E Board, get to work.
Levitz graciously provided me with the chance to speak with him in person and stated that he was a first-generation comic fan. He had grown up on the Marvel comic books and was enraptured by them. Stating in an interview with Marvel.com, “I learned much of my own writing craft from The Avengers, and it’s been a delight to pay homage to my old friends Stan, Jack, and Don by trying to do something that might have been an extended issue #11.1. We’ve been cooking this up for a long time, and I hope readers have as much fun with it as I did.” Levitz told me that this project was a passion piece. He approached Marvel with the idea of doing a nostalgia piece. “It’s a love letter to the guys who did the early issues,” he continued, “I’m trying to capture the spirit.” The project as a whole was slowed down due to the Covid-19 pandemic but is now ready to be seen and I, personally, could not be more excited to see what he did.
I also asked Levitz a few questions outside of the project. We began by talking about Marvel as a whole, how insanely interesting I find the differences between comic-based storylines and movie-based storylines. He told me about how he worked with writers and directors when he worked with DC. He spoke about how page and screen are so distinctly different and how difficult it is to compare the two. They truly are two different forms of media and Levitz had seen both sides, having worked with Christopher Nolan during his Batman movies. We continued to speak about Marvel’s screen adaptations and, though he hasn’t gotten to work with Kevin Feige, he directs props in his direction stating, “He’s doing a great job and has kept the essence of Marvel across platforms.”
All in all, I am on the floor sobbing. Avengers: War Across Time goes on sale on Jan. 11, 2023. The first page previews are available here and I can promise you that your brain will explode if you care about Marvel. My brain is goo and I have no money, but that won’t stop me from living vicariously through semi-questionable means (i.e. superheroes that only exist for real in my dreams and in my fanfictions). I’m very excited to see where this story leads and what insight it may give into some of our favorite superheroes.
I would also like to thank Levitz for being so inspirational, passionate, and gracious for allowing me to speak with him. For my Marvel-obsessed Pace friends out there, Levitz teaches several classes at Pace including LIT 212 in the spring and ENG 316 in the fall. Register for them and tell him you found out from me!