Marvel Comics will be adapting their most classic storylines into prose starting in June 2012, with the release of Civil War. The book will be written by Stuart Moore (Wolverine, Namor), and promises "new wrinkles" in the prose version that were not in the original classic comic book event.
For those non-comic book fans reading this, here is Civil War in a nutshell: a terrible tragedy involving superhumans results in the government requiring superheroes to unmask publicly and register with the government. Most of the Marvel Universe takes sides, with Captain America and Iron Man representing those against and for the new policy, respectively.
And gaining readers new to the rich history and mythos of the Marvel Universe definitely seems to be one of the reasons for this new line of books. David Gabriel, Senior Vice President of Sales for Marvel Entertainment, stated in a press release:
“Releasing our most acclaimed graphic novels as prose fiction not only allows us to reach a different audience with these stories, but also gives us a chance to bring those readers back to the comics that started it all. CIVIL WAR is easily our best-selling graphic novel of the past decade and certainly one of the most influential in recent memory, so it was the perfect launch title for this new line."
What other storylines might Marvel adapt next? The Death of Jean Grey? The Venom Saga? Secret Wars? As I said, it's a pretty rich history to plumb through. The trick, I guess, will be seeing if it translates to strictly words and no pictures -- and we'll find out this coming Summer!