Robot 6

Stan Lee partners with Archie, A Squared for Super Seven [Updated]

Strong Arm, from "Super Seven"

Strong Arm, from "Super Seven"

Archie Comics and A Squared Entertainment are partnering with comics legend Stan Lee on a multimedia property called Super Seven, which will feature the Man himself.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Lee’s comic centers on seven aliens whose spaceship crashes on Earth, where they’re befriended by the Marvel icon and resume their lives as superheroes.

“Nothing is more exciting to me, as a writer, than creating a new type of story or introducing a new theme,” Lee said in a statement. “Although I’ve briefly appeared in other comics, Super Seven is the first time that I’ll actually be a continuing character in a far-out, original superhero series.”

Archie Comics will publish the Super Seven comic, while A Squared will develop the property for television and online ventures and oversee licensing and merchandising. The projects are expected to launch in the fall.

It’s been a busy year for Lee, whose POW! Entertainment has a first-look deal with The Walt Disney Company. In December, Disney strengthened those ties by purchasing a 10-percent equity stake in the company. Super Seven isn’t part of the Disney agreement.

Update: The Archie Comics press release can be found after the break.

A SQUARED ENTERTAINMENT (A2) AND ARCHIE COMICS
TEAM UP WITH POW! ENTERTAINMENT AND THE LEGENDARY STAN LEE TO CREATE STAN LEE COMICS

First New Original Series, “Super Seven,” To Be Introduced
As A Comic Book And Animated Series In Fall 2010

LOS ANGELES – February 10, 2010 – A Squared Entertainment (A2), a full-service brand entertainment company, and Archie Comics, the leading producer of comic book entertainment, announced today an exciting collaboration with Stan Lee, founder, chairman and chief creative officer (CCO) of POW! Entertainment (PK:POWN), to create a new print and digital comic book line from the most successful comic book entertainment producer of all time. Lee is also known as the co-creator of Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk, X-Men, and Iron Man, among many others.

Scheduled for release first is a new, original multimedia series called “Super Seven” to be distributed in print, online, on air and at retail. It’s the story about seven aliens who find themselves stranded on planet Earth after their spaceship crashes, only to be befriended by none other than Lee himself. Taking them under his care, Lee becomes their leader and enables them to resume their lives as superheroes on earth.

“A2 Entertainment is humbled and honored to be collaborating with such a legendary figure in the entertainment industry,” A2 Entertainment Co-Founder and CEO Andy Heyward says. “Stan Lee has been delivering groundbreaking entertainment to consumers for decades and we couldn’t be more excited to venture into the digital space together and introduce him to a new generation of fans.”

“Stan Lee is a global icon. He has single handedly changed modern entertainment. His legendary creations are timeless,” says Archie Comics Co-CEO Jon Goldwater. “Archie Comics is incredibly proud to be working with Stan Lee in publishing ‘Super Seven’.”

“Nothing is more exciting to me, as a writer, than creating a new type of story or introducing a new theme. Although I’ve briefly appeared in other comics, ‘Super Seven’ is the first time that I’ll actually be a continuing character in a far-out, original superhero series,” says POW! Chairman and Founder Stan Lee. “Having been a fan of the Archie Comics line for many decades, it’s a real kick to have this opportunity to help them launch my new, highly-stylized superhero saga which we’ll soon bequeath to a grateful public.”

Gill Champion, POW!’s President and COO says, “Working with Archie Comics and A2 Entertainment provides us with another unique opportunity to further extend the Stan Lee POW! brand internationally through a diverse combination of distribution opportunities.”

Walt Disney Studios entered into a first-look deal with POW! and has a number of projects in development with the company and has also been working closely with the world-renowned Lee.

“Super Seven” is expected to debut in fall 2010 in digital, print and broadcast.

About A Squared Entertainment (A2) LLC
A Squared Entertainment (A2) is a full-service brand entertainment company that creates, develops, produces, programs, markets, merchandises and distributes content across all channels: online, offline, on-air and at retail outlets.

Headquartered in Los Angeles, A2 Entertainment was created by Co-Presidents Andy Heyward and Amy Moynihan Heyward in 2009. Having spent the last quarter of a century in the kids industry, the two created A2 Entertainment with a mission to develop meaningful entertainment in various formats and recreate the way brands are managed and brought to market in a multimedia, multi-tasking world. A2 Entertainment is currently producing the “Secret Millionaire’s Club” with billionaire Warren Buffett, “Gisele & the Green Team” with supermodel Gisele Bündchen and “Martha & Friends” with American media mogul and business magnate Martha Stewart.

About Archie Comics
The Archie Comics line of comic books is one of the most successful, longest running brands in the history of the comic industry. Archie Comics have sold 1.5 billion comics and are published in a dozen different foreign languages and distributed all over the world. Archie Comics has spawned characters whose popularity has spilled over into other media and who have become part of popular culture. SABRINA THE TEENAGE WITCH and JOSIE AND THE PUSSYCATS are just some of the many legendary franchises that are part of the Archie Comics Library.

About POW! (PURVEYORS OF WONDER) ENTERTAINMENT, INC.
(Pinksheets: POWN)
An advanced media and entertainment company, POW! was founded by Stan Lee, together with award winning producer Gill Champion and intellectual property attorney Arthur Lieberman, Esq., to create, produce and license original intellectual properties. POW! Specializes in franchises for the entertainment industry, including animation and live-action feature films, plus television, DVDs, video games, merchandising and related ancillary markets, all of which contribute to global expansion.

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Comments

19 Comments

what the hell?

The Ugly American

February 10, 2010 at 7:17 am

Strongarm?

I “wonder” how he got that ability. Practice?

He-Man did it better, first, with “Fisto”.

“Stan Lee is a global icon. He has single handedly changed modern entertainment. His legendary creations are timeless,” says Archie Comics Co-CEO Jon Goldwater.”

“Single-handedly”?? Wow!! What a load of bull, and coming from a ceo of Archie comics, nothing less!! I don’t think Jack Kirby’s heirs, Steve Ditko, Gene Colan and his numerous old collaborators would agree with this. That, to me, is a fitting image of modern-day marketing crap.

I’m still enjoying Stan Lee’s writing via the “Essential” line of trades; but what I’ve read of him lately is far from challenging his sixties work, to say the least…

Brings back fond memories from long ago of CBS’ “Tarzan and the Super 7″.

So Archie licenses their preexisting superhero characters to DC then turn around & team up with Stan Lee to create new ones. Why?

Tarzan and the Super 7! That’s why I was thinking the name sounded familiar!

Thanks Mr. M!

>> So Archie licenses their preexisting superhero characters to DC then turn around & team up with Stan Lee to create new ones. Why? >>

Why not?

Looks like they think both deals will make money, so they’re both worth doing. I’m not sure whether your objection comes from the idea that all superheroes are interchangeable (an odd thing in a comics reader), so whatever they’re doing with these new characters you imagine they could do with the Mighty Crusaders, or whether it’s from the idea that a publisher can do only one thing at a time, so licensing one set of characters while creating another set that can be promoted differently and licensed other ways, like for TV and movies and such, is a baffling prospect.

Could be the deal was brought to them by A Squared, could be they looked at the money the DC license brought in, and thought, “Gee, if we had some more superheroes we could do more deals and make more money,” could be they want to reach out to younger readers and think the Mighty Crusaders aren’t the best choice for that, and neither is Pureheart the Powerful, so let’s find some other characters that fit the outreach we want to do, could be something else.

But why wouldn’t they do two different superhero-focused projects at once? It’s not like other publishers don’t.

kdb

This brand new project is actually 6 or 7 years old. Stan Lee’s company originally developped it as an animated series ( I think it was in partnership with DIC, but I could be wrong ) and they pitched it at various international TV markets in 2003 and 04. They were even giving away a free comic that served as a promotional “bible” for the show. I know I still have a copy of this somewhere…

Super Seven looks and sounds something similar to Chris Claremont’s Sovereign 7, Hurmm…

eek! that’s some seriously liefeld anatomy on strong-arm!

This is truly pathetic. Who the hell wants to read a comic about a complete phony like Satan Lee? I really don’t even have much desire to read comics written BY him, much less ABOUT him. And I have to totally agree with Boomtuber’s comment, above, about Jon Goldwater’s statement. Mr. Goldwater makes it sound like Kirby, Ditko, Romita, Colan, Buscema and all the rest weren’t even there. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised about that though, considering how Archie has continually minimized the role that Bob Montana played in the creation of the Archie feature. Very disappointing indeed from a company which has otherwise held itself to a much higher standard than either Marvel or DC.

Kurt Busiek’s arguments, above, also make very little sense. Are you trying to say that DC’s take on the Archie superheroes is a great financial success? Don’t make me laugh. And how do you figure that this project will necessarily be any more effective at reaching younger readers than would the Mighty Crusaders–or the regular, non-superhero Archie characters for that matter? If Archie (or any other company) wants to sell superhero comics to younger readers (or non-fanboy older readers), they should just ditch all the endlessly-continued soap opera and start, once again, doing properly plotted SELF-CONTAINED STORIES in comics that have proper newsstand distribution–something Archie already does with their regular, non-superhero titles. And they don’t need DC or Stan Lee to do that, do they?

It’s great to see that even now Stan Lee is creating new material and new characters. I can’t speak to the quality of this project since I haven’t read it, but I really admire that he hasn’t just rest on the laurels of his Marvel co-creations.

>> Are you trying to say that DC’s take on the Archie superheroes is a great financial success? >>

I’m saying it’s making Archie money. It doesn’t need to be a “great financial success” to do that, just to have DC paying Archie a license fee for the use of the characters.

>> And how do you figure that this project will necessarily be any more effective at reaching younger readers than would the Mighty Crusaders–or the regular, non-superhero Archie characters for that matter?>>

It doesn’t have to be more effective than the regular Archie characters, since they’re already publishing those, and are presumably getting what value they can from them. Is your argument that if Archie can be used as outreach, they shouldn’t ever do anything else?

As for how Super 7 might be better at reaching out to younger readers, someone’s willing to put money into developing it as a multi-media property, so that’s an advantage right there. They don’t have to convince you (or even me) that this idea’s a better bet, they just have to think it is themselves. Remember, the question I was responding to was why would Archie license the Crusaders characters to DC and then do a new superhero project themselves? The answer is simple: They figured both were good ideas.

Companies do more than one thing at a time, after all. There’s no rule in comics that says if you license some characters, you can’t do any others in the same genre.

>> If Archie (or any other company) wants to sell superhero comics to younger readers (or non-fanboy older readers), they should just ditch all the endlessly-continued soap opera and start, once again, doing properly plotted SELF-CONTAINED STORIES in comics that have proper newsstand distribution–something Archie already does with their regular, non-superhero titles. And they don’t need DC or Stan Lee to do that, do they? >>

As you note, they’re already doing it. Why would that mean that they can’t do anything else?

Plus, the newsstand is still slowly dying, so the fact that Archie’s doing better there than Marvel is doesn’t mean they want to put all their eggs in one basket. The problems magazine distribution are facing are bigger than Archie can solve by themselves. So a project that they think has online and TV potential may be something they want to pursue too.

It’s entirely possible for the folks at Archie to think licensing one set of characters to a publisher willing to spend money on them is a good idea, that publishing Archie and the gang on the newsstand is a good idea, _and_ that partnering with Stan Lee and a multimedia company with a new set of characters is a good idea. And you don’t know how much of the cost A Squared is carrying, or what the terms of the deal are, so you’re not really in a position to judge that they can achieve the same thing with the Riverdale gang. [And even if they can, that’s no reason not to do both.]

Why would they do it? Why not? They can try three different things — or more — at the same time.

kdb

“He has single handedly changed modern entertainment.”

Bull. Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko (among other Marvel artist contributors) should be given equal (if not more) credit for Marvels creations.

Is it just me or is the anatomy on that “Strong Arm” character obscenely bad? That guy just looks unhealthy.

They should totally make an animated series based on the comic STAN LEE’S ALEXA, about a superpowered comic book artist working for a guy like Stan!

But then I’m only saying that ’cause I wrote the comic… :D

One more quick(?) response to Kurt Busiek. Your points are well taken, but what I’m trying to get at here is why does Archie need to get other people to do superhero comics for them? Why not just hire the right people and produce the material themselves? The main reason newsstand distribution is no longer a viable outlet for superhero comics is because the publishers stopped producing material that was appropriate for the casual (newsstand) reader in the early eighties. The requirements for mass-market comics sales success are vastly different from the requirements for comic-shop sales success. Jim Shooter even admitted publicly that the reason Marvel and DC switched their focus from newsstand sales to comic-shop sales in the early- to mid-eighties was because the general audience was more demanding than the fanboys, so the quality of the books didn’t have to be as high to sell the books in comic shops as it did to sell them in the mass market. In other words, they were sacrificing quality and taking the easy way out–admitting that THEY DIDN’T HAVE THE ABILITY TO PRODUCE COMICS THAT WOULD SELL IN THE MASS MARKET. So contrary to what people like Steven Grant have always asserted, the newsstand did not turn its back on comics; comics turned their backs on the newsstand! If newsstand comics’ sales are diminishing, as you say, one of the main reasons is because no publisher other than Archie puts out any product that will SELL on the newsstand. No mass-market retailer is going to give up the floor space for a spinner that’s stocked only with Archie comics. A number of mass-market retailers do, however, stock Archie comic books alongside their other magazines. So why could Archie not apply their publishing philosophy (of concentrating on self-contained stories) to superhero comics AS WELL AS teen humor comics and have them distributed in the same venues?

So the man who’s creativity, determination and business savvy reinvented and saved an industry for fans and pros alike decides in his late 80s that he still has fun being a part of that industry, and it’s met with this?? Okay, maybe you like the dark and violent, often sexually charged “comics” that are produced nowadays for a much older fan base. So buy that. But to feel the urge to weigh in on this with such out-sized vitriol and hate speaks far more about you than it ever will about Stan Lee.

My post above was in response to an unconscionably caustic post by Omni-Man that appeared directly above it.
He must have had the good sense to remove it. My response now reads as if it were aimed at the previous posts that remain, which is not the case.

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