Marvel is expanding the publishing program around its Marvels property with a new ongoing series, The Marvels, written by Kurt Busiek with art by Yildiray Cinar and character designs and covers by Alex Ross, the company announced.  The new series will launch in May; format has not been revealed.

The concept of the book is to use any of the Marvel characters and any of its history to tell sweeping stories.  "It’s not a team," Busiek said.  "It’s a concept, or a universe depending on how you look at it.  The Marvels features the marvels — all the many and varied characters of the Marvel Universe."

In addition to providing cover art, Alex Ross will contribute character designs, including new characters (there are three introduced, if only briefly for some, in the first issue) and updating of older characters, such as the Golden Age Vision.

The first issue spans the All-Winners Squad in 1947, Reed Richards in military intelligence (pre-FF), an invasion from orbit, super hero sightseeing in Manhattan, and more.  Characters in the first issue include Captain America, Spider-Man, the Punisher, the Human Torch, Storm, the Black Cat, the Golden Age Vision, Aero, Iron Man, and Thor.

Marvel is also publishing Marvels Snapshots, a series of eight double-sized one-shots curated and edited by Busiek.  It launched in March with Sub-Mariner: Marvels Snapshots #1 (see "Busiek Curates, Edits ‘Marvels Snapshots’").

Two more Marvel Snapshots issues are planned for April: Captain America: Marvels Snapshot #1, written by Mark Russell & Kurt Busiek, with art by Ramon Perez and cover by Ross, and X-Men: Marvels Snapshot #1, written by Jay Edidin & Busiek, with art by Tom Reilly and cover by Ross (covers in the Gallery below).  The run of Marvels Snapshots will presumably continue through the first months of the new The Marvels ongoing.

Marvel began its revival of the Marvels property with a one-shot last July (see "Kurt Busiek and Alex Ross’ ‘Marvels’ Returns").

Click Gallery below for covers for The Marvels and Marvels Snapshots!