Something completely new and different from MUTTS cartoonist Patrick McDonnell and the Marvel Universe.

"An explosion of creativity, wonder, and beauty."
— Glen David Gold


Patrick McDonnell’s The Super Hero's Journey, published by Abrams ComicArts in collaboration with Marvel Comics, hit the shelves on September 26, 2023.

The Super Hero’s Journey is an adventure unlike any you have ever read. Imbued with the creativity, artwork, and heart of Patrick McDonnell, the beloved creator of the comic strip MUTTS, this all-new graphic novel features the classic Marvel super heroes including the Fantastic Four, the Avengers, the Incredible Hulk, Black Panther, and Spider-Man, and is the synthesis of McDonnell’s positive, inspirational sensibility and Marvel’s
blockbuster brand.

The book begins with the Watcher as he observes Earth and the inner struggles of the Marvel heroes. He watches Doctor Doom (who has harnessed the power of the Negative Zone) slowly destroy the human spirit. The Watcher then leads Mr. Fantastic on a meta journey through the pages of classic comic books. Ultimately, our heroes come to a Zen solution in an unexpected fashion — one that aligns with Patrick's other beloved and award-winning books — leaving us with a renewed sense of love, hope, and redemption.

The Super Hero's Journey incorporates pages and panels from classic 1960s Marvel comics written by Stan Lee and illustrated by Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, and Don Heck. These pages are interwoven with Patrick’s own comic art and paintings to tell a new story for a new audience.


"The Super Hero’s Journey is a fantastical dream-memory of my childhood infatuation with comic books, and a tale of the spiritual inner journey of reconnecting to the “super being” in us all. The book is a love letter celebrating the artistry and wonder of the original Marvel Universe as created by Lee, Kirby, and Ditko. It’s a mashup between my art and the original panels from those classic 1960 Marvel Comics."

— Patrick McDonnell


"Patrick McDonnell’s The Super Hero's Journey uses the Marvel characters and iconography in an idiosyncratic and individual manner to tell a story that is at once autobiographical, spiritual, and mythological. It’s a unique and singular reading experience that pays homage to the great works of the Silver Age while at the same time using them to make a grander statement about the human condition. It will give you the eyes of a kid again.”

Tom Brevoort, Marvel VP of Publishing and Executive Editor

The Super Hero’s Journey is thrilling, hilarious, mind-blowing, weird, and poignant — just like the stories that inspired it. Patrick McDonnell flexes the same artistic muscle that drew Kirby to collage, mashing up childhood memories, Silver Age stories, and his own works of fine art, fueling an explosion of creativity, wonder, and beauty. When I finished the first time, I immediately read it again to re-experience its generous heartbeat. After my own journey, all I can say is Make Mine McDonnell!”

Glen David Gold, author of Carter Beats the Devil and I Will Be Complete

"The Super Hero’s Journey is a powerful argument for how the comic book art form makes a positive impact in our lives. Patrick McDonell weaves the work of Jack Kirby and other Marvel artists together with his own to create a remarkable view into the wonder he felt as a young reader first experiencing these classic comics. It is a genuinely moving treatise on the inspiration we can take from others, and an antidote for cynicism.”

Alex Ross, Fantastic Four: Full Circle

"When we released Fantastic Four: Full Circle by Alex Ross, we promised that Marvel Arts was a line ‘where nothing is impossible and anything can happen.’ With The Super Hero's Journey, Patrick McDonnell delivers on that promise, creating something truly unique."

Charles Kochman, Editorial Director of Abrams ComicArts

"Inspiration, fun, and joy are to be found a plenty ... To say The Super Hero’s Journey is epic is an understatement."

AIPT Comics

"McDonnell’s unexpected conceit flies high and makes a perfect landing."

Publisher's Weekly, starred review

"This lavish, idiosyncratic, and beautiful work is part autobiography, part love letter to iconic creators like Steve Ditko, Jack Kirby and, of course, Stan Lee. The book really is something to behold."



Sept. 26

Publication date for The Super Hero's Journey

Comic Book Club Live Podcast: 7pm ET

Oct. 7: Princeton, NJ
Princeton’s Children’s Books Festival

Oct. 12-15*: New York, NY
New York Comic Con

See Patrick at the NYCC Abrams ComicArts panel discussion on Oct. 13 at 7:45 p.m.

Oct. 24: New York, NY
An Evening with Patrick and Bill Griffith at Columbia University

Oct. 28: Princeton, NJ
Princeton Public Library Event

Nov. 10: San Francisco, CA
Cartoon Art Museum: Conversation with Abrams Editor-in-Chief Charles Kochman

Nov. 11: Santa Rosa, CA
Schulz Museum: Conversation with Abrams Editor-in-Chief Charles Kochman

Nov. 18-19*: Miami, FL
Miami Book Fair

July 25-28, 2024*: San Diego, CA
San Diego Comic Con

*Specific dates not yet confirmed.

All artwork (c) 2023 MARVEL