Launched at last month's New York Comic Con, 1821 Comics is a new publishing company whose first major venture is a collaboration with POW Entertainment, the media enterprise founded by Marvel Comics visionary Stan Lee. The first in a series of three reimaginings of classic literature, Romeo & Juliet: The War is a radical take on the William Shakespeare tale, devised by Lee and 1821 Co-Publisher Terry Dougas, written by Max Work and illustrated by Skan Srisuwan. The book eschews the traditional comic book and graphic novel formats for what an oversized coffee table-sized volume, which Lee and Dougas discuss in the video after the jump.

The book tells the story of two groups of superhuman soldiers who turn the Empire of Verona into the most powerful territory on Earth. The Montagues, powerful cyborgs made of artificial DNA, and the Capulets, genetically-enhanced humans known for their speed and agility, who work in tandem to destroy all threats to Verona. With no one left to fight, they have a new enemy -- each other.

When a young Montague boy and Capulet girl fall in love, they secretly plan to marry, hoping their union will bring peace to the warring factions. But forces beyond their control begin to conspire against them, threatening their love, their lives...and the Empire of Verona.

In this exclusive video interview, Stan Lee tells AOL, "When Terry came to see me and asked if POW would want to get involved with it -- oh, man, it just sounded so great. Just imagine, taking a classic, changing it, keeping the spirit of it, but adding a whole new superhero element to it. What could be more exciting?"

Check out the video below.

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Stan Lee of POW! Entertainment (and Marvel fame) and Terry Dougas of 1821 Comics discuss their collaborative project.

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