Marvel Entertainment and Madhouse animation is teaming up to re-imagine the classic Marvel heroes for Japanese audiences. According to a report in The New York Times, four new anime series will be premiering in spring of 2010 based on the Marvel heroes.

According to Simon Philips, president of Marvel International, the goal of the new anime series will be to create "something that is part of the fabric of society," rather then simply making anime versions of the heroes as American audiences are used to them. The look and backstories of the characters will be redesigned to fit in with Japanese culture. "It will create an entire parallel universe for Marvel," Philips says. Jungo Maruta, president and chief executive of Madhouse, concurs. "Marvel today is so open-minded," he said through his interpreter, Alex Yeh, at a recent meeting in New York, "Marvel gives creators freedom to fly."

"We are very excited to be involved," Mr. Yeh said as he showed a handful of manga-influenced drawings of Iron Man. Mr. Yeh said working on the Marvel characters is different from his past experiences. "Although they say, 'I want Japanese anime,' it's not what they actually want. They want a hybrid between Japanese and Western animation."

This isn't Marvel's first experience with hybridizing their properties with Asian culture. They created the Marvel Mangaverse back in 2000, with various other 'Manga' style Marvel properties appearing since.