A.I.M. Institute, Hydra School and Attuma’s Undersea University Join Forces Against ‘Marvel Avengers Academy’
Mar 29 2017
After being defeated multiple times by the kids at “Marvel Avengers Academy,” A.I.M. and Hydra decide to join forces, and reach out to Attuma and his villainous underwater school to form a coalition of evil. The trio of villainous schools take a new approach to their attack by imprisoning the Academy’s faculty first, leaving the school in disarray. The students have to overcome their personal rivalries and the villainous invaders to free their mentors, imprison the evil leaders, and restore order.
We tapped Allen Warner, Lead Narrative Designer at TinyCo, to get the full rundown on this new 4-week faculty event that kicks off tomorrow.
Marvel.com: The stakes are different in the latest threat facing Avengers Academy. How do the students find themselves without their teachers and mentors?
Allen Warner: While the Academy was distracted with Ultron’s revolution and rampaging monsters, their rivals have been plotting a way to finally defeat the Avengers once and for all. The A.I.M. Institute was crushed with the help of M.O.D.O.K., Phil Coulson, and Squirrel Girl, and Hydra School was dismantled when their star pupil Red Skull was captured and Madame Hydra defected to join Avengers Academy. Arnim Zola has since taken control of Hydra, and Scientist Supreme has started to rebuild A.I.M., but they realize that their only chance to ever beat the Avengers is to join forces with another villainous school and launch a three-pronged attack. They convince the aquatic conqueror Attuma and his Undersea University to launch the assault, hitting the Academy with giant tidal waves, docking massive battleships at the gates, and capturing the faculty in an attempt to throw the campus into disarray.
Marvel.com: A three-school team-up is easily the biggest enemy our heroes have faced. What will they have to do to defend the campus and free the faculty? What new ways can players prepare and battle their foes?
Allen Warner: Each week, the heroes will face a new faction’s boss, battleship, and minions. Attuma’s Lemurian minions are different from any henchmen group we’ve ever made, and the coolest yet in my opinion. Besides the rotating factions, the other thing that’s completely new to this event is allowing the player to battle using the Helicarrier. Each villainous faction has a battleship, and players will attempt to destroy their ships with the Helicarrier.
Marvel.com: How will the combo of Attuma, Zola, and Scientist Supreme shape the event district?
Allen Warner: The event district looks awesome. The entire area is submerged in water due to Attuma’s tidal waves, and each villainous group arrives with an aquatic headquarters and battleship befitting their theme. Attuma and his forces arrive with a gigantic armored sea creature, Hydra has a flying fortress, and A.I.M. has some crazy floating future-tech.
The event building is really cool too. Tony Stark builds an aquatic center to help everyone train for underwater combat, but since it’s Tony it’s equal parts practical, creative, flashy, and fun.
Marvel.com: What characters will be recruitable this time around?
Allen Warner: Some legends of Avengers Academy and overall Marvel lore. Odin, Nick Fury, Leader, J.A.R.V.I.S., Frigga, and Hank Pym. It’s awesome to finally make some of our established faculty available, and great to introduce these other iconic characters. It’s a lot of fun to see how these (generally) more mature mentors interact with the crazy kids of Avengers Academy.
- A.I.M. Institute, Hydra School and Attuma’s Undersea University Join Forces Against ‘Marvel Avengers Academy’
- A.I.M. Institute, Hydra School and Attuma’s Undersea University Join Forces Against ‘Marvel Avengers Academy’
Marvel.com: Several members of the Avengers Academy staff can be recruited here. Has this been the plan from the beginning? Or did the team decide sometime after launch to make these characters playable?
Allen Warner: We always knew we’d make the faculty playable at some point. It just wouldn’t seem right to have these iconic characters walking around campus without making them recruitable. We wanted to wait to make the moment they stepped into action feel really special, and it’s really exciting to me because some players have been interacting with these characters for over a year, and now they can make them their own, and dig into their personal stories instead of having them appear in some other hero’s story. Anyone following the overall story knows that Odin, Hank Pym, and Nick Fury know the secrets behind the origins of Avengers Academy, the timefog, and these younger heroes and villains. We also know that they’re hiding multiple objects of immense power underneath the campus. Some big pieces of both of those mysteries will be revealed during this event.
Marvel.com: What outfits will the heroes wear to counter this coalition of evil?
Allen Warner: There will be some really cool aquatic themed outfits for Enchantress, Falcon, and Iron Man, combat-oriented outfits for Peggy Carter, Odin, Frigga, Leader, and J.A.R.V.I.S., and one of our most requested outfits: Bruce Banner Hulk. I know I’ve said this before, but these are some of the coolest outfits we’ve made, and our incredible art team outdid themselves yet again. The combat outfits in particular are really varied, and unexpected, and unlike anything that’s been in the game to this point.
Marvel.com: Beyond that, can you give us any other hints about what’s to come?
Allen Warner: Nick Fury will do something during this event that draws the attention of the entire cosmos, and the Avengers will need the help of some old friends and new recruits to guard their corner of the galaxy.
Mar 29 2017
In 1965, three criminals joined Captain America to redefine and rebuild the Avengers. Cap, Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, and Hawkeye became known as The Kookie Kwartet in one of the most momentous storylines in Avengers history, “The Old Order Changeth”—but, 52 years later, turns out their story wasn’t over.
AVENGERS POINT ONE writer Mark Waid and artist Barry Kitson have woven a new history into the fabric of the Marvel Universe. And the epic story, set across time and space from 1965 to 2017 and beyond, will conclude on March 29 with AVENGERS #5.1!
We sat down with Mark to discuss the art of telling an untold tale across Avengers eras, characters, and creators.
Marvel.com: What excited you most about enhancing a story that’s existed for so long? What new emphases did you want to bring to these characters?
Mark Waid: The appeal to me here was diving into a period of the Avengers that was really fraught with emotion and really fraught with soap opera, in a way they maybe haven’t been before or since quite that much. The idea that Captain America, who has been out of the ice—at this point in Marvel history—for about eight minutes, is handed the keys to the Avengers Mansion. Adding in three new criminals, who were not his choice to join the group. I was really intrigued by the ability to go back and deepen some of these relationships and do a little bit more, in a contemporary comics way, with how they felt about each other.
Marvel.com: Cap’s alignment with these three criminals—Hawkeye, Quicksilver, and Scarlet Witch—is one of the most fascinating components of this story. What’s your favorite aspect of writing that dynamic? How did you see it as specifically relevant today?
Mark Waid: My favorite element is Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch having to really acclimate to American culture. They’d never seen a television before. They weren’t stupid, but they were impoverished kids who came from an area in Europe where there was no industrialized background. So being able to play with that and being able to play with how they feel about suddenly being adored by people—going from being criminals to being, not only accepted, but considered heroes. That was the most fun of it for me.
Marvel.com: Is there a difference between the way you write the 1965 iterations of these characters and the way you write the 2017 versions? Do you approach them differently?
Mark Waid: The characters, no, I don’t approach them differently than I would today. That’s kind of what makes it fun. Taking my modern bag of tools and doing the kind of emotional beats that Stan Lee couldn’t do back in the day because it just wasn’t done. And doing that in the context of a much simpler Marvel Universe is what makes the whole thing appealing.
Marvel.com: What are the in-universe challenges of telling a new story that’s set in the midst of an old one?
Mark Waid: The specific challenge, and it’s one that I actually enjoy—working with editor Tom Brevoort trying to deal with this—is making sure that it fits. Constantly making sure that we get it right, making sure that we don’t screw up anything, or make it impossible to consider this something that actually happens between issues #16 and #17 of the 1965 series. And it’s not easy; sometimes I would plot something and have it ready for scripting and then I would realize, or Tom would realize, that the Avengers hadn’t done that by that point, or these characters hadn’t met yet, or this guy’s wearing a different suit, or whatever. But that wasn’t a hindrance to us, that was actually the fun of playing in that sandbox.
Marvel.com: Are there specific or unique creative obstacles that come with this kind of project?
Mark Waid: Not really, because here’s the thing: I have grown incredibly tired of pastiche. I don’t enjoy the attempt to emulate something so perfect [like Stan Lee’s voice] so concretely that it’s indistinguishable from what you’re trying to copy. We already had enough elements that are reflective of 1965—the style of lettering, the way the display lettering is done. So, to me, if I wanted to write this as if it was published in 1965, if I wanted to write it in Stan Lee’s voice, then I could have done that, but then it would’ve felt cheap. We wanted to have our own story, using more contemporary storytelling tools.
Marvel.com: You’ve worked with Barry Kitson for years now, so considering the source material, was your process for the Point One series any different relative to your past work together?
Mark Waid: No, actually it was very similar. The first issue had actually been written full script before we even had an artist, so I’m not used to working that way with Barry. But for the next four issues, once we had Barry on board, then its about letting Barry run with the action and the pacing. And then I would do the dialogue based on my original notes and whatever notes Barry gave in the margins. So it was very much the same way we’ve worked for years and years. We know each others’ rhythms by now and how to work together and how to trust each other.
Witness the grand finale with AVENGERS #5.1, by Mark Waid and artist Barry Kitson, on March 29!
Mar 28 2017
Reed Richards makes an appearance in INFAMOUS IRON MAN #7, out April 26, but it’s not the famous Mister Fantastic of the equally famous Fantastic Four, but rather the infamous alternate Reed from the equally infamous Ultimate universe. And that ain’t a good thing.
So, that begs the question “Do all alternate versions of Reed Richards stand for evil?” Well, come with us on a brief tour of Reeds and we’ll see if we can answer that…
The Maker – ULTIMATE FANTASTIC FOUR #1
The real problem with this Reed lay in his serious belief in the “ultimate” tag. With heightened intelligence from cosmic rays and a monstrously big ego, Ultimate Reed eventually declared himself “The Maker” and tried to ditch his own reality for a “better” one, which led him to ally himself with the real Reed during Doctor Doom’s whole Secret Wars deal. Then he betrayed everyone and the Molecule Man zapped him into pizza. And now he’s back somehow and…we’re betting Doom’s not going to be too happy about that.
The Brute – MARVEL PREMIERE #2
The Reed Richards from the High Evolutionary’s Counter Earth discovered he could transform into a giant purple evil thing called the Brute, which prompted him to join the Frightful Four to destroy the real Fantastic Four. In the end, he managed to sacrifice himself to help our Reed defeat Annihilus in the Negative Zone, but rumors of his survival keep surfacing.
The Dark Raider – FANTASTIC FOUR #387
Another Reed Richard unsatisfied with his own name, the so-called Dark Raider fell into madness after losing his family to Galactus and decided to seek out and obliterate every other Reed that existed anywhere. A rogue Watcher called Aron seemingly destroyed the Raider, but he returned just so the Invisible Woman could destroy him herself.
The Zombie – ULTIMATE FANTASTIC FOUR #21
This Reed really took the cake when he deliberately infected the rest of his team with a zombie virus, just because he basically thought it seemed pretty cool. A real nutjob, Zombie Reed met Ultimate Reed for a showdown before ultimately falling to pieces when he ran up against the righteous indignation of Ultimate Invisible Girl.
The Council – FANTASTIC FOUR #570
Hmm, maybe we’re getting somewhere now. Okay, our Reed Richards discovered an entire council of alternate versions of himself, banded together to compare notes and whatever stuff brainy science-types do when they get together. At first Reed thought he’d enjoy the company, but upon realizing the others lacked his compassion, he left the group. Good thing because, uh-oh, Celestials killed all but four of them and those survivors invaded our Earth and…dang. Evil Reeds.
The Ape – MARVEL APES #1
Wait! Can it be? A good alternate version of Reed Richards? Yes, simian Reed helped the Gibbon return to the real Earth after meeting him on Ape Earth, and also identified the vampire Baron Blood posing as Captain America before regretfully being killed by said baron. Whew. Leave it to an ape to make an ape out of all those bad Reed Richardses…
Doom is the hero? Richards is the villain? It is a world gone mad! Found out who will come out on top in INFAMOUS IRON MAN #7 by Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev, available April 26!
Mar 28 2017
True Believers, strap yourself in because we’re so close to the release of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series! The interactive episodic game series is now available for pre-order at your preferred retailer.
The first of five episodes, ‘Tangled Up in Blue,’ will be available to download beginning April 18th on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, iOS, and Android-based devices for $4.99 USD. Several digital retailers have a special pre-order deal on the season pass, so be sure to check your retailer of choice to see what they have in store for you. The North and South America PlayStation 4 pre-order deal includes an exclusive premium theme. In addition to the digital release, players will be able to find the special season pass disc at retailers across North America beginning May 2, and elsewhere across the globe beginning May 5.
Take a look at the gallery above to see new key art and packaging art, including Thanos joining the ring! Are the Guardians any match for him?
Stay close to Marvel.com as we’ll be releasing a new trailer for you this Thursday and for all upcoming news on the series! Or sign on for updates on the official website, like the new ‘Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series‘ page on Facebook, and follow Telltale Games on Twitter @TelltaleGames.
Mar 28 2017
DJ Juanyto (Hot 97 and Feed the Meter podcast) and Stat Guy Greg (ESPN’s Cheap Heat podcast) join the show to talk about Marvel Comics and its connection to hip hop, growing up in New York City, wrestling, Spider-Man, the ‘90s X-Men cartoon, and much more.
Download episode #281.5 of This Week in Marvel from Marvel.com, check out Marvel Podcast Central, grab the TWiM RSS feed and subscribe to This Week in Marvel on iTunes or Soundcloud! Head over now to our new hub to listen to the full run of This Week in Marvel including our latest episode!
This Week in Marvel focuses on delivering all the Marvel info on news and new releases–from comics to video games to toys to TV to film and beyond! New episodes will be released every Tuesday and Thursday (or so) and TWiM is co-hosted by Marvel VP Executive Editor of Digital Media Ryan “Agent M” Penagos and Editorial Director of Marvel Digital Media Ben Morse with Manager, Video & Content Production: Blake Garris, Editor Marc Strom, and Assistant Editor Christine Dinh. We also want your feedback, as well as questions for us to answer on future episodes! Tweet your questions, comments and thoughts about TWiM to @AgentM, @BenJMorse, @blakegarris or @Marvel with the hashtag #ThisWeekinMarvel!
Mar 28 2017
It’s here Marvelites–the brand new trailer for “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” in theaters July 7!
Watch all the action above as Spidey faces off against the Vulture, learns some hard lessons from Iron Man himself, and generally, y’know, does whatever a spider can!
With just a little more than three months to go until the Webslinger swings into theaters, keep your eyes peeled right here to Marvel.com for all the latest!
Mar 28 2017
It shouldn’t be too astonishing that the X-Men are as popular as they are. After all, their collection of diverse of mutants offers a never-ending grab bag of super powered mayhem that usually goes toward saving the day–when they’re not too busy butting heads with the Inhumans, that is. Simply put, there is no shortage of classic “X-Men” content and one particular title is about to re-enter the limelight.
After a four-year hiatus, Marvel is bringing back the “Astonishing X-Men” series this summer under the confident pen of writer, Charles Soule who’s not too worried that he’s got some big shoes to fill. We’re also excited to announce that Jim Cheung, Ron Garney, ACO, Phil Noto, Greg Land, Ramon Rosanas and more will be bringing the serialized, ongoing story to life with some incredible artwork.
Get pumped for the returning title by checking out our interview with Charles who discusses the book’s iconic cast, its use of the entirety of Marvel history and how the series will mutate under his skilled direction.
Marvel.com: “Astonishing X-Men” is a title whose original run spanned from the mid-1990s to 2013. What was the most exciting part about being the person responsible for relaunching it?
Charles Soule: “Astonishing” is one of the fundamental “X”-titles for me, especially the Whedon/Cassaday run. It’s some of the best “X-Men” storytelling of all time. So, exciting, yes – also somewhat terrifying. But like any book I take on, I’ll do my best.
Marvel.com: Over the years, the series was written by a litany of big Marvel creative minds like Joss Whedon, Warren Ellis, Marjorie Liu and Greg Pak. How were you hoping to approach it differently than these writers did in the past? How did you pour your own heart and, forgive me, soul into the writing?
Charles Soule: I’d like to think that any story I do will be different from the other incredible talents who have worked under this banner in the past, just because I’m not them. This sort of “Murderer’s Row” legacy isn’t anything new to me, though – from my very first Marvel project (“Thunderbolts”) to Daredevil to pretty much everything I’ve done, I’ve been working on titles that have superstar creators in their past. You just put your head down and write your story and hope that it can stand next to the other books in the line.
Marvel.com: Going off that, can you talk a little bit about the artistic vision you had for the look and feel of the series?
Charles Soule: I mostly want it to feel epic. I’m trying to go as big as I can both for character moments and “page-feel,” if that’s a term I can coin. I remember when Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch were working in what was termed “widescreen” back on their “Ultimates” project. I’d say it’s something like that, but within every massive beat there’s a character moment (or ten) to back it up. Mostly, I wanted to anchor “Astonishing X-Men” in the real world, so-to-speak. Many times the big superhero stories take place away from population centers, especially mutant stories. I get it – a superhero slugfest with a bunch of civilians around complicates things immensely. I’ve done it myself many times. Setting your battle scene on a remote glacier solves a lot of storytelling problems. However, I think the X-Men are at their best story-wise when they’re not only fighting super-villains, but their activities are seen through the lens of the human world. So, we’ll get a lot of that here – a lot of the action takes place in the heart of London, with all the attendant repercussions. Good times all around.
Marvel.com: We know the series will feature a veritable Who’s Who of fan favorite X-Men (i.e. Old Man Logan, Archangel, Mystique, Rogue, Gambit, Psylocke and Fantomex), but what can you tell us about the villains being featured in the story?
Charles Soule: Not too much just yet… but we’ll get there! I want it to feel like a nice reveal, but the way the story is designed I can pull in bad guys from literally any era of Marvel history. The book is built like a bit of a puzzle box, with multiple layers of reveals. Part of the fun of certain “X”-stories is speculating about what’s really going on, and this is definitely one of those.
Marvel.com: Now onto the heroes. What was the decision process behind choosing these specific characters to make up this team other than being adored by fans and veterans of the original run?
Charles Soule: It’s a mix of characters who I really wanted to write and characters who hadn’t been seen in a bit, or both! I wanted a bunch of people I knew I could write well, but who also had lots of history with each other. All of these people have been “bad guys” at one point or another – checkered pasts all around. Many of them have dated each other, or have been in love triangles… it’s just a feast of drama, and the soap opera stuff is part of what makes the X-Men great. It’s fun to write all these folks, especially in a really focused story like I’m telling in Astonishing. The book has a specific point, story and end goal… which you’ll see soon enough!
Marvel.com: Will we be seeing a different team dynamic than we’ve seen in the past and were there any specific characters you had a blast writing?
Charles Soule: I’ve said this before, but this book doesn’t have a team. It has a cast. It doesn’t have a leader, either. It’s like a novel, or a film, or a TV series. There are characters who are more or less prominent from scene to scene, but this isn’t a story about superheroes coming together with a shared goal to fight bad guys, with a base, and cool coordinated costumes and so on. This is a bunch of flawed, extremely powerful individuals who find themselves in the same place at the same time as something very intense and potentially world-ending happens. Then, we see what they do next. It’s a pretty cool ride, I think.
Mar 27 2017
This March, we celebrate Women’s History Month by spotlighting some of the most iconic characters and creators from the Marvel Universe.
Artist Sara Pichelli burst onto the scene in 2007, earning fans right off the bat thanks to her dynamic, yet emotive style. By the following year, she did her first book for Marvel – NYX: NO WAY HOME #3 – and the rest, as they say, is history!
After finishing that series with #6, Pichelli moved right over to RUNAWAY with #10 and stuck around until #14, the last issue of that volume. From there she drew books like X-MEN: PIXIE STRIKES BACK, the NAMORA one-shot and contributed to both HER-OES and GIRL COMICS.
Then, the artist skyrocketed into the public consciousness when she joined Brian Michael Bendis on ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN starting with #15. The series then jumped back to its previous numbering with the next installment and ran until Peter Parker died in the pages of #160.
Pichelli drew up to #155 on that volume, but then contributed the very first look at Peter’s replacement, Miles Morales, in the pages of ULTIMATE FALLOUT #4. She then proceeded to debut ULTIMATE COMICS SPIDER-MAN with Bendis, returning for other issues and covers throughout the book’s run.
Pichelli and Bendis also teamed up on SPIDER-MEN, the first meeting of the classic Peter Parker with the Ultimate Universe’s Miles Morales. The duo, proving both well suited for one another and incredibly popular, joined forces in 2013 for another major series, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY.
The collaborations don’t stop there, of course. They worked together on issues of ALL-NEW X-MEN and also came together to bring Miles Morales into the Marvel Universe after SECRET WARS in a series called SPIDER-MAN that’s still going strong to this day.
The Women Of Marvel
As Pichelli herself related in a 2014 Marvel.com interview, she credited C.B. Cebulski with discovering her. “In 2008 I lost my job at an animation studio where I was working as a character designer,” she said. “And since I was starting to feel the urge to explore a new media—in order to have more control of my artwork—I took advantage of this transition to take a stab at becoming a comic book artist. I started to be interested in comics thanks to my amazing partner—and also a comic book artist—David Messina a couple of years before, and it was love at first sight.” She then did work for IDW, but entered Cebulski’s international Marvel talent search called Chesterquest contest which drew attention to her skills and lead to those early Marvel books!
Mar 27 2017
Spidey swings by Avengers Tower and takes a perilous flight in three new posters and a teaser for tomorrow’s new “Spider-Man: Homecoming” trailer!
First up, we’ve got a brief look at tomorrow’s brand-new trailer, featuring your most menacing look at the villainous Vulture yet!
— Marvel Entertainment (@Marvel) March 27, 2017
Then, scope out three new posters for the film as Spidey stops by Avengers Tower, takes a moment to relax, and tries to hitch a ride on the freeway.
Keep your eyes peeled right here to Marvel.com for the latest on “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” in theaters July 7!
Mar 25 2017
We’ve got a brand new episode of This Week in Marvel, presented by Loot Crate, to help you kick off the weekend!
Ben and Ryan give you the rundown on this week’s hottest comics releases, including CAPTAIN AMERICA, IRON FIST, and more. The editors behind Secret Empire share their secrets (58:31), MSG’s Arda Ocal stops by (1:25:33), plus all the news from the West Coast (1:12:03), reviews, and more (1:33:29) that you expect from the official Marvel podcast!
For the next This Week in Marvel Unlimited Reading Club, tackle alternate realities with the West Coast and PUNISHER NOIR. Be sure to share your thoughts with us using the hashtag #TWIMURC!
Loot Crate has assembled the Marvel Gear and Goods crate for the ultimate Marvel fan. This crate features official Marvel items like collectible home goods, apparel and more every other month! So you just stopped Thanos from undoing reality (again) and Nova Prime is probably going to spend weeks on the paperwork alone. Here’s an Infinity Gem of an idea: let’s kick off the space boots, head to the backyard and have a COSMIC PARTY! We’re inviting a motley crew of galactic greats and they’re bringing essential party items featuring the Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain Marvel herself and the Nova Corps! Order by 5/15 at 9pm PT by heading to lootcrate.com/MarvelGear and use promo code “MARVELPOD” to save $3 on your subscription today.
Download episode #282 of This Week in Marvel from Marvel.com, check out Marvel Podcast Central, grab the TWiM RSS feed and subscribe to This Week in Marvel on iTunes, so you never miss an episode! We are now also on Soundcloud! Head over now to our new hub to listen to the full run of This Week in Marvel!
This Week in Marvel will focus on delivering all the Marvel info on news and new releases–from comics to video games to toys to TV to film and beyond! New episodes will be released every Thursday (or so) and TWiM is co-hosted by Marvel VP & Executive Editor of Digital Media Ryan “Agent M” Penagos and Marvel Editorial Director of Digital Media Ben Morse, along with Marvel.com Editor Marc Strom, Marvel.com Assistant Editor Christine Dinh, and Manager of Video & Content Production Blake Garris. We also want your feedback, as well as questions for us to answer on future episodes! Tweet your questions, comments and thoughts about TWiM to @AgentM, @BenJMorse, @chrissypedia or @Marvel with the hashtag #ThisWeekinMarvel!