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Presidential Powers

Feb 20 2017

Leading the free world remains one of the hardest jobs around, no matter who you voted for.

Generally speaking, the Marvel Universe reflects the real world Commander in Chief. However, in the many alternate realities branching off from the one we know best, a variety of familiar faces—both good and bad—have either served or stolen the seat of power.

As we take a moment to celebrate President’s Day, let’s take a few minutes to check out some of Marvel’s coolest and most chaotic commanders.1

President For Life Tony Stark

Tony Stark ascended to the presidency in an alternate universe seen in EXILES #2325. To the public it seemed like the renowned hero did everything he could to save the world, but in reality, he’d been pulling the strings to gain control the whole time. Thanks to the efforts of Susan Storm, the reality-hopping Weapon X team, and the Inhumans, the despot fell out of favor, dying at the hands of an unexpected assailant.
2

Blackbeard Thing

HULKED-OUT HEROES #12 sees Hulkpool traveling through time, first meeting Thing during his time playing Blackbeard, then bouncing around some more with Ben Grimm. After Hulkpool loses Thing and winds up helping Captain America end WWII, we find that Blackbeard wound up becoming the first president of the USA! Not bad, Grimm!3

Dazzler 

In another alternate future, the X-Men convince Allison “Dazzler” Blaire to run for president because she’s the most popular mutant around. Having won the election, the President-Elect wanted to help change the world, but died in a supernatural attack as seen during Battle of the Atom in ALL-NEW X-MEN #17. Her death inspired Beast and others to jump to their past to get involved with all of this time-travel business in the first place.

4

Luke Cage

Reginald Hudlin ended his run on BLACK PANTHER with an annual that jumped several decades in the future. The story revolved around T’Challa and Storm’s son T’Chaka marrying President Luke Cage’s son. Cage took over after an ill-advised attack on Wakanda led by Tony Stark resulted in the Armored Avenger’s death. The union marks a step toward a more peaceful world moving forward.5

The Red Skull

When all of the villains ganged up on the good guys in Old Man Logan’s future, Red Skull declared himself the new president just before killing Captain America. 50 years later, the Skull wore Cap’s uniform as he ruled in New Babylon. Without knowing it, Hawkeye and Logan delivered Super Soldier Serum samples to the dictator. Logan borrowed Cap’s shield to express his dislike of the Skull’s policies by decapitating him.

6

G.W. Bridge

Over in the MC2 Universe—best known as the home of Spider-Girl—former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent G.W. Bridge became the first African-American President. He appeared in that capacity throughout books like SPIDER-GIRL and LAST PLANET STANDING.7

Ultimate Captain America

Like his Marvel Universe counterpart, Ultimate Cap found himself a write-in candidate for President. However, instead of passing on the honor, Ultimate Steve Rogers accepted in ULTIMATE COMICS ULTIMATES #16. He stepped down in issue #24 in order to focus on fighting for the very existence of his world, which came to an end with the conclusion of Secret Wars.8

Norman Osborn

The Earth X future posits a world where Norman Osborn essentially leads the country by owning just about everything. To hide his now-Goblin-y face, he wears a human mask, one that the new Red Skull uses to push him out a window. In an ironic turn, Norman’s foot gets caught in the American flag, snapping his neck in the process.9

Doom 2099

The far future of the 2099 alternate universe proved so corrupt and broken that the one, true Victor Von Doom turns out to be the best person to take over as President. Upon seizing the title, he integrates a number of existing 2099 characters like The Punisher to run the country.  Far from perfect, he fights against evil corporations like Alchemax, but also makes shady deals with the alien Phalanx.

Download Episode 277 of This Week in Marvel

Feb 19 2017

Kick off the long weekend with a brand new jam-packed episode of This Week in Marvel, featuring comics and more!

Ryan and Ben give you the run down on this week’s major comic releases, including CLONE CONSPIRACY and MONSTERS UNLEASHED. Ben and intern Nick are joined by Marvel editors Jake Thomas and Jordan D. White to give you STAR WARS and LUKE CAGE news. That’s not all, we’ve got a special exclusive SECRET EMPIRE interview. Christine dishes all the film and TV news from the west coast. Plus your questions and comments!

 

Download episode #277 of This Week in Marvel, check out Marvel Podcast Centralgrab 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 including our latest episode!

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!

Learn About Summerland in New ‘Legion’ Featurette

Feb 18 2017

In ‘Chapter Two,’ the second episode from the first season of “Legion,” FX and Marvel’s new original series, David Haller’s journey takes him to a mutant refuge called Summerland where mutants can learn to control their abilities.

In the featurette above, Jean Smart (Melanie Bird), Bill Irwin (Cary Loudermilk), and Jeremie Harris (Ptonomy Wallace) discuss Summerland, the safe-haven for mutants, its mission, its beginning and the impact of David’s arrival.

Experience “Legion” Wednesday evenings at 10:00pm ET/PT on FX. Keep up with the latest from the show with @LegionFX on Twitter, the official “Legion” Facebook page, and @Legion_FX on Instagram!

Follow the History of the Hulk Pt. 50

Feb 17 2017

For over 50 years, the Incredible Hulk has been smashing his way through the Marvel Universe and into the hearts of fans. Whether you’ve discovered the tale of Bruce Banner and his other self through comics, TV, or film, get the whole story here…

Finding himself mysteriously separated from The Hulk, Bruce Banner became unduly fascinated with creating new monsters in INCREDIBLE HULK #2. Elsewhere, a woman named Amanda Von Doom approached Hulk to join her Mad Squad, a team dedicated to ridding the world of mad scientists. When Banner’s boar monsters attacked the Hulk’s cave home in INCREDIBLE HULK #3, the green giant decided to join Amanda’s group.

The Mad Squad traveled to Banner’s remote island in INCREDIBLE HULK #4, where they discovered the scientist’s gamma bomb. During a confrontation with his now-insane alter-ego, Hulk revealed in INCREDIBLE HULK #5 that Doctor Doom separated the two. Banner attacked Hulk with high-tech weapons in INCREDIBLE HULK #6, but when Amanda activated the bomb, the jade giant forced Banner to stay for its explosion.

Incredible Hulk (2011) #2

Incredible Hulk (2011) #2

What is Marvel Unlimited?

With his former alter-ego now seemingly dead, Hulk renewed his strange romance with Red She-Hulk after they fought violently in INCREDIBLE HULK #7.1. Later, the green behemoth transformed back into an elated Bruce Banner. Realizing he needed to stay angry to not allow Banner to resurface again, Hulk began to pick fights in INCREDIBLE HULK #8, first with The Punisher and a drug cartel, then Atlanteans in INCREDIBLE HULK #9, Kraven the Hunter in INCREDIBLE HULK #10, a lost city of sasquatches in INCREDIBLE HULK #11, and ultimately his old sparring partners Wolverine and The Thing in INCREDIBLE HULK #12.

Finally, forming an alliance with Bruce Banner in his mind, The Hulk took his fight to his real tormentor, Doctor Doom, in INCREDIBLE HULK #13. He faced off against the Mad Squad, who stood in his way in INCREDIBLE HULK #14, and threw down with Doom himself in INCREDIBLE HULK #15 to battle for his peace of mind.

Alone in the desert, Hulk found himself attacked by a new Aquarius in AVENGERS ASSEMBLE #1. Divining the villain’s intention to waylay a U.S. Army caravan, the green giant bounded off to Stark Tower in AVENGERS ASSEMBLE #2 to get answers. The answer arrived in the form of an Ultimate Nullifier that the Avengers realized the new Zodiac coveted, but before Hulk could accept Captain America’s invitation to join his team, the Zodiac attacked.

The Hulk and the Avengers battled the villainous group on a S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier in AVENGERS ASSEMBLE #3, a skirmish that ended with the emerald behemoth killing Leo and Thanos arriving to interrupt the proceedings. Angered that Earth’s Mightiest Heroes interrupted his own plans to scoop up the Nullifier, he mind-controlled Hulk to fight his teammates in AVENGERS ASSEMBLE #4. Iron Man blew up the helicarrier to stop Thanos and the whole team later welcomed help from the Guardians of the Galaxy.

Avengers Assemble (2012) #1

Avengers Assemble (2012) #1

  • Published: March 14, 2012
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: April 01, 2013
  • Rating: Rated T+
What is Marvel Unlimited?

While everyone compared notes in AVENGERS ASSEMBLE #5, Captain America used Hulk to coerce information from the army. Knowing then that Thanos possessed a Cosmic Cube, both teams headed into space to stop him in AVENGERS ASSEMBLE #6, but the alien Badoon attacked them under the Mad Titan’s orders and they found themselves ejected into cold space for their troubles.

After being rescued by Black Widow in AVENGERS ASSEMBLE #7, Hulk joined with Thor to take the fight back to the Badoon. Thanos appeared again with his Cube and banished the Avengers to the Cancerverse. In AVENGERS ASSEMBLE #8, Hulk and the others joined forces with the Elders of the Universe to race back to Earth and confront Thanos there. Able to destroy the Mad Titan’s incomplete Cube, the Avengers won the day and watched as the Elders took the beaten Thanos away for incarceration.

Unleash the Beasts: Googam

Feb 17 2017

With so many classic creatures on the loose in Monsters Unleashed, we turn to their earlier adventures thanks to Marvel Unlimited.

Do you remember how, in a previous Unleash the Beasts entry, Goom came to Earth and made trouble, but he turned out to be basically just a bad egg from his home planet? Well, it turns out he didn’t draw the line at being a megalomaniac, but also a bad parent. As revealed in 1961’s TALES OF SUSPENSE #17, Goom brought his infant son Googam along with him and simply left the child behind upon his defeat!

As psychologist and astronomer Mark—whose communiques to space brought Goom to Earth in the first place—worked on other projects in the weeks following the invasion, his son Billy returned from military school. Bored, the boy decided to explore the nearby caves only to run into none other than Googam. Intent on following in his dad’s footsteps, Googam grabbed Billy and dragged him back to the youth’s house where he broke Mark’s gun and explained that he would remain there until he fully matured so he could then “conquer and enslave mankind.””

To keep Mark, his wife, and Billy on board with the plan, Googam placed a force field around the boy so that his parents couldn’t make off with him. Seemingly helpless, the family bided their time. Meanwhile, a neighbor by the name of Sara realized she hadn’t seen anyone from Mark’s family in a while and went over to check up on them. Googam couldn’t resist scaring her away.

Tales of Suspense (1959) #17

Tales of Suspense (1959) #17

  • Published: May 01, 1961
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: July 13, 2010
  • Penciller: Steve Ditko
  • Cover Artist: Jack Kirby
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Later, after Googam exhibited the power to shrink them down to doll size, Billy threw a note to the postman who read it only to be scared away by Googam’s appearance.

Sick of the whole thing, Billy challenged Googam to a game of tag. With the alien as “it,”—not to be confused with the Living Colossus of the same name—Billy ran, secretly leading Googam to a nice patch of quicksand that swallowed the vindictive visitor right up!

Like his pops, Googam continues to appear whenever anyone needs a great looking monster, including the pages of MONSTERS UNLEASHED #2!

Next time, bundle up for an examination of two different takes on the Abominable Snowman from TALES TO ASTONISH.

Flashback Friday: Old Man Logan

Feb 17 2017

Every Friday we use the powers of Marvel Unlimited to look back at the very first appearance of a major character, place or object that made waves this week.

With the end of the OLD MAN LOGAN story “Return to the Wasteland” hitting this week, it seems like just the right time to do the same ourselves and look at his first appearance!

This alternate future version of the character first debuted in 2008’s WOLVERINE #66 thanks to Mark Millar and Steve McNiven. That issue showed a take of the ol’ Canucklehead who had survived the villains’ attempt to take out the heroes and divide up the country. He’d even settled down with a woman named Maureen and they’d had a pair of kids: Scotty and Jade.

Logan had become so focused on keeping his family safe that he refused to pop his claws and take out members of the Hulk gang when they came to collect the rent he didn’t have. Instead, he took a beating in front of his kin and found their very survival threatened if he didn’t come up with the money by the next month.

As he healed, another survivor paid Logan a visit: Clint Barton. The now-blind archer proposed a delivery job to raise some capital, in which the former X-Man would help get the one-time Avenger to the east coast in two weeks. Logan agreed and the two took off in the old Spider-Mobile with Hawkeye at the wheel!

The rest of the story ran until issue #72 and concluded in the WOLVERINE: OLD MAN LOGAN GIANT-SIZE one-shot; along the way the heroic duo ran into Ghost Riders, killer Moloids, Venom-covered dinosaurs, and the massive skeleton of Hank Pym.

Of course, this being Wolverine, plenty of skeletons still rattled in the old closet. Eventually he told Hawkeye why he never wanted to pop his claws again. Back during the villain uprising, Mysterio tricked him into killing all of the X-Men. To punish himself, he put his head on the tracks where he waited until a train smashed into him.

Wolverine (2003) #66

Wolverine (2003) #66

  • Published: June 18, 2008
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: January 01, 2010
  • Rating: Parental Advisory
  • Writer: Mark Millar
  • Penciller: Steve McNiven
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Upon arriving in New Babylon, the pair soon learned that the samples of Super Soldier Serum they’d carried all across the country weren’t meant to start a new hero team, but to be given to The Red Skull—the President of the United States!

Hawkeye’s fake contacts blasted both of them, but Logan got better and dealt with President Skull by cutting his head off with Captain America’s shield before blasting off for home in part of an Iron Man armor with a briefcase full of money. Unfortunately, the Hulk gang got bored, came for the rent early and killed Logan’s family in the meantime. Enraged, Logan rechristened himself Wolverine and exacted bloody revenge on his family’s killers before moving on to the head honcho himself: Bruce Banner.

Flash Forward

Old Man Logan came back to the forefront as Secret Wars reintroduced a variety of alternate reality characters to readers before integrating a lot of them into the main Marvel Universe. Brian Michael Bendis and Andrea Sorrentino handled that five issue story which saw Logan clawing his way from one part of Battleworld to another before eventually landing naked in the Marvel U’s Times Square. The ongoing adventures have been handled by Jeff Lemire and Sorrentino, with Lemire also bringing Logan into the fold of EXTRAORDINARY X-MEN. With our version of Wolverine still in the dirt, this one helps fill the void while he also travels the world trying to ensure his world never comes about.

Monsters Unleashed: Big Finish

Feb 17 2017

By Josh Weiss

Even if you’ve been living under a rock for the past few months, you’d still be able to feel the thunderous tremors being caused by the arrival of giant monsters in the Marvel Universe, stamping around above your subterranean home. And if the names Fin Fang Foom and Goom and Googam don’t ring familiar to you, they soon will be thanks to writer Cullen Bunn who has helped re-introduced some of Marvel’s most bloodthirsty behemoths with the Monsters Unleashed event.

In the wake of Civil War II, giant creatures mysteriously began to appear and terrorize the earth; it took the greatest heroes in the Marvel Universe to address a threat that may not be as clear cut as simply punching skyscraper-sized beasties in their faces and/or multiple heads.

For MONSTERS UNLEASHED, Bunn teamed up with a team of talented artists—Adam Kubert, Greg Land, Salvador Larroca, Steve McNiven, and Leinil Yu—to bring these monsters—some well-known and some a little more idiosyncratic—back into the colorful Marvel spotlight. With just two issues left in this limited series, we spoke with the writer about the event so far, his Atomic Age aspirations when crafting the story, and the far-flung ramifications we can expect from the end of a major crossover event that he’s been preparing to write since childhood.

Marvel.com: As we begin to wind down on this awesome and—forgive the pun—monster-sized event, can you talk about what the ride’s been like for you from the idea’s inception to its fruition?

Cullen Bunn: I grew up watching giant monster movies, reading “Famous Monsters of Filmland” magazine, and reading monster comics. When I was very, very young, I wrote my own monster-centric comic titled “Attack of the Monsters,” featuring King Kong, Godzilla, and Mothra among others attacking the Earth. When I first heard about the initial idea for the series, I thought to myself how hurt I would be if I didn’t get the chance to write it. I’ve been preparing to write a book like this all my life.

Marvel.com: Monsters Unleashed drew on a rich mythology of Marvel monsters that dates back to the days of the late 1950’s, early ‘60’s. Was there a particular creature or creatures you especially enjoyed bringing back into the pop culture spotlight?

Cullen Bunn: When I started on this series, I was given a big packet detailing all of the classic monsters that were available. There were so many awesome beasts up for grabs. Of course Fin Fang Foom is a favorite, but I also fell in love with the visuals of Monstrom and the father/son dynamic of Goom and Googam. But I brought as many of the classic monsters to the series as I could. I really enjoyed writing the interaction between these monsters and between the monsters and the Marvel heroes.

Marvel.com: Given the fact that the central character behind the arrival of these monsters has the nickname Kid Kaiju” and that there were some really cool B-movie inspired variant covers released, were you influenced by any specific tropes of the classic B-grade sci-fi monster and kaiju movies of the 1950’s and ‘60’s when writing the story?

Cullen Bunn: Definitely. I drew inspiration from those classic 50’s “atomic horror” style movies and comics. I read and re-read a ton of classic Marvel monster books, especially considering how many of those creatures had starring roles in the series. I also drew upon many of my favorite kaiju flicks, like the original Godzilla and Gamera movies. The Godzilla movies of the Heisei era and movies like “Gamera 2: Advent of Legion” were particularly influential.

Marvel.com: What were some of your goals when you excavated these creations from obscurity? Did you hope to make them re-iconic” in the minds of comic book fans?

Cullen Bunn: First and foremost, I wanted readers to have fun with the series. And I wanted to honor the legacy of [Jack] Kirby, [Don] Heck, [Steve] Ditko, [Herb] Trimpe, and the other creators who brought these monsters to the page. And—yes—I wanted to establish the giant monsters of the Marvel Universe as important and legitimate forces to be reckoned with. My hope is that these beasties—the classic Marvel monsters and the Leviathons—are mainstays in the Marvel Universe for years to come.

Monsters Unleashed #5 cover by Adam Kubert

Monsters Unleashed #5 cover by Adam Kubert

Marvel.com: Have you seen your initial goals come true in the form of fan reactions to the event?

Cullen Bunn: I’ve seen plenty of people commenting on this series as a lot of fun. I’ve also seen folks mentioning that they’ve enjoyed seeing the heroes fighting by each other’s sides after such a tumultuous time among these characters of late.

Marvel.com: This event has brought the entire Marvel Universe into the fray. What was your favorite part about leaving no stone unturned by having everyone cross over in one epic series?

Cullen Bunn: It was awesome to show so many different heroes in so many different corners of the world, but—hands down—my favorite aspects of the series—at least my favorites up until the big twist at the end—were introducing “Kid Kaiju” Kei Kawade’s ancient cosmic history and writing the team-ups between the Marvel heroes and the classic monsters.

Marvel.com: Without giving too much away, how should readers prepare themselves for the end of this event?

Cullen Bunn: A fearsome enemy—the Leviathon Mother—is heading toward Earth, and she is far too powerful, even for the combined might of Earth’s mightiest heroes and their classic monster allies. In order to defeat her, Kid Kaiju will need to draw upon a power he didn’t know he had within him. That power will introduce something completely new into the Marvel Universe and establish Kid Kaiju as a major heroic player.

Marvel.com: It was recently announced that MONSTERS UNLEASHED will be getting its own ongoing spin-off series coming this April with you at the helm. Is there anything you can tease about it, like the threats Kawade and his team of monsters may be facing?

Cullen Bunn: In the event series, Kei was concerned primarily with the hundreds of Leviathon that were falling to Earth. Some of those monsters are still out there, and Kei, Elsa Bloodstone, and a group of monstrous heroes have been tasked with facing the most gigantic threats to the world. But, Kei will soon learn that monsters are not the only threats he’ll be facing. This book is firmly rooted in the Marvel Universe, and several very recognizable super villains have taken an interest in Kei. These villains—some of the most intelligent, devious ne’er-do-wells in the world—see potential in these giant monsters and potential in Kei’s unique abilities.

Marvel.com: In what ways will it be different from the event that spawned it and what are some of the repercussions it will have within the Marvel Universe?

Cullen Bunn: With the event, the pacing was frantic. Leviathons were falling to Earth one right after another, and there was little time for anything other than trying to push them back out to the depths of space. In the aftermath of this kaiju invasion, the heroes of the Marvel Universe now know that giant monsters could pose a significant threat to society in the future. Luckily, they have a new team of allies perfectly suited to battling these threats. But even a group of heroic giant monsters need looking after. Not only is Elsa Bloodstone keeping an eye on them, but S.H.I.E.L.D. and Damage Control are also watchful eyes on Kei and company. While the ongoing series will have lots of action and adventure, it will also give us the opportunity to dig into the personalities of some of these new characters in a significant way.

Marvel.com: If you had to give Kei Kawade one piece of advice about having his own Marvel comic book series, what would it be?

Cullen Bunn: I’d tell him to be careful around underground tyrants and intergalactic monster hunters.

The mayhem continues with MONSTERS UNLEASHED #4 by Cullen Bunn and Salvador Larroca, coming March 1!

Black History Month: Blue Marvel

Feb 17 2017

Celebrate Black History Month by delving into the first appearances of Marvel’s most prominent African and African-American characters on Marvel Unlimited!

Unfortunately, not everyone who puts on a costume to defend the defenseless receives the adulation and thanks they so rightly deserve. In the case of Adam “Blue Marvel” Brashear, instead of praise, he received fear and admonishment, just because of the color of his skin.

The 2008 five-issue limited series ADAM: LEGEND OF THE BLUE MARVEL by Kevin Grevioux and Mat Broome kicked off with the villain Anti-Man taking on the Avengers—including Ares, She-Hulk, and Sentry—single-handedly before disappearing.

The story then cut to June 4, 1962 as Anti-Man fought the hero known as Blue Marvel. In addition to trading blows, the two super beings also argued about whether the world should be forced to change or not. The fight ended with Blue Marvel standing victorious over Anti-Man, but with the color of his skin exposed through his torn costume. This resulted in mistrust on both sides of the racial divide.

The Pentagon immediately investigated the images, discovering the Marvel’s true identity as Adam Bernard Brashear, a Magna Cum Laude Cornell graduate with a PhD in theoretical physics who also played football and served in Korea. Though highly conflicted in doing so, President John F. Kennedy asked Adam to stand down when it came to using his powers.

Back in the present, Tony Stark—then the head of S.H.I.E.L.D.—used his clearance to find out the story behind Blue Marvel and why he hadn’t heard of him. Stark learned that the President called Adam in to face a harbinger from space and he disappeared during the cosmic conflict.

Adam: Legend of the Blue Marvel (2008) #1

Adam: Legend of the Blue Marvel (2008) #1

What is Marvel Unlimited?

In reality, though, Brashear had been living a normal life married to a deep undercover S.H.I.E.L.D. agent and teaching physics at the University of Maryland. After learning the truth about his wife, Adam flew to the moon and had a conversation with The Watcher. He then met with Iron Man and the other modern heroes to explain that he and Anti-Man got their powers when Brashear’s experimental antimatter negative reactor exploded, consuming both Adam and his best friend Conner Sims. With Anti-Man returned, they used this information and Adam’s experience to take on the threat.

After talks with Namor and Anti-Man, Blue Marvel faced off against the Avengers, lost someone very close to him, and then finally ended his one-time friend’s life-threatening rampage. With his secret life no longer a problem, Adam eventually returned to being a hero, though not as prominently as he had in the past.

History Lesson

Adam Brashear kept something of a low profile after his introduction to the Marvel Universe, but before long joined up with Luke Cage’s Avengers in MIGHTY AVENGERS. As part of that group he faced off against the Illuminati leading into Secret Wars and then stood as a member of the proactive big brain squad appearing monthly in ULTIMATES and now ULTIMATES 2. As part of that group, Adam has helped cure Galactus of his hunger, save Anti-Man from certain death in Exo-Space and fix the fabric of time and space. That’s a pretty respectable track record for a character who’s been around for less than a decade.

Next week kicks off with the man who went from Tony Stark’s best friend to an armored hero in his own right: James Rhodes!

Secret Warriors Unite Against Hydra

Feb 17 2017

As Captain America’s big secret comes to light in Secret Empire, heroes will rise to the occasion and team up to stop this infiltration from within. But with most of the Royal Family headed into outer space, a group of younger Inhumans—plus Karnak—must unite to battle the threat of Hydra!

Launching in May, SECRET WARRIORS by Matthew Rosenberg and Javier Garron brings together Ms. Marvel, Quake, Inferno, Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, and Karnak to stand against an old friend now revealed as foe. With the “secret” out, we spoke with Rosenberg about how this new team comes together.

Marvel.com: In Secret Empire, Captain America’s full agenda as a Hydra operative comes to light. How does this affect the Inhumans and give birth to this new team of Secret Warriors?

Matthew Rosenberg: Well, Hydra aren’t the most tolerant of organizations, and the Inhumans are known to be a little “different,” so that puts them at odds. And really that is the birth of our Secret Warriors. Many of them are the Inhumans who are a little outside traditional Inhuman culture. They don’t all get along with each other, and they don’t all agree on how to do things, but they are forced together because of their common enemy. And I think that’s a key point to this book: it’s not about Inhumans, or super heroes, or anything like that. It’s about putting aside differences and trying to help people.

Marvel.com: As the Inhumans/Terrigen Mist story has unfolded over the last few years, the Royal Family has been front and center in protecting their people, particularly those just discovering they are Inhuman. What happens when most of them aren’t around to serve as that shield?

Matthew Rosenberg: You end up with a lot of people, especially young people, who are stuck trying to find their way on their own. Which I love, personally. These are characters whose heroes have left; their mentors have left and their government has left. And the question becomes, “Who are they on their own?” Obviously Ms. Marvel, Moon Girl, and Quake are all heroes on their own terms, but this still has some profound effects on them. There are opportunities for some of our cast to be the next great leaders of Inhuman society, and there are opportunities for some to cut those ties entirely. This is going to be a lot of big choices our Warriors have to make before all of this is over.

Marvel.com: One Royal who is sticking around is Karnak. What role will he play in the book?

Matthew Rosenberg: Karnak is much older, arguably wiser, and definitely crazier than the rest of the team. He assumes a sort of mentor/adviser role as we go, but things are never that easy with Karnak. But he definitely is good at breaking things and that will come up.

Secret Warriors #1 cover by Tradd Moore
Secret Warriors #1 cover by Tradd Moore
Secret Warriors #1 variant cover by David Nakayama
Secret Warriors #1 variant cover by David Nakayama
Secret Warriors #2 cover by Tradd Moore
Secret Warriors #2 cover by Tradd Moore

Marvel.com: With Quake and Ms. Marvel you have two young heroes with dynamically opposite experiences thus far in their careers—one has spent most of her time in the shadows as a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, while the other has fully embraced the traditional costumed hero role, with a fresh “we can all make the world a better place” attitude. How do each of them react to the Captain America news?

Matthew Rosenberg: It’s funny because those two, their different life experiences, are the heart of the book in some ways. The spy vs. the super hero. But Captain America means so much to both of them that it is a real hard blow. It is the kind of thing that can make you question everything you believe in and even yourself. And how they deal with it, what they want to do about it, that is the challenge. Quake is always going to be a destructive force by nature. It’s who she is. And Ms. Marvel is a hero above all else. So watching them have their worlds rattled is a big part of the fun.

Marvel.com: Javier Garron has some experience with the Inhumans, coming off of Inhumans vs. X-Men. What’s it been like working with him on this next chapter in that saga?

Matthew Rosenberg: It’s been amazing! This book is really tricky in a lot of ways. We have a big cast of very iconic looking characters. We have a lot of crazy action and just as much real personal quiet moments. And Javier is just killing all of them. His work is so gorgeous, his characters feel so real, and his pages are so dynamic. There is a fight scene in issue #1 that I thought was pretty neat when I wrote it. Looking at Javier’s art, I think it will be something people really lose their minds over. It isn’t like anything I have seen in a Marvel book in a while. I’ll just leave it at that.

But yeah, this book is 100 percent the Javier Garron art show at this point. I just want to give him the coolest stuff to draw. Luckily for me, sometimes that is Quake sitting alone on the D train and sometimes it’s a dinosaur chasing Hydra agents through a forest. He makes all of it next-level cool.

Marvel.com: Finally, thus far at Marvel you’ve been working mainly on solo books like ROCKET RACCOON and KINGPIN, but now you’re not only getting to tackle a team, but one that’s playing a pretty big role in a Marvel Universe-wide event. What’s it been like for you, taking on Secret Warriors?

Matthew Rosenberg: It’s a dream come true. I know that is as cliché and cheesy an answer as it gets, but there is literally nothing else on Earth I’d rather be doing. Working with these characters, a lot of whom are the legitimate next generation of Marvel heroes, and getting to build their relationships and add little bits to their lives—it’s been amazing. Having Moon Girl and Karnak be weird to each other? Getting to make Quake and Ms. Marvel square off against each other? Helping Inferno become a true badass in the Marvel Universe? It’s the kind of job you hope to get one day if you write comics long enough. I am not taking a second of this for granted. I genuinely love these characters and I really hope that comes through on every page we put out.

It’s all out in the open this May when Matthew Rosenberg and Javier Garron present SECRET WARRIORS!

He Is Groot

Feb 17 2017

So we’re all in agreement: Groot is the best, right?

If you consider yourself a Groot fan—and really, how can you not—you’ve got a lot to look forward to, because he’ll soon get his own series! In the upcoming I AM GROOT #1—coming this May—our hero will find himself stranded on a strange planet, trying to make his way home.

We chatted with writer Christopher Hastings about what we can expect.

Marvel.com: It’s really interesting that Groot is getting his own series, given the way he communicates. Have you found it challenging to think of ways to convey his emotions and experiences without ordinary dialog?

Christopher Hastings: Groot’s lack of communication definitely poses a challenge, but I’ve really made it a point to tackle everything from that position, not to try and ignore or work around the problem. I’m really making it a point that the story works with his character, and that he finds himself in situations where he can clearly show emotional reactions, even if he can’t express something that more complex language demands.

Marvel.com: We’ll find Groot in a very vulnerable position: smaller than normal, and on an unknown planet where he has difficulty communicating with people. How did you go about exploring how he would handle this kind of situation?

Christopher Hastings: Groot certainly feels vulnerable on this scary world we strand him on, but I consider this little Groot a very impulsive character, so we won’t see him quivering in a safe cave for the length of the series.

And without Rocket, he does get very frustrated trying to talk to people. Part of his quest will involve finding a way to get others to understand that he wants to get back home.

I also try to explore how other characters interpret Groot. We often see him through the lens of the Guardians he spends time with, especially Rocket. How would someone who doesn’t know him interpret his intentions?

I Am Groot #1 cover by Marco D'Alfonso

I Am Groot #1 cover by Marco D’Alfonso

Marvel.com: Groot has so much heart. Would you consider it particularly hard for him to get separated from the others?

Christopher Hastings: Of course! He’s a little kid tree. He feels devastated. All he wants is to get back to them, and he has no idea how.

Marvel.com: Everyone loves Groot! What do you think makes him so lovable?

Christopher Hastings: I think something about the oblivious glee he puts out there. I see him as a troublemaker, but you can’t get mad at him!

Marvel.com: Groot will need to find his way to the center of this new world. Without giving too much away, what challenges will he face on his journey?

Christopher Hastings: Like I said, Groot’s a little troublemaker. And the planet he lands on has remained in a sort of stasis for a very long time. The creatures that still live there would rather that stasis not get disturbed but…Groot doesn’t care! Groot wants to get home! He’ll upset everything to pull it off. But he definitely needs to figure out a way for people to understand what he says first.

Marvel.com: Would you like to tease or mention anything else?

Christopher Hastings: When I pitched the story, I mentioned that I envisioned it as something like “Labyrinth” or “Return to Oz.” A lot of that vibe comes from really fantastical location and character designs. We just started getting the first bits of artwork in from the series artist, Flaviano, whom I consider more than perfect for the job. This book will look totally unique. And he clearly knows how to make Groot as adorable and funny as possible.

Get your fix of adorable adventure with I AM GROOT by Christopher Hastings and Flaviano, kicking off this May!

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