Home / Marvel News

Marvel News

Halloween Spooklight 2017, Day 12: Mephisto’s Fiery Debut

Every day this month, a new supernatural character or story from the Marvel Universe gets a spooky spotlight leading up to Halloween! Occasionally, major characters make their first appearances in unexpected manners. Among those with strange debuts sit...

Read More »

Jack Kirby’s Design Influence Is A Force In ‘Thor: Ragnarok’

Marvel Studios’ “Thor: Ragnarok” will hit theaters in just a few weeks and soon audiences will get to see a leaner, brighter, universe for our favorite Asgardians and their coworkers.

Production Designer Dan Hennah spoke with Marvel.com about giving life to Asgard and how Jack Kirby’s influence was a running theme throughout the design process. Hennah described how bringing “Thor: Ragnarok” to life was a mix of old and new technology, much like Thor’s transformation in the film.

Asgard is a world of gods, but in “Thor: Ragnarok” we get to see the world in a different light. Hennah explained how this Asgard is something we haven’t seen before on screen, “We sort of tried to give it more of a humanity, tried to come down to the world of real gods and demigods. Of course it would be above and beyond the reach of normal people, but it’s a much more real world.”

“Thor: Ragnarok”

“Refugees have been taken out of the city. So we need to get down to that sort of population a little as opposed to the (larger) world. Asgard is the home of the gods, so the assumption is that most of these people here—thousands of them—are some sort of demigods or children of gods. It’s more about the forces of the gods and the effect that they have on the people.”

While this god-like world is grandiose, with the addition of the general population, Hennah used a trick to make Asgard feel more utilitarian, “It’s home to gods, the previous incarnation was stone and gold. So we stayed with those elements and we’ve stayed with the champions of the architecture to a degree, but also we had this sort of human level of single story, two stories, three stories.” By adding smaller building perspectives, Hennah was able to give a feel of a more practical Asgard.

“Thor: Ragnarok”

How much of Asgard relied on CGI? While walking on set, Hennah explained, “Every set has practical elements to it, but it was like fifty-fifty. In terms of standing here—if they were sitting on the ground level—the wall is real, everything up there is. Inside buildings, ceilings will be digital. But in directive, elements may be practical. You have to test the visual opportunities we’ll get from them. And we also give the actors something very real to work in, to get their lead into the character.”

Visually, it’s hard ignore the huge Jack Kirby influence on this movie. Hennah happened to be a longtime Kirby fan, “1960’s Jack Kirby was our inspiration. I’ve read Jack Kirby comics since I was 15 years old. So for me it was fantastic and to really get deeply into it, I was always just influenced by this big star of the comics.”

“Now our set design becomes another world, you have to analyze how he got his shapes, what they wore, what was put on them, how he used them.” Hennah detailed how King Kirby’s style was incorporated into the production design, “You know, it doesn’t look anything like Jack Kirby, but it does have the influence. So that’s really cool for me to find something—which is the process to design—finding things, subconscious things.”

Kirby’s style heavily influenced the design of the planet Sakaar, “That was really a Jack Kirby influence and Mayes Rubio—who’s costume designer—took the ball we had and ran with it as well, so we sort of were on the same page from day one in terms of the Sakaarian look; the people, the concept of Sakaar.”

“Thor: Ragnarok”
“Thor: Ragnarok”
“Thor: Ragnarok”

“Thor: Ragnarok”

“Sakaar’s populated by aliens and the sky in Sakaar has a number of wormholes that deposit space waste. Basically if you’re flying through space, you can get caught in a wormhole, and it’s a bit of a sewer.”

“There’s no vegetation in Sakaar. It’s purely made up of space waste. All the food is made from space waste. There might be cultures of mushrooms or something that I haven’t seen, but generally, it’s all about everything’s coming from outer space, including the population over thousands of years, so there’s blue people and green people—it’s space Vegas basically.”

“Thor: Ragnarok”

The Saakar gladiator arena was rooted in Roman influences, “The early concept work that I inherited was largely Roman based gladiatorial and it’s been done so often that the sandals have worn out, you know. It’s time for something new and so we sort of went all alien with it. We toyed with a lot of different concepts, but we ended up with one where there arena itself is surrounded by bleachers which have standing up bleachers, not sitting down.”

This change allowed for a larger, looming audience concept for the arena, “And so they’re very tall—you can fit two hundred thousand people in there and it goes crazy—and at the very top of it, a spacecraft can sort of be sitting up there looking down into it, hovering.” These stylistic changes allowed for a bigger, badder, confrontation for those two friends who know each other from work.

To see all the action for yourself, check out “Thor: Ragnarok” when it hits theaters, November 3rd! Get your tickets now for “Thor: Ragnarok.” Stay tuned to Marvel.com for the latest on “Thor: Ragnarok,” and follow @ThorOfficial on Twitter and like Thor’s official Facebook page!

Read More »

War Machine: A Punisher Sketchbook

Frank Castle’s always been something of a battle automaton, but with November’s PUNISHER #218, he’ll become a true war machine!

Writer Matthew Rosenberg and artist Guiu Vilanova’s Marvel Legacy series will kick off with an idea planted at the end of Secret Empire: Punisher wants to do more and S.H.I.E.L.D. wants to help him. Feeling the need to make up for following the false Steve Rogers, Castle agrees to armor up in a modified version of the War Machine suit to tackle evil on a whole new level.

We talked with Vilanova about ratcheting up the violence, designing the armor, and working with one of Marvel’s busiest writers!

Marvel.com: How was it mixing elements of the previous War Machine armors with the iconography of The Punisher to come up with something new?

Guiu Vilanova: The creative process always means good fun to me. And to mix two huge iconic elements like the Punisher’s skull and the Iron Man armor is great!

Marvel.com: Has it been difficult retaining Frank Castle’s look as he’s outfitted in this new armor?

Guiu Vilanova: Sure. It’s always difficult to keep the resemblance of a character in each and every page. But I can’t complain, it comes with the job!

Punisher #218 preview art by Guiu Vilanova
Punisher #218 preview art by Guiu Vilanova
Punisher #218 preview art by Guiu Vilanova

Punisher #218 preview art by Guiu Vilanova
Punisher #218 preview art by Guiu Vilanova

Marvel.com: What’s it been like working with Matthew to create or redesign a new supporting cast around Frank?

Guiu Vilanova: To work with great artists such as Matthew is always a pleasure. It makes my job way more easy and enjoyable!

Marvel.com: Punisher’s always been violent, but with this new set of weapons, he can do that on a whole different level. How has it been working in that realm?

Guiu Vilanova: Well, it’s basically the same guy but with a “bigger gun.” But Frank’s still being Frank.

Marvel.com: Does sending Frank in with this armor mean you’ve been working on even more dangerous threats for him to face?

Guiu Vilanova: That’s top secret. You’ll have to buy the book if you want to know it. But he’s not wearing the war machine armor to fry an egg, I can tell you that.

Matthew Rosenberg and Guiu Vilanova’s PUNISHER #218 ships in on November 15!

Read More »

Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man – Undesirable No. 1

On November 15, Spider-Man finds himself on the wrong side of the law once again…as the Web-Head joins the Marvel Legacy era in PETER PARKER: THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #297!

Writer Chip Zdarsky and artist Adam Kubert get the blame for Spidey’s latest woes—they instigated the emergence of his “sister” Teresa, his run-in with Kingpin and The Tinkerer, and his failing attempts to maintain a normal life. And now Parker has to deal with the NYPD heading up a spider-hunt for the so-called “A-Wreck-Nid.”

Looks like Peter will need more than a few cool gadgets and a quick Thwip-quip to keep his web from unraveling this time…

United States District Court – Warrant of Arrest

Case: The State of New York vs. Spider-Man
Date: Nov. 15, 2017
Case Number: 297 

Defendant: Spider-Man
Known affiliates: Teresa Durand, The Human Torch, Chip Zdarsky, Adam Kubert

Peter Parker: Spectacular Spider-Man #297 Cover by Adam Kubert
Lenticular Homage Variant Cover by Paulo Siqueira & Rachelle Rosenberg

Description: Suspect stands at approximately 5 feet 10 inches tall, weighs 160 pounds. Age unknown—though his attempts at humor, which might suggest a boy in his teens, likely put him in his mid to late 20s.

Known to swing from trees, streetlights, and other city dwellings wearing a red and blue spider-suit. Officers should keep their ears tuned in for the distinguishing “Thwip” sound created by his web shooters. Gunshots, explosions, and destruction of property act as a likely signal of his presence. Suspect has no problem leaving cops hanging; approach with caution.

Cause for arrest: This warrant has been issued in response to the widespread local terror and property damage caused by the well-known Wallcrawler. Damages to the city during his acts of “heroism” have been measured in millions of dollars.

This masked-mayhem has also been photographed cavorting with a known enemy of the state, Teresa Durand—believed to have stolen top-secret information from S.H.I.E.L.D.

Suspect faces charges of breaking and entering, as well as assault, pending against him by respected New York businessman Wilson Fisk. The mouthy menace also seems to be wanted for questioning by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. This section will remain open for the addition of inevitable future infractions.

Witness the action on November 15 in writer Chip Zdarsky and artist Adam Kubert’s PETER PARKER: SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #297!

Read More »