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Moon Girl & Devil Dinosaur: Universal Tour

That’s one small step for Lunella Lafayette, one giant water-rippling leap for Devil Dinosaur. Get ready for the 10-second countdown as the dynamic duo from writer Brandon Montclare and artist Natacha Bustos blasts off into space.

“Lunella gets into the MoonMobile thinking she knows where she’s going—but will be in for a few detours when ‘Girl-Moon’ starts in [MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR #19 on May 24],” says Montclare.

With no shortage of cosmic locales within the Marvel Universe, we asked Brandon to list a few he’d like to visit with these two characters. Take it away, sir!

“While she ping-pongs around the farther reaches of the Marvel Universe, here are some cool places I wish I could have visited with them.”

EGO THE LIVING PLANET: “Lunella and Devil Dinosaur only get to within 238,900 miles of Ego. That seems like a lot, but in planetary terms it’s just a near miss.”


ZENN-LA
: “I think the pair would love the high-tech home of Silver Surfer. Lunella is a city girl, and has never been more than a few miles from her apartment in NYC’s Lower East Side. The science-society of Zenn-La would both make Lunella feel at home, but also be wondrous enough to teach her a bunch of new things.”


THE BLUE AREA OF THE MOON:
” Moon Girl retains complicated feelings towards the Inhumans, and hitting the former location of Attilan would be no pleasure and all business. Lunella has more experience with Kree technology than any other Earthling, and the leftover rubble of the transported Inhuman capital city would be a goldmine.”


PLANET HULK
: “Because Devil Dinosaur needs to have some fun too! He’d love to go a few rounds with the galactic gladiators in the arena.”


ASGARD:
“I want Moon Girl & Devil Dinosaur to go there mostly because it means I get to see Natacha Bustos draw the Rainbow Bridge and the Norse/[Jack] Kirby/[Walt] Simonson-influenced lords and ladies. For a compelling story point: Lunella is now The Smartest There Is—that’s becoming well known all over our home planet, but it’s time she starts becoming the brainy ambassador to all our cosmic neighbors.”

Pick up the next installment of MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR tomorrow, May 24, from Brandon Montclare and Natacha Bustos—and be on the lookout for issue #20, coming June 28!

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Mighty Captain Marvel: Fighting Through

Carol Danvers has gone through a lot lately.

CIVIL WAR II definitely took an emotional toll, and now she faces the betrayal of Steve Rogers in SECRET EMPIRE. MIGHTY CAPTAIN MARVEL writer Margaret Stohl filled us in on Captain Marvel’s headspace, and where she finds herself psychologically and emotionally these days.

Marvel.com: Carol found herself in a pretty dark place at the end of CIVIL WAR II. And now SECRET EMPIRE follows right on its heels. It must feel very draining for Carol psychologically and emotionally. Does watching things play out with Steve erode her faith in some of the things she has believed in even more?

Margaret Stohl: Watching Steve Rogers betray everything that Captain America has always stood for is a crushing blow, not just for Carol but for everyone. On the other hand, she’s also an experienced military leader, and she knows better than anyone that the loss of Captain America only makes the role of Captain Marvel that much more important. She steps up when others step down, and she always has. So no, Steve’s betrayal doesn’t erode her faith, it makes her all the more resolved to defend it—because if she doesn’t, who will?

Marvel.com: Steve left Carol and her team outside the planetary shield surrounding the Earth to face wave after wave of the Chitauri army. What kind of state of mind will she have when she gets back?

Margaret Stohl: Carol has her combat brain on now, which means she only has three things on her mind: how to keep her team alive, how to get them back to Earth, and then how to save it. Her first goal is her team’s survival, particularly the three young cadets—Glory, Dante and A’Di—who were caught outside the shield with her during their training at Alpha Flight. That is priority one. Part of what makes Carol such an effective soldier and leader is her ability to compartmentalize when she has to. Making decisions in the moment is tough, but when a leader doesn’t lead, the people fighting for her die.

Mighty Captain Marvel #6 cover by Elizabeth Torque

Marvel.com: Currently, Carol leads Alpha Flight and plays a major role in the Ultimates. So professionally, she seems to really have things together. But personally, she’s facing more challenges.

Margaret Stohl: Absolutely. Carol’s first arc in 2017 was all about her personal journey back from the events of CIVIL WAR II. This arc is much more of a combat adventure, though even the fact that there are teens on Alpha Flight just shows how much her relationship with the Kree child, Bean, from the past few issues, has impacted her. In general though, I think Carol’s emotions are on hold until she gets through the catastrophe of SECRET EMPIRE. If she ever makes it home, Carol Danvers will have to work to process what has happened—not just to her but to her planet.

Marvel.com: Carol had a falling out with Ms. Marvel during CIVIL WAR II, and America is distancing herself from the Ultimates to go to college. How does it affect Carol to see her protégés walking away?

Margaret Stohl: Carol is a lifer in her fight for what’s right. Like many other heroes, she’s seen plenty of teammates come and go, and while that wears on her, she knows it comes with the gig. That said, I’m not sure she’s ever recovered from the end of her friendship with Kamala Khan. Since Kamala moved on in her life, Carol has taken the time to foster a Kree child and train three Alpha Cadets. I think she deeply feels the loss of Kamala, and is still trying to figure it out.

Marvel.com: I would imagine the fall of Maria Hill has had a pretty significant impact on Carol, as well. The two have had their differences, but have often found themselves in similar situations, and frequently worked together. Does it make Carol feel like maybe the same thing could happen to her? Like she could be forced out of the organizations she cares about?

Margaret Stohl: Women in positions of power are always aware of the fates of their female contemporaries, but at the moment, Carol really is caught up in just getting her butt back to Earth. I don’t know how much time she’s spent thinking about it. She’s much more worried about Wendy, who is trapped somewhere on Earth and away from the rest of the A.F. team.

MIGHTY CAPTAIN MARVEL continues to battle through Secret Empire as depicted in issue #5 on May 31 and issue #6 on June 28, both written by Margaret Stohl with art by Ramon Rosanas and Michele Bandini respectively.

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Invincible Iron Man: Breaking Point

The possibility of successfully navigating an angry super villain is approximately three thousand seven hundred and twenty to one! No need to tell Ironheart the odds of victory—chances are, she already knows!

But how invincible is Riri Williams? Can she maintain her sense of youthful idealism and hope in the face of villains seeking her demise daily? Writer Brian Michael Bendis tackles these questions and more not only in the current arc—issue #8 arriving June 21—alongside artist Stefano Caselli, but also in our most recent interview.

Marvel.com: We’ve spoken in the past about Riri Williams as a source of youthful hope for the Marvel Universe. What do you think it is that makes her such a positive character; not just for readers but as a person herself?

Brian Michael Bendis: She has a very unique perspective. I really dove into it when I discovered it, but if I’m honest, it’s hard to describe. She’s a studier. A lot of learning, but not a lot of experience. She has that youthful perspective of not yet knowing just how crappy the world can be. She’s been studying the global situation since she’s been nine years old, but it’s different seeing and experiencing the world versus studying it. That’s something a lot of people can relate to, you know? It’s a real thing in life.

Also, it’s a little similar to what we did with Ultimate Peter Parker in terms of that journey of coming to know something as opposed to just learning about it. But Riri’s process in gaining this perspective couldn’t be more different than Peter’s. The similarity is that they’re both growing up fast as super heroes.

Marvel.com: Sometimes, people do their very best to avoid letting others become aware of their greater weaknesses. What do you think Riri would want to avoid letting people know about herself?

Brian Michael Bendis: She’s terrified. It’s funny, you know? Some people don’t know what they do not know. But then again, there are others who are well aware of what they don’t know and it can be incredibly unnerving. She’s aware of her blind spots, and she can figure out what she doesn’t know.

For example, she could be in a fight and then run the calculations of how much more damage she can take before things go really bad really quickly. And that’s both helpful and a little nerve-wracking to know. With higher intellect comes more fact-based fear.

Marvel.com: Let’s assume you aren’t the mild-mannered writer that you are, and instead, are one of the four-colored comic book villains you write about. How would you go about breaking the heart of Ironheart?

Brian Michael Bendis: [Laughs] I’m actually going to do that in the book, so I can’t tell you that! That’s actually my job: to be the worst person in the world and figure out how to bring low the best person. It’s hilarious you’re asking me that!

Marvel.com: Well, you can’t blame me for trying! Let me ask this another way: How evil are you? What are some ways we can expect to see Ironheart tested to this extent even if in the future? How might you test her limits?

Brian Michael Bendis: [Laughs] Her limits are different. There’s no “Uncle Ben’s killer” to get. It’s not that kind of story. It’s about how she’s going to process her tragedies and move forward in life. That’s what the stories we’re going to tell are going to push her to the limit. Push her up against the wall and make her think twice—like what happened with Peter. How will the technology and legacy that she’s taken on will help her grow?

Invincible Iron Man #8 cover by Stefano Caselli

Marvel.com: It’s interesting as you’ve juxta-positioned Riri against Peter a couple of times. But whereas Peter’s origin seems to be centered around personal responsibility, Riri’s seems more focused on self-assurance.

Brian Michael Bendis: I keep connecting them because, while their stories are so specific, they’re also quite similar in their “everyman” qualities; we can all imagine ourselves in their positions doing something better or more exciting than we might. That’s what inspires.

And going back to your earlier questions, that’s my goal: to create situations that allow me to tell stories where I can push these characters to the extreme. It’s also worth pointing out she’s only two weeks into her super hero origin. She may very well be on a journey that puts her past Ironheart and onto something else. That’s very exciting!

Marvel.com: Looking down that road, there’s a common trope in comics over the past 30 years to go “dark and gritty.” Is this a place you could ever see Riri Williams going?

Brian Michael Bendis: There’s “dark and gritty” and there’s dark and gritty. In a similarly youthful book, Miles finds himself in a pretty dark place. His dark place looks like Matt Murdock’s brunch! [Laughs] It’s all perspective. I look at Riri’s story as a survivor’s tale. I don’t think that kind of darkness has a way “in” right now, but in five years? Who knows? We might discover something that would lend itself to that kind of story. But at the moment, the book is about hope and proactively working to make the world a better place.

As the global news is more chaotic, I’m finding that when I read the scripts back, I’m startled at how intimate and personal they’re getting. Because of that, there’s going to be a lot of “feels” and hope more than I ever have written before.

Marvel.com: Do we need moments of levity when we approach those narrative breaking points for our characters?

Brian Michael Bendis: Yeah, exactly. Fun is a dirty “F word” in some parts of the comics community, but some of my favorite comics right now have a lot of fun in them. Even the darkest ones possess a little fun. You have a suit of armor you made in your garage? You should have fun with it! That would never not be fun—it will always be fun!

See what Brian Michael Bendis and Stefano Caselli have in store for Ironheart in INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #8, coming June 21!

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Marvel Remembers Edmund Bagwell

Though known by various names throughout his creative career, including Edmund Perryman, Edmund Kitsune, E.C. Perriman, and Edmund Bagwell, the late British artist perhaps known best as simply Bagwell stood as an important figure in the U.K. comics scene and Marvel recognizes and celebrates his stature and passion for his craft on the event of his recent passing.

Many details of Bagwell’s early life remain obscure, save for his love of comics and in particular the work of the legendary Jack Kirby. Some of his earliest work in the 1970s centered on the famous British comic series 2000 AD, a book he contributed to for much of his career. Writer Rob Williams’ first encounter with the man came through their connection with the series.

“I was writing the third series of ‘The Ten-Seconders’ for 2000 AD [in 2012] and was heading into some big cosmic Kirby territory and I knew Edmund was a huge Kirby fan,” he remembers. “[He] showed his capacity for epic widescreen gods and monsters [on a previous story]. The work he turned in on ‘Ten-Seconders’ was just wonderful. He handled the down-to-earth human moments so well as a contrast to giant warring space aliens, etc, and his storytelling was terrific; it’s amazing to me he wasn’t a bigger star in the industry.”

By the 1990s, Bagwell’s projects included art for the Marvel UK line of books. Soon after a stint with the infamous Motormouth character in 1992, he joined with writer Simon Jowett on BLACK AXE, the story of a uniquely immortal warrior that crossed over with Marvel hero The Black Panther.

“When I started writing BLACK AXE, I was still pretty green as a comics writer,” says Jowett. “I’m not sure how much work Ed had done as part of a team, working from someone else’s full script, and I suspect this arrangement chafed a little, but he was far too sweet a guy to say anything and far too professional to let it affect his work. We kind of felt our way into a working relationship and his pages were really strong, right from our first issue.

“Personally, I think we hit our stride as a team with our second story arc, set in an African state bordering Wakanda, torn apart by civil war and preyed upon by unscrupulous arms dealers. Black Panther featured prominently, but Ed had designed a new character, Afrikaa, who quickly became a favorite of mine to write and one I’d have loved to return to—with Ed providing the art, of course.

“Ed’s biggest strength was, I believe, that he couldn’t draw like anyone but himself. ‘Unique’ is a horribly overused term, but no one laid out a page or framed a panel like Ed. His design sense, from characters up, was distinctly his own. He never hid his influences—Kirby especially—and his love for them shone through.”

The artist also threw in his lot with the Marvel UK imprint known as Marvel Frontier. Michael Wiessmuller, Frontier editor and originator, calls Bagwell a “crazy genius,” a term he uses lovingly.

“I first came across Ed in London in the early 1990s, introduced by a mutual friend, Nick Abadzis,” he notes. “Nick had written a strip for Ed, which found its way into Crisis magazine, the mature readers pendant to 2000AD, where I was the editor. Ed’s winning personality coupled with his crazy, genius Kirbyesque art and his capacity for Lager made him an instant regular at the London comics’ creative community hangouts, aka the pub. In time, we became fast friends, sharing a house together and as I became editor at Marvel UK, I introduced him to the bullpen there, where to the surprise of absolutely no one, he quickly moved in and became friends with everyone there; Liam Sharp, Andy Lanning, Bryan Hitch, to name but a few.

Doctor Strange by Edmund Bagwell
Dances with Demons design art by Edmund Bagwell
Black Axe by Edmund Bagwell

“Before long he was co-creator and penciler on the monthly comic BLACK AXE and a regular go-to guy for designing crazy characters. One of these characters was for DANCES WITH DEMONS, recently collected in MARVEL FRONTIER COMICS, and illustrated by Charlie Adlard.

“His art was not fan-favorite in the heyday of Jim Lee’s X-Men, but instead he was an artist’s artist. Everyone I spoke to or showed his art to afterwards had this strange, happy look in their eyes. I never quite understood what that look was, until now. Looking back over Ed’s art, the books he created and remembering those days of sheer youthful enthusiasm and unbridled creativity, I realize that it simply was love.”

Perhaps friend Nick Abadzis provides the clearest picture and perception of his companion after years of both working and laughing with him. Bagwell’s artistry remains virtually unknown in America, but he touched the lives of many regardless, and on a deep level.

“Edmund was a phenomenal artist whose creativity was inspired by, but not bound to, the comics page or the comics industry per se,” says Abadzis. “I think he’d be slightly bemused by all the attention he’s getting, now that it’s too late. As an industry, and as a society, we need to look after all our artists in this game, not just the A-list stars, but the more obscure ones too, who exist more at the margins, who push the envelope and who extend the language of comics with their imaginative experiments somewhere out of the spotlight.

“Ed was one of these guys. He was very private, not a self-promoter in any way, because that just wasn’t in his nature. Apart from his dedication to his wife Hae Sook and her family, his whole being was devoted to making comics and art, and he did so no matter what, no matter where he found himself in the world. Working with him could be crazy, but it was always fun and the results were always unexpected and often mind-blowing. He observed the world through a most unusual lens, and translated it into lines on paper for us to see. On a personal level, he was a gentle, extremely kind and generous man with a sharp, very wry sense of humor, whose manner belied his passion and dedication to the language of comics.

“I will miss him very much.”

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‘Marvel Heroes Omega’ Launches Open Beta

Ready to play some “Marvel Heroes Omega”? Well the gang at Gazillion’s opening up the closed beta to everyone with a PS4. Did we mention it’s free to play?

We talked with Lead Designer Ben “TheArtofRawr” Gilbert about what the team learned from the closed beta and all the awesome stuff in store for players going forward.

Marvel.com: How’d the “Marvel Heroes Omega” closed beta go? Has the team picked up any cool learnings?

Ben Gilbert: The closed beta was great! It’s really exciting to see so many new players enjoying “Marvel Heroes Omega” and couch co-op on PlayStation 4. The response from players, press, and broadcasters on YouTube and Twitch.tv has been quite positive. But we’ve also been looking closely at critical responses and suggestions from players—as we always do. Feedback continues to be one of the most valuable sources of guidance for us.

There’s still so much that we want to improve upon and add to the game over time. However, after a series of major patches during the beta, we’re very confident about the current state of the game.

Marvel.com: And now we’re into the open beta where anyone can play right? What’s changed? What can players expect?

Ben Gilbert: That’s correct! Starting today, anyone can download and play “Marvel Heroes Omega” on PlayStation 4 completely free. Players who participated in our Head Start program will have all their progress saved and can resume playing from where they left off.

New players can expect to start off with our Prologue Mission. It’s an awesome scenario that finds players leading the Avengers to New York City where Ultron is laying siege to Times Square. It’s a great introduction to how our different heroes feel. Players will get a chance to play as Captain America, Black Widow, and The Hulk before diving into the main nine-chapter story campaign.

Marvel.com: For people who aren’t aware, how close to the full launch are we? Closed beta, open beta, then what?

Ben Gilbert: We’re very close! I wish I could tell you more, but I can say that the game’s official launch is coming very soon. Until then, we’ll be looking closely at what we can do between now and then to improve the “Marvel Heroes Omega” experience as much as possible with the goal being to update with one last major patch before launch.

Please keep in mind that our upcoming launch is still just the beginning for “Marvel Heroes Omega.” Just as we did with “Marvel Heroes” for PC, we’re committed to regular updates, improvements, and new content so players can always look forward to something new and exciting!

Marvel.com: For the players that don’t want to grind to get their favorite heroes, the Founder’s Packs are still on sale right?

Ben Gilbert: That’s correct. Players will still be able to purchase our Founder’s Packs. There’s also a variety of G Bundles, which is our real money currency. Gs can be used for all sorts of things from costumes to consumable boosts that will help speed things along. That being said, we really pride ourselves on not nickel and diming players in “Marvel Heroes Omega.” All heroes are free-to-play till level 10 and then there are Eternity Splinters. These are items that have a chance to drop from any enemy in the game and can be used to unlock additional Heroes for free.

Marvel.com: Right now the game’s just on PS4. Does the team have any plans to migrate “Omega” to the Xbox One?

Ben Gilbert: You bet! In fact, I’m happy to announce that “Marvel Heroes Omega” will be launching on Xbox One on June 20. We really would have loved to launch on both platforms at the same time, but staggering our releases this way will help us release a higher quality game. At the end of the day, that’s more important to us than anything else.

Marvel.com: What are the team’s plans moving forward?

Ben Gilbert: We’ve got an extremely busy year ahead of us! This is just the beginning, and we think players will really enjoy what’s in store for them. We’re already hard at work on a boatload of new content, features, and Heroes. The future is bright for “Marvel Heroes Omega,” and we’re excited to embark with our players on this journey together!

Stay tuned to Marvel.com for more “Marvel Heroes Omega” news and interviews!

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Mohamed Sanu of the Atlanta Falcons Joins the Marvel Podcast

Wide receiver Mohamed Sanu of the Atlanta Falcons stops by Marvel HQ to talk the Hulk, football and much more!

Download episode #289.5 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!

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Star Wars Spotlight: Jango Fett & Zam Wesell

Each week Star Wars Spotlight combs through the digital archives of Marvel Unlimited to showcase one classic story from that distant galaxy filled with Jedi, Sith, princesses, scoundrels and droids.

Bounty hunters get a pretty bad wrap in the Star Wars films. They’re mainly seen working for the Empire and getting knocked into hungry holes by blinded smugglers. But, every now and then they actually fight for more than their bank balances as seen in a pair of 2002 one shots written by Ron Marz, STAR WARS: JANGO FETT and STAR WARS: ZAM WESELL.

The first part, as drawn by Tom Fowler, kicked off with Jango Fett seamlessly fulfilling a contract to kill Black Sun’s Vigo Antonin for Dreddon the Hutt. Upon returning to Dreddon’s domicile, he’s surprised to find the Hutt dead and the shape-shifting bounty hunter Zam Wesell lying in wait for him. As it turned out, she had been hired by Antonin to kill Dreddon, so they were both left with dead clients and no payout. Going their separate ways, Jango returned home to Kamino and his son Boba, but soon headed to Coruscant to meet with Fernooda, who worked for a collector wanting a stolen artifact from Seylott returned to him.

Star Wars: Jango Fett (2002) #1

Star Wars: Jango Fett (2002) #1

  • Published: March 13, 2002
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: February 15, 2016
  • Writer: Ron Marz
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Jango then traveled to Seylott to track down the artifact where he explored ancient ruins and tangled with huge insectoid monsters. Upon finding a native with his quarry, Fett blasted him. The being then explained that the infant—the artifact—needed to be with its mother and also referred to it as the “destroyer of worlds” before dying. After walking away from the temple, Jango once again found himself held up by Zam, who snuck up behind him with blaster at the ready. As it happened, Fernooda hired her too and she accepted the gig for the same reason her rival did: to make up for their earlier jobs going south.

The duo spoke for a bit, but found themselves interrupted when another insect creature attacked. At first, Jango grabbed the artifact and ran, but thought better of it and returned to save his fellow bounty hunter. Zam left without the idol, claiming they were even until their next meeting.

That time would come in the ZAM WESELL one-shot by Marz and artist Ted Naifeh, which began with a Jedi Council meeting about General Ashaar Khorda, the Annoo-Dat radical who hired Fernooda to find people to get the artifact in the previous story. They discovered that he intended to use the weapon on one of three planets: Alderaan, Corellia, or Coruscant. The mission proved so sensitive, that only members from the council itself were sent to each planet to aid in its defense. Meanwhile, Zam traveled to Kamino to tell Jango that he helped Khorda get his hands on a weapon that, as she described, “causes a disturbance in the Force large enough to rip apart a world. Coruscant to be exact.”

Star Wars: Zam Wesell (2002) #1

Star Wars: Zam Wesell (2002) #1

  • Published: March 27, 2002
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: February 15, 2016
  • Writer: Ron Marz
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Though it took some convincing, Zam ultimately got Jango to see that they should go take care of this mistake themselves. On Coruscant, Khorda plotted with his faithful as Jedi Council Member Yarael Poof and the two bounty hunters independently looked for the villain. All of the parties collided at the best place to blow up a planet: its core. A battle ensued, but in the fray Khorda placed the artifact in the power core. Thanks to some unexpected teamwork from Poof, Jango, and Zam, they saved the city and returned the idol to Seylott.

From the Jedi Temple Archives

Zam Wesell made her big screen debut in “Attack of the Clones.” In that film the Clawdite from Zolan worked with Jango Fett once again to kill Senator Amidala. First, she tried bombing the platform they landed on and later used poisonous snake-like creatures called kouhuns, but Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker stopped her both times. They found her at a nearby bar and were just about to get Jango Fett’s name out of the bounty hunter when her so-called partner killed her from a distance.

Jix, another secret agent of Darth Vader’s, takes center stage next time in STAR WARS: SHADOW STALKER by Ryder Windham and Nick Choles.

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Enter the Venomverse

A Venom comic written by Yellowcard frontman Ryan Key with art from Andrew Lima Araujo? Sounds like Marvel music to our ears! As we inch closer and closer to the major symbiote event of the summer, be sure to check out EDGE OF VENOMVERSE #4, an exciting story of fathers and sons—and T-Rexes—set after the events of the original “Old Man Logan” saga.

Before the sticky tendrils of the alien goo complete their takeover of the Marvel Universe, however, we had a chat with Key about his first-ever comic—childhood classroom doodles notwithstanding—writing an epilogue of sorts to a beloved story, and how this issue will directly set the stage for the summer’s Venomverse.

Marvel.com: We’ll be seeing some iconic X-Men characters in EDGE OF VENOMVERSE #4, which is set after the events of “Old Man Logan.” Can you talk a little bit about your approach to writing a follow-up to this classic story?

Ryan Key: At the start I was given basic instructions: “We need Old Man Logan to encounter the Venom T-Rex from the original story and end up in the symbiote suit somehow.” I was pretty much free to build the story around that. Mark Millar and Steve McNiven’s original story left me with a lot of really cool toys to play with and I decided to pick up the thread not long after that. In the last scene of “Old Man Logan,” Logan is riding off into the sunset with the Hulk’s infant son, Banner Jr. strapped to his back. Even though he’d lost his whole family, Logan has so much hope in that moment. He’s going to raise this kid he’s adopted to be a hero—they’re gonna save the world together. I don’t want to spoil too much, but I can say, Logan’s past eventually catches up to him and it has huge consequences for him and Banner Jr.

Marvel.com: In a way, the Venomverse is the flip side of the popular Spider-Verse. What’s it like to explore this “dark side” of the Spider-Man universe that is now bleeding into the Marvel Universe at large?

Ryan Key: I was beyond excited when I found out I was going to get to work with Venom for my first ever attempt at writing a comic. I don’t know if you can count the comics I wrote and drew during class as a kid. Spider-Man was a huge part of my childhood and Venom has always been, without a doubt, one of my all-time favorite villains in the Marvel Universe. I feel like Logan has always had a “dark side” himself and this version of him in his older age where he slips into this apathy we saw in the first [“Old Man Logan”], provided an opportunity to fuse him with the symbiote and awaken that rage we’ve always seen from him. Just the thought of Wolverine in a Venom suit was more than enough to get me on board for this!

Marvel.com: How does it feel to help set up this major summer event?

Ryan Key: I am so honored to have been asked to write this book. If you had told me 30 years ago when I was starting to get into comics that I would be writing my own for Marvel someday I don’t know that I could have even comprehended that! This has been such an amazing process. I have learned so much about how creating a book is done. I was definitely nervous at first, but as it all started to come together I was just too excited for words. It has been incredible.

Edge of Venomverse by Francesco Mattina

Marvel.com: How will your story specifically help set up the Venomverse?

Ryan Key: At a certain point a symbiote suited Logan gets pulled away from the adventure he’s on at the start of my story by some unknown force.  I can’t say where he goes, or why this happens, but readers will immediately see that there’s something much bigger going on—and it’s all connected to the symbiote!

Marvel.com: What are you most looking forward to with this issue?

Ryan Key: I am like a kid on Christmas Eve waiting to see the artwork for the first time. I am still sort of pinching myself to make sure this is all really happening! I am just so excited to see the words come to life through the art.

Marvel.com: As a musician, do you find anything similar between writing music and writings comics?

Ryan Key: I have always told stories in a lot of my lyrics so I think there is a loose connection there. However writing a script for a comic is definitely a new adventure. I really hope that people enjoy this story so that I might get the opportunity to write more in the future.

Marvel.com: What would you say is Venom’s and/or the Venom symbiote’s theme song?

Ryan Key: Without a doubt, “Killing in the Name” by Rage Against the Machine.

Stay tuned to Marvel.com and our social channels this week for more information about Venomverse!

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Secret Empire: Stabbed in the Back

As SECRET EMPIRE sinks its claws deeper and deeper into the Marvel Universe thanks to the Sentinel of Liberty’s turn to HYDRA’s top man, it might help to look back through history; even if this might be the biggest betrayal of them all, it hardly comes as the first.

To facilitate this taking of stock, we have taken the time to put together a list that might make you feel a little bit better…or, perhaps, so much worse.


Spider-Man Goes from Iron Man’s Hero to His Prey

Spider-Man stepped up for Iron Man during Civil War and revealed himself as Peter Parker beneath the mask. He advocated, publicly, for the Superhuman Registration Act right alongside Tony Stark. However, when the Wall-Crawler learned of his side’s secret prison in the Negative Zone, he no longer felt comfortable being a part of Stark’s movement.

Rather than accept his friend’s objections and let him go or address and fix them, Iron Man reacted in wounded anger. With Iron Man sending a team of dangerous villains after the Webhead, Spidey found himself escaping through the sewers, battered, bruised, and betrayed.

Greenwich Guardians Reveals his True Nature to Gravity

Gravity came to New York with a head full of dreams and a brand new set of powers he felt sure would help him realize those lofty goals. Early on, he struggled, attacking heroes he misjudged as villains, failing to find a way to integrate himself into the community he so idealized. Then the Greenwich Guardian arrived.

The Guardian enthusiastically took on a mentorship role for Gravity, showing him the Manhattan ropes and reinvigorating the younger champion’s enthusiasm for being a hero. Then, just when it seemed Gravity’s dream stood on the precipice of being fully realized, Guardian shed his disguise and revealed himself as the villainous Black Death. Stunned by the truth, Gravity did not put up much of a fight as Black Death pummelled him and left the teen crime fighter wondering if he really should be a costumed hero at all.

Baron Mordo Does Not Like to Share

When Stephen Strange found The Ancient One, he also found another pupil of the aged sorcerer: the boastful but otherwise seemingly decent Baron Mordo. While the two students did not exactly get along, they made it work and both demonstrated tremendous respect and admiration for their instructor.

It turned out Mordo had just been a very talented actor, though.

In reality, the Baron had only been biding his time until he could slay The Ancient One and, in doing so, gain the elder master’s position and plethora of magic artifacts. While Strange learned of Mordo’s plan in time to derail, it proved too late to save The Ancient One. In the aftermath, Doctor Strange ended up with the position and power Mordo craved, setting up a lifelong antagonism between them.

Alex Wilder Proves Like Parents Like Son

From the moment the Runaways saw their parents sacrifice a young woman for reasons not entirely clear to them, the teens have been staying one step ahead of their folks. Except, unbeknownst to most of them, one of their number had been pledging their fidelity to their villainous progenitors.

Up against the proverbial wall, each member turned to their defacto leader Alex Wilder and ceded him their gadgets and gifts, trusting him to lead them to victory once again. But this instance proved different. Fully in control for the first time, Wilder revealed himself as the mole amongst them, the only one still loyal to their parents. Every moment until then had been a long con designed to claim their strengths as his own and bring them to heel as he returned to his mother and father’s good graces.

The Illuminati Makes Cap Forget

Long before he betrayed everyone, Cap himself found himself being the betrayed. Learning that the universe’s entropy might force their Earth to destroy others to stay alive, most of the Illuminati accepted this revelation with grim but determined stoicism. The Sentinel of Liberty, however, refused to consider such actions, convinced there had to be a better way.

While his fellow council members seemed to agree that he must be right and they would work to find that other way, it soon became clear they had no intention of wasting that precious time. Instead they seized Captain America, erased his memory of the conversation and of being part of the Illuminati, and set about destroying other Earths without him.

Get deeper into Captain America’s latest shocking actions in SECRET EMPIRE #3, on sale May 31 courtesy of Nick Spencer, Andrea Sorrentino, and Rod Reis followed by issue #4 on June 14 and #5 coming June 28!

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Marvel Remembers Rich Buckler

Photo by Luigi Novi

Marvel Comics recognizes the passing of artist Rich Buckler with sincere appreciation for not only his creative talents, but for his steadfast work ethic over many years of projects. He’d touched nearly every single major character in the Marvel Universe since his first work for the House of Ideas, and left a lasting impact on his multitude of fans.

Buckler’s early years growing up in Detroit, Michigan fed into his love of comics and his involvement with some of the first comic conventions in the nation. Before long he’d scored comic work of his own, and by 1972 he could claim projects at both major companies, Marvel and DC.

In 1974, the artist found himself on a dream of a series, FANTASTIC FOUR. For more than two years he worked on stories and covers that included such characters as Annihilus, Darkoth, Doctor Doom, Namor, the Inhumans, and of course, the famous foursome of heroes themselves. That same year, he collaborated with writer Don McGregor on the legendary Black Panther story-arc in JUNGLE ACTION, as well as creating the infamous future cyborg Deathlok along with writer Doug Moench in the pages of ASTONISHING TALES. Deathlok proved to be a point of fascination with readers for many years to come, leading to multiple interpretations of the character and his eventual appearance on film in the “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” TV series.

By the end of the 1970s, Buckler had worked on an incredible host of Marvel heroes and villains, including the Avengers, Daredevil, Black Goliath, the Inhumans, the Champions, Thor, Power Man, and the Defenders. In addition, he also started a young George Perez on a path to greatness by hiring the rookie artist to be his assistant at his studio.

Fantastic Four by Rich Buckler
Black Panther by Rich Buckler
Deathlok by Rich Buckler

Avengers by Rich Buckler
Defenders by Rich Buckler
Avengers by Rich Buckler

Nova by Rich Buckler
Spectacular Spider-Man by Rich Buckler

Buckler gravitated back to DC and in 1977 worked almost exclusively for Marvel’s Distinguished Competition until he returned for the most part to the House of Ideas for grand second Marvel era in the 1980s. He began a collaboration with writer Peter David on SPECTATCULAR SPIDER-MAN in 1985, and together they produced one of the web-slinger’s most acclaimed storylines, “The Death of Jean Dewolff,” over a memorable four issues later that year.

From the dawn of the 1990s and into the new millennium, Buckler worked for several companies, most prominently among them Archie Comics, Continuity, and Dynamite. He’ll be remembered for his innate sense of design, his way with a cover, and his strong belief in insuring the next generation of comic creators would be made up of a diverse range of backgrounds and personalities.

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