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Star Wars: Mace in Your Face

Star Wars fans and Marvel mavens alike spoke—no, shouted—and Marvel listened: one of the greatest Jedi Knights of all will finally star in his own series, STAR WARS: JEDI OF THE REPUBLIC: MACE WINDU.

No one’s more excited for the purple lightsaber-wielding champion to receive his due than writer Matt Owens, and as it turns out, he can barely wait for issue #1 to debut this August.

Marvel.com: Matt, how did you become a Star Wars fan?

Matt Owens: When I was growing up, my father showed me a lot of the sci-fi shows and movies that he loved and it’s one of the things that set me on my path. Star Wars, Star Trek, the original Battlestar Galactica—I was watching these things well before I fully understood them, but I loved them nonetheless. I remember getting “A New Hope” on VHS one Christmas as a kid and it was the happiest day of my life. I remember sitting in a tree house with my childhood friend Austin reading [the Star Wars novel] “Ambush at Corellia” in total silence when it first came out, periodically perking up with “Did you get to this part yet!?”

Marvel: Looks like it looms large with you. That had to feel pretty good when you got the MACE WINDU gig.

Matt Owens: It’s something I have always known. As a reader and a gamer and a collector, Star Wars has always been a part of my life. To be a part of this universe, to be trusted to tell stories here, is truly a privilege.

Marvel.com: Big question: Who is Mace Windu to you?

Matt Owens: I think Mace Windu is the ultimate wish-fulfillment for the audience personified in Star Wars. He’s a badass with his own colored lightsaber. He’s the greatest Jedi warrior. He’s friends with Yoda. He doesn’t trust Anakin. He is [actor] Sam Jackson speaking for us. In his own right, he’s a man just trying to do the right thing according to the rules which govern his life.

I see him foremost as a teacher and a leader. He is incredibly strong and wise and tries his best to lead others down the right path. Sometimes that does mean having to fight. There’s an interesting conflict in a man revered for his fighting skills who would rather not use them. Being a great warrior does not mean you have a love of combat, a lust for bloodshed. His lightsaber is the last weapon Mace would want to pick up. Similarly, he is a fiercely intelligent orator, yet despises politics. He is a man thrust into positions and situations he may not enjoy, but he does them because he just wants to do what is right.

Marvel.com: Sounds like you may connect with the character on a personal level, too.

Matt Owens: I grew up in a religious African-American household, so I see some similarities between Mace and the people I would look at around me. Religion is important to people for a variety of reasons. It gives people something to believe in, something to fall back on, something to support them, something to set their moral compass. Everyone has their own reasons for believing in what they believe.

Star Wars: Jedi of the Republic: Mace Windu #1 cover by Jesus Saiz
Star Wars: Jedi of the Republic: Mace Windu #1 cover by Rahzzah

I see Mace as a person who needs the way of the Jedi. He believes so strongly in the Force, believes it is the true path to peace in the galaxy and harmony amongst all peoples. Sometimes faith can be blind. Sometimes it can be misinterpreted or lead us astray. Some see religion as a guide, but not such a strict mandate. If you question your religion, does that make you a bad Christian? Muslim? Jedi? That’s one of the struggles Mace is dealing with in this story. The galaxy is at war. The role of the Jedi has changed, leading armies into battle. Is this their place? If peace is the ends, are the means justified? Are they on the right side of said peace? These are the kind of soul-searching questions Mace will have to dig deep and answer for himself. And not just Mace. Questions such as these are on the minds of many Jedi at this tumultuous time.

Marvel.com: Right; the series is set at the outbreak of the Clone Wars. Who else might we see that we’d recognize from the films?

Matt Owens: I asked for every conceivable character I could think of for this book. I overshot, in the hopes I could play with a few of my own personal beloved characters besides Mace. I’m very excited to say there is a lot of Kit Fisto in this book. I loved getting to know him more in the “Clone Wars” series. I’ve always seen him having a close relationship with Mace. They have fought together many times and even meet their end together. Exploring the lead-up to that demise is something I wanted to take a look at. That’s what I find so interesting about telling stories in this time. There is so much left unexplored during the Clone Wars. People want to see new things that shaped how the galaxy comes out the other side of the conflict.

Marvel.com: And there’ll be new characters, too, right?

Matt Owens: Yes, I also got the honor to create a few new characters for this book. Which is insane to me and I am still freaking out about it. You’ll meet two new Jedi, Prosset and Rissa, who are accompanying Mace on his journey. I wanted there to be new Jedi to give perspective to the emotional journey Mace is going through, but also have stories in their own right. Prosset is a sharp and inquisitive Miraluka. Rissa is an engineer and newly appointed Jedi Knight.

My favorite new character is probably the mercenary droid AD-W4. Hired by the Separatists to oversee a clandestine mission, AD is a droid who does not understand the concept or adherence to the doctrines of the Force. He embodies the science vs faith debate. It’s the perfect foil for Mace who is going through a crisis of faith at the time.

Marvel.com: Okay, and beyond all this coolness, you get to work with incredible artist Denys Cowan on the book.

Matt Owens: Denys Cowan is a legend. I have issues of POWER MAN AND IRON FIST and The Question of his on my bookshelf. I’m thrilled to work with him. There’s a rawness to his art that brings a welcome edge to the still familiar Star Wars look. I get so excited whenever he sends me sketches and I think people will feel the same when they see his finished work.

Look for STAR WARS: JEDI OF THE REPUBLIC: MACE WINDU by Matt Owens and Denys Cowan this August!

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Secret Empire Exposed: Captain Marvel

Each week, we use our super sleuth skills to dig into the histories of the characters fighting on both sides of Secret Empire!

SECRET EMPIRE #0 saw Captain America’s Hydra agenda come full circle as he assumed control of the world governments through S.H.I.E.L.D., isolated New York City in the Darkforce Dimension, and blocked Alpha Flight with the planetary defense shield. That last one seemed particularly aimed at Captain Marvel. In fact, Cap even fully explained that he’d had a Chitauri queen hidden on planet, which meant her people would never stop coming for her. In other words, the extra-terrestrial pummeling would never end.

If she had time to reflect on how she got to that point, Carol would remember taking the job as head of Alpha Flight after the events of Secret Wars. In the volume of CAPTAIN MARVEL that launched in 2016, she assumed control of the group working out of the Alpha Flight Space Station putting her in charge of a full staff plus the likes of Puck, Aurora, Sasquatch, and Abigail Brand. Their mission? Stop space threats from reaching the Earth.

The first adventure put her and the team in direct opposition to an alien race that didn’t take kindly to her Kree genetic signature after people from that particular planet nearly wiped them from existence. Soon after, Carol re-purposed her group to utilize the information coming from the Inhuman Ulysses to save the planet during Civil War II. The crossover also ran through A-FORCE and ULTIMATES, two team books that Carol also regularly appeared in. Captain Marvel’s desire to use Ulysses to save the world, even if he’s wrong every now and then, didn’t sit well with everyone, including Iron Man who worried more about someone else using that information for the wrong reasons.

Captain Marvel (2016) #1

Captain Marvel (2016) #1

What is Marvel Unlimited?

The event ended with Carol’s boyfriend Jim Rhodes dead, her longtime friend Jennifer Walters beaten comatose, Tony Stark out of commission, and the hero community once again left in a shambles. Yet, in the pages of her new series MIGHTY CAPTAIN MARVEL, Danvers found herself dealing with not only newfound fame, but also the impending Chitauri invasion. This week’s MIGHTY CAPTAIN MARVEL #5 actually takes place before the events of SECRET EMPIRE #0, showing how Carol started training a group of Alpha Cadets and also fought the first wave of invaders with the Guardians of the Galaxy, some of the Ultimates, and other heroes before getting the news that Cap had betrayed them.

SECRET EMPIRE #1 skipped ahead to show a world where Hydra had already taken control. We saw Captain Marvel sending out a distress signal to anyone who might hear saying that Earth needed help, noting that this threat could easily spread to their planets. As long as she’s still up there, humanity has a hope!

The Empire Strikes Back

The alien menace known as the Chitauri first appeared in the Ultimate Universe in the pages of the original ULTIMATES. They would show up to menace that reality on more than one occasion, but blew up to nearly a household name after becoming the main threat in the first Avengers film! The aliens first appeared in the Marvel Universe in the pages of NOVA to hassle Sam Alexander. Thanks to a stolen Ultimate Nullifier, though, he made short work of them.

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Follow the History of Spider-Man Pt. 4

For over 50 years, Spider-Man has been a sensational standout in the Marvel Universe, and this summer, the web-slinger swings onto the silver screen once more in “Spider-Man: Homecoming”! In celebration of this stories history, we present Spidey’s spectacular step-by-step story!

Spider-Man sought the expertise of Dr. Curt Connors in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #32 to help him devise a serum to cure Aunt May’s poisoned blood, but Doctor Octopus stood in his way when he stole the isotope that would insure the formula’s potency. Later, trapped in rubble from a battle in Ock’s base, the Wall-Crawler used all his spectacular strength and resolve to free himself in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #33 and save his ailing aunt.

Kraven the Hunter returned for a rematch in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #34, as well as Molten Man in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #35, but the webbed wonder dispatched both with little fuss. Later, Spidey tangled with Daredevil in DAREDEVIL #16, but the two costumed champions buried the hatchet in DAREDEVIL #17 to join forces against the real menace: The Masked Marauder.

Norman Osborn, businessman father to Peter Parker’s friend Harry Osborn, ducked and covered in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #37 to avoid the wrath of Professor Stromm’s robot, and a man named Joe Smith attracted the Web-Slinger’s interest when his new acting career turned sour due to an unfortunate electrical accident in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #38. Meanwhile, Norman placed a hefty pricetag on Spidey’s life that brought creeps out of the woodwork to collect.

Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #32

Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #32

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Alas, Parker found bigger things to worry about when none other than The Green Goblin swooped down out of the skies in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #39 to capture the youth and inform him that he knew our hero’s secret identity. In AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #40 the crazed tycoon regaled Peter with a tale of an explosion that created his Goblin persona, but when he suffered exposure to another blast during his subsequent battle with Spider-Man, the Green Goblin persona faded from his memory, seemingly forever.

The rampaging Rhino attempted to abduct astronaut John Jameson in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #41, prompting the Wall-Crawler to swing to the rescue. Afterward, Jameson gained super-strength from space-spores and tried to capture Spidey for the public good in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #42. To add insult to injury, Rhino busted out of lock-up in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #43 to claim his revenge on our hero.

Earth’s Mightiest Heroes convened in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN ANNUAL #3 to ponder membership for Spidey, and after a recommendation from Daredevil decided to test the Web-Slinger. Ultimately, Spider-Man failed his trial when he refused to capture The Hulk, believing the jade giant’s alter ego Bruce Banner to be too sickly to stand scrutiny by the Avengers.

Not long after, the X-Men approached the young crusader to bolster their own ranks against a new mutant menace in UNCANNY X-MEN #27, but Spider-Man turned them down, claiming he’d been too busy of late to focus on such things.

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The Avengers Return for An Action-Packed One-Hour ‘Marvel’s Avengers: Secret Wars’ Season Four Premiere on Saturday, June 17 on Disney XD

Earth’s Mightiest Heroes unite once again to fight the foes no single hero could withstand alone as “Marvel’s Avengers: Secret Wars” (previously “Marvel’s Avengers: Ultron Revolution”) debuts a fourth season with a one-hour premiere on SATURDAY, JUNE 17 (11:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m. EDT), on Disney XD, and on the Disney XD App and VOD (12:01 a.m. EDT). Disney XD will also present a series of six shorts featuring the newest Avengers – Captain Marvel, Black Panther, Ms. Marvel, Ant-Man, Wasp and Vision – in a flashback sequence that introduces their powers, beginning FRIDAY, JUNE 2, on Disney XD, the Disney XD App, Disney XD YouTube and VOD.

Picking up right after the events of season three “Ultron Revolution,” the fourth season finds Tony Stark trapped in another dimension. While the Avengers muster all of their knowledge and strength to try and find a way to bring him back, they are attacked by a new Cabal of villains who scatter the mighty heroes across space and time. With the help of the Black Panther’s new team, including Captain Marvel, Ms. Marvel, Ant-Man, Wasp and Vision, the Avengers must reunite in time to save the universe.

The multiplatform schedule is:

FRIDAY, JUNE 2 – WEDNESDAY, JUNE 7

  • Six original shorts will debut daily on Disney XD linear, on-demand and digital platforms. All six shorts will be available on Friday, June 2, on the Disney XD App. In the animated shorts, we meet the newest Avengers in a flashback sequence to learn about their background, super powers and, ultimately, what makes them super heroes.

SATURDAY, JUNE 17

  • One-hour premiere of “Marvel’s Avengers: Secret Wars” season four featuring back-to-back episodes on Disney XD (11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. EDT). The first two episodes will also be available on the Disney XD App and Disney XD VOD.
    • “Avengers No More – Part 1” (11:30 a.m. EDT)
      While trying to rescue Tony Stark from another dimension, the Avengers battle the Leader and his newly formed Cabal.
    • “Avengers No More – Part 2” (12:00 p.m. EDT)
      Black Panther assembles a new team of Avengers to stop the Leader and free the original Avengers.

The series stars: Mick Wingert (“Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy”) as Iron Man, Fred Tatasciore (“Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness”) as Hulk, Roger Craig Smith (“Wreck-It Ralph”) as Captain America, Travis Willingham (“Regular Show”) as Thor, Troy Baker (“Marvel’s Ultimate Spider-Man”) as Hawkeye, Laura Bailey (“The Super Hero Squad Show”) as Black Widow, Bumper Robinson (“The Game”) as Falcon, David Kaye (“Ben 10”) as Vision, James Mathis III (“Marvel’s Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H”) as Black Panther, Kathreen Khavari (“Big Little Lies”) as Ms. Marvel, Josh Keaton (“Ben 10”) as Ant-Man, Kari Wahlgren (“Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy”) as Wasp and Grey Griffin (“The Tom and Jerry Show”) as Captain Marvel.

Produced by Marvel Animation, the series’ creative team includes executive producers Alan Fine (“Marvel’s The Avengers,” “Iron Man,” “Thor”), Dan Buckley (“Marvel’s Avengers Assemble,” “Marvel’s Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.”), Joe Quesada (“Marvel’s Avengers Assemble”), Cort Lane (“Marvel’s Ultimate Spider-Man”), Eric Radomski (“Spawn,” “Marvel’s Avengers Assemble”), and Jeph Loeb (“Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”); co-executive producers Stan Lee (“Spider-Man”) and Stephen Wacker (“Marvel’s Avengers Assemble”); supervising producers Eugene Son (“Marvel’s Ultimate Spider-Man”), Danielle Wolff (“Marvel’s Ultimate Spider-Man”), and Harrison Wilcox (“Marvel’s Ultimate Spider-Man”); and supervising director Jeff Allen (“Marvel’s Avengers Assemble”).

Stay tuned to Marvel.com for all the latest news and updates on your favorite Marvel animated series.

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