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Black Panther’s Pride: Original Sin

Black Panther by Gabriele Dell'Otto

Read through some of T’Challa’s most thrilling adventures on Marvel Unlimited to mark Black Panther’s 50th anniversary!

As one of the most intelligent and powerful individuals in the Marvel Universe, it came as no surprise when a mysterious individual called on the Black Panther to help figure out who killed The Watcher in ORIGINAL SIN #1 by Jason Aaron and Mike Deodato. While the Avengers ran around trying to uncover why anyone desired to not only murder the cosmic being but also steal his eyes, T’Challa and others headed out in small groups to do the very same.

Teamed with Emma Frost and Scott “Ant-Man” Lang, Black Panther piloted a craft towards the Earth’s center that ultimately lead them to a graveyard of horrible monsters, all seemingly shot with gamma-irradiated bullets from the same weapon. At this point, T’Challa wondered if The Watcher died because he’d seen the identity of the shooter.

Understanding that someone might be pulling their strings, Black Panther guided the craft straight up through the Earth’s crust into space where they meet with their fellow agents Punisher, Doctor Strange, Winter Soldier, Gamora, and Moon Knight.

Eventually these heroes came to understand why they’d been selected and by whom. Nick Fury, who had been secretly protecting the Earth from alien, subterranean, and supernatural threats in secret, needed to find a replacement because the Infinity Formula that kept him young stopped working.

After Fury revealed these details, T’Challa continued to ask the same question of his would-be predecessor: who killed The Watcher? After several attempts at uncovering the answer, Black Panther and his companions attacked Fury and his assembled L.M.D.s, resulting in an all-out brawl.

Even though he remained understandably upset at Fury, Black Panther still leaped to the ever-aging spy’s defense against his Mindless One attackers as a way to make the eye-patched soldier “answer for his crimes."”

As answers came to light and battles ended, the heroes developed a better understanding of what Fury had been secretly up to all of these years and what ultimately happened to The Watcher. However, since Fury’s successor never fully revealed him or herself to the group, Black Panther and Doctor Strange agreed that the responsibility should pass on along with the seemingly dead super spy.

T’Challa remained uncertain about all that, though. His last line in the last issue resounded with irony: “Then let us hope that it is actually dead.”

Secrets of Wakanda

When we first saw T’Challa in ORIGINAL SIN #1, he’s sitting in Necropolis, otherwise known as the Wakandan City of the Dead. Writer Jonathan Hickman introduced the locale in the pages of FANTASTIC FOUR #607 and #608. At that time, T'Challa’s sister Shuri had taken over the mantle of Black Panther. The FF traveled to Wakanda by invitation, but soon found themselves attacked by reanimated corpses. T’Challa revealed the place to Reed Richards, noting that he’d never traveled there before. “This is where Black Panthers are laid to rest,” he informed Reed before heading in.

Next, the king of Wakanda stands toe to toe against invading Super Skrulls as Jason Aaron and Jefte Pallo bring Secret Invasion to BLACK PANTHER #39-41.

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Gwenpool: Spider-Man’s Amazing Friend

Gwenpool and Spider-Man

Beginning in GWENPOOL #5 later this week and continuing into issue #6—available September 14—we’ll get to see Gwen team up with none other than Miles Morales.

We look forward to this for a lot of reasons, including the fact that it pays a little bit of homage to the Deadpool/Peter Parker dynamic we all love. We chatted with writer Christopher Hastings about his top five reasons for putting these two very different characters together.

Can Gwen be chill?

“As an avid comics reader in her home universe, Gwen knows Miles’s secret identity. So when she spots Miles in his civvies in public, can she keep her cool? Or will she totally blow his cover? I want to see that scene!”

Miles might have some lessons for Gwen

“Gwen treats the Marvel Universe like a video game populated with extras whose lives don’t matter—though the universe occasionally fights back against her ideas about the ‘rules’ of living in a ‘fictional reality.’ In contrast, power and responsibility very much inform Miles’s character. So let’s have two people on opposite ends of the ‘responsibility spectrum’ team up and see what shakes out.”

Two out-of-towners

“Like Gwen, Miles comes from another universe entirely. I like putting Gwen with other people who find themselves living away from home, like Howard the Duck in her first appearance.”

Good, old fashioned, Fourth-Wall-breaking fun

“I personally really enjoy reading about Miles Morales. As Gwen has an awareness of the machinations of the comic writers and artists who shape her world, she should appreciate that I put her in a team-up largely because I wanted to write a favorite character.”

What will Gwen do with Miles’s secret?

“Ok last one, I’m just going to double up and repeat that Gwen, a seriously irresponsible individual, knows Miles is Spider-Man! What will she do with that?! If they have to team up to face some sort of threat, they’ll probably have very conflicting ideas about how to deal with it. In that case, Miles would have the leg up on Gwen in terms of powers, but Gwen could out him to the whole world.”

Miles Morales drops in on GWENPOOL #5, available this week!

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‘Spider-Man Unlimited’ Takes a Trip to 2099

Spider-Man Unlimited

Ready to dip, dodge, run, and swing across the roofs of 2099 Nueva York? Gameloft Product Marketing Manager Vitaliy Gladiyenko dropped by to help guide players past the Alchemax goons and give us the skinny on all the awesome stuff they have coming down the pipeline in “Spider-Man Unlimited.”

Marvel.com: You guys just hit players with a tarantula-sized update chock full of futuristic fun. Can we get a quick tl;dr of what to expect?

Vitaliy Gladiyenko: In this 2099 themed update players will be given a whole new story to play. In terms of mechanics it’s something like story mode with time-limited events: a new segment on the mission map with its own bosses and progression rewards, including a new Spidey character as a grand reward. This mode consists of two parts, each one is almost a month long--yes, it’s time-limited—and has different events and characters involved. This all of course includes descriptions and dialogues, which reveal our own story about [Spider-Man 2099, aka Miguel O’Hara] being imprisoned by someone still unknown.

Marvel.com: I’ve always been a big fan of Miguel and Spidey 2099! Who hasn’t wanted to head to Nueva York and go head-to-head with Alchemax?

Vitaliy Gladiyenko: Well, there's actually at least one guy around, who’d rather stay in New York [than] travel through time: Jonah Jameson. I bet he would [rather] send someone from his Spidey list rather than doing something by himself. However we have him—his Spider-Island monster version—as a playable character.

Marvel.com: We've seen the Spider-Man 2099 universe a couple of times in other games, namely “Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions” and “Spider-Man: Edge of Time.” Did the way those games showed off Miguel’s home time period inform the design in “Unlimited”?

Vitaliy Gladiyenko: Yes, “Shattered Dimensions” definitely inspired our 2099 world even though we [are] a mobile runner. The overall feel is the same—dark blue and black colors, neon lights, flying cars, Alchemax buildings; everything you can expect from the future.

Marvel.com: And now that Miguel O’Hara’s back he’s looking better than ever! Why do players want the time-displaced Spidey on their team?

Vitaliy Gladiyenko: Miguel [has been] in “Spider-Man Unlimited” for some time already, but now we have added him as a top rarity character with really strong abilities. But that’s not all! Besides Spider-Man 2099 there are few other iconic characters who call 2099 home: Flipside, an android, awakened from stasis and now mimicking Miguel's abilities; Venom—Kron Stone—Miguel’s half-brother, a bully even at the best of times; and of course we’ve got an all-new outfit for Miguel O’Hara at the highest rarity.

Marvel.com: The game isn’t just getting some cosmetic upgrades right? You’re rolling out the red carpet for a few 2099 villains. Who’s darkening the Spider’s doorstep this time?

Vitaliy Gladiyenko: The mastermind behind this 2099 debacle was a pretty obvious choice; Green Goblin is Spidey’s most famous and dogged nemesis in our time so it’d make sense someone else with the Goblin moniker would hold that title at the turn of the century. But adding just the Goblin would be too easy for our Spider-Men and Spider-Women, so we thought it’s about time the Inheritors made another appearance. This time they’re in cahoots with the Goblin, which spells disaster no matter how you look at it.

Marvel.com: And aside from the 2099 fun there’s also a new Superior Spider-Man event coming up. Doc Ock up to his old tricks again?

Vitaliy Gladiyenko: Exactly. The Superior Spider-Man story arc is really really awesome and we all enjoyed it for sure. And because it was never represented in our game before, it was decided to make things happen and implement a series of events in the game. “Spider-Man Unlimited” will allow you to play the story, not just read. Almost all key characters and events from the original comic books are here. Even Pete’s—or should I say Otto’s?—new love: Anna Maria Marconi!

Marvel.com: Anything else we need to know about the what's coming in “Spider-Man: Unlimited”?

Vitaliy Gladiyenko: Oh, this is my favorite: there’s a lot you should know! Almost every single symbiote [from] the Spider-Man comic books are about to join the fray: Venom, Carnage, Spider-Carnage, Toxin, Anti-Venom, Scream, and a whole bunch of others, including even an exclusive MJ-Venom from a rare variant cover of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #678! We also have a huge list of characters to add after symbiotes and we’re still wondering who’s going to be first. Maybe it’s time for the dark side of the Spider-Verse to reveal its “heroes”?

And also a few words about the features we plan to release this and early next year: symbiote homeworld as a new level environment, card collections, and a new game mode: run as a villain and try to get away from a Spider-Man chasing you! It’s going to be really fun.

Stay tuned to Marvel.com for more “Spider-Man Unlimited” news and interviews!

Spider-Man UnlimitedSpider-Man UnlimitedSpider-Man UnlimitedSpider-Man UnlimitedSpider-Man Unlimited

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Max Ride: Due for Landing

Max Ride: Final Flight by David Nakayama

By Sarah Cooke

Starting September 7, MAX RIDE: FINAL FLIGHT, the concluding series in the Max Ride saga, will hit shelves. The exciting story follows Max and her “flock” of adoptive brothers and sisters as they try to discover where they come from, while evading evil scientists and beast-like creatures called Erasers.

We caught up with writer Jody Houser about her creative process and she gave us a few curiosity-piquing teasers, as well.

Marvel.com: Can you tell us a little bit about the process of adapting a series of novels? Has it felt different from other writing experiences?

Jody Houser: The first comic I worked on was Orphan Black, also an adaptation, and its themes actually have some similarities to those of Max Ride. But we’ve adapted Max Ride in a more open way. The comics follow the events of the books, but don’t necessarily re-create exact scenes or lines of dialog. We’ve tailored the story to work better as a comic, and I’ve had fun doing that. I’ve enjoyed figuring out what works best in the novels versus what works best in the comics, and telling the story in a way that takes full advantage of the medium.

Marvel.com: You also wrote THE CAVALRY: S.H.I.E.L.D. 50TH ANNIVERSARY. Max and Melinda May both feel a lot of responsibility to look out for their teams, and they’ve both had experiences that make it hard for them to really let people in. Is that something you noticed as you were writing MAX RIDE: ULTIMATE FLIGHT?

Jody Houser: I didn’t think about that as I was writing it, but I like that parallel. Max literally has the weight of the world on her shoulders, but she’s still only 18. So she has a lot of cynicism in some ways, but she also still has hope that the rest of the flock will find their parents, and that she’ll ultimately save everyone. Because of her age, she has a sense of optimism that May doesn’t necessarily have at this stage of her career. But the hardships they’ve gone through have definitely shaped both of them, and they’ve both come out a little bit tougher and harder because of it.

Marvel.com: The theme of family, and what really constitutes a family, runs through the series. How did that factor into your storytelling process?

Jody Houser: I tried to maintain that core theme from the novels, the idea that family you make can have more importance to you than the family related to you by blood. Most of us find that type of family in the friendships we make as we move on with our lives. But these kids have never known any family besides one another. They come together because they needed to in order to survive, and as a result, they develop a very strong bond. They really love each other. Sometimes, though, doing the best thing for your family might not make you very happy. So in Max’s case, she wants to help the others find their parents, even though that may mean they’ll leave her.

Marvel.com: Max Ride is a science fiction story, but it’s also a coming of age story. How do you balance those different aspects?

Jody Houser: I think in the best stories, the speculative fiction elements pair well with the real-world elements. Think of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” where the horror aspects serve a metaphor for what people really go through in high school and college. Max Ride follows a young woman trying to find her identity and determine whether she can trust the adults in her life, and a lot of young people have to deal with those kinds of issues in the real world. I think it all works really well together.  

Marvel.com: What do you find most appealing about writing sci-fi or speculative fiction?

Jody Houser: I like the idea of asking, “What if the world were really this way?” and then using that to explore how the real issues that we face would either change or stay the same. To me, that explains why sci-fi is so important in terms of storytelling. It allows you to explore—in a really interesting way—different aspects of society, and even what it means to be human. I’ve loved sci-fi since I was a kid, and getting to write stories like this feels amazing.

Marvel.com: What can readers look forward to in FINAL FLIGHT? Can you tease anything for us?

Jody Houser: In the upcoming series, we might see a little bit of conflict within the flock. Also, in earlier issues, Max received a lot of hints that a threat exists that could put not just her flock in danger, but the entire world—and we’ll finally discover what that threat is. We’ll also get to see a different side of Ari, the leader of the Erasers. And we’ll eventually find out whose voice Max hears in her head.

MAX RIDE: FINAL FLIGHT by Jody Houser and Marco Failla begins on September 7!

Max Ride: Final Flight #1 cover by David Nakayama

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