Follow the History of Daredevil Pt. 32
(Tue, 25 Nov 2014)
In 1964, Marvel premiered one of its enduring and exciting super heroes, Daredevil. Whether in his secret identity as blind lawyer Matt Murdock or using his enhanced radar senses, DD stood out
from the crowd as an unrelenting crusader for justice.
To celebrate 75 years of Marvel, 50 years of the Man Without Fear and the upcoming debut of “Marvel’s Daredevil” on Netflix in
2015, we look back on the hero of Hell’s Kitchen’s remarkable history!
Daredevil’s multiple identities proved more than he could bear in 1995 as his sanity slipped away under the onslaught of heinous villains and the weight of Matt Murdock’s past actions.
The year opened with the in-progress battle between DD in his new armored outfit, the wicked Bushwacker, the terrifying Devourer entity, and the strange cyborg known as Deathlok the Demolisher in
DAREDEVIL #336. A bomber called Jenkins swung the blame for his attacks onto the tunnel people, led by a man known as Joshua, but when the Man Without Fear instituted a sweeping search for more
of the villain’s bombs in DAREDEVIL #337, it took the help of the Demolisher to finally bring him to justice.
Meanwhile, the once-mighty Kingpin began to mount his return to prominence in the city. DAREDEVIL #338 revealed a “typical” day in the life of Jack Batlin, Matt Murdock’s new identity since his
“death” the year before, while a disfigured man called Kruel licked off a campaign to find the man who’d caused his injuries: The Kingpin. In DAREDEVIL #339, Kruel assaulted reporter Ben Urich,
one of several witnesses to his past beating at the hands of the Kingpin, and by doing so regained a portion of his memories of the original incident.
Feeling as if he’d found the right path to restore his memories, Kruel next attacked Matt’s old friend Glorianna O’Breen, another witness like Urich, in DAREDEVIL #340, and ruthlessly killed her.
This put DD on Kruel’s tail, though our hero believed he himself stood as the ultimate target of the attacks.
Finding more witnesses, Kruel neared full illumination of the “fat man” who disfigured him. Daredevil confronted Kingpin about the mystery in DAREDEVIL #341, while elsewhere, former S.H.I.E.L.D.
agent and cyborg John Garrett looked for work. Kingpin filled our hero in on Kruel’s particulars in DAREDEVIL #342, while the killer himself went after Foggy Nelson, yet another witness. With the
Kingpin’s aid, DD stopped Kruel’s progress, though the man died in the battle. Before he left the scene, the “new” Daredevil introduced himself to Foggy.
In DAREDEVIL #343, DD’s sanity shredded even further, producing a mock “trial” in our hero’s mind, wherein all of his identities stood up and spoke as to their reality. On the edge of madness in
DAREDEVIL #344, Matt wound up in the middle of a scuffle between a hell-bent Punisher and Nick Fury. When the dust cleared, he donned his original yellow costume and proclaimed the real Daredevil
With his sanity slipping away by the minute, Matt heard of someone going around in his armored costume in DAREDEVIL #345, and the advent of a woman-hating criminal known as Sir. When the troubled
hero went to his own grave wearing his red costume, he narrowly avoided a run-in with Karen Page.
Sir wanted to duke it out with the Man Without Fear in DAREDEVIL #346 to absorb his “male power,” and managed to beat him when that fight finally occurred. Sir went on to slaughter a precinct of
cops in DAREDEVIL #347 wearing DD’s red outfit, but when Matt attacked and ultimately triumphed over the bruiser, Sir turned out to be a female transformed into a male by chemicals.
Almost completely submerged in his identity crisis, Matt allowed himself to be led away to help by Karen and Foggy, with his dark past overwhelming him at last…
Read more DAREDEVIL (1964) on Marvel Unlimited
>> read more
When Everything Ends, There Is Only Secret Wars
(Tue, 25 Nov 2014)
>> read more
Marvel 75: Trading Cards of the 90's
(Tue, 25 Nov 2014)
Ask just many creators or fans who grew up in the 90’s where they found out about Marvel characters for the first time and you’ll find one recurring answer: trading cards.
Before the days when you could look anyone up on the Internet, legions of fans got their information from the various card sets produced in the 90’s. Each came with unique, one-of-a-kind artwork
on the front and a variety of offerings on the back from stats and biographies to full comic stories and even additional artwork.
It all started in 1990 with the launch of the Marvel Universe trading cards from a company called Impel that would rebrand itself as SkyBox in 1992. That same year, Marvel Entertainment Group,
Inc. purchased Fleer which then bought out SkyBox in 1995. By 1999, Marvel sold the Fleer-Skybox brand off, but in that time a variety of comic-based trading cards found their way into fans’
The sets branched out to focus on subsections of the Marvel Universe, large events, and even artist-centric collections done by the likes of Andy and Adam Kubert. To celebrate the sets that
influenced a whole generation, Marvel.com talked with current Marvel President & Publisher - Print, TV & Digital Dan Buckley, and SVP, Marketing, Marvel Studios & Television Michael
Pasciullo who both worked on the sets back then as Business Unit Director and Assistant Marketing Manager respectively.
So how did they get into the game? Buckley moved over to the card company after his first stint at Marvel and worked with future Marvel Executive Vice President Bill Jemas.
“[Jemas] was running all the trading card business at Fleer at that time,” Buckley says. “Marvel had acquired Fleer. The Marvel trading card license was originally with Skybox. When the Skybox
license ran out, Fleer started making Marvel trading cards. Bill Jemas was the guy who did that. Business was booming. He was going to be in charge of more things and he asked me if I wanted to
take over the trading card business for Fleer for Marvel.”
For his part, Pasciullo, then a recent college graduate with a marketing degree, responded to a job ad without even knowing what it was for.
“One Sunday, I opened up the ‘Philadelphia Inquirer’ and there was a job posting that only said they were looking for someone with a college degree and a knowledge of Marvel Comics,” he recalls.
“So I sent in my resume and ended up getting a call for an interview with Fleer. At that time, Bill Jemas was in charge of Fleer so my interview was with him in his office. I’ll never forget that
at the end of the interview he pointed at the Marvel Universe poster by Ed Hannigan that he had on his wall and said that he was going to point to 10 characters and that I needed to identify
which characters they were. Fortunately, I went 10 for 10.”
Both Buckley and Pasciullo had a hand in developing card sets, as well as who would draw them and what would show up on the back.
“I was involved in product development and marketing,” Pasciullo says. “From a product development standpoint, I was involved with developing what the trading card sets would be, the different
themes/sections within the sets, the artists that would be used, the design of the cards and the writing and proofreading of the cards. From a marketing standpoint, it was the advertising and
messaging to retailers as well as to consumers which included sales materials, packaging, giveaways, and events.”
“I love planning trading card sets because you just do maybe five or six a year and you lay them out over a year,” Buckley says. “It was a group of maybe five, six, seven of us. We sit in a room
and talk about who we think are the artists that we’d want to get to do certain work and then our production guy Jim Boyle would say, ‘I think I could do this with foil. I could do this hole.’
We’d talk about the lead times associated with those things. And you could nail down the plans for trading card sets over a one to two week period for a year and it took a lot longer to get them
together with the artist.”
“It almost became a game to see how deep into the well you could go,” Pasciullo explains. “But the best part was that this was about two years before the Internet hit, so we were doing this all
from our own personal reading experiences. You couldn’t simply Google ‘Spider-Man Villains.’ Instead it was about remembering how cool it was when Spot showed up for the first time in an issue of
PETER PARKER, THE SENSATIONAL SPIDER-MAN.”
The sets themselves would revolve around the most popular comics, series and events of the day. At the time, the X-Men and Spider-Man not only sold well in shops, but also starred in animated
series and action figure lines, so they were clear choices. Meanwhile, the Marvel Masterpiece sets offered more painterly interpretations of the characters.
“Obviously in that day and age you knew you were going to do a Spider-Man trading card set and you’d do an X-Men one,” Buckley notes. “You’d probably do some sort of Marvel Universe one and then
you might think about some hot artists or fine artists that you would probably plug into Masterpiece because it was a viable trading card brand or franchise or whatever you want to call it. So we
look at those things and say, ‘Well, Spider-Man. What do you think the hook is?’ And it may have been a timeline or it might have been a comic book story on the backs. You come up with a couple
of different editorial technological hooks and then you start looking at stuff that’s in nines because that’s how the trading card binders lined up.”
“The fun came in deciding which characters would then be featured in those sets,” Pasciullo says. “For the Marvel Universe sets, it was fairly straightforward because there were so many popular
characters in the Marvel Universe that you could easily fill up a 150 card set without breaking a sweat. It was when we worked on the Spider-Man and X-Men sets that we really got to channel our
inner fanboy. Early on, there was a small group of us including Steve Domzalski, Ben Plavin, Ron Perazza, and eventually Dan Buckley that would sit around and come up with any characters from
those families that we could remember from all the comic books that we had read throughout our lives.”
Once the group figured out which characters would go in which sets, they hired artists to draw those classic pin-ups.
“The artists loved working on the trading card series for two very simple reasons: one, it was easier and faster to draw a trading card than a comic book and, two, they were paid very,
very, very well,” Pasciullo says. “Marvel trading cards during the mid-to-late 90’s was a very successful and profitable business so we could afford to get the best artists and pay them well. I
know one artist that bought a house from just the work he did on trading cards. As far as how they were chosen, we had an amazing art director named Jennifer Caudill who was always looking both
within the comic book industry as well as outside of it for great artists. Some of the coolest pieces we made were done by artists that had never drawn or painted a comic book. Some of the
artists that, if I remember correctly, had not worked in comics that did some amazing work for us were Dave DeVries, Peter Bollinger, Mark Fredrickson and Marc Sasso.”
“You would probably look at artists and look at groups of what you could put together and so you try to line up artists to do things along that line,” Buckley continues. “Masterpieces you would
definitely look for artists. There were four guys and that was the artistic approach. You kind of went to those guys and said, ‘How much work can you do in a certain timeline?’ and you negotiate
a rate. If they were interested finances usually weren’t an issue. They were paid pretty well.”
With the front of the cards figured out, the next step was deciding what exactly would go on the back.
“That process was part Marvel, part personal knowledge and part research,” Pasciullo says. “And by ‘research,’ that meant either going into our own personal comic book collections to find
information or going to the comic book store down the street from the office to see if they had the issues that we would need; try coming up with pertinent and factual information about Stegron
without the aid of a Wiki.”
Considering the sheer number of offerings, the focus of the card backs shifted from passing along specific information to figuring out new ways to use that side of the card as a way to draw in
“We were doing a lot of cards so it got harder to find what was going to be cool, new information you could give to somebody every year,” Buckley admits. “That’s why you saw a lot of the card
backs turn into artist collections too. I think the last Spider-Man set that I was involved in doing we did two [things] that were pretty unique. One, I think that was the first trading card set
where we did original art cards. We did like little mini blue boards and guys drew stuff. That’s pretty prevalent now.
“I think the core collection [for that set] had a John Romita piece where if you put them all together it would make one big John Romita poster. Then we had a John Romita Jr. piece that was a two
box chase and that was post-wedding. It had a wedding picture in it and that was pretty neat. We did a Wolverine trading card set and it was actually an in continuity comic book.”
Pasciullo recalls a few instances when trying to keep the cards fresh and interesting might have gone a little too far:
“I remember for the ’94 Fleer Ultra X-Men set, we created a subset called Spring Break that was actually the X-Men in bathing suits hanging at the beach. There was a card where Wolverine was
literally using his claws to cook hot dogs. And for the ’95 Fleer Ultra Spider-Man set, we did a subset called Carnage U.S.A. that was basically depictions of Carnage destroying national
landmarks on the front and the back of the cards were postcards detailing the destruction that he sent back to various people from the Spider-Man family of characters. We didn’t clear either of
those sets with Marvel and when they saw them in for the first time, they were not too happy with us.
But I think we may have finally and completely crossed the line when we did the subset called Asylum in the Spider-Man Premium ’96 card set. The premise was that the villains were in an Asylum
and the back of the cards were written in their crazed voices. For the Venom card, I decided to have Venom write his own lyrics to the classic Spider-Man song. After going method by sitting in a
dark office by myself for half a day, I came up with ‘Spider-Man, Spider-Man, Squashed like only a Spider can, Eat his brains, drink his blood, Chew him up just like chum, Look out, I’ll eat a
Spider-Man!’ Somehow, most of that actually made it to the back of the card.”
Buckley fondly looks back on the line of cards based on the Marvel Vs. DC Comics crossover and the ensuing Amalgam mash-up comics.
“That [was] nutty to do,” he remembers. “I remember sitting in the meeting and we had to work on a very expedited timeline. That’s why if you ever look at the trading cards the checklist is
relatively short. Usually your core artwork is 100 cards and then you have some chase. That was 72, I think, the core set. The main reason is because you only could hire the artists who were
drawing the books because they were the only people who knew what the characters looked like.
"If anyone has taken the time to read those card backs that is probably the best card back set we ever did because that’s where we actually did mash-ups of continuity as if that comic book
imprint and universe existed. So we worked with the editorial groups at Marvel and DC. For example, one of the card backs would have had Infinite Secret Wars. So that was actually a very fun
editorial one to do. We did that card set in half the time we did any other card set.”
Looking back, Buckley and Pasciullo each point out additional reasons why the comic book cards did so well in the 90’s, one involving artwork quality, the other Major League Baseball.
“There was a window there where the trading cards offered something that you couldn’t get elsewhere because the economics and the production processes were different,” Buckley says. “And the
production technologies for comics had not changed yet when this was happening. So [for] the trading cards, a lot of guys were able to do a lot of painted work, a lot of computer-colored work, a
lot of high end painted and computer-colored stuff that wasn’t part of what you saw in comics yet. So the trading cards had a distinctly different artistic presentation than what you saw in the
“One other important thing to remember is that in the summer of 1994, there was a MLB players strike that ended the season in August which not only hampered the ability to do baseball cards but
it also drove away many baseball fans and card collectors,” Pasciullo adds. “Even when the strike was over, many of them were so upset with the league and the players that they did not come back
to the sport or the hobby.”
The sports collecting world’s loss proved the comic industry’s gain as these card sets not only brought in fans, but also new and interesting variant cover options.
“Jim Boyle, who is in charge of printing for Marvel Comics now, was in charge of Fleer’s printing and production back then and he was always ahead of the curve with technologies and printing
capabilities,” Pasciullo says. “He was always pushing the envelope to make sure we were doing the next cool thing. I think Marvel ended up taking some of his ideas and using them for covers as
well. And from a scarcity or chase perspective, I think the comic book industry definitely took notice and saw how lucrative it could be. By no means did we invent it—I’m not taking the
responsibility/blame for that—but I think we helped influence and perpetuate the variant trend.”
Pasciullo and Buckley both look back proudly on their time making Marvel cards not only for the personal challenges and experience, but also the products they created and the influence they had
on the industry.
“I never really thought about it from that context but my time at Fleer is something that I am very proud of and grateful for,” Pasciullo reflects. “I’ll be honest, when I started at Fleer, I was
a few months out of college and still going to the comic book store every Friday to get my comic books—yes, back in the 90’s comic books actually came out on Fridays. I knew that I would never
work at Marvel but this was my chance to be a part of and create something new for Marvel, to be part of, albeit a small part, of the Marvel tradition. If the stuff that we worked on back
then has influenced people that much, then that just makes the entire experience that much cooler.”
“Going back and looking, it was just interesting to see the range of people you could get to do the work,” Buckley concludes. “Editorially, I was proud of what we did.”
For more on the 75th anniversary of Marvel, visit marvel.com/75
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Celebrate Thanksgiving the Marvel Way
(Tue, 25 Nov 2014)
Holidays: a special time when folks throughout the Marvel Universe celebrate in their own ways.
Dr. Doom presumably sends someone to be executed. Spider-Man takes a few minutes to enjoy some turkey with Aunt May. Galactus most likely eats a planet or three.
Whatever the case may be, holiday traditions remain alive, well, and fairly rampant in the Marvel U. Thanksgiving certainly proves no exception.
Before we all settle down with the family, talking the talk, then entering into a delicious food coma, let’s look back at some noteworthy issues addressing the time of year most of us give
UNCANNY X-MEN #308
After battling the forces of evil, even the X-Men know they need a little R&R. Arguably, Turkey Day provides the ideal time for this.
This awesome issue from the 90’s focuses on Charles Xavier’s finest doing everything from raking leaves to tossing around the old pig skin. While that doesn’t exactly sound too exciting, there’s
a stellar overarching narrative where Scott Summers and Jean Grey take a long retrospective on their lives together.
This leads to a momentous occasion where Jean pops the question to Cyclops. Of course the X-Men’s longtime leader couldn’t be happier for his lady to finally put a ring on it, so as the whole
gang sits down for a spread with all the trimmings, they make the big announcement.
THE PUNISHER (2011) #5
The Punisher doesn’t quite strike us as the “giving of thanks” type.
One hundred days after battling The Vulture, Frank Castle holes up in a silo, probably cleaning weapons with a frown crowning his face. He comes into contact with a little boy, who after first
discovering the Punisher’s lair, decides to strike up a conversation with the man he believes a soldier.
Frank, with no regard for the kindness of strangers, makes light of the troops. This thoroughly angers the child, the son of two deployed parents. The boy comes back yet again, this time with a
big plate of Thanksgiving goodies for the man in the skull shirt. Castle doesn’t do sentiment well, or holidays, so the interaction ended with a floor full of food.
We’re guessing the kid won’t be back for Arbor Day or Christmas.
VISION AND THE SCARLET WITCH (1985) #6
This issue teaches us many crucial things. Besides the fact that it shows a bunch of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes enjoying a holiday dinner together, it’s also living proof that Captain America never
puts that shield down, and Namor does not wear a shirt—ever. With a celebration in full swing, the Avengers and friends let loose a little, while having some holiday cheer, when all of a
Normally, it would be go time, some groovy superpowers would get unleashed, and then “it” would hit the proverbial fan. However, when you choose the home of Scarlet Witch for your fiesta, you
cannot get upset or surprised when her dad shows up—in a holiday sweater for that matter.
You’d expect the Master of Magnetism to be plotting some sort of unholy act that would strike a crippling blow against non-mutant kind. But it’s the holidays for crying out loud! The only thing
on Magneto’s mind: whether to grab Namor a shirt or a pair of pants first; also, how to get away from some pretty non-super, mindless chit-chatting.
Happy Thanksgiving from Marvel!
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Sign Up for an Ant-Man Live Chat
(Tue, 25 Nov 2014)
Coming in January, writer Nick Spencer and artist Ramon Rosanas give Marvel's smallest hero a big change, launching Scott Lang into a new ANT-MAN ongoing series as part of Avengers NOW!
On Thursday December 4, beginning at 3:30 PM ET, Spencer will be joined by Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso and ANT-MAN editor Wil Moss to reveal exclusive details about the book and answer your
questions! Sign up below to be part of the live chat!
Live Blog Marvel Next Big Thing: Ant-Man
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Experience Rebirth as Part of Marvel's 75th Anniversary in Episode 160.5 of This Week in Marvel
(Tue, 25 Nov 2014)
Marvel historian Peter Sanderson once again sits down with Ben and Ryan, this time to talk about the 1990's! Peter covers everything from the continued commercial success of Spider-Man and the X-Men,
to classics like MARVELS and Peter David's INCREDIBLE HULK, to the controversy of Heroes Reborn and the Clone Saga, plus alternate universes, cosmic events, and much more!
Download episode #160.5 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 so you never miss an 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 Tuesday and Thursday (or so) and TWiM is co-hosted by Marvel Digital Media Group Executive Editorial Director Ryan
"Agent M" Penagos and Marvel.com Editor Ben Morse with Manager, Video & Content Production Blake Garris and Editor Marc Strom.
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 or @Marvel with the hashtag #ThisWeekinMarvel!
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Psych Ward: Hulk & Magneto
(Tue, 25 Nov 2014)
As reports of erratic nearly opposite behavior spreads amongst the super powered community, I am continuing to monitor the situation and report observations as it becomes possible. As noted
previously, these reports are based on observations and meta-reviews of eyewitness reports, news articles, and so on. Unless noted, there have been no face-to-face evaluations at this
Bruce Banner’s is a long and tragic case that has been documented several times over the years. Alas, it appears to have taken another turn. Hulk, it would seem, is gone, replaced by a larger,
possibly armored creature by the name of “Kluh,” nicknamed by some as “Hulk’s Hulk.”
Here, with this report in particular, this writer must stress the secondhand nature of the information and data in my possession. Kluh, whether he is the latest iteration of a Banner’s alter ego
or not, is a being that I have no frame of reference for. He has never been in session with myself or any of my colleagues, and never received any kind of psychological evaluation in a hospital,
prison, or outpatient facility. The only information I have in my possession comes from the observations and experiences of others.
The details garnered from those indicate that Hulk became despondent and less intelligent than he had been as of late until an unspecified incident, an event that involved him being attacked,
possibly by some of the heroes who have been exhibiting unusual behavior characteristics as of late. In reaction to this attack, Hulk changed into Kluh, a metamorphosis not unlike the one Banner
would undergo to turn into Hulk, or, briefly, Hulk would undergo to turn into an unreasonable, raging Banner. Kluh was said to be a more cunning and cruel than Hulk traditionally is.
What makes this case unusual, besides the actual physical transformation, is that Hulk has been so volatile over the years and experienced so many changes in personality and presentation, it is
impossible for this writer to say with any level of authority that this is related to the seeming personality changes noted in individuals like Captain America (Sam Wilson) or Kurt
Wagner (Nightcrawler). This could be just another in a series of difficult and tragic happenings for Dr. Bruce Banner and his (usually) green skinned alter ego.
I do, however, feel reasonably certain that Kluh is not the Hulk clone of extraterrestrial origin of the same name.
The mutant supremacist and sometimes terrorist represents another very difficult case to consider; Magneto has, at times, worked with the X-Men, who favor integration over mutants violently
overthrowing and destroying humanity. Additionally, most recently, he allied himself with Cyclops as part of a group that seemed to be a sort of middle ground between Magneto’s “classic”
Brotherhood and its doctrine of violence and mutant superiority, and the X-Men with its emphasis on peaceful co-existence and slow incremental influencing of public opinion.
Therefore, news that Magneto has acted heroic would seem hardly “out of character.” What does, however, is who Magneto has allied himself with. Even during the times that he has embraced
Professor Charles Xavier’s philosophy or approaches, Magneto has remained uniquely dedicated to mutant rights issues and worked only with follow mutants.
However—and it must be stressed that this information should be taken with some degree of incredulity—it appears that Magneto is now working with human beings and super powered, but non-mutant,
individuals and this choice has led him into conflict with, amongst, others, Cyclops.
Again, I must stress that Magneto’s allegiances have been mercurial over the years and him being “on the side of angels” is not without precedence. Nonetheless, there are aspects of this current
conversion that seem unusual.
Human beings have a tendency to look for patterns or interpret events as fitting established patterns when there is not enough evidence to do so. This writer is human and prone to the same
biases. It is with this knowledge that I am tentative to include the above two subjects in my continued study of the strange behaviors and personality shifts that seem to be spreading amongst
super powered heroes on villains. That said I feel it would be more irresponsible to not note these two than it is to include them. If sufficient evidence arises that they have not been affected
by the same pathogen, mass hysteria, folie deux writ large, etc, I will do my due diligence to immediately note that. For now, however, I feel their behavior should be noted amongst the current
crop of more clear cases.
Those interested in these cases and others similar to it recently reported should read the assessments of Doctors Rick Remender & Adam Kubert in the file marked AVENGERS & X-MEN: AXIS #6, available to the public now.
Psy D. Candidate Tim Stevens is a Dialectical Behavior Therapy Consultant who sometimes just has to follow his gut.
>> read more
Marvel 75: Heroes Reborn - Ahead of Its Time?
(Tue, 25 Nov 2014)
In the 1990’s, big-name creators and big-time stunts ruled comics—and nowhere did those two ideas collide harder at Marvel than with Heroes Reborn.
Launching in 1996, the Heroes Reborn event saw creators Jim Lee and Rob Liefeld take over some of Marvel’s marquee characters for a total reboot. Within the story of the Marvel Universe, these
changes came thanks to the attack of the villain Onslaught and the actions of young mutant Franklin Richards who hid the heroes away in a pocket universe of his own creation. But in the real
world, a one-year stretch where Marvel titles like FANTASTIC FOUR, CAPTAIN AMERICA, IRON MAN and AVENGERS saw their first total re-launch and reinvention resulted.
Today’s comics world thrums with more seismic shakeups than ever imaginable, but that doesn’t mean Heroes Reborn has faded entirely into the rear view. To celebrate the legacy of the 90’s, we’re
counting down eight ways the stories proved ahead of their time.
A Conspiracy Behind Captain America
Years before Bucky Barnes reappeared as the brainwashed Winter Solider, Captain America had his own brush with a shadowy military conspiracy. In the pages of Rob Liefeld and writer Jeph Loeb’s
CAPTAIN AMERICA, the Star-Spangled Avenger never became encased in ice at the end of World War II. Instead, the hero rebelled against America’s choice to end the conflict with a nuclear bomb, and
as a result the government forced him into suspended animation.
Over the ensuing decades, the nearly immortal Steve Rogers would be brainwashed with new secret identities including a factory worker married to a Life Model Decoy made to look like Peggy Carter.
Every decade, S.H.I.E.L.D. leader Nick Fury would revive Cap for covert missions before putting him back in a fantasy reality where he never knew of his heroic life. But when The Red Skull reared
his head, Rogers breaks out of the pattern and decides to reclaim the Captain America mantle. His redemption story provides the heart of Heroes Reborn.
Iron Man & Hulk: Science Bros
Today, Tumblr blogs across the web celebrate the “Science Bros” friendship between Tony Stark and Bruce Banner. Inspired by the characters camaraderie in Marvel Studios’ blockbuster films, the
term of endearment has recast how people view the two heroes. But Heroes Reborn set Stark and Banner together long before their big screen debuts to dramatic effect.
In the pages of Jim Lee and artist Whilce Portacio’s IRON MAN, Tony Stark and Bruce Banner had been buddies since college, but their connection doesn’t end there. Banner develops a Gamma Bomb for
his old pal’s company only to regret his work. When he attempts to decommission the bomb with the help of Hydra, the spy cult’s double cross both irradiates Banner into the Incredible Hulk
and injures Tony Stark’s heart forcing him to become Iron Man.
With the two heroes’ origins tied together, the Science Bros spent the rest of Heroes Reborn working to correct their collective mistakes in a tightly wound.
Asgardians in Exile
The current era of Marvel owes much to the post-Ragnarök period of Asgardian history that brought the Norse Gods to America with no memory of their past lives. From the rebuilding of Asgard over
Broxton, Oklahoma to the events of Siege, those stories had a huge impact on all facets of the Marvel Universe. But Heroes Reborn played
with the lost Asgardian theme as well.
In the pages of Liefeld, Loeb and Ian Churchill’s AVENGERS, the script flips on the super team when they discover Thor trapped in the ice rather than Captain America. Having no memory of his life
before Heroes Reborn, the Odinson clashes with similarly amnesiac gods including the Executioner and the Enchantress; but as with all things Asgardian, Loki stalks behind the scenes trying to
reunite the original universe to his own gain.
The Original Illuminati
A shadowy cabal of Marvel characters operating behind the scenes has been status quo since Civil War. But long before the Illuminati
pulled the strings on the Marvel U, the Heroes Reborn universe showed off its own powerful meeting of the minds.
At the heart of the re-launch sat a scientific brotherhood that included Tony Stark, Reed Richards, Victor Von Doom, Bruce Banner and Rebel O’Reilly. The group built the cutting edge technology
that would give rise to a world of super heroes, but fractures in their friendship made for some of the most dramatic stories in the line. Throughout Jim Lee’s FANTASTIC FOUR, Doom works to
control the work of his former allies, earning himself the distinction of being the true “Big Bad” of the Heroes Reborn universe.
Victor’s refusal to help the heroes fight against Galactus not only mirrors the fracturing of the modern Illuminati, it also helped returned the heroes to their home reality and created
shockwaves for years to come.
Rikki Barnes: No Hero Like Her Before
It’s not uncommon today to see young women stepping up into legacy hero roles all over the Marvel Universe. From the Mayday Parker version of Spider-Girl to Ms. Marvel, Kamala Khan, many teen
heroes have made their place in the Marvel pantheon. But one of the very first breakout legacy characters to hit the page: Rikki Barnes.
A feisty, streetwise teen, Rikki infiltrated the base of the Red Skull and aided the recently reborn Captain America in his sting of the villain’s plans. While that move earned her a place as
Cap’s new sidekick Bucky, her adventures didn’t end there. Rikki continued on past Heroes Reborn to create the teen super team the
Young Allies and clashed again with reality warping villain Onslaught, proving much more than a one-off
Inhumans Among Us
INHUMAN currently tells the story of thousands of normal people empowered by the Terrigen Mists to have fantastic super
powers of their own. But Heroes Reborn had its own twist on the royal family of Attilan that also hid their kind in plain site.
In FANTASTIC FOUR, Black Bolt, Gorgon and the rest of the Inhumans often hobnob in high society on Earth even as they keep their existence a secret from everyday people. The theft of a sacred
stone tablet from the family not only blows their cover, but sets off a chain of events that draws Galactus to earth.
Then as now, the characters played a secretive but central role to the fate of the world.
The Secret Daughter of Asgard
Today’s comic fans may be marveling at the revelation of cosmic warrior Angela as the sister of Thor and Loki, but the deadly angel follows the pattern of a similar revelation. In later issues of
the Heroes Reborn AVENGERS, writer Walter Simonson came aboard to reveal that team member Scarlet Witch called the Enchantress her mother.
Attempting to play double agent for Captain America, Scarlet Witch loses her mind thanks to the machination of Loki. Much like in Avengers Disassembled years later, her defection leads to an
all-out war on the front lawn of the Avengers Mansion where Enchantress, Ultron and more villains shake the team to their core and remove players like Hellcat from the field
Nick Fury Under Siege
No matter what version of the Marvel Universe you’re looking at, Nick Fury’s story always holds secrets and subterfuge. And the Heroes Reborn version of the S.H.I.E.L.D. leader proves no
Late in the Heroes Reborn run of CAPTAIN AMERICA, writer James Robinson took the reins for a story that challenged everything fans knew about the superspy. While investigating an arms scheme by
the Sons of the Serpent, Cap discovers that the Nick Fury he’s been dealing with since reclaiming his costume has been an imposter. In fact, major functions of S.H.I.E.L.D. have been overrun
thanks to the evil robotic replica who stepped into Fury’s shoes. The twist has a few notes in common with recent events the Fury revelations in ORIGINAL SIN.
For more on the 75th anniversary of Marvel, visit marvel.com/75
>> read more
Unlimited Reading Extra: Iron Man: Armor Wars
(Mon, 24 Nov 2014)
With IRON MAN: ARMOR WARS as the current focus of the This Week in Marvel Unlimited Reading Club, we caught up with writer
David Michelinie to discover the details behind one of the most definitive arcs in his and Bob Layton’s historic run.
Marvel.com: Please recollect what prompted you and Bob Layton to embark on such a plot, which not only impacted the IRON MAN title, but armor technology across the Marvel Universe?
David Michelinie: Bob and I had been kind of grousing about how, at the time, IRON MAN wasn’t getting much publicity
from Marvel. We mentioned this to Editor-in-Chief Jim Shooter over dinner on one trip to Manhattan, and he said if we’d give him an event, something to push, he’d push it. He then suggested we do
something where someone gives Stark technology to bad guys who use it for bad things, in a way making Tony feel ethically responsible. Being wise enough to steal—er, know—a great idea when we
heard it, Bob and I took that nugget, came up with the Spymaster/[Justin] Hammer angle, co-plotted it, I wrote it, Mark Bright and Bob drew it, and it’s rippled through the Marvel Universe ever
Marvel.com: How early in the development of this plot did you realize one of the repercussions would be Tony being forced to fire his alter ego?
David Michelinie: I don’t remember exactly how far into things that element occurred to us. We talked plotlines over the phone on a regular basis, each of us tossing around ideas and
possibilities as they developed. The process was pretty much organic, with incidents triggering outcomes in a logical manner. So it just seemed natural that Tony would have to “fire” Iron Man
based on the things Tony had been forced to do in that persona.
Marvel.com: This arc occurred in that period when Steve Rogers was The Captain, just one of many major guest stars in this arc. How important was it to you to include this story element, in
which Rogers and Stark ultimately have a major falling out over Tony's larger mission?
David Michelinie: Tony and Steve were friends at the time, both as Avengers and individuals. But they had some basic differences in ethical and practical viewpoints. Those opinions morphed
over the years—perhaps becoming most apparent in the original Civil War story arc—but when our stories were written it just seemed
natural for their conflicting perspectives to create problems, and a rift.
Marvel.com: How valuable was editor Mark Gruenwald to hammering out the complexities and nuances of this plot?
David Michelinie: Actually, Bob and I pretty much did all of the plotting ourselves. Mark may have made a suggestion here and there, but he pretty much left us to our own devices. And I
think having the wisdom to give creative teams that kind of freedom when they merited it was one of Mark’s strengths as an editor.
Marvel.com: Reflecting on this definitive arc in Iron Man's history, why do you think you and Layton worked so well together on Iron Man, and what was it about your collaborative rapport that
made this specific arc so successful?
David Michelinie: When I started my first run on IRON MAN I had never read an Iron Man comic. On the other hand, Bob had been a huge Iron Man fan and had likely read every Shellhead story
ever published. So Bob brought experience and character knowledge to the table while I provided a fresh perspective unbiased by what had gone before. When we were reunited for our second run,
which included the “Armor Wars” stories, I think our shared experiences from our first collaborations, as well as a mutual respect and a similar sense of humor, made working together a smooth
Marvel.com: Do you have a favorite scene or character development from this arc?
David Michelinie: That was too long ago for me to pick out any specific detail without going back and rereading those eight issues. But I do remember being involved and moved by the
intensity of Tony Stark’s dedication to righting the wrongs his tech had caused, and the extent of the sacrifices he was willing to make.
Marvel.com: While this arc became known as the Armor Wars, when you and Layton were co-plotting it, the arc was called “Stark Wars.” How surprised were you when folks took to referring to it
as “Armor Wars”?
David Michelinie: I’m a sucker for puns, so I came up with the “Stark Wars” title for the initial story as a play on “Star Wars,” which was still very much in the entertainment news at
that time. I don’t really remember if we were already calling it “Armor Wars” behind the scenes or not back then.
Marvel.com: While not part of the main “Armor Wars” arc, there was an epilogue issue that you worked on with industry legend Barry Windsor Smith. After having done the main arc with Layton and
Bright, what was it like to shift to Windsor Smith with that one issue?
David Michelinie: That was an interesting experience. I’d been a huge fan of Barry’s ever since his days on CONAN THE BARBARIAN, so being able to work with him on anything was a true
honor. It was also a challenge since Barry kind of went his own direction and drew a story that had very little to do with the plot Bob and I had turned in. But, hey, when one works with genius
one has to make allowances, and I was extremely pleased with the story that resulted from the creative team’s interactions.
Read IRON MAN: ARMOR WARS on Marvel Unlimited and listen to the
This Week in Marvel podcast for the Unlimited Reading Club!
>> read more
Cry Fowl! Howard the Duck Returns in 2015
(Mon, 24 Nov 2014)
You can’t keep a good duck down—and who’s better than Howard? No one and that’s why he scored a brand new ongoing series written by Chip Zdarsky with artwork by Joe Quinones.
Zdarsky offers a helpful pitch for people who might only be familiar with the fowl’s appearance at the end of Marvel’s
“Guardians of the Galaxy” on the big screen this summer:
“Hey! Remember how you stayed past the credits and saw a talking duck and it was a little confusing because you were expecting Iron Man or Thanos or Batman or something? Well this comic will do
its best to not confuse you provided you’re cool with talking ducks, I guess.
The inter-dimensional mallard might have jumped back into the public consciousness thanks to his silver screen return, but he always lived in the hearts and minds of comic fans, including
“When I was a kid I had a weird uncle—Uncle Fred—who had a run of Howard the Duck comics and the black-and-white magazines,” the write recalls. “I would sneak away whenever we visited him
to read them. I was hooked on that duck immediately and was super excited for the upcoming movie. From George Lucas!
Creator of Star Wars! How could it go wrong?”
Steve Gerber introduced Howard back in 1973’s ADVENTURE INTO FEAR #19 as a supporting character in a Man-Thing tale. The writer eventually spun the straight shooting fowl off into his own series which launched in 1976. Gerber tackled plenty of social issues while also turning a satirical eye towards
just about everything. Zdarsky plans to emulate that with his run.
“I think keeping the tone is important, but it’s been a while since Howard's been on the scene,” he says. “There’s a whole new world of stuff to be exasperated by!”
Zdarsky notes that his version of the character will always have roots going back to the original vision.
“I just keep re-reading his previous appearances to get a rhythm to it, y’know,” he notes. “Howard isn't my character, he’s Steve Gerber’s, but Steve used him to explore weird things and ideas
and that's what I’ll do as well. Hopefully. Unless I just go ahead and make him an X-Man.”
However, not everything about the new ongoing will reflect the original series. While, Howard spent much of his time in Cleveland, Ohio, Zdarsky previews moving him to the Big Apple and giving
him a new gig:
“I'm basing Howard in New York for this series, but he’ll go where the cases take him now that he's a private detective. Do you like Toronto? Or just outside Toronto? Or just around the corner
from my house? Well I hope so cause I'm writing what I know and I'm incredibly lazy!”
An artist himself, Zdarsky says that working with Quinones lets him focus on scripts and fuels the writing process.
“Most writers would love to have an artist as talented as Joe on their book, but I just hate it,” he says. “He’s twice the artist I am and every time I see more work from him I get angry. But,
being angry puts me in the mood to write Howard, so it’s win-win, I suppose.
“I’m trying not to do thumbnails because Joe is amazing and also really funny. I want to see how he interprets the script! It’s like Christmas!"
HOWARD THE DUCK by Chip Zdarsky and Joe Quinones launches in March 2015!
>> read more
(Sun, 23 Nov 2014)
With the multiverse under assault and every Spider Totem across various worlds in deadly danger, every Spider-Man—and Woman—ever must band together in Spider-Verse!
As the saga unfolds, you’ll be meeting a variety of arachnid warriors, some familiar, others not so much. Here at Marvel.com, we’ll provide a weekly guide to the players, with information and
additional resources, including digital comic spotlights available on Marvel Unlimited!
UPDATED with AMAZING SPIDER-MAN (2014) #10 and SPIDER-WOMAN (2014) #1
SPIDER-MAN (Peter Parker) (Earth-616)
The Spidey we know and love, Peter Parker became a hero after being bitten by a radioactive spider and then learning the lesson that “with great power comes great responsibility.” He has endured
through triumphs and tragedy, most recently reclaiming his body and mind from longtime foe Doctor Octopus
Digital Spotlight: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN (2014) #1
Bitten by the same spider as Peter Parker, Cindy Moon has lived in seclusion most of her life, sheltered by the mysterious Ezekiel who had his own agenda for opposing Morlun. Recently freed by
Spidey and taking on the costumed identity of Silk, Cindy has begun using her powers and training in earnest.
Digital Spotlight: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN
(2014) #4SPIDER-WOMAN (Jessica Drew) (Earth-616)
Experimented on by her father as a child, Jessica Drew would develop unique powers and later gain supplemental skills as an agent of both HYDRA and later S.H.I.E.L.D. Eventually putting her dark
early years behind her, Jessica became a private investigator and later part of the Avengers as Spider-Woman.
Digital Spotlight: SPIDER-WOMAN: ORIGIN #1
SPIDER-GIRL (Anya Corazon) (Earth-616)
A mystic order called the Spider Society recruited young Anya Corazon as their avatar, Arana, imbuing her with powers so she could fight in their war against the Sisterhood of the Wasp. After
encountering Spider-Man and gaining former Spider-Woman Julia Carpenter as a mentor, Anya took up the mantel of Spider-Girl.
Digital Spotlight: SPIDER-GIRL (2010) #1SPIDER-MAN 2099 (Earth-616)
In the year 2099, scientist Miguel O’Hara underwent a dangerous procedure that mutated him in order to safeguard it from his corporate employer, Alchemax. Recently, Spider-Man 2099 traveled back
in time to save the life of his own grandfather and ended up stranded in our present.
Digital Spotlight: SPIDER-MAN 2099 (1992) #1
Recruited by the Captain Britain Corps to serve his world, Billy Braddock mixes two heroic legacies and has begun recruiting allies across the Omniverse in the wake of the Inheritors’ murder
Digital Spotlight: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN (2014) #7
SPIDER-GIRL (May Parker) (Earth-982)
The teenage daughter of Peter and Mary Jane Parker, May “Mayday” Parker inherited her father’s powers and followed in his footsteps as Spider-Girl, one of Earth’s foremost heroes. After Daemos
killed her parents, May saved her infant brother, Ben, and escaped her dimension with Spider-UK.
Digital Spotlight: SPIDER-GIRL (1998) #0
Originally an ordinary spider on a world of talking animals, Peter’s life changed forever when scientist May Porker irradiated herself with nuclear power and bit him, transforming the arachnid
into a super-powered pig. Taking May’s last name, Peter became the adventurer Spider-Ham and has recently been recruited by his other-dimensional counterparts to battle the
Digital Spotlight: SPIDER-HAM 25TH ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL #1SCARLET SPIDER (Kaine) (Earth-616)
A flawed clone of Peter Parker, Kaine has long lashed out to escape the shadow of his “brother,” but ultimately sought to do the right thing. Adopting the Scarlet Spider name and costume in
tribute to another Parker clone, Ben Reilly, Kaine became the hero of Houston for a time and has now joined the New Warriors.
Digital Spotlight: SCARLET SPIDER (2011) #1
SPIDER-MAN (Bruce Banner) (Earth-70105)
After a gamma bomb of his creation led to Peter Parker becoming The Hulk, Bruce Banner obsessively searched for a cure, and in the process gets bitten by a radioactive spider, becoming the
Spider-Man of his world.
Digital Spotlight: BULLET POINTS #4
OLD MAN SPIDER (Earth-4)
Little has been revealed as of yet about the enigmatic “Old Man Spider.”
SPIDER-WOMAN (Gwen Stacy) (Earth-65)
Teenager Gwen Stacy, after being bitten by a radioactive spider, names herself Spider-Woman and becomes a costumed vigilante against the wishes of her police captain father. When Peter Parker
becomes The Lizard and then dies in battle, Gwen redoubles her efforts; later, Spider-UK recruits her to his cause.
Digital Spotlight: EDGE OF SPIDER-VERSE #2
SPIDER-MAN (Ben Reilly) (Earth-94)
Apparently a clone of Peter Parker who has taken up his role of Spider-Man as he did on our world, this alternate Ben Reilly has a further back story yet to be told.
COSMIC SPIDER-MAN (Earth-13)
A version of Peter Parker who never gave up the powers of Captain Universe, this Spider-Man has provided a safe haven for his counterparts, as the Inheritors fear battling him on his home
SPIDER-MAN (Miles Morales) (Earth-1610)
Following the death of Peter Parker on his world, young Miles Morales discovered that he possessed similar powers and stepped into the role of Spider-Man. Despite the deaths of his uncle and
mother, as well as estrangement from his father, Miles has continued his noble path with the help of Peter’s friends and family, and encountered the Spider-Man of our world.
Digital Spotlight: ULTIMATE COMICS SPIDER-MAN (2011) #1
BLACK WIDOW (Jessica Drew) (Earth-1610)
Cloned from the Peter Parker of her Earth, the young woman who would take the name Jessica Drew originally also took up the identity of Spider-Woman, but after serving with the Ultimates became
the latest Black Widow.
Digital Spotlight: ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #98SPIDER-MAN NOIR (Earth-90214)
During the Great Depression, a horde of spiders from an ancient statues attacks Peter Parker, with one biting him and providing a bizarre vision and equally strange abilities. Donning a mask as
The Spider, Peter works to take down the criminals and corruption rampant in society before being hunted by the Inheritors.
Digital Spotlight: SPIDER-MAN NOIR
SIX-ARMED SPIDER-MAN (Earth-92100)
Designing a serum meant to “cure” him of his spider powers, Peter Parker instead grows four extra arms, becoming even more of a “Spider-Man.”MARVEL MANGAVERSE SPIDER-MAN (Earth-2301)The last surviving member of
the Spider-Clan ninjas, Peter Parker trained in secret to avenge the murder of his sensei, Uncle Ben, at the hands of Venom, who acted on the orders of The Kingpin. Later reconciling with Venom
following the death of his Aunt May, Peter returned to the home of the Spider-Clan to be recruited into the events of Spider-Verse.
Digital Spotlight: SPIDER-MAN: LEGEND OF THE SPIDER CLAN #1
STEAMPUNK LADY SPIDER (Earth-803)A scientist with an advanced grasp of technology and frustration over her role in society due to gender living in 1895 New York City, Lady
May Reilly developed a technological apparatus duplicating arachnid abilities and allowing her to combat emerging "techno-freaks" like the Six Men of Sinestry as Lady Spider.
PENELOPE PARKER (Earth-11)Young Penelope Parker had enough social anxiety to deal with before getting bitten by a radioactive spider, but luckily her Aunt May has
encouraged her to push past her fears and use her new abilities for heroic ends.
"SUPERIOR" SPIDER-MAN ("Peter Parker") (Earth-616)As part of a master plan, longtime villain Otto Octavius, aka Doctor Octopus, implanted his own mind into Peter Parker's
body, allowing himself to become Spider-Man. Over the subsequent months, despite using questionable methods, Octavius would attempt to become a hero and a "Superior" Spider-Man. Before his tenure
as the webslinger ultimately came to an end, he would be transported to the year 2099, during which time he would become entrenched in the events of Spider-Verse.
Digital Spotlight: SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #1
ASSASIN SPIDER-MAN (Peter Parker) (Earth-8351)After traumatic events, Peter Parker elects to curtail his activites as a super hero and become a spy and assassin, working
alonside Wolverine and new lover Alex. "Superior" Spider-Man recruited this Spider-Man for his army after saving him from the Inheritors.
Digital Spotlight: WHAT IF? SPIDER-MAN VS. WOLVERINE #1
SPIDER-PUNK (Earth-138)Little has been revealed about this quirky adventurer, save for a unique appearance, brusque manner, and loyalty to "Superior Spider-Man.
SPIDER-MONKEY (Earth-8101)On an Earth where apes have become the dominant species, this Peter Parker shares many qualities with his counterparts, but has looser morals when
it comes to murder in keeping with his genetic make-up. He has been recruited into "Superior" Spider-Man's army as part of Spider-Verse.
Digital Spotlight: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN FAMILY #1
SPIDER-WOMAN (Ashley Barton)
(Earth-807128)Granddaughter of Peter Parker and daughter of Hawkeye, Ashley Barton inherited the family powers to become Spider-Woman and go up against her world's version of The
Kingpin. However, after killing Kingpin, Ashley filled his position herself, taking over his criminal territory. During Spider-Verse, she has become one of the top lieutenants to "Superior"
Digital Spotlight: WOLVERINE (2003) #68
Check back next week and get to know all the heroes of Spider-Verse!
>> read more
Marvel 75: The British Invasion
(Sat, 22 Nov 2014)
Though launched in 1972 to reprint the House of Ideas’ American comics in England, by the 1990’s Marvel UK grew into not only a publishing to be reckoned with, but a jumping off point for many
British creators to make their mark in the United States.
Marvel UK titles enjoyed the playground of the established Marvel Universe with an edgier tone, many times featuring cyber-punk themes and the like in such series as WARHEADS, MOTORMOUTH, and the
popular KNIGHTS OF PENDRAGON. Early UK creators who made the leap to American comics included Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons, Grant Morrison, and Steve Dillon.
Warren Ellis, one of the first British writers to prove prolific at Marvel stateside, dove into the Marvel Universe with gusto. After crafting a 1994 run on HELLSTROM: PRINCE OF LIES, starring
the so-called “Son of Satan,” Ellis became immersed in Marvel’s futuristic 2099 line with work on 2099 UNLIMITED in 1994 and 1995, as well as directing DOOM 2099 at the same time. Ellis then took
over EXCALIBUR with issue #83 in 1994, a book originally kicked off by fellow British creators Chris Claremont and Alan
In 1995, Ellis also stepped in on STARJAMMERS, as well as the X-CALIBRE limited series the same year, then a STORM four-issue title in 1996, and finally the WOLVERINE ongoing with issue #119 in 1998.
While much of Grant Morrison’s 1990’s work in the United States landed with DC Comics, he joined with fellow Scottish scribe Mark Millar in 1995 to produce the infamous SKRULL KILL KREW book. In it, humans infected by Skrull DNA formed a group to hunt down the shape-shifting aliens. Editor Tom
Brevoort saw something in the idea, likening it to the popular British 2000AD comic, and gave the two Marvel UK veterans the green light.
Another fan-favorite team to come out of Marvel UK became known by the tag “DnA.” Writer Dan Abnett and writer/inker Andy Lanning crafted titles for both sides of the pond simultaneously
throughout the 1990’s. Together they wrote PUNISHER #64-75 in 1992-1993, while at the same time producing BATTLETIDE for the UK version of Marvel.
In 1994, the duo gifted the Scarlet Witch with her own solo limited series, as well as THE PUNISHER: YEAR ONE four-issue limited series. FORCE WORKS, a post Avengers West Coast team led by Iron
Man, arrived in 1994, also, and ran for 22 issues until 1996. Since the 90’s, Abnett and Lanning have gone on to make a name for themselves as the architects of much of Marvel’s present cosmic
Last, but not least, mention should be made of British writer Peter Milligan’s 1996 launch of ELEKTRA, which followed the adventures of the deadly ninja assassin and her attempts to find herself.
Milligan later went on to write MAGNETO in 1996, an Archangel one-shot the same year, and a Cyclops and Phoenix limited series in 1997. When the decade ended, Milligan would be primed and ready
to take over X-FORCE and create X-STATIX.
For more on Marvel’s 75th anniversary, visit marvel.com/75
>> read more
Watch 3 Course Comics with CB Cebulski: Spider-Verse Course 2
(Fri, 21 Nov 2014)
Continuing the Spider-Verse meal started in Episode 1, CB Cebulski serves up the main course, "Web of Fate" pasta, focusing on local ingredients a New Yorker like Peter Parker would be proud to eat.
Marvel Editor Sana Amanat, Spider-Writer Dan Slott and Spider-Man Senior Editor Nick Lowe to give us a roll call of some of the amazing multi-dimensional characters we’ll be seeing pop up in upcoming issues of Marvel's big event, Spider-Verse!
>> read more
Deadpool Gets Wordy for His Own Original Prose Novel Coming in 2015
(Fri, 21 Nov 2014)
Sure, he’s got his own comic series. Sure, he’s one of the world’s most popular super heroes. But you know what he’s not? Fine literature.
Well, let’s fix that!
That’s right: In 2015, the Merc With a Mouth is conquering the world of prose fiction with DEADPOOL: PAWS, an all-new original story penned by novelist and comic-book writer Stefan
Petrucha ("Teen, Inc.," "X-Files").
Something is turning the city’s dogs into giant, bloodthirsty killing machines. And Deadpool is charged with taking care of business. Only thing is – Deadpool likes dogs. He doesn’t want
to kill them. Now, people – that’s a different story. He can kill loads of people. At least the ones who deserve it. So what we’ve got here is a genuine character dilemma.
“Deadpool is such a fun character that transcends the comics themselves,” says Marvel SVP Sales & Marketing David Gabriel. “When we were discussing which characters should get the prose
treatment, Wade Wilson was always right near the top. From the first chapter, the book has everything you love about Deadpool, and I can’t wait for fans to get their hands on it.”
In 2015, be there when the Merc With a Mouth conquers the brave new world of prose. DEADPOOL: PAWS brings you a disturbing tale of mutated canines…and the regenerating, loudmouthed
mercenaries who love them.
DEADPOOL: PAWS PROSE NOVEL HC
Written by STEFAN PETRUCHA
On Sale 08/05/2015!
>> read more
The Women of Marvel 2014 Holiday Gift Guide
(Fri, 21 Nov 2014)
The hosts of the Women of Marvel podcast round up a few of their favorite things to help make your holiday gift giving extra Marvel-ous! Check out the special extended Women of Marvel Holiday Gift Guide episode to hear the ladies talk all about their picks.
The Women of Marvel podcast will assemble to chat all things Marvel and more! New episodes will be released monthly, every third Friday (or so), co-hosted by Marvel Digital Media Group Social
Media Manager Adri Cowan and Marvel.com Associate Producer Judy Stephens, along with Marvel Comic Editors Sana Amanat and Jeanine Schaefer. We also want your feedback, as well as questions for
us to answer on future episodes!
Tweet your questions, comments and thoughts about Women of Marvel to @AdriCowan, @Omg_Dj_Judy,
@MiniB622, @J9Schaefer or @Marvel with the
To Read: Marvel Unlimited Plus, $99 annual
MU Plus is the closest thing you can get to a VIP comic reader, and it gets you access to over 15,000 comics, exclusive events and gifts. As an almost-decader here at Marvel, I’ve seen this
subscription service bloom and grow, plus have a read a good portion of the comics myself.
To Wear: Iron Man Wearable Sleeping Bag from Selk’Bag, $150
What’s better than wearing an actual sleeping bag with removable booties that’s also a Marvel character?! As someone who proudly wears their Marvel onesie, I will also warmly and proudly
wear my Iron Man Sleeping Bag!
To Play: Jubilee Kotobukiya Bishoujo, $69.99
I seriously own almost every Marvel Kotobukiya Bishoujo figure, and I’m super excited for the new Jubilee figure to add to my collection! She’s super cute with shorts, yellow jacket and blue high
tops—not to mention the interchangeable pink glasses!
To Watch: Marvel’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” on Blu-ray,
Two words: Blooper Reel. Not to mention Marvel’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” is an action-packed,
good humor, heartwarming two hours of movie magic!
To Read: MS. MARVEL: NO NORMAL Trade Paperback, $16
Not that it needs much explanation, but MS. MARVEL is not only just an awesome story, it’s an important book for all
of us; I especially loved seeing the reaction of fans on social media. Because of this series, I got to watch so many young women get interested in comics; and that, to me, is priceless.
To Wear: Deadpool Leggings from WeLoveFine.com, $26.50
Oh, Deadpool, you’re so sassy. And now I can be just like you!
To Watch: Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” on Blu-Ray, $21.95
Three words: WE ARE GROOT. It’s my favorite Marvel movie—I laughed, I cried, I laughed again. I cried again. I cried a lot, actually. Is that normal?
To Play: Funko Pop! Baby Dancing Groot, $10
Who isn’t obsessed with dancing Baby Groot? This Funko Pop! Bobblehead has made itself a permanent fixture on my desk and cheers me up with every wiggle. Sometimes I pump up the GOTG soundtrack
and shake him around…
To Read: MARVEL 75TH ANNIVERSARY OMNIBUS, $99.99
I’m loving all of the awesome things we’ve been doing to celebrate our big 75th Anniversary! Get 75 of the greatest comics of all times chosen by the greatest
fans in the world—Marvel fans, duh! I really think this is a perfect gift for major collectors and noobs alike!
To Wear: Her Universe Captain America Fair Isle Holiday Dress, $40
I’m obsessed with everything HerUniverse.com. Finally, geek clothes for women that are well made, stylish, and feminine! Plus, they range from XS-3XL so you can find something for most everyone.
This new holiday dress is so cute and distinct! Can’t wait to wear mine for “The Watcher” holiday episode.
To Watch: “Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” Season 1, $45.99
I’ve interviewed the cast so many times, and they might even be more awesome off screen. Get classified behind the scenes, hilarious bloopers and so much butt-kicking MCU action! If you’re not
watching “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” you’re missing out on a huge slice of the MCU. It’s all connected!!!
To Play: Marvel Dice
Masters Avengers Vs. X-Men, $40
I’m a big tabletop gamer, and Marvel Dice Masters are doing some really cool stuff with dice and card play elements in this PvP game. This is such a perfect game for kids and adults to get you
through those snowy days!
To Read: YOUNG AVENGERS OMNIBUS, $49.99
YOUNG AVENGERS is one of my favorite super hero series of the last five years. From the opening scene soundtracked by the
Ronettes to the blow-out going away party, there’s real passion in every page of this series. It also fleshed out one of my favorite super heroes ever, America Chavez. Loving her makes me feel
like I’m 14 again and discovering Rogue for the first time—changed my life!
To Wear: Marvel Vans, $64.99
I’m basically obsessed with Vans. They’re the most comfortable sneaker I’ve ever worn, and I can’t stop buying them in every color and pattern. The Marvel Vans are the perfect combination of two
things I love, with a retro-cool design.
To Watch: Marvel’s “Thor: The Dark World” on Blu-ray, $19.95
I have two words for you: Darcy Lewis. And two more: Meow Meow. The Thor vs. Malekith Action-Benny-Hill portal sequence was one of my favorite things in my eyeballs last year.
To Play: Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” Rocket Plush,
My daughter loves Rocket and toddles around the living room with her walker, pulling him along by his ultra-soft tail. Rocket will never admit this, but her drooly kisses are the best part of his
To Read: ROCKET RACCOON #1, $3.99
We all knew Skottie Young could draw, but Skottie writing and drawing is a whole other level. That paired with a story about one of our favorite Guardians, makes for one hilariously amazing
To Wear: Marvel at Forever 21, $12 and up
I love my minis, but I also hate dressing up, so this skirt is a great way to get dolled up for a night out, without sacrificing your principles. Forever 21 has a great line of Marvel stuff, for
whether you want casual or a little fancier.
To Watch: Marvel Cinematic Universe: Phase One Set, $149.95
This is the ultimate of all Marvel movie gifts–plus you get to pretend you’re an Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. with the awesome briefcase it comes in, complete with glowing tesseract—it’s real—and
To Play: Captain Marvel Legends Action Figure, Coming Soon!
It’s Carol Danvers in all her toy glory! Finally! Though it won’t be out in time for the holidays, get on the waitlist for this toy ASAP and print out a photo to give to your recipient—they’ll
Head to the Marvel Pinterest Board for tons of other gifts!
And join in on the Women of Marvel podcast's book club! Each episode, the hosts will chat about a current female-led book and answer the Qs you send via Twitter (with the hashtag #WOMReads)
and email – and ask you to join in on the talk with them. 25 first come, first served digital codes for each comic will be given away per episode, so make sure to listen to find out how to get
yours and join in on the discussion!
Visit the Women of Marvel Podcasts' Tumblr page, where they'll post extra info and more:
>> read more
New World Disorder Begins in Avengers & X-Men: Axis #7
(Fri, 21 Nov 2014)
This December, heroes and villains clash like you’ve never seen before as Act III: New World Disorder kicks off in AVENGERS & X-MEN: AXIS #7!
This is it! Rick Remender and Adam Kubert bring all-out war to the streets of Manhattan as Avengers, X-Men, the deadliest villains and more battle for Manhattan – and their very souls! Apocalypse
has risen, an army of X-Men at his side. The Avengers have been inverted – their moral compass spinning hopelessly on its axis. And the world’s most vile villains now stand as the Marvel
Universe’s only hope. Yet amidst the chaos the Red Skull, coupled with the awesome psychic powers of Charles Xavier has escaped his prison cell. Where has he gone? Who aided him? And what will he
do now that he’s been set free? The pieces are on the board and the final battle is about to begin.
Be there when chaos and disorder washes over the Marvel Universe in AVENGERS & X-MEN: AXIS #7!
For more on Avengers & X-Men: AXIS, please visit www.marvel.com. Join the conversation on
Twitter with hashtag #MarvelAXIS and don’t forget to follow us at @Marvel [www.twitter.com/Marvel]!
AVENGERS & X-MEN: AXIS #7 (OCT140781)
Written by RICK REMENDER
Art by ADAM KUBERT
Cover by JIM CHEUNG
Inversion Variant by GREG LAND (OCT140782)
Young Guns Variant by RYAN STEGMAN (OCT140783)
On-Sale – 12/10/14
>> read more
Brother Vs. Brother: The Greatest Thor/Loki Battles
(Thu, 20 Nov 2014)
When things get personal, the battle’s way better.
Through the ages, a ton of notable heroes and villains have gone toe-to-toe, but none with the complex ferocity of Thor and his wicked brother Loki. The two Asgardian heavy hitters have squared
off on dozens of occasions and they’re ready to do it all over in the pages of LOKI: AGENT OF ASGARD #9.
Before they come to further blows, let’s help out the Vegas odds makers and take a retrospect on some past encounters.
We, as a whole, can actually thank Loki for being such a jerk, because without his scheming the Avengers may not have ever assembled.
Sparking a plot involving manipulation, astral projection, and hardcore illusions, Loki crafted a web of mischief that pulled together some of Earth’s mightiest to stand beside the God of
Thunder. The one-on-one face off came on the Isle of Silence, where the Trickster sat as a prisoner. Summoning a throng of trolls, the god of mischief nearly stopped Thor, until the Thunderer
unofficially declared “hammer-time.”
Loki would be defeated by the combined efforts of the newly formed mega team, but it all stemmed from some bad blood with his bro.
Loki’s first modern appearance started serenely enough, though this peace wouldn’t last long.
Freed from his tree prison—yes, you read that correctly—Loki whisked himself off to the magical land of New York for a showdown with his long lost brother. Causing a panic in the streets, chaos
in a zoo, and eventually a citywide battle, the god of evil saw his campaign come to an end when Thor trapped him in a pipe and unceremoniously tossed him into the bay.
Thor would take that round by a unanimous decision.
In this fabled encounter, Loki once again threw caution to the wind—and tossed Jane Foster into Limbo for good measure.
Using his typical bag of tricks, the wayward son of Asgard used his magic to capture Jane, royally tick off Dr. Strange, and gain the full attention of his big brother. Following a series of
events, Thor accosted Loki in the Adirondack Mountains, though he couldn’t fully act with Foster as a pricey bargaining chip.
Good thing Stephen Strange backed up Thor, because he rescued Ms. Foster from Loki’s grasp, allowing Goldilocks to send his bro back to Odin’s watch.
Ok, so Loki hasn’t exactly been coming out on top when he tangles with Odin’s first born. However, we cannot forget the frog incident.
During the heyday of Walt Simonson’s epic THOR run, Loki concocted a scheme less cerebral and more hilarious. Turning Thor into a frog wasn’t didn’t serve a physical power play, but it most
definitely gave Loki a much-needed W—of course he would soon after get his comeuppance.
Loki wears the mantle “God of Mischief” very proudly. With that prestigious title comes a few perks, like being able to fight dirty.
No stranger to getting other folks to do his work for him, Loki and his partner in crime/adversary Dormammu pitted the Avengers against the Defenders in a nasty scheme to eliminate them all and
collect the assembled Evil Eye. The Trickster’s reasons varied from “making himself feel good,” “because he could,” and of course, “to stick it to Thor.”
Like many Loki ploys, this one didn’t quite work out. Perhaps messing with the combined might of most of earth’s greatest heroes, as well as the virtual demon lord Dormammu, played a part in
that. We’re leaning towards “yes.”
Fists will fly and hammers will hammer when the God of Thunder tangles with his half brother. Don’t miss the latest rumble in LOKI: AGENT OF ASGARD #9!
>> read more
Psych Ward: Nightcrawler & Sabretooth
(Thu, 20 Nov 2014)
As reports of erratic nearly opposite behavior spreads amongst the super powered community, I am continuing to monitor the situation and report observations as it becomes possible. As noted
previously, these reports are based on observations and meta-reviews of eyewitness reports, news articles, and so on. Unless noted, there have been no face-to-face evaluations at this time.
Kurt Wagner has long been known amongst mutants—and often super heroes in general—as a beacon of morality and hope in the community. This writer has had an opportunity to work with Wagner in the past, following his resurrection, and found that reputation to be particularly
accurate. That is why I write this report with such a heavy heart.
Wagner has engaged in multiple, aggressive violent attacks on individuals, including Mystique and Victor Creed. While both are long time criminals and known for their own extensive violent
incidents, Wagner’s assaults are noteworthy as they seem unprovoked. Additionally, there is a savage cruelty to them; Wagner using his abilities in ways he never has before to create maximum pain
and fear. Lastly, it has been clear both times, from eyewitness accounts and dialogue caught by bystanders recording with their phones, that it was his intent to murder his victims.
This called to mind the alternate dimension Nightcrawler (who identified himself as Kurt Darkholme) who I also have seen as a
client, briefly, who did view murder as a solution. However, Darkholme was no sadist and would have no particular grudges against either of these people to motivate such unusual behavior.
Thus, unfortunately, this writer feels that I have to conclude this is Wagner infected, if you will, with whatever strange phenomenon is bringing about this vast personality shifts.
While I never worked directly with Creed, I have studied him extensively. Therefore I feel a strong level of certainty in
asserting that recent reports of him doing things like helping out strangers on the street and passing up an opportunity to kill someone he gained the upper hand on are so wildly out of character
as to almost not be possible.
There have been external superficial indications that Creed has been altered in some way too. He has been recently photographed looking far more kempt, with tightly cut hair and clothes that
could, perhaps, be best described as a super hero uniform. Additionally, he has been spotted associating with several heroes, like Spider-Man, who still seem to be acting in line with their usual
Unlike Carnage before him, Creed is not being nearly as splashy in demonstrating his new “heroic” outlook on life, but there are nonetheless signs that he too has undergone whatever process this
With each passing day, it is becoming increasingly clear that whatever happened was not an isolated incident. Beyond careers committing crimes or helping the innocent in costume, these “victims”
(for lack of a better term) do not share much in common. I have looked at two mutants and a man merged with an alien symbiote, but there are reports of others without DNA that has been altered in
the least. They come from a variety of socioeconomic categorization, different affiliations, and different regions of the world. And yet, there are the reports, indicating dramatic changes in
personalities. This writer does not feel comfortable speculating at this time, but one must at least consider the possibility that the number of the affected will continue to grow.
Those interested in these cases and others similar to it recently reported should read the assessments of Doctors Rick Remender & Terry Dodson—AVENGERS & X-MEN: AXIS #6—Doctors Frank Tieri & Paul Davidson—AXIS: REVOLUTIONS #2—both available now.
Psy D. Candidate Tim Stevens is a Dialectical Behavior Therapy Consultant who expects he’d have some pretty sweet hair is he could just get inverted.
>> read more
Dive Into David Lopez' Captain Marvel Sketchbook
(Thu, 20 Nov 2014)
Fresh on the heels of the last week’s CAPTAIN MARVEL #9 release, artist David López shares with Marvel.com his love of
fashion and character design, as reflected in the unforgettable royal court that Carol Danvers and Lila Cheney encountered. He also confides how much he enjoys collaborating with series writer
Kelly Sue DeConnick and more as part of this new Captain Marvel Sketchbook!
Marvel.com: First off, it is spectacular how you enrich this scene with the musical notes; can you talk about how you decided to convey this?
David López: It was in the script, [so to be honest, it was] Kelly Sue’s idea. I only tried to make it work. Everything in this issue is strongly related to rock and roll music as well its
legends, I used a hugely successful song score as reference—there are lots of Easter eggs in this issue.
Marvel.com: Also, one must admire your gift for conveying emotions in scenes—what do you think is the key in your work to capturing the mood of a scene so effectively.
David López: Thank you.
Well, what I try to do is to have clear in my mind who those people are, why they do what they do and then I only have to try to tell it to the reader; once you start working that way it only
gets easier. I tend to over-caricature the characters so I have to be careful and not going to far that characters look absurdly exaggerated or we lose the drama. The emotion, the drama is what I
pay for when I buy a comic, or a book, or when we see a movie—I want my works of fiction to feel real.
Marvel.com: When you first start laying out pages, one notices you make sure to utilize word balloon placeholders—do you and Kelly Sue ever discuss in the early planning stages what she hopes
to pull off in terms of dialogue, so you two avoid stepping on each other's creative toes? Or is your creative rapport so strong, you trust each other's ability to do what it takes to service the
story in the best way possible?
David López: Kelly Sue is heaven [to work with]; she respects my work very much, she lets me do what I want and is always very supportive. Her scripts have the final dialogue so I know how
much space the letterer will need, [and] I have to keep that in mind in terms of composition. The dialogue placement is very important—I mean, very important. Most of the times when you
read a comic you only read the text in the balloons and don’t pay conscious attention to the art; the composition of balloons and images must work perfectly together so the reader can get all the
information he or she needs without the need of second looks.
Marvel.com: Can you explain your approach on this scene’s POV--did you ever consider having Captain Marvel looking to out to the reader rather than having her back turned to the reader when
David López: In this series we are used to seeing the action through Captain Marvel’s eyes so when we arrive somewhere new we see it from her POV. Here that’s more important than her
[facial] reaction—I show her shock through body language. What’s important in this panel is that we have a radical change in her surroundings.
Marvel.com: You clearly loved getting to draw Lila Cheney in this issue. What is about getting to use the character and create these designs that clearly resonated with you?
David López: Lila is great, I loved her since I first saw her in NEW MUTANTS back in the day. The concept is so
very strong: she’s an intergalactic rock star, she’s a world class teleporter and a thief! Kelly Sue took special care in the way she talks—that’s very important, not just her accent but how she
communicates; again it’s very easy for me to build a character with that much information. For her look I thought of a glam rocker with some post punk attitude—well, that’s what I thought of, but
at some point through the story she began to be herself; I’m very happy with the result. I love the character.
Marvel.com: Also, how much did you love experimenting with her hairstyles?
David López: Very much. Hairstyle is often a rock and roll common factor, just remember [the musical] “Hair.” [Laughs]
Marvel.com: With Queen Aladna, at one point you considered a major shift in style from her apparel upon arrival versus what you temporarily considered for the wedding. What was your thinking
with the spectacular and drastic difference between the Queen’s shift from 1980’s fishnets to 1950’s sock hop?
David López: These designs worked better before I did the final layouts; there I saw that her look wasn't regal enough [so] I changed them pretty substantially. The first ones were very
much Madonna which works well in a 1980’s mindset, but this Lila is not the one I read back in the 1980’s; this one must be more like the present day.
Marvel.com: Do you love doing fashion design with characters when you get the chance—say as here with the Prince?
David López: Of course I do, isn’t it obvious? What a character wears tell you a lot about who he is, in fiction the suit does make the man.
Marvel.com: With Princess Marlo’s hairline, it really gives a unique beauty to her face. How did you arrive at attempting that look for her?
David López: She is tough, she’s mean and dangerous. The final scene with her has lots of movement so I finally added a hairy jacket so the movement would work better. Sometimes it’s a
shame to have some good designs that won’t see the light of day because the character doesn’t have much “screen” time or because once you have to make the final work you see that you needed
You can read CAPTAIN MARVEL #9 right now, and pick up Carol’s landmark 100th solo series issue on December 17!
>> read more
Marvel 75: Untold Tales of Kurt Busiek
(Thu, 20 Nov 2014)
The 90’s turned out to be one heck of a decade for Kurt Busiek. During that time he went from Marvel’s Direct Sales Manager and writer of POWER MAN & IRON FIST to the captain of one of the
company’s flagship titles in AVENGERS.
That would be enough for many, but Busiek also helped bring Alex Ross to the mainstream with the four issue limited series MARVELS,
chronicled Peter Parker’s younger days in UNTOLD TALES OF SPIDER-MAN, created THUNDERBOLTS and ushered in Heroes Return.
Through these projects, Busiek elevated Earth’s Mightiest Heroes back to prominence, surprised the world with a batch of villains posing as heroes, and rejuvenated interest in Marvel’s long, rich
history. With all that in mind, it just made sense to catch up with Kurt Busiek and reflect on a decade of quality work.
Marvel.com: Before the 90’s, you'd worked on POWER MAN & IRON FIST and MARVEL AGE at Marvel. Did you have a sense going into the decade that your career would ramp up the way it did?
Kurt Busiek: Not at all.
I had moved from the East Coast to the Pacific Northwest, and was convinced I’d be awake nights trying to figure out how to pay the rent each month. Instead, luckily, I had nights where I was
awake trying to figure out how to meet all the deadlines; I managed to keep picking up work, but nothing regular or long-term.
But at the time, my yardstick for a successful career was that maybe someday I’d get to write a long run on IRON MAN or some other second-tier title I liked. Not that I’d get to write the big
ones, or to create my own material.
So no, I didn’t have a clue.
Marvel.com: MARVELS is 20 years old this year. What do you see as that book’s legacy?
Kurt Busiek: I’m not sure I’m the right person to talk about legacy; I may be too close to the material, and can’t see it. But when MARVELS came out, we were in the middle of a wave of
dark, action-packed books that were all about making the action louder, more shocking, more extreme. I think what MARVELS did was make it okay for stories to step back, to pause to think a little
bit in between the action scenes; to have stories about characters dealing with something internal.
And of course MARVELS embraced Marvel’s long history in a way that editors, for years, had been saying the fans didn’t like and didn’t want. So it opened things up somewhat for books to involve
their history, beyond the origin story and three or four top villains.
That’s on a story front; on the art front, it created an opportunity for painted books that’s never really slowed down. Fans loved Alex’s work, and they wanted to see that kind of stunning
realism from other artists, on other series.
Marvel.com: MARVELS came out early in the decade and blew plenty of fans away thanks to your down-to-earth tour of the Marvel U’s history and Alex’s painting style. How did the two of you team
up for the story?
Kurt Busiek: I first worked with Alex when I was a Direct Sales Manager at Marvel in the late Eighties, and in my spare time I was editing a science-fiction anthology called Open Space.
After seeing Alex’s work in Terminator: The Burning Earth, we tracked [him] down and offered him an Open Space story. That story, in the end, didn’t come out until years later; “Wizard” finally
published it as part of an Alex Ross special. But Alex and I got to work together, at least.
And then a year or two later, he contacted me again, because he was ready to take another run at getting into comics. He’d done Terminator, which came out but he’d had problems getting paid, and
he’d done Open Space, which didn’t come out but he got paid just fine, so he figured he’d start in with the guy who’d paid him—which makes perfect sense to me.
By then, I was living out west and freelancing. But he showed me all these samples of various Marvel characters through history, and told me how he wanted to start an anthology called “Marvel,”
which would just be painted stories of Marvel heroes, by various artists. I suggested that he’d have a much easier time selling a project that was a limited-run series he could do all the art
for, that had a clear, dramatic story to it, and we started batting around ideas on how to do that.
Eventually, editor Marc McLaurin saw Alex’s samples, and asked if there was a project there, so Alex and I put together a pitch to send him. It got rejected, revised a couple of times, and
finally approved—and that’s how we wound up doing it.
Marvel.com: Early in the decade you started writing Spider-Man in the pages of SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN and WEB OF SPIDER-MAN. Did that plus your work on MARVELS lead into UNTOLD TALES OF
Kurt Busiek: I don’t think those previous Spidey stories had anything to do with me getting UNTOLD TALES, other than being decently-written comics. They were fill-in jobs I was getting
just to keep working and keep the rent paid. But they were fun to do, because hey, Spider-Man.
What happened was, after MARVELS, I wound up working with [editor] Tom Brevoort on NIGHT THRASHER, and I think we might have also been working on SPIDER-MAN: LEGACY OF EVIL. Tom knew I was a guy
who knew Marvel history and could write a good story, so when the first few people they offered UNTOLD TALES to said no, he asked me if I’d be interested.
I wrote up a pitch, misunderstanding the premise slightly; the idea had been for it to be tales of the college-age Peter Parker, but I didn’t know that, so I went back to near the very beginning,
picking up early enough so that I could do a storyline involving Aunt May freaking out that Peter’s stopped wearing his glasses. And Tom and his bosses liked it, so they hired me and changed the
concept to do it my way. Since my series ran almost up to Peter’s high-school graduation, they could do the idea again these days and go with their original plan!
Marvel.com: From looking at your work, you seem to have a big interest in the every-person as he or she looks at the hero community. Spider-Man is basically that person thrust into this wild
world of super-powers. Was that an important idea for you to explore in UNTOLD?
Kurt Busiek: I hadn’t ever thought about it that way, but that may be one reason I find a real resonance in Spider-Man that makes it fun for me to write him. I don’t really think of
scientific-genius Peter Parker as an everyman—he’s a nerd, an orphan, a super-smart guy, all things that tend to set people apart. But he’s definitely a character that most any outsider kid can
sympathize with, because he’s set apart, he’s not one of the normal crowd, and the Spider-powers only make him moreso.
So he ends up with an interesting perspective on both his lives: he’s not fully immersed in the hero world, like the FF or Cap or Iron Man, so he has a refreshingly human-level perspective on all
that. But he’s also not fully immersed in the life of a teenage kid, so his powers and responsibilities as Spider-Man make him look at all that from a somewhat distanced eye, too. He becomes an
outsider wherever he goes, with an outsider perspective.
And me, I like outsider perspectives. So that probably fed into the fun of doing that book, you bet.
Marvel.com: In 1997 the Marvel Universe found itself with a major hero vacuum in the wake of Onslaught. You launched THUNDERBOLTS then, to help fill the void with a group of masquerading
villains. How did that evolve from idea to comic?
Kurt Busiek: I’d had the idea years ago, as an idle thought on a long car drive. I imagined I was writing AVENGERS, a gig I thought I’d never actually get in real life—ha!—and thought up a
story where, over the course of a year or so, established heroes leave and new heroes join, and at the end of the year the roster is just Captain America and a mess of new characters—and that’s
when we find out that the new characters are all the Masters of Evil in disguise, and they’ve successfully infiltrated and taken over the team.
When Tom Brevoort asked me if I had any ideas for stuff Marvel could do in the wake of Onslaught, with most of the big, bold, well-respected heroes missing and presumed dead, I thought of that
idea again, and realized it could be rejiggered to work in this new context. What if, instead of infiltrating the Avengers, they stepped up as heroes when the world was desperately wishing for
heroes, and made their move that way?
Tom liked the idea, and when I attended a Marvel creative retreat to talk about the post-Onslaught Marvel Universe, he and I buttonholed Editor-in-Chief Bob Harras in the facility bar one evening
and pitched him the idea. He thought about it for about 20 seconds, and said, "Yeah, okay. Let’s do that."
From there on, it was just a matter of fleshing out the idea and making it concrete—picking which Masters of Evil we’d use, coming up with a name for the team, bringing [artist] Mark Bagley in,
designing new costumes and codenames, that sort of thing. It was a lot of fun.
Marvel.com: How does it feel to have created a concept in THUNDERBOLTS that continues to find success?
Kurt Busiek: I think the series just finally ended, didn’t it? But it had a very long run, over 150 issues. And it was a real thrill to do something that defied the odds and lasted that
When we started, there were people who said we wouldn’t last eight issues. And then when we were still going, they said we would last 12 issues. Then 18. Then 25. After a while, that kind of
thing loses its teeth; if someone’s saying, “Yaah, you won’t last 50 issues,” you have to think, “Well, almost no new series does. So if we only lasted 50 issues, that’d still be an impressive
run for a book that launched in the 90’s.”
But we went well beyond that. And I expect the T-Bolts will be back in some form—how many books has Marvel published that ran for over 150 issues and no one brings them back? Plus, we influenced
the Marvel Universe in other ways—DARK AVENGERS, and other books like that. I doubt we’ve seen the last of the series.
And yeah, it feels great to have created something that can last so long, become a part of the Marvel Universe that way. For all the other books I’ve written, THUNDERBOLTS may be the one that’s
had the greatest impact on Marvel history.
Marvel.com: Your run on AVENGERS felt like a return to that book's classic roots while also featuring plenty of updates. Was striking that balance difficult?
Kurt Busiek: Not really, because I wasn’t consciously trying to balance anything.
For a long time, the Avengers hadn’t really felt like the Avengers to me; it felt like the book had been following in the footsteps of whatever was trendier at the time, whether it was X-Men or
the Image books or whatever. So what I wanted to do was do AVENGERS, straight up and pedal-to-the-metal. Not try to make it a second-rate version of anything else, just a first-rate Avengers, and
show readers who’d never seen that what they were missing.
I wanted to do a book that other people would want to imitate, not an imitation of some other book.
So I guess that takes care of the “classic roots” thing. At the same time, we were writing and drawing it for the present day, so we wanted it to feel modern. To brush up the characters and make
them compelling for the era at hand, just as the classic writers and artists had done for their era. So I didn’t see the two ideas as in conflict. We wanted to do an Avengers that might be very
traditional at core, but had a fresh, zingy coat of paint, as it were.
Marvel.com: During your run on AVENGERS you brought in existing heroes like Firestar and Justice up to the big leagues. What attracted you to those characters in particular?
Kurt Busiek: I wanted the Avengers to feel like the varsity, like the big leagues, and I figure one good way to establish that was to bring in some new heroes who’d be able to vocalize
that, who’d have an attitude toward the established Avengers that told us yes, they were the varsity, they were the big names, they were the star players.
I looked around for who might be available to do that—young heroes who’d had enough experience so that they weren’t rookies to the world of superheroing, but who could still feel like rookies in
the context of the Avengers. Vance and Angelica fit the bill, all the moreso because Vance was excited about being on the team and Angel didn’t really want to be a big leaguer. So we got two
newcomer viewpoints all in one couple.
Marvel.com: With this comic, you got to work with the legendary George Perez. What was that working relationship like and what new avenues did working with him open up for your writing?
Kurt Busiek: George is great. He’s enthusiastic, upbeat and endlessly inventive. And for all that he was a big name in Avengers history and I was the Avengers rookie, he was never anything
less than accommodating. He just wanted to do good, exciting stories, and blow the readers away.
So I plotted stories that looked, in my head anyway, like normal straightforward comics. And I sent the plots to George, and what came back was these explosive, dynamic, endlessly surprising
pages that took my story and just transformed it, put it on a whole new level. It wasn’t always easy to dialogue them, because George would re-pace and re-conceptualize the scenes, and I’d have
to figure out how to make the script flow naturally through it, but the story was always there, and the energy of it was off the charts.
So I learned to let go and let the artist do something amazing, and then bring it back to what I’d had in mind with a whole new energy. It was an absolute blast.
Marvel.com: The version of AVENGERS you put together turned out to be one of the most popular runs of all time. What do you think clicked so well with fans?
Kurt Busiek: I’m absolutely not the guy to ask. I’m too close to the material, and can’t see it through a reader’s eyes.
But if I had to guess, I think we did what we set out to. We showed readers what the Avengers were at their best. Big, bold, over the top adventure combined with engaging soap opera character
stuff, with stone-gorgeous art. It’s a mix that enchanted me when I was a teenager, and I think it can enchant new generations any time. Give them a version of that tailored to them, and they’ll
Or at least, I hope so.
Kurt Busiek’s MARVELS, UNTOLD TALES OF
SPIDER-MAN, AVENGERS, and THUNDERBOLTS runs
are available on Marvel Unlimited. For more on Marvel’s 75th anniversary, got to marvel.com/75
>> read more
Get the Marvel Comics App Update for 11/19/14
(Wed, 19 Nov 2014)
Want more comics in the Marvel Comics App for iOS and Android? Your search is over! Check out these comics that just hit the Marvel Comics App and keep coming back every week for new additions to the growing library! That's
right, we add new books every week to feed your need for super-heroic entertainment! Don't have the Marvel Comics App? What are you waiting for?! Download it for iOS and Android! Here's your official list of comic books hitting the Marvel Comics app today!
Digital Comics On-Sale This Week
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN (2014) #10
AVENGERS (2012) #38
AVENGERS & X-MEN: AXIS (2014) #6
AVENGERS WORLD (2014) #15
AXIS: CARNAGE (2014) #2
AXIS: REVOLUTIONS (2014) #2
BLACK WIDOW (2014) #12
DAREDEVIL (2014) #10
DEADPOOL (2012) #37
DEATH OF WOLVERINE: THE WEAPON X PROGRAM (2014) #2
ELEKTRA (2014) #8
FANTASTIC FOUR (2014) #13
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (2013) #21
INHUMAN (2014) #8
LOKI: AGENT OF ASGARD (2014) #8
MAGNETO (2014) #12
MOON KNIGHT (2014) #9
NEW AVENGERS (2013) #26
THE PUNISHER (2014) #12
SPIDER-WOMAN (2014) #1
STORM (2014) #5
UNCANNY X-MEN (2013) #28
X-FORCE (2014) #12
Also On Sale
INVADERS (1975) #9-22
UNCANNY X-MEN (1963) #327-328
X-MEN (1991) #42-49
X-MEN/CLANDESTINE (1996) #1-2
Collections On-Sale This Week
AMAZING X-MEN VOL. 1: THE QUEST FOR NIGHTCRAWLER
INVADERS CLASSIC: THE COMPLETE COLLECTION VOL. 1
THUNDERBOLTS VOL. 3: INFINITY
THUNDERBOLTS VOL. 4: NO MERCY
X-MEN: THE ROAD TO ONSLAUGHT VOL. 1
X-MEN: THE ROAD TO ONSLAUGHT VOL. 2
WOLVERINE: THREE MONTHS TO DIE BOOK 2
THOR: GOD OF THUNDER VOL. 4 - THE LAST DAYS OF MIDGARD
IRON FIST: THE LIVING WEAPON VOL. 1 - RAGE
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 3: GUARDIANS DISASSEMBLED
The Marvel Comics App is available for iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch and all Android devices, and is available for free on iTunes and Google Play.
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Watch Marvel's The Watcher 2014 - Episode 41
(Wed, 19 Nov 2014)
Join your faithful Spider-Host, Lorraine Cink, as she takes you inside Spider-Verse, the
comic book event that is bringing together every Spider-Hero in the galaxy! Learn all about SPIDER-WOMAN #1,
"Marvel's Ultimate Spider-Man: Web Warriors," and "Spider-Man Unlimited," the mobile game game from Gameloft that is connecting with Spider-Verse in a historic platform crossing first!
The newest edition of The Watcher is here!The Watcher is Marvel.com's official news and comedy video series covering comics, movies, TV, games, gear
and all things Marvel. Tune in weekly for new episodes.
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Carol Danvers Gets Fired Up in 90's By The Numbers with Binary
(Wed, 19 Nov 2014)
It's time to face facts, true believers – the '90s were awesome. The pouches were plentiful, the costumes were impractical, and Marvel Universe dentists made a fortune correcting damages
caused by perpetually gritted teeth. Thanks to the power of nostalgia, though, what would once be considered extremely embarrassing can now be called extremely awesome!
With that in mind, we've pulled a Marvel comic from the not-so-modern era and broken it down, one tubular fact at a time! This week we're singling out AVENGERS #351 by Bob Harras and Kevin West. Here's "Retribution!" by the numbers!
61 teeth in Ch'od's mouth
36 studs on Raza's costume
6 Z's in the sound effect caused by Binary destroying Raza's medalion
5 heroes – 3 Avengers, 1 X-Man and 1 Starjammer – shoved aside by Ch'od
3 points protruding from Raza's medallion
2 teams vying for Carol Danvers' membership
1 dramatic entrance from Binary – and her 2 fiery fists
Carol Danvers celebrates her 100th solo issue this December in CAPTAIN MARVEL #10!
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Follow the History of Deadpool Pt. 3
(Wed, 29 May 2013)
By Brett White
After making a bloody splash as an X-Force villain just over 20 years ago, Deadpool has grown from a cult favorite second banana to Marvel's most notorious leading mercenary.
On June 25, 2013, comic book fans everywhere will get to experience life in the red and black tights when Deadpool's first ever video game breaks its way into stores. This marks Wade Wilson's first time headlining a game after appearing in other titles like “Marvel: Ultimate
Alliance” and the Marvel vs. Capcom series.
To celebrate this momentous occasion, we're giving you an in-depth look at Deadpool's history, from his humble beginnings as X-Force's snarkiest foe all the way to today.
Be sure to visit the Marvel Digital Comics Shop and Marvel Digital comics Unlimited to brush up on your 'Pool history!
What's a merc to do when the object of his affection needs breaking out of a mental institution? In X-FORCE #47, Deadpool answered Siryn's call for help after a failed mission landed her in the
Weisman Institute for the Criminally Insane. But just as Wade busted X-Force's field leader out, he got left behind with all memory of his involvement removed from Siryn's mind by the
manipulative Gamesmaster. When her memories returned in X-FORCE #56, Theresa went back to rescue Deadpool. With both halves of this odd couple finally free, 'Pool paid his rescuer back with a
kiss which…didn't really please her. Better luck next time?
1997's DEADPOOL #1—kicking off DP’s first ongoing series—shoved a lot of Wilson's skeletons out of their cozy
closet. The issue gave readers an unobstructed look at Deadpool's home life in a quaint San Francisco home with his elderly live-in prisoner, the cantankerous and feisty Blind Al.
Wade took a mission to destroy a science outpost in Antarctica. Not a problem—until Deadpool discovered that Dr. Walter Langkowski—better known as Alpha Flight's Sasquatch—ran the outpost. The
ensuing fight—because of course there was a fight—damaged the outpost's gamma core and threatened to irradiate half of Earth. Wade did the unthinkable to prevent a global catastrophe: he dove
into the gamma core to fix it, saving the day and exhausting his healing factor.
The intergalactic holding company Landau, Luckman and Lake claimed responsibility for DP's Antarctic mission, claiming they set him up to find out if he could be the hero their in-house prophets
had said he would be. Wilson laughed off their offer to become a working good guy.
With his healing factor broken, Deadpool tracked down Dr. Killebrew with Siryn's help. The former Weapon X geneticist wished to atone for the unspeakable horrors he did to Wade, so the doctor
cured the merc's gamma irradiated healing factor with a healthy dose of Hulk-blood procured via impalement in DEADPOOL
#4. This freed Wilson up to murder Killebrew, but Siryn convinced him otherwise, thus setting Deadpool on the heroic path that LL&L saw in his future.
The path to true heroism included a few nasty pit stops. Getting involved in a bloody relationship with the deranged Typhoid Mary didn't help in DAREDEVIL/DEADPOOL ANNUAL. Temporarily posing as Spider-Man in the hero's early days and
scaring Aunt May nearly to death didn't show great care for the time stream in DEADPOOL #11. Throwing Weasel and Blind Al in a dark room filled with knives, buzzsaws and razor blades just because the two communicated behind his back did demonstrate much heroism,
and rushing headfirst into a battle with the psychopath T-Ray nearly got ‘Pool killed in DEADPOOL #14.
All of those setbacks proved necessary to push Deadpool towards accepting LL&L's offer when agent Zoe Culloden pulled his broken body out of the snow. In DEADPOOL #17, the Merc with a Mouth learned his destiny as the Mithras with a mouth, a being charged with shepherding in
After coming to terms with his fate, Wilson prepared himself for his job, which turned out to just involve gutting an alien messiah-killer named Tiamat. The prediction became less than clear,
though, as the messiah Deadpool pledged to protect turned out to be a celestial entity that robbed civilizations of their free will. After learning the truth in DEADPOOL #25, Wade turned against his mission and killed both his adversaries and the being he had been meant to
safeguard. The world lost a "messiah" and gained continued free will.
With his destiny destroyed and his entire support group gone, Wade fled San Francisco permanently. As far as he ran, though, his past came back in the physical form of ex-wife, Mercedes. Although
he didn't initially remember being married, Deadpool’s memories of their life together and tragic end came back slowly. Mercedes had been murdered by T-Ray after the naive Wilsons took him in, an
act that threatened to be repeated after T-Ray showed up again on DP's doorstep.
DEADPOOL #33 dropped a bomb on the merc's backstory, as T-Ray revealed Mercedes to actually be his wife, Wade
Wilson his true name, and the man who ruined their lives—Deadpool. T-Ray's magic left Wilson on the brink of death, and the reunited Wilson couple left Wade to rot and recuperate in hell.
But does this revelation shake Deadpool's core sense of self? Not one bit! After all, no one should trust a psychopath with a band-aid for a nose like T-Ray!
Check out DEADPOOL (1997) in the Marvel
Digital Comics Shop, plus on Marvel Unlimited.
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