Marvel comics

Tune in to the Women of Marvel Podcast with Anji Cornette (Fri, 19 Dec 2014)
Women of Marvel Episode 24 It's the latest Women of Marvel podcast! Anji Cornette, the Executive Producer of Graphic Audio, talks to Adri and Judy about her job, working as a woman in the audio industry, and much more! Listen to Women of Marvel - Episode 24 now! 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 hashtag #WomenOfMarvel!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:  http://thewomenofmarvelcomics.tumblr.com
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Psych Ward: Hobgoblin & Luke Cage (Thu, 18 Dec 2014)
Psych Ward: Hobgoblin & Luke Cage 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. Hobgoblin In considering the subject, this writer must first state that there have been a number of individuals who have called themselves “Hobgoblin” over the years. There are indications that the individual currently calling himself by that name is Roderick Kingsley, but identifying the true person behind the mask when it comes to Hobgoblin has always been problematic. What tends to be the case over and over again is that Hobgoblin can be counted on to be villainous; until now. For years, there have rumors of “franchise villains” facilitated by a Hobgoblin; criminal alter egos for rent, essentially, including the costume and gear. However, the indications are that this Hobgoblin is franchising heroes in much the same manner. Additionally, he seems to be creating himself as some kind of motivational speaker to promote this concept. Around the same time, articles and comics praising and chronicling the Hobgoblin’s heroic deeds have been showing up all over. What is most interesting about all of this is that it appears that whatever event is causing these personality changes have altered the Hobgoblin’s approach to making money but not necessarily his morality. Based on a brief encounter between this writer and the subject in which the Hobgoblin contacted me to request I “endorse” his current actions while dangling a possible slot at his future events, he seemed to remain dedicated to advancing himself and making money while doing so. His actions might be more beneficial to society as a whole, but the motives seem to still only be profit. I will, however, stress that this is an observation based only on the briefest of meetings. This by no means should be construed as a formal psychological appraisal. Luke Cage The majority of the information this writer will present in this brief report is based on the therapy sessions with the subject’s wife, Jessica Jones, a current client of the writer. She has signed releases to allow me to use some of the information she shared with me in therapy to help form this report. Given that we are mainly looking at Cage through Jones’ eyes, however, it is important to keep in mind that this is second hand information as interpreted by someone else before reaching me. The client reported significant changes in her husband’s presentation, including attire, emotional availability, and seeming motivations. She recently leveled an ultimatum at him an attempt to somehow “shake” him out of it, but was unable to do so. Additionally, there are reports that the subject attempted to sell the name “Mighty Avengers” and perhaps the team itself. While Cage does have a history of profiting off his abilities and doing good in the community, via Heroes for Hire, it has been awhile since he acted in that capacity. Additionally, this has a significantly different tone to it. Even while he was working for Heroes for Hire, he was known as someone who helped those that needed it, regardless of the ability to pay. Now, he is seeking to sell naming rights which does little to help anyone but himself. Conclusion These two subjects may offer a clarifying position for this writer. Whatever the cause of this spread of altered personalities, what seems to be definitive now is that there is no one way it affects its victims. For some, it seems to completely remold their personality (Captain America, Nightcrawler, Sabretooth). For others, their presentation remains remarkably similar, but the direction of their actions has changed (Carnage, Deadpool, Hobgoblin). Unfortunately, this illumination offers little comfort to this writer and even less insight about why this is happening or what we might do about it. Psy D. Candidate Tim Stevens is a Dialectical Behavior Therapy Consultant who refuses to be a part of a super villain’s pyramid scheme.
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The History of Star Wars Pt. 4: Revenge of the Sith (Thu, 18 Dec 2014)
The History of Star Wars Pt. 4 (photo copyright Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved) All photos © Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved. With the Star Wars franchise returning to Marvel beginning in January 2015, it’s time to get up to speed on the galaxy far, far away with a look back at the story from the classic films! With each installment of the History of Star Wars, we’ll cover another chapter in one of the greatest adventures of all-time! Three years after the start of the Clone Wars, Obi-Wan and Anakin had finally caught up with Count Dooku, who had captured Chancellor Palpatine and was holding him as a Republic prisoner of war. When they confronted Dooku, Anakin trained his rage and hate on the Sith Lord, executing him in cold blood. Although Anakin felt guilty about his action, he was assured by Palpatine that he did well. Back on Coruscant, Anakin was reunited with his secret wife Padmé, and learned that he would soon be a father. While this delighted Anakin it worried Padmé -- if it was discovered they had married, Anakin would be expelled from the Jedi Order. In Supreme Chancellor Palpatine’s chambers, Anakin was honored to be asked to be Palpatine’s personal representative on the Jedi Council. Palpatine and Anakin’s friendship troubled Yoda, Obi-Wan, and Mace Windu, however, as they suspected Palpatine to be under the influence of the Sith. Further, they suspected that the war the Chancellor was waging could be a ploy for the Sith to take over the Republic. As a result, Obi-Wan asked Anakin to spy on the Chancellor – a request that did not sit well with Anakin. In addition to spying, the Council had refused to let Anakin advance to the level of Jedi Master, an honor he felt he rightfully earned. This insult, combined with the treasonous act of spying, had shaken Anakin’s faith in the Jedi, and strengthened his allegiance to Palpatine. When Anakin confided the Jedi’s intentions to Palpatine, the Chancellor accused the Jedi of trying to take over the Republic. With Anakin unsure of who to trust, Palpatine told Anakin of a Sith legend in which a Sith Lord became so powerful, he was able to prevent those he cared for from dying. Anakin listened, as he had recently been plagued by visions of Padmé’s death.  When Palpatine revealed to Anakin that he was indeed a Sith Lord – Darth Sidious – Anakin notified the Jedi of the Chancellor’s treachery. The Jedi quickly arrived to arrest Palpatine, but the Sith Lord easily dispatched all but Mace Windu, who gained an upper hand. Anakin stopped Windu from killing Palpatine, however, leaving the Jedi Master vulnerable to the Sith Lord’s attack. Mace was killed, and Anakin was to blame. Feeling he had committed an unforgivable act against the Jedi, Anakin resigned himself to side with the Sith, adopting the name Darth Vader. Palpatine ordered Anakin to the Jedi Temple to execute as many Jedi as possible, and also sent out an order to his clone armies to kill their own Jedi leaders. Upon discovering the Jedi were under attack by the clone armies, Yoda confronted Palpatine in a dramatic lightsaber duel. While he made a heroic effort, Yoda was unable to subdue Palpatine’s mighty command of the dark side of the Force, and was just able to escape with his life. Meanwhile, Padmé had learned of Anakin’s betrayal against the Jedi and went to the planet Mustafar to confront him. Upon discovering that Anakin had fallen to the dark side, she was heartbroken. What’s more, when Obi-Wan, who had snuck aboard her ship, emerged to stop his former apprentice, Anakin saw it as a betrayal by Padmé and nearly killed her in his rage. Anakin and Obi-Wan battled fiercely over the planet’s fiery landscape, with Obi-Wan gaining the advantage and nearly killing Anakin. In anguish, Obi-Wan left him to die.   Palpatine sensed his new apprentice in trouble and arrived on Mustafar to recover him from certain death.  He sped the broken Anakin to Coruscant where he was fitted with new limbs and a breathing mask – the new face of Darth Vader. Meanwhile, Obi-Wan and Yoda secretly transported Padmé to the asteroid colony of Polis Massa, where she delivered twin children, Luke and Leia, but died broken-hearted over Anakin. Knowing that Vader and the Emperor would value the Force-powerful offspring of Anakin, the Jedi separated the twins and hid them away, the last hope for a galaxy under the oppressive rule of the newly minted Galactic Empire… Continue to follow the History of Star Wars on Marvel.com, and get ready for STAR WARS #1 in January 2015!
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Download Episode 164 of This Week in Marvel (Thu, 18 Dec 2014)
This Week in Marvel Episode 164 It's episode #164 of This Week in Marvel! Ryan and Ben discuss this week's new print and digital releases including ALL-NEW CAPTAIN AMERICA #2, AVENGERS & X-MEN: AXIS #8, CAPTAIN MARVEL #10, INHUMAN #10, MILES MORALES: ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #8, and more! Plus, the latest news, including movies and TV from Marc and Patrick! And the This Week in Marvel Unlimited Reading Club returns with MARVEL ZOMBIES! Read X-MEN: THE ASGARDIAN WARS for the next This Week in Marvel Unlimited Reading Club and share your thoughts using the hash tag #TWIMURC! Download episode #164 of This Week in Marvel from Marvel.com, check out Marvel Podcast Centralgrab 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 Thursday (or so) and TWiM is co-hosted by Marvel Digital Media Group Executive Editorial Director Ryan "Agent M" Penagos and Marvel.com Senior Editor Ben Morse, along with Marvel.com Editor Marc Strom and Manager, Marvel.com Assistant Editor Patrick Cavanaugh, and Video & Content Production Blake Garris. 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 @Agent_M@BenJMorse or @Marvel with the hashtag #ThisWeekinMarvel!
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Marvel 75: When Wrestling Came to Marvel (Thu, 18 Dec 2014)
WCW art by Ron Wilson By David Shoemaker In 1992, Marvel Comics got into the rasslin’ business. When WCW—a comic book chronicling the goings-on in World Championship Wrestling—launched, it looked to be a perfect intersection of real-life super heroics and graphic storytelling. As writer Mike Lackey soon found, the wrestling world can sometimes get too crazy for a comic book to contain. The star at the start of the series was the reprehensible bully Lex Luger, who ruthlessly bent and broke rules to keep the WCW Championship around his waist and away from Sting, the rising fan-favorite phenom. But as so often happens in the wrestling world, real life intervened in the storyline.  Luger left WCW after issue #3 for rival company the World Wrestling Federation, leaving the narrative in the lurch. A match for the vacated title was hastily thrown-together between Sting and The Ghoul, a character created for the series, who serves as roughly the comics parallel of The Black Scorpion, a masked baddie with the sole motivation to topple Sting. The series also features a handful of other wrestlers, like P.N. News and “Heavy Metal” Van Hammer, who the modern reader may mistake as comic book inventions if they hadn’t lived through the direr moments of 90’s wrestling. When The Ghoul wins the title, he removes his Skeletor duds and reveals himself to be none other than Rick Rude, top dog of the Dangerous Alliance. The stage is set for a return to in-ring normalcy—except it’s not. The Ghoul remained still out there, scheming and plotting, with Rude only misdirection. The advent of The Ghoul probably came as a reaction to the uncertainties of the WCW roster. The Diamond Studd—aka Razor Ramon—left for the WWF after making his only appearance in the series too. But it marked a decisive shift in the book, from a straightforward wrestling yarn to a tale of intrigue, with Sting battling the metaphysical menace of The Ghoul, the squared circle merely a backdrop. There’s a bomb set on the Bruise Cruise, a malevolent locker room fire, Sting and Missy Hyatt dancing in a night club, and a scene where Johnny B. Badd gets shipped to Alaska. Never let it be said that WCW got hemmed in by wrestling convention. Midway through the series, hero-villain rivalry takes a back seat to functionality—the whole cast eats together in issue #9, though faces and heels line up on different sides of the buffet line—and out of respect to The Ghoul’s more urgent brand of evil. It’s little surprise when Sting is hypnotized to join the dark side—and even less of a shocker when he sees the error of his ways and allies with rivals Rude and Cactus Jack in ridding WCW of The Ghoul once and for all. But the real hero of the first half of the series has to be the beleaguered announcer Jim Ross, whom Lackey indulges in. Ross plays the straight man to a series of heel-ish color commentators—Johnny B. Badd, Terrence Taylor, Paul E. Dangerously, Jesse “The Body” Ventura—the issues saturated with their vaudevillian banter. Once the Ghoul storyline takes over, the announce team’s stylings take a back seat, but Lackey continues to relish in the carnie prose, a potent counterpunch to the “Dynamic Anatomy” imagery spilling off of every page, untethered to the floor and unbound by the laws of physics. And that’s precisely the point: In the end, WCW is a celebration of the graphic novel form more than a celebration of wrestling. But that’s perfect, because pro wrestling has always been a vessel; a mythological stage for current events, for human anxieties, for the never-ending battle of good versus evil. The WCW comic book was a vessel for all of those things, and one more: the sheer joy—and inanity—of the comic book. Issue #12 features Sting losing disconcertingly to a new foe named Big Van Vader. Sting is on the verge of calling it quits, but thankfully little Bobby Sandor waits in the locker room to cheer him up. We first met Bobby when Sting went to the Children’s Hospital to meet sick kids. Bobby healed up and got out, and even though the briefly-evil Sting berated him, he’s right there to lend “The Stinger” his support. On the verge of hanging up his tights after such a miserable loss, Sting realizes through Bobby that he owes it to his fans to keep plugging along. And that’s where the series ends. Read more of David Shoemaker’s thoughts about the world of pro wrestling at Grantland and in his book, “The Squared Circle: Life, Death and Pro Wrestling.” You can follow David on Twitter @AKATheMaskedMan
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Get the Marvel Comics App Update for 12/17/14 (Wed, 17 Dec 2014)
Marvel Comics App Update for 12/17/14 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 ALL-NEW CAPTAIN AMERICA (2014) #2 ALL-NEW X-MEN (2012) #34 AVENGERS & X-MEN: AXIS (2014) #8 AVENGERS NOW! (2014) #1 AXIS: HOBGOBLIN (2014) #3 AXIS: REVOLUTIONS (2014) #4 BLACK WIDOW (2014) #13 CAPTAIN MARVEL (2014) #10 DEATH OF WOLVERINE: THE WEAPON X PROGRAM (2014) #4 DEATHLOK (2014) #3 ELEKTRA (2014) #9 FANTASTIC FOUR (2014) #14 GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (2013) #22 INHUMAN (2014) #10 MILES MORALES: ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN (2014) #8 MOON KNIGHT (2014) #10 MS. MARVEL (2014) #10 SCARLET SPIDERS (2014) #2 SPIDER-WOMAN (2014) #2 STORM (2014) #6 Also On Sale AMAZING SPIDER-MAN (1963) #123-128, 130-131 UNCANNY X-MEN (1963) #329-332 WAR MACHINE  (1994) #1-7         Collections On-Sale This Week ASTONISHING X-MEN: UNMASKED CIVIL WAR: MARVEL UNIVERSE IRON AGE SHE-HULK VOL. 6: JADED THUNDERBOLTS VOL. 5: PUNISHER VS. THE THUNDERBOLTS X-MEN: NEW AGE OF APOCALYPSE            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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Who's Who in the Star Wars Galaxy: Chewbacca (Wed, 17 Dec 2014)
Chewbacca (photo copyright Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved) All photos © Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved. With the Star Wars franchise returning to Marvel beginning in January 2015, it’s time to get up to speed on the galaxy far, far away with a look back at the story from the classic films! With each installment of the Who’s Who in the Star Wars Galaxy, we’ll cover another key player in one of the greatest adventures of all time! NOTE: This profile covers characters up to the conclusion of Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, where the Marvel comics will pick up Chewbacca’s name first came to prominence during the Clone Wars when he and his fellow Wookiees defended their arboreal homeworld of Kashyyyk from a Separatist invasion. He further distinguished himself by helping Jedi Master Yoda escape off-planet as the war came to an end. In the years following the Clone Wars, Chewbacca befriended notorious smuggler Han Solo. Proving himself a steadfast and dependable partner, the Wookiee became co-pilot of Solo’s freighter, the Millennium Falcon, as well as his confidante and co-conspirator in the duo’s many scrapes with Imperial patrols. Chewbacca also shared Solo’s death mark, placed on the pair for dumping valuable cargo belonging to gangster Jabba the Hutt. On Tatooine, nearly 20 years after the end of the Clone Wars, Chewbacca came into contact with Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi, a fellow veteran of the Clone Wars. Securing passage aboard the Falcon for himself, young Luke Skywalker, and two droids to Alderaan – an alleged hotbed of Rebel sympathizers -- Kenobi placed Chewbacca and Solo squarely in the crosshairs of the Empire. But following an unplanned rescue of Alderaan’s Princess Leia from a Death Star detention cell, Chewbacca and Solo were hailed as heroes of the Rebellion. A deadly marksman with his modified bowcaster, Chewbacca has proven himself invaluable in a firefight, one of the many reasons Han Solo values their partnership. Solo also considers Chewbacca a loyal companion and faithful friend. Continue to learn Who’s Who in the Star Wars Galaxy on Marvel.com, and get ready for STAR WARS #1 in January 2015!
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G. Willow Wilson Makes Hers Marvel - Exclusively (Wed, 17 Dec 2014)
G. Willow Wilson Makes Hers Marvel - Exclusively Marvel Entertainment is excited to announce the exclusive agreement with the groundbreaking MS. MARVEL and upcoming X-MEN writer, G. Willow Wilson. Reflecting on the pantheon of talent who has shaped her childhood growing up reading comics, Willow says, "I'm thrilled to be working more closely with Marvel. I've been reading the works of Mark Waid, Brian Michael Bendis and Rick Remender since I was a nineteen-year-old college kid, so to be part of that collective creative effort is really very special to me. I'm excited to move forward and see what the future brings."  After finding critical acclaim with her previous works Cairo and the Eisner Award nominated series Air, Wilson dove into the Marvel Universe, and the international spotlight, with the debut of Marvel’s first solo series featuring a teenaged Pakistani-American Muslim, MS. MARVEL, helmed by Editor Sana Amanat who recounts what a creative thrill it has been to work with Wilson, “Working on Ms. Marvel with Willow has been one of the highpoints of my career, so of course I couldn’t be more thrilled to have her onboard.  I know she will further enrich the spirit of Marvel storytelling with her captivatingly unique and gifted voice. ” “In the next couple of months, there are going to be big things happening for Ms. Marvel--tougher choices, bigger obstacles, more tension as her personal life and her role as Jersey City's own Super Hero come into conflict,” says Wilson. “And not to go spreading rumors, but a certain team up that fans have been begging for may be in the works!” Coming to the end of her first year with Marvel, Wilson has already set records with MS. MARVEL and moves on to her next assignment on a big Marvel Comics property: the all-female team of mutants in X-MEN! Excited for the inclusion of G. Willow Wilson’s exceptional interpersonal scripting, series editor Daniel Ketchum says, “Not only is Willow an adept storyteller and collaborator, but she also brings to the table so much enthusiasm for the characters. Her arc of X-MEN is set up as a mystery, one that will take the team to corners of the Marvel Universe outside of the X-Men’s usual purview, as well as into their own past.” Wilson continues to expand on her upcoming run, which starts in January 2015 with X-MEN #23, by saying, “Writing the X-Men has been a unique challenge--it's the team book that got me into comics as a kid, and they have so much history. I wanted to get them out of their element--quite literally--and tell a story that was unexpected and fresh. How do you challenge some of the most powerful mutants on the planet? Put them up against the planet itself. That was the genesis of my upcoming arc on X-MEN, ‘The Burning World.’” Once again, Marvel is excited to welcome G. Willow Wilson’s award winning and exceptionally crafted writing style exclusively to MS. MARVEL, X-MEN, the Marvel Universe and all Marvel properties. Please also visit G. Willow Wilson's own website, gwillowwilson.com, and follow her on Twitter @gwillowwilson.
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Go Inside Avengers Alliance: Spec Op - Inhumans (Wed, 17 Dec 2014)
Crystal in Avengers Alliance From the pages of INHUMAN to the winter of “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” the Inhumans have been making their presence felt everywhere—and now they’re taking over “Marvel: Avengers Alliance.” With Black Bolt, Medusa, Gorgon, and Karnak already entrenched in the game, the latest “Avengers Alliance” Spec Op ramps up the Inhuman adventure and introduces the elemental Crystal as well as the villainous Maximus the Mad. The return of the Black Order will press the entire Royal Family into action and throw loyalties into question. We spoke to Producer Justin Woods about the new characters, how this story plays out, what players can ear, and why the Inhumans stand out even among the Marvel pantheon. Marvel.com: So what is the plot of this new Spec Op featuring the Inhumans, Justin? Justin Woods: Thanos has been kind of absent from our story for a little while, and he comes back in a pretty big way in this Spec Op. He comes down to Earth with the Black Order, and Maximus the Mad, one of the very famous Inhuman villains but also a member of the royal family, steps in to help S.H.I.E.L.D. fight [them] off. Little do they know that Maximus has brokered a deal with Thanos behind the scenes, and there’s a little bit of him playing both sides right now that is really, really interesting. And how it ends up working out in the end is pretty remarkable, so I think that people are gonna be really happy with the story, especially people who read the Infinity storyline. There were some of the things about the Infinity storyline in the comic books that we did not do with Spec Op 13, where we introduced Black Bolt. We’re taking other elements of the Infinity storyline and working them into a greater Inhumans story, where we’re introducing Maximus the Mad and reward hero Crystal; so, a very exciting time for Inhumans fans. Marvel.com: That’s very different, having someone who’s kind of both on your side and not on your side; that’s a bit unprecedented. Because usually by the time a character comes over as like a lock box hero or something, they are redeemed. You’re telling me Maximus is a little bit more ambiguous, but we do get to have him as an ally? Justin Woods: Well you don’t actually play as him, but he is actually helping S.H.I.E.L.D. He’s helping you guys out and giving you hints and clues on how to defeat Thanos, but like I said, there’s more to it than meets the eye, as there always is with Maximus. So it’s going to be really interesting. It’s hard for me to say too much about the story without spoiling it, because it has several different twists along the way. But I think that, like I said, people who that are fans of the Inhumans, people who enjoyed the Infinity story line, and people that just enjoy stories that have some unpredictable angles are really gonna like this one. Marvel.com: Crystal is the reward hero; what are we looking at from her as far as abilities? Justin Woods: Crystal is sort of your somewhat prototypical elemental mage. She’s got a lot of elemental, fire and ice type attacks. Things like that. Marvel.com: It’s cool that Thanos sends out the Black Order, because at this point they feel special in terms of your game. In terms of the Marvel Universe, they’ve really only been in Infinity and now they’re showing up for Time Runs Out. But in “Avengers Alliance,” I feel like they showed up once in the chapters. I could be wrong, but they’re primarily Spec Ops. Justin Woods: Yeah, so this will be the third primary use of them for Spec Ops, but they’re really a focus in this particular storyline. And we really like those characters, even though they don’t have a ton of lore dating back to the 70’s or whatever. You know, Marvel creates really amazing characters, and these are characters that we’re excited about. We really enjoy using them in the game because their power sets are very interesting. So I think that people are really going to enjoy playing with them again. They’re just really cool characters. Marvel.com: So in terms of who’s stepping to the forefront of this campaign, aside from Crystal? Are there other heroes pitching in as well? Justin Woods: They really are. Black Bolt is front and center in this story line, actually, and Tony Stark, although we see him all the time and he’s always running his mouth, he had some pretty central character development in this Spec Op. So if you love Iron Man, this will also be a really great time for Iron Fans. It’s awesome. There are so many exciting things that I just really want to talk about! Like the twists and turns. But like I said, Maximus is a really sneaky, smart dude, and like I hinted at, he’s playing both sides pretty well to his own end. Marvel.com: So, are there any other villain characters that are going to be introduced here? Justin Woods: Well, Maximus; you may or may not fight Maximus eventually. Marvel.com: And then location-wise, kind of sticking to the ones we’ve seen? You guys just dropped in the Savage Land and it takes a little while to create new environments. Justin Woods: Yeah, there [are] no new ones here, but we’re definitely going back and hitting Wakanda again. I mean, we want to get good leverage out of all of our amazing environments that we’ve dropped so far. There are more environments in the mix for later on, down the road, but we’re not quite there yet. Marvel.com: What sort of weapons and tech people can pick up for this Spec Op? Justin Woods: In War of Kings, they harness Black Bolt’s energy signature from his sonic [powers], and they weaponize it. And [the Inhumans] take over the Kree Empire with it. We loved that idea a lot and we may be are doing some stuff with that. Marvel.com: We just announced “Inhumans” as a film property coming up in a few years. INHUMAN is big in the comics right now and the characters are coming to “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” so this is definitely very timely. What’s it like for you guys to kind of be able to tap into a character group that is so big across platforms right now? Justin Woods: We do know that the Inhumans are really central to what they’re doing in the comic book space right now, and that was a big part of our decision to do a storyline around these characters. For a long time we wanted to introduce the entire royal family and slowly they’ve been making their way into the game. Now that we have so many of those characters, as you outlined before, we wanted to kind of centralize them and bring them together and give them a story that is their own. It would be almost as if we were doing a comic book that’s an Inhumans one shot, double-sized, or something like that. We’ve been wanting to do an Inhumans thing for a long time, and we’re finally getting a chance. This is the same thing we do with other teams. We try and trickle in the characters over time and then we’re like, “Okay. Now we have enough of them. Now we can do a Spec Op around them.” It’s tough to put a bunch of heroes in the game all at once. Marvel.com: Finally, I always like to ask you this, Justin, because you’re such a fan. What do you think’s cool about the Inhumans and who’s you’re favorite Inhuman? Justin Woods: I think the Inhumans are cool because they are both alien but they’re not. And so they’re relatable in that way. I also think that they’re somewhat tragic. Like, if you look at them, in a lot of ways, they’re similar to guys like the Morlocks in the X-Men universe. They have the powers, but for some of those guys, the powers are both a burden and a blessing. And you look at Black Bolt as the king, nobody has it both better and worse than him, right? He’s as powerful as can be, but he can’t talk! That’s just kind of the sort of horrible burden that he has. So I think they’re a somewhat relatable group of characters. They have a unique and interesting power set. I love the city of Attilan and the idea that their [home] moves and floats around to wherever they need it to be. They were everywhere from the Himalayas to the moon. And as far as my favorite Inhuman character? I think it’s Black Bolt. I think Black Bolt is cool because, again, the idea that he is so incredibly powerful, but in having all of that power, he doesn’t have one of the basic things that we take for granted as human beings, which is the ability to speak to one another. He relies on telepathy and a number of other things to be able to communicate with the members of his own family. That’s something that I find really interesting. Marvel.com: And your feelings on Lockjaw? Justin Woods: I think Lockjaw’s amazing. We are trying to find a way to work Lockjaw into the game that makes sense and is a good service to Lockjaw and Lockjaw’s fans that would make sense. So he may or may not be a playable character in the game, but we’re finding a way to make sure that he gets in the game someday. So no announcements as of right now, but we’re working on something. Join “Marvel: Avengers Alliance” and play the Inhumans Lands Spec Op today!
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The Marvel Life: Nick Kroll (Wed, 17 Dec 2014)
Nick Kroll (courtesy of The Kroll Show) Nick Kroll is a busy man. Between his popular role as Rodney Ruxin on FXX’s “The League,” his film career, his semi-frequent stand up dates and popping up on various comedy shows and podcasts, he still has time to produce and star in his own series on Comedy Central aptly entitled “Kroll Show.” We recently spoke with Nick about season three being the last for “Kroll Show,” the special features you can find on the DVDs of seasons one and two, which “Kroll Show” characters compare to which Marvel super heroes, why he’s a fan of Deadpool and much, much more. Marvel.com: To begin, it’s the last season of “Kroll Show.” You know, some of the characters you created before the show began, so I was wondering if any of them may go on after the series ends? Nick Kroll: Well, I’d say first and foremost, all of these characters will live in America’s hearts together…America’s heart…it’s one beating heart, isn’t it? I assume things will live on in various ways, like John Mulaney and I are going in the 92nd Street Y in New York to do George and Gil, the “Hello” guys in January. Obviously it will be in promotion of this season of “Kroll Show,” but George and Gil might just stay at the 92nd Street Y, and maybe John and I will never get out of character. We’ll just live in the locker room at the 92nd Street Y as George and Gil. So if anybody feels like they’re missing “Kroll Show,” they can just come to any YMCA around the country, and George and Gil will be there in person or at least haunting it. And you’ll know that their ghosts are there because there will be an overwhelming smell of tuna fish. Marvel.com: The character I want you to stay as for the rest of your life, which I always mention when I see you, is Fabrice Fabrice. Will he live on? Nick Kroll: Well, you can’t kill Fabrice. Fabrice will truly live on forever. There’s no killing him, because he’s a survivor. That’s the beauty of [it]; I built a lot of these characters originally for live stage stuff in New York, and then I started making videos with various ones, and I think they’re…I don’t have a great answer for it except it’s all situational and as things come up, there’s a couple characters that will be tougher to do going forward. Maybe a couple of them die on “Kroll Show” this year. So that’s something to keep in mind. That’s a big risk you take by being a character on “Kroll Show,” you know. You might end up dead. When the characters signed on to be on “Kroll Show,” they knew that at any point they could be killed off. Marvel.com: [Laughs] That’s awful. I heard in a previous interview, you love how all your characters seem to have some kind of aspect to them that makes them redeemable. Is it hard for you to say goodbye to some of these characters when you actually put all this heart into creating them? Nick Kroll: Yeah, I don’t know this as a fact, but I would assume if you talk to most people—and I’m making this direct comparison because I believe that my show is probably more important than “Breaking Bad”—but if you talk to Vince Gilligan about Walter White or people who end up being pretty villainous, you still try and make them interesting. There is something always redeemable about them. It’s tough to watch people who have truly no redeemable qualities, I find, even when they’re the villains. Like with Marvel; most of the villains of all these super hero movies, there’s some inciting incident that causes them to be terrible or you’re still finding out a way to justify why they’re doing what they’re doing, even though you’re not rooting for them. You understand why or how it happened, you know? So I am, just to be very clear, comparing “Kroll Show” to both “Breaking Bad” and, let’s say, I don’t know, which Marvel movie would that work for? Marvel.com: Let’s do “The Avengers.” Nick Kroll: Loki. Exactly. Loki’s dad didn’t love him so much; didn’t love him as much as the other one. You’re like, “okay, I get it!” I think that like, the truth is, they’re just fun to play. It’s fun to play [expletive] and it’s fun to play douchebags. It’s fun to play people who, in real life, I wouldn’t want to actually hang out with. And I can use all of the things that I’m observing and judging people for in those cases and be able to play them. But you’re still finding love for those folks. Marvel.com: I wanted to mention too, seasons one and two of “Kroll Show” are coming out on DVD. What can fans expect from the behind-the-scenes stuff? Nick Kroll: I do think that, especially for our show in season three, so much crazy [expletive] happens. And the more that you know seasons one and two, the more you’ll appreciate season three. And so the DVD is a nice way to do it, especially because we’re not on Netflix. We’re on Hulu for a while, then we’re on the Comedy Central app; we’re on this constantly rotating thing. And so the beauty of the DVDs is you get both the first two seasons, and I think it really helps. You get to see the progression of the show from like, some long-form stuff in season one, but really a sketch show with these characters, and then those characters start to cross over with each other. And it’s a really pleasing thing to watch, progression in season two and then in season three it’s like a total “worlds colliding” constantly. Everything’s coming together. But on the DVD, there [are] the episodes, and then we did a bunch of director’s commentary on maybe four or five episodes. And it’s me with Jenny Slate, me with [Jon] Daly, me with Jon Krisel and John Levenstein. Jon Krisel was the director of seasons one and two and John Levenstein was showrunner and executive producer. Jason Mantzoukas did an episode commentary with me. So that’s always fun to sort of hear obviously the stuff that’s going on that brought you to that point. And also we’ve got the full music videos of “LA Deli” and a bunch of the other songs that are on the show that we made videos, and then also karaoke. Karaoke tracks with the proper Korean couples, you know, like the Korean videos? So it’s like, “LA Deli the karaoke version” and a couple of other songs from season three. So you can literally do karaoke of “LA Deli” off of your DVD player. There’s probably a few other special features that I can’t remember off the top of my head. It’s so weird, figuring out how to get all the episodes in one place, that it’s nice to have it. Marvel.com: Does the karaoke and all that stuff correlate with the album that’s coming out? Or is that a totally different thing? Nick Kroll: The album is all the songs from “Kroll Show” from the last two years. The wrap gift from season three for the crew is the inspiration for doing the album. It’s all the characters from season three; it was just like. “We have all these fun songs that are kind of awesome to have.” And so we decided to make an album of it. And it’s an actual vinyl album. Marvel.com: Oh wow! That’s awesome! Nick Kroll: It’s not for sale, the vinyl album, but you can get a sense of everything on it. And it’s kind of awesome. I’m very proud of it. And so we have all the songs on it. And it was an inspiration to make the album. And people really get a kick out of the songs. A lot of the music on the show that we use is either library music that our editors [who directed season three, Dan Longino and Bill Benz], they’ve been selecting all the music since season one. It’s all library music that they use to compose the show. And then, instead of licensing songs, we’d pay Mark Rivers or Cyrus Ghahremani. And Asa Taccone, who did a couple songs for us, we’d just pay them to make original music. And so Mark is the one who did all the Larry Bird stuff that sounds like John Mellencamp, and all the young Billy Joel, and “LA Deli,” and all of that stuff is Mark Rivers, who did a beautiful job on it. And people kept asking me, “Where can we see the video? How can I get this song?” And we decided to make an album for it. Marvel.com: I want to touch on some more “Kroll Show” in a second but I know Paul [Scheer] and Jason [Mantzoukas] are big comic book nerds, and I was wondering if any of that has bled over on to you doing “The League” and being friends with those guys? Nick Kroll: Those guys have gotten me more into them, and yeah, I started to get into it more. And I go to the movies but I’m starting to read them, and Paul [did the DEADPOOL BI-ANNUAL], so I started to get into Deadpool. It’s kind of up my alley, obviously, because it’s very funny. And I’ve been sort of enjoying that. I walked the floor with Jason and Paul this year at Comic-Con, we went to Artist’s Alley. It is somewhat new, uncharted territory for me. And being with Jason and Paul, it was like them meeting their rockstar legends, you know? And of course I can’t remember the names of the people that I met, but I know they were cool guys. They were big deal guys. I met an Irish guy who draws everything in negative base. Marvel.com: Was it Declan Shalvey maybe? Nick Kroll: Yeah! He was really cool. And yeah, it’s an art form that is still sort of new to me, but I see and understand that it’s something super relevant, especially now with the moviemaking. I didn’t grow up a comic book kid, but it’s definitely something that I’m kind of beginning to engage more and more in. We have a ridiculous episode, a Bobby Bottleservice episode this season that is as close as we’ve come to making a super hero kind of movie thing. In season one, Bobby and Peter are ghost bouncers. They bounce ghosts. It was based on the fact that when you watch those ghost hunter shows — have you ever seen those ghost hunter shows? Marvel.com: Mm hmm. Nick Kroll: One of the guys or a couple guys, we were like, “Oh my God. That guy dresses and looks like Bobby Bottleservice.” And so we made ghost bouncers where they have to bounce the ghost. And this season, Bobby is still in love with Farley, played by Chelsea Peretti, and he can’t seem to move on with his life; they decide that he’s haunted by the love of Farley, so they go on one last ghost hunting mission, and it’s to bounce the love of Farley from his heart. So they go into his body, and Peter and Bobby go into Bobby’s body to bounce her love. And it was our only full green screen, totally created, CGI world. And it was Bill Benz, who directed that season, did a beautiful job, like he drew it. He storyboarded it, but it was like, “This is like a comic. Like a graphic novel about Bobby going into his own body and bouncing the love of Farley out of his heart.” Marvel.com: Touching on Comic-Con, what was your experience like walking the floor? You said that was your first time? Nick Kroll: I’ve wandered around a little bit. It was my first time going to Artist’s Alley, and yeah. I mean, it’s still cool. It’s a world that obviously, you guys would know better. It just feels like it keeps exploding bigger and bigger. It’s this huge nation of culture and it’s exciting to constantly be discovering an art form that I’m not familiar with. It’s cool and I think, obviously, the impact on the movie industry is just bananas. Marvel.com: Do you think any of the “Kroll Show” characters relate to any Marvel characters? Nick Kroll: I would say that Dr. Armond is like Professor X. He’s got unending patience with his children and great hope for humanity. The difference being that Armond got hairplugs. I would say Bobby Bottleservice…who’s the most aspirational character? Who’s someone who’s like, reaching above? Marvel.com: Cyclops, maybe? Nick Kroll: Sure, yeah! Obviously I would say Tony Stark is a Rich Dick, if I ever saw one. C-Czar’s got a quality to him that’s almost like Wolverine. He’s got a thin dagger, like one of Wolverine’s claws. But also, he’s got an explosive temper, and once you set him off, it’s hard to; and he was a toilet baby, so I think like Wolverine doesn’t exactly like, know where he comes from. But he’s also, because of that, kind of a survivor; like Wolverine regenerates. So I would say he’s like that. Fabrice has a, maybe Deadpool quality to him? He’s kind of, again, another survivor. Tough. Funny. Sharp rapier’s wit. Well, I wouldn’t call Fabrice having a rapier’s wit, but like…. Who else? I’m trying to think of other good ones that would fit...I would say Larry Bird is like Superman because he’s super boring. Pick up seasons one and two of “Kroll Show” on DVD now and catch the final season on Comedy Central beginning January 13. Also look for Nick in “Adult Beginners” (which he stars in, produced and wrote), “Captain Underpants,” “Sausage Party” and a run on “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.” Also, follow Nick on Twitter at @nickkroll.
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Rock Out with Ryan Adams on Episode 163.5 of This Week in Marvel (Tue, 16 Dec 2014)
This Week in Marvel Episode 163.5 Musician Ryan Adams sits down with Blake to discuss his self-titled album as well as his comic book collection, an affinity for Spider-Woman, and much more! Download episode #163.5 of This Week in Marvel from Marvel.com, check out Marvel Podcast Centralgrab 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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The Claws Come Out this January in Wolverines #1 (Tue, 16 Dec 2014)
Wolverines #1 His death was only the beginning. Spinning directly out of the chart-topping DEATH OF WOLVERINE, THE LOGAN LEGACY and THE WEAPON X PROGRAM comes a brand-new weekly series kicking off this January in WOLVERINES #1! Marvel is pleased to present a new look at the blockbuster first issue from the star-studded creative team of Charles Soule, Ray Fawkes, Alisson Borges and All-New Young Guns artist Nick Bradshaw! Wolverine may be dead, but the weekly journey is just beginning as his mortal remains, now encased in the rare and powerful adamantium, are up for grabs. The battle begins as various factions vie for control of this valuable artifact. But why does it matter so much? And why is a war brewing in Logan’s name? Death is on the books for a number of Marvel’s heroes and villains, and Mystique is playing chess with them all. X-23, Daken, Sabretooth, Lady Deathstrike, the mysterious man known only as Sharp and many, many more!  “In a way, most of the characters featured in [Wolverines] are incomplete reflections of Wolverine,” says co-writer Ray Fawkes in an interview with Marvel.com “Perhaps now that he’s gone, they are free to fully realize themselves? Or maybe they’ll be annihilated by the void that he’s left behind?” The true enemy is still out there. With Logan gone, they pose a greater threat than ever before. An unlikely team of his closest allies and most bitter rivals will need to work together if they have any hope of avenging his death – but how can they? “The group here is not a set of people who are particularly interested in doing anything together unless they absolutely have to,” says Charles Soule. Logan’s end was just the beginning. As those who called him friend mourn his passing, those who called him foe are free to pursue their sinister aims. Now, those with close ties to him will forge an uneasy alliance to uncover the secrets behind  his death, and new revelations about his life! 2015 is kicking off with the “SNIKT” that shouldn’t be missed as the weekly adventure begins in WOLVERINES #1! WOLVERINES #1 (NOV140736) Written by CHARLES SOULE & RAY FAWKES Art & Cover by NICK BRADSHAW & ALISSON BORGES Variant Cover by GABRIELE DELL’OTTO (NOV140737) ZACH HOWARD (NOV140740) & SKOTTIE YOUNG (NOV140738) BLANK VARIANT (NOV140741) & CANADA VARIANT (NOV140742) Also Available Welcome Home Variant by SALVADOR LARROCA (NOV140739) On-Sale – 1/07/15
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Follow the History of Daredevil Pt. 35 (Mon, 15 Dec 2014)
The History of Daredevil Pt. 35 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! Always seeking redemption and a new beginning, the Man Without Fear met 1998 head-on, facing deep mysteries, lost loves, old foes, missing memories, a trip thru Hell itself, and one of the worst shocks of his life. How best to kick off a new year? Matt Murdock made up with girlfriend Karen Page in DAREDEVIL #371 even though her shopping spree on his credit card cost him a pretty penny. To get away from it all, he leapt into an investigation of the corrupt warden in the Mr. Fear case in DAREDEVIL #372, only to find himself up against Ghost Rider and the spectral cyclist’s dreaded “Penance Stare.” Our hero’s quest for Mr. Fear continued in DAREDEVIL #373, but in the background lurked Charlie Burroughs, a cop on Fear’s payroll. Burrough’s went after Foggy Nelson’s wife Candace in DAREDEVIL #374, prompting Matt to take a hand in saving her. Mr. Fear then hit even closer to home when he manipulated a trial in DAREDEVIL #375 to convict Karen Page of murder. Matt Murdock woke up in a Paris, France hospital bed in DAREDEVIL #376 with a new identity and with his eyesight returned. S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Harlan knew of DD’s real life, but he died under an assassin’s assault before he could reveal anything. Matt’s old habits as Daredevil reasserted themselves in DAREDEVIL #377 as he took to the streets against criminals while Foggy Nelson began his own search for his partner. The Kingpin took an interest in Matt’s new adventures in Paris in DAREDEVIL #378, but when S.H.I.E.L.D. marshaled their forces to pull our hero out in DAREDEVIL #379, his memories returned—and with them his blindness. Back in the States, Murdock defended one of the Kingpin’s patsies against trumped up charges, a situation which brought him into direct conflict again with the crime boss, Bullseye, and Bushwacker. In NIGHTHAWK #1, Daredevil went after a seemingly delusional Nighthawk, and lost big time in a fight with the costumed hero. Nighthawk discovered the “angel” he thought he served in the cause of good in reality answered to the name of Mephisto, prince of evil. So, in NIGHTHAWK #2, he struggled to save Daredevil’s soul in the depths of Hell, a quest he achieved in NIGHTHAWK #3. Six months later, Matt mourned the disappearance of Karen Page in DAREDEVIL #1, but made up his mind to soldier on and put his relationship with her behind him. A teenage girl showed up on his doorstep with a baby she claimed to be the new Messiah, but Daredevil found out the hard way in DAREDEVIL #2 that dark forces claimed the child as the Anti-Christ instead. Wracked with guilt, sorrow, and unsure of what to do with the baby, Matt’s life crashed in upon itself to the nth degree when Karen appeared out of nowhere, bringing news of her AIDS diagnosis. Read more DAREDEVIL (1964) and DAREDEVIL (1998) on Marvel Unlimited
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The Next Phase of Moon Knight (Mon, 15 Dec 2014)
Moon Knight sketches by Ron Ackins Come March of 2015, the alleys will seem a little darker, the wind a little colder, the barely perceived sounds under the usual din of Manhattan a bit more sinister. Thankfully writer Cullen Bunn and artist Ron Ackins have put the Lunar Legionnaire on the case starting with MOON KNIGHT #13 for a five-issue run. “I’ve called my take on the series ‘street level supernatural,’” reveals Bunn. “You’re not going to see Moon Knight storming the gates of Hell or battling a horde of vampires or staving off the zombie apocalypse. Well…probably not. That vampire thing sounds kinda sweet.” “Instead, these are very grounded stories,” he continues. “They are very much tales of an urban vigilante. But there are plenty of dashes of strange and unusual occurrences, too. As I look at my outline again, I realize that not every story in the arc is blatantly supernatural, though. A couple have no “otherworldly” aspects at all, and one is certainly not a horror tale. However, all of the stories have a pretty significant creep factor or weirdness level, especially when you look through the filter of ‘Moon Knight, the Vengeful Priest.’” Bunn’s take comes from his first exposure to the character: Moon Knight’s early days in the pages of WEREWOLF BY NIGHT. “Ever since [my first exposure], I’ve closely associated Moon Knight and the supernatural, mysterious, and more horrific corners of the Marvel Universe,” the writer recalls. “That makes him my kind of character.” The Crescent Crusader’s labile state of mind also helps make him Bunn’s kind of character. “Moon Knight strikes a balance between midnight crusader, holy warrior, vigilante, and raging psychotic that speaks to readers,” he argues. “You’re never sure which version of the character you’re going to get or how each version of the character might react in any given situation. The overall appeal of the character, I think, owes a great deal to the question of the character’s sanity. “What does he believe? What is real and what is a figment of his imagination? How far will he go in the service of Khonshu?” Artist Ron Ackins joins Bunn to send Marc Spector on these adventures, a big aid to helping the arc realize the proper tone. “In comics, horror and creepiness is all about mood,” the writer explains. “Some of that can be done with plot, pacing, and dialogue, but it will be the art that really sells it. Luckily, I’m working with an artist who I think will work wonders in that regard. “Ron has the job of juggling intense action sequences, gritty moodiness, and creepiness and horror elements, and I can’t wait to see his approach. If there was one iconic image I’m excited for, it’s Moon Knight soaring through the sky on his Angelwing. There’s an aerial big sequence in the third or fourth issue, and I think Ron’s gonna wow people with it.” The series, while drawing from the character’s supernatural early days, remains connected to his newest interpretation and the art makes sure to reinforce that link. “You’ll be seeing a variety of costumes for Moon Knight,” Bunn says. “I try to think about a few different things when picking Moon Knight’s attire—everything from what best represents Moon Knight’s goals and mission in a scene, to Marc Spector’s mental state, to what would look coolest at any given moment. I think the costumes are an extension of the different aspects of Khonshu. I love that with Moon Knight you’re not sure where his religious inclinations end and his multiple personalities begin.” Who Spector will find running into—friend and foe—offer further evidence that Bunn’s run will push forward with the tools of the past rather than dwell on the good old days: “You probably will not be seeing any classic Moon Knight guest stars. We’ll be meeting a few new allies—some very weird ones at that—and some new villains to boot. There’s a monstrous antagonist coming up in the book I’m really excited about, and in my fifth issue we’ll be seeing the members of a Church of Khonshu that I think will be really wild and exciting.” Cullen Bunn and Ron Ackins creep onto MOON KNIGHT in March 2015 with issue #13!
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Marvel 75: The Rise of the X-Statix (Mon, 15 Dec 2014)
The X-Statix by Michael Allred In the history of the X-Men and its various spin-off teams, few titles resonated with Marvel readers in such a unique way as X-STATIX did. As Marvel Editor-in-Chief—and X-STATIX editor—Axel Alonso, writer Peter Milligan, and artist Michael Allred recall, the 2001 series proved to be the perfect combination at just the right time. Built by flipping the mutant metaphor of hated and feared to its polar opposite, the three storytellers quickly gained the creative freedom to assemble what Milligan describes as a “perfect postmodern comic dance” that few will ever forget. Marvel.com: Axel, can you recall what prompted you to want Peter Milligan and Michael Allred in the first place on a series like X-FORCE, which eventually morphed into X-STATIX? Axel Alonso: Bill Jemas, who was Marvel President at the time, told me to take one of the X-Men satellite titles—any title—and do whatever I wanted.  No rules or restrictions; which is pertinent in hindsight because the first issue [X-FORCE #116] was rejected by the Comics Code. I thought X-FORCE was a funny name so I picked that title. Peter Milligan happened to be in town so the two of us met up, and I invited him to get on board the train. I had no idea where we were headed, but hey. We started with the mutant metaphor [of] hated and feared and decided to flip that. We agreed that if you were to sprout wings in Times Square, not everyone would hate you. Some people would want to be you; some would want to—how can I say this politely?—kiss you, and some would want to put your photo on their product. And X-FORCE was born. Peter and I talked deep into the night, and the first issue—which decimated the entire team—was pretty much written before he flew home. I knew this was shaping up to be a very idiosyncratic series, and I wanted it to be anchored in a pure, non-cynical joyous art style, and that’s why I called Mike. He was in at word one. A day later, I got character sketches that included a lot of the core cast, including this one doodle that really stood out: a potato-shaped blob with the word “Doop” scrawled under it. Marvel.com: What do you think it was about X-STATIX, that despite the fact it was such a non-traditional series, it clearly resonated with Marvel readers? Axel Alonso: X-STATIX was an indie film dressed up to look like a blockbuster, which is something you can do in comics because everyone’s got an unlimited special effects budget.  Peter and Mike were clearly invested in their characters—they were far more interested in their interior lives than their actual missions—and that’s why readers fell in love with them. When we killed U-Go Girl, even I had a hard time forgiving us. Marvel.com: Mike and Peter, do you recall how Axel convinced you to take on a series like X-FORCE? Michael Allred: One of the most indelible memories in my career. Axel had a few projects he was talking to me about. But then he brought up X-FORCE. What made it stick were two things: Peter was already on board, and we would be tasked to create our own Marvel Mutants. Win win! I immediately forgot about everything else he’d brought up. I was instantly locked in and imagery started popping in my head. Peter Milligan: It wasn’t an obvious fit for me but when Axel told me how much freedom I’d have—these guys weren’t quite A-Listers which meant we could mess around with them and basically create a totally new team which was really saying something. When Mike agreed to come on board my interest soared and the potential for this book to be something really different and special became apparent. Marvel.com: Was the plan always for the series to relaunch under the X-STATIX name? Michael Allred: Not especially. I remember it being reasoned that by spinning an existing title on its ear we would create a much brighter spotlight. But the possibility of getting our own title was there as well. I never got the impression anything was set in stone either way. Peter Milligan: I had to think hard about this. My initial thought was that it was all planned but actually what happened was more organic than that and it was in its own way rather beautiful.  As our characters in our X-FORCE began to push at the boundaries of what X-FORCE was it made perfect story sense for the team to change their name. Reality followed art; a perfect postmodern comic dance. Marvel.com: How challenging was it for you to juggle the dynamics of an adventure series that also served as a satire of the super hero genre? Michael Allred: I wouldn’t call it challenging. It was thrilling. Peter is one of the best writers in the history of comic books writing some of his very best work. It was a joy. Peter Milligan: Challenging, but challenging in all the right ways. I really felt that Mike and I were doing something special and that we were both bringing the best out each other. I’m naturally interested in the dark, tough character side of things. And Mike has a wonderful way of capturing that while simultaneously producing something that’s beautiful and full of a certain kind of comic book lightness of touch. Marvel.com: Why do you two think you worked so well on this series in particular? Michael Allred: Everything just clicked. Everyone was emotionally invested. And Axel was our ringmaster pushing and encouraging every step of the way. Peter Milligan: What I’ve described above, I think. I think Mike has a more instinctive grasp of a kind of comic book sensibility, and maybe I bring more darkness, and a different kind of depth. Marvel.com: Of the various cast members and arcs over X-STATIX, are there any that you consider to be your favorite? Michael Allred: The Mister Sensitive/U-Go Girl relationship had sparks. The big arc closing up X-FORCE with Edie’s sacrifice would have to be my favorite. It was just so powerful. And echoed out thereafter. The “little kid” in me would have to pick the big Avengers arc in X-STATIX. What a blast to have our creations go shoulder to shoulder with all those icons! Peter Milligan: That's so difficult. I love Tike Alicar, The Anarchist. But I love Edie Sawyer, U-Go Girl, too. I was a little in love with her. Marvel.com: How pleased are you both that of the cast, it is Doop who seems to just increase in popularity up until the present day? Michael Allred: You always want something you’ve created to make an impact. I never take it for granted when something works. But Doop is a surprise—especially since he was initially rejected as a cast/team member. But Axel told us that the folks in the Marvel offices were reacting very enthusiastically to my first doodle which [he] had pinned up. In tiny letters I wrote “doop” over this glop of a character. He said everyone was running around yelling “Doop! Doop! Doop!” He was officially in the book from then on. Peter made him the documentarian/cameraman of the group which was brilliant. [And then there are] all the mysterious and powerful aspects of the character. So, that's the long answer. The short answer is that I’m extremely pleased, but given the deep well of exceptional characters, I’m thinking some of the others are due for bigger things too. Peter Milligan: Pleased but I would have been pleased if any of these characters had become popular. What I love about Doop is that he’s such a blank slate it’s possible to put any meaning or possibility. And because has an absurdist character you know that any explanation of his past or his motives might very well not be true. I think Doop’s a classic example of something that neither Mike [nor] I would have created on our own. Marvel.com: If the circumstances were right, would you two ever be interested in doing more super hero satire in the Marvel universe? Michael Allred: I welcome any opportunity to work with Peter, like our recent [upcoming Miracleman] story. I don’t care whether it’s satire or not. In fact, the harder it is to categorize something, the better. X-STATIX was an action adventure romance mystery comedy with a little satire thrown in. And no matter what the circumstances, I’m always up for doing an action adventure romance mystery comedy with a little satire thrown in. Peter Milligan: I’d work with Mike again in a heartbeat. But I think X-STATIX was much more than just satire. I think if it had been entirely satire it would have worn a bit thin. Sure, there were satirical elements to it, but I really tried to put real character and real emotion in here too. It’s that tension between the insane/satirical and real/emotional that I think gives the book its unique spark. For more on the 75th anniversary of Marvel, visit marvel.com/75
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Unwrap Two Months of Marvel Unlimited for the Price of One (Mon, 15 Dec 2014)
Unwrap Two Months of Marvel Unlimited Marvel Unlimited is celebrating the holiday season by inviting fans to share the Marvel Universe! New and returning subscribers will be able to experience the greatest gift of all – access to over 15,000 digital Marvel comics for just $9.99 for the first two months of a Marvel Unlimited monthly subscription!* Given as a gift or purchased for yourself, unlock the Marvel Universe by using the Promo Code UNWRAP at Marvel Unlimited checkout and prepare for some of the greatest Marvel Comics featuring The Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, Spider-Man and many more! Marvel Unlimited is accessible on the web and through the Marvel Unlimited app on iPhone®, iPad® and select Android™ devices. New to the Marvel Universe and don’t know where to start? No need to worry! Marvel Unlimited subscribers have access to the DISCOVER section of Marvel Unlimited. Subscribers are now able to discover easy to follow avenues into the Marvel Universe by being able to search by their favorite storylines, characters or creators.  Want to learn about Marvel’s Infinity Gauntlet? Marvel Unlimited will show you the entire series and offer you a step-by-step suggested reading order. Curious about who Ant-Man is? Marvel Unlimited is here to provide you with his most heroic Marvel moments. Enjoy Brian Michael Bendis’ writing style? Marvel Unlimited can now show you some of his most acclaimed work all in one place. With classic and newer issues being added to Marvel Unlimited on a weekly basis as early as six months after they’re in stores, you’ll definitely want to join Marvel Unlimited this holiday season and enjoy the gift of the Marvel Universe! *Offer valid 12/15/14 12:01 AM EST to 1/04/15 11:59 PM EST. Offer available only for new and former (now-cancelled) Marvel Unlimited members.  Valid only on monthly Marvel Unlimited subscriptions only.  Valid payment card required to redeem offer. First two months billed jointly $9.99 upon purchase; third and subsequent months billed at then-current monthly subscription fee (currently $9.99/month) unless and until cancelled. Cancel anytime through My Account following registration.  Auto-renewal and other terms and conditions apply.  Gift subscriptions do not auto-renew.  Gifting member will only be billed $9.99 once upon purchase for a 2-month gift membership.  Please see Marvel Unlimited Terms of Use for terms and Marvel.com/Unlimited for further details. Unwrap Two Months of Marvel Unlimited
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Get Your Hands on Your Own Black Vortex With This Exclusive Reflective Bookmark (Mon, 15 Dec 2014)
Black Vortex Bookmark This February, the heroes of the Marvel Universe take to the stars for an out of this world throwdown the likes of which you’ve never seen in Guardians of the Galaxy & X-Men: The Black Vortex, the epic crossover taking place in the pages of GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, ALL-NEW X-MEN, LEGENDARY STAR-LORD, CYCLOPS, CAPTAIN MARVEL, NOVA and GUARDIANS TEAM-UP! But before Sam Humphries and Ed McGuinness’ GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY & X-MEN: THE BLACK VORTEX ALPHA #1 hits stores in February, you can get your hands on your very own Black Vortex with this promotional bookmark available only in comic shops! The Black Vortex, an ancient artifact of immense and immeasurable power has resurfaced on the far side of the galaxy. With the power to unlock its users true cosmic potential, in the wrong hands, the Black Vortex’s power could be a force of unparalleled destruction. Imagine the power that transformed Jean Grey into the Phoenix or Norin Radd into the Silver Surfer available to anyone, and in the hands of those who would use it for evil! And now, it can be yours! Embossed with a special reflective surface, peer into a Black Vortex of your own with this one of a kind bookmark. But that’s not all! The back of the bookmark has your first look at the complete reading order for the entire Guardians of the Galaxy & X-Men: The Black Vortex event. Keep up with your favorite cosmic titles as they prepare for an epic battle unlike any they’ve ever faced! Billions of lives are at stake, and to prevent The Black Vortex from falling in to the wrong hands, the heroes of the Marvel Universe will have to face the darkness inside themselves. Would you submit to the Black Vortex? Find out this February in GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY & X-MEN: THE BLACK VORTEX ALPHA #1! GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY & X-MEN: THE BLACK VORTEX ALPHA #1 (DEC140820) Written by SAM HUMPHRIES Art & Cover by ED MCGUINNESS FOC – 01/12/15, On-Sale – 02/04/15
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Puzzles! Games! Stickers! Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars Activity Book Returns in 2015 (Mon, 15 Dec 2014)
Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars Activity Book Love Marvel’s influential 1980's classic MARVEL SUPER HEROES SECRET WARS? Do you enjoy puzzles and games? Do you like FUN?! If you said yes to any of the above, have we got a book for you! Relive the unbridled joy of being a child of the 1980's with the MARVEL SUPER HEROES SECRET WARS ACTIVITY BOOK as it makes its triumphant return in 2015! Time travel back to a simpler time and discover – or rediscover – the magic of the 1980's with this radical replica collection of coloring books, activities, and sticker albums and stamp books! It’s got games, it’s got adventures, it’s got posters – it’s even got stickers! All it needs now is you! Back in the 1980's, Marvel produced a number of totally tubular activity and coloring books to coincide with the release of MARVEL SUPER HEROES SECRET WARS. With a brand-new Secret Wars on the horizon for 2015, there’s never been a better time to bring back these action-packed adventures where you control the action! “With a new Secret Wars coming in 2015, the heroes of the Marvel Universe are in for some harsh trials and tribulations,” says Marvel SVP Sales & Marketing David Gabriel. “They won’t be having much fun come 2015. But that doesn’t mean you can’t, dear reader! Loaded with games, goodies and more, this facsimile collection lets you experience the magic of Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars as only the 1980's can provide!” Packed cover-to-cover with 160 pages of Secret Wars fun, if the Beyonder had one to enjoy, he never would’ve made it to Earth for SECRET WARS II! So dig out those crayons and prepare for adventure True Believer, because you’re about to embark on a journey deep into the Marvel Universe. But don’t forget your imagination – you’ll need it! Collecting the SECRET WARS: THE CRIME OF CENTURIES and ESCAPE FROM DOOM coloring books, the SECRET WARS: SECRET OF SPIDER-MAN’S SHIELD and TOWER OF DOOM sticker books, the SECRET WARS: STAMP FUN and SPIDER-MAN’S STAMP FUN stamp books (no licking required!) and more, you’re in for hours of unadulterated, good ol’ fashioned fun in the Merry Marvel Manner! MARVEL SUPER HEROES SECRET WARS ACTIVITY BOOK FACSIMILE EDITION 160 pgs/All Ages…$24.99 On Sale March 2015!
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Find Out Who Made Marvel.com's Top Ten 2000's Debuts List (Fri, 12 Dec 2014)
Marvel.com's Top 2000's Debuts We wrap our year-long celebration of Marvel’s 75th anniversary with the past 15 years, as we journeyed from Marvel Knights to Marvel NOW! While classic heroes continued to be redefined, the House of Ideas kept churning out new ones, as evidenced by the 10 heroic debuts we have selected as our most memorable. This week, we count down our top 10 Marvel heroes to debut from 2000 forward. Have your own thoughts? Let us know on Twitter using the hash tag #Marvel75! 10. ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN (Peter Parker) First Appearance: ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN (2000) #1 Why He’s #10: “Even the most evergreen of concepts go use a fresh coat of paint now and again to remind us why we feel in love with them in the first place. In the year 2000, fittingly, ‘With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility’ got the treatment as ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN hit shelves and fans meet a different but still familiar Peter Parker. He came into the 21st century every bit as hard luck and driven by a potent combination of guilt and dedication as when he sprang onto the pages of AMAZING FANTASY in 1962. Parker remained everything that made him unique and worthy of being one of the most popular comic book characters in history but now he seemed utterly of the moment. Not such an easy feat for a then-38-year old character, but wouldn’t you know, he made us all believe he was a teen again.” – Tim Stevens Digital Comics Spotlight: ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN (2000) #13 9. THE ULTIMATES First Appearance: THE ULTIMATES (2002) #1 Why They’re #9: “By 2002, the Ultimate Universe had given us modern takes on Spider-Man and the X-Men, but fans waited to see what would be done with Marvel’s heaviest hitters, the Avengers; enter the Ultimates. With a more aggressive Captain America, an Iron Man who embraced his roles as hero and playboy, and a truly unique angle on Thor, the Ultimates dragged Earth’s Mightiest Heroes into the 21st century in an intense way. Widescreen action and huge stakes followed with the Hulk, Black Widow, Hawkeye and more joining the fray. The Ultimates have evolved over the past decade-plus, but their adventures have provided a template for some of the most enduring visions of these tenured icons.” – Ben Morse Digital Comics Spotlight: THE ULTIMATES (2002) #5 8. THE YOUNG AVENGERS First Appearance: YOUNG AVENGERS (2005) #1 Why They’re #8: “When the Vision’s secret program to maintain a team of Avengers activated in the wake of the disassembling of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, it brought together a group of very special young heroes. Iron Lad, Patriot, Hulking, Wiccan, and Hawkeye proved themselves against one of the Avengers' greatest foes, Kang the Conqueror, in their initial adventure, but Captain America and Iron Man brought the hammer down and refused to train the Young Avengers without their parents’ consent. Equally talented and willful, the kids forged ahead and continued their exciting new lives as super heroes, weathering the loss of Iron Lad, the kidnapping of Hulking by the Super-Skrull, the challenge of Wiccan’s twin brother Speed, and the advent of the Civil War to form an officially sanctioned unit of Avengers.” – Jim Beard Digital Comics Spotlight: YOUNG AVENGERS SPECIAL (2005) #1 7. MS. MARVEL First Appearance: MS. MARVEL (2014) #1 Why She’s #7: “Kamala Khan, the latest in a long line of Ms. Marvels, exploded on to the pages of Marvel Comics just over a year ago. Vibrant and complex, she arrived as a three-dimensional person. Like so many Marvel heroes before her, her powers came as both a joy and an utterly terrifying complicating factor. Even better, where Khan goes, so too does her family and friends. As strong a supporting ensemble as you can find in a brand-new series—and most established ones, come right down to it—they beautifully play off and interact with Ms. Marvel, allowing her an even greater stage for fans to see who she was, is, and very well might become. If we did this list in a few more years, I would be stunned not to see Kamala sitting comfortably on top.” – Tim Stevens Digital Comics Spotlight: MS. MARVEL (2014) #2 6. JESSICA JONES First Appearance: ALIAS (2001) #1 Why She’s #6: “Unlike any other character bursting onto the Marvel landscape in the 2000’s, Jessica Jones possesses ties to the Marvel universe dating back to when she attended Midtown High School with classmate Peter Parker. But the path to her current role as a hero took several turns, including: two comas; gaining superpowers; at least one failed bid as a costumed hero; a period as a hostage/pawn of Purple Man; working as a private investigator; becoming a journalist; and serving a mentor to the Young Avengers. All these experiences plus much more combined to make Jones one of the strongest—mentally and physically—people to join the ranks of the Avengers. Her union with Luke Cage and role as a parent to Danielle Cage help round out the approach she takes in fighting those who would dare threaten the hard-won life she leads.” – Tim O’Shea Digital Comics Spotlight: THE PULSE (2004) #14 5. MARIA HILL First Appearance: NEW AVENGERS (2004) #4 Why She’s #5: “Part of what makes Maria Hill such a great and natural leader as well as one of the more fascinating Marvel characters begins and ends with the realization she has no superpowers. She has stood up against beings of far superior physical strength only to gain their—albeit sometimes begrudging—respect. Her mental toughness, intellect and ability to make hard choices in impossible situations serves her well as Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. Anytime that major events escalate to the degree panic seems to be the only reasonable response, the cool-headed Hill consistently finds a solution to save the day or at least minimize damage.” – Tim O’Shea Digital Comics Spotlight: SIEGE (2009) #3 4. THE RUNAWAYS First Appearance: RUNAWAYS (2003) #1 Why They’re #4: “The Runaways, in the grand tradition of super heroes, army battalions, and John Hughes, came together with almost nothing in common but a shared enemy. This time that enemy just happened to be their parents—real, honest to goodness super villain parents. As if that idea did not demand attention all on its own, the characters also happened to be utterly believable and dynamic. A reader could not help but connect with them, and see themselves in one or more members of this scared, scrambling motley crew; in that way, their victories and heartbreaks became our own. If you picked up the book, you could not help but feel like you had joined the Runaways, too; they just felt that real. And because of that, you could not wait to run with them again next issue.” – Tim Stevens Digital Comics Spotlight: RUNAWAYS (2005) #1 3. THE GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY First Appearance: GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (2008) #1 Why They’re #3: “A thief, two thugs, an assassin, and a maniac—who could have predicted with a line-up like this that the Guardians of the Galaxy would become among the greatest heroes of the new millennium? When Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, Rocket Raccoon, and Groot—along with gone but not forgotten members like Adam Warlock and Quasar—banded together under a familiar name following the events of Annihilation, their quirky camaraderie gave way to a formidable group of cosmic warriors. In recent years, these unlikely champions have defied the odds by becoming not only A-list Marvel stars, but known worldwide beyond the comic book page.” – Ben Morse Digital Comics Spotlight: GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (2013) #1 2. THE WINTER SOLDIER First Appearance: CAPTAIN AMERICA (2005) #1 Why He’s #2: “Since the young age of 16, James “Bucky” Barnes has taken on missions that other heroes cannot or will not tackle. Unfortunately when assumed dead after the explosion in the waning days of World War II, the amnesiac-affected and maimed hero underwent reprogramming by the Russian government into The Winter Soldier. After decades alternating between extended cryogenically suspended periods and Russian-directed covert missions, Barnes finally broke free of his mental shackles and embarked on his quest for redemption. The former sidekick of Captain America, while hardened by his past, pursues a future as a hero fully in control of his own destiny and intent on protecting the Marvel Universe from threats unknown by most.” – Tim O’Shea Digital Comics Spotlight: WINTER SOLDIER (2012) #1 1. SPIDER-MAN (Miles Morales) First Appearance: ULTIMATE FALLOUT #4 Why He’s #1: “The idea of killing Peter Parker, the guy we all know as Spider-Man, and putting someone new in the costume—not for a stunt or an issue or an arc but committing to it—seemed, well, ill-advised. Some might even label it foolhardy. But then readers met Miles Morales, the all-new Ultimate Spider-Man and suddenly the idea just did not seem so bad anymore. “Smart but still clearly learning, scared but full of courage, wanting to be the ideal son, but driven to keep secret, Miles instantly connected with the audience. He followed in Peter’s footsteps but never felt like a mere imitation. He recognized his predecessor but never came across but anything but his own man. Well, kid, really. Through him, we as fans got to experience the terror and joy of discovering super powers all over again. The triumph and tragedy of donning a costume and standing up for what’s right. “Miles Morales took on the heaviest of mantles and made us delighted to follow him every step of the way.” Digital Comics Spotlight: ULTIMATE COMICS SPIDER-MAN (2011) #1 Come back tomorrow to see two more entries on the list, share your thoughts on Twitter with the hash tag #Marvel75 and keep up on Marvel’s 75th anniversary celebration at marvel.com/75
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The History of Star Wars Pt. 3: The Clone Wars (Fri, 12 Dec 2014)
The History of Star Wars Pt. 3 All images © Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved. With the Star Wars franchise returning to Marvel beginning in January 2015, it’s time to get up to speed on the galaxy far, far away with a look back at the story from the classic films! With each installment of the History of Star Wars, we’ll cover another chapter in one of the greatest adventures of all-time! The Clone Wars stand forever as the line of demarcation between the end of the Galactic Republic and the birth of the Galactic Empire, a galaxy-wide struggle brought about by the lust for power of one man: then-Supreme Chancellor Palpatine. Thousands of worlds and millions of beings felt the sting of battle throughout the few short years of the Clone Wars, though often times the worst casualties fell on a personal level. After the Battle of Geonosis, in which the Republic’s vast clone army first saw military action, Palpatine launched his fleet of warships from his seat of power on Coruscant to confront the Separatists, a group dedicated to undermining the foundations of the galaxy’s government. Led by former Jedi Count Dooku and the cyborg General Grievous, the Separatists approached a multitude of Republic planets to win their support and convince them of their plight. In reality, Palpatine manipulated events on both sides of the war to call for “emergency powers” that would allow him to seize ultimate control. Early battles on such worlds as Christophsis and Teth set the tone of the Clone Wars, with the Separatists’ droid armies and organic agents vying for supremacy against the Republic’s clones and the might of the ranks of Jedi Knights. During the struggle, the Jedi took on the roles of generals, owing to their use of the Force and their skills with lightsabers. Though weakened in numbers and struck with moral dilemmas that threatened the Jedi Code, the Knights slogged through combat both on the surface of numerous planets and in space above them, each fight costing them in one way or another. In addition to Dooku and Grievous’ leadership, the Separatists could also boast the addition of the Force-wielder Asajj Ventress to their cause. Ventress utilized two crimson lightsabers and her hatred of the Jedi to make her mark on the Clone Wars, a standing which brought her to the attention of Darth Sidious—Palpatine in disguise—and earned her the mission of assassinating Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker. One of the stand-out figures of the Clone Wars was Ahsoka Tano, a young Jedi who became the Padawan learner of Skywalker during the struggle. Reckless and headstrong like her mentor, Ahsoka advanced her understanding and use of the Force as Anakin’s apprentice until a mysterious bombing at the Jedi Temple placed her under a veil of suspicion. Expelled from the Jedi and put on trial, Ahsoka was ultimately vindicated, although she refused re-admittance to the Order. The Clone Wars came to an end with the Battle of Coruscant, the deaths of both Count Dooku and General Grievous, and the creation of the Galactic Empire under Palpatine. Continue to follow the History of Star Wars on Marvel.com, and get ready for STAR WARS #1 in January 2015!
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Marvel 75: September 11, 2001 (Fri, 12 Dec 2014)
Amazing Spider-Man (1999) #36 art by John Romita, Jr. At 8:46 AM Eastern Time on September 11, 2001 a plane hit North Tower 1 of the World Trade Center in New York City. Less than two hours later, another plane would strike South Tower 2, one would crash into the Pentagon, and a final plane ended up in a Pennsylvania field. For the first time since Pearl Harbor, the United States had been the victim of a foreign assault on American soil. The attacks claimed the lives of 2,977 victims and injured over 6,000 more, shocking the international community and carving literal wounds in the American landscape. For over 60 years, Marvel Comics not only grounded its universe in the streets and boroughs of the Big Apple, but its very offices stood about 3.5 miles away from the World Trade Complex. In addition, many of the editors, writers, artists, and other staff that made the comics fans enjoyed so much possible called the city and the surrounding areas home. Therefore, for Marvel and its employees, the chaos of that day did not unfold on a TV screen, it took place right outside their windows. Like all Americans, Marvel found itself raw and seeking any way to help in the months that followed. Turning to the characters that had brought entertainment and joy so many times over the year, Marvel sought to utilize them to honor the real life heroes of the attacks and the weeks that followed, and to bring hope to its readers. The first of these projects, AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #36, hit stands in December of 2001. Centering on Spider-Man and other heroes’ efforts to aid the first responders in helping at Ground Zero, the issue offered a clear message: no matter how great, interesting, or fun the fictional protagonists of the Marvel Universe had been over the years, the true brave people of the moment—and on an ongoing basis—were the paramedics, officers, and firemen who waded into the situation on that day and the days and weeks that followed to help their fellow human beings. Also, by revealing the vulnerability of the characters as they struggled with the moment, Marvel sought to reassure readers that even champions with super strength, great tactical minds, or radar senses would be scared and angry and confused in light of such a sudden and cruel attack. And even if heroes could be overwhelmed the reader should feel ok with his or her own complex and overwhelming feelings. We all feel this way right now, the issue promises, but we can all be strong too—just like our heroes. Later that month came the one-shot magazine format special, HEROES. Featuring work from incredible talents including Neal Adams, Paul Dini, Dave Gibbons, Joe Quesada, Walt Simonson, Kevin Smith, and countless others, it continued to honor the first responders and feed that still aching need to do something, anything, to feel a bit more active and a bit less rocked back on our collective heels. Arguably the key moment of the book comes when an exhausted Captain America finds the strength to continue from the inspiration of NYPD and FDNY, an obvious metaphor for the strength each citizen could draw from each other. A few months later, Marvel released the final of the three 9/11-related projects, MOMENT OF SILENCE. Here, the focus had shifted some. Finally a few steps removed from the maelstrom, MOMENT provided a nearly wordless platform for contemplation, for allowing ourselves to slow down, to stop, and mourn those we lost and embrace those who survived along with us. The three projects, all said, raised over a million dollars for the Twin Towers Fund, the largest comic book fundraising project to date. Through its art, Marvel had connected readers with their heroes and offered a sense that all of us might not be as alone as we feel, while raising money. With three books, the company fulfilled both the drive to alleviate the psychic pain of the attacks and provide tangible help going forward.
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The End is FOURever Begins in Fantastic Four #642 (Fri, 12 Dec 2014)
Fantastic Four #642 This January, the countdown begins…and the end of Marvel’s first family is upon us in FANTASTIC FOUR #642 – the first chapter in The End is FOURever! Writer James Robinson and artist Leonard Kirk’s epic endgame begins as the Invaders crash headlong into the Fantastic Four and the hunt for Reed Richards and the missing Future Foundation kids takes a dangerous turn! Meanwhile, the mastermind behind the systematic dismantling of the Fantastic Four reveals his ultimate plan. But how does Franklin Richards and his unchecked powers factor in? And why are Jim Hammond, Namor, All-New Captain America and Doc Green hunting the remaining members of the Fantastic Four? Nothing lasts forever. Don’t miss the beginning of the end this January in FANTASTIC FOUR #642! FANTASTIC FOUR #642 (NOV140807) Written by JAMES ROBINSON Art & Cover by LEONARD KIRK Connecting Cover Variant by MICHAEL GOLDEN (NOV140808) Character Variant by JIM CHEUNG (NOV140809) FOC – 12/15/14, On Sale – 1/14/15
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Swing Back into Spider-Man with Gerry Conway (Fri, 12 Dec 2014)
Amazing Spider-Man #16.1 cover by Arthur Adams March 2015 should delight fans of legendary writer Gerry Conway as a new Spider-Man limited series “Amazing Spider-Man: Spiral,” kicking off in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #16.1, teams him with artist Carlo Barberi! The five-part limited series pairs Spidey with Police Captain Yuri Watanabe—also known as the vigilante The Wraith—just as the struggle for power in the criminal underworld flares up. Conway explains how this new story allows him to capitalize upon his experience growing up in a family steeped in law enforcement, as well as the writer for several TV police procedural dramas and more! Marvel.com: After dipping your toe back into the Spider-Man world with your work on SPIDER-VERSE TEAM-UP #2, how enthused are you to be tackling this five-issue arc? Gerry Conway: I’m incredibly enthused. Ironically, the Spider-Man team-up story is my second Spider-Man project. The limited series began first. We were working on that first when [editor] Nick Lowe asked me to do the 10-pager. Even though SPIDER-VERSE TEAM-UP came out first, it was something that I started while I was already working on the AMAZING SPIDER-MAN issues. Marvel.com: How long have you been working on AMAZING SPIDER-MAN: SPIRAL? Gerry Conway: We’ve been writing it now for a couple of months. We’re plotted through the first five issues and I’m finishing up the script on the second issue. We’d been talking about the story for several months before that. Marvel.com: So you are not at the point where you’ve started to see any of the art from Carlo Barberi? Gerry Conway: Actually, I have seen a couple of pages from Carlo and they look amazing—just spectacular. It’s a spectacular Spider-Man! [Laughs] I think he’s going to do a great job on this story; I’m really excited to be working with him. Marvel.com: Since you’re actually able to see some of what he’s done, are you trying to play to his strengths or give him certain scenes that you know he can tackle? Gerry Conway: That’s definitely going to come into play with the second and continuing issues. The first issue I wrote without really knowing who the artist was going to be on it, although I had my hopes, obviously. But now that I know it’s Carlo, I’m going to try to play to his strengths. Marvel.com: Can you talk a bit about how you and Nick started talking about doing this arc in the first place? Gerry Conway: I originally had dinner with [Marvel Chief Creative Officer] Joe Quesada when he was out in Los Angeles last year. During the course of the dinner we started talking about comics and I had mentioned that in a weird sort of way I had always thought of myself as a comic book writer who does other things, even though I haven’t written comics on any regular basis for a couple of decades. But my heart has always been attached to comics and particularly, to Marvel. When Joe heard that, he said, “Well, I think the guys would be very interested to hear if you had any ideas.” That led me to talking to [Editor-in-Chief] Axel Alonso, then Axel put me in touch with Stephen Wacker—who at the time was editor of Spider-Man. Stephen and I talked over this notion I had for Spiral. Then when Stephen moved on to the Marvel Animation, Nick and I started talking and noticed that we were both very much on the same page with what could be done with this story. Marvel.com: Can you discuss what it’s like exploring some of the Marvel Universe underworld in this arc, given that it’s been in flux since the fall of The Kingpin? Gerry Conway: The notion here is that the various Marvel crime gangs like the ones led by Hammerhead, Tombstone, the Circus of Crime, Black Cat, and Mr. Negative—they’re all at each other’s throats because there’s no single overlord of crime currently running things in New York. Things only escalated, especially after The Goblin King fell out of the scene and Doc Ock is no longer operating as the Superior Spider-Man, keeping a lid on everything. It’s an opportunity for all of these power players to see which one of them can come out on top. While the larger gang war is taking place over the whole city, we’re focusing in on how it’s affecting the precinct of Captain Yuri Watanabe, who we also know as The Wraith, and that’s where the focus of our story is going to be. Marvel.com: As someone who is a veteran Spider-Man writer, what are you enjoying most about getting to write the adventures of Peter Parker? Gerry Conway: I just love hearing his voice in my head. I’ve always enjoyed writing Peter, I love the character and I’ve always identified with him. I identified even more when I was closer in age to him. I used to say to people when I was first writing Peter Parker and Spider-Man I was basically the same age as Peter and going through a lot of the same things as Peter. That’s no longer the case, obviously, but it’s really interesting to me just how quickly that suit of clothes fits back on. I find myself really welcoming the opportunity to talk with him basically, to hear what he has to say; take his perspective of the world and run with it. Marvel.com: As you’ve said, this arc allows you to explore the work of Police Captain Watanabe in her day job as well as her secret life as the vigilante The Wraith. Given that you are a writer with some pretty substantial experience in writing police procedurals, was getting to use Watanabe in this arc part of what interested you in taking on the assignment? Gerry Conway: Yes. Actually, it was my suggestion to use Watanabe and one of the attractions was the fact that I have this additional background writing cop show. I also come from a family of cops; my dad was a cop and my uncle was a cop, the Captain of the Police Academy in New York City. I have a cultural affinity for the cop mindset, which is not to say that I approve of cops in general or think that cops are beyond reproach, just that I empathize with what they go through. I’m also familiar with the struggles of any individual dealing with any institutions that are larger than themselves. Yuri Watanabe is just a fascinating character to me as a high-level representative of the law. She is a police captain and that means that she’s worked in that field for a number of years and worked her way up the ranks and knows how the system works. But at the same time, now she’s also acting as a vigilante. That’s a contradiction that I think makes for an interesting character. Marvel.com: Without spoiling the story, can you talk about some of the supporting cast you hope to work with in this story? Gerry Conway: In terms of supporting cast, we’re basically dealing with villains. We’re dealing with Tombstone and his gang, Hammerhead and his gang, and those are both characters that I co-created, so I have special love for them; Mr. Negative, who’s an interesting behind the scenes manipulator; Black Cat, who’s got her own ambitions to become the queen of crime in New York City; and the other players that we’ve seen at the street level of crime in New York. In terms of the ongoing cast, I’m keeping my hands away from them because that’s for the main book. That’s the way that I approached writing WEB OF SPIDER-MAN and SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN while David Michelinie was writing AMAZING SPIDER-MAN during my last run at Marvel: to recognize that the main book has to deal with the main supporting cast and the main story-arcs but that the secondary books have an opportunity to flesh things out in areas that may not be explored by the main title. Marvel.com: From a writing standpoint it seems like it opens up a lot more opportunities for you. Gerry Conway: Sure, because I’m not responsible for moving the big story along, I’m responsible for exploring a little area that otherwise might not get the attention that it would because the bigger story is taking place—taking Spider-Man to more important places; although this arc is going to have effects on the Spider-Man universe as well. It’s not a throw-away “this didn’t happen” story, this will actually have repercussions, which we’re happy about. Marvel.com: Few veteran writers wrote Spider-Man as well as you did or helped define a lot of the book’s core appeal over the years as you did. But I am curious, of your current peers writing in the Spider-Man family of books, do you look toward any of them to draw inspiration for your present day approach? Gerry Conway: Oh God, yes. I have to tell you, you may think of me as someone who’s really familiar of the character, and I am, but I’m totally intimidated by the work of people like Dan Slott and Christos Gage, who are actually writing the character on a regular basis; or Brian Bendis, with ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN; they’re all people who have taken Peter Parker and Miles Morales, of course, into a whole new level of writing. My biggest fear, honestly, coming back to this book, is that I would not be able to compete. Marvel.com: Not a chance! Look for AMAZING SPIDER-MAN: SPIRAL by Gerry Conway and Carlo Barberi in March 2015!
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The Women of Marvel Hang with Angela (Fri, 12 Dec 2014)
The Women of Marvel Podcast Episode 23 It's the latest Women of Marvel Reading Circle, with guest stars Marguerite Bennett and Kieron Gillen joining Judy and Jeanine to discuss a book they wrote: ANGELA: ASGARD'S ASSASSIN #1! Listen to Women of Marvel - Episode 23 now! 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 hashtag #WomenOfMarvel! 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:  http://thewomenofmarvelcomics.tumblr.com
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Download Episode 163 of This Week in Marvel (Thu, 11 Dec 2014)
This Week in Marvel Episode 163 It's episode #163 of This Week in Marvel! Ryan and Ben return stateside for a huge week of new print and digital releases including DEADPOOL'S ART OF WAR #3, DEATH OF WOLVERINE: THE LOGAN LEGACY #6, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY ANNUAL #1, SPIDER-VERSE TEAM-UP #2, UNCANNY X-MEN ANNUAL #1, and more! Plus, the latest news, including movies and TV from Marc and Patrick! Read MARVEL ZOMBIES for the next This Week in Marvel Unlimited Reading Club and share your thoughts using the hash tag #TWIMURC! Download episode #163 of This Week in Marvel from Marvel.com, check out Marvel Podcast Centralgrab 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 Thursday (or so) and TWiM is co-hosted by Marvel Digital Media Group Executive Editorial Director Ryan "Agent M" Penagos and Marvel.com Senior Editor Ben Morse, along with Marvel.com Editor Marc Strom and Manager, Marvel.com Assistant Editor Patrick Cavanaugh, and Video & Content Production Blake Garris. 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 @Agent_M@BenJMorse or @Marvel with the hashtag #ThisWeekinMarvel!
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Follow the History of Deadpool Pt. 3 (Wed, 29 May 2013)
The History of Deadpool Pt. 3 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 the messiah. 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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Download 'This Week in Marvel' Episode 81.5 (Tue, 28 May 2013)
Download 'This Week in Marvel' Episode 81.5 Download episode #81.5 of This Week in Marvel from Marvel.com Ryan and Ben welcome their old pal "The Fallen Angel" Christopher Daniels, Impact Wrestling star and one half of the tag team Bad Influence, to the show. Enjoy a free-flowing discussion of comics and wrestling, including Daniels' plans for Slammiversary, his thoughts on Marvel NOW! and much more! Download episode #81.5 of This Week in Marvel from Marvel.com, check out Marvel Podcast Centralgrab the TWiM RSS feed and subscribe to This Week in Marvel on iTunes or Zune, 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 Associate Producer Blake Garris and Associate 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! And if your message is longer than 140 characters, send it through fans.marvel.com!
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