Marvel comics

Secret Wars Correspondence: Marvel Zombies (Fri, 27 Feb 2015)
Marvel Zombies #1 cover by Greg Land So, how to describe writer Simon Spurrier’s MARVEL ZOMBIES entry in Secret Wars? “Super heroes plus unholy necromantic fiends— just add coffee and bacon and that's basically all the viable foodgroups.” So says the man himself, musing on what makes the Marvel Zombies tick, and what in general he loves about the popular theme of the undead. “There’s an age-old fascination with the notion of predatory people—regular joes who suddenly become ‘The Ravenous Enemy’—which takes-in just about every overused trope in the horror lexicon,” Spurrier continues. “I’m sure a billion words have been written about the symbolism you can find in all that. With zombies I suspect the real magic—the real appeal, if that's the right word—lies not just in their chompy flesh-guzzling tear-you-apart-to-get-at-your-sweet-sweet-soupy-brain bits terror shtick, but in the slow, single-mindedness and relentlessness of their hunger. “It’s weird but it’s true: it’s often more chilling for a monster to be unrelenting, implacable and utterly simple in its desire, than something more Machiavellian or complex.” But what about this Battleworld tie-in? The writer promises all that and more. “With this tale I’m actually doing something a bit sly, by kind of positioning the zombie trope as my controlling idea,” says Spurrier. “In other words the whole tale revolves around themes of relentlessness and single-minded purpose. In the case of the zombies that purpose is pretty obvious: Eat flesh and brains. Find more people. Eat flesh and brains. Find more people. Aaaand so on.” Furthermore, he also insists his central character—of the living—will “quite literally lead us on a hellish trek through the hordes of Marvel’s undead.” “Behold, oh huddled masses: aristocratic monster-slaughterer and delightful snark-launching posibitch Elsa Bloodstone,” Spurrier reveals. “As for the state of her powers, and the unhappy quest she finds herself upon: you’ll have to read for yourself. In the case of Elsa, [there’s a] profound melting pot of indomitable drives to do with family ties, duty and old scars, which manifest as a deeply-ingrained refusal to give up. She’s a really, really cool character.” And while he must maintain a coy and covert atmosphere surrounding what he can and cannot say about the project, Spurrier will let slip some juicy morsels of zombie statistics. “What I will say is that the core of the story is very much focused on Elsa and one other character; I’m keeping tight-lipped about that, but it’s soooo cool—making their way across a zombie-infested landscape,” he explains. “It’s intended to be a very tense—and very intense story—so most of the time the zombies will feature as elements of great danger and great fear rather than ‘characters’ in the usual sense. There are some big exceptions. I'll come back to that. “But, yeah, a lot of the zombie encounters will be done-and-gone, which naturally gives us a lot of opportunities for fun and creativity. To give you a peek behind the scenes, in the pitch I spitballed images of a zombie Doc Octopus, limbless and rotten, heaving itself along by its one remaining tentacle; a zombie Devil Dinosaur, driven mad by the meaty scent of the Moonboy corpse lashed to its back but unable to reach it with its tiny, tiny arms; a zombie Blob, emaciated and swarming with flies, dragging the leathery folds of its stretched skin behind itself. And so on. Fun. “And that’s not to even mention the several undead players who really will become ‘characters’ in their own right. For whom I have some truly revolting plans. There’s one in particular who will haunt this entire story; relentlessly pursuing our heroes.” Readers will also want to know how MARVEL ZOMBIES fits in with the overall Secret Wars scheme, a point that the writer has a bit more to expound upon. “It sits in a category which—for my tastes—is pretty much perfect,” Spurrier says. “That is: it relates to the wider event in a lot of very specific ways, but isn’t so wrapped up in them that you can’t enjoy it on its own. In other words things happen in my book which ripple out to be felt in the wider Secret Wars universe, and things happen out there whose effects can be measured in Elsa’s journey—but even if you’re not following the core event and just want an awesome book about an incredible woman digging deep into her own crumbling reserves to smash, blast and sneak her way through legions of your favourite Marvel personalities—corrupted into gurgling cackling brain-hungry insaniacs—then this is the book for you. Evergreen glory. “Anyway, take a quick peek at that awesome Battleworld Map which, by now, you should have seen. No big surprise, the areas we’re most concerned with are the Deadlands and The Wall.”  Overall, he’s quick to pinpoint exactly how he feels about being part of Secret Wars, dropping words like “splendid,” “intimidating,” “opportune,” and “definitely positive in the adjective-y sense.” “One thing worth saying: my most recent projects for Marvel have been pretty heavy, by circumstance and design,” Spurrier says. “I couldn't be prouder of both X-MEN LEGACY and X-FORCE: one evolved to become an intensely personal exploration of mental health and adolescence, the other's my unapologetically brutal look at Realpolitik and international Dirty Tricks. Both books kinda confounded expectations when they launched—and both made tough demands—but they’ve ended with some of the most passionate and loyal fans having been moved and brainstruck by the experience, and with some really blush-inducing critical acclaim. I couldn't ask for more. “But with [MARVEL ZOMBIES] I want to do something far sleeker. That’s not to say I’m setting out to dumb-down because that’s not my vibe and it's not Marvel’s. Rather I want to tell a story which cuts deep and dark, which revels in tension and stillness, which unloads horrific action in sudden bursts and spits out wit and snark through clenched teeth. I want to do something expansive and pure, pruned of all superfluous frills. “This is going to be fun. And it’s going to be daaaark.” Follow the latest updates on Secret Wars daily on Marvel.com and via our social channels!
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Open Terry Dodson's Princess Leia Sketchbook (Fri, 27 Feb 2015)
Princess Leia #1 preview pencils by Terry Dodson What makes for the perfect Star Wars artist? A sense of galactic proportions? Check. Attention to detail? Check. An adventurous soul? Check. And a love for the characters? Big check. It’s all these and more that make Terry Dodson the ideal person to bring an icon to life in PRINCESS LEIA, the new five-part Star Wars limited series debuting March 3. Dodson’s dug down deep with writer Mark Waid to present Leia in the best light possible, and at one of the most challenging moments of her young life. We caught up with the artist to open up his sketchbook and talk to him about what makes PRINCESS LEIA an exciting project for him, as well as a personal one. Marvel.com: Terry, what is it about the Star Wars universe that made you jump at this series? Terry Dodson: I am a huge Star Wars fan, so the chance to work with the original characters was too good to pass up, plus being part of the relaunch of the [Star Wars] comics at Marvel is great to be a part of. I love Star Wars and especially Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back so to be able to tell a story between these two films—couldn’t have picked a better place to work and Princess Leia is a character so rich and [with] untapped potential to play with! Marvel.com: We can’t agree with you more about Leia. So, who is she to you? What was important for you to put across in your interpretation of her for this series? Terry Dodson: She is someone in control or takes control of a situation/her situation. It’s great to see how she reacts when thinks don't go her way and how she overcomes that. And what makes a person a Princess anyway, and how does that affect the choices you make. Marvel.com: What’s your take on Mark Waid’s scripts for the series, as far as how he approached it with the visuals in mind? What do you like about what he does as a writer? Terry Dodson: Mark has done the difficult job of finding a great story to tell in a preexisting universe. And he has given me plenty of room to tell the story in a manner I feel very comfortable in telling it. Never trying to squeeze too much; in fact I feel I have the space to add panels to make things feel right and clear to the reader. Marvel.com: Speaking of panels, is there anything you did differently in PRINCESS LEIA with the layouts than what you might do on a different sort of project? Terry Dodson: I am not doing typical super hero layouts. I really am emphasizing story and especially “scenes” and setting up locations more than I ever normally do so the reader feels completely immersed in the worlds we are telling the story in. I wouldn't quantify it as cinematic, but I am shooting for clarity and believability. For more of Terry’s art and commentary from PRINCESS LEIA, visit starwars.com next week for part two of this sketchbook feature!
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Janet Lee Joins the Women of Marvel (Fri, 27 Feb 2015)
The Women of Marvel Podcast Episode 34 It's the latest Women of Marvel podcast! A new series on the Women of Marvel variant cover series kicks off with award-winning artist Janet Lee! See her contribution to the cover program below! Listen to Women of Marvel - Episode 34 now! The Women of Marvel podcast will assemble to chat all things Marvel and more! New episodes will be released every Friday, co-hosted by Marvel Digital Media Group Social Media Manager Adri Cowan and Marvel.com Producer Judy Stephens, along with Marvel Director, Content & Character Development Sana Amanat and Marvel Comics Editor Emily Shaw. 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,@Emily_ShawShaw or @Marvel with the hashtag #WomenOfMarvel!Make sure to visit and follow the Women of Marvel Tumblr page: http://thewomenofmarvelcomics.tumblr.com And Instagram at Instagram.com/TheWomenOfMarvel
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Scarlet Witch Strikes Back In 90's By The Numbers (Thu, 26 Feb 2015)
90s By The Numbers: Avengers #401 It's time to face facts, true believers – the 90's were awesome. The pouches were plentiful, the costumes were impractical, and Marvel Universe dentists made a fortune correcting damages caused by perpetually gritted teeth. Thanks to the power of nostalgia, though, what would once be considered extremely embarrassing can now be called extremely awesome! With that in mind, we've pulled a Marvel comic from the not-so-modern era and broken it down, one choice fact at a time! This week we're singling out AVENGERS #401 by Mark Waid and Mike Deodato. Here's "Sins of the Father" by the numbers! 19 segments on Gambit's chest-plate   9 visible circles on Scarlet Witch's thigh-high boots   6 Avengers on a way crowded elevator   5 super awkward Quinjet passengers   4 glowing hands between Scarlet Witch and Magneto/Joseph   3 charging Avengers   1 tight close-up on Scarlet Witch's 2 eyes and 5 strands of hair   1 in charge Scarlet Witch   Scarlet Witch is back in action in UNCANNY AVENGERS!
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Download Episode 174 of This Week in Marvel (Thu, 26 Feb 2015)
This Week in Marvel Episode 174 Kick back and enjoy episode #174 of This Week in Marvel! Ryan and Intern Alex have their take on all the new print and digital releases of the week, including AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #15, SECRET AVENGERS #13, SPIDER-GWEN #1, THOR ANNUAL #1, and more! Marc and Patrick, along Marvel VP - Current Animation Stephen Wacker, dish on the latest movie and TV happenings from the west coast! Plus: Ben tags in to talk BLACK PANTHER in the This Week in Marvel Unlimited Reading Club! Read Walt Simonson's THOR for the next This Week in Marvel Unlimited Reading Club and share your thoughts using the hash tag #TWIMURC! Download episode #174 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 Daredevil Pt. 44 (Thu, 26 Feb 2015)
The History of Daredevil Pt. 44 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! While the super hero Civil War raged across the Marvel Universe in 2007, Daredevil solved the mystery of the latest mastermind attempting to ruin his life, as well as reunited with his best friend and estranged wife. While in Paris in DAREDEVIL #91, our hero fought both Tombstone and Eloganto to get to save Lily Lucca’s life and uncover the details on the murder of his friend, Foggy Nelson. In DAREDEVIL #92, Matt discovered a sick and dying Vanessa Fisk, wife of the Kingpin, behind the plot to wreck his life. Now revealed, she told Daredevil how to reclaim everything he’d lost. Back in New York City in DAREDEVIL #93, DD found Foggy alive and well, reunited with his wife Milla, and learned the horrible price for a new lease on life: free the Kingpin from prison. In INCREDIBLE HULK #100, Matt and his team of attorneys defended Bruce Banner after another Hulk rampage. When Murdock ordered stimulants to counteract the drugs fed to his client to keep him sedated, Hulk emerged once more. When Banner’s trial finally arrived, Matt argued for acquittal due to mental incompetence. Later, Daredevil found himself swept up in the Civil War’s final battle, as seen through the eyes of reporter Ben Urich in CIVIL WAR: FRONT LINE #10 and #11. Milla reflected on her tempestuous road as Daredevil’s wife in DAREDEVIL #94, while Matt took on the thankless task of defending Gladiator, who stood accused of murdering inmates on Ryker’s Island in DAREDEVIL #95. The Gladiator busted out of prison in DAREDEVIL #96, while Milla began to see a psychiatrist and Lily Lucca landed in New York to seek help from Matt. Gladiator’s killing spree in DAREDEVIL #97 drew the attention of the Man Without Fear, but when the criminal interrupted a date night between Matt and Milla, DD knew that someone else pulled his ex-client’s strings. Freeing himself from a tussle with police in DAREDEVIL #98, he raced to prevent Milla’s death at the Gladiator’s hands. With the criminal incarcerated once more in DAREDEVIL #99, Matt’s investigations turned up the real culprit behind it all: Mr. Fear and the Enforcers. Meanwhile, in a fit of rage over her husband seeing Lily, Milla accidentally shot and killed an innocent man. Under the influence fear gas from Mr. Fear, Daredevil stumbled through the city fighting his past and present demons in DAREDEVIL #100, a situation that paled in comparison with the revelation of his wife’s murder charge. Putting his battle with Fear on hold in DAREDEVIL #101, Matt visited Milla in the hospital and tried to focus on her plight. Read more DAREDEVIL (1998) on Marvel Unlimited
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Secret Wars Correspondence: Star-Lord & Kitty Pryde (Thu, 26 Feb 2015)
Star-Lord & Kitty Pryde #1 cover by Yasmine Putri Secret Wars might threaten the lives of many characters from across various realities, but will love survive? That’s one of the questions at the heart of Sam Humphries and Alti Firmansyah’s STAR-LORD & KITTY PRYDE, unfolding on Battleworld. But will these be the characters we’ve come to know from LEGENDARY STAR-LORD and elsewhere? Not quite, Humphries says: “This book has a lot of secrets tied up in it—secrets that will spoil the big story, or the story in other books. So I’m going to have to tread lightly, or Thor Brevoort will show up outside my office window—and I’m on the sixth floor. The Kitty Pryde in the title is the Kitty Pryde from Age of Apocalypse. She’s not in the Apocalypse kingdom, but where she is, and why, I can't tell you.” While the writer remains cagey about how these characters might differ from the ones readers remember, he did note that the story spins out of GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY & X-MEN: BLACK VORTEX. “I can’t tell you the status of Kitty and Peter’s relationship going into it,” he says. “There’s a huge thing that’s gonna happen between them in BLACK VORTEX that’s gonna lead right into Secret Wars. Like, monumental. And then what happens in this book, on Battleworld, it’s gonna complicate things for them even more.” Not wanting to get into too many plot points, Humphries segues into discussing the tone of the book and how it reflects his previous takes on these characters. “I can tell you this is an action romantic comedy,” he says. “It is the emotional and spiritual continuation of the Great Peter Quill/Kitty Pryde Romance that has been developing in LEGENDARY STAR-LORD. The legion of #Starkat fans online have been asking me non-stop what’s going to happen to their relationship during Secret Wars. Well, this is part of the answer—but I know it only raises more questions. It’s going to be funny, and fun—but also heartbreaking, and thrilling." Humphries adds that Firmansyah helps bring a lot to the table when it comes to creating a book that mixes all of those elements together: “She is an amazing new artist and she’s gonna turn so many heads with this book. In many ways—like her amazing facial expressions, her explosive action—she’s the perfect choice for an action romantic comedy.” The drama between the characters will clearly push the story forward, but Humphries hints that the threats they face will reveal secrets at the very heart of this war. “Well, to reveal that would reveal too much about what Age of Apocalypse Kitty is doing outside her home kingdom,” Humphries tease. “But I will say it involves a fan favorite mutant—or maybe just a version of a fan favorite mutant. And this threat cuts to the core of what Battleworld is—and what it isn’t. “Rest assured, this book is gonna deliver some big hits, not just for Peter and Kitty, but for all of Secret Wars.” Follow the latest updates on Secret Wars daily on Marvel.com and via our social channels!
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Tear into Juan Doe's Wolverines Sketchbook (Wed, 25 Feb 2015)
Wolverines art by Juan Doe Tackling this week’s WOLVERINES #8, artist Juan Doe utilized his battle choreography skills—particularly given the diverse, kinetic cast for this series—to sharpen the story beats that anchor the story’s action and flow. Juan exclusively dove into his sketchbook and explain how his unique design and layout choices gain inspiration from writer Ray Fawkes’ script. Marvel.com: On an opening page like this, how hard is it to give a balanced amount of screen time to a large cast like WOLVERINES has? Juan Doe: Luckily for me, the script really balanced out the intro of the characters. Ray Fawkes has a great way of describing a scene without wasting much space and the dialogue helped tremendously with the decisions on where to focus the layouts and the composition. Good, clear writing has a way of smoothing out a lot of the bumps in the storytelling process. Marvel.com: With a two-page fight spread such as this one, what do you consider the key to successful battle choreography? Juan Doe: I think any kind of battle choreography has to serve the story above anything else. That may sound obvious but I think there is a tendency in super hero books to overemphasize the fight scenes and lessen the impact of good page design. In this particular spread, the layout changed dramatically from the approved thumbnail. Although the original sketch gave me the information I needed to tell the story, I felt aesthetically that it wasn’t a well-designed page. After working out some different compositions, I think the final art better represented not only the battle choreography but the story as well. This is where good design and layout choices can help strengthen any aspect of your story. Marvel.com: What was it about that this story beat that inspired you to choose a circular layout which allows the four panels to draw readers to the center of the page? Juan Doe: I think what I’ve been working on recently is taking a scene on every page and composing everything around that sequence. It gives me a little more flexibility in pulling in or out of specific scenes in order to highlight those story beats that will anchor the action and flow. In this case, the circular design came instantly from the thumbnails; I knew it would draw the eye in and give a proper emphasis to that particular scene. Marvel.com: You color your own work; how does the coloring improve the potency of your dynamic art? Juan Doe: I’m also fortunate to color my own work so when I sketch out these thumbnails I’m usually envisioning everything in full color. This helps with my decision making process because I know exactly where and how I can use color the most effectively in congruence with the black and white art I’m producing. Marvel.com: Was it an aspect of the script or just a pacing choice on your part that prompted you to craft the great facial reaction in panel two of this page? Juan Doe: The script paced this sequence perfectly and I think I was able to get that across with the page design. The smaller panels leading to the crescendo of action on that last panel was a lot of fun to construct and the expression of Fang on panel two was just a cool insight into his character, I was fortunate to capture that. Marvel.com: How early in the layout design did you realize the choice of panel placement at the top would enable you to draw the readers’ attention to the action at the bottom of the page? Juan Doe: Overall, the real magic of comic book making comes in the layout/design stage. Here you can visually see if the action unfolding works or not and you have the ability to quickly adjust and play with the composition until it works. I think in this case, I’ve been able to compose some cool pieces and that's a testament to really good writing and storytelling, hopefully anything I do visually emphasizes that above anything else. Get your claws on WOLVERINES #8 right now!
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Secret Wars Correspondence: Age of Ultron vs. Marvel Zombies (Wed, 25 Feb 2015)
Age of Ultron Vs. Marvel Zombies #1 preview art by Steve Pugh Thanks to a myriad of realities smashed into one place, Battleworld promises to be one of the most dangerous places ever. But even it has a section of town that all the others look at a little sideways. In this case, that’s the domain between Ultron’s territory and an area overrun with the hungry dead showcased in James Robinson and Steven Pugh’s AGE OF ULTRON VS. MARVEL ZOMBIES beginning this June. Robinson shared plenty of information about this danger zone—too much in fact! Some details had to be redacted FBI-style to protect the identity of future projects… “The idea for [AGE OF ULTRON VS. MARVEL ZOMBIES] came out of one of the Marvel creative retreats,” he shares. “I had the idea of an area on the border between the worlds of Ultron and the Zombies, where humanity was holding out withstanding these two opposing types of inhumanity. From there it became the idea of a war between Ultron’s robots and the zombie horde with this bastion of humanity as the prize. Then I had the idea of incorporating the Hank Pym of Gerry Duggan’s book REDACTED which takes place in the CONFIDENTIAL domain called CENSORED; we now had a man from an earlier time—Hank Pym, not Gerry—involved, along with Jim Hammond, The Vision, and Wonder Man, all of whom have links to Ultron in some way.” The writer compares the secretive nature of his intrigue-filled story to that of a popular television series. “If anything it’s like the TV series ‘Lost’—if the robots and zombies were trying to defeat/eat the survivors,” he teases. In addition to the heroes, the book comes packed with shambling corpses wearing some very familiar faces. “Zombie versions of as many Marvel villains as I can think of,” Robinson says of the sprawling cast. “And many other characters fighting for their lives—some of whom will live and some won't.” Follow the latest updates on Secret Wars daily on Marvel.com and via our social channels!
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Listen to This Week in Marvel 173.5 with Jamey Jasta from Hatebreed (Wed, 25 Feb 2015)
This Week in Marvel Episode 173.5 Jamey Jasta, lead singer of Hatebreed, joins Ryan for a hardcore discussion of The Punisher, Thor, comics, music, and much more! Download episode #173.5 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 Senior Editor Ben Morse with Manager, Video & Content Production Blake Garris, Editor Marc Strom, and Assistant Editor Patrick Cavanaugh. 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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Secret Wars Correspondence: Black Widow (Wed, 25 Feb 2015)
Black Widow #19 cover by Phil Noto Warm weather will bring no relief for the Marvel Universe’s premiere super spy as the Last Days descend on BLACK WIDOW. Starting this summer even Natasha cannot find a way to dodge the worlds-ending madness of Secret Wars. However, as one would expect, neither she nor the creative team behind her book—writer Nathan Edmondson and artist Phil Noto—has any intention of letting that bedlam derails her goals. “For the most part we are just kind of ignoring what is happening with the world at large,” Edmondson admits. “That hasn’t been our concern for the most part issue to issue and that’s not really our concern now. We have been and are continuing to use this book to tell stories of her world, up close. “So what we’re doing with Black Widow is not having her rally against the incoming apocalypse or try to solve all the world’s problems in one day. Instead what we’re doing is taking the opportunity to reflect back to some of her time around the Red Room in a way that will get to the very heart of what has been the theme of the book: Atonement.” Edmondson and Noto plan to give Natasha sendoff worthy of her complex and powerful history. “In the next four issues coming out we’re really going to see some things that we wouldn’t otherwise be allowed to do,” pledges Edmondson. “These are things we are so excited about sharing with the readers. “We are going to see glimpses of Natasha like you have never seen her before; maybe even not as you’ve ever imagined her before. For devotees of the character it’s going to be a really special time. I think people who have been reading us since day one or have been following Natasha for years before that are going to feel very rewarded.” Follow the latest updates on Secret Wars daily on Marvel.com and via our social channels!
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Marvel and Disney Kingdoms Proudly Present Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (Tue, 24 Feb 2015)
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad #1 preview art by Tigh Walker Hold on to your hats and fasten your seatbelts, because the world famous Disney attraction is roaring to life this March! Marvel and Disney Kingdoms are proud to present your new look inside BIG THUNDER MOUNTAIN RAILROAD #1, the thundering new series from writer Dennis Hopeless and artist Tigh Walker! Be there when the wildest ride in the wilderness comes to life like never before as the thrill-packed Disney attraction bursts off the page with action, romance, mystery and adventure! Marvel hurtles you through the mists of time back to the old west, to reveal the never-before-told story of how the dangerous gold mine at Big Thunder Mountain became the haunted legend it is today! Malevolent and malicious mine owner Barnabus T. Bullion is determined to protect his daughter Abigail from the dangers of the wild west. Yet this brave young heroine has other ideas – which include robbing her father’s mine as a masked bandit! The newest series under the Disney Kingdoms banner, BIG THUNDER MOUNTAIN RAILROAD continues the unique collaboration between Marvel Comics and Walt Disney Imagineering, bringing you new adventures inspired by the already beloved lands, attractions, characters and world of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. Earthquakes, floods and dynamite-chewing goats are just the beginning! Can the denizens of Rainbow Ridge survive the clash between mankind and nature? What secret powers dwell deep in the mysterious mountains. Surprises await you on this rip-roaring ride! Don’t miss the train when it pulls out of the station this March in BIG THUNDER MOUNTAIN RAILROAD #1! BIG THUNDER MOUNTAIN RAILROAD #1 (OF 5) (JAN150766) Written by DENNIS HOPELESS Penciled by TIGH WALKER Cover by PASQUAL FERRY Variant Cover by TOM RANEY (JAN150768) Connecting Variant A by WALT DISNEY IMAGINEER BRIAN CROSBY (JAN150767) Elements based on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad © Disney On-Sale – 03/18/15
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Secret Wars Correspondence: Thors (Mon, 23 Feb 2015)
Thors #1 cover by Chris Sprouse Even in the midst of a war, the law cannot take a day off. But during Secret Wars? Battleworld requires a different kind of cop… Enter THORS, the new series kicking off in June by writer Jason Aaron and artist Chris Sprouse. “This is not about the apocalypse,” Aaron asserts. “It’s about closing cases.” Coming together to dispense justice will be an array of Thors from various versions of the Marvel Universe. “This is basically me doing a cop story, but with hammers instead of guns,” says Aaron. “This is me getting to do ‘Homicide: Life on the Street’ with lots of cosmic cops. It’s every version of Thor you can imagine, all walking beats, solving murders, getting yelled at by their commissioner and blowing off steam at their local Thor-cop bar.” However, while THORS will walk the beat of Battleworld, expect the story to still have a major impact on Secret Wars in all its epic grandeur. “I’ll just say that this book is probably more of a direct tie-in to the main SECRET WARS series than a lot of the other tie-ins you’ll see, in that the role of the Thors is something that is set-up quite extensively in SECRET WARS #2,” Aaron pledges. “We’ll be seeing a few different corners of Battleworld in this series. The Thors go where the action is.” As one would expect, the crimes the Thors attempt to solve hardly qualify as run of the mill. Gods of Thunder must tackle cases worthy of them: dangerous, frightening, and possibly life-altering. “In the first issue, our Thors pick up a doozy of a murder case, one that sends them all scrambling,” promises Aaron. “And ultimately has a few of them asking questions that may shake the foundations of everything they think they know. “I take all these hammer wielders to some really weird and scary places. Think ‘True Detective,’ but with Throg the Frog of Thunder playing the Rust Cohle part. Well, not exactly. But you get the idea.” Follow the latest updates on Secret Wars daily on Marvel.com and via our social channels!
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Spiral Begins in Amazing Spider-Man #16.1 (Mon, 23 Feb 2015)
Amazing Spider-Man #16.1 preview art by Carlo Barberi Peter Parker may be back from Spider-Verse, but his troubles are far from over! Today, Marvel is pleased to present your first look inside AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #16.1, the first chapter of "Spiral"! One of the most celebrated Spider-Man writers of all-time, Gerry Conway, returns to the webhead alongside artist Carlo Barberi for an all-new tale of crime and corruption in the dark corners of the Marvel Universe. That’s right, the man who brought you some of the most shocking and iconic Spidey stories in history returns for a new story that’s sure to be no exception! The underworld is in flux ever since the Kingpin got taken out of Shadowland. That war is heating up and now that Spidey is back on the seen he’s going to do something about it! But he’s not the only one out for justice – Police Captain Yuri Watanabe is trying to curtail the madness both in her day job and as the vigilante known as The Wraith! But do she and Spidey play by the same rules? Hammerhead, Tombstone, the Circus of Crime, Black Cat and Mr. Negative. Only one can rule the underworld. And they’ll stop at nothing to eliminate their competition. Who will be left standing when the dust settles? Find out when the epic "Spiral" kicks off this March in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #16.1! AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #16.1 (JAN150781) Written by GERRY CONWAY Art by CARLO BARBERI Cover by ART ADAMS Variant Cover by SIMONE BIANCHI (JAN150782) On Sale – 3/18/15
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Secret Wars Correspondence: Ghost Racers (Mon, 23 Feb 2015)
Ghost Racers #1 preview art by Juan Gedeon To say writer Felipe Smith has blazed trails throughout his Marvel work thus far may seem a smidge hyperbolic to some. And yet, his development of Robbie Reyes captured the attention of fans from the moment of the character’s debut. Those loyal admirers will be pleased to learn that Reyes will be among the myriad cursed Ghost Rider competitors on Battleworld’s Ghost Races in this June’s GHOST RACERS! The only aspect of this new Secret Wars project that Smith seems even more excited about appears to be the chance to team with Argentina-based artist Juan Gedeon. While born in the United States, the writer grew up in Argentina from age five to 18. “I lived in Buenos Aires so just talking to [Gedeon] in general, there’s a couple things art background-wise and storytelling-wise that we both kind of grew up with and understand,” Smith notes. “Gedeon has a very strong sense of character design, vehicle design as well. Shooting ideas back and forth was really great. GHOST RACERS is going to be pretty action-heavy. One of the things about doing action comics is that visual clarity is essential. A lot of times when you have a lot of intense action going on, the paneling gets out of control or you have a lot of things that make the actual sequence harder to understand because of poor design choices; it gets in the way of the storytelling. But Juan has very easy to read paneling which helps and the action actually benefits from the clarity of his layouts. “I’m pretty excited to work with an artist who understands the importance of this kind of clarity and pacing when you’re doing pages of action,” the writer stresses. “We’re pretty much on the same page with a lot of things and I think that will show in GHOST RACERS very clearly. The closer communication the writer and artist can have will actually show on the pages in the end. It will be a direct result of that synchronicity that the writer and artist can have. I’m looking forward to this. We’re both speaking the same language when it comes to putting the story together.” While Smith admits Reyes will play a role in this new series, he clarifies that “it’s a different reality within the Marvel Universe, there are things that are changed. So some storylines will be continued but it will be done in a different way. I don’t want to give too much away but things are set up a little differently in this Battleworld.” While the narrative dynamics will be different, the writer assures the Reyes faithful that “he’s still the same character and he still has the same traits that make him a character easy to identify with and an easy character to root for!” Smith quickly adds that Reyes will far from the only Ghost Rider in the race; in fact “pretty much anybody’s favorite Ghost Rider will show up in GHOST RACERS!” “I’m definitely looking forward to exploring more than one Ghost Rider,” hints Smith. “I get to explore maybe sides of these characters that maybe haven’t been explored before. We’ll see some new designs and we’ll see some new takes on some of these characters. “Ghost Rider was one of the first comics I ever picked up as a teenager. And it totally blew my mind. I thought it was the coolest thing ever. This was the 1990’s when things were all about being extreme and anti-heroes were the thing, with Wolverine, Punisher and Ghost Rider. It was kind of a movement of pushing how hardcore these guys were who were anti-heroes and they were good guys but they were like bad good guys. They were the good guys that weren’t afraid of going a little too far sometimes to justify a situation. So that had a big impact on me as a kid. I grew up with anti-heroes rather than your classic heroes. “When I first got into comics much of what I was seeing was like Todd McFarlane’s run on SPIDER-MAN which was really dark. Ghost Rider also fell into this category of something where the hero of the story could almost be scary and you weren’t sure what was going to happen. I think we’re bringing in some of these elements into GHOST RACERS. In Battleworld you definitely have other things you can explore that haven’t been seen yet. So I’m very excited about that. Marvel is giving me an opportunity to explore a different side of various Ghost Riders and have them actually relate to each other in one storyline.” Follow the latest updates on Secret Wars daily on Marvel.com and via our social channels!
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Time Ran Out - The Avengers #44 Final Issue Variant (Fri, 20 Feb 2015)
Avengers #44 This April, Earth’s Mightiest Heroes face extinction. As Secret Wars and the final incursion loom, our heroes stand shoulder to shoulder for their cataclysmic end. Marvel is pleased to present your look at superstar artist Jim Cheung’s FINAL ISSUE VARIANT to AVENGERS #44 – the last, epic issue! Available to retailers only through Marvel’s Exchange Program, the AVENGERS #44 FINAL ISSUE VARIANT is exclusive to comic shops and can only be received by qualifying retailers who exchange stripped covers of unsold AVENGERS & X-MEN: AXIS #1 standard covers for this stunning variant! Before the highly-anticipated Secret Wars begins in May, close out Jonathan Hickman’s sprawling Avengers saga in style with this stunning variant rendered by one of the top artists in the industry! What changes await Earth’s Mightiest in the pages of Secret Wars? You’ll have to wait till May to find out. But before that, no fan should miss out on an opportunity to own this one of a kind variant cover when it hits stores this April! Retailers: Retailers qualifying for the AVENGERS #44 FINAL ISSUE VARIANT should be receiving an email with details on how to order and receive this limited edition variant cover. If a retailer has not received the information, they are encouraged to contact their Diamond Customer Service Representative. AVENGERS #44 FINAL ISSUE VARIANT Written by JONATHAN HICKMAN Art by MIKE DEODATO Cover by JIM CHEUNG On Sale in April!
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Secret Wars Correspondence: The Punisher (Fri, 20 Feb 2015)
The Punisher #19 cover by Mitch Gerads As the Last Days descend on THE PUNISHER this June courtesy of Secret Wars, the change in season will not be the only thing turning up the heat on Frank Castle as he must leave the United States to fulfill a vow. Not even the literal end of the world will stop him. “Frank is someone who tends to ignore the problems of the wide world to focus on the problems in his backyard wherever that backyard happens to be,” writer Nathan Edmondson acknowledges. “In this case his backyard is going to be a warzone in the Middle East. He has a promise to keep and because of that we’re going to see him go back to war.” Edmondson and artist Mitch Gerads, of course, do not expect Frank to have no reaction to the Last Days —just that his reaction might be a bit more…indifferent than most. “I should say he absolutely has emotional stakes in what’s going on at the very end,” Edmondson explains. “But Frank’s not one to get all that overly worked up about the end of the world. To him, the world can end at any hour. He puts the skull on his chest every morning expecting to die. “To hear that the rest of the world might be going away too is something he kind of shrugs at.  He just might want to make sure a few people suffer before that happens.” While Frank might be shrugging at the end of his world, Edmondson and Gerads feel just a bit sad to bid PUNISHER adieu. “You know, it’s tough,” admits the writer. “I feel like Mitch and I have really offered something different in PUNISHER. The reaction from readership let us know that; our approach resonated with both new and old fans. That’s the most gratifying facet of this experience by far.” However, the duo has no intentions of letting Frank slip quietly into that good night. If he, and the book, go, they will go loud. “I know that what we are going to see of Punisher in these issues are things we are being allowed to do as creators that most do not get the opportunity to do in a book with a character as important as the Punisher,” Edmondson teases. “We are very grateful to have that good fortune.” Follow the latest updates on Secret Wars daily on Marvel.com and via our social channels!
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Abby Dark-Star Joins the Women of Marvel (Fri, 20 Feb 2015)
The Women of Marvel Podcast Episode 33 It's the latest Women of Marvel podcast! Judy brings in Abby Dark-Star to talk about how she got into cosplay, growing up in the community, an much more! Listen to Women of Marvel - Episode 33 now! The Women of Marvel podcast will assemble to chat all things Marvel and more! New episodes will be released every Friday, co-hosted by Marvel Digital Media Group Social Media Manager Adri Cowan and Marvel.com Producer Judy Stephens, along with Marvel Director, Content & Character Development Sana Amanat and Marvel Comics Editor Emily Shaw. 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,@Emily_ShawShaw or @Marvel with the hashtag #WomenOfMarvel! Make sure to visit and follow the Women of Marvel Tumblr page: http://thewomenofmarvelcomics.tumblr.com And Instagram at Instagram.com/TheWomenOfMarvel
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Follow the History of Daredevil Pt. 43 (Fri, 20 Feb 2015)
The History of Daredevil Pt. 43 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! Matt Murdock in prison? It happened in 2006, a year full of more trials, more tribulations, and more terror than the Man Without Fear had ever faced before. The cosmic entity known as Captain Universe dropped in on DD in CAPTAIN UNIVERSE #2 to temporarily endow Matt with both incredible powers and his sight, a condition that didn’t last long, but did help the Captain on its own personal quest. The Kingpin waved around the “Murdock Files” in DAREDEVIL #79, but revealed them as an elaborate hoax to flush our hero out in the open for the cops to draw a bead on him. Wounded from a gunshot, Matt accepted aid from Elektra and the Hand in DAREDEVIL #80, but could not stand by while his friends took their lumps protecting him. So, he turned himself into the authorities and received a one-way ticket to jail. Awaiting trial on Ryker’s Island in DAREDEVIL #81, Murdock took some solace in the Kingpin’s simultaneous return to jail, though being surrounded by all his worst enemies meant constantly staying on his toes. While someone posing as Daredevil patrolled the city in DAREDEVIL #82, Matt heard the horrible news of his friend Foggy Nelson’s death during an attempt to visit him in prison. Upon his return to Ryker’s after Foggy’s funeral in DAREDEVIL #83, the warden decided to give our hero no special treatment and moved him into the general population, a move sure to get Matt killed as well. To make matter’s worse, both Bullseye and the Punisher entered Ryker’s in DAREDEVIL #84, while Matt sought out former crime boss Hammerhead for information on who ordered Foggy’s murder. When the inmate who killed Foggy turned up dead, Matt knew he’d be framed for it in DAREDEVIL #85, but the both the Punisher and the Kingpin could offer no real solution to the problem. So, when a prison riot broke out in DAREDEVIL #86, Matt found himself fighting alongside Bullseye and the Kingpin, as well as asking the Punisher to help him break out to find Foggy’s real killer. On the loose, Matt reclaimed his costumed identity from the poser, who in DAREDEVIL #87 stood revealed as his fellow costumed hero Iron Fist. With Danny Rand’s help, Matt left the country to pick up the trail of Foggy’s killer, never suspecting that his friend still lived, albeit under the Witness Protection Program. The program proved arduous for Foggy, as seen in DAREDEVIL #88, but it beat the alternative. While the so-called Civil War raged across America’s super hero population, Matt made his way to Monte Carlo in DAREDEVIL #89, where he cozied up to the daughter of his prime suspect, attorney Alton Lennox. Lennox turned up dead in Lisbon in DAREDEVIL #90, but our hero found his time occupied by a few rounds with Tombstone and a trail of breadcrumbs leading him to Paris. Read more DAREDEVIL (1998) on Marvel Unlimited
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The She-Hulk Essays (Fri, 20 Feb 2015)
The She-Hulk Essays Updated with issues #10-12...scroll down for the latest! Also, check out the #12DaysofSheHulk hash tag on Twitter that inspired these essays for more Shulkie goodness! This week, Charles Soule and Javier Pulido brought their acclaimed run on SHE-HULK to a climactic conclusion, as Jen Walters faced down the truths she has been pursuing for 12 action-packed issues. Over at his personal blog, Charles has been running a series of essays looking in detail at each issue of SHE-HULK. Marvel.com proudly presents excerpts from these writings here. Be sure to read the full versions on his blog and pick up SHE-HULK #12, as well as the full series! SHE-HULK #1: “Motion” I got a call from Jeanine Schaefer on September 10, 2013 about doing a new She-Hulk book for Marvel. Jeanine is the amazing editor who worked on most of the series (alongside Tom Brennan). We were lucky to have both of them, as well as the many other editorial/production/PR people who worked on the series. I suspect that editing this book was an interesting challenge. I had a very specific sense of what I wanted to do, as did Javier Pulido (the artist who created the majority of the artwork for the series alongside colorist Muntsa Vicente). I knew from the start that I wanted this to be a talky legal book as opposed to a traditional superhero punch-em-up. That concept could have gone terribly wrong (by which I mean it could have been hideously boring) – and I think editorial guidance is  significant part of why it went right. Anyway, let’s talk a bit about the issue itself. The idea here was to introduce both Jennifer Walters and the setup I was planning to use for the series – She-Hulk starting her own private practice out in Brooklyn, dealing with all sorts of weird/cool clients from the Marvel Universe. I figured that Jen knows pretty much everyone in the MU by this point (she’s been on a billion teams), and I know from experience that if you’re the only person your friends know who works in the law, then they call you for every legal problem they experience, even if it has nothing to do with your specialty. Lawyers are generally hyper-focused on one practice area or another, just like a person with a medical degree might specialize in brain surgery or podiatry or whatever. For whatever reason, though, many folks don’t seem to make the same distinction with attorneys. Applying that logic to She-Hulk, it just made sense to me that if she hung out a shingle, she’d be getting calls from all over the place. Seemed like a nice engine for a series. I should mention at this point that I’m an attorney myself, for anyone reading this who doesn’t already know. I used to never mention my legal work when I was breaking in – call it paranoia, maybe, but I felt then that lawyering was seen as a fundamentally uncreative profession. Or even more, I thought that people’s reaction to my being an attorney who was also trying to write comics was unpredictable. Breaking in is hard, and I wanted to control as many variables as I could. If was going to be judged about anything, I wanted it to be the work, nothing else. I did exactly what we see She-Hulk doing in issue #1. I left a job at what’s called a “white-shoe” (fancy office, big clients, somewhat to extremely soulless) firm in midtown Manhattan to start my own practice. That happened a little over ten years ago. Starting a practice is not easy, no matter how many Tony Starks and Reed Richards you happen to know. It’s a huge leap of faith. You’re turning away from (relative) short-term certainty as far as income, benefits and security in favor of (hoped-for) increases in long-term income and freedom. It’s really that last one that’s important both for me and Jen Walters. I am fairly sure that if I hadn’t left that big firm so long ago, I wouldn’t be doing what I am today. It was a big deal, and I wanted to write a series that captured some of the constant tug of war between unexpected setbacks and little triumphs that characterized my first few years as a solo practitioner. That’s also why this issue is called “Motion” – it’s a lot of change happening in a short period of time for the Jade Giantess (and of course, since you file motions with the court to try to get them to do things for you… it works on that level too.) The discussion Jen has with the partners when she’s having her bonus meeting – I had that conversation (more or less – definitely less table smashing.) SHE-HULK #2: “…AND?!” I knew from the start that I wanted two characters to help Jen out with her practice – a paralegal/assistant, and a friend character that she could hang out with after hours. The para became Angie Huang, of course, and the friend ended up being Patsy Walker, aka Hellcat. Let’s talk about Angie first. She-Hulk was always conceived as a multicultural book. The Marvel Universe is supposed to reflect the “world outside your window.” I live in New York, and I’ve lived a lot of other places as well, all over the world. The world outside my window isn’t just one color.  I’ve worked with a lot of paralegals over the years in my legal practice, and I was one before I went to law school. It’s a really tough job, and an essential one. Paralegals are responsible for organizing the attorneys, shuffling and analyzing the mounds of documents that come into a firm on pretty much any case, and millions of other tasks and details that allow a law office to function smoothly. I don’t think they get as much credit as they deserve, and so… Angie. Patsy Walker! The best! Kind of a trainwreck, but a very fun trainwreck. Fiercely loyal to her friends, maybe with a little chip on her shoulder, maybe even a little jealous that some of them have better powers than she does. The idea with Patsy was to give Jen Walters a character that she could almost take care of a little bit. Jen has often been shown as the wild one who needs someone to take care of her – and so flipping that dynamic somewhat seemed like it could generate some good stories. We see that most directly in Issue 7 – but certainly there’s some of that here, as Patsy gets hammered and, against the advice of her legal counsel (Jen) decides to go wreck an A.I.M. base. I didn’t want to make them perfect, no-conflict super-pals, though. That’s not how close friends really are, in my experience. The closer you are to someone, the easier it is for them to drive you crazy – sometimes inadvertently, sometimes on purpose – and that’s certainly where Jen and Patsy are, in this issue and beyond it. SHE-HULK #3: “The Man Who Wouldn’t Be King” With issue #3, all of the pieces were in place to start Jen's solo law practice in earnest. She had an office, a paralegal/assistant and an investigator. What she did not have, however, was a client. We addressed that here with her first case - an asylum filing on behalf of Kristoff Vernard, the son of Victor Von Doom, PhD. (Doom must have a doctorate, right? Probably lots of doctorates. I know he went to school with Reed, but did we ever see him graduate? Could you imagine if "Dr." is just a title he gave himself, like those esteemed practitioners J and Dre? Fabulous.) ANYWAY. The reason I chose this particular type of legal case is because immigration law has been a significant part of my own practice for many years. I knew from the start that I wanted to get the law side of things in She-Hulk as correct as possible - being a lawyer, I suspected I would be raked across the coals a bit by other attorneys if I got things wrong. I was correct about that, but we'll get to that more with issues #8-10. I thought I was pretty safe with immigration, though, since I've been doing it so long. While I certainly took some liberties, most of the points you see here are the way asylum actually works in the US. Not to turn this into a law school class, but in a nutshell, to successfully claim asylum in the States, you have to be able to prove that you've been persecuted in your home country because of your membership in a particular race or class (religious group, etc.), that the persecution was connected to the government, and that it would be likely to recur if you were shipped back home. That posed some tricky questions for me, because Kristoff has mostly been shown to be Doom's hand-picked heir to the throne of Latveria. They've had their differences over the years, but it was pretty consistent that he stood to inherit an entire country if and when Doom died. Hardly "persecution." Unless... Kristoff wasn't sure that's what he actually wanted. Once I came up with that central idea - that Kristoff was a kid who had been groomed for something all his life, but he was realizing he might want to at least see what else was out there... I had a story. SHE-HULK #4 Jen goes to see Daredevil, as opposed to just calling him, in part because I loved the idea of her going to a new location (and I wanted to see Javier draw it), but also because I wanted to actually get Matt into the issue and maybe give them a chance to have a little adventure. Daredevil has been one of my favorite characters forever. FOREVER. I've had this thing ever since I started writing comics - if I have a chance to sneak a character I love into a storyline, even if it's not "their" book, then I'll do it. There's always a chance all of this could vanish tomorrow, and so I want to take opportunities to write Daredevil. Look at the early issues of any of my runs - you'll see cameos popping in, and it's all because of this particular theory. At this point in the run, we were already talking about doing a court case where She-Hulk faced Daredevil, but it was pretty tentative. There were a lot of question marks surrounding that idea that needed to be addressed before we could move forward. I was hopeful, though, and that's why I put in this little tease… I couldn't believe that DD and Shulkie had never had a case against each other, and I really wanted to do it, no matter how tricky it would be. So, was this whole sequence possibly a little self-generated audition to show that I could successfully write Daredevil in a future She-Hulk storyline? Maybe, in sort of a backhand way. Anyway, it was a lot of fun. SHE-HULK #5 As many of you probably noticed (except possibly those who consume their comics as audiobooks, but I suspect that's a pretty small percentage), the art team changed for issue #5 of SHE-HULK. Javier Pulido and Muntsa Vicente stepped away for issues #5 and #6, while Ron Wimberly did pencils/inks for #5 alongside colors from Rico Renzi, and Ron did the pencils, inks and colors for issue #6. Why, you may ask? Well, it's pretty simple - the demands on artists to produce the level of art that modern comics readers are used to seeing are significant. It's tough to put out an issue every month and not get behind. So, fill-in teams are used to give the "regular" artists a chance to catch up, maybe even get a little bit ahead. It's very common these days. If you're lucky, you also get to work with a consistent rotating team, so the run can build a strong look and feel over time. So, when Javier and Muntsa took a planned two-issue break for #5-6, the question became about who would take over the reins. Even in just four issues, the aesthetics of SHE-HULK had become very firmly defined, which meant whoever came on had some big shoes to fill. I talked with my great editors at Marvel about some possibilities for #5-6, and Ron Wimberly's work grabbed me right away. If you're only familiar with him from SHE-HULK, do yourself a favor and check out his Prince of Cats or really any of his work. I think he's phenomenal - in particular, I like the way he plays with perspective, and his sense of color is amazing. I wanted an artist who would be as idiosyncratic and cool as Javier, but who was not Javier. That was Ron, for sure. It's funny - the art on this series could be strangely divisive. Not everyone loved JP (crazy!) and not everyone loved RW (crazy!), and some people seemed to love one but hate the other. There were clearly people who loved both, too - but people don't always take the time to tweet about things they love. I mean, where's the fun in that? SHE-HULK #6 Cliffhangers are fun - I try to do them every issue, not just because it's a really good idea to set the hook and bring people back for the next one, but because I like thinking them up. There are a number of types - there's the "whoa, I can't wait to see that..." bit, when you bring in an awesome new character or reveal a setup for the next issue, and then there's the "no... he wouldn't..." type, when you set up something so horrible for your beloved characters that the readers can't help but come back to see how it all pans out. The trick with those is that sometimes you need to fulfill that promise. Sometimes Wyatt does need to fall off the cliff, because if you never follow through on the cliffhanger, then your readers will think you're bluffing every time. It's like a game of chicken with the audience. In this case... Wyatt does not fall off the cliff. He loses cell reception just as Jen says the magic death words. But perhaps next time, gentle readers... he will. You never know. YOU JUST NEVER KNOW! SHE-HULK #7 Issue #7 was a huge challenge for me. I'm not sure why, exactly. I knew I wanted to do a one-shot, and I had the plan to do the Hank Pym story pretty early, but getting it all to gel took me a number of drafts. I suspect that was related to a few factors - one, I was coming back into writing for Javier Pulido after a few issues writing for Ron Wimberly, which meant a switching of mental gears. Second, I was maybe a little focused on plot as opposed to what the issue would really be about. You can think up all the goofy bits with shrunken superheroes you want, but if the characters' engines aren't humming along properly, it's just a bunch of goofy bits about shrunken superheroes. I finally cracked it when I realized that this was a perfect issue to bring the Patsy/Jen partnership/friendship to the fore. The surface story has two business partners in a spat because they can't seem to agree about how to go about their business - and that's paralleled by what happens with Hellcat and She-Hulk here. It seemed pretty plausible to me that Patsy Walker could have a bit of an inferiority complex about her superheroing gig. She doesn't have powers, really - she can detect magic use, but in a world where people can blast mountains apart, that's not really all that much to speak of. Basically, she's an incredible acrobat and hand-to-hand fighter, and she has one hell of a lot of pizzazz. That's it. I knew this was a thread I'd want to play out eventually, so I started hitting it early. We see it in her first beats in Issue #2, when she wants to go (drunkenly) beat up AIM, and the AIM agents straight up say she's "powerless." We see it again in Issue #6, when she's trying to figure out what happened with Tigra. Powerless is a pretty strong word for a woman like Patsy Walker, though. I don't see her as powerless - not even a tiny bit. She might not have the most impressive superpowers, but that's not the only way you can kick some ass. SHE-HULK #8: “The Good Old Days, Part 1” Here we are with the start of a three-part story involving something that had never happened before in comics up to this point - She-Hulk vs. Daredevil in a court of law. Once I started working on the story, I realized why. It was all but impossible to pull off, at least in regular continuity. You could do it in something like an alternate reality setting, but in the real-deal Marvel Universe? Oof. Let me explain. I'd been talking with my editor Jeanine Schaefer about doing this story for a while, and so it had been in the back of my mind for ages. When we started to get into specifics, it became clear that I'd be dealing with a few very significant bullet points. To wit: -She-Hulk must be heroic. -Daredevil must be heroic. Tricky enough, because if you're writing a court case that feels even a little bit realistic, one side probably comes off a bit looking a bit negative, if not both. Actual litigation can get extremely intense. Just to bring up one example, discrediting the other side's witnesses by impugning their character happens quite often, and it can get vicious. As a lawyer, you're obligated to do everything you can to serve your client, even if it means (sometimes especially if it means) screwing over the other side in some dastardly but perfectly legal and legitimate way (within the confines of our legal system, of course.) In this story, all of those strategies were immediately off the table for both sides, even though Daredevil in particular has done some very morally questionable things in the past. There's a reason he keeps getting disbarred. So, tough enough to do this at all. The reason why no writer had tried this before started to become very apparent to me. At which point, I made my life ten times as hard by choosing the defendant - Steve Rogers, aka, at times, as Captain America. At the point in Marvel continuity where this happens, Steve has lost his super-serum-ness, which means he's ninety-some years old. A hale, hearty ninety, for sure - he'd kick you off his lawn if he had one, which he doesn't, because he lives in Red Hook, Brooklyn and almost no one down there has lawns - but still, old. I chose Cap because I wanted to do something momentous for the story, something worthy of the idea that Marvel's two legal titans were doing battle for the first time. Generally speaking, Steve Rogers is morally unimpeachable, so putting him in a position where he was defending himself against a heinous accusation seemed like it would have some real juice. Of course, it brought up another problem: -Steve Rogers must be heroic. SHE-HULK #9 The experience of litigation can be very different depending on which level of the judicial system you're talking about, or area of law, but I chose to make the Steve Rogers case we look at in issues #8-10 a real meatgrinder. In issue #9, we start to see more of what Cap is actually being accused of, through "dying declaration" testimony from a childhood acquaintance of Steve's. I heard from some attorneys on this one - the way I use dying declaration here maybe isn't the way it's always used in California, but I based it on Rule 804(b)(2) in the Federal Rules of Evidence, which states that a witness statement relayed to someone else just prior to death can be admissible in court if it is: (2) Statement Under the Belief of Imminent Death. In a prosecution for homicide or in a civil case, a statement that the declarant, while believing the declarant’s death to be imminent, made about its cause or circumstances. I always thought that was a fascinating rule - I mean, like people can't lie when they think they're about to die? It seems very based in what the framers of that law believed about human nature - or wanted to be true. This rule comes from the "common law," which is a set of laws or rules that existed before law was formally codified - almost like very binding rules of thumb that society (especially English society, since that's where much of our legal system comes from) used to handle disputes. SHE-HULK #10 let's move on to this issue, the third and final part of the She-Hulk/Daredevil trial, with Steve Rogers in the midst of a wrongful death suit related to events back in 1940, before he became Captain America. We've already heard the other side's version of events, and it doesn't look great for Cap. In fact, it looks like he might have significantly contributed to the death of someone, and then fled to the Army to escape responsibility. In fact, when Matt Murdock puts him on the stand, he actually says that the entire story is true. Uh-oh. But maybe he'll be okay after all. Why? Oh, all right then. Phew. When we get Cap's version of events, we learn that the bad guys in the story were actually Nazi Fifth Columnists, and Steve was trying to help out a young man to save his brother from them. While Steve absolutely did antagonize them, and one could say that his actions resulted in the death of that young man, the legal question here revolves more about whether he could have reasonably known that would happen, whether there were mitigating factors, and so on. Actually, Jen and Matt lay it out pretty well in their closing arguments, and you can make your own call. You've got the issues itself if you want to read about the case. SHE-HULK #11: “Titanium Blues” I wanted to check off two boxes with this issue, both of which I suspect were pretty obvious. First, I wanted to write a big fight between Titania and She-Hulk. Second, I wanted to write a big fight. And that's Issue #11! Titania is a very cool character - she's pretty much She-Hulk's big bad. They've had some truly epic battles over the years, and in much the way it's almost mandatory for a Batman writer to eventually write a Joker story, I think She-Hulk writers tend to find their way to Titania eventually. The lady's real name is Mary MacPherran, and she has an interesting history. She was powered up by Dr. Doom in the original Secret Wars miniseries back in the 80s, along with her best bud Volcana (who we also see in this issue.) The thing about Titania that most interested me was that she's always been something of a blue collar character.  Some writers have hit that harder than others, but I thought it could make her a good stand-in for general anti-lawyer bias. I mean, let's face it - some folks think lawyers are just greedy scum, using the system to their own advantage. And let's also face it - some lawyers are exactly like that. Many, many more are not, of course, but one bad apple... SHE-HULK #12 Favorite character: Jen Walters. She is the best. And that, as they say... is that. I will miss working on this series immensely - everything I said in the little note that ends the physical copy of this issue is completely true. Will we do more? I can't announce anything - there's nothing to announce - but the door remains open. If my schedule permits and Marvel's schedule permits, then hopefully we'll get that season 2. In the meantime... I'd say keep your eyes on WOLVERINES, the weekly series I'm writing. Especially around the beginning of April.
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Who's Who in the Star Wars Galaxy: Palpatine (Thu, 19 Feb 2015)
Palpatine (photo copyright Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved) With the Star Wars franchise back at Marvel, 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 pick up Though he stood as one of the most evil beings in the galaxy behind his gentle facade, the man called Palpatine wore the benevolent face of a helpful politician while working covertly to bring about the decline and utter destruction of the Galactic Republic. Through his manipulations, many good people found themselves crushed beneath his thirst for power, chief among them Anakin Skywalker, who became known as Darth Vader. With his early life shrouded in mystery, Palpatine rose through the ranks of Naboo politicians to hold the office of senator for the small planet, answering to its queen, Padmé Amidala. The queen trusted Palpatine to advise her through a ruthless attack on Naboo by the Trade Federation, but unbeknownst to her, he operated in secret as Darth Sidious, a Sith Lord. As Sidious, he sought to rule the galaxy and to bring about the downfall of the Jedi Order, the natural enemy of the Sith. During this time, Palpatine made the acquaintance of Anakin Skywalker, a young boy whose destiny as a powerful Jedi Knight would provide the senator with the tool he needed to hatch his plan. Palpatine became Supreme Chancellor of the Republic through more devious machinations, and gained unprecedented political powers during a crisis between the Republic and the Separatist Alliance. With Anakin Skywalker a close confidant, he created scenarios to set off a massive galactic conflict, the Clone Wars, and manipulated entire star systems as Darth Sidious to increase his power. Ultimately, he seduced Anakin to the dark side of the Force, renaming him Darth Vader, and declared himself Emperor of the First Galactic Empire. For nearly 20 years, the Emperor and Darth Vader spread their reign of terror across the galaxy, bringing more systems under Palpatine’s tight-fisted rule with weapons such as the massive, moon-sized battle station called the Death Star. Recently, a new hope arose for the oppressed citizens of the Empire in the form of Vader’s son, Luke Skywalker, a young Jedi who may not yet figure into Palpatine’s vision of the future. As a Sith, the Emperor wields the Force through anger and hatred, emotions shunned by the Jedi as paths to the dark side. Though scarred and seemingly decrepit from age and a fierce battle with Jedi Master Mace Windu in the final days of the Clone Wars, Palpatine’s evil empowers him to meet each challenge to his rule with strength and cunning resolve. The Rebel Alliance may prove no match for his decades of planning and scheming. Continue to learn Who’s Who in the Star Wars Galaxy on Marvel.com, and pick up STAR WARS #2, on sale now!
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Draw Spider-Man with Will Sliney (Thu, 19 Feb 2015)
Spider-Man by Will Sliney Will Sliney has waited his whole life to draw Spider-Man; no, really, check it out. Now the artist of SPIDER-MAN 2099, Sliney gets to depict wallcrawlers of various eras on a regular basis. Recently, he took to Twitter in hopes of showing others how to follow a similar dream by sharing his Spidey-drawing process… Because he’s a swell and talented fellow, Will kindly opted to go the extra mile and provide us with a step-by-step breakdown of how he brings Spider-Man to visual life. Follow along and swing your way to visual web slinging wizardry! Take it away, Will… “First off, this is how I handle drawing Spider-Man; each artist tends to have their own flair, especially with how they draw the eyes, but there are a few fundamentals, especially with the webbing that stay the same, are tricky and hugely important. “We start with the basic Spider-Man head shape. Ignore drawing any ears. His mask joins the tip of his nose to the base of his lower lip, naturally, as a mask should.” “The web starts at the center point of the face, right between the two eyes. In fact, if we were above Spidey, and looked directly at us, this pattern would run down his entire body. “For his head, start by splitting the top of his head in half, this line runs all the ways around the center of his head down to his back. “Draw two weblines at the bottom, equidistant from the center.” “Now we start circling around that web center point. A good frame of reference is to have these two bottom web lines just about touch his eyes.” “Note how the weblines are interacting with the side of the face as the come together to join what is essentially a formation of weblines around his neck which all are a similar distance apart from one and other.” “Now it’s clear how the arms of the web are all spiraling out from the center.” “The bridge lines, i.e. those lines which connect the arms and provide strength [to] the web (in real Spider terms) will radiate out from the center, forming circles.” “Each arc loops away from the center as the form a circle.” “Here's a pro tip. To make the web fit Spider-Man’s head better as it goes back over this forehead, we add in an extra web line here. “Also, watch out with those webs, Peter Parker likes to keep them nice and regular. Random webbing lines is more Doc Ock’s kind of thing.” “Another extra web line, this time joining up with a previous web, near where his ear would be, helps fill the webs over his head.” “Follow all the way down to his neck, to make that nice perfect web circle.” See more of Will’s work in SPIDER-MAN 2099!
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Download Episode 173 of This Week in Marvel (Thu, 19 Feb 2015)
This Week in Marvel Episode 173 Welcome to episode #173 of This Week in Marvel coming your way! Ryan and Ben cover all the new print and digital releases of the week, including AVENGERS WORLD #17, LEGENDARY STAR-LORD #9, ROCKET RACCOON #8, SHE-HULK #12, SILK #1, and more! Marc and Patrick, now joined by Marvel VP - Current Animation Stephen Wacker, dish on the latest movie and TV happenings from the west coast! Plus: your questions and comments! Read BLACK PANTHER for the next This Week in Marvel Unlimited Reading Club and share your thoughts using the hash tag #TWIMURC! Download episode #173 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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Watch Marvel's The Watcher 2015 - Episode 6 (Wed, 18 Feb 2015)
Marvel's The Watcher 2015 - Episode 6 Lorraine Cink take a field trip to the offices of Graphic Audio to go behind their recording of "Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars"! The newest edition of The Watcher is here!The Watcher is Marvel.com's official news and comedy video series covering comics, movies, TV, games, gear and all things Marvel. Tune in weekly for new episodes.
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Secret Wars Correspondence: Silver Surfer (Wed, 18 Feb 2015)
Silver Surfer #13 cover by Mike Allred When it comes to Dan Slott and Mike Allred’s plans for SILVER SURFER #13, chaos rules the day and can best be summed up with the story title: “The Death of Everything That Ever Was or Will Be!” The Silver Surfer typically explores the outer regions of the Marvel cosmos, but not in this Last Days tie-in to Secret Wars, according to Slott: “It'll all be gone. Kaput. Blammo! KABOOOOOM! Secret Wars is going to wipe out the entirety of the Marvel Cosmos. And it's going to do that while the Surfer is, y'know, in it! “And that's where the bizarro, head-trippy, fun of what Mike Allred and I are doing during Secret Wars starts! The beginning of our story is: and then everything that ever was or will be...blew up! What a great launching point!” Slott admits that one of his “favorite sci-fi stories of all time is Douglas Adams' ‘Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.’ And that opens on the destruction of Earth. It’s crazy and counter-intuitive for that to be your kick off, but a literal blast too. Because the next question is: Where do you go from there? “If you’ve been following the news and interviews about Secret Wars, you’d know that all the Marvel titles during this event fall into three categories,” notes Slott. “Battleworld and Warzones! feature stories that take place on Battleworld. And Last Days features stories about Marvel characters dealing with the end of the world. NONE of those apply to what we’re doing in SILVER SURFER. To play nice, we’re calling it Last Days...but it’s not. It’s really like an all-new fourth category...one that's almost indescribable and a little insane. It’s a story after the Silver Surfer’s last days.” The writer wants readers to imagine if the start of your week was non-existence. “That’s pretty rough, right? But the good thing is...it can only pick up from there.” While Slott dislikes being cryptic, he also concedes “I hate giving out spoilers even more. So all I can say is if you care about the fate and potential future of the cosmic corners of the Marvel Universe, the Secret Wars issues of SILVER SURFER are comics you might want to check out.” As much as Slott and Allred relish putting the Surfer through his paces, Slott appreciates the storytelling opportunities gained through a character like Dawn Greenwood. “She’s wonderfully different—and relates to the strange, new, and alien in ways that the Surfer never could,” he notes. “It’s not just that she’s human and brings a humanity to situations that Norrin lacks, it’s that she’s just so Dawn-ish. “The whole reason she and the Silver Surfer met was because an all-powerful piece of cosmic machinery scanned Norrin Radd and plucked, out of all of time and space, the one being who—for him—is/was/will-be ‘The Most Important Person In The Universe.’ It's not because she has a high midichlorian count—or can snuff out suns—it’s because for all that we’d like to think that the universe can be dark, cold, and endless, sometimes the universe can be kind.” Follow the latest updates on Secret Wars daily on Marvel.com and via our social channels!
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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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