Watch the latest episode of 'Marvel's Runaways' on Hulu now!

***SPOILER ALERT: This story contains spoilers from today’s episode of “Marvel’s Runaways”!***

Julian McMahon made his “Marvel’s Runaways” debut during last Tuesday’s episode “Kingdom;” however, you’ve technically seen his ominous presence at the Church of Giborrim since the beginning of the original Hulu series. In this week’s episode “Metamorphosis,” we pull back the curtain a little more on Julian’s presence in the lives of our Runaways and the Pride.

McMahon took the time to talk exclusively with Marvel.com about his brush with death, the sacrifices the Pride makes, and his fascination with the Runaways:

Marvel.com: Let’s dive right into it. In last week’s episode, we get a glimpse into your character Jonah. We learn you’ve met the Wilders 18 years ago. What can you tell us about Jonah?

 

Julian McMahon: There’s two experiences—two journeys that we’re going on here. One is the flashback journey, and one is the current state of affairs with Jonah or what’s happening in his life. They’re very much two separate individuals in a way. One is this egocentric, maybe manipulative, kind of headstrong individual who wants to accomplish what he wants to accomplish and does so unabashedly. He’s got the power to do it in a lot of different ways: financially, intellectually, and all those other attributes that kind of make him consistently a step ahead of every everybody else.

Then, there’s the current version—this guy who has experienced this near-death experience that challenges him, even emotionally, for the first time, as far as he recognizes. All of a sudden, you’ve got this guy from the flashback, you get to build that guy, who’s not that conscious. He’s conscious of what he’s trying to accomplish, and what he wants to do, but he’s not thinking about anybody else. Then, you cut to the current guy, and you’ve got this guy who is very aware, based on the experience he just went through, of his own mortality and what life means to him once that comes into question.

And so, they’re two completely different versions in a way, even though they kind of start to run one into the other. Maybe about episode six, seven, eight or something, it kind of takes off on its own trajectory of that involving the kids and whatever else. It’s interesting because you do get to have a bit of a battle between those two almost separate personalities.

Marvel.com: For the man that we see in the flashback, you can see that he’s already orchestrating and pulling those into the Pride. How did he go about selecting who would belong, who would contribute to the Pride? How did all the other families come into play?

Julian McMahon: Well, there was an ultimate curriculum that he needed—one, the desire to be successful; two, the inability to accomplish it on their own; and three, the need to change their circumstance and situation.

You’re getting people at a place where the opportunity that he was offering was too good to resist, and that happens in life a lot. If you’re looking to build a business and some billionaire comes along and says, “I’ll fund it for you,” it’s very difficult to say, “You know, I might just wait and see how we go.” If you’re in jail and there’s an opportunity to get out and become rich, then that looks a little bit better than living in prison. Those kind of dynamics are what he’s working with, and it helps propel what it is he’s trying to accomplish.

Marvel.com: The big reveal in this week’s episode “Metamorphosis” is that Karolina is your daughter. Can we assume this was always part of the plan or is this something that just evolved from your relationship with Leslie?

Julian McMahon: Really good question. I don’t really know the answer to that, to be honest, I think it was divinely-divine intervention. It came out of something necessary. And, it was unplanned, I believe. You could prove me wrong, but I believe it was a surprise to everybody.

Marvel.com: We know Leslie had always wanted to keep you to herself? However, you insisted on going to the gala. Is it because of your facing mortality after such a close call? This huge need to meet Karolina in case you never get that opportunity again? Or is she key into something bigger you have planned? 

Julian McMahon: Well, at this point in time, it’s the near-death experience that propels everything for him in a way. And it’s, “Okay. Hold on a second. I only have a certain amount of time to live. What do I want? What’s important to me?”

While he was always so driven to accomplish what he was accomplishing, he finds out about that connection, that emotion, is actually just as important and valuable to him as anything else, if not more.

Marvel.com: You were introduced as someone who was friends and studied under Leslie’s father at the start of the church. Is that just a cover story or has your character actually lived that long?

Julian McMahon: He’s been around for a long, long time. And so, he knows Leslie’s father well and probably beyond. That’s really the tip of the iceberg of revealing and understanding how long he’s been around and where he’s come from.

Marvel.com: We can assume you’re not quite human. How do you and Karolina possess this light energy?

Julian McMahon: I would say that he is not a complete human being. So, I’d say that he’s not a complete human being, but the near-death experience has given him the opportunity to feel like a human being for the first time. Did you like that one?

Marvel.com: I did!

Julian McMahon: Okay, because it if sucks, we can try again.

Marvel.com: With Karolina being a half-human, she can’t quite master her light powers. Is that why she needs to wear a bracelet? Or is it because she doesn’t have mastery of her powers the way Jonah does?

Julian McMahon: The bracelet kind of held in her powers to a certain extent. If you kept it on, it wasn’t revealing who she was with those powers. And the bracelet is overall a kind of facet of control.

Also, in regards to what you said, she’s a teenager. There’s obviously a different relationship to that power than Jonah has. Because he’s just fully that. And that becomes an interesting dynamic.

Marvel.com: With all the close calls with the Pride really having a lot of missteps and trying to bring you back to your young, handsome self. How much can Jonah rely on and trust the Pride at this time?

Julian McMahon: As the show moves through the episodes, we realize, or he realizes, and I’m assuming we do as an audience as well, that things weren’t quite as together  as he thought they were. So, how much can he trust them?

From episode to episode, everything becomes more challenging. There are some times where I think that Jonah was really pushed to his limit in regards to what he was putting up with, and didn’t really understand this kind of more—and I’ll let you use the right word because you can say it, just as well as I can—he’s not used to that human dynamic as much. He doesn’t really recognize a way to address it and deal with it. Then it becomes, because of that, it becomes kind of antagonistic between all of them.

Marvel.com: As an architect of the Pride, Frank was never invited into the Pride. What are your plans for him? Why have him in the picture at all since he does stand in the way of you trying to develop this relationship with Karolina?

Julian McMahon: Well, that’s interesting question. As in Josh [Schwartz] and Steph [Savage]’s work, a lot of the time, as things start to heading down one path, all of a sudden you go, “Wait a second. It just turned in a completely different direction than what I thought it was going to.” That happens in this, which I think is really fascinating. The evolution of the dynamic of those four, particularly, is pretty interesting. As we unveil the relationships, everything starts to change.

When we first see Frank and Jonah together, you, for obvious reasons, as an audience, but also, when you see the scenes themselves—you might have seen them—there’s a threat there. That dynamic is the one that they start with. Frank and Jonah’s relationship starts as one, which he becomes very protective and defensive and whatever else you would do when you are being challenged, particularly with your wife and your daughter. That dynamic is how they start. But then, as we evolve, we get to learn some very different things, and we get to see so many different things; by the end, their relationship is completely different to what you would have assumed, based on knowing what you saw to begin with.

Marvel.com: As your character will have more interactions with the Runaways, will Jonah require the kids to make the same sacrifice their parents did? Or are they part of a larger design that you have?

Julian McMahon: It’s certainly up in the air and there’s a couple things that happened the last episode where you, where I-just everybody on set was like, “Okay, what’s going on there?!” and nobody would tell us. We’re kind of in the dark just as much as everybody else or anybody else was. You got to see.

Marvel.com: Thank you so much for your time and I’m excited for fans to learn more about how your character progresses in the season.

Julian McMahon: Yeah, me too. He’s a really fascinating character and we’ve put a lot of work into trying to make him interesting and dynamic and hopefully that comes across.

Get ready to run with “Marvel’s Runaways” exclusively on Hulu every Tuesday! Be sure to follow @Runaways on Twitter and like the official “Marvel’s Runaways” Facebook page!

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Marc Guggenheim previews a 20th anniversary Excalibur reunion!

Some call Excalibur “the X-Men of Great Britain,” while others just call them “awesome.” Either way, this super hero team will get a special reunion in the X-MEN: GOLD ANNUAL #1!

Writers Marc Guggenheim and Leah Williams join artist Alitha Martinez to re-team Kitty Pryde, Nightcrawler, Prestige, Captain Britain, and Meggan for a face off against a rather unconventional villain. Co-created in 1987 by Chris Claremont and Alan Davis (who provides the cover for this issue), Excalibur makes its triumphant return on January 10!

In anticipation of their coming back together, we spoke with Guggenheim about what makes this super group so memorable.

Marvel.com: What do you think makes Excalibur so unique?

Marc Guggenheim: I’d always seen Excalibur as this really interesting hybrid team born out of, I imagine, Claremont and Davis’ collaborations on UNCANNY X-MEN and CAPTAIN BRITAIN. It seemed almost as if Chris and Alan said to each other, “Hey we’ve worked together on X-MEN and we’ve worked together on CAPTAIN BRITAIN…what about doing a book about both?” In other words, EXCALIBUR exists because of the history of the creators, not out of a need to spin off certain characters or put some characters together with others. To my thinking, this was an extremely unique approach, particularly when you consider that EXCALIBUR premiered back when there weren’t as many X-Men titles as have become the norm. Being one of a very few number of X-titles, EXCALIBUR had a unique position.

Marvel.com: Did you want to explore a certain aspect of the team’s dynamic in this story?

Marc Guggenheim: The “found family” aspect of Excalibur—how these people got thrown together and decided to create their own family dynamic—really spoke to me. And, obviously, it spoke to Leah as well because that element really shines through in her script.

Marvel.com: Knowing how many family reunions go, will there be any bitterness or bickering among the heroes?

Marc Guggenheim: Not really. While I think bitterness or bickering often acts as a component of reunions, it wouldn’t work for Excalibur. It wouldn’t be consistent with the fun, madcap tone that Chris and Alan created.

Marvel.com: Should we expect to run into any classic Excalibur villains?

Marc Guggenheim: Not in this story, no. I really wanted to revisit the character of Starhammer—the D’Bari out for revenge against Rachel Summers who was last seen in UNCANNY X-MEN #135. It’s a super deep cut, but the character has always struck me as more tonally consistent with EXCALIBUR than X-MEN, so he seemed like a natural fit for this.

Marvel.com: In your wildest imagination, where would you want to see the team go after the Annual? 

Marc Guggenheim: Nothing would make me happier than to see Leah Williams relaunch Excalibur into a new series. She totally gets the tone of Excalibur and understands what makes the original series so beloved. And Maggie, the character Leah introduces in the Annual, would make for a pitch-perfect member of the team, in my opinion.

Reunite with Excalibur in Marc Guggenheim, Leah Williams, and Alitha Martinez’s X-MEN: GOLD ANNUAL #1 on January 10!

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Frank Castle is coming back for more on Netflix.

Coming off it’s big debut last month on Netflix, “Marvel’s The Punisher” has been renewed for a second season!

The announcement was made via the official “Marvel’s The Punisher” Twitter account, as a new video features the iconic Punisher skull, before the number 2 is revealed – with the promise that more is to come for Frank Castle. Check it out below!

“Marvel’s The Punisher” is produced by Marvel Television in association with ABC Studios for Netflix.

You can watch the entire first season now on Netflix. And for more on the series, follow “Marvel’s The Punisher” on Twitter and Facebook.

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Christopher Hastings looks back at the creation of Gwen Poole!

From overnight variant cover sensation to fully fleshed out adventuress, Gwenpool’s come a long way in a relatively short time. Now, poised for the launch of her new story arc “Lost in the Plot,” she’s never been better, more believable, and…well, unbelievable, too!

And on January 10, writer Christopher Hastings and artist Gurihiru‘s UNBELIEVABLE GWENPOOL #24 reteams Gwen Poole with Georges Batroc! Together again, the duo look to exercise their villainous sides by robbing a Manhattan casino. But, as with all of Gwen’s books, the issue contains more layers than might appear.

Before issue #24 comes out, however, we decided to take a look back at how Hastings—Gwenpool’s co-creator, along with artist Chris Bachalo—crafted such a one-of-a-kind character.

Marvel.com: Chris, Gwenpool originally jumped off a variant cover before breaking the fourth-wall and jumping into everyone’s heartshas there ever been a character with such a unique conceptual origin as her?

Christopher Hastings: Gwenpool’s creation process is fairly unique as far as I know. I’d love to find out other cases of creative teams coming up with a character’s backstory after having first appeared as a variant cover.

But as far as Gwen’s fourth wall breaking, she certainly has her influences. She-Hulk and Deadpool have definitely acknowledged they live in a comic, with She-Hulk occasionally stepping out between panels in a similar way to Gwen Poole. Animal Man has also, of course, influenced what we decided to do with Gwenpool. Not to mention the “Thursday Next” series.

I think Gwenpool diverts from other comic characters who break the fourth wall because we take it very seriously and we treat it as if it were real. If Gwen knows that Jane Foster is Thor because she’s read that comic, that’s a pretty big problem for Jane. If Gwen can jump through panels, well, that means she can travel through time. And we like to see how that actually could play out. It adds a lot of really fun story possibilities to the super hero world.

Marvel.com: How did you go about crafting such a unique character?

Christopher Hastings: I wanted some similarities to Deadpool—mercenary work, fourth wall breaking—but for her to have them for her own reasons. And that’s how I came up with the idea of her being a person from the real world transported into the comics. Everything else just spins off of that. She puts on the costume to become a “main character” and not a disposable “extra.” She’s uses weaponry because she has no powers. She’s a mercenary because she wants to have fun in the Marvel Universe, and also she needs money. She talks about everything like it’s a comic book, because she knows it is. And then later down the road, that knowledge sort of expands, it levels up. And now she can see the panel borders and interact with them.

Marvel.com: How did you decide on the balance between humor and drama? And how has that changed for you over time?

Christopher Hastings That balance is one of my biggest interests in writing, and I don’t think I’ve quite cracked it. Every time I sit down to write, I try to learn from how it went last time and how to do it a bit better. I know I’m a comedian. I like jokes, and I like to read and write funny comic books. But I also know that humor can open a back door into your heart, so I try to bring some depth and character to the situation too, so you grow to love the characters. They’re not just disposable joke-spewers. But you don’t want it to get too heavy and dreary either, especially when the reader gets sold something that’s supposed to be funny. You want that drama and that character, because it keeps you coming back, but you it shouldn’t weigh everything down either. Like I said, I don’t think I’ve figured it out yet!

Marvel.com: What element of her growth as a character has received the most surprising reaction from fans?

Christopher Hastings: I can’t believe that some people still think she’s Gwen Stacy! But I think that actually works to our advantage now. People instinctively hate when someone is wrong on the Internet, so whenever someone says she’s Gwen Stacy, an army of Gwenpool readers shows up to tell the real deal about the book. I’m very grateful for those readers.

Marvel.com: Who do you see as Gwenpool’s greatest arch-enemy? And why?

Christopher Hastings: In small ways, she acts as her own worst enemy. She’s impulsive, she doesn’t quite read situations one-hundred percent the right way, and she acts on incorrect assumptions.

But also, in a very literal way, Gwen’s arch-enemy is herself—the future evil version that she’s terrified to become. That potential evil future Gwen has been the reason for everything that’s happened in the series since issue #16.

Marvel.com: With that in mind, what sorts of GWENPOOL stories would you like to tell that perhaps you haven’t gotten to yet?

Christopher Hastings I would love to do a story where Gwen has to chase her future evil version through the past of Marvel Comics, where the future evil Gwen messes with the origins of all the Marvel heroes, stopping them from getting their super powers. Current Gwen would have to fix things, but in order to do that, she’d have to hurt the characters she loved! Uncle Ben would have to die. Banner would have to be cursed to become The Hulk. Tony Stark would have to survive being a prisoner of war. It’s a lot of tragic origins that would just tear Gwen up to be forced to recreate for the greater good. I pitched this story a while ago, and we couldn’t do it for Secret Reasons, so I’m not spoiling anything by laying it out here.

Marvel.com: Likewise, which character would you love to have guest star?

Christopher Hastings I’d really love for Gwenpool and Squirrel Girl to have a story together. I love UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL, and her writer, Ryan North, is one of my dearest friends and occasional collaborators. It would be a blast.

Marvel.com: Here’s hoping! To finish, what’s coming up in the next few issues of UNBELIEVABLE GWENPOOL that really has you stoked? Something you can’t wait for readers to see?

Christopher Hastings As silly as this may sound, I’ve really come to love the version of Batroc the Leaper that we’ve made for this series. He’s become a mentor figure to Gwen—kind of a cranky uncle. UNBELIEVABLE GWENPOOL #24 completely focuses on Gwen and Batroc’s relationship, and we get to do some cool stuff with both Gwen’s comic powers, and Batroc’s uh…really great kicks and jumps. Seriously.

Read UNBELIEVABLE GWENPOOL #24, by Christopher Hastings and artist Gurihiru, on January 10!

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Who is spreading symbiotes through NYC? Marvel.com’s resident therapist hypothesizes.

After being contacted by the S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Bobbie Morse, aka Mockingbird, this profile of the super powered criminal known as Maniac was prepared. As details are scant, this summary relies on a significant amount of conjecture and hypothesis in lieu of an in-person intake or other therapists’ notes. Please account for this in reviewing it.

The subject, the criminal — colloquially, a super villain — Maniac is most likely Lee Price. Price had recently been identified as a criminal associate of Felica Hardy, aka the recently regressed criminal Black Cat, and a former host of the symbiote that creates the Venom identity (former hosts include Eddie Brock and Flash Thompson).

The subject’s childhood was marked by chaos and trauma. His parents frequently fought with one another and abused him in multiple ways including verbal, physical, and via neglect. To make matters worse, Price did not connect well with others his own age — either because of difficulties in his home or other personality factors — and as a result had a limited social support network. The one friend this writer was able to locate mention of in old New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) records reacted violently when authorities attempted either contact or arrest — depending on accounts — of said child because he was a mutant.

Venom #159

Maniac’s apparent attempts to spread symbiotes to others, when viewed through the lens of his past, thus makes a kind of sense. He is creating a network of friends/families on whom he can rely for companionship, comfort, support, and shared goals. However, he is unable, seemingly, to trust others to be with him because they wish to – he does not trust them to do it of their own free will. Thus, the bits of symbiote he ensnares them with eliminate their free will and, essentially, force others to become his friends/partners in crime.

Previous to now, the only place that Price seemed to feel mastery and find a sense of camaraderie with others is as a member of the US Rangers. This also offers some explanation for why he’d desire to build his own team. However, ultimately, the Rangers cost him three fingers and medically discharged him, leaving him once more alone. Therefore, once again, he is seeking to control his environment by refusing to allow others the free will to “ruin” his group.

The subject is definitely fueled by a desire to achieve mastery once more. This is held up by testimony from Eddie Brock via his connection to the Venom symbiote. When Brock helped separate the symbiote from Price and successfully rejoined it, he claims the symbiote provided him information about the previous host. In this case, the alien “told” Brock that the subject refused to merge with the creature and “work together” and instead sought to bend the symbiote to his will. Rather than fully tap into what the alien could offer the subject, Price made it more of a tool, choosing control over increased power and/or efficiency. Again, this speaks to a lack of trust in others to stick with him.

Venom #160

What this does not do is offer much insight into what Maniac’s end goals might be. Does he seek to infect everyone and thus, in essence, make everyone his family? Is he looking to strike out at old resentments, a possibility reinforced by rumors about those he has recently converted? Is this a limited time thing or would he prefer to maintain it as long as possible? This writer hesitates to guess at this time with the resources available to me.

For a more in-depth exploration of symbiotes and how they can influence behaviors, I have referred S.H.I.E.L.D. to Doctors Mike Costa and Gerardo Sandoval who are experts in the field. Even though Lee Price has sought to dominate his alien “companion” it may still be influencing his thoughts, feelings, and behaviors and any thorough profiling should account for that. The report will be available on January 10 in the file marked VENOM #160.

Psy D. Candidate Tim Stevens is a Staff Therapist who is only influenced in his thoughts, feelings, and behaviors by the union of chocolate and peanut butter.

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The youthful original X-Men encounter a teleporting tyrant!

1917 to 2017: 100 years of Kirby.

Join us to celebrate Jack “King” Kirby’s 100th birthday by learning about the characters and stories he created that changed comics forever. To commemorate Jack’s centennial, we’ve sat down with the modern-day creators he influenced—and the decades of work he gifted us all.

In November of 1963, Jack Kirby’s art featured in eight different comics from Marvel! Hank Pym transitioned from Ant-Man to Giant-Man in TALES TO ASTONISH #49, Molecule Man debuted in FANTASTIC FOUR #20, and the merry mutants faced off against The Vanisher in UNCANNY X-MEN #2! Today we’ll focus on that last one, an issue written by frequent Kirby collaborator Stan Lee. The issue began with Cyclops, Iceman, Angel, Marvel Girl, and Beast splitting up to make their way to Professor X after he mentally called for them.

Once the students gathered before Xavier, their mentor told them that he sensed the presence of an evil mutant called The Vanisher. The telepath then showed them how this new rogue robbed a bank at gunpoint and then teleported away without much fuss. To prepare for this new kind of foe, Professor X sent his students to the Danger Room where they trained. Meanwhile, Vanisher struck again, this time popping into the Pentagon to let the chief of staff know that he would steal the continental defense plans in a few days! After word of his exploits spread, the vanishing villain became a huge figure in the underworld, with hoodlums clamoring to work for him.

Having trained up until the last possible moment, the team lit out from the Xavier mansion to Washington, D.C. to put a stop to the baddie’s brazen operation. They didn’t arrive in time, though, to stop Vanisher from grabbing the plans. The X-Men did show up during the ne’er-do-well’s escape though and started giving him trouble, but the whole thing turned into a super-powered version of keep away as everyone went after the case holding the defense plans. Still, Vanisher wound up making his escape, marring the mutants’ reputation with the public in the process.

Uncanny X-Men (1963) #2

Uncanny X-Men (1963) #2

  • Published: November 10, 1963
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
  • Rating: T+
  • Penciller: Jack Kirby
  • Cover Artist: Jack Kirby
What is Marvel Unlimited?

After beating themselves and each other up a bit, Xavier’s students listened as their teacher laid down a new plan of attack to stop Vanisher blackmailing the government out of $10 million in exchange for returning the plans. This lead to a standoff in front of the White House with the X-Men on one side and their opponent on the other, backed by his army of crooks. Professor X then appeared and offered the chance to surrender. The Vanisher scoffed and soon learned the true power of the man he faced as his memories completely fell away, leaving him confused and tired.

The angry mob only felt anger, though, and attacked our heroes, but ultimately stood no chance. Professor X ended the issue with a nice message for everyone: “The greatest power on Earth is the magnificent power we all of us possess…the power of the human brain!”

Stay tuned to Marvel.com for more throughout Kirby Month and beyond! And join the conversation on all of our social channels with the hashtag #Kirby100.

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Artist Pepe Larraz sets the stage for the 16-part weekly saga!

On January 10, the Avengers assemble like never before.

No, not to ring in the New Year together, but to figure out who kidnapped Earth and then try to get it back in one piece! The story—a weekly, 16-part crossover event that calls together the casts of AVENGERS, UNCANNY AVENGERS, U.S.AVENGERS, and OCCUPY AVENGERS—kicks off in the pages of AVENGERS #675, written by Mark Waid, Al Ewing, and Jim Zub with art by Pepe Larraz.

We spoke with Larraz about bringing all these team members together, working on a new character, and jumping into the cosmic action!

Marvel.com: What unique challenges do you come up against when working on a huge, weekly story such as this?

Pepe Larraz: Well, it is probably the biggest thing I’ve ever done at Marvel so far, in terms of characters involved, team size, and work done in advance. The main challenge for me ended up being how to handle all these characters on stage, trying to get the hang of all their personalities—the way they act, talk, and interact with each other. Also, having three or four scenes of epic action happening in different parts of the globe at the same time, and making that easy and clear for the reader. It can be difficult when you have to make two or three big, eye-catching panels on the same page and you have to avoid the panels competing between themselves to win the reader’s attention.

Marvel.com: How much did you have to familiarize yourself with all of the books’ characters? Did you find any surprises as you prepared?

Pepe Larraz: I came from working on UNCANNY AVENGERS, so some of them felt pretty familiar to me. I had worked with some of the others during my career in comics, but most of the characters proved to be new to me as an artist. So I did some research on the backgrounds of the ones that have predominant roles in the series, such as the U.S.Avengers or the Occupy Avengers, to understand what motivates them.

I had a blast drawing the Black Order because Jerome Opeña‘s designs look really fantastic. I also had the privilege of redesigning the existing members of the Lethal Legion and to also create a few new ones. Yes, as you can expect, this series is cramped with characters!

Marvel.com: In addition to the characters, you also begin the event with these cosmic objects falling to Earth. How did you go about designing those?

Pepe Larraz: It was quite simple, to be honest. The script calls them “piramoids,” so the shape their shape seemed quite obvious. Then I tried not to add anything superfluous—the main idea was to keep the alien technology as simple as possible. You’ll see the signs Jim Zub designed on them later on. We all provided ideas for the designs, so all of them ended up being more or less the result of teamwork.

Marvel.com: This also features the return of a mysterious forgotten Avenger by the name of Voyager. What can you tell us about bringing her to life on the page?

Pepe Larraz: The Voyager design is a joy, with that classic Jack Kirby-ish look to it. I wanted to transmit the feeling of a mystery being unfolded with every new issue of the script. Okay, you don’t remember her, but all of the Avengers trust her, so what could possibly go wrong? She feels so self-assured—she has such authority—that you get convinced immediately.

Marvel.com: Did you notice a difference between how each different writer approached the material?

Pepe Larraz: Not really, because they’re so well coordinated. I didn’t even notice that different hands wrote it because all their styles and approaches to the scene seem melted together on this collective script. I think this will be one of the better things of this series: the script has three different writers, three heads full of ideas, but one unique voice. I’m glad to be part of this project and have the privilege of working with Mark Waid, Al Ewing, and Jim Zub, all together. It’s an absolutely new experience. Sometimes it can be exhausting, sure, for the amount of characters on every page, but the story is awesome, and the artist group—Paco Medina, Kim Jacinto, and I—want to transfer that “awesomeness” into the pages the best we can. Hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Witness the beginning of the end of an era with AVENGERS #675, by writers Mark Waid, Al Ewing, Jim Zub, and artist Pepe Larraz on January 10!

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Two mutant birds of prey swoop down to join the Marvel mobile action!

Take to the skies with the greatest of ease and fillet your enemies with razor sharp feathers and cosmic fire as both Archangel and Angel dive into “Marvel Puzzle Quest” this week. We talked to D3 Go! Senior Producer Josh Austin about Warren Worthington III, his alter egos, and everything they bring to the MPQ table, not to mention we got a sneak peek at all the holiday fun they have lined up for players. Read on to learn more!

Marvel.com: Are we sure Scarlet Witch didn’t say “Lots more mutants”? I’m super excited to see the final member of the original X-Men lineup making it into the game. That’s gotta feel good for the team.

Josh Austin: Not only for the team, but also the fans of “Marvel Puzzle Quest”! It’s great to be able to finally bring so many sought after characters, and we aren’t done yet.

Marvel.com: Warren’s getting two different variants, a 3-Star Angel, and a 5-Star Archangel. Aside from appearance, what’s different about the two characters?

Josh Austin: 3-Star Angel (All-New X-Men) and 5-Star Archangel (Classic) have similar powers that focus on controlling the battle by stunning, removing AP, and preventing players from gaining AP, but 5-Star Archangel being the more powerful version has the ability to damage and stun characters that are airborne as well.

Marvel.com: Ok, let’s get into their abilities. What can Angel and Archangel do?

Josh Austin: Their first ability is called Angle of Attack and it costs 11 Blue AP. 5-Star Archangel deals damage and stuns the target for two turns. There is also a Passive that triggers at the start of the player’s turn, dealing damage to any airborne character and stunning that airborne character. Angel 3-Star deals damage and stuns the target.

Angel and Archangel’s second ability is called Enemy Down and it costs 10 Green AP. Archangel lets loose a flurry of razor sharp feathers that deal damage and [destroy] random AP in the enemy’s AP pools. Angel unleashes a flurry of cosmic flame feathers that deal damage while also creating Green Attack tiles.

Angel and Archangel’s last ability is called Aerial Superiority and it costs seven Black AP. Archangel soars overhead to control the battle by creating Countdown tiles of a chosen color which deals damage and blocks AP generation in that color for both teams at lower levels then only for the enemy team at higher levels. Angel soars overhead as well and creates Countdown tiles that deal damage and block AP gain from both teams.

Marvel.com: I really like that Archangel’s Angle of Attack can hit airborne opponents. Was this made to address the growing number of airborne abilities, or just to add some emphasis to Archangel’s mastery of the skies?

Josh Austin: That’s correct, Archangel will be a great character for players that do not use Vulture, but want a way to stop his onslaught and AP gain. It just makes sense for Archangel to have air superiority over Vulture; we hope players will have a fun time countering airborne characters with Archangel!

Marvel.com: What teammates are we looking at for these two?

Josh Austin: Putting a team together with Rogue (Classic) and Peggy Carter (Captain America) the player could cause the enemy team AP generation to grind to a halt! Also, it wouldn’t hurt to have someone to add to the battle in case the opponent does not have any airborne characters, like Nova or Riri that can send opponents airborne!

Marvel.com: And do you guys have any special plans for the holidays?

Josh Austin: Before I get into the specific events featuring Angel and Archangel, this year we have a couple things for the holidays, the first one an event called 12 Days of Marvel. For 12 Days of Marvel, you will need to join forces with the 12 featured Marvel families—in MPQ—in a special 12-day event. Check back each day for a new mission featuring a variety of Super Heroes and Super Villains. Play as many as you can to earn points and progression rewards including tokens that you can use on the Family Legends Store!

Also in the spirit of the holiday season, players can redeem a free gift by logging into the game between December 14 and December 26 for a Holiday Vault Token for use in the special Holiday Vault store! We plan to have a lot of fun in “Marvel Puzzle Quest” the entire holiday season, so check back frequently for fun events and news while you unwind from a busy 2017.

Marvel.com: Anything else we need to know?

Josh Austin: Yes, back to Angel and Archangel specific events and dates. They will be released December 14 and 5-Star Archangel (Classic) will be featured in the Angel of Death Legendary store. 3-Star Angel (All-New X-Men) can be found in the X-Men vs Apocalypse event that runs December 14 through December 17 and he’s a reward in early rounds, the Top round reward is an Angel of Death Legendary Token for a chance at Archangel, and final progression rewards a token for Angel of Death Legendary cover store.

The 3-Star Angel Vault is called Worthington W. III and contains one Angel of Death Legendary Token along with one of each Angel (All-New X-Men) covers—three total. Angel can be found in Thick as Thieves that is due to run December 17 through December 22. The Versus Tournament for Angel (All-New X-Men) is called Avenging Angel; it starts December 17 and runs through December 20.

There you have it folks, take part in all the angelic holiday cheer here and stay tuned to Marvel.com and follow @MarvelGames on Twitter for more “Marvel Puzzle Quest” news and interviews.

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How is it to live every day seeing the flaws in everyone and everything?

The client, Karnak Mander-Azur, is a self-identified Inhuman and longtime advisor to the Royal Family. Currently he belongs to an Inhuman/S.H.I.E.L.D. collaborative organization known as the Secret Warriors, although I am unclear on whether or not this is a formal designation or a colloquial title adopted by the group. He presents as a man in above average physical health who is noticeable by the facials tattoos that indicate his membership in a religious movement known as the Tower of Wisdom.

Karnak joined the movement after his parents refused to let him undergo the Terrigenesis process due to how the Mists affected his brother Triton. Instead, Karnak studied under the Wisdom monks, learning both philosophy and a variety of martial arts. These studies are credited with his abilities — the client is a master planner who is evidently able to see the flaws in everything including people, objects, and plans — although it is unclear if this is a “power” or just a highly developed skill. It also marks him as distinctly different from the rest of the Inhuman population who undergo exposure to the Mists; while not all react to the gas and change, participation in the process is nearly 100 percent. The combination of his experiences, his skillset, and being this literal outlier often leaves him feeling very separate from others. In therapy, we have also explored if he furthers this sense of separation on his own, choosing it instead of reaching out, but so far the client is fairly resistant to this avenue of discussion.

Karnak has recently undergone some fairly significant life changes. In the first place, in response to knowledge he still has not fully articulated, he ended his own life. Through a process this writer confesses he does not wholly understand, but hinges on another Inhuman that was genetically related to Karnak that could absorb the genetic memories of dead Inhumans, Karnak was reborn. While retaining his memories, he lost his distinctive head shape. While this seems to have cost him nothing, it is worth note as it is significant change to his appearance.

Secret Warriors  (2017) #12

Secret Warriors (2017) #12

Since his rebirth, he has been far more paranoid, secretive, and withdrawn as well. While being a member of a team, he often seems to be working at odds with their goals or following a very different route without explaining or alerting his teammates to his choices.

Additionally, most of the Royal family, arguably the individuals he is closest to and calls friends and family, have left the planet and did so largely without explanation. While he largely downplays this development on his psyche, for an individual who is slow to trust and has few supports, this sudden loss of so many people from his life has undoubtedly affected him.

Due to his overall hesitance to open up, much of our therapy has been focused on daily coping skills. With his ability to see flaws everywhere, day-to-day life is a series of encounters that scream at him to solve problems that he cannot, for many reasons, starting with the fact that it is impossible to make a person perfect. For another example, it is difficult to get anyone to listen to you when you claim there is a structural flaw in a building that will cause it to collapse in 96 years. We are working on active ignoring, how to evaluate which flaws are fixable and worth focusing on now, which can be delayed, and which, ultimately, must be accepted. Along with this we are working on emotion regulation to help him connect better with others and reduce his susceptibility to anger, disappointment, etc., with normal human failings. Lastly, we have been practicing mindfulness techniques, something the client has taken to very well given his experiences in studies in the Tower of Wisdom.

As part of his therapeutic process, Karnak Mander-Azur has agreed to attend a group session as a kind of exposure therapy for managing his emotions and his reactions to the flaws of others. He will attend Doctors Matthew Rosenberg and Javi Garron’s group starting on January 10, 2018 and information on his progress with be available in file SECRET WARRIORS #12.

Psy D. Candidate Tim Stevens is a Staff Therapist who thinks you—yes, you!—are flawless.

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Assemble your holiday surprises with the 2017 Marvel Gift Guide!

written by Maggie Klimentova

What happens when the Avengers do a gift exchange?

Tony Stark probably brings a cutting edge tech gadget. Natasha Romanoff likely picks out some super spy gear. Steve Rogers hand knits socks.

And even though Iron Man, Black Widow, and Captain America might not hang out in your home on their days off from work, Marvel’s 2017 Holiday Headquarters and Gift Guide will still provide you with a collection of goodies worthy of the world’s greatest super team!

We’ve put together a few thoughtfully chosen gift ideas for all the Marvel fans in your family, so check out the highlights below. And head to the Holiday Headquarters for more curated collections!

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: Feature Dancing Groot

Rock out with this groovy dancing Groot!

Nearly the same size as his movie counterpart, this Groot can play music himself—or even detect external tunes. When he hears a song playing, Groot starts to boogie, so put on your favorite album and join him with some dance moves of your own!

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2. (4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray + Digital) Marvel Cinematic Edition

To see Groot and the rest of the galaxy’s most dysfunctional family in action, pick up “Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 2” in 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray! Gather the whole family on the couch and relive every moment from the smash hit film!

LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 Deluxe Edition

Band together with your family to defeat Kang the Conqueror in LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2! This action-packed video game will have everyone begging to play for “just five more minutes!”

LEGO Black Panther Pursuit

 

Create and control your own adventure with this Black Panther Pursuit LEGO set. Will Black Panther capture the Winter Soldier? Will he join Captain America? Will they race? Or will they create a giant structure out of their vehicles? You decide!

Spider-Man App-Enabled Super Hero by Sphero

Make a high-flying addition to your super team by snagging a Sphero Spider-Man this holiday season! Hang out with this voice interactive Web-Head as his emotive expressions and quick wit provide you and your family with hours of fun!

To discover even more holiday gift ideas, stop by Marvel’s 2017 Holiday Headquarters!

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