Hear from The King of Bachata!
Hear how Romeo Santos went from The King of Bachata to Super Hero for his new single #HéroeFavorito!
Photo Credit: Erniel Rodrigez.
Hear how Romeo Santos went from The King of Bachata to Super Hero for his new single #HéroeFavorito!
Photo Credit: Erniel Rodrigez.
Resurrection has always been the essence of the Phoenix. The mystical bird bursts into flames and returns reborn, stronger than ever.
So too, it seems, it will be for Jean Grey.
After years gone from the Marvel Universe—dead and buried in the minds of her friends, family, teammates, and enemies—she will complete that transformation from ash to stronger than ever once more.
The creative team of Matthew Rosenberg and Leinil Yu have come aboard in PHOENIX RESURRECTION this fall to help her on her way from the grave to flying above the Earth once more. We found Rosenberg getting fitted for an asbestos suit and he graciously answered our questions as the tailor took his measurements.
Marvel.com: How does it feel to be the one tasked with bringing back the adult Jean Grey? Did you advocate for the role or did Marvel come to you?
Matthew Rosenberg: Crazy. It feels crazy. [UNCANNY X-MEN] is the book I learned to read with. I have been a fan my whole life. And Jean…Jean is the heart of the team. She ties everything together. For her to have been gone so long, it always felt like an open wound. Getting the chance to maybe heal that, it’s an honor I don’t take lightly.
Marvel came to me with this, I didn’t advocate for it. I mean, I did in the sense that I talk about the X-Men all the time to anyone who will listen. But I didn’t specifically fight for this book. [Marvel Editor-in-Chief] Axel Alonso and [X-Men Senior Editor] Mark Paniccia brought it to me and asked if I had any ideas. I casually said what I would do to bring her back and they both looked real surprised. To be honest, I thought I’d just lost the gig. But finally they told me that was not at all what they had in mind, but they liked it. And from that point on it’s just been a whirlwind.
Marvel.com: What creative challenges does writing this book present for you? What opportunities?
Matthew Rosenberg: The biggest challenge is obviously doing it justice. People love Jean. I love Jean. Some people desperately want to see her back because they miss her, and I want to do right by them. But others feel really strongly that her death was monumental and we should respect that. And I get that 100%. I’m hoping we can tell a story that makes those people understand why we brought her back. We actually have something to say, it means something. And I think all of that, trying to please everyone, is the real trick.
As for opportunities, for me it’s two things. Getting to use the X-Men, all of them, is a huge one. Getting to explore her relationships with them, showing how they react to certain things, what things mean to them, is a real blessing because these characters have ties to her that long time readers will understand. There is an emotional shorthand to Beast or Bobby or Logan or Storm seeing her again. It’s heavy. And the other great storytelling opportunity we have is how powerful Jean and Phoenix are. They can create worlds and rearrange minds. That is something we go into a bit and I think it will keep readers on their toes.
Marvel.com: What is essential to writing Jean “right” in your opinion? How similar or different is this Jean than the one we knew before she died?
Matthew Rosenberg: One of the big keys to getting Jean is to actually study her progression as a character. From the meek and quiet student, to the bad ass team member, to the goddess, to death, and back again. She has had these changes; the Marvel Girl of old is not the same as Phoenix, or Jean in X-FACTOR, or the Jean that raises Cable in the future, or the Jean that fights Emma for the heart of Scott. All of these are evolutions of who she is. And our book, it does something a bit different. This isn’t an evolution. It’s a resurrection. But I can’t say much more than that.
Marvel.com: What’s the tone and setting of the book? How does Leinil Yu hope you achieve the look and feel of the book you are looking for?
Matthew Rosenberg: Our tone and setting change as things go. It’s a bit of a mystery, a bit of [an] epic super hero book, and a bit of an emotional character study. We travel all over the world in the series and it sort of just becomes this race to answer some questions nobody wants to ask.
As for what Leinil brings? Everything. He is a titan in storytelling, character, action—you name it. And he brings all of that. There are some genuinely creepy moments in the book and he knocks it out of the park on those. But there are also some real tender moments and those hit just as hard. I know this sounds crazy, but more than once I have actually been a little sad that I’m writing this book because I want so badly to just be able to read a PHOENIX RESURRECTION book with Leinil on art as a fan. I want to pick it up off shelves and not know what was going to happen. And seeing his work now, I know I’d be blown away. It’s gorgeous as always.
Marvel.com: Who else can readers expect might be popping up in the book?
Matthew Rosenberg: If there is an X-Man you like, there’s a strong chance they pop up. We’re doing a lot of fan favorites, a lot of deep cuts, and everything in between. Not everyone is going to get the screen time they deserve. But this is all hands on deck for the X-Teams.
Marvel.com: How does Jean’s return echo through the lives of others? Any insight into how it might affect the Marvel Universe at large?
Matthew Rosenberg: For the X-Men it will have an immediate effect. This will hit all of them. It’s going to be huge for the X-Men with a ton of ramifications across the board. As for the larger Marvel U…you’ll have to wait and see.
The wait continues later this fall with PHOENIX RESURRECTION from Matthew Rosenberg and Leinil Yu!
Quake has committed to going too far. And the Secret Warriors know it.
They don’t approve of her plan…but what can they do to stop it? On October 18, writer Matthew Rosenberg and artist Juanan Ramirez bring Quake face to face with her mentor’s killer as her scheme comes to a head in SECRET WARRIORS #7!
We spoke with Matthew to hear more about where Quake has been, where she may be going, and why the Warriors might just have to come along for the ride.
Marvel.com: Quake has changed in the wake of Phil Coulson’s death—describe her state of mind at the beginning of issue #7.
Matthew Rosenberg: A lot of her life has been about finding people and things she can trust—and then losing them. Coulson, Nick Fury, S.H.I.E.L.D., Captain America, various teammates…all of it adds up. Now she feels really alone.
In addition to that, she’s never quite come to terms with her powers the way other heroes have. Fury used her as a weapon before she found out about her family and her Inhuman genes without any support network.
She has this thing inside her—this incredibly destructive force that she can only barely control. And she has always had a purpose and a support network to help her focus and aim her powers, but they are all gone now. So Quake has become a weapon with no target. Just rage and fear and loneliness all simmering below the surface. She can be very dangerous and maybe even a little self-destructive at this point.
Marvel.com: How do you maintain Quake’s essential characteristics as she goes through these major changes?
Matthew Rosenberg: I feel like that’s the real challenge. We need to give readers the Quake they all love: strong, independent, smart, snarky, dangerous, cool, and a little vulnerable, while still changing that stuff.
Luckily, we’ve had a few issues to establish her and watch things go from bad to worse, but now we are really accelerating toward a brick wall. The key has been making sure the real Quake shines through in the darker moments. I try to make sure she has the funny line or doesn’t get frustrated with something dumb—just those little touches where Quake pulls people back in and doesn’t let them lose sight of the fact that Daisy still exists under all the rage and pain.
Marvel.com: How does Juanan Ramirez capture Quake’s internal and external struggles? How have you crafted those moments together?
Matthew Rosenberg: Juanan has been great. He draws Quake in such a terrifyingly badass way. I love it. She really feels like she grew up under Nick Fury. But he gives her these little moments, her acting, that are the perfect chance to see her be frustrated or upset. I think she feels really human—she has these little aspects of herself that peek out when she doesn’t want them to. And Juanan captures those remarkably well. Also, he draws a badass fight scene.
Marvel.com: Does Quake even know what she wants to do with Deadpool when she catches up to him?
Matthew Rosenberg: She has a plan, for sure. When your powers allow you to level a city, killing one dude feels like an easy task. Sure, Deadpool would be pretty hard to kill, but if you bring enough stuff down on top of him or liquefy all of his organs, he’ll hopefully get the message and die.
Marvel.com: What are the rest of the Warriors feeling about Quake and her quest?
Matthew Rosenberg: The Warriors are done with Quake. She was a loose cannon at best—and a torturer and (wannabe) assassin at her worst. But this team has never been about wanting to be together, it’s always been about needing to be together. And right now, they need Quake. And that only makes it worse. It’s one thing to have to rely on someone you don’t like. It’s quite another when they’d rather be murdering someone than helping you.
Marvel.com: Does Deadpool have an awareness of the enemy he’s made?
Matthew Rosenberg: No, he has no idea. Deadpool has a lot of enemies though and he can take a lot of damage. And he’s also real crazy. So planning for stuff isn’t as important for him as it might be for other people. But yeah, he has a whole world of pain coming his way.
Marvel.com: Regardless of whether or not Quake realizes her goals, what kind of ramifications does this journey have for the team?
Matthew Rosenberg: In a lot of ways, Quake felt like the head of the team. It’s arguable that the team had three heads at time, but she stood at the forefront. And her mission now runs counter to the rest of the team’s needs.
She is on such a personal path—such a possibly self-destructive one—that it almost feels like the only real choice either standing in her way or not. If they won’t join her or get her to quit, then the team may lose another member. And at that point, can they be called a team at all?
SECRET WARRIORS #7, by Matthew Rosenberg and artist Juanan Ramirez, drops on October 18!
Mark Bagley has drawn plenty of characters over the years, but many readers associate him with a certain Wall Crawler. The artist penciled many of Spider-Man’s adventures in the late 80s and early 90s before eventually moving on to team with Brian Michael Bendis on an epic ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN run.
It’s important to remember, though, that he also had a big part in bringing Venom into the spotlight during the character’s prime. Bagley drew the VENOM: LETHAL PROTECTOR limited series in 1993 and also helped introduce the Ultimate version later down the line.
Now the veteran artist finds himself working with writer Mike Costa to have Eddie Brock and his symbiote partner reclaim the “Lethal Protector” title in VENOM #155 on October 4 as he safeguards a group of dino-people and does his best to keep them safe against the likes of Kraven the Hunter! We talked with Bagley about returning to Eddie Brock’s world, working with Costa, and the inherent fun of drawing dino-folks!
Marvel.com: You’re no stranger to the world of Spider-Man, but what kind of challenges does focusing on Venom for this amount of time offer?
Mark Bagley: I really could say, “Same [expletive], different day,” but that is too simple. The process of drawing and storytelling is really the same no matter the subject. But it is always interesting addressing an abstract character like Venom. I’m having fun trying to approach this in new and different ways than I’ve done before.
Marvel.com: Does framing Venom as a hero change how you approach him at all?
Mark Bagley: Even way back in the original LETHAL PROTECTOR [limited] series Eddie/Venom saw himself as a hero. Let’s face it: he is a little nuts. I don’t want to portray Eddie visually as bent, though. I think it’s subtler than that. What I’m hoping comes across is that, 25 years or so later, my drawing and storytelling skills have improved. I think improving is the goal of most artists.
Marvel.com: A lot of people are excited to see your take on this new version of Venom, but how are you handling Eddie Brock? How has he changed given all of his recent experiences?
Mark Bagley: Really not much of a visual change to Brock. I resisted the temptation—easily—to add the mullet I had him sporting back in the original [LETHAL PROTECTOR]. That was a bad choice on my part!
Marvel.com: How fun was it designing dinosaur people and their environs under NYC?
Mark Bagley: What is not fun about drawing dinosaur guys?! Really, I just approach them as doodles. I start the drawing with an idea of the dino-guys’ general size and then just start noodling away. It’s a lot of fun. Often I have a particular species of dino in mind, but most often I just start whacking away.
Marvel.com: This story will find Venom facing off against Kraven the Hunter. How is it balancing the very human and primal Hunter against the symbiote?
Mark Bagley: Venom is violent, dangerous, and a bit unhinged. Kraven is just evil. He is quite a bit of fun to draw because there is no subtleness to him. I mean, check out his pants! In a lot of ways he is more monstrous than Venom.
Marvel.com: How has it been jumping onto this train with Mike Costa who’s been driving since this volume launched?
Mark Bagley: I love Mike’s approach to this arc. It’s really just a fun comic book story. It’s really reminiscent of older comics that were primarily about fantasy and adventure with a good dash of human drama to top it off.
Mike Costa and Mark Bagley team-up to tackle VENOM #155, coming October 4!
After years of drawing the X-Men to his own nightmare realm, Mojo has decided to mix it up and swing by New York City instead. On October 18, Mojo takes Manhattan in X-MEN: GOLD #14!
So, what motivates the malevolent mogul behind all this chaos? We asked Guggenheim to find out.
Marvel.com: The first time we spoke about this crossover, you mentioned that Mojo would be your nightmare television executive. Now that you’ve written him, has that perspective held up?
Marc Guggenheim: Yeah, it really has. Even more so than I imagined.
The fun thing about writing Mojo has been the opportunity to get metatextual. I really, really pushed that—particularly in issue #14. There’s a page that has a really fun joke about the nature of X-Men capacity to not only avoid being killed but to be resurrected. It gave me a chuckle to see how Marc Laming executed that; the joke really lands.
Mojo can never be too broad or too big. No matter what you write for him, it never feels over the top.
Marvel.com: What inspires Mojo on a day-to-day basis?
Marc Guggenheim: For my money, Mojo gets motivated by three things: ratings, ratings, and ratings.
It makes him a very ego-simplistic guy. He has a very simple need: he wants the biggest audience he can get his hands on. There’s something very decadent about that kind of character—the kind that acts just so cravenly that nothing will stop him in his pursuit of ratings.
If you think about ratings, they are kind of meaningless. And I say that as someone who has been working in television for 18 years. [Laughs]
There’s nothing special about ratings. It gives you an idea of how many people are watching your show, but they aren’t good onto themselves. So Mojo pursues this entire endeavor for his entire life and it is a very meaningless pursuit.
If you can see him through that light, you almost start to feel bad for the guy.
Marvel.com: What draws Mojo to the X-Men? Why does he find them so magnetic?
Marc Guggenheim: Well, that’s a good question.
He has a history with them. It’s almost like he’s killing two birds with one stone—he gets his precious ratings at the same time that messes with the people who have often made his life difficult.
Every time he deals with the X-Men, he comes away diminished. But it’s more than just the X-Men foiling his plans—he usually ends up taking a step back as a result of his interactions with them. For someone like Mojo, who has this massive ego, he gets really picky about these upstart mutants that keep vexing him at every turn.
Marvel.com: What are your thoughts on Marc Laming’s rendition of Mojo? What about his depiction really brings out those characteristics?
Marc Guggenheim: I really like Marc’s ability to capture a lot of the humor of Mojo. It can be one thing to draw Mojo as really diabolical or creepy looking, but Marc also manages to nail all the jokes that are written here.
Marc has also made Major Domo this really fun visual sidekick to Mojo. You’ll often see Major Domo’s facial expressions are providing a fun, but subtle, commentary on something probably all of us can appreciate—working with the worst boss ever. [Editor’s note: Not me! I love my bosses that will definitely read this article!]
Marvel.com: How did you and Marc go about capturing the broken physics and inherent strangeness of the Mojoverse?
Marc Guggenheim: In issue #14, Marc takes us on a tour of the X-Men’s Greatest Hits. His artwork does a fantastic job of not only replicating the look and feel of those stories, but really the look and feel of those eras.
For example, we open with a scene set around the start of “Mutant Genesis”—the beginning of [writer] Chris Claremont and [artist] Jim Lee’s three-part Magneto story in X-MEN. You’ll really feel like you are transported back. It’s really cool and fun.
I just want to say, Mike Mayhew drew issue #13, Marc draws issue #14, Diego Bernard will do issue #15, and all the issues are colored by Rain Beredo. All the artists are turning in unbelievable work. And Rain’s coloring brings it all together so even though three different artists are on board, it keeps a similar visual style all the way through.
They are really, really, really stunning looking books. All our artists are up to the challenge of the incredibly huge landscape we are playing with here. These are really big widescreen sequences across the biggest, most iconic X-Men stories that have ever been done. It has been really easy to write, but man the artists have had their work cut out for them.
Marvel.com: What about this story makes Mojo so dangerous to the X-Men?
Marc Guggenheim: Every time the X-Men have dealt with Mojo, it hasn’t just been on his terms, but on his playing field as well. For Mojo to make a breach into our world—it just ups the dramatic stakes. You’ll see throughout the series how Mojo’s plot eventually impacts Manhattan. To my knowledge—I’m always loathe to say we’ve never seen something because there are so many stories—I feel pretty confident in saying we’ve never seen this before.
Without spoiling the ending, I will say that by the end of this issue the battlefield will be very significantly changed. It sets up the climax that we will reach in X-MEN: BLUE #15.
The crossover continues in X-MEN: GOLD #14, by Marc Guggenheim and artist Marc Laming, on October 18!
On October 18, the future-born soldier travels back in time alongside a couple of New Mutants—including X-23, Doop, Shatterstar, Blink, Longshot, and Armor—to try to handle a killer that can’t be taken care of easily.
We caught up with Malin to chat about studying up on various X-Men time periods, working with Brisson, and bringing Cable to Marvel Legacy.
Marvel.com: How fun has it been sending these characters to various points in X-history?
Jon Malin: Very exciting! I absolutely lucked into a chance to draw all my old school favorites in their best looks!
Marvel.com: When you’re sending Cable and the New Mutants to those different time periods, do you look back at the original stories for reference?
Jon Malin: Ed and Editor Chris Robinson are kind enough to send me details for what I need, so thankfully I don’t have to dig out the references too much. For me, it’s more about going back to the well for the dynamic inspiration you get from artists like Rob Liefeld—he, like Jack Kirby and other greats, including Stan Lee, Todd McFarlane, Marc Silvestri, Larry Stroman, Whilce Portacio—set a kinetic pace with their work and I’m always looking for an opportunity to push that. Be sure to check out the early Marvel work of all mentioned above, it’s a lesson in awesome!
Marvel.com: When designing Cable and his New Mutants for this Legacy story, were you aiming for classic looks or were you going for your own spin?
Jon Malin: The story calls for these specific looks, so I’m certainly staying close to them. Anything that might be considered “my own spin” here will be very subtle. In the past, I always loved how Rob Liefeld changed up the costumes, especially Cable’s—it always kept the vibe feeling fresh to me.
We haven’t had any costume changes as the tone of this tale feels closely tied to these costumes and who they were. Looking down the road and keeping true to what Rob established, I have plenty of cool spins for all of these guys if given the opportunity.
Marvel.com: As this story has developed, have any of the character interactions surprised you so far?
Jon Malin: I think our character bag of mixed nuts works very well here for this exact reason. Ed plays these guys off each other in fun and interesting ways. Doop has been so fun for me and I think the readers will enjoy him because he can be anything we need him to be—comic relief, right hand man, butt kicker, Don Juan. Whatever! Then we have Shatterstar and X-23…we could do a standalone with them simply titled “Bodycount.”
Marvel.com: How has it been working with Ed on the series?
Jon Malin: Ed has such great storytelling skills—and understands the time for nuance and the time for action. We message maybe once a month if I have questions or want to express a scene I loved. He’s fantastic! Love that guy.
And shout outs to [colorists] Federico Blee and Jesus Aburtov! Both are so kind and generous with their time. Federico has colored all our covers and they’re amazing! And Jesus on interior colors has just been knocking it out of the park! I love passionate color that amplifies the intensity of a story—and both of these guys dig right in. Just glance at the covers and interiors and the feelings are immediate.
Editors can be overlooked, so let me add Chris Robinson and Mark Paniccia! Chris has a great eye for paneling; I have found him to be so thorough on the work and always there if I need him. I see him going very far in this industry if he so chooses. And Mark always lets it be known when he really digs something or if something has to go. Marvel is in great hands with these two. And big thanks to [Editor-in-Chief] Axel Alonso—he’s been very supportive of me with this title.
CABLE #150, written by Ed Brisson with art by Jon Malin, hits on October 18!
1917 to 2017: 100 years of Kirby.
Join us this month 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.
Back in the 1940s a pair of scrappy comic-making partners started creating the kinds of books that would change the face of the industry. Joe Simon and Jack Kirby launched a studio that introduced the world to Captain America, but before that, they worked on the last three issues of DARING MYSTERY COMICS for Timely Comics in the early part of the decade. Though not one of the more popular and lauded super hero anthologies from that era, the book did feature some very interesting work from the future “King of Comics” including the covers to installments #6-8 and the introduction of the very first Marvel Boy!
In an interesting mix of mythology, the tale explained that the ancient Egyptians figured out reincarnation which also applied to Hercules, Son of Power as he died. The Greek demigod’s spirit rested in Valhalla for a time until World War II broke out and he decided to return to the land of mortals. He traveled to Earth, found a newborn baby named Martin Burns, and inhabited his body.
Upon his turning 14, a mysterious stranger appeared in the middle of a nighttime thunderstorm to give the youth a wrapped gift. The mystery man then popped into Martin’s room as a talking shadow and explained that the soul of Hercules resided inside him and that he would have the strength to topple fascism as The Marvel Boy!
The gift held Martin’s new super hero uniform, which he put on before heading out to stop a group of Fifth Columnists from bringing more Axis agents into New York City! With his incredible strength, Marvel Boy easily stopped the car transporting the new spies and also uncovered important information about the whole cell that he turned over to the FBI.
That same issue also saw Simon and Kirby collaborating on a character the former introduced in the first issue of DARING, The Fiery Mask! In this one, Dr. Jack Castle made a house call to a woman going through shock after a member of the Legion of the Damned appeared and gave her a baby who would become the evil group’s champion! Castle returned to the house that night, but as his heroic alter ego Fiery Mask! He arrived just in time to see the baby get up and start walking around before summoning a giant, green assassin. Fiery Mask stopped the creature’s first attempt at murder and then followed the menace through some kind of portal that lead to an epic battle with demons!
In DARING MYSTERY COMICS #7, Simon and Kirby debuted another new character: Captain Daring. Set in a world where evil underworlders developed weapons that allowed them to easily infiltrate the United States and destroy cities, the tale found only one man ready to stand in their way. The Army’s Captain Daring used solar powered underground planes and a good deal of cunning to win the day and save the Earth in the process.
Looking back at these Golden Age Kirby offerings not only shows how his art style evolved over the course of his long career, but also some of the themes that h’’d never stop exploring like kids receiving immense powers, mythology and its relation to heroics, and coming up with really creepy monsters!
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.
The Marvel Universe can barely contain the story of Rocket Raccoon.
He’s done it all—from his adventures with the Guardians of the Galaxy, to finding love, to pulling heists with his own crew of ne’er-do-wells. And on October 11, writer Al Ewing and artist Adam Gorham present ROCKET #6, in which the smart-talkin’ hero continues his (not-so-successful) fight against rival rodent Castor Gnawbarque III!
We spoke with Al to break down Rocket’s past, present, and tenuous future in issue #6.
Marvel.com: Rocket’s changed a lot in recent times. How do you plan to reconcile his past with his current mentality?
Al Ewing: Well, I’ve hinted in interviews and in the actual text—in the “prose gutter” where we keep most of the narration—that Rocket remembers a little more of the old days than he lets on. We’ve actually seen him bump up against his past on Halfworld before, so this isn’t such a new development. But Adam and I add a little noir tinge to that—Halfworld feels explicitly like the Good Old Days in our book; the days that were lost and can never come again.
We’re leaning into the meta-knowledge that the once innocent, playful, fun character has become a hard-bitten sci-fi thief—we move forward, and that’s for the best, but at the same time Rocket’s lost something that he can’t quite define or put his finger on, and the knowledge eats at him.
Marvel.com: How much of Rocket’s old life will we witness as the series continues?
Al Ewing: We get deep into it in issue #6…I won’t get too spoiler-y about how the memories come up, but they provide quite a contrast between how Rocket used to be and how he acts now. Fans of the old Bill Mantlo and Mike Mignola series will hopefully be happy with the glimpse they get of some of the old gang—and our superstar artist Adam Gorham puts his all into bringing them back to life.
Marvel.com: What made you originally decide to tell a crime noir story in this series?
Al Ewing: When I got the call to do ROCKET, I’d been reading a lot of Richard Stark and that sat heavy on my mind. I knew Rocket had become a little shadier since the early days—and obviously in the films he’s a much more criminal character—so the idea of putting this little Raccoon guy in a suit and having him pull off stylish sixties-influenced heists really tickled me. And when the initial absurdity of the situation wore off, I started thinking about how interesting it’d be to get into the deep-down melancholy of this character.
Marvel.com: What traits did you feel were integral to bringing Rocket to life in this storyline?
Al Ewing: Well, they’re more Raccoon-centric than Rocket-centric, but I found out raccoons have excellent senses of touch and hearing, which pretty much instantly made me think of safecracking. But, as we’ve seen, he also applies that to listening to people.
In terms of specifically Rocket-centric traits, he projects a lot of confidence in this two-parter. Rocket knowing how to wear a suit becomes bizarrely integral to the plot. And his ability to take a good thing and screw it up also jumps to the front and center.
Marvel.com: How does Rocket handle the difficulties of his tragic past while simultaneously dealing with the Technet?
Al Ewing: The Technet are a fun addition to the book. You can thank [Editor] Jordan White for that, since he asked me to bring them back, which I was more than happy to do…in fact, my one regret is not thinking of it myself.
We’ve set up a will-they-won’t-they, flirtatious thing between Rocket and the Technet’s leader, Gatecrasher, but whether it’s all going to end well…well, we’ll have to see. Somehow I doubt it.
Marvel.com: What inspired the “prose gutter” format of this comic?
Al Ewing: The “prose gutter” became part of the plan from pretty much the very beginning. I’d done it once before in an old issue of MIGHTY AVENGERS, but, full disclosure, it’s not a new idea—it shares some DNA with a few comics that came before. ROCKET presented me with an opportunity to use the noir voice, but I’m sure I’ll break it out of storage in the future, as well—it can be so fun to write in that sparse, gritty style.
Marvel.com: With Otta Spice now in the picture, what happened to Rocket’s romance with Lylla?
Al Ewing: We set up Otta as the rebound fling from Lylla—Rocket has a “type,” essentially, and while there may be a height difference, we made them visually very similar on purpose. How much like Lylla Otta actually acts…well, we’ll find out. But Rocket’s certainly projected an awful lot of Lylla onto Otta in a way that absolutely can’t be healthy or smart. And I doubt I’m giving out any big spoilers when I say it all comes back to bite him.
Writer Al Ewing and artist Adam Gorham’s ROCKET #6 drops on October 11!
Many say that the best way to write a character is to really get inside of them and figure out what makes them tick. So, who better to work on a story focusing on everyone’s favorite protocol droid, C-3PO, than his big screen portrayer Anthony Daniels?! He, Ryder Windham and Brian Daley wrote a one-shot called STAR WARS DROIDS: THE PROTOCOL OFFENSIVE with art by Igor Kordey that debuted in 1997.
Set a few years before the events of “A New Hope,” this tale starred Threepio and his longtime pal R2-D2 during a time when they represented the Tion Hegemony in their efforts to set up a trade route with Tahlboor, home to the warring Hobors and Troobs. Said negotiations took place on a space station hovering above the planet.
The two droids proved themselves to their new owners after Artoo fixed his boss’s datapad and Threepio revealed that the existing interpreter had not been strictly truthful. After everyone agreed to allow ol’ Goldenrod to act as translator, they took a recess which gave readers a look at the extensive ship, including its huge bar and casino.
Once there, General Krax of the Troobs attempted to buy Threepio, a request that Tion representative Jake Harthan denied. However, Madam Krax won the droid in a game of Sabacc played against Harthan’s father! This move lead to even more mistrust on the side of the Hobors whose Chief Nimondro saw this exchange of property as potentially detrimental to the process of making a fair deal.
To prove their power, the head of the Hobors said the planet spoke through him and then called up a huge beam of light that shot out from a mountain and nearly blinded everyone on the ship floating in orbit. Having demonstrated his powers, Nimondro then demanded that they reconvene the talks on planet and also desired to purchase Artoo because he’d help them win at space slots!
That night, the two groups went to war after it seemed like Nimondro’s daughter Larka killed Krax’s son. Worse yet for Threepio? It sure looked like Artoo helped facilitate the young woman’s escape!
As Jake and Threepio tried to figure out the best way to get off planet and avoid this war, Artoo tried keeping the supposed murderess alive in a cave with a monster. After receiving the coordinates from his partner, Threepio stole a speeder bike of sorts and took off to save his friend! From there, Threepio learned some very interesting truths about the Hobors, including the secret behind their supposed power. Nimondro also learned something, that his daughter loved the Krax boy and would never harm him.
In an attempt to stop the impending war, Threepio made a transmission to everyone explaining that Larka had not killed her lover, but instead it had been committed by Jake Harthan himself so he could use the weapon hidden in the mountain to take over his own planet.
In the morning, with Jake no longer a threat, the two groups started making inroads to peace, but Larka planned to leave the planet with her new droid friends.
From the Jedi Temple Archives
STAR WARS DROIDS: THE PROTOCOL OFFENSIVE marked the one and only time Anthony Daniels wrote a Star Wars comic, so far. As Ryder Windham noted in the book’s Afterword, he came into contact with the actor while working on various DROIDS projects. He also came to know Brian Daley who had not only written the Star Wars radio adaptations, but also Han Solo-starring novels. He worked with Windham to come up with the story which Daniels also had input in. The idea would be for Daley to write the script with Artoo’s words and then Daniels would fill out Threepio’s lines. Daley wrote up a rough outline, but then had to work on the radion version of “Return of the Jedi,” which he completed just before passing away in 1996. Windham eventually came back to the Star Wars fold to help finish the story which came out in 1997.
Before “A New Hope,” Princess Leia goes undercover as seen in the second arc of STAR WARS: EMPIRE.
Additional reporting by Maggie Klimentova
Dragon Con, which draws fans from all over the world, saw a record number of attendees—over 80,000!—visit over Labor Day weekend. And there were hundreds, if not thousands, of cosplayers showing off their love for Marvel in photo ops, during panels, and on the convention floor.
Marvel cosplayers gathered to show off their creativity and talent during the Marvel Universe Photoshoot, organized by the Super Hero Costuming Forum, on Sunday, September 3. More than 400 cosplayers attended, representing characters like Captain Marvel, Spider Gwen, Doctor Strange, Scarlet Witch, Wolverine, and more!
Check out this gallery to see some of the amazing costumes captured by Judy Stephens and photographer Nicole Ciaramella.
If you’d like to share your Marvel cosplay photos from Dragon Con, please send them to Cosplay@marvel.com!