Brian Michael Bendis lists his favorite moments from nearly five years with the team!

Stuck on Earth and scattered across the planet, if there’s one thing that can bring the Guardians of the Galaxy back together, it’s a common enemy. On April 12, “Grounded” reaches its conclusion with the final issue by writer Brian Michael Bendis in GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #19!

After close to five years of wandering around the universe and sometimes saving the day, it’s time for the Guardians to part ways with one of Marvel’s most prolific writers. An era of Guardians history comes to a close in this special doubled-sized issue, featuring work from Valerio Schiti and an all-star team of guest artists.

To celebrate the achievement, Brian gave us a retrospective look at his favorite moments alongside the most dysfunctional super group in the galaxy.

Marvel.com: Let’s start with the best of the worst: favorite villain?

Brian Michael Bendis: Peter’s father. It was one of the reasons I wanted to write this book, having done the research working with the Marvel Cinematic Creative Committee. They were debating whether or not Guardians was a movie franchise—this was when Guardians was as cult as it gets. They sent me some material and some things they were thinking about and I started reading—and I had read it as a fan—but to read it considering its global potential was an interesting thing to do. And then reading Peter’s origin story was so exciting to me because, if you read it, it’s as good as Spider-Man or Superman, it’s just not as well known. The purity of narrative is beautiful. This king crash-lands on Earth in the middle of a space war, falls in love with an Earth person, knocks her up, goes back to his space war, and she’s left on Earth with a half-alien baby—and the boy will never know. This is phenomenal stuff. And then he grows up to find out who he is and “Oh my god, your father’s an a-hole across the galaxy!” Most kings of anything are not known for their warmth. So, to dive into that and cover that for almost the first entire volume was very fun and something I was dying to write.

Marvel.com: Favorite guest star?

Brian Michael Bendis: Just last night, I wrote my goodbye to Guardians, so it’s all fresh on my mind. I think having Tony Stark up in space for as long as we did in the middle of golden run as a movie star was pretty exciting. Also, we had a lot of fun with him—what a great field trip for Tony to go on. And then, hilariously, him and Gamora hooking up, which shows up on my Tumblr feed every three days. It’s going down well as one of the great super hero hookups.

Marvel.com: Favorite event or tie-in?

Brian Michael Bendis: I’m very, very fond of “The Trial of Jean Grey,” even though that was a self-executed mini-crossover. I love when the X-Men go off into space, I love the weird X-Men stories. And the idea of bringing Jean Grey into the present and Jean Grey being a gigantic cosmic serial killer, as far as most people are concerned, a genocidal maniac. To put her on trial and be actively writing both books, making sure the trial happened organically in both books, was very exciting. It was like, “Ooo, you know what’s never been told before, this story. And I’m writing both books!? And, oh my god, Kitty and Peter fall in love in the process!” So everything about that, I really enjoyed and I hear from a lot of people about that. That’s probably everyone’s favorite story from my run? That’s the one I hear about the most.

But the one I think is my favorite tie-in stuff is probably the Black Vortex stuff, which is Sam Humphries’ storyline, but I thought it spoke well to what we, as a group of writers and artists, added to the galactic books over the course of the last couple years. There were interesting interactions between all the characters. We were just way into it.

But I also gotta say, for as weird as it is, the Guardians were always kind of in their own little world, and I know people like that about them as well. One of my mandates was to bring them more to a centered position in the Marvel Universe, so I added them into Infinity, which was the first time they crossed over in one of my books. Just having them show up in the event was so surprising because they’d never shown up in anything before. So that moment was really exciting for me.

Marvel.com: Favorite fight?

Brian Michael Bendis: Kevin Maguire is one of my favorite comic book artists of all time and we got him to do a couple of issues. And it was an issue with a Gamora and Angela team-up, [GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #10], I thought he did an outstanding job with that issue. It was a big, big fight, breaking into a planet, and I thought he did an exceptional job.

Marvel.com: Favorite Groot quote?

Brian Michael Bendis: I actually have a very funny story about that. We were making the “Powers” TV show last year and I was on set, because I wrote episodes. And I’d be in the video village and I had a little desk where I’d sit and literally write Marvel comics while they were setting up the lights and stuff. There were sometimes hours where I literally had nothing to do, so I’d sit and type. So I was sitting in the corner, typing. And one of the actors, whose name is Sharlto Copley, he’s in the show—he keeps looking over, thinking I’m writing the TV show. And I’m writing GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY. Sharlto comes up behind me and just out of nowhere, reads what he sees on my screen, and yells “I am Groot!?” And it turns out, Sharlto has no idea who the Guardians of the Galaxy are, he never saw the movie, he has no idea what “I am Groot” means. And it was one of the pages where Groot keeps interrupting, that’s the joke, he’s just saying “I am Groot, I am Groot,” so Sharlto looks at it and thinks I’m crazy. He yells, “I am Groot,” everyone else in the video village jumps because they’re like, “Why is he yelling ‘I am Groot,’” because they get the reference. It was a totally unique, once-in-a-lifetime, hilarious moment where he’s yelling “I am Groot, I am Groot” and has no idea why people are laughing.

But one of my favorite moments of writing the entire series was the variant cover that Dale Keown did where the joke is that Jean Grey is talking to him and she can translate “I am Groot” into his actual words and his words are very poetic—and I probably worked harder on those words than anything I worked on that year. You got a little taste of what goes on in Groot’s head for real and I heard from a lot of people on that, so that went well.

Marvel.com: And favorite Guardian?

Brian Michael Bendis: Ahh! See, having written other team books, it’s never about “favorite Guardian,” it’s really “favorite relationship.” We knew that Rocket and Groot are the relationship. But when you discover friendships, or antagonisms, or a new type of relationship within the group of friends, that’s always my favorite stuff. So when something like Angela and Gamora—they really like each other. I think Angela just adores Gamora, and they fight well together and are happy to know each other—that kind of stuff I really like. And I liked writing Tony and Rocket, because Tony is sometimes like Rocket, but in the Avengers. He’s kind of caustic and like “I know everything and everyone’s gonna do what I say.” So for him to [be] faced with this little animal version of his own ego, on a ship—it’s really fun to write. On Avengers, it was discovering that Luke Cage and Spider-Man were hilarious together. That was a surprise, it wasn’t planned. The same thing happens here, where the characters start to gravitate towards each other or away from each other, and the towards each other is always the most fun stuff. And you can’t force it.

I also like this—and I know people really like this and it’s the thing that I’m [guiltiest] of—but, if Kitty Pryde’s not busy, I will grab her and put her in my book. And the most outlandish incident of me doing this is putting her in outer space for a while. I thought Kitty’s no-nonsense, once-a-teacher, strong-Jewish-woman-up-in-space was a ton of fun. And her juxtaposition to Gamora was a great bit of fun. I think her presence on the team, with Tony’s, was very different. What I wanted, and liked, was adding this element that wasn’t in the movies. Just to see what shakes out differently—and with Tony and with Carol [Danvers] and with Kitty and Venom and Ben Grimm, I thought we were able to do that every time.

Marvel.com: What about the team dynamic did you enjoy writing most? How did you approach the characters differently as time went on?

Brian Michael Bendis: I kind of got it in my head that they’re kind of on a road trip that never ends. They’re in a big RV, or on a tour bus, and the tour never ends—the dynamic of a tour. Traveling with family or traveling with friends—you ever go on a long trip with friends? It’s unique. So I wanted that dynamic to be constant, fighting over food and chairs and where we’re gonna stop and where we’re gonna eat. Just making sure that the life seemed like it was being lived inside that ship in a way that most people can relate to—you get on each other’s nerves, you laugh at stupid stuff, you get the giggles. Just normal traveling stuff. I also like that they all go away from each other for a while too.

It’s a very unique book in how they interact with each other. They are as close to family as anything in comics, but they also have their adventures. Always making sure that it felt like they were living together. There’s a lot of detail in the scripts about what’s in their rooms; Peter’s room is messy, Gamora’s room is perfect—how their lives interact with their environment. It’s a fun part for me.

Marvel.com: And finally, what are your overall thoughts looking back on nearly five years with the Guardians of the Galaxy?

Brian Michael Bendis: When I got the job, I originally came into comics as a crime fiction writer, and the things I was most known for, Daredevil or Jessica Jones, real-world crime fiction, that is what’s been my additive element to comics—my love of this and where my strengths are. So I found myself, just a few years later, writing a talking raccoon book—and dying to do it. That’s the other thing: I wasn’t doing it just to see if I could; I really wanted to do it. And when I got the call to do it, I was so excited because the challenge is enormous. Because, we haven’t mentioned, when I got the book, the book hadn’t been produced for a while. The last volume [before] was considered one of the great standards of Marvel Comics and one of the great runs of all time. The reason that there’s a movie is because of them. Stepping into a book that was already so well-loved among the core fanbase, no matter what I had accomplished in comics, I knew I was going to have to prove myself over time. So I was grateful that I was allowed the chance to do so.

The other thing that has to be mentioned is that there wasn’t one issue of any Guardians book that I had my name on that wasn’t drawn by one of the great talents of this generation of comics. From Steve McNiven, to Sara [Pichelli], to Frank Cho, to Kevin Maguire, and finally with Valerio Schiti—every annual, every special, every tie-in, everything we did had these great artists, including our finale, which is packed full of these awesome artists that I love so much. People just love these characters so much and they love drawing them, so every time you call up anybody in comics and say “Hey, you wanna draw raccoons and trees and spaceships for an issue?” the answer is “Yes I do!” So I was, and will forever be grateful, that the book was so beautiful, and exciting, and poppy on every single page. This book was gorgeous.

I also became very aware, of all the books that I write—and I write some very mainstream books that people have heard of—from the moment that I took the book, all the way through to this weekend at a sleepover that my kids had, if you tell kids that you’re the writer of Guardians of the Galaxy, they crap their pants. And I write Spider-Man and Avengers and Iron Man, but Guardians—my children’s friends stare at me like Rocket Raccoon actually just walked in the door. So, of all the books that are out there right now, I think Guardians is the one that has the most gateway potential. Kids are going to be seeing this and I’m so proud that when they see our stuff, they’re going to be seeing such beautiful comics—because on top of the characters, that’s how people fall in love with the medium. And I hope, when people see Valerio’s work or Steve’s work—and how exciting a visual and inspiring for the imagination it is—that people will find a way to stay with us. So my takeaway is that I’m very happy that the movie took off and that I bet right—because I bet on this a year before the movie came out and I was very happy that it did. But I’m also immensely proud to have put my name on such beautifully illustrated books.

Witness the end of an era with GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #19, by Brian Michael Bendis and artist Valerio Schiti, on April 12!

Read More

As Amadeus Cho arrives on Sakaar, let's look back at the planet once ruled by his predecessor!

Every Friday we use the powers of Marvel Unlimited to look back at the very first appearance of a major character, place or object that made waves this week.

Amadeus Cho intends to avoid many of the same pitfalls that Bruce Banner fell into over the years as Hulk. However, with this week’s INCREDIBLE HULK #710 we see him fully embracing a place that meant a lot to his Jade Giant predecessor: Sakaar.

Back in 2006, the heroes of the Marvel Universe – specifically Iron Man, Reed Richards, Black Bolt and Dr. Strange – got fed up with the Hulk and decided to send him off to a planet where he couldn’t hurt anyone and he could finally get the solace he claimed to want.

Instead, as seen in INCREDIBLE HULK #92 by Greg Pak and Carlo Pagulayan, he got sucked through a strange portal and ended up on a planet called Sakaar where the locals immediately enslaved him and he soon started fighting in a gladiatorial arena. 

Incredible Hulk (1999) #92

Incredible Hulk (1999) #92

What is Marvel Unlimited?

In those battles, Hulk met a group that would become known as the Warbound, who would help him first escape from the Red King and then eventually take over as king himself. Along the way, Hulk fell in love with a Shadow warrior named Caiera, who would have borne him twins, had a catastrophic accident not seemingly killed her. 

Incredible Hulk (1999) #93

Incredible Hulk (1999) #93

What is Marvel Unlimited?

The ship that Hulk’s “friends” sent him off on exploded, apparently by accident, but not. The resulting explosion tore through Caiera and many others, leaving a large chunk of Sakaar in lava-engulfed ruins.

Feeling a rage like none other, Hulk agreed to fly off with his surviving Warbound comrades and return to the true source of his misery: Earth. That story came to fruiting in WORLD WAR HULK, but what of the planet that the Jade Giant left behind? 

World War Hulk (2007) #1

World War Hulk (2007) #1

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Well, as seen in SKAAR: SON OF HULK – simplified to just SON OF HULK on Marvel Unlimited – the planet kept on turning, even giving birth to not one, but two sons of the Green Scar. Skaar hardened himself in battle and even harnessed the full power of the Old Strong that ran through the planet. Meanwhile, Hiro-Kala, the twin, also began experiencing his own trials and tribulations on the harsh planet.

Galactus visited this place. The Silver Surfer had been drawn in by the same portal that grabbed Hulk during the original storyline, but he brought his master there in SKAAR. Thanks to the Old Strong power that flowed through the rock, Surfer figured that its energy could sate his master’s hunger for 10,000 years. Skaar had his own plans, but so did other familiar faces who appeared in an attempt to save the planet.

Now, Amadeus Cho will see exactly how Hulk-like he can be in the place that both gave his namesake his greatest challenge and also one of his most cherished triumphs.

Flash Forward

The history of Sakaar was nicely chronicled in the pages of a one-shot called GLADIATOR GUIDE BOOK. The mostly-text issue goes into great detail about everything from the Tayo Star System that Sakaar inhabits to the geography of the planet. You also get to more fully understand the hierarchy that exists on-planet with the Imperials at the top who subjugate their own kind as well as the insectoid Natives, Shadow People and Spikes. All of these groups and ideas play important parts in Planet Hulk as well as all the ensuing stories set on Sakaar!

Read More

Enjoy the latest episode of the official Marvel podcast, with comics, movies, TV, games, and more!

True Believers, are you watching “Marvel’s The Punisher,” streaming now exclusively on Netflix! Once you’re done binge-racing the series, get yourself cozy with a brand new episode of This Week in Marvel, the official Marvel podcast!

This week’s latest episode of This Week in Marvel is brought to you by Hasbro! Ben, Ryan and Tucker explore this week’s new comics, including DOCTOR STRANGE, HAWKEYE, THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN, and more. Catch up on the latest TV and games news with Christine, Eric and special guest Tim Hernandez (1:07:48). Enjoy another special holiday edition of the Unlimited Reading Club (1:50:46), featuring an exclusive interview with artist Reilly Brown (1:42:32)!

Download episode #316 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! We are now also on Soundcloud! Head over now to our new hub to listen to the full run of This Week in Marvel!

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 Friday (or so) and TWiM is co-hosted by Marvel VP & Executive Editor of Digital Media Ryan “Agent M” Penagos and Marvel Editorial Director of Digital Media Ben Morse, along with Marvel.com Editor Eric Goldman, Marvel.com Assistant Editor Christine Dinh, and Manager of 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 @AgentM@BenJMorse@chrissypedia or @Marvel with the hashtag #ThisWeekinMarvel!

Read More

Scott Koblish on the Merc with a Mouth offing his pseudo-buddy.

On December 13, Deadpool kills Cable. Seriously, we’re talking end of the road, kick the bucket, lights out kind of dead. Sure, Stryfe made him do it, but can you really make Deadpool do something he doesn’t want to? Tune in to find out as writer Gerry Duggan, alongside artist Scott Koblish, reveal all in DESPICABLE DEADPOOL #290.

But wait, this tale packs more than just bestie drama, “I loved when the Dinosaurs poured out and attacked.  I love Dinosaurs,” teases Koblish.

Marvel.com: First off, can you give us the run down on what’s going on in #290?

Scott Koblish: Man, I don’t know if I CAN say what happens in this issue! Gerry, Nick, Joe, Jordan, Annalise, Heather and I worked really hard on this book, and while there are some really intense scenes in this arc, this issue is a particular peak.  It’s not called the DESPICABLE DEADPOOL for nothin’.

Marvel.com: Deadpool seems to jump back and forth across the line separating the morally good and bad. Murdering his buddy is safe to say a bad side move, so how is he dealing with this? Any justification for his actions?

Scott Koblish: You’ll have to make up your own mind if he’s justified in his actions. Wade has to make some really difficult decisions to be made over the next few issues, and even just as reader I am pretty shocked at where Gerry is going with this.

Marvel.com: How would you describe Deadpool and Cable’s relationship?

Scott Koblish: Homicidal.

Marvel.com: What are your 2 or 3 all-time favorite Deadpool and Cable moments, the highest points in their relationship?

Scott Koblish: Each interaction is severely complicated – if I had to pick favorites, I’d say their initial meeting in NEW MUTANTS and killing Hitler.

Marvel.com: What 2 or 3 moments across their relationship stick out to you as particularly gut wrenching, their lowest friendship moments?

Scott Koblish: I kinda feel like it’s NEVER been a good relationship.

Marvel.com: How is the tone of the book translated in the art? 

Scott Koblish: I’ve been working really hard at trying to make the book look as gritty and disturbing – this particular story demanded a rough touch in the art.

DESPICABLE DEADPOOL #290

Marvel.com: Any twists or surprises heading our way that you want to tease?

Scott Koblish: No, too much relies on surprise right now.  Mum’s the word.

Marvel.com: What can we expect for Deadpool moving forward?

Scott Koblish: Awful, awful things.

Catch the final downfall of Deadpool and Cable in DESPICABLE DEADPOOL #290 by writer Gerry Duggan and artist Scott Koblish when it hits shelves on December 13.

Read More

A super-heroic love triangle like no other gets a fantastic start!

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.

Together, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby brought so much to the Marvel Universe, ranging from heroes and villains to iconic locales and whole races. However, they also established a great deal of relationships that remain relevant to this day. We, of course, know all about the connections between the Fantastic Four and even longtime comrades like the Avengers, but Lee and Kirby also established romantic bonds between characters, including the long and complicated one between Sue Storm and Namor!

It all began in 1962’s FANTASTIC FOUR #4 when Reed and Sue blamed Ben for chasing Johnny off in the previous issue. With one of their own flying solo, the other members of the team split up to track him down. Thing found the Torch working on a car with his buddies, but they fought, Ben changed back into his human form and Johnny ran off. After renting a bed at a men’s hotel in the Bowery, the youngest FF member met a man dealing with amnesia who also happened to be super-strong. After a flame-assisted shave, Johnny quickly realized the mystery man’s true identity: Namor, the Sub-Mariner!

To help jog his new friend’s memory, the Torch dropped Namor into the ocean, which brought all of the Golden Age stalwart’ss memories rushing back. Unfortunately for us surface-dwellers, the Sub-Mariner soon discovered that his underwater home had been ravaged by radioactivity left over from nuclear weapons testing. With that, Namor swore to have his revenge on mankind, even blaming Johnny Storm for waking him up to these atrocities. The Human Torch sent up a flare to get his partners’ attention. At that same time, the displaced ruler of Atlantis plunged the ocean’s depths to rouse a whale-like behemoth called Giganto!

Fantastic Four (1961) #4

Fantastic Four (1961) #4

What is Marvel Unlimited?

As the beast laid waste to New York City, The Thing decided to do the only thing that made sense: he strapped a nuclear bomb to his back and walked straight into Giganto’s maw! The plan worked, destroying the monster in the process. Unperturbed, Namor raised his creature-calling horn to summon more when Sue Storm used her invisibility powers to sneak up and snatch the instrument away. Upon seeing the Invisible Girl’s true form, the Sub-Mariner became instantly smitten. He even offered to spare humanity if Sue agreed to marry him. She quickly rebuked his ridiculous offer, which did not sit well with the arrogant king. At that point, Human Torch turned on the turbo jets, creating a cyclone that carried Namor back out to the ocean so he could cool off.

Far from the best meet cute in the history of comics, this initial meeting between Sue and Namor has led not just to further flirtations, but also more than a few alternate realities where the two actually got together and ruled the planet!

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.

Read More

Rodney Barnes details Blackheart and Falcon’s battle for Chicago!

Masquerading as the mayor of Chicago, the demon called Blackheart has declared The Falcon public enemy number one.

On December 13, writer Rodney Barnes and artist Joshua Cassara present FALCON #3! With Sam Wilson on his heels—and his young partner, Rayshaun Lucas, unable to handle the fight alone—how will the Windy City fare?

We caught up with Rodney to find out more.

Marvel.com: Blackheart’s been knocking around for a little while—do you have a favorite appearance?

Rodney Barnes: His first, in DAREDEVIL #270, which, from my hazy recollection, saw Spider-Man and Daredevil fighting Blackheart. There was something dope about heroes associated primarily with foes of a similar strength-level then fighting a demon. Plus the kid version of me thought the name “Blackheart” sounded cool.

Marvel.com: What made him stand out in your eyes?

Rodney Barnes: His look and size were just brutal. Everything about him screamed evil. He can’t be reasoned with and every appearance he made in a storyline confirmed that.

Marvel.com: So what made him the perfect villain for this storyline?

Rodney Barnes: Returning Sam to the street after his high-profile adventures of late had to have meaning. I wanted him to wrestle with his inner demons, but have it play out in a unpredictable way. Blackheart fit the bill because he stands above Sam’s power level, but not so much so that he doesn’t still have to scheme and manipulate to achieve his goals. That meant at some point he’d have match wits with Sam. And there, our hero has the advantage.

Marvel.com: How does he get under Sam’s skin? Does Sam have what it’ll take to battle such a supernatural powerhouse?

Rodney Barnes: Sam has been wrestling with doubts and regrets from both his past and recent events. Demons exploit those dynamics in people and Blackheart continues in this tradition. I believe Sam is bigger than his regrets, but defeating the son of the devil is no simple task.

Marvel.com: How has working with Joshua Cassara been on this story? What do you see as his greatest strengths?

Rodney Barnes: Josh’s art is incredible! I love his ability to go from the gritty urban environment to space, Hell, and everyplace in between. I’m grateful to have him as a partner in this. Plus he put me in a fight scene in issue #3, so he’s earned free dinners for life!

Marvel.com: Last question…might we see Blackheart’s dad anytime soon?

Rodney Barnes: Yes, you’ll see Dad pretty early on, as well as a few other evil devil baddies. Let’s just say one of them doesn’t like being shown up by Sam. There’ll be hell to pay!

FALCON #3, by Rodney Barnes and artist Joshua Cassara, drops on December 13!

Read More

Judy, Christina, Lorraine & Heather chat their picks for this Holiday Gifting Season!

The Women of Marvel bring you the third annual Holiday Gift Guide Podcast! Hosts Judy Stephens, Christina Harrington, Lorraine Cink, & Heather Antos chat their favorite picks for this season! Mixed by Rick Coste.

Listen to the Women of Marvel – Episode 157 now!

Mixed by Rick Coste.

——————–

Christina’s Picks
To Read: X-Men Grand Design #1 by Ed Piskor (on sale 12/20)
To Wear: Thor Winter Hat from Think Geek
To Play: Codenames (Marvel Edition)
To Watch: Marvel’s Punisher on Netflix

Judy’s Picks
To Read: Subscription to Marvel Unlimited
To Wear: Loungefly Backpacks
To Play: Geeki Tikis, Guardians of the Galaxy, including Baby Groot
To Watch: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2, Digital download

Heather’s Picks
To Read: Star Wars: Darth Vader by Kieron Gillen Omnibus
To Wear: Web of the Spider-Man Sweater
To Play: Guardians of the Galaxy TellTale Game
To Watch: Marvel’s Black Panther Trailer

Lorriane’s Picks
To Read: Ultimate Marvel from DK Publishing
To Wear: Her Universe Loki dress
To Play: LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2
To Watch: Hulu Subscription for Marvel’s Runaways

 

——————–

The Women of Marvel podcast assemble to chat all things Marvel and more! New episodes will be released every Thursday, co-hosted by Marvel Director, Content and Character Development Sana Amanat, Marvel.com Producer Judy Stephens, along with Assistant Editor Christina Harrington.

Have feedback or questions? Email us at WomenOf@marvel.com, or tweet your questions and comments to @Marvel with the hashtag #WomenOfMarvel.

 

Read More

Accomplished comics executive's global storytelling and talent vision set to lead the House of Ideas

Marvel Entertainment, the world’s most prominent character-based entertainment company, announced today that C.B. Cebulski has been promoted to Marvel Comics Editor-in-Chief effective November 17, 2017. Former Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso has mutually parted ways with the company. The announcement was made by Dan Buckley, President, Marvel Entertainment.

In his new role, Mr. Cebulski will oversee all day-to-day editorial and creative aspects of Marvel’s publishing division.  This includes driving the overall editorial creative vision, shaping the larger story direction of the Marvel Comics line-up, and bringing to Marvel the world’s best and brightest writers and artists. Additionally, Mr. Cebulski will be furthering Marvel’s efforts to expand the publishing division internationally.

During his more than 15-year tenure at Marvel, Mr. Cebulski has established himself as one of the industry’s top editors, storytellers, and talent recruiters.  His editorial and writing highlights include the hit comic book series, RUNAWAYS by Brian K. Vaughn and Adrian Alphona, and MARVEL FAIRY TALES. He is also a renowned talent recruiter, helping to sign the industry’s top talent including Skottie Young, Adi Granov, Sara Pichelli, Phil Noto, Steve McNiven and Jonathan Hickman, among others.

Over the past 6 years, Mr. Cebulski has been at the forefront of Marvel Entertainment’s global expansion, as both VP, International Development Brand Management and most recently VP, Marvel Brand Management and Development, Asia.  In these roles, he has been instrumental in exploring new opportunities for Marvel in both emerging and established markets. Mr. Cebulski also paved the way for the further globalization of the Marvel Universe — overseeing groundbreaking deals with manga publisher Kodansha in Japan, webcomics platform Daum in Korea and content creator NetEase in China, bringing Marvel to Asian markets through localized stories and characters.  He has also helped introduce fresh new creative styles to the company’s world-renowned Super Hero franchises across comics, animation and games through the recruitment and development of numerous international artists and writers.

“C.B. is one of the most well-known, liked and respected editors and personalities in the comics industry.  He has a keen understanding of the Marvel brand, and knows the importance of publishing within the larger Marvel ecosystem,” said Dan Buckley, President, Marvel Entertainment.  “As our characters continue to reach unprecedented levels of global popularity, we need to ensure our core comic business sets the standard with fresh and compelling graphic storytelling that excites both our longtime fan base and new fans. Marvel has set a high bar for super hero stories for over 75 years, and we believe C.B. is perfectly positioned to take Marvel Comics to new heights.”

Mr. Cebulski takes the helm at Marvel Comics at a time the division continues to dominate the market.  Marvel consistently leads in both market and dollar share, with Marvel comics regularly in the top 5 best-selling in the industry. Over the past five years, comics and collections sales have grown over 30% in the direct market and 60% in the book market. He is inheriting a buzzed about line-up of high-profile initiatives including Marvel Legacy, Venom’s 30th Anniversary, and the AVENGERS: NO SURRENDER weekly series.

Additionally, Mr. Cebulski will be tasked with bringing his global perspective to his new role.  He will be working closely with comics partners like Panini, NetEase, Daum and Kodansha to expand the everyday Marvel Comics experience for fans across the world.

“Spending these last 18 months in Asia, and introducing more fans here to the depth of the Marvel Universe, I’ve seen firsthand how our comics and characters constantly bring joy into people’s lives all over the world. I hope to continue capturing that creative magic here at home, and deliver inspirational and entertaining stories that are true to the classic Marvel DNA, but built with an expanding global mindset.”

Mr. Cebulski is relocating from Shanghai to New York.

C.B. Cebulski

About Marvel

Marvel Entertainment, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is one of the world’s most prominent character-based entertainment companies, built on a proven library of more than 8,000 characters featured in a variety of media over seventy-five years.  Marvel utilizes its character franchises in entertainment, licensing and publishing.  For more information visit marvel.com. ©2017 MARVEL

For media inquiries, please contact:

Timothy Cheng
Marvel Entertainment
tcheng@marvel.com

212-576-8500

Read More

Rainbow Rowell on how things have changed when Molly makes her way back to the team.

Make way for the princess… Princess Powerful that is. Molly Hayes returns to the RUNAWAYS comic thanks to writer Rainbow Rowell and artist Kris Anka. Similar to Karolina Dean, Molly enjoys a normal life, getting to be a real kid, when her old teammates show up out of the blue. Will the youngest Runaway leave the comfort of middle school and the warm embrace of her grandmother or will she tell her close friends to take a hike?

Marvel.com spoke with Rainbow Rowell to try and get a grip on the “Powerful” reunion coming up in RUNAWAYS #4.

Marvel.com: We recently discussed Karolina Dean living a normal life at college. Where do we find Molly in life right now?

Rainbow Rowell: Molly is living with her grandma in the Hollywood Hills. She’s back in school – the seventh grade – and she’s loving life. She plays soccer, she plays tuba, she has lots of friends … She has a real home again. Her own room, her own stuff. Pets. She’s gotten a second-chance at a more normal childhood.

Marvel.com: Molly was the youngest Runaway at the time of the original series. How has she matured since then?

Rainbow Rowell: Well, she’s 13 now. So she’s entering that space between childhood and adulthood. I think Molly has always had a strong sense of self. (We’ve seen her tell Wolverine and the Avengers to get packing.) But she’s becoming an even better advocate for herself and for what she wants in life.

Marvel.com: As a mutant, is she facing any discrimination from the world at large?

Rainbow Rowell: I don’t think so. Molly’s power isn’t evident when you look at her. So most people at school don’t know her complete identity.

Marvel.com: I don’t think many of us knew she had a grandmother. What can you tell us about her? Is she actually related to Molly? 

Rainbow Rowell: I don’t think Molly’s extended family has been mentioned before. That’s true of most of the Runaways. Nico goes to a cousin’s wedding, Chase has a mysterious uncle… But we don’t really know much about their families beyond their parents. So this is a new character. And yes, she’s Molly’s blood relative. What we know so far is that she lives in the Hollywood Hills – and she’s really happy to have Molly back in her life.

Marvel.com: Molly was named one of the toughest women in the MU just a few years ago. How will we see her toughness on display in this issue?

Rainbow Rowell: In this issue, we’ll see a lot of emotional toughness – resilience. Despite everything that Molly has been through, she’s found home again with her grandmother. She’s still able to let people into her heart. My favorite part of this issue was reuniting Molly and Gert. Molly never made peace with Gert’s death. Now Gert is back – and closer to Molly’s age. They get to have a different kind of friendship.

You can pick up Runaways #4, from Rainbow Rowell and Kris Anka, on December 13.

Read More

Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon bring Frank back to basics!

Get fired up for the November 17 debut of “Marvel’s The Punisher” on Netflix by exploring some of Frank Castle’s darkest, deadliest moments.

Nearly 30 years after his first appearance, it seemed as though The Punisher had seen and done it all. He began as a pawn of The Jackal, then went on to become the scourge of the underworld and the driving force behind three ongoing series throughout the ‘80s and early ‘90s. Despite this success, he fell slightly out of favor (compared to the highs of his heyday), during the late 1990s.

Then came writer Garth Ennis and artist Steve Dillon, launching Frank Castle into a new era of storytelling. Their first 12 issue run on THE PUNISHER kicked off in 2000 and quickly become one of the most popular Marvel Knights books around.

Punisher (2000) #1

Punisher (2000) #1

  • Published: April 01, 2000
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: October 24, 2007
What is Marvel Unlimited?

As retribution his past deeds, a group of angels briefly showed Frank his family in heaven before casting him back to Earth. “The angels thought it would be hell for me. But they were wrong,” Frank grimaced—Ennis’ way of saying that readers would be in for a whole different level of insanity with this new take on the character!

Frank got to work cleaning up the city, bringing him into contact with a wild and memorable group of characters, from the people in the building he lived in, to the hapless Detective Soap, to enemies like Ma Gnucci and The Russian.

Punisher (2000) #2

Punisher (2000) #2

  • Published: May 10, 2000
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: October 24, 2008
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Presented with the perfect level of action, humor, and violent insanity for a character like The Punisher, Ennis and Dillon excelled at putting this one man army into situations that seemed impossible to escape—and having him come out on top. A classic underdog, their version of The Punisher also had a serious mean streak.

Despite this, it’s important to see how Castle separates himself from the other lunatics that inhabit his world. Upon meeting vigilantes like The Holy, Elite, and Payback, Punisher identified them as wildly reckless with innocent lives. He immediately refused their offer to lead their squad…and then opened fire.

Punisher (2000) #3

Punisher (2000) #3

  • Published: June 10, 2000
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: October 24, 2008
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Ennis and Dillon then launched the PUNISHER ongoing series in 2001 under the Marvel Knights umbrella, which continued their brilliant take on the character with other artists like Tom Mandrake and John McCrea. In 2006, the title moved to the Marvel MAX imprint, where it ran for another 75 issues.

War Journal

Written by Christopher Golden and Tom Sniegoski with art by legendary horror artist Bernie Wrightson, the 1998 PUNISHER series kicked off with a confused Punisher living in the streets and giving help to those who needed it most. This interpretation of Frank, however, boasted glowing eyes, a strange symbol on his forehead, and the ability to pull any gun imaginable out of his trench coat! He got these perfectly Punisher mystical abilities by once being resurrected by an angel in order to continue fighting criminals, and now demons, alike.

Read More