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!

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New Jersey’s newest super hero takes a trip to the City to see a man about some therapy.

The client, requested an appointment under the name Laal Khanjeer — the apparent Erdu phrase for Red Dagger, the name he has been using as a costumed identity here in the States — but allowed the therapist to call him Kareem in session – no surname provided. He presented as a late adolescent to early young adult male in above average physical fitness. While he declined to name exactly where he came from, he did submit that he was a foreign national on American soil on a short-term basis.

He confessed that he did not intend to engage in costumed actions while abroad but a combination of the mystique of the New York City area and the inspiration of fellow super hero Ms. Marvel made the lure of doing so irresistible. He has found himself stunned, excited, and more than a little scared of how quickly the local media has embraced and elevated him. He also confesses a degree of guilt because he feels as though he has eclipsed Ms. Marvel despite all the good she has done and that she is “a real super hero, I’m just athletic.” He is especially worried his popularity might have something to do with her recent apparent disappearance.

In addition to his conflicted feelings about his costumed identity, he also indicated some difficulties transitioning to life overseas. While there have been no charged incidents that he indicated, just being away from home and in an environment that he has heard has been less than kind towards people that look and sound like him has him on edge. Also, he confessed, he is worried about making friends and fitting in with his new classmates for however long his time in the U.S. lasts.

Ms. Marvel (2015) #24

Ms. Marvel (2015) #24

This writer validated the client’s feelings extensively and reinforced how normal and natural it was to feel unmoored during a time of transition, to worry about how others might see or view him based only on his appearance and immigrant status, and to miss his home.

I also validated his concerns regarding being treated as the new, exciting costumed crime fighter in a way that might make Ms. Marvel feel slighted while also reminding him he cannot take responsibility for how others might treat the two of them. As long as he is honest about his role in activities and tries to give her credit where she is due – both to her personally and through the press should he choose to speak to them – then he is doing right by her.

Finally, I confessed to him there were some nuances of his culture I was not familiar with and did not want to make him feel unheard or misheard because any lack of cultural competency on my part. I offered him options, pledging I would strive to study up on whatever he thought important and ask questions in the moment if I did not grasp some aspect of what he was discussing, but that I could also offer him a therapist with whom he might share more commonalities.

We hit upon a compromise wherein he would do another intake style session with Doctors G. Willow Wilson and Nico Leon on December 20 and then evaluate from there. Details of that session will be found in the file labeled MS. MARVEL #25.

Psy D. Candidate Tim Stevens is a Staff Therapist who could help stop a moving train if he wanted to, but he’s super busy this week.

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Ed Piskor tackles the unprecedented uncanny project!

On December 20, X-MEN: GRAND DESIGN #1 chronicles the greatest and most important moments in X-Men history—from origins, to battles, to heroes and villains.

Written and illustrated by Eisner Award winner Ed Piskor, this monumental assignment will provide a brand new look at some of mutantkind’s most iconic moments.

We got Ed’s perspective on what to expect from X-MEN: GRAND DESIGN.

Marvel.com: Since we’re talking history here, tell us how this series came about.

Ed Piskor: I tweeted that I wanted to do this exact comic and attached a compelling illustration of the lineage of the X-Men team. The image and tweet went viral and then Marvel came calling. I’m a fully-formed cartoonist who handles all the aspects of the creation, which basically means I’m a built-in comics-making factory with a million ideas. If I’m going to do any work-for-hire, the requirement is that it has to be a dream project or else I’ll just work on my own stuff. This X-Men comic absolutely falls into the category of “dream project.”

Marvel.com: Where do you begin with a project like this? How did you start to quantify everything you needed to cover across the history of the X-Men?

Ed Piskor: The most important thing with this, or any kind of project, begins with putting things down on paper. The common misconception of the audience tends to be that what they’re looking at is the creator’s first draft or something. In truth, the end result that the public gets to see, in my case at least, is probably a fifth or sixth draft. The liberation of making stories is that it doesn’t have to be right the first time. In fact, the first draft is usually trash but what comes from that is the more fun challenge of problem-solving rather than just staring at white sheets of blank paper.

Thankfully, I have a pretty in depth knowledge of this material so it just became a matter of curating things in a certain order and retooling things to fit my narrative as needed.

Marvel.com: Do you feel there’s an overarching story or theme in this series?

Ed Piskor: Sure. The overarching theme is the basic theme that’s always been there: here stands a new form of human evolution and the bulk of the population fears them. Now, the really fun thing will be that with each issue, a very natural arc takes place—which I didn’t necessarily anticipate. I’d want the reader to pick up on those themes themselves. It’s not an X-Men comic if you don’t have the dynamics between Charles Xavier and Magneto, for instance. The Phoenix left an indelible mark on the saga. Things like this.

Marvel.com: Did any characters stand out to you over the course of this book?

Ed Piskor: The characters of my comic act as a component piece to the bigger picture, the “Grand Design,” if you will. As I’ve just reached beyond the halfway mark of my epic, I do hate to admit how much I identify with Cyclops as a character. I think of him as a Type A square with a one track mind which focuses on being an X-Man. I focus my square Type A energy on making the best comics I can, seven days a week.

Marvel.com: Likewise, did you get to highlight any X-character that maybe has gotten short-shrift over the years?

Ed Piskor: Not specifically, but I did retool some characters to get them to fit into the greater narrative a little better. Eric the Red’s first appearance in the regular series never worked for me. Introducing Alex Summers so late never worked for me. Having Changeling be human cannon fodder disguised as Professor X never worked for me. The more I talk with readers, those comics never worked will for them either.

Marvel.com: How does being both the writer and artist for X-MEN: GRAND DESIGN benefit you most?

Ed Piskor: The benefits of handling everything, including lettering and coloring, is that each page exists as a living document until the very last moment the editor takes it from my hands and presses the buttons to make the comic see print. I rewrite text throughout the process to make things better. I redraw panels and stitch them in later to make things better. I recolor things at the last minute to just add a touch of polish that the reader won’t know about, but it all makes the end product a much better experience.

Marvel.com: What parts of X-Men history does issue #1 cover?

Ed Piskor: The first issue covers the origins of the X-Men. I take all of the established origin stuff that slowly got revealed through the first 280 issues and it’s all in this first issue. Now, the second issue will cover UNCANNY X-MEN #1 through issue #64 or so—whenever the series went into reprints for a few years.

Marvel.com: Rumor has it that this will be the first in a trilogy. What will the other two series cover?

Ed Piskor: Think of X-MEN: GRAND DESIGN as a series of three two-issue arcs. This next set will include the X-Men team that includes Colossus, Nightcrawler, Storm, and Wolverine—among many others—and covers GIANT-SIZE X-MEN and way beyond, ending around the first X-MEN: LIFEDEATH story. The last arc begins with Rachel Summers introduction, the return of Jean Grey and it ends in a clever way that I won’t reveal, but I think it will create in incredibly satisfying, self-contained epic which will also inspire readers to dig deeper into X-Men lore. It’s very exciting.

X-MEN: GRAND DESIGN #1, by Ed Piskor, drops on December 20!

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Jack Kirby launches The Black Panther on another wild journey!

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 many ways, Jack Kirby acted as one of the best tour guides around. In addition to introducing readers to new and exciting characters, he also took us to some of the wildest places across the Marvel Universe. In the late 70s, while writing, drawing and editing BLACK PANTHER, he spirited fans to a relic-filled tomb, a new nation called Narobia, and on to the glorious Samurai City.

After returning King Solomon’s Frogs to their rightful place in the tomb, T’Challa intended to leave his new acquaintances Mr. Abner Little and Princess Zanda to pursue other adventures. However, fate—and Kirby—had other plans in mind as our hero found himself battling a Sacred Samurai at the end of BLACK PANTHER #4. Zanda and her Collector allies soon revealed all of this as a test to see if the Panther proved strong enough to go to the secret samurai city and bring back the Sacred Water-Skin.

T’Challa turned them down at first, but by issue #5 he agreed to travel to the fabled city only after Zanda threatened to fire a nuclear missile at Wakanda! With that, the king and Mr. Little ventured out in a hover-craft. As they neared the secret city, though, unknown forces blasted them out of the sky! Upon landing, they first faced the peril of a raging river and then the ferocity of a yeti! Both men attempted to take the beast on in their own way, but only walked away victorious after working together. However, that safety proved short lived as they then came face to face with a Ronin named Akiro who threatened their very lives.

Black Panther (1977) #4

Black Panther (1977) #4

  • Published: July 10, 1977
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: September 17, 2008
  • Writer: Jack Kirby
  • Penciller: Jack Kirby
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Once again, Little and T’Challa proved a resourceful duo and defeated their foe. Afterwards, Little grabbed the Ronin’s sword. Upon waking up, the warrior revealed that his defeat should lead to his death. However, Black Panther told him that the Wakandan code forbade killing an unarmed enemy. To figure out what to do next, all entered the magnificent, underground Samurai City. To make good, the Panther met with their leader Shinzu and returned the Ronin’s sword to him in hopes of restoring his one-time opponent’s honor. To do so, the mysterious overlord decreed that T’Challa must fight another in hand-to-hand combat. Abner tried arranging it so that, if our hero won, they’d get a sample of the water of immortality, but the Wakanda king declined these machinations.

Unperturbed, Mr. Little used this distraction to sneak off and grab some long life liquid for himself. This affront to the denizens of Samurai City did not sit well and lead to yet another confrontation between the outsiders and their hosts. In the final issue of the story—#7—T’Challa revealed his true title of king, returned the stolen water, and requested a peaceful exit from Samurai City which Shinzu granted. Of course, their adventures would continue from there, but that tale will have to wait for another day…

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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Amilcar Pinna helps bring back Gen X alumni as part of Marvel Legacy!

Marvel Legacy continues to reintroduce concepts and characters that have played important parts during the House of Ideas’ storied history. When it comes to GENERATION X that means that Jubilee’s crew of outsider mutants will come face to face with their 90s namesakes.

In other words, writer Christina Strain and artist Amilcar Pinna plan to reintroduce many OG Gen Xers—like Monet, Husk, Chamber and a few other surprises—as they continue with the story began earlier this month in GENERATION X #8. As the book picks up its classic numbering with December 20’s issue #85, everyone will be dealing with M-Plate, the combined might of siblings Monet and Emplate.

We talked with Pinna about integrating the classic characters into the series, returning to work with Strain, and using the “natural approach” to drawing these characters together.

Marvel.com: You worked with Christina to launch this series, working on the first three issues. How is it returning after some time away?

Amilcar Pinna: It feels good to be back. These characters have a special place in my heart now! I love drawing those kids!

Marvel.com: As the book shifts into Marvel Legacy territory, you’ll also be dealing with members of the original Generation X team. How has it been working them into the book?

Amilcar Pinna: It’s been really fun for me to have the opportunity to draw such classic characters!

Marvel.com: The classic Generation X members have had a variety of looks over the years. What was the process like for nailing down the ones this time around?

Amilcar Pinna: I did try to stay faithful to the classic looks and at the same time give them a more “natural approach” since almost every time [we see them] they wear regular clothes instead of classic spandex uniforms.

Marvel.com: A major part of the story revolves around the bonding of Monet to Emplate. How does this new relationship between the siblings change how they carry themselves?

Amilcar Pinna: Actually, I’m getting to know Monet/Emplate as I work on GENERATION X—such cool characters! They are new to me. All that I can say is that I love to draw that type of character. Monet gives a darker mood to the series and I like that!

Marvel.com: How has it been integrating the classic Gen Xers with the new crop?

Amilcar Pinna: Christina makes it seem very natural, integrating them with her writing. The relationships between the new and the classic [characters] always [work] fine and natural for me.

Kick it old school with Christina Strain and Amilcar Pinna on GENERATION X #85, headed your way December 20!

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Tom Taylor details Laura’s return to the place where it all began!

Laura Kinney has followed the Orphans of X to the Facility—the place where, as a child, she got tortured and programmed to be an assassin. And upon her arrival, she discovered her mother…alive.

Her mother—the woman Laura thought she accidentally killed years ago. On December 13, writer Tom Taylor and artist Juann Cabal test our hero like never before in ALL-NEW WOLVERINE #28!

We spoke with Tom about what to expect from this devastating family reunion.

Marvel.com: Catch us up on what’s been going down in the “Orphans of X” storyline so far!

Tom Taylor: Daken has been blown up, taken by the mysterious Orphans of X, and then tortured for information. His arm has been found—without the rest of him attached—dangling from a bridge on Roosevelt Island. Laura and Gabby were alerted to this arm and a note attached to it brought Laura back to the Facility, where she got tortured and turned into an assassin as a child. But Laura didn’t find Daken in this place full of painful memories, she found…her mother.

But Laura’s mother, Sarah, died at Laura’s unwilling hand years ago. Now the tortured Daken, the confused Laura, and the previously thought dead Sarah Kinney have been placed on a collision course.

Marvel.com: How does artist Juann Cabal capture the complex emotional tenor of this story?

Tom Taylor: What Juann and [colorist] Nolan Woodard did with those scenes at the Facility blew me away. You see so much going on, and Juann adds to it in beautiful ways. But this can be said of the whole arc. I think, as a team, we’ve all worked to lift this story to another level, and editors Mark Paniccia and Christina Harrington are right there with us. Terry and Rachel Dodson‘s cover to issue #28 has become one of my favorites, too.

Marvel.com: How has Laura’s relationship with Daken evolved in recent times?

Tom Taylor: Laura and Daken have had a fractious and violent history, but they have grown close over the years. Logan’s death has drawn them slightly closer as well. Daken has very little respect for anyone, but he clearly respects Laura. They’ve gone from rivals to siblings.

Marvel.com: Can you tell us anything about the Orphans of X?

Tom Taylor: All I can say is they clearly hate Laura and Daken with a passion. And they have means and numbers. Issue #28 will reveal a lot more.

Marvel.com: Laura has tried so hard to put her past behind her—how does she feel about being forced to re-live it?

Tom Taylor: Laura won’t have a lot of time to think about reliving her past in this issue. Everything escalates here, and Laura and company will need to react very quickly. But this also isn’t just about Laura’s past…this is about Daken’s as well. A life of violence and death can’t simply be ignored.

Marvel.com: How does an empathetic character like Laura handle a group that has such hatred of her and her family? Will she try to reach out to them, or will this be the mission that gets her killing again?

Tom Taylor: I don’t want to spoil that just yet…but there will be a lot of challenges coming Laura’s way. And this is certainly our most violent story.

Grab ALL-NEW WOLVERINE #28, by Tom Taylor and artist Juann Cabal, on December 13!

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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

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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

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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.

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