Christopher Hastings goes down a wormhole with the tiniest Guardian!

Don’t call him a sapling! He may be 1/12th his usual size, but he’s still the universe’s most powerful walking, talking tree. He is Groot!

Alone at the far side of the cosmos, unable to find the rest of the Guardians, and really, really small—that’s where we’ll find the galaxy’s most lovable piece of timber on May 24 with the start of the brand-new series I AM GROOT!

With writer Christopher Hastings and artist Flaviano at the helm, the three-word wonder jumps headfirst into his own adventure as an underdeveloped, unintelligible, and very unlikely hero. To find out more, we spoke with Hastings about the difficulties—and unexpected benefits—of writing Groot.

Marvel.com: What’s the greatest challenge of writing Groot given his signature three word limit?

Christopher Hastings: Well that’s the challenge right there, he can’t quite express complex ideas the same way w’’re used to with the fancy language we communicate with every day. But with some body language, and the occasional assist from another character in the book translating for him, Groot can communicate all the base level important stuff we need in a story.

Marvel.com: And since there’s nothing else like it in comics, what’s the greatest advantage that Groot’s linguistic style brings to a story?

Christopher Hastings: It is a great relief to drop the need for a snappy protagonist who always has the right zinger. But that’s just for me! I’d say in the story, it is nice to change the focus to physicality, to non-verbal expression. Comics is a visual medium after all, so I like to see a character communicate in a purely visual fashion.

I Am Groot #2 cover by Marco D’Alfonso

Marvel.com: He might not say much, but he has such a defined personality. How would you describe Groot’s characteristics as this series begins?

Christopher Hastings: He’s a kid who is just enjoying being a kid. Now, he’s doing that in the most hazardous conditions that space adventure would suggest, so it causes a good amount of trouble. He gets separated from the Guardians, and he’s scared and alone in a place where nobody can understand him, that draws out a few characters that are pretty hostile to Groot for reasons unknown. So he’s still really impulsive, and curious and just running all over the place, but he’s trying to figure out how to get home.

Marvel.com: One of the greatest elements of any Groot story is witnessing other characters interact with—and attempt to understand—Groot. So who might we see hanging with the tree in this new series? How would you describe the dynamic they bring to the book?

Christopher Hastings: Groot’s first ally is some kind of alien dog’s head on a robot body named Buddy, because who doesn’t love a doggie buddy, especially in space? Buddy’s helpful, but dim, frustrating Groot’s issues with communication. Later on we meet Dhamsus, kind of a Ron Swanson type space farmer/ice elemental, and Diplatessa, a woman split into multiple versions of herself at different points in life. They all want to help Groot, and find that Groot awakens them out of a sort of complacency they had on this dead and corrupted world Groot lands on. Each one of them ties into the mystery of the planet’s past, and its key to reuniting Groot with the Guardians.

Also there’s a swarm of shape shifting robots set out to trick and capture Groot at every turn. They’re creepy!

I AM GROOT #1, by writer Christopher Hastings and artist Flaviano, is available this week on May 24, with issue #2 following June 28!

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Look back at some classic adventures set in the Land of the Rising Sun!

CABLE #2—due out June 28—finds our hero traveling back in time to feudal Japan in pursuit of a mysterious adversary! Marvel heroes have a long history of traveling to Asia’s island nation, so take a look back at five other stories set in the land of the rising sun.

Wolverine (1982) #1

Wolverine (1982) #1

What is Marvel Unlimited?
WOLVERINE
Wolverine stories could easily dominate any list of the best comics set in Japan, so let’s start with the “best there is”—the original WOLVERINE #1-4, by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller. One of Marvel’s first limited series redefined the character as he traveled to Japan to find his long-lost love, Mariko Yashida. Shingen, her crimelord father, forced her to marry one of his stooges, which did not set well with Logan. Miller and colorist Glynis Oliver provide ninja fights amidst the neon lights of Tokyo, making this not only the must-read Wolverine tale, but also one of the quintessential works within comics as a whole.

Fantastic Four/Iron Man: Big in Japan (2005) #1

Fantastic Four/Iron Man: Big in Japan (2005) #1

What is Marvel Unlimited?
FANTASTIC FOUR & IRON MAN
While action and drama typically drive Wolverine’s journeys to Japan, “fun” fueled this comic by Zeb Wells and the late Seth Fisher.  The Fantastic Four head abroad for a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Tokyo’s new Giant Monster Museum and Expo Center, when—you guessed it—giant monsters attack. Luckily Iron Man also had business in the area and joined the fray. Fisher created each monster as a dedicated work of art for an insanely delightful story that never lets up.

Big Hero 6 (2008) #1

Big Hero 6 (2008) #1

What is Marvel Unlimited?
BIG HERO SIX
Before jumping to the big screen, Hiro, Baymax and the rest of the team starred in two different series: one by Scott Lobdell and Gus Vasquez in 1998, and another by Chris Claremont and David Nakayama in 2008. When the Japanese government decides they need their own team of heroes, they recruit Silver Samurai, Honey Lemon, and the rest of the crew, who battle the likes of Everwraith and Yandroth.

5 Ronin (2010) #1

5 Ronin (2010) #1

What is Marvel Unlimited?
5 RONIN
The 2011 series 5 RONIN recast Hulk, Wolverine, Deadpool, Punisher, and Psylocke as master-less samurai living in 17th century Japan. Featuring the work of Peter Milligan and a variety of artists, including covers by David Aja, each issue told the story of one of the five characters, whose destines became interlinked as they sought revenge against the dreaded Damiyo.

Punisher War Journal (1988) #8

Punisher War Journal (1988) #8

  • Published: September 10, 1989
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: May 27, 2010
What is Marvel Unlimited?
THE PUNISHER
Back in 1989, Carl Potts and Jim Lee introduced The Punisher to a group called the Shadowmasters, who graduated from PUNISHER WAR JOURNAL into their own series. This ancient clan of martial arts masters protected the province of Iga, and Punisher came into contact with one of them, Kathryn Yakamoto, who helped him infiltrate a ninja camp run by a shady American corporation. Later Frank Castle and Black Widow teamed up with them again against the Sunrise Society, a Japanese business used as a cover for a crime syndicate.

Travel to Japan once more with CABLE #2 by James Robinson and Carlos Pacheco!

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Baron Zemo, The Red Skull and more vie for ultimate control!

For years, Hydra has lurked in the shadows of the Marvel Universe, a corrupting influence that taxed even the greatest of heroes. With the group scoring their greatest victory in Secret Empire, we take a look back at the History of Hydra…

Turmoil gripped what once stood as the world’s most fearsome terror group when its creator, Baron Wolfgang von Strucker, seemed dead and gone for good. In his wake, some of the worst villains in history lined up to take their turn at trying to forge a Hydra that might withstand any assault, and any inner strife.

First came the Hydra Queen, who rallied former members to join with new soldiers and wash away the taint of the old failures. Captain America put down her insurrection, and though she appeared to be defeated, the Queen rose up again to grasp at the organization’s reins, but to no avail.

Baron Zemo, son of the World War II despot, took up the leadership of Hydra again and schemed to not only infiltrate Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and attack them from within, but to do what once ranked as an unthinkable thing in Hydra: recruit lowly Inhumans to do his bidding. After creating a toxin that would sterilize human beings, Zemo suffered defeat at the hands of the new Captain America, Sam Wilson, and Steve Rogers’ son Nomad.

With no leader, Hydra lost valuable intel on its workings to a deal between Sam Wilson and a genius hacker. This information led Captain America and S.H.I.E.L.D, to nearly completely eliminate the group from the face of the planet. The Gorgon, once a high-ranking Hydra leader, directed a cell to kill all super heroes, but he too fell beneath S.H.I.E.L.D.’s unstoppable drive to sever every head and every limb they could uncover.

Captain America: Steve Rogers (2016) #2

Captain America: Steve Rogers (2016) #2

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Enter The Red Skull, arguably one of the catalysts of Strucker’s original impetus to create Hydra. With a wish to re-embrace his former Nazi beliefs, the villain began to assemble yet another new Hydra from white supremacists and other like-minded individuals and instituted outgoing assaults on civilians in public, both in the United States and Europe. Though as heinous a program as ever for the group, the Skull’s real evil manifested in his most devious operation ever: the complete rewriting of Steve Rogers’ personal history to place him not as the world’s greatest champion, but a Hydra agent bent on bringing its goals and tenets to the people of the world.

Whether or not the Red Skull—and Captain America—will finally succeed in the ultimate win for Hydra remains to be seen.

Check Out: CAPTAIN AMERICA #5, ALL-NEW CAPTAIN AMERICA #16, CAPTAIN AMERICA: SAM WILSON #4, AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. #56, CAPTAIN AMERICA: STEVE ROGERS #112

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Peter Parker gives up his crime-fighting career!

Celebrate the Wall Crawler’s return to the big screen in “Spider-Man: Homecoming” by heading back to school with these adventures available on Marvel Unlimited!

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #50 by Stan Lee and John Romita started off like many of the issues that came before, with the title hero making short work of a bunch of wannabe thieves. However, the 1967 comic took more than a few wild turns before the last page. Even though he saved a man and woman from the robbery, the former still worried about the masked man’s presence thanks to all the mud J. Jonah Jameson slung his way. Clearly it bothered the young hero as he thought, “The public! The more I help them…the more they hate me!” after changing back into his civvies.

Just as he arrived at the apartment he shared with Harry Osborn, Peter got terrible news that Aunt May had taken ill. Feeling guilty about not being around when she needed him, Peter let May get some rest and headed back into the world—but of course, he couldn’t focus. The stress led to a worried night that distracted him from studying for a big exam the next day. He also had to turn down an invitation to Gwen Stacy’s party and questioned whether he really knew Mary Jane Watson that well or not!

Wracked with guilt and feeling unappreciated and even hated because of Jameson’s most recent tirade against him, Spidey took to the streets, wandering around and trying to figure out what to do with his life. Ultimately he decided to literally trash his Spider-Man costume and move on! Of course, the suit soon made its way to Jameson’s office at the Daily Bugle and he made a huge deal about playing such an integral part in getting the Webslinger to apparently quit the vigilante business.

Even though he didn’t appreciate Jameson framing his old costume and putting it up in his office, Parker still felt pretty good about leaving the life behind at first. He even got to ostensibly quit his photog gig to focus on school. He spent time with Gwen, Mary Jane ,and Aunt May, which made him feel good about his decision.

However, nature and bad guys abhor a vacuum, so with the hero out of the picture, Kingpin kicked off a crime wave that threatened to wipe the whole city away. Pete thought about running off to help, but remembered he’d quit. Later, though, he couldn’t let a mugging go by without jumping in to help. He then remembered how his lack of effort lead to Uncle Ben’s death and made a pledge to return to his alternate identity.

Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #50

Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #50

  • Published: July 10, 1967
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
  • Penciller: John Romita
What is Marvel Unlimited?

“I can never renounce my Spider-Man identity! I can never fail to use the powers which a mysterious destiny has seen fit to give me! No matter how unbearable the burden may be…no matter how great my personal sacrifice…I can never permit one innocent being to come to harm…because Spider-Man failed to act…and I swear that I never will!”

With that, Peter scaled the Daily Bugle building, broke into JJJ’s office, donned the costume, waited around to rub it in the old walrus’ face and swung off to take on the Kingpin in the next issue!

A Tangled Web

After Alistair Smythe accidentally killed Marla Jameson while aiming for her husband, Spider-Man took that pledge from AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #50 up to another level. In AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #655 by Dan Slott and Marcos Martin, Peter first attended Marla’s funeral and then suffered through a gut-wrenching nightmare. With a new outlook, he climbed up and made a new vow to the world: “I’m done,” he said. “Done accepting things the way they are. I swear to you…from now on…whenever I’m around, wherever I am…no one dies!” That theme became a huge one for the rest of Slott’s run on that volume and on through to the current one.

The Wall Crawler tries to deal with Kingpin’s plans and a crisis on campus in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #68 from 1969.

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

We’ve got a brand new episode of This Week in Marvel, presented by Loot Crate, to help you kick off the weekend!

Ryan and Ben give you the rundown on this week’s comics hottest releases including LUKE CAGE, GENERATION X, and more! We’ve also got a West Coast news from Marc, Christine, with special guest Tim Hernandez to talk about “LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2” (1:20:16); a Secret Empire update from Alanna Smith (1:06:37); and Unlimited Reading Club featuring INHUMANS (1:27:46)!

Be sure to join our next #TWIMURC where we have both coasts tackle X-Cutioner’s Song Pt. 1! Keep your eyes on Marvel Unlimited and share your thoughts with us using the hashtag #TWIMURC!

Loot Crate has assembled the Marvel Gear and Goods crate for the ultimate Marvel fan. This crate features official Marvel items like collectible home goods, apparel and more every other month! Order your own Marvel Gear and Goods crate by heading to lootcrate.com/MarvelGear and use promo code “MARVELPOD” to save $3 on your subscription today.

Download episode #290 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 Thursday (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 Marc Strom, 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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Cue the montage as Al Ewing’s team battles back from the brink!

In U.S.AVENGERS #6—available now—the tenuous situation of the team quickly descended into outright bad. Divided from each other, under assault, some of their own members being turned against them, this squad of heroes faces if not their darkest hour, the prelude to it, for certain.

But we know that you cannot keep a good group down. That it always seems darkest before the dawn. That rally caps really do work. So we sought out writer Al Ewing to tell us what difficulties his squad must best to cancel their personal apocalypse in U.S.AVENGERS #7, coming June 21.

“It’s very difficult to talk about the exact challenges the team will be facing over the course of the next couple of months, and how they’ll get out of them, without getting deep into spoiler territory,” Ewing admits. “But I’ll do my best to drop some hints.”

ROBERTO DA COSTA – CITIZEN V

“Roberto’s had it relatively easy lately,” argues the writer. “There’s been no challenge he hasn’t been able to overcome. But that was when he was a free agent in total command of his forces. Now A.I.M. is part of S.H.I.E.L.D., and when the Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. is secretly HYDRA, that’s bad news. As we saw in #6, Roberto and A.I.M. have lost big—and in the process, Roberto was shot by a treacherous subordinate. Never mind bouncing back, is he even alive?”


TONI HO – IRON PATRIOT

“As we’ve seen, Toni’s been building bigger and bigger suits of armor—from something relatively reasonable in issue #1, to the behemoth in issue #3, and in issue #6 we saw it’s gotten completely out of control,” Ewing points out. “Pretty soon, we’re going to see how useful all this big armor actually is. The question is, what happens once it’s taken away? And when she’s in a position where she’s got to rebuild from nothing, will she follow Tony Stark’s path or the road of her late father, Professor Yinsen?”


SAM GUTHRIE – CANNONBALL

“As we saw in #6, Cannonball is absolutely dead,” the writer promises. “Dead, dead, dead. We never even saw the body, so that’s how you know he’s dead. And even if, by some freak accident, he managed to survive…well, he’s probably lost in space and very likely in an extreme form of trouble that we’ll find out about over the course of months before the team has to embark on some kind of ‘Search For Sam’ that takes them into a wild adventure. But what are the chances of that? He’s dead as a doornail.”

GEN. ROBERT L. MAVERICK – RED HULK

“The General’s been chafing against his limited brand of Hulk powers for a little while now; as a government-issue Hulk,’ he’s not quite the powerhouse he thought his ‘Hulk plug-in’ genetic treatment would make him,” says Ewing. “He turns back to human at bad moments, and then has to wait over a day for his next transformation. Fortunately, science just discovered a means of making him a Hulk 24/7. Unfortunately, it’s HYDRA science. What happens when Maverick is forced to stay a Hulk for far, far longer than his body was meant to take?”

AIKKU JOKINEN – ENIGMA

“So far, Aikku’s only ever been part of a team,” the writer reminds. “In fact, as Pod, she was a team of one, bonded to an alien ‘planetary [defense] system’ that died saving her life. She’s always had the rest of the U.S.Avengers to rely on. Even her personal life revolves around the team, as she met her current girlfriend, Toni, from inside the Pod suit. So what happens when she’s torn away from the team—from all her friends, bar Doreen—and flung all the way to Europe, where the international wing of HYDRA is causing havoc on the streets of Paris? Can she go it alone?  Who can she turn to for help?”

DOREEN GREEN – SQUIRREL GIRL

“Squirrel Girl faces the challenge of fighting some bad guys,” Ewing reveals. “Will she beat the bad guys? She usually does, admittedly, but it’s always possible that this is the time she won’t. I mean, we killed off Cannonball.”

Find out who might be next to fall in U.S.AVENGERS #7, brought your way June 21 by Al Ewing and artist Paco Medina!

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Horror master R.L. Stine talks his time with Marvel’s swamp monster!

He’s big, he’s slimy, and he’s coming to a silver screen near you—if he doesn’t scare all the kids away first. I’m talking about Man-Thing, the disgusting swamp monster leaving trails of slime in Marvel comics since the early 1970s.

Recently, however, we find this heinous dripping pile of muck in his own limited series penned by one of the great masters of horror, R.L. Stine of “Goosebumps” fame, who felt the time right to inject some humor into the adventures of the misunderstood, reality-hopping creature

As we near the fifth and final issue of MAN-THING on June 21, Stine—a self-proclaimed man without fear—looks back on his intimidating inspirations, helping Sallis find his voice—literally—and the close connection between blood, guts, and laughs.

Marvel.com: We’re two issues away from the finale of this series. How are you gearing up for the conclusion to this MAN-THING saga?

R.L. Stine: Well, I always have to have my ending first so I had an ending in mind from the beginning. The five [issues] are all done, actually. [Issue #4], actually, is the best, I think. I think #4 is the funniest, but I got him in this mess. He’s gone after Oldfather, and so he’s in this thing with all the realities and so I love doing stuff like that because I can do anything. If you can do any reality and have reality changing all the time it’s actually very freeing, you can do all kinds of things.

Marvel.com: Should we, as the readers, be bracing for an epic “Goosebumps”-level twist that will shatter our psyches and chill us to the bone?

R.L. Stine: [Laughs] Well, you know, I tried to make the whole series funnier because he’s such a hideous character. He has to be maybe the ugliest character Marvel has, which is one of the main reasons I picked him when they give me a [list] of characters that they weren’t using and said, “Which one would you like to do?” and I happen to love swamp monsters and he was just so ugly I had to pick him. But yes, there is a major twist at the end. You know, like all “Goosebumps” books there’s a happy ending, they all have happy endings, but then after the happy ending, there’s something pretty terrible [Laughs].

Marvel.com: I’m looking forward to it and I’m glad you brought up your affinity for swamp monsters because you’ve dealt with disgusting, dripping monstrosities in the past with “Monster Blood,” King Jellyjam, “The Blob That Ate Everyone”…

R.L. Stine: I actually did a “Goosebumps” book last year called “Here Comes The Shaggedy” and it was a swamp monster book.

Marvel.com: Well, that kind of segues into my next question, which is did Man-Thing prove to be different from the rest of these creatures and if so, how?

R.L. Stine: Well he did in that he has more of backstory and I felt the backstory was really good. And I think we recapped it in the first [issue] of mine where Ted Sallis, this brilliant scientist, is trying to keep this serum from the army so he injects himself with it and then turns himself into this creature. In the old series, he couldn’t really speak or anything, but I wanted him to be kind of funny and sarcastic about it, about how horrible he looks and he’s so eager trying to get back to human [form] so for most of it, I gave him back his powers of speech.

Marvel.com: Man-Thing, as a character, has influenced writers like Neil Gaiman in the past. Did any other properties play important roles in your writing career or have repercussions on this series?

R.L. Stine: When I was a kid, I was obsessed with the EC horror comics, Tales from the Crypt and The Vault of Horror. I was just obsessed with them and I think they were incredibly influential on what I do because, as you know, they’re horrifying, right? They’re really disgusting, horrifying things and they all have a funny twist ending, every story. That kind of stayed with me so I think they were very important to me. Also, I didn’t really know that much about Man-Thing. I had to learn so I read all the old [ones] that [writer] Steve Gerber did. I really liked those a lot and then that was very helpful to me.

Marvel.com: And other than being a disgusting swamp monster, what attributes do you think make Man-Thing a perfect subject for horror?

R.L. Stine: The fact that he’s an outsider, for one thing. There’s no way he can be accepted anywhere. In the first MAN-THING he says, “Why can’t I have a movie? Every other Marvel character has a movie.” And he tries to have a Hollywood career, but he [screen] tests so terribly because he’s so ugly and he scares the kids. And so, I think being an outsider is part of it and just being so limited in a way in what he can do. I think that’s a real challenge too.

Man-Thing #5 cover by Tyler Crook

Marvel.com: As someone who is comfortable writing within the horror genre, did anything end up scaring you when you were working on this comic?

R.L. Stine: Never.

Marvel.com: [Laughs]

R.L. Stine: It never happens. I wonder if it happens to other writers. I don’t know. There’s something missing in my brain in that horror never scares me. Any horror always makes me laugh. Seriously, the scariest Stephen King, the most disgusting, creepiest…“Pet Sematary,” for example. Those books make me laugh and I’ve never been scared by a movie. People say to me, “Oh, your book was so scary, I was up all night, I had to leave the lights on.” I’ve never had that feeling. I don’t know why, but I’ve just never had it. I think there’s a very close connection between humor and horror, there’s sort of the same visceral reaction. When you jump out at somebody and say, “BOO!” they gasp at first and then they laugh. I think it’s very closely connected. One other reason that I can never get scared from what I’m writing is I plan it all first, I do complete outlines of every book I write so I already know what’s gonna happen [Laughs], I can’t scare myself.

Marvel.com: You brought up your love of Tales from the Crypt. I love the idea of bonus back-up anthology scary stories at the end of each issue.

R.L. Stine: Those were fun for me. Originally, when [editor] Katie Kubert called me and said, “Would you like to do something for Marvel?” and I said, “Yeah! It’s sort of a lifelong dream, I’m finally getting around to it,” and at first, I was going to do just the straight, old fashioned type horror comic with two or three stories like that. But then I thought, “Gee, it’d be a lot more fun to just play with a Marvel character too.” So I got to do both and it was terrific.

Marvel.com: That’s awesome. Where did that idea for these stories come from? It’s a very “Twilight Zone”/Rod Serling/Crypt Keeper sort of thing…

R.L. Stine: Yeah, that’s just what it was supposed to be so I say that’s what we thought first, that would be a good thing to do and then I thought, “Oh, come on! Take one of these characters and put a little story in the back.”

Marvel.com: Are there any other Marvel you’re interested in tackling?

R.L. Stine: I have to think about that one; I would love to do some of the sillier ones like Ant-Man, ones that you could have sort of a satirical view with.

Marvel.com: And any other characters you think are kind of suited for horror or scary stories?

 R.L. Stine: Well actually, they all could be. There [are] elements of horror in a lot of Marvel stuff.

Prepare to be scared with MAN-THING #4—out May 31—and the grand finale, MAN-THING #5—available June 21—both from R.L. Stine and artist German Peralta!

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Comics' top creators forge the future of the Marvel Universe this August!

Once upon a time, a kid from New York City picked up a shield and charged into battle…A prodigal son lifted a sacred hammer and proved himself worthy…And an arrogant genius forged an armor that would harness his true potential. Together, they became some of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and ushered in the age of marvels! This August, prepare for Marvel’s GENERATIONS, but…what is the startling secret that ties them all together?

GENERATIONSbrings together Miles Morales and Peter Parker, Laura Kinney and Logan, Amadeus Cho and Bruce Banner, plus more, and illuminates the path that all these heroes will take into the future for a thrilling quest unlike anything seen in the Marvel Universe before.

A colossal collaboration of today’s greatest creators, Marvel’s GENERATIONS continues the evolution of the Marvel Universe as the new class of heroes stand shoulder to shoulder with those who have trail blazed their legacy.

Running August to September, this 10-issue series put to the test in this universe-wide team-up that will shed light on the most pressing questions about the future of the Marvel Universe, and the fate of everyone’s favorite heroes.

August On Sale

GENERATIONS: THE STRONGEST starring Bruce Banner and Amadeus Cho, the Totally Awesome Hulk
Written by Greg Pak
Art by Matteo Buffagni

GENERATIONS: THE PHOENIX starring The Phoenix and Jean Grey
Written by Cullen Bunn
Art by RB Silva

GENERATIONS: THE BEST starring Wolverine and All-New Wolverine
Written by Tom Taylor
Art by Ramon Rosanas

GENERATIONS: THE THUNDER starring The Mighty Thor and The Unworthy Thor
Written by Jason Aaron
Art by Mahmud Asrar

GENERATIONS: THE ARCHERS starring Hawkeyes, Clint Barton and Kate Bishop
Written by Kelly Thompson
Art by Stefano Raffaele

September On Sale

GENERATIONS: THE BRAVEST starring Captain Mar-Vell and Captain Marvel
Written by Margie Stohl
Art by Brent Schoonover

GENERATIONS: THE MARVELS starring Captain Marvel and Ms. Marvel
Written by G. Willow Wilson

GENERATIONS: THE IRON starring Iron Man and Ironheart
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Marco Rudy

GENERATIONS: THE SPIDERS starring Peter Parker: Spider-Man and Miles Morales: Spider-Man
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Ramon Perez

GENERATIONS: THE AMERICAS starring Steve Rogers: Captain America and Sam Wilson: Captain America
Written by Nick Spencer
Art by Paul Renaud

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She might lead Generation X today, but she got her start in a mall!

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.

She’s been an X-Man, a New Warrior, a mom, and a vampire, and now Jubilation Lee serves as the leader of a group of mutant misfits in the pages of GENERATION X by Christina Strain and Amilcar Pinna. Before all that, though, she started as a homeless mall rat with mutant powers showing off to small crowds in the pages of UNCANNY X-MEN #244 by Chris Claremont and Marc Silvestri. Unlike some of her fellow mutants, she seemed to know exactly what her mutant ability entailed, namely the power to control “articulate, quasi-animate, transitory plasmoids.”

Not everyone at the Hollywood Mall enjoyed her displays, though, especially the security guards who patrolled the place. She gave them the old razzle-dazzle before announcing her code name and then tumbling her way out. Thanks to interference run by nearby skaters and some more impressive acrobatics, she got away. All of this made the head rent-a-cop so mad that he called in a group of mutant hunters called M Squad.

Uncanny X-Men (1963) #244

Uncanny X-Men (1963) #244

What is Marvel Unlimited?

At this time, the X-Men lived in the Australian outback, an arrangement that seemed to grate on more than a few members. To help alleviate the stress of devoting their entire lives to saving a world that hates and fears them, Dazzler, Storm, Rogue, and Psylocke decided to go shopping at the very same establishment that Jubilee previously parlayed her powers thanks to a portal provided by Gateway.

After a bit of shopping fun, the X-Women retired to a joint called Hotbods, which triggered an alarm on the hapless M Squad’s equipment. First, they ran into Jubilee though and fired on her, which drew the attention of our heroines. They made short work of the goons and had Gateway open up another portal home, but Jubilee jumped through to join them in the next issue!

Over the years, Jubilee went from new kid on the block—and Wolverine’s protégé—to the experienced member of the original Generation X team. Since then she’s served on her fair share of X-Squads, but lost her powers on M-Day. After trying to use tech to recreate those abilities, she got turned into a vampire by Xarus instead.

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With some help from her friends she’s gotten the vampirism under control and even adopted a baby named Shogo who will go on to become a great hero, at least in one possible future. Now she’s juggling all that while playing mentor to some of the more fringe students at the Xavier Institute for Mutant Education and Outreach located in New York City’s Central Park.

Flash Forward

Jubilee jumped onto the comic scene in 1989, making her one of the marquee teen characters of the franchise when the “X-Men” animated series launched on Fox in 1992. The show even used her as the point of view character for the audience, basing part of the first two-part episode, “Night of the Sentinels,” around her. Much like in her first comic appearance, she started out in a mall, though this time Sentinels broke in and attacked. Also, the entire X-Men team jumped in to save her. Over the course of the show’s five-season run, Jubilee became an integral part, even mirroring her comic relationship with Wolverine.

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The Inhumans set course for the Kree’s shattered planet for a reunion with Ronan!

Hala has been visited by much tragedy over the years. Most recently, the planet became basically uninhabitable leaving only Ronan the Accuser to keep silent watch over his shattered former sphere of residence.

For many that survived Hala’s recent destruction, one group stands out amongst all others as being key in the world’s destruction: the Inhumans. Ronan certainly would count himself amongst those with that opinion.

So just imagine the awkwardness that will ensue when ROYALS #4 hits this June 21, bringing the Inhuman ruling family back to the desolate globe that formerly served as Kree homeworld. And if that might be galling enough to Ronan all on its own, wouldn’t you just know that they have come to ask for a favor?

We found writer Al Ewing hiding in the game room upstairs looking to avoid the squabbles and asked him for the latest Kree-Inhuman gossip.

Marvel.com: The connection between the Inhumans and the Kree is a long-standing “fact” of the Marvel Universe. However, there hasn’t been much of that story told. What is your take on their historic relationship? How are things between them before this issue?

Al Ewing: Things are not great. A short and simple version of the history is that Black Bolt and company came to the Kree Empire, took it over, and then later went off to pursue their own projects, leaving Ronan and Crystal in charge. Ronan resurrected a version of the Supreme Intelligence, The Supremor, who promptly declared war on the Inhumans and the Earth, whereupon Ronan quit to be with Crystal.

Unfortunately, a peace treaty between the Kree and the Inhumans required Ronan to separate from Crystal and go back into the Supremor’s service. Crystal basically agreed to that, out of a sense of duty to both races and over Ronan’s objections. And after that, Hala was destroyed and Supremor with it. And in the same incident, Ronan got cosmic powers from a magic mirror. And here we are.

So, to answer your question…the relationship isn’t all it could be.

Marvel.com: Regardless of the past, Hala is a very “hot spot” especially between the Kree and the Boltagons specifically. Why return to what is, essentially, the scene of the crime?

Al Ewing: Hala contains some buried knowledge—a piece of history pertaining to the Kree and the Inhumans both, a lost secret of Terrigen. Bringing it to the surface will let the Royals know if it’s possible for them to bring the Inhumans back to their former glory, and whether they can atone for their own crimes in the process.

Meanwhile, for Ronan, Hala is a planet-wide graveyard, a sacred place. He doesn’t like visitors at the best of times and especially not these visitors.

Marvel.com: How are dynamics changed by Maximus being present, not Black Bolt?

Al Ewing: If Black Bolt was there, he’d probably be the target of Ronan’s wrath. He’s responsible. He conquered the Kree, he chose to abandon them, and it was his diktat that tore Ronan and Crystal out of their happy place and [sent] Ronan back to serve a monster.

Maximus doesn’t figure so much on [Ronan’s] radar. He was the weaponsmith, the court jester, and the occasional traitor, but in Ronan’s eyes he’s never been the important one. So Ronan will probably leave him on the back burner and concentrate on other targets. Whether Maximus will feel the same, I don’t know. Ronan did play a big part in his parents getting killed.

Royals #4 cover by Jonboy Meyers

Marvel.com: Ronan’s connection with the Inhumans is especially complex. What is his reaction to seeing them again? How does it make Crystal feel to encounter her partner in a failed arranged union?

Al Ewing: Ronan’s not in a very good mental state when he sees them again. He’s angry, he’s sick with grief, he’s looking for someone to blame. His immediate reaction is to get hold of them for a little chat, as only a cosmic-powered Accuser of the Kree can do.

As for him and Crystal, they’ve got a lot to talk about. From Ronan’s point of view, he blames her, because it was her decision to effectively annul their marriage—a marriage that had gone from mutually-agreed convenience without any intimacy, to a full-on actual true-love connection—and he’s bound that up with a lot of other stuff he’s going through.

Crystal’s in a different place. She’s got responsibilities to the Inhumans, to her child from a previous marriage, to her home planet. There’s been just as much running from one crisis to the next for her as for him, but she’s managed to move on in a way that he hasn’t. What that means when they’re in a room together? I don’t know. I guess we’ll all find out.

Marvel.com: This marks the first full issue with Thony Silas on art. What does he bring to the book?

Al Ewing: Thony’s got a good style for these issues—shadowy, a little sinister in places. Plus he does great things with [previous artist Jonboy Meyers’] character designs for the book. I really enjoyed his work on issue #3, and he came up with a layout suggestion for a particular bit in #4 that I’m kicking myself a little for not thinking of [first]. It’s going to be nice to see out this first arc with him.

Marvel.com: Why is this a cannot miss capture in the evolving relationship of the Inhumans to the larger Marvel U?

Al Ewing: There’s a thing readers should understand with this book: we’re not doing business in the normal way. There will be no tie-ins until we get back to Earth. We’re self-contained, telling our own story, beholden to nobody, and we’re on a trip out to the far reaches of Marvel Space, and we’re going to come back changed, and carrying something very special with us.

And then we’re going to see what the other two books have been doing, and what they’re bringing to the party. And we’ll see what happens when we put it all together and shake it around a little.

Maybe it’ll turn to gold. Maybe it’ll explode. I honestly have no idea, but I do know that it’s not the job of the Inhumans to ever be predictable. So…I guess we’ll all find out together.

Al Ewing and Thony Silas reunite Ronan with ROYALS in issue #4 on June 21!

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