Writer David Walker gets into the head of the original Hero for Hire!

Can’t get enough Luke Cage? The man with unbreakable skin heads down south to the bayou in his own self-titled solo series starting May 17.

Hot off his run on POWER MAN AND IRON FIST, writer David F. Walker teams with artist Nelson Blake II to take a deeper look into the toughened Hero for Hire as he revisits his past in the form of the scientist who gave him his powers.

But not everything remains as Luke remembers it, according to Walker, who spoke with us about his old school influences for this comic, using super hero action to its fullest potential, and the significance of tax season on Luke’s story.

Marvel.com: When thinking about writing your take of Luke Cage did you go back to the drawing board so-to-speak? What parts of his origin did you consider most important when crafting the story?

David F. Walker: That’s a good question. I mean, the most well-known version of his origin is, I think, the most important. The fact that there’s a guy who’s in prison for a crime he didn’t commit and then he got experimented on while he was in prison and it’s that basic nuts and bolts of it. And obviously that story itself hasn’t been told nearly as many times as Peter Parker getting bit by the radioactive spider or Bruce Banner being exposed to gamma rays, but now, with the Netflix show, his origin has become more ingrained in the public consciousness, but there’s so many details that you can fill in because it hasn’t been told a thousand times, over and over again. And so yeah, it’s that very basic nuts and bolts that I’m playing with and that I draw from and then I just start building upon that.

Marvel.com: How did you want to tell his origin story in a way that caught up newcomers to the character while keeping it fresh for longtime fans?

David F. Walker: Stuff like this has become trickier now with films and TV because someone will watch all [13] episodes of the show on Netflix or they’ll watch a movie and suddenly they’re an expert in the character, even though that character may have been around for 40 or 50 years and then you have the hardcore fans and you have the new fans or the new readers who might not be familiar in either capacity so it’s about trying to find that balance and for me, that balance lies really in the core of his character and making his personality interesting enough that people will engage with him, you know? Like if there’s people who are upset that he’s not wearing the metal headband—and it’s a headband, it’s not a tiara—then [they] didn’t really like the character. It’s like when people argue over “Who’s the best James Bond?” Is it Sean Connery? Is it Daniel Craig? Is it…most people don’t say Roger Moore, but it’s like, well, James Bond is James Bond and it’s not so much the actor who’s playing him as it’s the stories in the movies themselves. And so, it’s always about playing with that character and making sure that there’s enough to that character, to his personality that, whether someone is a long term fan going back 40 years, whether it’s someone who discovered him during NEW AVENGERS very recently, whether it’s someone who only knows him from the show—you take all of those into consideration, you throw em’ into a big pot, you make a stew, but you add just the right spices so that the flavor works for as many people as possible. But for some people, they’ll go, “Oh, there’s too much pepper” or “There’s too much salt” or whatever it is and those are the people you just kinda go, “Huh, well we tried! Maybe next issue!”

Marvel.com: Luke was very much a product of his time when he first debuted back in the early ‘70s at the height of the Blaxploitation era. Will we be getting some of these groovy old school vibes in your series?

David F. Walker: Yeah there’s some—I tried to play with some of that with POWER MAN AND IRON FIST. [There have been] a couple of interviews over the years with different creators, including, I seem to recall reading something about Archie Goodwin and what his influences were with creating Luke Cage and to me, what’s interesting is that I’m a huge Blaxploitation fan. Honestly, you’re not gonna find anyone who’s a bigger Blaxploitation fan than me; I’ve written a book about it and I made a documentary about it and I’ve given college lectures on it. I know more about that than I know about comics, actually and so the interesting [thing] to me is that Luke Cage is actually more a product of the writing of Chester Himes whose work predates Blaxploitation by 10-20 years and I’ve read enough Chester Himes that when I’m going back and re-reading the early issues of [LUKE CAGE, HERO FOR HIRE] from the ‘70s, [I say], “Oh yeah, this is total Chester Himes more than anything out of Blaxploitation” because Chester Himes created this very stylized and surreal world that almost looked like the real world, but it wasn’t like the real world and so you go back to one of the driving ideologies behind Marvel is, “The world right outside your window,” but it really isn’t the world right outside your window, right? That’s what Chester Himes did in his writing and to me, it’s so clear and it’s so obvious and in Chester Himes books, “Blind Man with a Pistol” and “A Rage in Harlem” and “For Love of Imabelle” and books like that—and his “Harlem Detective” series—they’re this weird mix of hardboiled noir thrillers and just also a dash of the surreal and comedy. That’s really what I wanted to go for with LUKE CAGE and sure, there’s some Blaxploitation elements in it.

Marvel.com: You’ve gone on record as saying the Netflix series was one of your influences for this comic. What elements of this version of Luke’s story, in terms of the show, really caught your attention?

David F. Walker: Well, the thing I like about the Netflix show a lot was that it went a long way to humanize Luke and I give all credit to the writers and the producers of that show. The original LUKE CAGE comics read like they were written by a white man who had very little experience or relationships with black folks, it’s a fact. And the thing about the TV show, as I was watching it, there were scenes where I was like, “Yeah, yeah a black person wrote this scene” or “It was written by a white person who has spent every waking moment of their life with black people” [Laughs]. And so there was obviously a huge element of the fantastic and there’s a lot of “over-the-topness” to the show and there was aspects of the show that were very much entrenched in the super hero tropes, but there’s a humanity to Luke Cage on the TV show, but honestly he didn’t start getting [humanized] in comics until sometime around the time he showed up in ALIAS or NEW AVENGERS and that’s the biggest influence that the show’s had on me and what a lot of people don’t realize is that we were developing the POWER MAN AND IRON FIST comic series before the Netflix show debuted; the Netflix show debuted October 2016 and by that point I think we were like maybe six or seven issues into our run on the comic and there was no back and forth between us and the show so how I developed that character for POWER MAN AND IRON FIST, a lot of it was just obvious like “It’s obvious!” like [show runner] Cheo Hodari Coker and the rest of the writing staff [for the TV show] had read the same books I’d read and watched the same movies I’d watched and listened to the same music that I listen to and there was a very serendipitous amount of coincidences in how that version of the character turned out and how the comic book of that character turned out and so when I saw the show, more than anything, it validated a lot of the beliefs and a lot of what I was pushing for with the comic and with the character in that [I said], “Yeah, this is gonna work, we can show him this way and that he shouldn’t be a guy who’s just about getting into fist fights” because as much as I love those original books from the ‘70s, every issue it’s, Oh, here’s in a fist fight with a D-level villain that hardly anybody knows or a Z-level villain [Laughs] specific to his world and that’s [how] we [got] like Cockroach Hamilton and Piranha Jones and people like that.

Marvel.com: You also said you want to show a Luke who’s not punching the stuffing out of people all the time. Can you talk a little more about that?

David F. Walker: Yeah, I mean I’m just old, you know? [Laughs] I grew up watching action movies before Michael Bay movies were considered action movies. So to me, an action movie is like something from the ‘70s like “The Taking of Pelham One Two Three,” the original version from 1974, or even “The French Connection” or “Bullit,” going back to the ‘60s. These are movies that I grew up on, that I love and if you were to sit down and clock out the number of minutes that are actual car chases and fights, they’re fairly brief. If you had a two-hour movie, there might’ve been 15 minutes of hardcore action whereas now, you watch a movie like “John Wick,” which I love, don’t get me wrong, but it’s mostly action and I’m more of a story guy so to me, when I read a comic, I don’t need to see, whether it’s Spider-Man or Daredevil or Hulk, I don’t need any of these characters fighting for six and seven pages out of an issue that’s only 20 pages of content. With the exception of, I’m thinking of one or two action sequences that really stand out in my mind—I’m in my late forties, so I’ve been reading comics for over 40 years and the one action sequence that stands out in my mind more than any other is [DAREDEVIL #181] where Bullseye kills Elektra. That’s the most powerful action sequence and that stands out in my mind, but when I think of all the other moments that stand out in my mind in the history of comics with all the comics that I’ve read, absolutely none of them are action moments, they’re all character-defining moments. There’s the issue of FANTASTIC FOUR where Sue Storm is pregnant and she loses the baby. There’s the trial of Galactus. A lot of that stuff was really compelling and I think for a lot of us, we think of super heroes when we think of men or women in these weird suits beating the crap out of each other and that’s cool for a little bit, but even with the movies, some of the best moments in the movies aren’t the action. And so to me, it’s like I know my dream comic would actually be boring because I’ve written my dream comic and reading over it I was like, “Well this is boring” and that was just some character sitting around talking, but it is tough, finding that balance, that right ratio of action to moving the story forward and a fight doesn’t necessarily move the story forward. Mayhem and destruction does not move the story forward.

Marvel.com: The first issue of this ongoing series revolves around the death of the scientist who helped give Luke his unbreakable skin, Doctor Noah Burstein. How does Luke feel about revisiting his past? 

David F. Walker: Obviously it’s a difficult time for him because he’s resisting his past while mourning this person who was really pivotal to him, but the story’s also about him realizing that his past isn’t exactly what he thought it was and that he isn’t exactly who he thought he was. He isn’t who he thinks he is and Burstein isn’t who [Luke] thought he was. It’s playing with the notions of what happens when, as an adult, you start to see your parents in a very different way, you start to look at them through the eyes of an adult, as opposed to the eyes of a child, which is how you saw them growing up and so it’s playing with that in a much more exaggerated, super heroic sort of way, but it’s like that moment you first get a bill from the IRS and you’re like, “Oh, this is what my mom was always freaking out about every March and April. Now I get it! Now that I’m paying the taxes I understand.” It’s all that sort of stuff; it’s what it’s like the first time that you go grocery shopping on your own with your own money or the first time you get a pay check and you look and you see how much the taxes have been taken out—I’m going back to taxes because it’s tax time right now and that’s part of what this is about for me. It’s really [Luke] looking at his own past through the eyes of an adult as an adult. What so many of us do is look at our past and we get caught up in the nostalgia. There’s no nostalgia. This is Luke having his nostalgia ripped away from him.

Marvel.com: And how does changing the setting from New York to New Orleans change that dynamic of who he is and what he does fighting or otherwise?

David F. Walker: It just puts him in a really uncomfortable, foreign environment where he doesn’t know anybody and he doesn’t necessarily know who to turn to. If I had set the story in New York, the moment something bad goes down, he can get on the phone and he can call his wife [Jessica Jones] or he can call Iron Fist or he can call Spider-Man or Daredevil or, you know, he was a member of the Avengers [Laughs], but you put him in a place that’s completely foreign to him and it throws his game off. One of my favorite movies of all time is a movie called “The Third Man,” directed by Carol Reed based on a book by Graham Greene and it’s all about a guy who’s completely out of his element and then on top of that, there’s something sinister going on and so, he shows up in Vienna for one reason and everything goes wrong and there’s nowhere to turn and even where he turns he doesn’t know, can I trust this person? Can I trust this person? I would have to say that my two single biggest influences in this first story arc of LUKE CAGE is “The Third Man” followed closely by Robert Altman’s “The Long Goodbye,” which is an adaptation of a Raymond Chandler novel so it’s really “The Third Man” and “The Long Goodbye,” those two movies, I watch them regularly anyway, and I was like, “Ok, I love the themes that they’re playing with,” the past is not exactly [as] we remember and people aren’t exactly who we think they are and if the past isn’t exactly how we remember it, then the people that we care about aren’t exactly who we think they are, then what does that say about who we are?

Marvel.com: How will this solo Luke differ from the one you portrayed in your POWER MAN AND IRON FIST run?

David F. Walker: After 17 issues of stories [with] him teamed with Iron Fist, which [had] a lot of serious stuff, but was also very light-hearted I was like, “Well, you did that. Now let’s try something different” and [Marvel] Editorial was in agreement with me and we talked about it and it was like, I don’t wanna be known as the guy who only wrote Luke Cage stories that were a little more comedic and light-hearted; I wanted to explore something different and I knew going in that what I wanted to explore with this character wasn’t gonna lend itself to a lot of the humor that we had in POWER MAN AND IRON FIST.

Marvel.com: I can’t wait to read the first issue next month!

David F. Walker: Yeah. Less than a month…I just saw a bunch of the art for issue #2 and yeah, it’s comin’ together. I’m having a fun time writing it and I hope people enjoy it. You give it your all and to me, the greatest part of writing comics is the moment you see what you’ve written translated into art. There’s nothing better than that and if that’s all I had to do, I would actually be the happiest guy in the world [Laughs].

David Walker and Nelson Blake II revisit the past and forge the future in LUKE CAGE #1 on May 17!

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

Prepare for the holiday weekend with an extra serving of This Week in Marvel, the official Marvel podcast!

Ryan, Ben and Tucker give you the rundown on all of this week’s hottest comics releases including THANOS, ALL-NEW WOLVERINE, SILVER SABLE AND THE WILD PACK, and tons more! Tucker and Maggie deliver breaking X-Men news with the X-editors (1:13:11). Head on over to the West Coast where Eric and Christine give you the latest TV and film news (1:31:58).We close everything out with your questions and comments (1:45:02)!

Download episode #317 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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Spidey hits an Amazing milestone, as Venom makes his big debut.

For over 50 years, Spider-Man has been a sensational standout in the Marvel Universe, and this year, the web-slinger swings onto the silver screen once more in “Spider-Man: Homecoming”! In celebration of his memorable history, we present Spidey’s spectacular step-by-step story!

A deeply disturbed Dr. Octopus, overcome with a psychosis about Spider-Man, wreaked havoc in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #296 until the wallcrawler allowed Ock to beat him in battle in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #297. Spidey’s rematch with the Sin-Eater in PETER PARKER, THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #134, along with a shocking surprise from Electro in SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #135, led to the Sin-Eater’s death at the hand of the police in SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #136.

Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man (1976) #134

Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man (1976) #134

The all-seeing Watcher bet on the webslinger’s role in a football game in WEB OF SPIDER-MAN #34, Peter Parker took a gig as a substitute teacher in WEB OF SPIDER-MAN #35, and a student accidentally transformed into Phreak in WEB OF SPIDER-MAN #36. Later, the so-called Life Foundation sent Chance to kill our hero in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #298, but their subsequent team-up in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #299 brought down the Foundation.

The webslinger’s discarded alien costume merged with an angry Eddie Brock and debuted as Venom in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #300, prompting Mary Jane to convince Peter to return full-time to his old red-and-blue fighting togs. A new Tarantula hit the scene in SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #137 and a replacement Captain America sided with the crook against Spidey in SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #138. Our hero helped Dakota North on a case in WEB OF SPIDER-MAN #37, while the Hobgoblin returned in WEB OF SPIDER-MAN #38, as did the Looter in WEB OF SPIDER-MAN #39.

Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #300

Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #300

  • Published: May 10, 1988
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: May 26, 2008
What is Marvel Unlimited?

The wallcrawler took on a neo-Nazi with Silver Sable in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #301, considered a job offer in Kansas in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #302, and ultimately decided to head back to school for a degree in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #303. Robbie Robertson confronted the murderous Tombstone in SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #139, but Spidey took over when Robbie landed in the hospital from the criminal’s tender mercies in SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #140.

The Punisher took up the fight against Tombstone in SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #141, while Spidey agonized over the fact of Robbie’s withholding of evidence from the police in his past. Ultimately, the webslinger brought Tombstone to justice in SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #142, but Robbie needed to face his own crime, too.

Peter’s old friend Betty Leeds joined a cult called the Students of Love in WEB OF SPIDER-MAN #40 and Spidey tried to rescue her in WEB OF SPIDER-MAN #41, but it came down to Flash Thompson to make the real effort to save her in WEB OF SPIDER-MAN #42, and work with the webslinger to deprogram Betty in WEB OF SPIDER-MAN #43.

Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #305

Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #305

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Heading to California to promote his new book of Spider-Man photos in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #304, Peter donned the webs to once more take on the Black Fox there, then learned of the Prowler’s participation in the program in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #305. The Persuader gained control of the Punisher in SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #143 to kill the Lobo Brothers, and later Spidey fought Boomerang in San Diego in SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #144 and SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #145.

Our hero puzzled over a new case with the Humbug and the Chameleon in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #306 and AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #307, then rushed to Las Vegas for a booksigning in WEB OF SPIDER-MAN #44, as well as a rendezvous with the Vulture out in the desert in WEB OF SPIDER-MAN #45.

Web of Spider-Man (1985) #45

Web of Spider-Man (1985) #45

Someone kidnapped Mary Jane in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #308, forcing Spidey onto a dark path to find her. That path led him into a confrontation with Styx and Stone in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #309 and a surprising save by an escaped Mary Jane herself. The tussle with Killer Shrike and the Tinkerer on the ESU campus in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #310 seemed almost tame in comparison to that adventure.

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New writer Justin Jordan on what's next for Kei.

Justin Jordan plans to make his Marvel with a crazy kaiju party in the pages of MONSTERS UNLEASHED starting this December. This series will mark the writer’s first ongoing work at the House of Ideas after spending the past several years building a name for himself around the industry.

Jordan takes over for Cullen Bunn who wrote the initial five issue limited series as well as the first eight installments of the ongoing. For his first story arc, called Learning Curve, he’ll be joined by Francesco Gaston for MONSTERS UNLEASHED #9, available December 20, as Kei and company take on super-sized bees, while Bachan will plunge them into the ocean depths with MONSTERS UNLEASHED #10.

We talk with Jordan about taking on something of a lighter book, taking over for Bunn and working with a variety of different artists!

Marvel.com: What appeals to you as a writer about taking over MONSTERS UNLEASHED?

Justin Jordan: You know, I think it’s that I get to write something fun. I tend to gravitate towards darker and grimmer stuff, so writing something where both the book and the characters are optimistic and fun is actually a nice change. Not that I don’t love my grimdark, mind you, but I don’t get to flex my fun muscles in books very often.

Marvel.com: With a few exceptions, these are all relatively new characters. Does that make jumping on a book like this more or less challenging?

Justin Jordan: Kind of both, which is a terrifically useless non-answer. On one hand, there’s only one version of these characters. If I were writing, say, Captain America, he’s been written by so many people for so long that people have lots of different versions in their heads. And that adds to the weight of expectations. Likewise, there’s a crap ton of research. So in that respect, this is less challenging.

The flipside is that because Kei and the kaiju have basically just been written by Cullen, it’s kind of nerve-wracking to be the next writer. Because that is a very specific version of the character, and so I want to write a character who is definitely the same kid, but not just doing exactly what Cullen did. Which is it’s own sort of challenge.

Monsters Unleashed #9

Marvel.com: There’s an interesting approach with your first batch of issues in that different artists will be drawing each installment. Does that change how you approach a script at all?

Justin Jordan: It does. I try to, as best I can, write for the artist. I’ve been lucky that I’ve known before the script stage who the artist was going to be, and I’ve been able to write towards that. But it’s also easier for me because having the different artists gives us a more distinct feel for each issue, which works really well here because each issue takes place in very different places, with different kinds of antagonists.

Marvel.com: How does Kei working one-on-one with his monsters change their dynamic?

Justin Jordan: This arc gives us a chance for Kei (and, you know, the reader) to really learn more about the monsters. They’ve generally always worked as a team, so having them work individually gives us a chance to see what their strengths and weaknesses are. And who they are as people. It’s a real — GRATUITOUS TITLE DROP — learning curve for Kei.

Marvel.com: How fun is it dealing with all of these monsters, old and new, in the Marvel Universe?

Justin Jordan: Ah, it’s super fun. They’re just awesome. Who doesn’t want to play with giant monsters?

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Christina Strain reconvenes the original squad for Marvel Legacy!

Reunited and it feels so good!

Or not.

When Monet finds herself in danger of becoming a vampire, the original GENERATION X squad reemerges to help save one of their oldest friends from the undead. On December 20, writer Christina Strain and artist Amilar Pinna jump into Marvel Legacy as they unite the past and present in GENERATION X #85!

We caught up with Christina to learn more about the upcoming issue.

Marvel.com: Catch us up with what’s been going on in GENERATION X!

Christina Strain: Oh man, where do we start? Jubilee has been doing her best to wrastle her students in line, despite running on no sleep ‘cause she’s the single parent of a toddler. Quentin Quire is…a mess, so that’s not new. Benjamin Deeds still feels too scared to ask out Nathaniel Carver, who’s still too scared of his powers to even think of dating Ben. Roxy is dealing with some trauma from her past, Trevor is realizing he’s a great babysitter, and Lin’s starting to think that humans (particularly Trevor) might not be all bad.

We’re nine issues in and it’s like they’re actually starting to learn things!

Marvel.com: What does it feel like to write for the original team roster? How does the book’s dynamic change?

Christina Strain: It’s fun! I mean, I grew up with the O.G. GENERATION X cast and, now that I’m older, I’ve applied a lot of lessons I’ve learned through the years to them and it seems to work. And it’s fun taking a character like Paige (Husk) and everything she’s been through and use her as a foil for someone like Roxy, who’s younger and been through less. I’m loving it!

Marvel.com: What’s the deal with poor Monet?

Christina Strain: Monet learned a bit of a lesson in humility when her brother (Emplate) basically possessed and merged with her the way those St. Croix siblings do. And unfortunately for Monet, her humanity has lost out to Emplate’s hunger, so now she has become basically a mutant vampire. So, like Emplate, Monet now hunts mutants so she can suck on their bone marrow to keep herself and Emplate close to our dimension.

Marvel.com: What proved to be the most challenging element of writing this issue for you?

Christina Strain: Page count. Honestly, 20 pages isn’t a lot of pages to work with…I’d kill for a few more! And when I look back at old GENERATION X issues, like issue #1—which had 38 pages, by the way—I sob all over my carpet at the thought of how much more I could do if I just had the page real estate!

Marvel.com: What emerged as your favorite part to write?

Christina Strain: Any of the scenes with feelings. Fighting can be cool, sure. But I’m a big fan of feeling like my heart’s been punched right in the aorta.

Marvel.com: How does the concept of Legacy come into the story?

Christina Strain: Good question. I just looked at it from the same perspective I’ve had since the very beginning of GENERATION X with Jubilee: “How does this original character reflect the future of these new characters? What can she teach them about who they’ll become?”

Marvel.com: What does the Legacy of Marvel mean to you—as a writer and as a person?

Christina Strain: GENERATION X has always been a very special book to a lot of people, and being able to write this iteration of it has been such a big honor for me. I genuinely love the original GEN X as well as all our “lovable losers,” so I just hope we’ve made something at least one or two kids will love as much as [editor] Daniel Ketchum, Amilcar, [colorist] Felipe Ramos Sobreiro, [letterer] Clayton Cowles, [artist] Terry Dodson, and I all loved the original run of GENERATION X.

Find out the fate of Monet St. Croix in GENERATION X #85, by Christina Strain and artist Amilcar Pinna, on December 20!

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The audio and visual additions to the Marvel-released comic includes narration by Stan Lee.

Released by Marvel this past summer, the Black Eyed Peas’ graphic novel MASTERS OF THE SUN – THE ZOMBIE CHRONICLES is now getting its own Augmented Reality app this Friday, which helps tell the story in an entirely new way.

The app features narration by none other than legendary Marvel icon Stan Lee and a score co-produced by both BEP member will.i.am and Academy Award winning composer, Hans Zimmer (“The Dark Knight,” “The Lion King”).

“Teaming up with Marvel is an impossible dream come true for Black Eyed Peas,” will.i.am told Marvel.com. “Marvel has been an amazing partner for MASTERS OF THE SUN – THE ZOMBIE CHRONICLES, including supporting us at Comic Cons across the country, and arranging for us to spend time with the legendary Stan Lee in the recording studio to narrate the new Augmented Reality/AR version that will come to life using the new MASTERS OF THE SUN app, available on Black Friday.”

https://www.facebook.com/blackeyedpeas/videos/10156024311448083

Developed internally and in partnership with pioneering mixed reality company, Trigger Global, who are known for their work alongside iconic brands from Lego to McDonalds, MASTER OF THE SUN’s augmented reality app brings the graphic novel to life with an innovative multimedia experience blending voice acting, sound effects and full score. Each page includes animated text or graphics that come to life just by holding the mobile device over each page of the graphic novel providing users nearly 90 minutes of content.

Marvel.com had the chance to preview the app and it’s a very impressive and cool experience. The animated graphics are notably vibrant, strong and eye-catching, and a high profile voice cast helps brings the story to life, including Lee, Jamie Foxx, Queen Latifah, Common, Jason Isaacs, Rosario Dawson, Ice T, Michael Rapaport, Snoop Dogg and many more.

Black Eyed Peas Present: Masters of the Sun - The Zombie Chronicles (Trade Paperback)

Black Eyed Peas Present: Masters of the Sun - The Zombie Chronicles (Trade Paperback)

  • Published: July 19, 2017
  • Rating: Parental Advisory

Said Stan Lee, of the AR app, “This is so exciting, I wish I was about 70 years younger so I could grow up with this because what this is going to look like in another couple of generations… I can’t even imagine.”

The MASTERS OF THE SUN Augmented Reality app will set the stage for a virtual reality edition of the story in development in partnership with VR innovator Oculus.

Set for release on both iOS and Android mobile platforms, the MASTERS OF THE SUN Augmented Reality app will retail for $1.99 and is available as of Friday, November 24. The standalone graphic novel of “MASTERS OF THE SUN – THE ZOMBIE CHRONICLES, released last summer, is currently available for purchase.

The voice cast for the Augmented Reality version includes:

  • Narrator – Stan Lee
  • Master Sun –  Rakim
  • Polo –  Jaden Smith
  • Saleem – Jamie Foxx
  • Malik – Charlamagne Tha God
  • Lady Nix –  Queen Latifah
  • Big Ap –  Common
  • Apep –   Jason Isaacs
  • Emeritis – Mary J Blige
  • Agent Hughes – Rosario Dawson
  • Secret Agent – Ice T
  • DJ Eddie Flip – Slick Rick
  • Sonny – Raekwon  Jay Jay – Redman
  • Zulu X – KRS One
  • Jimmy Guapo – Michael Rapaport
  • Tyrone –  Snoop Dogg
  • Amun Ra – John DiMaggio
  • Amari Jones – Flavor Flav
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One of the Avengers’ most powerful foes debuts against Captain America!

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.

Over the years, Captain America has proven himself as one of the most capable heroes in the Marvel Universe. It seems like no matter what he comes up against he ultimately walks away with the win. But Jack Kirby and Stan Lee gave the Sentinel of Liberty an enormous challenge in 1966’s TALES OF SUSPENSE #8284, a story that kicked off with the Avenger seemingly losing his mind and ended with our hero facing the full power of his teammates!

In the initial entry, Cap spent a quiet evening at Avengers Mansion that soon became more than a little troubling. Seeing ghosts from his past like Agent Axis and Fang the Warlord, Steve Rogers feared that he might be losing his mind. That feeling intensified when he found himself mysteriously transported back to World War II where he not only reunited with Bucky but campaigned anew against his Axis enemies. Passing in and out of reality, the super-soldier eventually fell to his knees, but faithful Jarvis stood nearby to catch the beleaguered hero.

Nearby, S.H.I.E.L.D. agents combed through a blown-up A.I.M. lab previously seen in STRANGE TALES #149. They discovered a survivor, Count Bornag Royale, who revealed that something called The Adaptoid ran free in the world working to “win the final victory.”

Tales of Suspense (1959) #82

Tales of Suspense (1959) #82

  • Published: October 10, 1966
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: April 28, 2007
  • Penciller: Jack Kirby
  • Cover Artist: Jack Kirby
What is Marvel Unlimited?

We then cut back to Avengers Mansion where we got our first glimpse of said Adaptoid as it changed from Jarvis into Captain America! The robot also admitted to slipping Cap a Hypno-Sedative to knock him out! Having taken over the Star-Spangled Avenger’s identity, this new evil next faced an unexpected challenge as a costumed character calling himself The Tumbler smashed his way into the mansion! The ensuing battle messed with the creature’s plans to first destroy Captain America and then move on to S.H.I.E.L.D. itself!

Tumbler actually proved so effective that he took out “Cap-daptoid” and tied him up! The doppelganger broke free and re-engaged with his new enemy. The ruckus, though, woke up the actual Captain America who jumped into battle, easily taking care of Tumbler. Cap and Jarvis then carried the seemingly unconscious shape-shifter to the Lab Analysis Room where the Adaptoid hatched the next phase of his plan.

As it happened, the Avengers played right into this new scheme. Cap brought in his teammates Goliath, Wasp, and Hawkeye to check out the new foe which gave it time to absorb their powers, thus turning itself into The Super-Adaptoid! The upgraded villain then revealed itself to Captain America who leaped right into battle with his emerald-hued opponent. Their fight started at Avenger’s Mansion, but ultimately moved to the sky over the city. After the shield-slinger tumbled into the river below, Super-Adaptoid assumed he’d succeeded in the first part of its mission. It then waited for the next assignment from A.I.M., but heard nothing. Wanting to retain its autonomy, Super-Adaptoid took off to find refuge in this strange new world it found himself living in!

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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Gabby Rivera teases a final showdown with The Exterminatrix!

The Exterminatrix has America Chavez up against the wall. And now that she’s been isolated from her friends and allies, the only one our hero can rely on might just be herself.

On December 20, America’s fight against The Exterminatrix comes to an epic conclusion as writer Gabby Rivera and artists Jen Bartel and Joe Quinones set the hero up with her final shot at the villain in AMERICA #10!

We caught up with Gabby to hear more about America Chavez’s big moment.

Marvel.com: America has a few new powers in her repertoire. Tell us a little bit about them!

Gabby Rivera: One of her new abilities will be the power stomp, which we saw when she went to Vegas with Madrimar. If she flies upward and uses a lot of her energy to come back down, she can slam hard enough into the ground in a way that basically levels everything. That’s something I wanted to play around with—the ways in which Madrimar can help America fine tune her abilities and find the other special things that she can do. She already has so much power, so now it becomes about the ways we can hone that and give her other cool tricks.

One of the powers that she has developed over the series has been the ability to punch open multiple portals to find someone she’s looking for. Storm helped her develop that, and she’s trying to use it to subvert Dr. Brightly, which would allow her to do the right thing under a change in administration at the school… But I don’t want to say too much!

Marvel.com: By the way, Storm’s recent interactions with America have been so great to read!

Gabby Rivera: Oh my god, I love that! It felt legendary for me to write Storm. I felt like it might’ve been one of the best moments of my life. I loved being able to bring Storm in as a top-level, iconic mentor for America; to have them engage with each other in a thoughtful way, a loving way, and also a very physical way. They fly and fight and learn together. Storm shows America that she’ll always be there for her. It’s important to show women of color bonding and helping each other evolve. There’s a Storm renaissance!

Marvel.com: The Exterminatrix stands as a very formidable opponent—and she has the Midas Corporation on her side. How will America’s new powers help her in this fight?

Gabby Rivera: The “Exterminatrix” arc has showed that, yes, America’s powers are important, but so is her team. Exterminatrix has so much power behind her, but we realized that America does too. So how do we build up Prodigy and the Betas and others? They’re present, and they’re also part of the fight for the soul of Sotomayor University. America is super powerful and she could obliterate everything, but it’s never that simple.

Because Exterminatrix is so powerful and her weaponry is so refined (and sociopathic!), America really experiences a tremendous injury. So how does she recover from that and where does it take her? We link her pain to the connections she experiences with her family and her ancestors. In her pain and in her healing, she sees that people have her back. And she has the ability to say, “Okay, I don’t have to do everything on my own. In what ways can I really channel what I’m supposed to be doing and what I’ve learned in order to defend the school and be part of the team?”

Marvel.com: Beyond this fight, how what she learns here impact her approach to being a super hero moving forward?

Gabby Rivera: This is a non-traditional super hero story. America Chavez navigates grief, identity, and personhood. And we want to do it in a way where she’s reflective, and still headstrong, brave, and a little reckless. She possesses a spiritual power that she hasn’t tapped into yet, but we got the seeds of that in issue #7 with her origin story.

Marvel.com: What do you see as the most important takeaways from this arc?

Gabby Rivera: That she’s not alone. That folks love her and that she has family. And also, just because you can use force to fix a problem and blow something up doesn’t always mean that it’s the best thing to do.

Even though she had a leadership position with the Ultimates and she has proven herself as a person who can make good decisions, now she’s forging her own path. And I think that, even though we can often show up for a group, sometimes we don’t do that same thing for ourselves. So now, America is learning that she has to show up for herself too.

AMERICA #10, by writer Gabby Rivera and artists Jen Bartel and Joe Quinones, drops on December 20!

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The Champions and the Avengers race against time to save two planets!

Earth and Counter-Earth have been sent careening towards one another by The High Evolutionary—and only the Champions and their Avengers allies can save the day.

On December 20, writer Mark Waid and artist Humberto Ramos present CHAMPIONS #15! The “Worlds Collide” storyline comes to an Earth-shattering conclusion—and we may or may not mean that literally.

We spoke with series editor Tom Brevoort to get a few hints on the exciting events to come!

Marvel.com: Catch us up with what’s been going on in CHAMPIONS!

Tom Brevoort: Well, the Avengers and the Champions came together in response to an extinction-level event: the High Evolutionary has decided to clean the slate of his petri dish planet, Counter-Earth, by ramming it into the real Earth and then making something nice out of whatever might be left.

Our heroes split their forces, with some making the journey to Counter-Earth while others remained to deal with the collateral damage happening across the world. But Falcon and Viv Vision both got captured by the High Evolutionary’s men, and the H.E. evolved Viv into an actual human being.

Marvel.com: How has the team-up changed since the first installment of “Worlds Collide”?

Tom Brevoort: It’s been an uneasy pairing as these characters have some history—the Champions were formed as a direct outgrowth of the actions the senior heroes took during CIVIL WAR II. But that said, there hasn’t been a lot of breathing room for the characters to get into that…events have been transpiring at a thousand miles per hour!

Marvel.com: You’ve teased a death in this series…any word on what’s to come?

Tom Brevoort: Yeah, we kill somebody. It’s very sad! We’re monsters.

Marvel.com: Who takes the casualty the hardest?

Tom Brevoort: I think maybe artist Humberto Ramos took it the hardest—he’s the one that had to draw it! But the person it affects the most isn’t on the team; it’s one of the Avengers.

Marvel.com: What’s emerged as your personal favorite moment in this crossover story?

Tom Brevoort: I don’t think that moment has happened yet…so I’m going to have to play things coy, but I did think that Viv’s transformation was a pretty compelling and shocking turn of events!

Marvel.com: Last question: how would you try to keep two planets from colliding?

Tom Brevoort: I wouldn’t. Let them burn. LET THEM ALL BURNNNN!

*clears throat*

Ahem.

Pick up CHAMPIONS #15, by writer Mark Waid and artist Humberto Ramos, on December 20!

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The Eternals face an assortment of villains from across the eras!

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.

When Jack Kirby returned to Marvel in the 70s, he came back to a mix of old favorites like CAPTAIN AMERICA and BLACK PANTHER as well as all-new comics like MACHINE MAN and ETERNALS. We discussed the latter to some extent with artist Mike Allred months ago. ETERNALS, about the titular race of super-powered beings defending humanity against the evil Deviants, allowed Kirby to tell huge, sweeping stories.

In ETERNALS ANNUAL #1—which “The King” also wrote and edited—Thena and Zuras realized the threat that Deviant Zakka the Tool-Master posed. In an effort to find and stop his machinations, Thena asked for help from a pair of Deviants who switched sides in ETERNALS #11: the fierce warrior Reject and the gentle giant Karkas. As she led these unexpected heroes to the big city, we got a glimpse of Zakka’s nefarious invention, the time beam projector! To wreak havoc on humanity, he used this device to pluck individuals from their own time and bring them to the present before they would transport back to their respective eras.

Upon arriving in their temporary digs, Thena and Reject quickly encountered one of Zakka’s unwitting pawns: Jack the Ripper. Just as the infamous murderer slid his sword from his cane to attack a young woman, Reject leaped into action and held the rogue off until he returned to his own time. Karkas fared about equally as well when faced with the might of Atilla and one of his Huns. After dispatching the villains, he showed his true, monstrous form to others in the hotel and they ran in terror. He then encountered Zakka himself, but failed to overcome his ultimate foe.

Eternals Annual (1977) #1

Eternals Annual (1977) #1

  • Published: January 01, 1977
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: July 30, 2008
What is Marvel Unlimited?

However, another succeeded in taking Zakka down. Instead of a hero, though, the assailant turned out to be another Deviant bent on destruction: Tutinax! Their first meeting left Thena, Reject, and Karkas on their backs, but after regrouping, the good guys chased the living wrecking ball down to stop his rampage.

Thena teleported them to an abandoned alley before they began their battle. Though Reject proved adept at dodging his opponent’s blows, he soon realized that Tutinax would be very difficult to harm and also possessed enough strength to lift an entire building off of its foundation! Luckily for them, Thena stuck around keeping track of the villain with her Psycho-Band. Just as Reject and Karkas moved to rush their target, he disappeared! It turned out that he’d been brought to this time by Zakka’s machine, meaning he could only last a short time before heading home.

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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