Cullen Bunn sheds some light on how mutants fit into Hydra’s regime!

The time-displaced original Children of the Atom make up the X-Men Blue team, with Jean Grey, Cyclops, Beast, Angel, and Iceman working alongside their former archenemy Magneto. While it’s hard enough adjusting to a new era, these kids and their formerly villainous ally now also have a Secret Empire to contend with.

Where to even start?

We asked X-MEN: BLUE writer Cullen Bunn about issue #7, available July 12!

Marvel.com: First off, how has writing X-MEN: BLUE been different from some of the other X-Men projects you’ve worked on before?

Cullen Bunn: It’s interesting, because I was writing UNCANNY X-MEN and when I got the call that we were going to be shifting over to X-MEN: BLUE and it would be the original five time lost characters. I’ve been pretty honest with this—my first reaction was not overjoyed. Because as much as I love those characters, they’re not what I would consider my X-Men. Like, they weren’t from the era that I really got into X-Men. So I was a little hesitant! I wasn’t sure I was the right guy to write the book.

As I started writing those characters, though, and putting them through the stories I’d been planning on telling, I’ve become more and more excited about them. I’m glad that this is the team I’m writing, because they have a completely different dynamic and viewpoint on the world; I’m able to tell kind of “classic” X-Men adventures and “uncanny” adventures. I’ve come to really love writing these characters now.

Marvel.com: You kind of got to make them your own, then! So, now that we’re all nice and emotionally invested in these guys, how will the Secret Empire affect them?

Cullen Bunn: Well, without giving too much away…as we’ve seen in SECRET EMPIRE, California has been ceded to mutants as a new mutant homeland. On the surface, that looks great! It’s an opportunity for mutants and homo sapiens to live in peace together. But, as we’ll find in X-MEN: BLUE, that’s not necessarily playing out the way it’s supposed to. It’s definitely a situation where we have mutants in power and that power is sort of a corrupting force. It plays to X-Men Blue for a number of reasons.

First of all, Magneto—who’s acting as sort of a mentor for the X-Men—has said recently that he does not believe the idea of a mutant utopia works. He’s seen it backfire in horrible ways time and time again, and he keeps getting drawn back into that, lured into this idea of a mutant paradise; it is a dream [of his], but now he doesn’t think that dream will ever come true. He thinks that a place like New Tian is a disaster waiting to happen, and he wants no part of it from that perspective.

We have also seen, however, that Magneto and the X-Men Blue team have a beef with Emma Frost and Sebastian Shaw and certain characters that are entrenched in this new mutant regime. And what we’re gonna see in X-MEN: BLUE is the new X-Men team almost as a rebel force at work inside New Tian.

Marvel.com: Will the Blue team take on the larger Secret Empire plotlines as well?

Cullen Bunn: There’s definitely some parallels with what’s happening in New Tian and what’s going on in the Marvel Universe as a whole, but I wanted to focus on it mainly from a mutant perspective. Again, without giving away too many spoilers, there’s a villain that shows up in these issues who I feel has a direct correlation with what’s going on with Steve Rogers and is cut from very similar cloth story-wise and we definitely lean into that to shore up those parallels even more.

Marvel.com: That’s so cool! It sort of unifies the different threads of the Marvel Universe narratively, like, a microcosm? Or even just winking at another storyline that’s happening.

Cullen Bunn: Yeah! The goal with these tie-ins for me is always that a reader can continue reading X-MEN: BLUE and not get thrown off too much by the events of the Marvel Universe. But this is such a big event! Things are changing in such monumental ways, there’s no way to [avoid it]. But I wanted to make sure that we’re seeing [that] story from a distinctively mutant point of view while not ignoring what’s going on in the world at large.

Marvel.com: So let’s talk Magneto. How is such a powerful character fitting into all this Secret Empire hubbub? Is he joining, holding back, fighting against it?

Cullen Bunn: We talked a lot about Magneto early on in the discussion about what’s going on in the world of Secret Empire and really, Magneto seems to be sitting this one out. For reasons of his own, he has struck a bargain that he’s just going to sit this one out and not interfere, and he’s agreed to that.

However.

The X-Men team is there in New Tian, and they’re obviously not just sitting back. Now, then the question will come—are they working on Magneto’s orders or against what Magneto wants? As the tie-in goes on I think there’s even a question posed like, don’t you think Magneto would have prepared for this? And we see some pretty big changes among the team itself as some of those contingencies begin to come into play.

Marvel.com: So it might be that he has something up his sleeve?

Cullen Bunn: Well, Magneto always has something up his sleeve. I think we’re gonna have come interesting interactions. He’s definitely taking a back seat in this tie-in and you don’t see him getting a lot of [face] time, but his actions are pretty important to the story and they’ll shape the X-Men Blue team after this event. And when we do finally see Magneto, I think we have an interesting interaction between Magneto and Steve Rogers in the arc that I’m pretty excited about.

Marvel.com: I know that you’ve been writing Magneto for a while, so I’m sure you’ll do him justice. After all, you know him pretty well—you guys are on, like, a first-name basis.

Cullen Bunn: [Laughs] I do kind of feel like I have a handle on where he’s coming from and how he would see what’s been going on in the world, but I also know that Magneto…he knows that, if he disagrees with this, it’s not something he can go into with guns blazing, so to speak, because that would fail. He’s got to be a little cagier about what he’s doing.

Marvel.com: How is the team reacting to this pseudo-utopia? Like, how are they taking it?

Cullen Bunn: Well, they’re not taking it well. [Laughs] It’s not going well for them. It’s a weird situation for them because here’s this place that should be a safe haven for mutants and yet they find themselves struggling against that very ideal.

In fact, I’ve often said that, to some degree, the world that they’re in right now? The New Tian mutant utopia is almost like their Days of Futures Past. They are seeing the world they’ve always been afraid they’d see happen, but they never expected these threats and these dangers to be coming from a mutant source to the degree that it is.

As well get into the first issue, we’re seeing the X-Men dealing with mutants who’ve been imprisoned and who are scheduled for psychic reconditioning because they don’t support the law of the land. That’s the kind of thing that scares the hell out of them, and they just can’t sit back and let it happen.

See how it all plays out this summer in X-MEN BLUE #7 by Cullen Bunn and Cory Smith, available July 12.

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Frank Castle braves a darkened New York City with writer Becky Cloonan!

Start spreading the news…Frank Castle’s leavin’ today.

The Punisher Road Trip 2017 comes to an end in issue #14 of writer Becky Cloonan’s PUNISHER with Frank’s triumphant return home to the Big Apple as well as guest art by Kris Anka. While criminals can’t say they’ve missed his unique brand of vigilante justice, they’ve been multiplying like cockroaches in his absence and that’s something Frank can’t allow to continue.

Moreover, he’s got a citywide blackout to deal with and a key missing piece of his arsenal to find. In short, no one’s throwing a cushy homecoming party for The Punisher. We spoke with former New York resident Cloonan about Frank’s plans for shooting his way back to his rightful place as king of the hill, top of the heap.

Marvel.com: Since The Punisher is back in town, what’s his first order of business other than destroying all of the crime in NYC, that is?

Becky Cloonan: Frank is welcomed back home by a bunch of criminals, who have no doubt missed him very much! He’s no sooner back in the comfort of his own home, [when] he finds a piece from his arsenal has gone missing—and that’s how it starts. So before he does anything, he’s gotta find that gun.

Marvel.com: In that vein, what excited you most about bringing Frank back home?

Becky Cloonan: I spent 14 years living in New York, in Queens and Brooklyn respectively, before moving to Montreal and then Texas. Even though the city and I have done so much changing, I still feel like it’s a second home. So in a way, this is a homecoming for both of us. It’s been so much fun being back in the city—vicariously! [Laughs]

Marvel.com: Were you hoping to set a different tone from his time on the road? If so, can you elaborate on what that tone will feel like?

Becky Cloonan: This is The Punisher at his best, on home turf with the whole city at his disposal. He has to overcome new challenges and villains every issue, but that’s not to say he won’t see a familiar face from his time on the road…

The Punisher #14 cover by Declan Shalvey

Marvel.com: What’s changed since he’s been away? Have criminals been lulled into a false sense of security in his absence?

Becky Cloonan: Bad guys are crawling out of the woodwork! They are like cockroaches; if you see one, you can be sure there are a hundred more lurking just out of sight. Frank’s got his hands full with everything from bored teenagers to career criminals, robbers and thugs—maybe even a serial killer for good measure! There’s certainly enough crime in the Big Apple to keep Frank busy.

Marvel.com: What are the challenges Frank will face from a citywide blackout in PUNISHER #14? What are the advantages to such a situation?

Becky Cloonan: What would seem like an edge for the bad guys ends up being [an] advantage [for] Punisher. His main upper hand is the fact that the criminals think they have the upper hand. Frank uses this to his advantage. Oh, and since he wrecked his van on the last road trip, he had to get a new car. It’s a lot of fun!

Marvel.com: Are any of his experiences away from the city haunting him or impeding his ability to fight?

Becky Cloonan: One thing I love about Frank is that he’s not trying to save the world. To be honest, I don’t even think he’s trying to save the city. He doesn’t need to protect anyone or anything. Instead, The Punisher is driven by an urge to destroy. It’s this instinct that led him to chase his enemies up north and made him face his darker nature. If anything, he’s even more of a force to be reckoned with now that he’s back home. The Punisher is like a Jason Voorhees that only kills criminals, and he revels in it.

Marvel.com: Will Frank be staying in New York for the foreseeable future?

Becky Cloonan: He used all his vacation days on his trip up north, so yeah, I think he’s gonna stick around for a bit.

Lock and load with THE PUNISHER #14 by Becky Cloonan and Kris Anka, available July 26!

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Can Bobby Drake survive his most terrifying encounter yet?

Bobby Drake returns on July 26 in ICEMAN #3, written by Sina Grace with art by Alessandro Vitti, to face his scariest opponent yet: his parents.

In this new series Bobby’s life remains a bit complicated despite his desperate attempts to find both self and general acceptance, de-stress his life outside of the X-Men and have a little less icy relationship with his family. But lets face it: mutants attract drama, and in the words of a wise young prince, there’s no need to argue, parents just don’t understand.

Just how little do they understand? We caught up with Grace to find out!

Marvel.com: We know Bobby is headed home to visit his parents; what’s going through his mind? Anything he’s worried or excited about?

Sina Grace: After Bobby and Kitty’s adventure in West Covina [in ICEMAN #2], he’s feeling the urge to open up to his parents, and build a more honest relationship with [them]. He’s done dancing around the aspects of his life that he wants to celebrate—being a mutant, his sexuality, etc.

Marvel.com: What’s Bobby’s daydream scenario of how his visit plays out?

Sina Grace: In Bobby’s “best of” scenario, his parents would [sense] something was going on, and basically hand him the opportunity to feel like he can open up without shame or judgment. Basically, he’d love if they did the work for him!

Marvel.com: What’s actually in store for him at this family get together?

Sina Grace: Unfortunately for the Drake parents, their new home, and all of their nice things, the Purifiers are staging an ambush. The runt that Iceman took out in the first issue mattered a great deal to someone higher up…

Marvel.com: You can see in ICEMAN #1 that Bobby and his parents aren’t exactly on the same page; can you describe a little more in depth the dynamic of their relationship?

Sina Grace: Bobby’s relationship with his family, for me, comes from the same DNA as characters in a David O. Russell film: overpowering, Irish Catholic, and a little sassy. Bobby’s got to get his wit from somewhere!

Iceman #3 cover by Kevin Wada

Marvel.com: Briefly describe the perfect life for Bobby from his parent’s perspective.

Sina Grace: Historically speaking, Bobby’s parents are happiest when their son is living his life in bullet points they can toss around as bragging rights to friends: “Bobby’s got a degree. Bobby bought a house. Bobby proposed.” His life doesn’t follow any traditional road map, and that makes them uncomfortable.

Marvel.com: What does Bobby have in common with his parents, and where do they differ?

Sina Grace: I think the easiest way to sum up their relationship, in terms of what they have in common and how they differ, is that they love each other, but they don’t like each other.

Marvel.com: Does their relationship grow at all?

Sina Grace: Papa and Mama Drake do end up seeing their son in a different light. I’m not sure whether or not readers will expect it, but to that point: I want the reader’s relationship with Bobby’s parents to grow in a way where you see them as humans.

Marvel.com: Is there anything you can tease about what’s in store for Bobby? Any surprises?

Sina Grace: Fans should expect a few more friendly faces to pop in the book over the next few issues. In terms of surprises, I have some pretty intense stuff lined up with Bobby and his journey to understand his powers a bit more! Keep on reading!

Lightning Round!  

Marvel.com: Bobby’s biggest pet peeve with his parents? SG: Judgment. Marvel.com: His parent’s biggest pet peeve with him? SG: Unaccomplished. Marvel.com: What is their parenting style? SG: Catholic Marvel.com: If his parents had mutant powers what would they be? SG: Rock skin. Marvel.com: It’s Christmas: what does Bobby give them? SG: Personal trinket. Marvel.com: What do they give Bobby? SG: Sweater and gift certificate. Marvel.com: What are his parent’s best qualities? SG: Dedication. Marvel.com: Their worst quality? SG: Obstinate. Marvel.com: What would they say is Bobby’s best quality? SG: Intelligence. Marvel.com: His worst quality? SG: Immaturity. Marvel.com: If they could change one thing about each other what would it be? SG: Perspective. Marvel.com: Do cool jokes run in the family? SG: Sometimes.

Don’t miss a single cringe-worthy family moment in ICEMAN #3 by Sina Grace and Alessandro Vitti, out July 26!

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Learn more about this impressive initiative and see six exclusive cover GIFs!

Get ready for a new dawn True Believers—one whose rays will touch every corner of the Marvel Universe in the days to come! Get ready for the return of what you’ve been longing for—and more! Prepare for the debut of MARVEL LEGACY!

“A new initiative that will take things back to our iconic history, with a firm eye on the future, MARVEL LEGACY will present stories that remind everyone—newcomers and longtime fans alike—why Marvel stands as the premier name in fiction,” said Editor in Chief Axel Alonso. “Our titles will unearth gems from Marvel’s rich history, remind readers of connections between characters, and usher in the return of some major characters who’ve been missed.  Above all else, we want to inject our comics with a massive dose of fun!”

Kicking off this September with MARVEL LEGACY #1, an over-sized 50-page, one-shot special, Marvel Comics titles step towards a bright new future – one that harkens back to what has made Marvel a household name while looking towards tomorrow. With fun and thrilling reveals primed to excite fans, both existing and new, this fall, prepare for MARVEL LEGACY!

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

True Believers, pump it up with the latest episode of This Week in Marvel, the official Marvel podcast!

We’ve got a spectacular week of all things Marvel for you — first, Ryan and Ben take on this week’s comic releases including IRON MAN, SECRET EMPIRE, SPIDER-MAN, and more! Ben gets some Secret Empire #4 hot takes from Tom Brevoort and Alanna Smith (1:19:18). Over on the West Coast, Marc and Christine talk to Tim Hernandez, Danny Koo and Becka McIntosh on their post-E3 feelings (1:53:20). All this as well as your questions and comments (1:41:55)!

If you want more Marvel Games news, listen to a special This Week in Marvel minisode where Ryan and Christine break down everything that happened at E3 last week.

Be sure to join our #TWIMURC next week when we have both coasts tackle X-Cutioner’s Song Pt. 2! Share your thoughts with us using the hashtag #TWIMURC!

Download episode #295 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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Charles Soule and Jim Cheung launch a monumental adventure for the mighty mutants!

On July 19, Charles Soule and Jim Cheung present ASTONISHING X-MEN #1! But get your exclusive first look at pages from the issue right now!

Astonishing X-Men #1 cover by Jim Cheung

Astonishing X-Men #1 preview page by Jim Cheung

Astonishing X-Men #1 preview page by Jim Cheung

Astonishing X-Men #1 preview page by Jim Cheung

Astonishing X-Men #1 preview page by Jim Cheung

Astonishing X-Men #1 preview page by Jim Cheung

ASTONISHING X-MEN #1
Writer:
 Charles Soule
Artist/Cover: Jim Cheung
Only the X-Men can save us!
An ancient evil is attacking the world’s most powerful minds. It will have them by the time you finish this sentence, and a moment later, it will have us all. A band of X-Men discovers the truth behind the threat, but there is no time left. Psylocke, Old Man Logan, Bishop, Archangel, Fantomex, Rogue and Gambit will attempt to save a world that hates and fears them. Why? Because they are the X-Men.

From writer Charles Soule joined by a roster of superstar artists beginning with Jim Cheung. ASTONISHING X-MEN. It’s the X-book you need.

On sale July 19!

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The Living Planet clashes with Thor in his earliest incarnation!

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.

In the pages of this week’s ULTIMATES 2 #8, Al Ewing and Aud Koch brought two powerful cosmic entities into conflict once again as Galactus faced off against his old foe Ego. We’re not going to spoil how that encounter ended, but we will talk about the Living Planet’s first recorded bout!

Stan Lee and Jack Kirby introduced readers—and the title Asgardian warrior—to Ego on the very last page of THOR #132 back in 1966. You might wonder what brought the God of Thunder into outer space at the time. In THOR #131, Jane Foster’s former roommate Tana Nile revealed her true identity as a Space Colonizer. Since no one else cared about the backwater planet Earth, she called dibs and took control. When Thor came to visit the missing Jane, he discovered Tana’s secret and battled the supposedly unbeatable Colonizers from Rigel. He allowed himself to get captured and easily broke free to confront the entire organization in issue #132. After a battle, the Colonizer leader told Thor of the true threat, a being living in the Black Galaxy.

Agreeing to face this unseen enemy head-on, Thor flew off in a space ship with a humanoid robot called The Recorder. The duo witnessed the Living Planet as a beautifully rendered Kirby collage at the end of #132, and then far more fully in the next issue. Upon the Thunder God’s landing on Ego’s surface, the enormous creature revealed seemingly unlimited powers like the ability to peer into minds and manipulate the molecules around them to create familiar environs. He quickly exposed his desire to use these powers to escape the Black Galaxy and take over “all of space.”

Thor (1966) #133

Thor (1966) #133

  • Published: October 10, 1966
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: September 17, 2008
  • Penciller: Jack Kirby
  • Cover Artist: Jack Kirby
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Ego further explained that his plan revolved around using the Thunderer as a molecular model to create an army of powerful anti-body-based minions that would travel from the Black Galaxy to fulfill his machinations. Though the Living Planet offered plenty of obstacles for Thor and Recorder to survive, the Son of Odin called down a storm of epic proportions that allowed them to free themselves from his grievous gravitational pull. In his rage at losing, Ego swore to seal off his bio-verse and never attack an outside world again.

Flash Forward

Of course, Ego’s vow of non-violence didn’t stop another cosmic threat from threatening the Living Planet! Galactus stumbled upon Ego during one of his many searches for sustenance and the two quickly came into conflict in THOR #160. Meanwhile, Tana Nile appeared on Earth to bring Thor to the Black Galaxy to help stop this war of cosmic proportions. The Thunder God joined the fray, fighting Galactus for the very first time, in an effort to defend Ego from being devoured. Thanks to some help from the Wanderers, who provided equipment to enhance Mjolnir, the heroes drained Galactus of his life energy and sent him packing! Ego offered his thanks by giving the Wanderers a place to live on his surface.

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Go behind the masks of the Emperor’s elite in Crimson Empire!

We all know that the first Star Wars film changed the face of pop culture forever when it hit theaters 40 years ago today—but it’s not just the movie that’s celebrating that milestone in 2017. Star Wars comics arrived with force in 1977, and hundreds of issues later, they’re more popular now than ever.

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of Star Wars, we’re looking back at our 40 favorite moments from the history of comics from a galaxy far, far away—one day at a time.

Star Wars: Crimson Empire (1997) #1

Star Wars: Crimson Empire (1997) #1

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Until 1997, all Star Wars comics in some way heavily featured characters you grew to love from the films, from Luke, Leia, and Han to Boba Fett and Jabba the Hutt—even Wedge Antilles. For CRIMSON EMPIRE, writers Mike Richardson and Randy Stradley dared to expand the Star Wars universe in a way no other series had to this point—with no main characters you had ever heard of. The result stands up today as perhaps the most “cult classic” Star Wars series ever published.

Every Star Wars fan remembers the striking red uniform of the Emperor’s Royal Guard, as seen in “Return of the Jedi.” But that was all we really knew about them at this point. What is happening underneath those masks? How did they earn their spot among Palpatine’s elite? Are they even men in there? Though all of the action occurs years after “Return of the Jedi,” we get our first answers to those questions—including flashbacks, one featuring an incredible Darth Vader moment— as the remnants of the Empire fight their own internal battles for political control.

If you’re not intimidated by a book starring names like Carnor Jax, Kir Kanos, and Mirith Sinn, CRIMSON EMPIRE offers a welcome and unique take on the Star Wars universe. There’s even an official Handbook to guide through the cast of characters.

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A crime war ignites and Doctor Octopus returns with fatal consequences!

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

After exposing the wily Chameleon at a gala event in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #80, Spider-Man took the bounce out of The Kangaroo before he released deadly bacteria into the city in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #81. Later, the web-slinger battled The Silver Surfer for a young boy’s life in SILVER SURFER #14, and turned the lights out for Electro on the set of a TV talk show in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #82.

A new criminal in town called The Schemer challenged The Kingpin to be the head of the city’s crime cartel in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #83, so when the battle reached the latter’s home in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #84, our hero swung in to insert himself between the two titans. In the aftermath of the tussle in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #85, he learned the Schemer’s true identity as Richard Fisk, the Kingpin’s long-lost son.

Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #80

Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #80

  • Published: January 10, 1970
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
  • Penciller: John Buscema, Jim Mooney
What is Marvel Unlimited?

The Wall Crawler started to feel sick in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #86, just in time for a challenge from Black Widow. Believing his spider-powers fading away, Peter revealed himself as the webbed wonder in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #87, but after discovering he only suffered from the flu, asked the former Prowler to masquerade as his costumed alter-ego to put his friends off the scent.

A Zodiac force-field kept Spidey from entering Manhattan in AVENGERS #82, but that didn’t stop him from going after an escaped Doctor Octopus in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #88. Ock seemed to die in a fiery plane crash, but the web-spinner refused to believe his demise and proved the eight-armed maniac still lived in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #89.

Then, the unthinkable: Gwen’s father Captain Stacy died in the fallout from the pitched battle between Spider-Man and Octopus in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #90, leaving his daughter to proclaim her hatred for the hero in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #91 and a candidate for District Attorney to build a campaign around taking Spidey once and for all.

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What’s cooking in the lab? We asked Greg Pak to spill the beans!

The various Weapon X programs have been a thorn in the side of mutantkind for decades, but new management might turn that thorn into a chainsaw. On July 26, Reverend Stryker finally releases Batch H in WEAPON X #6, and we can only imagine what writer Greg Pak and artist Greg Land have in store for us. “They’re cooking up a killer, and we’ll see if our heroes can handle it,” warns Pak.

So just what kind of killer is Batch H? Unfortunately, I can’t give you a straight answer as Pak effectively danced around my questioning like a true, seasoned comic book writer. However, I can tell you that this creation branches out from the typical mutant powered goodie bag featuring Old Man Logan, Sabretooth, Lady Deathstrike, Warpath, and Domino, to include some gifts from Totally Awesome Hulk! “That’s like a machine gun with a bazooka, some hand grenades and a bunch of knives thrown in; and then the Hulk is a nuke,” explains Pak, “He’s the strongest entity in the Marvel universe so if anyone has that power they’re a huge threat. They could wipe out all mutants.”

Now, which of Hulk’s abilities Stryker successfully melded with his freaky skin suit cyborgs remains a mystery. But, when asked what powers he would give a pro mutant operative to combat Batch H, Pak said you’d probably want something with Professor X’s mind, the ability to put people to sleep, and some kind of influence over emotion to pacify the threat.

Weapon X #6 cover by Skan

Dealing with this hodge-podge of overpowered superhumans won’t be the team’s only issue. “A key question being explored is, is the human recruit still there?” says Pak. Each cyborg starts as an average Joe, human host that Stryker recruits. And while a few arguably villainous characters on the team may be down for whatever, our usual heroes are definitely not. “They’re not murderers. They don’t want to kill anyone. So it’s very important to find out if the people are still there,” explains Pak.

“It’s chilling and it’s creepy and you’re going to want to read it,” teases Pak, “There are surprises coming, a big twist coming.” Plus, like everything else he does, there will of course be humor woven in. That includes more bickering from our favorite old married couple, Logan and Sabretooth, and more of the everyday office life characterizations Pak had a good time sneaking in. “One of the fun things in this whole series is seeing the every day life of the people in the Weapon X facility and how they deal with what they’re doing,” raves Pak, “It’s not one monolithic attitude. We get to see different ways of dealing with human atrocities,”

Get your action, horror, and office life fix on July 26 in WEAPON X #6 written by Greg Pak with art by Greg Land!

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