Writer Brian Michael Bendis takes Riri Williams into the Marvel Legacy event!

Writer Brian Michael Bendis normally needs no introduction, but we’re going to make the attempt anyway.

He’s the man who this fall will take INVINCIBLE IRON MAN into the Marvel Legacy event and set the Iron Man Universe on its iron-plated ear. With Tony Stark gone, seemingly disappeared, he’s the only guy who can see Riri Williams through the next massive phase of her, and a few other important characters, development.

Marvel.com: Brian, in general, why is it important for you to highlight the concept of legacy in the Marvel Universe?

Brian Michael Bendis: Well, two things happened when Marvel started playing with this idea for the fall, and [when I heard] the theme, I just started smiling ear to ear, because it’s literally about what all my books are about at the moment. It’s just where I was at in my head. Number one, because some of the characters that I’m writing are legacy characters, they’re actually starting in someone else’s legacy and we’ll see where they end up, in great Marvel tradition. But right now, Miles Morales and Riri are two of the most spotlighted characters in this arena, and it’s just a great opportunity to zero in on what the book has been about.

Now for Iron Man, it’s not just Tony Stark’s legacy. It’s Riri Williams’ legacy, Victor Von Doom’s legacy, and Tony Stark’s legacy. It’s not just a normal person’s legacy; it’s wide, and it’s got a lot of tentacles…not to be too Hydra with the tentacles. But his reach, and the reach of his legacy, from the Avengers to the Stark Foundation, is enormous. So we’re going to get to explore some things about Tony, and about the Iron Man Universe that we haven’t seen before, and it just so happens that we’ve spent the last year and a half building up to this, like this is where I was headed.

Now, what’s cool is, all three of the main Iron Man characters will be joined by other Iron Man characters, looking for what has happened to Tony Stark. If we’re going to get Tony Stark back, what form will that be in? And how cool will the armor be? Now, there are other characters in the Iron Man universe that I’m not mentioning right now, big characters. Amanda, MJ, Friday, Tony A.I., huge characters, a lot going on and a lot of connections to the Marvel Universe, all of which will be detailed and unfolded within the storyline that starts with INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #593.

Marvel.com: How cool is it to go back to the original numbering?

Brian Michael Bendis: You know, when the very fun choice to go back to our original numbering came about, quite a few titles, IRON MAN in particular, are right there at a big anniversary issue. So we’re headed, very quickly, towards a gigantic IRON MAN #600, and I couldn’t be more thrilled.

Marvel.com; When this Marvel Legacy storyline starts, has Tony’s condition changed at all?

Brian Michael Bendis: Tony’s situation has changed. And that’ll be teased in the Marvel Legacy one-shot by Jason Aaron and Esad Ribic, and then I think our INVINCIBLE IRON MAN issue comes out like right after that, and you can dive right in: big, brand new, very reader-friendly Iron Man storyline.

Marvel.com: Of the big Iron Man characters that you’ve mentioned, who would you say will be most moved by Tony’s disappearance?

Brian Michael Bendis: All of them for different reasons, but I have to say, Victor is in the most unusual situation. What Riri is going through, people will identify as “Oh, I’ve looked up to someone.” This relationship is very relatable, in a way. Like, I’ve had mentors in my life, people who I was trying to figure out without directly talking to them, you know what I mean? Trying to figure out stuff about myself through their humanity. Whereas Victor is on just about the biggest, most complicated redemption story…one of the biggest villains in the history of all fiction is trying to claw himself out of the hole. How much he’s been able to do is amazing. But, the enemy list he has created in doing so is enormous, and it’s not just from this dimension. So, his involvement in Tony Stark’s legacy may become, at one point, such a struggle, that he may destroy it. And something new has to be created, or he makes a sacrifice that brings up something new as well. What’s going on with Victor is probably the most unique thing going on story-wise at Marvel.

Marvel.com: Let’s talk about Riri again. What can you say about her further development going into this storyline? Is this going to be, to date, the ultimate challenge for her?

Brian Michael Bendis: Yes.

Marvel.com: Okay! You heard it here first! Next question!

Brian Michael Bendis: Yeah, listen; we’re just eight issues into her run! The amount of attention she’s garnered from fans in just eight issues is amazing. Compared to seven years ago with Miles, and I know the whole market was different, but it took a while, until the end of the second storyline, for people to really go “Oh okay, he didn’t [bleep] it up.” So, I’ve been quite flattered, to the point of becoming emotional, about how unbelievable the support of Riri has been. There was this young woman online that has been making her own Riri armor and her dad keeps tweeting it. Literally every time we put it out, there are like 60,000 retweets and likes, it’s crazy. It’s insane.

Marvel.com: Good crazy.

Brian Michael Bendis: The best. So, the point is, Riri is at the larva state of her super hero career. She has literally gone out, I think, five times by the time that this Tony storyline starts up again. She’s had some big wins; she’s had some defeating losses. Something crazy happens in the next issue of INVINCIBLE IRON MAN that I don’t want to spoil, but people are gonna be like “What?!” We don’t know what form her version of super heroing will take, she’s still building it. We don’t know what form her technology will take. So, of all the characters, there’s a good chance—and I’m pretty much telling you it is—that she’s going to evolve past the Iron Man construct to something else, and I think that’s pretty exciting.

I look at her like imitating the amazing style of an amazing artist. Like Bill Sienkiewicz is the best example. Very early in his career, he was highly referenced and influence by Neal Adams, and Neil Adams is a very difficult thing to imitate, right? Very difficult. And he did it, and you were like “Wow, you’re an amazing artist, you can do Neil Adams!” right? That’s how I look at Riri right now. She’s amazing. She can do Tony Stark pretty good, but, like Bill Sienkiewicz, will she evolve so far past it that people won’t even remember that she was Iron Man Universe-related? You know, is she capable? And again, you can bring up many other examples in music and television and film where the influence is there, and then they don’t need it anymore, then something else happens. And that’s where Riri’s headed in the next year.

Marvel.com: You’ve got her, you have Victor, you have some other strong personalities in there. Would you characterize what’s going to happen as a violent clash?

Brian Michael Bendis: No. It’s a philosophical [clash], and I’ve already got Riri and Victor’s first meeting out of the way in INFAMOUS IRON MAN, because everybody assumes they were gonna beat each other up. And when you get there, and Victor doesn’t want to fight, there’s no fight. You can hit him all you want, he’s not gonna fight back, and Victor’s not mad at her, and Victor’s not in a crazy, manic state that he usually, or sometimes, is in. He’s calmed down. So, when she shows up in his life, this is a brilliant young woman that he can relate to, and this isn’t someone that he’d wanna fight.

Also, he’s very aware of what it feels like to be in her position, at the beginning of your studies, not even knowing what you don’t know. That’s one of my favorite things, finding something out. Oh, I didn’t even know I didn’t know that, you know? And I know, he’ll get really excited for other people discovering things. So this is the Victor we’re dealing with right now. Not the whole mad genius. Now, does he want to turn her into the whole mad genius? Who knows? And also, may I say, Riri is at a very precarious stage. She’s had a world with nothing but loss and confusion in it. Intelligent characters- intelligent people- in this world we live in right now, find themselves very frustrated. Unintelligent leadership, and science not being the forefront of the society; you can read about it all the time, this is not something that I’m making up. Intelligent children sometimes shut down because they’re like “Whoa boy, this… everything’s weird.” So that’s part of Riri’s development.

Marvel.com: Is she easily influenced?

Brian Michael Bendis: No, not easily influenced. [And] it’s not stubbornness; I don’t see it that way, but I have a person in my life who decides things before they absolutely know them. And sometimes they’re right, because their confidence and intelligence is very strong, and sometimes it’s “Oh no, I was wrong.” But their guess, their instinct is very good, right? So that’s part of where she is. So her instincts [leads to her] calling it like she sees it. Like she sees bull and calls it, and then finds herself in the middle of it.

I have a storyline going right now where she’s right in the middle of terrorist actions in Liberia and S.H.I.E.L.D being S.H.I.E.L.D, she doesn’t buy into any of it. So she’s kind of just making up her own place in it, and it’s throwing off all of the ways that people do things. Maybe in a good way, maybe in a bad way, but she’s gonna have some mistakes she makes, big, big mistakes. But there’s something really brassy and confident about the way she handles things, and that is something Victor is going to be able to talk to her on. He will be able to communicate his philosophies through that idea.

Marvel.com: So far, it doesn’t sound like the tone of INVINCIBLE IRON MAN will change with the advent of Marvel Legacy.

Brian Michael Bendis: Oh no, no. First of all, what Stefano Caselli has accomplished with Riri this year is so amazing that he sometimes gets mislabeled as the creator of the character, even though it’s Mike Deodato who co-created the character. But that’s how strong Stefano’s voice is, and how connected to the action with the character he is, it’s just amazing.

But with him in mind, just doing unbelievable work, that’s the tone of the series. That’s Riri’s worldview, her perspective…you know, we’re so often in her perspective. I know people are very curious where she is in certain spectrums—that’s been a question that people have had. She’s clearly outside of what would be considered normal, on a couple of different things. I think that’s a celebratory thing. I’m surrounded by people in different places in different spectrums, and without diving headfirst into what that is and what that means, we’re gonna explore that as well. And I think a lot of younger readers identify with that, much in the way they identified with the original Peter Parker and his struggles, I really do.

Marvel.com: When you talk about her being brassy, do you think that’s really what people are responding to, or one of the main things?

Brian Michael Bendis: It’s funny that the panels that pop up in my tumblr or Twitter feed always kind of let me know. There’s like, six or seven panels that I see every day, that people go “Yes!” or “I’m scared for her.” It’s a mixture of that, [and] it’s really cute. And I’ll get all “I’m scared for her, too!” Like they’re scared for her, and yeah, I am, too and I wrote it! I’m really scared for her.

Marvel.com: You also have something to say about MIT and Riri?

Brian Michael Bendis: I’m going to be speaking at MIT in November. I was invited by them to come speak about comics and culture. And what was amazing was that we had Riri come to MIT. It was a campus I did a lot of research on for a project that was unrelated to Marvel, an HBO thing that didn’t happen, but I had so much feeling about this place, I loved it, and I said I was definitely gonna have a character there one day. And then years later, it was like “The coolest place we can have Riri live is the MIT dorms!” So when I started putting this in, little did I know, that MIT had completely embraced this character.

They created this amazing admissions video. It was actually pretty hilarious. So in November, at MIT, we’re gonna make a pretty major announcement about Riri. So people that are invested in her, people who are supporting her, there is big stuff coming with her. MIT’s a very unique place for a character in her first year to be so well-received, not unlike what Kamala Khan and Moon Girl experienced.

It’s hard to describe to people, because no one was asking for them. That’s what I love about the Legacy characters. Nobody said “I want Miles,” or “I want Riri,” but then they got them and they were like “Thank you.” And that was the best feeling in the world.

Marvel.com: It sounds like you’re still digging this job. Has your own outlook changed on INVINCIBLE IRON MAN as you’ve gone along?

Brian Michael Bendis: No, what happens is, and this is one of the great things about a higher profile gig, is no matter what you’re writing about, you start your research and whatever you’re doing, and then people find out you’re writing about them or writing about something they know, or whatever, like the young woman who’s making her Ironheart armor in her garage. You reach out and they inspire and they share their stories.

There was a friend of mine who has a brilliant young daughter who is literally obsessed with Mae Jameson. That’s real and honest and I have to use that. There’s a scene where you see young Riri trying to get her teacher to give her something to push back against because she feels that that’s what made Mae Jameson great, right? And I know some people said, “Oh, is she asking for…?” and I was like “No, she’s trying to live up to her hero,” without realizing that her hero made it easier for her, and that’s a big lesson for her too.

Every day it’s something new, new people share their experiences, people inspire me to keep going. I can’t wait to get to MIT, I’m literally gonna go live in the dorm, live in Riri’s world, so I’m so excited. And on top this, yes, back to Marvel Legacy. Yes, these legacy characters mean the world to me. I’m very invested in them and I’m very invested in how much the audience has supported it and what we’re gonna do now. And I know when people hear “The Return of the Heroes,” they worry about the new hotnesses. You do not have to. To fans, so you know: you have made it so Riri, Miles, and Jessica Jones can sustain their own titles. It’s insane, right? So, we will never ignore that.

Marvel.com: Last question—do you miss Tony?

Brian Michael Bendis: Oh, no. ‘Cause I got Tony A.I. the whole time, which is uber-Tony, so any great Tony joke I can think of, this guy will do it.

It’s funny: Tony is the itch I never had to scratch. Literally from the moment I came in to Marvel, I’ve been writing Tony in some book. And I never did it on purpose…and everyone’s always focused on how I’m always writing Kitty Pryde in every book. But Tony made it into every book—every book had Tony Stark in it. Totally by accident! You look back and you go, “Oh, that’s funny. Even in the Guardians of the Galaxy, too.”

I never wrote a book without Tony. My love for him is obviously as strong as it can get for a creator and a character that they didn’t create.

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Take a look at exclusive AVENGERS: NO SURRENDER pages courtesy of Tom Brevoort and Alanna Smith!

True Believers, level up your weekend with a brand new episode of This Week in Marvel, the official Marvel podcast!

Take an epic look at all the comics coming this week like CAPTAIN PHASMA, MIGHTY THOR, and ALL-NEW GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, with Ryan, Ben and Tucker. Tune in for late breaking AVENGERS news from editors Tom Brevoort and Alanna Smith (1:18:38)! In fact, get an exclusive taste of AVENGERS: NO SURRENDER below! Christine and Eric dish out some TV and Film news from the West Coast (1:43:12) before tackling an old school Spider-Man classic for Ultimate Reading Club (1:51:06)!

Download episode #312 of This Week in Marvel from Marvel.com, check out Marvel Podcast Centralgrab the TWiM RSS feed and subscribe to This Week in Marvel on iTunes, so you never miss an episode! We are now also on Soundcloud! Head over now to our new hub to listen to the full run of This Week in Marvel!

This Week in Marvel will focus on delivering all the Marvel info on news and new releases–from comics to video games to toys to TV to film and beyond! New episodes will be released every Friday (or so) and TWiM is co-hosted by Marvel VP & Executive Editor of Digital Media Ryan “Agent M” Penagos and Marvel Editorial Director of Digital Media Ben Morse, along with Marvel.com Editor Eric Goldman, Marvel.com Assistant Editor Christine Dinh, and Manager of Video & Content Production Blake Garris. We also want your feedback, as well as questions for us to answer on future episodes!  Tweet your questions, comments and thoughts about TWiM to @AgentM@BenJMorse@chrissypedia or @Marvel with the hashtag #ThisWeekinMarvel!

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As Scott Lang joins the Guardians as Ant-Man we look back at how he joined the Marvel Universe!

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.

A first day on the job usually leads to some uncomfortable situations. You’re not quite sure where to park or sit for lunch. Maybe the people don’t take to you immediately or show even a remote sense of interest in your existence. And then sometimes, Wonder Man tries to punch you in the face because the Avengers Mansion security tried taking him out.

That wasn’t just Scott Lang’s first day on the job as an employee of Tony Stark’s installing the security system at the famous domicile, but also his very first appearance as seen in AVENGERS #181 by David Micheline, John Byrne and Gene Day. 

Avengers (1963) #181

Avengers (1963) #181

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Now that Lang has joined up with the team in ALL-NEW GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, it’s the perfect time to look back at how he made his less-than-spectacular debut in 1979. In an interesting little twist of fate, Iron Man actually saw the original Guardians off after a shared adventure they had in #177.

Anyway, Lang walked away with his head intact thanks to Stark interceding on his behalf, which allowed him to show up again in MARVEL PREMIERE #4748 by Micheline, Byrne and Bob Layton. 

Marvel Premiere (1972) #47

Marvel Premiere (1972) #47

What is Marvel Unlimited?

This issue kicked off with Lang already in the Ant-Man duds thinking to himself about saving his daughter while interrupting a surgery. He held his own, but didn’t succeed in completing his mission, which gave him time to think back.

In that second appearance, Lang remembered being an inmate in a prison that helped him get a job interview with Stark International. Wanting to put his burglary days behind him and embrace his electronics background, which worked out, but only for a while. Soon, his daughter Cassie exhibited an inoperable aorta condition that seemed to leave them all with little to no hope.

Desperate, Lang broke into a an old mansion belonging to Hank Pym. He wanted cash to help pay for Cassie’s treatment, but wound up stumbling upon the Ant-Man costume and helmet, which he made off with. He soon put the duds on and found himself at eye level with the insects.

Only later did the opening scene come into focus more fully as he intended to kidnap Dr. Sondheim who was working on the procedure and force her to help Cassie. Instead, he discovered that a hulk of a man named Darren Cross had actually kidnapped Dr. Sondheim already in search of her services.

After rescuing the good doctor, she helped save Cassie’s life and things started looking up for Lang, and then Pym appeared in his Yellow Jacket costume. Instead of chewing the thief out, Hank congratulated him on a job well done and said he could keep the suit if he kept doing good with it.

Lang jumped at the chance and has been striving to stay on the right side ever since. He even did a good enough job parenting to help raise Cassie into a strong young woman who became a hero in her own right known as Stature!

Flash Forward

The MARVEL PREMIERE issues as a test to see if this new Ant-Man could shoulder his own series. The numbers didn’t quite work out for that, but he did wind up becoming an Avenger. In #181, he showed up at Yellow Jacket’s request to help the team find out what the Wasp might be doing at the Solomon Institute for the Criminally Insane. The two shrunk down to infiltrate the building and free Jan, which succeeded. Unfortunately they ran into a new foe: The Taskmaster! They put up a good enough fight to eventually earn Scott a spot on the team!

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Marc Spector discovers—and contends with—his multiple personalities!

Every day this month, a new supernatural character or story from the Marvel Universe gets a spooky spotlight leading up to Halloween!

For the 13th Halloween Spooklight, who better to focus on than one of the most unlucky heroes around—Moon Knight. The man under the hood, Marc Spector, can never seem to catch a break.

He first appeared in the pages of 1975’s WEREWOLF BY NIGHT #32#33 thanks to Doug Moench and Don Perlin. In that appearance, he played something of a bad guy—trying to hunt down Jack Russell’s hairy alter ego on behalf of a group called the Committee. By the end of the second issue, however, he decided to switch sides and helped save the werewolf hero.

Werewolf by Night (1972) #32

Werewolf by Night (1972) #32

What is Marvel Unlimited?

The mystery man then hopped around a few different titles, making another WEREWOLF BY NIGHT appearance in #37 before showing up in MARVEL SPOTLIGHT #28-#29. By the time he made his PETER PARKER, THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN debut in issues #22 and #23, Moon Knight’s identity had been firmly nailed down…in that he had no single identity.

Marc Spector existed as a former soldier and mercenary, Steven Grant appeared as a wealthy entrepreneur, and Jake Lockley fought the mean streets. And the character(s) made their solo bow in 1980’s MOON KNIGHT #1 by Doug Moench and Bill Sienkiewicz!

Years prior to the start of this story, Spector and his fellow soldier Frenchie worked as guns-for-hire in the Sudan for a boss named Bushmaster. Though after a few crazy encounters with the man, the duo decided to bail on the mission—but, in response, Bushmaster beat him and left him to die in the desert.

Moon Knight (1980) #1

Moon Knight (1980) #1

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Not one to give up, Spector fought through the sand and heat, and eventually found himself at the site of a nearby archaeological dig. The daughter of a residing archaeologist murdered by Bushmaster, Marlene, appeared next to Marc in front of a statue of Khonshu, the god of vengeance.

Inspired, Spector grabbed a white cloak off the statue and made off to put an end to Bushmaster’s ways. As he journeyed, his alternate identities found their forms—and Spector established a partnership with Marlene and Frenchie. Having discovered all of himself, Spector made sure Bushmaster soon met a moonlit end.

Fright Fact

Moon Knight has experienced an immense amount of psychological trauma through the years. Always inspired by—though never certain of his relationship with—Khonshu, he’s persevered with the help of his partners…and his other selves.

A dark look at an already shadowy character, MOON KNIGHT by Charlie Huston and David Finch looked at a truly broken Spector slowly finding his way back to becoming a hero. Along the way, though, he struggled with the voices in his head, the bloody visage of Bushmaster, and a battle with Taskmaster.

Next week we shine the Spooklight on Gerry Conway and Mike Perkins’ CARNAGE!

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Watch out as the "Fall of Peter Parker" continues!

The infamous Parker Luck has hit Pete hard recently—and it doesn’t look like it’ll stop any time soon.

Despite his budding romance with Mockingbird, Spider-Man’s difficulties continue with “The Fall of Peter Parker, Part 3” in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #791 written by Dan Slott with art by Stuart Immonen. The odds seem up against Spidey—so will he manage to escape this tough time with his new relationship intact?

We asked Spider-Man editor Devin Lewis to fill us in on what might be in-store for the Wallcrawler.

Marvel.com: Tell us about the “Fall of Peter Parker” story arc!

Devin Lewis: It’s Peter Parker, and he’s back and worse than ever! That’s how the saying goes…uh, right?

Peter’s been living the good life as the big brain behind Parker Industries—the preeminent technology company in the Marvel Universe for several months. But that position of power came with more responsibilities than he ever anticipated, and Peter found himself faced with new kinds of challenges: keeping his employees fed, his customers happy—heck, even operating within the bounds of international law became a headache!

For weeks, Peter’s been carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders, and despite all his Spider Strength, everything’s come crashing down around him! No more Baxter Building, no more gadgets, gizmos, or doohickeys. Peter Parker, heading back to square one.

I know what you might be asking yourself—will these changes impact Peter’s wall-crawling, webslinging alter ego, Spider-Man? You betcha! Am I gonna tell you how? You betchanot!

The Amazing Spider-Man (2017) #791

The Amazing Spider-Man (2017) #791

Marvel.com: How has Peter’s love life been going before this recent development with Mockingbird? It’s no secret that he’s had more than his fair share of heartache in the past…

Devin Lewis: Oh, man, hasn’t he? I can’t think of many people who have been as unlucky in love as Peter Parker (but that’s kind of what we like about him, right?).

Peter’s love life has been especially difficult ever since he came back from SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN. It’s been simmering in the background of Dan’s story—it can be hard for Peter to connect with people since getting his body back.

Before Bobbi, Peter involved himself with Lian Tang, one of his most trusted advisors at Parker Industries, who turned out to be a traitor working for the dangerous criminal organization called Zodiac. That probably didn’t help Peter’s intimacy issues…

Marvel.com: How did Peter and Mockingbird—A.K.A. Bobbi Morse—meet? Tell us about their history.

Devin Lewis: Despite running in the same super heroic circles, Mockingbird and Spider-Man never really interacted until 2015’s AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #1, and we’ve been steadily building towards smooches ever since!

Initially, Peter and Bobbi had a professional relationship. Peter supplied S.H.I.E.L.D. with tech, and Bobbi served as Parker Industries’ official S.H.I.E.L.D. liaison, handling communication between the company and Nick Fury. As Mockingbird, she also trekked across the globe and helped Peter track members of Zodiac and eventually put the organization down (or so it seems!) which seems like a pretty strong foundation for any relationship.

The Amazing Spider-Man (2017) #1

The Amazing Spider-Man (2017) #1

  • Published: October 07, 2015
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: April 04, 2016
  • Writer: Dan Slott
  • Cover Artist: Alex Ross
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Marvel.com: This relationship seems a little different to Peter’s previous attempts at love. Would you agree?

Devin Lewis: To his credit, Peter really tries these days. Especially in the chaos of his company’s liquidation, Peter has been struggling to find the good in the world, but he tries nonetheless. And, fortunately, Bobbi acts as someone he can look to in order to see that there’s goodness out there.

It helps, too, that Bobbi has been trying even harder than Peter. A bombshell in the epic AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #27, it emerged that Bobbi quit her job to make sure that Parker Industries could carry out an international operation. Mockingbird put Nick Fury in his place and proved her loyalty to Spider-Man and Peter. That’s new—there haven’t been many people who have cared about Peter enough to throw their lives away.

I dunno about you, but boy, I hope he doesn’t screw it up.

Marvel.com: How does the Legacy storyline fit into all of this?

Devin Lewis: Heartache? Scraping to get buy? Punching bad guys!?

Heck, the only way this story could be Legacy-er would be if Pete ate wheatcakes!

The Amazing Spider-Man (2017) #27

The Amazing Spider-Man (2017) #27

Marvel.com: What does the legacy of Marvel mean to you, as an Editor and as a fan?

Devin Lewis: One thing we talk about a lot here at Marvel—not just now during Legacy, but always—is that we stand on the shoulders of giants.

We’re fortunate enough to tell stories about the greatest characters in the world, all taking place in an amazing, continuous science fiction universe thanks to creators like Stan Lee, Steve Ditko, Jack Kirby, and so many more I don’t have the space to list. Their influence can still be felt in Marvel Comics today.

But many creators have added their voices to the Marvel chorus in the time since Stan and Jack ran things, and all of those voices have brought their own unique life experiences to Marvel’s characters.

Through that kind of inclusivity of experience, the Marvel family has grown across the world—and you can never tell what Marvel story will bring a measure of happiness to a reader.

Speaking personally, I took great comfort in reading AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #36, the first issue of Spider-Man published after 9/11. As an 11-year-old kid at the time, I felt confused about what was going on in the country and the world. It was scary.

But when I read that issue, Spider-Man felt confused, too. He was angry, hurt, panicking. And most importantly, he was scared. Just like me. And that helped me be less afraid.

To me, that’s what Marvel’s legacy is.

The legacy continues with writer Dan Slott and artist Stuart Immonen’s AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #791 on November 15!

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Captain America faces a ferocious force in his first Avengers mission!

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.

By now, just about everyone knows what happened in AVENGERS #4 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby: After Namor threw something of a tantrum, he accidentally dislodged an iceberg holding World War II hero Captain America. While flying home from their own battle with the Sub-Mariner as well as Hulk in the previous issue, the Avengers spotted this odd shape, saw a man inside, and were shocked to find who thawed out on their ship.

At the end of that installment, Cap noted the similarities between Rick Jones and his now-deceased—or so he thought—partner Bucky Barnes and also officially became an Avenger! His first official outing among Earth’s Mightiest Heroes actually took place in yesterday’s Kirby 100 spotlight, which saw both the Avengers and Fantastic Four taking on the Hulk. Returning to their tossed headquarters in AVENGERS #5, the team cleaned the place up and then went their separate ways.

Of course, the world has a tendency to bear witness to problems springing up that need the attention of our heroes! In this case, a Transistorized Artillery Computer at a Stark factory blew up because of high-pitched sonics. Individually, the other Avengers also experienced strange sounds that caused other kinds of problems. We soon learned that the Lava Men caused the disturbance, emitted by their Living Stone weapon. One of their number had fought Thor in the pages of JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #97 and suggested against causing trouble with the surface dwellers. The rulers moved ahead anyway.

Avengers (1963) #5

Avengers (1963) #5

  • Published: May 10, 1964
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
  • Penciller: Jack Kirby
  • Cover Artist: Jack Kirby
What is Marvel Unlimited?

After a tussle with Iron Man, the Lava Men explained to Thor that the Living Stone exploded on impact. It had grown to such a great size, that they planned on sending it to the surface, smashing it, exploding it, and taking all the crust dwellers with it! Back up top, the Avengers did their best to keep their foes from flowing out onto the surface before heading down under themselves and joining back up with Thor. The reunion proved short-lived as the Lava Men’s witch doctor used his own magic to turn the Thunder God back to Donald Blake. Making matters worse, Hulk showed up to cause his own brand of trouble!

Luckily, Hulk’s presence gave Captain America an idea for a plan. The remaining Avengers all worked together to get the Jade Giant up on top of the Living Stone bubble and Wasp got him to punch at exactly the right spot. The resulting implosion sent the force downward instead of outward. With the threat gone, Blake turned back into Thor and sealed the Lava Men back inside the Earth, warning them not to return. Not far away, Betty Ross found Bruce Banner and took him back to the military base he worked at nearby and the Avengers went off to answer a Condition Red emergency from the Teen Brigade!

Clearly, Lee and Kirby liked the idea of building their shared universe of titles at this time. In addition to the title team, which now featured a legacy character, they also brought back the Lava Men from the earlier Thor story. Though published not even a year apart from each other, it’s fun to look at both tales and see how much the already amazing Kirby got even better as an artist!

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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Mark Waid details the tenuous team-up with the Avengers!

The High Evolutionary has set two planets—and billions of people—on a deadly collision course…and two of the most powerful super groups on Earth must come to the rescue.

Tensions have been rising for the Champions and the Avengers, but they’ll need to put aside all differences to avoid catastrophe in CHAMPIONS #14! On November 15, writer Mark Waid and artist Humberto Ramos put this team-up to the test—and reveal a secret that’ll change Viv’s life forever.

Waid dropped by to give us a few hints on what to expect from the newest issue.

Marvel.com: Catch us up on the events of the “Worlds Collide” storyline so far.

Mark Waid: It looks pretty grim for about 12 billion beings both human and Ani-Men. The High Evolutionary, for reasons as yet unrevealed, has been gearing up for something mysterious that he calls “The Ascension,” and his world and ours get set on a collision course.

Marvel.com: What made The High Evolutionary the perfect villain for this tale?

Mark Waid: He fit thematically. At the heart of the story exists a friction between the younger heroes and the older Avengers that they will someday “evolve” into. Plus, no other villains give us two planets colliding!

Marvel.com: Will the teams get along in this issue? They’ve seemed to manage it alright so far…

Mark Waid: Yeah, well, give it time. As tensions mount, so do tempers.

Marvel.com: How would you describe Humberto Ramos’ art style? How does it complement the script you wrote for this story?

Mark Waid: Everything about working with Humberto is a joy—always has been. His style feels so full of kinetic energy that it’s perfect for a story with this many characters—everyone has a distinct look and style!

Marvel.com: Describe the dynamic between Vision and Viv in this arc.

Mark Waid: I can’t say too much without tipping my hand, but let’s just say that Vision has been keeping a secret from Viv, one he’s kept since ALL-NEW, ALL-DIFFERENT AVENGERS #13. This creates more friction between them as she tries to figure out what’s going on in her father’s head.

Worlds collide in CHAMPIONS #14, by Mark Waid and artist Humberto Ramos, on November 15!

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Artist Javier Garrón brings something Sinister to the Secret Warriors!

The Inhumans continue to find themselves teetering on the edge of tomorrow, not exactly sure where they’ll fall. With the Terrigen mists destroyed in the pages of INHUMANS VS. X-MEN and the Royal Family leaving for outer space soon after, that leaves the Secret Warriors to carry on Earth-side.

That’s exactly what Matthew Rosenberg and Javier Garrón have chronicled since they launched SECRET WARRIORS earlier this year. The team fought against the Steve Rogers’ Secret Empire and now find themselves dealing with the mad geneticist Mister Sinister as they shift into the Marvel Legacy era.

We talked with Garrón about his continued familiarity with both his writer and his characters as well as what Marvel Legacy holds for his squad!

Marvel.com: With Marvel Legacy, lots of books are looking back to their roots. Many of the Secret Warriors characters are relatively new, so how does it play into your series from the art side of things?

Javier Garrón: In terms of art we’re going more into the continuity aspect of the legacy. The series began as a direct consequence of Inhumans Vs. X-Men and Secret Empire. We dealt with the latter in the first arc and epilogue and now we’re diving into exploring the consequences of the former. Legacy here comes more in terms of the Inhumans as a species and civilization than as individual characters. The Inhuman line has been stopped since there aren’t Terrigen mists anymore and that’s what we’re exploring in the second arc. The responsibility of honoring and continuing that legacy.

The story is as epic as it has been so far, quite probably even more so. Visually there’s still a lot of orchestration to be done with a lot of characters involved, many locations and some crowded action set pieces alongside the storyline. Our main heroes don’t get any redesign, but they sure look more tired and troubled with the endless series of problems they face. There’s still humor and space for some on-point visual gags, but the fatigue is starting to show visually in them.

Marvel.com: You and Matthew have been steering this ship since the beginning. How would you say your collaborative relationship has evolved in that time?

Javier Garrón: I think we’ve reached a certain point of magic, hard to achieve even intentionally. The kind of magic that is to catch what the other person is trying to convey with words in his case, or with images in mine, and pushing it further. One of my main tasks as an artist is to reflect in panels what’s in the script, so it’s understandable even without balloons, and complement it. That’s where artists put details not scripted in the character’s clothes, in the background or the lighting, for example. The magic comes when the writer notices it, those details not proposed in the script and incorporates it in following comics.

In the first arc—and this wasn’t scripted—I started a visual running joke with Inferno. Something without any kind of importance story-wise. We never even talked about it specifically, but Matt noticed it and in the second arc there’s [an] explicit reference to it, which makes the gag even greater. That sync only comes when the people involved click creatively, and I think—and hope—that’s the case.

Marvel.com: Along those same lines, do you feel like your approach to any of the characters has changed the more you’ve gotten to know them?

Javier Garrón: Undoubtedly! The more you draw, the better you are at it. And with characters it’s like with real people, you need to get to know them, at least in my case, to really, really portray them perfectly. From my perspective that has happened with Lunella and Inferno, and for two very different reasons.

The more I’ve worked with Moon Girl, the more I’ve come to realize how complex and rich that character is. A multi-layered girl, who is the smartest person in the Marvel Universe, but also an eight-year-old with a temper. That gives you serious, interesting Reed Richards kind-of-moments when she’s in genius mode, and very funny moments when she behaves more accordingly to her own age, though even then she still acts like a much older person. There’s the contrast between that hard and that soft side of her that visually is very rich, both in terms of gesticulation and design.

And then there’s Inferno, which without even having talked about it, or actively worked on it, has been kind of a comic relief, visually. In the second arc he has also a very important dramatic role, but I really love to explore his goofy side when possible. And I think I’ve gotten better at drawing his fiery flames—always in between the limits of my skill—every time I get to draw fire is even more fun than the last time I did it.

Marvel.com: Mister Sinister has also been around for a while now, messing with the Warriors and other Inhumans. Do you feel like you have a new understanding of him at this point?

Javier Garrón: I hope so! I mean, at least at some infinitesimal level, or in my interpretation of him. In comic books we’re dealing with versions, I think. This is my version of the character, which is the official one in the moment it gets published in continuity, but in two months’ time the same character can show up in another series, by another creative team, slightly different, but being then the official one at that point. So, in our version of Sinister he’s more grounded in the Marvel Universe as a whole. He’s no longer an X-Men villain, but a character that plays a larger role in the great scheme of things. Sinister’s also an even more detached being, closer to an artificial intelligence with the sole purpose of gaining knowledge than an actual living being with worries and desires. If he had them at some point, that’s gone.

I like to portray that visually in terms of design and body posture. He’s refined, but slightly outdated. He dresses elegantly, but more accordingly with the time when he was born than actual times, as if he continues to dress out of habit, not really putting his mind into it. He looks polished, but more in the way of a relic. And he always stands like a governess, strict and severe.

Marvel.com: How has it been developing new Inhumans with Matthew in this series?

Javier Garrón: It’s so much fun! Designing new characters is one of the many perks of the job and Matt is extremely collaborative when the time comes to putting our hands into it. He sets the tone, puts the foundations down, and then I have all the freedom I need to make it happen. We have lots and lots of Inhumans as background actors, and that’s when I can get as crazy as I want and time allows, because kids, in comics our budget is not money but time.

I think if we haven’t put more people into the story it’s because they can’t fit into the panels! It’s so crowded! Some characters started complaining and we had to cut the budget on this; those background Inhumans have a temper and they want to be in the shot so they can show off later with their friends! I mean, all those egos! It’s a struggle to make all our main heroes and the supporting ones happy, but that’s the comic book creator’s life!

SECRET WARRIORS continues to roll out the Earthly Inhumanity every month thanks to Matthew Rosenberg and Javier Garrón, with issue #8 hitting November 15!

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The demon declares the Spaceway Sentinel too good to live!

Every day this month, a new supernatural character or story from the Marvel Universe gets a spooky spotlight leading up to Halloween!

Occasionally, major characters make their first appearances in unexpected manners. Among those with strange debuts sits the demon known as Mephisto, who joined the Marvel Universe with 1968’s SILVER SURFER #3.

After turning against his master Galactus in the classic FANTASTIC FOUR #48#50, the Surfer found himself stuck on Earth, trying to understand the people he sacrificed so much for. To say the people of his new home planet didn’t seem overly grateful would be…an understatement.

In fact, humanity’s fear of the Surfer bothered Norrin Radd so much that, in the third issue of his first series, he threatened to punish the human race in an effort to teach them a lesson. This tale, by Stan Lee and John Buscema, saw him use his massive power to halt all of Earth’s machines, plunging the globe into darkness.

At that moment, Mephisto—an inter-dimensional demon—watched the planet, displeased. He proclaimed, “While man remains an uneducated savage, my ranks of the damned are swelled to overflowing! Thus, I have ordained that nothing shall change the unthinking masses of humanity!”

Witnessing the cosmic might of The Silver Surfer, Mephisto saw a potential enemy—and declared that he must die. To defeat his new foe, the would-be devil traveled to Zenn-La to meet Norrin Radd’s lost love Shalla Bal.

Silver Surfer (1968) #3

Silver Surfer (1968) #3

  • Published: December 01, 1968
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
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Back above the Earth, the Spaceway Sentinel came to see his attack on the planet as a mistake. After returning the world’s energy, he glimpsed Shalla’s approaching ship—and Mephisto accompanying it. The craft crashed into a collection of nearby mountains, though—to Radd’s relief—Shalla survived.

Mephisto then returned to his domain with Shalla Bal in tow. The Surfer followed, learning that the demon wanted to take the Surfer’s goodness, twist it, and control it for himself.

After failing to entice Norrin over to his side with offers of riches, women, and power, Mephisto began throwing waves of attacks at his enemy. Mud men, horned demons, and a dragon took on the Surfer at their master’s behest, though the cosmic being brushed them off. The demon then sapped the hero of his will, shrunk him down, and inserted the Surfer into his own head!

The Surfer’s mighty will, however, overpowered Mephisto’s and he escaped the fiery dome. In response, the dark being gave his opponent one last choice: join him and stay with Shalla Bal…or refuse and lose her forever.

Norrin Radd, heartbroken, refused Mephisto, sending Shalla Bal back—untouchable—to Zenn-La.

Fright Fact

Mephisto has tempted and tortured The Silver Surfer on more than a few occasions, including several more times in that first volume. Not content with just one super powered foe, though, Mephisto got involved with Thor and Johnny Blaze as well.

In 1987, the demon starred in his own four issue limited series called MEPHISTO VS., which pitted him against the Fantastic Four, X-Factor, the X-Men, and the Avengers. He made his greatest impact, though, in 2007, during Spider-Man’s “One More Day” storyline, when he offered Peter Parker the chance to save his Aunt May’s life—but, in exchange, he’d have to erase his marriage to Mary Jane. Spidey, heartbroken—like the Silver Surfer nearly 40 years before—agreed.

Tomorrow, uncover Marc Spector’s misunderstood madness as we explore MOON KNIGHT!

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Chase and Nico head to Murder World!

In celebration of Rainbow Rowell and Kris Anka’s RUNAWAYS and “Marvel’s Runaways” heading to Hulu on November 21, take a look at the team’s major adventures as seen on Marvel Unlimited!

When the third RUNAWAYS volume ended in 2009, fans didn’t know what the future held for their favorite teen heroes. Though they certainly didn’t expect Chase and Nico to show up in an Avengers book packed with other young heroes—old and new alike—all fighting for survival!

In 2013, Dennis Hopeless, Kev Walker, Alessandro Vitti, Riccardo Burchielli, Karl Moline, and others launched AVENGERS ARENA. The book found death trap builder Arcade selecting 16 kids from the Runaways, Avengers Academy, X-Men, and  Braddock Academy to spend 30 days on a gigantic version of Murder World. The catch? Only one of them would be allowed to leave.

Avengers Arena (2012) #1

Avengers Arena (2012) #1

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When they first arrived, Chase and Nico set out on their own, found a nice patch of forest, and tried defending it—but soon realized that wouldn’t work. Unlike the other contestants, Chase worried not about dying—but about surviving. He thought that, especially in recent years, he’d been surrounded by smarter, more skilled people who’d met their demise while, inexplicably to him, he kept on living.

As the series progressed, plenty of alliances developed and came crashing down as the kids worried about who would survive and how. It didn’t help that a few of their fellow contestants had no problem killing or manipulating the others.

Over the course of the month, the Runaways underwent some intense changes. Chase utilized the Darkhawk gem, allowing him to briefly turn into the armored space hero. Nico’s power-up, however, came at a higher cost…during one of the many betrayals in Murder World, a fellow captive took control of Chase in his Darkhawk form and used his powers to attack Nico with an energy blast. She lost an arm, the Staff of One got obliterated, and she nearly died—until the Staff reformed and supercharged her mystical powers.

At the end of AVENGERS ARENA, Arcade released online videos of the kids during their time in Murder World. And by the time the follow-up series, AVENGERS UNDERCOVER, began, only Chase embraced the resulting fame. Cullen Bloodstone, however, wanted to track down the villain and kill him for his deeds, which brought the young man to Bagalia, the underground super villain society run by Baron Zemo and his Masters of Evil.

Avengers Undercover (2014) #1

Avengers Undercover (2014) #1

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This 10 issue series—by Hopeless, Walker, Timothy Green II, and Tigh Walker—saw Chase, Nico, Cammi, Anachronism, Hazmat, and Death Locket follow Cullen to discover a hedonistic world that appealed to their base instincts in exchange for an occasional favor. Most of the group united to stick around in an effort to infiltrate the organization. Eventually, they succeeded in their mission—but not without experiencing a few dark moments along the way.

LOST & FOUND

One more volume of RUNAWAYS exists, though it’s very different from the others. Part of Secret War’s Battleworld initiative, this four issue series by writer Noelle Stevenson and artist Sanford Greene started with a bunch of students at the Victor von Doom Institute for Gifted Youths. Once they realized their exams involved death, however, the kids attempted to escape. Molly represented the only pre-existing Runaway in the group, but the rest of the squad included Amadeus Cho, Cloak, Dagger, Skaar, Pixie, Jubilee, Frostbite, and Delphyne Gorgon.

That’s a wrap on Get Ready to Run! Now find your fix with Rainbow Rowell and Kris Anka’s RUNAWAYS and “Marvel’s Runaways” on Hulu this November 21!

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