Jack Kirby and Stan Lee create a world-shaking foe and unlikely new ally!
1917 to 2017: 100 years of Kirby.
Join us this month to celebrate Jack “King” Kirby’s 100th birthday by learning about the characters and stories he created to change 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.
No one came up with better, more long-lasting villains than Jack Kirby and Stan Lee. Their FANTASTIC FOUR run alone brought some of the Marvel Universe’s biggest baddies into existence—ranging from Monstro and the Skrulls to Doctor Doom and Galactus!
“If anyone is going to surpass ‘The King’ as far as creating characters, he or she hasn’t been born yet,” notes MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR writer Brandon Montclare. “Or at least hasn’t started their careers, as no working creator can extrapolate that kind of output!”
For Montclare, the Devourer of Worlds, Galactus, holds a great deal of significance, thanks in part to the difficulty he had getting his hands on the story that ran in FANTASTIC FOUR #48–50 from 1966.
“FANTASTIC FOUR #48 was mythic before I ever got to read it,” Montclare describes. “Silver Surfer was my favorite character growing up. Even before I read those [issues of] FANTASTIC FOUR, he had a mystique of being a different and special character. The cosmic force Galactus was equally so! I’m envious of older fans who experienced that on the newsstand. But I couldn’t afford a FANTASTIC FOUR #48! And I recall there actually being FANTASY MASTERPIECES reprints only of the John Buscema stuff, but even those were older and hard to find!”
The first issue in the trilogy tied up an Inhumans thread running in a prior storyline. The Watcher then appeared to warn Reed Richards and his team of an upcoming threat posed, first by the mysterious Silver Surfer, and then by Galactus himself!
Face-to-face with the world-eater, the quartet jumped into the fight, though as Ben Grimm described their initial futile efforts in issue #49, “He didn’t even feel it!” But thanks to the group’s persistence—as well as a change in allegiance by the Silver Surfer and the looming threat of the Ultimate Nullifier—Galactus decided the planet not worth his trouble and left, exiling Norrin Radd to Earth in the process.
“Reading all of the Stan and Jack FANTASTIC FOUR comics, when I finally got around to it, was an eye-opener,” Montclare recalls. “I don’t think anyone has come close to doing what they did on FANTASTIC FOUR. I think there’s indeed a ton of great Fantastic Four comics, but they were squarely super hero and very ‘Marvel Universe’ by the time I knew them. The early Fantastic Four, despite the crossovers and recurring characters, always feels like an exploration story.”
FANTASTIC FOUR #48-50 served to continue the establishment of the cosmic side of the Marvel Universe. While readers had already met the Skrulls, the alien race made another appearance in this tale, doing their best to avoid a visit from Galactus. Future writers would take inspiration from these early galactic insights to help build what now stands as an all-important aspect of the universe.
“I love Marvel Cosmic,” Montclare explains, “As a kid, I started in a decade past [writer and artist] Jim Starlin, so two decades past Kirby. But seeing those stories, you really can feel that the whole cosmic branch of Marvel started in that book—and really just with Jack’s visuals. From the outlandish designs to posed grandeur to even the classic Kirby Krackle.”
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.
Gerry Duggan drops hints on the team's future—and Adam's return!
This January, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY reaches its landmark issue #150!
Just in time too, as the Guardians will have to contend with a big player reentering the scene: Adam Warlock.
Writer Gerry Duggan joins artist Marcus To as Gamora, Drax, Star-Lord, Rocket, and Groot quest for the Soul Stone, try to contain Adam, and battle the Raptors in this epic sesquicentennial event.
We asked Gerry for some insight on what to expect from The Return of Adam Warlock, Part 1.
Marvel.com: What can you tease about Adam’s return?
Gerry Duggan: Well, he returns more than once…kind of. Pretty mysterious!
Marvel.com: Will they run into any other classic characters who’ve made recent comebacks? Maybe…Wolverine?
Gerry Duggan: The Guardians will meet Logan! Just not right now.
Marvel.com: You’ve mentioned before that Gamora will take a very personal journey with the Soul Stone. How might that come about? Will she enter the Soul World?
Gerry Duggan: Well, technically she’s been encountering it in visions in our run. Because her eyes have opened to what the Soul Stone really is. The world within presents itself as a Utopia, but is anything but. The Soul Stone hungers…
Marvel.com: You’ve teased that this arc takes the Guardians to some amazing locations. What can we expect to see? How has Marcus To been in realizing these sights?
Gerry Duggan: Marcus has been so wonderful. We’re going to see the Nova’s new HQ, visit space ravaged by Ultrons, visit a new location with a big secret…lots of fun inbound!
Marvel.com: Will war still be on the table for Gamora and the Guardians as we approach #150?
Gerry Duggan: By issue #147, you’ll visit the location of a very important flashpoint in the coming war. Every issue, the drums of war get louder…
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #150, by Gerry Duggan and artist Marcus To, arrives in January!
Elsa takes over her father's monster hunting legacy!
Every day this month, a new supernatural character or story from the Marvel Universe gets a spooky spotlight leading up to Halloween!
In 2001, Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning, and Michael Lopez introduced the world to a young woman—mysteriously linked to monsters—who found herself embroiled in a war between creatures and humans. And they called that young woman Elsa Bloodstone!
The character, who has since starred in NEXTWAVE: AGENTS OF H.A.T.E. and MONSTERS UNLEASHED, first appeared in BLOODSTONE #1. The story began as Elsa and her recently widowed mother moved into her dad’s former home. Unbeknownst to Elsa, her father, Ulysses, lead a life of adventure as a globetrotting monster hunter. Living in his residence, she learned details about him, his life, and the supernatural gem that she shares a name with.
She met a couple of new friends along this path of discovery, including Adam, A.K.A. Frankenstein’s Monster, and Charles Barnabus, the pureblood vampire lawyer. After coming into possession of a mystical Bloodgem, Elsa teleported across locations, encountered Dracula, and went on a mission to help a mummy create a zombie army.
These adventures proved to just be warm-ups for the real adventure, however, when the vampire Nosferatu sought to concoct a super blood by sourcing the goods from pureblood vampires like Dracula and Barnabus. Luckily for them, Elsa took to the whole monster-hunting gig pretty quickly and, with some help from her friends, took Nosferatu on head-to-head. Utilizing the Bloodgem, she cured Nosferatu of vampirism, which left the centuries-old being a quivering pile of dust.
Since her initial limited series, Elsa has continued to leave her mark on the supernatural landscape of the Marvel Universe. She even joined the 50 State Initiative in the wake of Civil War. Later, she appeared in the pages of AVENGERS UNDERCOVER.
For a concise history of Ulysses, Elsa, and the Bloodgem they’ve both worn, check out MARVEL ASSISTANT-SIZED SPECTACULAR #2. Set 10,000 years in the past, a “rock possessed by a planet-conquering god” crashed into Earth before being discovered by a young Ulysses. He hunted monsters imbued with fragments of the initial gem, forging his own name that he then passed on to his daughter.
Tomorrow, remember the bloodcurdling tale of Sam Wilson as Cap-Wolf!
Kieron Gillen, Leinil Yu and Salvador Larroca chronicle Darth Vader's adventures.
Each week Star Wars Spotlight combs through the digital archives of Marvel Unlimited to showcase one classic story from that distant galaxy filled with Jedi, Sith, princesses, scoundrels and droids.
Though Darth Vader walked away relatively unscathed from the STAR WARS – DARTH VADER crossover called VADER DOWN, he still had plenty to deal with between a war on the mining planet of Shu-Torun and forces within the Empire secretly working against him.
That story ran from DARTH VADER ANNUAL #1 into DARTH VADER #16–19 by Kieron Gillen, Leinil Yu and Salvador Larroca. The first installment saw Vader traveling to the planet in an effort to remind the ore-barons and their leaders that the Empire remained in charge. During the visit, Rebel supporters attacked and the king’s third daughter Trios did her best to lead Vader to his death. However, the Sith Lord saw something useful in her and put her in charge of the planet after everyone’s favorite murder droids 0-0-0 and BT-1 killed the rest of the royal court.
The main series issues picked up a bit later as the Ore Barons continued to lean towards rebellion even as Queen Trios tried steering them in the right direction. With the potential threat of losing one of their main sources of raw materials, the Emperor sent Vader to quell the uprising, assisted by Cylo and his two pseudo-cyber Jedi wannabes Morit and Aiolin.
On Shu-Torun, Vader found a queen who, while still relatively new to the throne, had grown into the role quite well. She fought fiercely as her enemies used important and even sacred equipment like Delving Citadels and Laval Leviathans against them. With the fearless agent of the Empire by her side, though, it seemed like the Ore Barons didn’t stand a chance.
At least not a fair one. Which brings us back to Cylo who made a deal with the Ore Barons to sabotage Vader’s vessel in an attempt to destroy his rival while still remaining somewhat loyal to the Emperor. Darth Vader figured out the plot and, thanks in part to some impressive psychological warfare implemented by Triple-Zero, their opponents surrendered.
Meanwhile, Queen Trios took control of her own command, killed a traitor in her midst and continued on in her mission to unseat one of her major opponents. Upon finding him, she had the man killed and put his own daughter in charge saying, “I’ve found inexperienced youths not expecting power the most easy to manipulate,” to which Vader agreed.
From the Jedi Temple Archives
This story featured an interesting array of relationships in Darth Vader’s life at this time. On one side, you’ve got the stern, yet still somewhat helpful and encouraging mentorship between Vader and Queen Trios. On the other hand, he expressly tells Aiolin that he has nothing to teach her, mostly because of her status as a cyborg created by Cylo to appear Jedi-like. Later on, though, when she and her brother attack him, he does move to end her suffering in molten lava, though it appeared only to get one last bit of information out of her. Still, if anyone knows the pain of searing flesh, it’s the former Anakin Skywalker.
Finally, this run also featured Vader’s attempts to reclaim his one time covert op – and the creator of Triple-Zero and BeeTee – Doctor Aphra. She got captured at the end of VADER DOWN and, as we saw in the Rebel Jail story in STAR WARS, she helped Princess Leia stop an unorthodox prison break that essentially won her her freedom. The Sith Lord put out an anonymous call to bounty hunters to find her. When Beebox came back with a pile of bones, Vader knew it wasn’t Aphra and killed the liar. At the end of the story, Inspector Thanoth claimed to have found her and wanted to talk to Lord Vader about her. For more on that, you’ll just have to wait until we return to this series down the road!
Next week we travel back to the Clone Wars as John Ostrander, Jan Duursema and Dan Parsons showcase a hero in STAR WARS JEDI – SHAAK TI!
The Simon-Kirby team produces one of the Golden Age’s great heroes!
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.
These days, everyone knows The Vision as Marvel’s number one synthezoid hero with more than a few family issues to work through. However, before the Android Avenger, another Vision walked the halls at the House of Ideas.
A few months before creating Captain America, Joe Simon and Jack Kirby teamed up to present the very first appearance of The Vision in 1940’s MARVEL MYSTERY COMICS #13. This series debuted Golden Age heroes like Namor and the original versions of Angel, The Human Torch, and Ka-Zar.
The story kicked off with Dr. Enoch Mason showing three of his friends a new machine called The Dimension Smasher. As he put it, “The purpose of my demonstration, tonight, is to prove that the so-called ghosts and spirits are actually inhabitants of worlds and universes whose dimensional spheres are co-existent with our own.” Unfortunately for him, an intelligence-hating mobster by the name of Brain had bought Mason’s promissory note and intended to either collect or take his equipment that very same night.
The hoods busted into the laboratory in the middle of the experiment, telling the doc that he either had to pay up right then or get an impromptu renovation. As he floundered for an answer, the green-headed Vision appeared behind one of the gunmen in a cloud of smoke sparked by his own cigar. The visitor froze the mobster, introduced himself as Aarkus, Destroyer of Evil, and then took off after Brain’s other thug. After taking care of business, Aarkus returned to Mason, this time in a more human form.
Aarkus remained in that form when Brain’s mob showed up for further revenge. Knocked unconscious for a time, the otherworlder asked for one last cigarette before death and used the ensuing smoke to unleash his more powerful side. The Vision made short work of the crooks and even used their pants to tie them up!
While Vision clearly didn’t become Simon and Kirby’s main contribution to the Timely era, it’s interesting to note the similarities between his origin and Captain America’s. Both came about thanks to an experiment interrupted by bad men with guns.
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.
The offbeat super hero has some issues to work out behind that cooking pot on his head.
Irving Forbush presents as an adult man in just below average physical shape. He attended initial appointments in what appeared to be a pair of flannel pajamas and a “mask” consisting of a cooking pot with holes cut in it until he was redirected to dress more appropriately for therapy. He protested at first but eventually acquiesced when this writer explained that I do not see any clients with masks unless there is a medical reason why them must wear it at all times. Since then, he has dressed conventionally.
The client asserts that he is from an alternate dimension where he was employed by a company called Marble Comics by day and was a non-powered vigilante in his off hours. He has struggled to detail many of his exploits and several of the other heroes and villains he has encountered seem to be very similar in names and abilities to heroes from “our universe.” For instance, he once beat a man called the Juggernut.
Given his lack of powers and rather conventional build, this writer confesses to a level of skepticism regarding the client’s reporting. However, Forbush has been able to produce some physical evidence, including copies of Marble Comics and newspaper printings from his apparent alternate universe. Included in those clippings were information such as his parents actively disclosing to the newspapers, on multiple occasions, their disappointment in him and their wish that they had a daughter instead. He has declined to discuss his parents in much depth so these revelations, while intriguing, remain largely unexplored.
What the client is predominantly concerned with is his feelings of interdimensional displacement and the presence of memories that could not have possibly happened to him but feel so real anyway. These included meetings with Spider-Man years ago and a time working at Marvel (not Marble) Comics during which he believes he may have won an award for Best Assistant Editor. More distressing than these, however, are memories that suggest he has attacked Marvel employees, been killed, and been brought back as some kind of zombie. Despite these memories, there is no record of such an event and he appears very much alive. The only mention of him I could find from our world stemmed from a battle with the super hero team known as Nextwave, but the client insists that that was not him but rather the actual Irving Forbush of our planet. This writer has been able to discern the possible truth of this statement.
Overall, despite what could be a truly terrifying experience — waking up in world that is not your own or, at least, feels to you like another world, possessing memories that seem to not be true, including engaging in violent attacks, and literally dying — the client seems remarkably unaffected. One might even be tempted to call him goofy or silly – a humorous distraction, perhaps.
Given that Irving Forbush has sought therapy, and what he has discussed would be traumatic for anyone, this writer plans to continue seeing him. That said, the symptoms presentation is unusual enough that I have felt it necessary to consult with several other experts in various fields to ensure Forbush receives the best possible care. You can review their packet of recommendations at NOT BRAND ECCH #14, available on November 15.
Psy D. Candidate Tim Stevens is a Staff Therapist who likes to think his interdimensional double would make a really delicious paella as opposed to the just delicious paella he can make.
André Araújo swings in a webslinging world with exclusive preview art!
The 90s continue to make a comeback every month. The previously maligned decade now boasts a mix of respect and nostalgia thanks to the fact that people who were fans at the time now make and buy lots of comics. Portuguese artist André Araújo may have discovered the 90s comics differently thanks to alternate publishing practices, but he still has a love for all things Spider-Man related, which makes him a great artist to work on the “Slingers Return” story in BEN REILLY: SCARLET SPIDER, written by Peter David!
We talked with Araújo about his own 90s comic-reading experience, working with a legend like David, and digging into the Slingers’ different costumes.
Marvel.com: Between Scarlet Spider and the Slingers, this book seems to really embrace the 90s, while updating the concepts for today’s audience. Was that an era you were familiar with before taking on the job?
André Araújo: I live in Portugal, so the way books were published [there] varied greatly, meaning some stuff was published like it was in the U.S., but we also got stories from all periods. So I got to read most of the stuff from the 90s, including Onslaught and the Clone Saga, during the late 90s/early 2000s when a new publisher called Devir came [onto the] scene and published all of that in a row. I remember enjoying it quite a lot, because it was the first time things were published in monthly issues in the same format that’s used in the U.S.
Marvel.com: Scarlet Spider’s costume is interesting because it mixes the more traditional tightness of the body suit with the looser hooded pullover. How is it making sure both of those look right on the page?
André Araújo: That’s actually something I thought about while drawing the issue, even though I only drew Ben in costume for a brief scene. As you say, it is an interesting mix and something that I feel usually works well in a character’s design. It’s also a nice change of what super heroes usually look like, particularly characters derivative from Spider-Man. Making it look right is always a challenge, making sure you represent the idea of a looser fabric on top of tight spandex, but I always welcome a nice challenge.
Marvel.com: How has it been for you drawing the Slingers costumes and putting your stamp on them?
André Araújo: They’re cool characters, with bold looks. Completely different from one another, with lots of disparate stylistic choices; the challenge here is always to make them look cohesive, which comes, in part, from bringing my style to the way they’re drawn. My approach is always to think how the costumes work in real life, in terms of fabric, material type, how characters move while wearing them. I make my little tweaks with that in mind, while keeping the original look as much as possible.
Marvel.com: It seems like it’d be a lot of fun pitting Scarlet Spider against these other heroes in various ways. Has that been the case?
André Araújo: Spider-Man is my favorite character to draw, and any derivative character like Scarlet Spider feels pretty much like that to me. So drawing Ben in all the situations is a lot of fun, be it while he is dealing with ordinary stuff or during the action scenes, with all characters in costumes.
Marvel.com: How has it been working with a legendary writer like Peter David so far?
André Araújo: One thing I like about working with established writers like Peter is how smooth their scripts are. They’re always easy to work with. When I’m doing the layouts everything feels very natural, which is a sign of a well-built narrative, where each moment leads to the other with ease and grace.
Look for André’s collaboration with writer Peter David in BEN REILLY: SCARLET SPIDER #11, available December 13!
As the Mojoverse invades Manhattan, Marvel.com’s resident therapist profiles the villain.
As always, evaluating a subject without ever meeting them is, at best, educated guessing. Nonetheless, given the direness of the situation and the data available, this writer felt it was ethically sound to offer this personality sketch and his attorneys have agreed. I hope it provides help with subduing the subject.
The subject, Mojo, is an apparent alien/other-dimensional being who is from a race that are born without spines and use technology to increase their mobility and ability to stand upright. He self-identifies as a male although it remains unclear if that concept is native to his race’s reality or a product of exposure to human television. The planet and universe he hails from was evidently named for him (Mojoworld, Mojoverse), not the other way around. This apparently reflects his dominance of the most important aspect of his race’s society, television.
According to a history of the universe that appears to be—as best as we can verify— accurate, his universe was bombarded by broken waves of energy that were, in fact, Earth television waves. Exposure to the broken and, to them, inexplicable energy both caused a sort of societal psychotic break and created a universe-wide addiction. Craving content more intense than the broken waves could provide, Mojo rose into the void and created homegrown TV content. As such, he was elevated to a kind of combination dictator and program director.
Given the subject is an alien from a planet with an aggressively different social structure, it is difficult to label him a sociopath as, in terms of his society, his behavior and cognitions might be entirely in line with societal norms. However, by our standards, to our understanding, he does present with symptoms of Antisocial Personality Disorder and, possibly, Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
He is motivated, seemingly, purely by the twin desires of garnering maximum attention for himself and dominance of his enemies. He shows limited regard for the lives and comfort of those around him. He is erratic and capricious, nearly always choosing the quick jolt of short-term satisfaction over long-term planning.
This makes him defeatable—as his history with the mutant rights group the X-Men indicates—but also wildly dangerous. Because he is oriented towards the short-term, he is unpredictable and just as likely to react in violent rage as in cowardly self-preservation. Additionally, he has engendered the kind of support from those beneath we might associate with a closed state dictatorship, meaning he has a plethora of what he likely considers “cannon fodder” at his disposal to throw at his enemies.
The surest path to victory against the subject is to demonstrate to him that bigger ratings can be achieved through easier means. He is a fairly lazy creature and, as noted above, likes the quick fix. So if the ceiling to success feels like too much work and a simpler means to rating dominance exists—think the amount effort required to make a successful cheap reality show vs. a prestige drama with well-known actors—he will always take the easy way out.
For further information and analysis of the subject, this writer recommends the definitive volume on Mojo, X-MEN BLUE #15 from Doctors Marc Guggenheim and Jorge Molina, available on November 15.
Psy D. Candidate Tim Stevens is a Staff Therapist who loved TV enough growing up and bets he could’ve ruled the Mojoverse.
Spidey's adventures included Punisher, Black Cat and Cloak & Dagger, as Hobgoblin made his 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!
The mysteries surrounding Peter Parker’s friend Deb Whitman ultimately came to a head in SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #74, Spidey teamed up with Tigra in MARVEL TEAM-UP #125, and avoided the Hulk in MARVEL TEAM-UP #126. The webslinger’s fellow arachnid the Tarantula perished in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #236, and the Stilt-Man leveled up in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #237.
The Black Cat crept back into Spider-Man’s life in SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #75 to drag our hero into a shooting match between Doctor Octopus and the Owl. When Ock’s curiosity almost killed the kitty in SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #76, Spidey found himself not only in the multi-armed villain’s sights, but also those of the Gladiator’s in SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #77. Boomerang and the Punisher became involved in the ongoing drama in SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #78, and the vigilante gunned for Doc Ock in SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #79.
The all-seeing Watcher guest-starred in MARVEL TEAM-UP #127, and the wallcrawler and Captain America joined forces to rid the city of Vermin and his rats in MARVEL TEAM-UP #128. The Hobgoblin, a new baddie using the Green Goblin’s motifs, attacked Spidey in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #238, and ramped things up in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #239 before flying off to cackle another day.
After J. Jonah Jameson tried to prove his reporter’s instincts still rated in SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #80, Spider-Man joined with the Vision to antagonize androids in MARVEL TEAM-UP #129, the Scarlet Witch to vanquish Necrodamas in MARVEL TEAM-UP #130, and Frog-Man to chase off the White Rabbit in MARVEL TEAM-UP #131.
The Vulture returned to build a new nest-egg in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #240 and AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #241, and the Mad Thinker introduced a new android of his creation in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #242. The wallcrawler got involved with Cloak and Dagger’s hunt for the Punisher in SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #81, and tracked him to the Kingpin’s front door in SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #82. After his capture by the police, the Punisher faced a judge and jury for his alleged crimes in SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #83.
Mr. Fantastic lent his big brain to Spidey in MARVEL TEAM-UP #132, and then the whole blamed Fantastic Four — or so it seemed — hit the scene in MARVEL TEAM-UP #133 to help close down Doctor Faustus illicit practice. Later, the webslinger met up with Jack of Hearts in MARVEL TEAM-UP #134. Mary Jane Watson reentered Peter Parker’s life in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #243 to complicate his already relationship with the Black Cat, the Hobgoblin flew in for a rematch in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #244, our hero though he’d learned the masked villain’s true identity in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #245, and the Watcher revealed divergent paths for Peter and his friends in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #246.
Following Spidey’s near-brush with joining Earth’s Mightiest Heroes in AVENGERS #236 and AVENGERS #237, the Black Cat checked out of the hospital in SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #84, and attempted to go straight by helping her Spider catch the Hobgoblin in SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #85. The wallcrawler met up with the mutant Kitty Pryde to hunt Morlocks in MARVEL TEAM-UP #135, and with Wonder Man to manhandle the Mauler in MARVEL TEAM-UP #136. And, at the end of the day, Spidey found his only real friend might be Frog-Man in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #247.
Hear how Jim Zub adapted the Japanese manga!
Transferring a universe of Marvel zombies overseas doesn’t seem like an easy job, but Jim Zub can do it—no problem.
ZOMBIES ASSEMBLE 2, the Japanese book that Zub got tasked with adapting for North American audiences, has been a skin-crawling success. And as the limited series—written and illustrated by Yusaku Komiyama—nears its final issue on November 8, we caught up with Zub to hear more about how the project came to life.
Marvel.com: How would you sum up the experience of translating a Japanese manga for American readers?
Jim Zub: I don’t know that I’d call it “translation” in the traditional sense. The raw translation from Japanese to English was already complete when I came on board the project. I had to take that raw translation and adjust the dialogue and other text so it sounded natural; so that each character had the distinctive voice readers expect from the Marvel Universe.
Marvel.com: What proved to be the most challenging part of such a task?
Jim Zub: Adapting the dialogue so that it kept the original intent from Yusaku Komiyama’s story while also making it read as seamlessly as possible in English. There’s a surprising amount of humor and pathos in the story—I tried to keep those intact, though it didn’t come easy in some spots. We have a lot of callbacks to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in ZOMBIES ASSEMBLE, so I also tried to make sure those came through properly as well.
Marvel.com: What did you enjoy most about this crazy zombie epic?
Jim Zub: There’s a scene in the first half where Zombie-Thor tears out his own eyeball and gives it to Black Widow as a gift. That whole sequence felt so out there and I knew readers would be shocked and amused, wondering where things would go from there. It just propels things to another level of zombie craziness.
Marvel.com: Would you be up for doing something like this again? Which Marvel manga have you been eyeing lately?
Jim Zub: There’s apparently a new GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY manga serializing right now in Japan called GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY: GALAXY RUSH. I hope Marvel decides to bring it out here in English and that I get the chance to adapt it for them like I did here with ZOMBIES ASSEMBLE. That would be a ton of fun.
Check out ZOMBIES ASSEMBLE 2 #4, by Yusaku Komiyama with Jim Zub, on November 8!