Who is spreading symbiotes through NYC? Marvel.com’s resident therapist hypothesizes.

After being contacted by the S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Bobbie Morse, aka Mockingbird, this profile of the super powered criminal known as Maniac was prepared. As details are scant, this summary relies on a significant amount of conjecture and hypothesis in lieu of an in-person intake or other therapists’ notes. Please account for this in reviewing it.

The subject, the criminal — colloquially, a super villain — Maniac is most likely Lee Price. Price had recently been identified as a criminal associate of Felica Hardy, aka the recently regressed criminal Black Cat, and a former host of the symbiote that creates the Venom identity (former hosts include Eddie Brock and Flash Thompson).

The subject’s childhood was marked by chaos and trauma. His parents frequently fought with one another and abused him in multiple ways including verbal, physical, and via neglect. To make matters worse, Price did not connect well with others his own age — either because of difficulties in his home or other personality factors — and as a result had a limited social support network. The one friend this writer was able to locate mention of in old New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) records reacted violently when authorities attempted either contact or arrest — depending on accounts — of said child because he was a mutant.

Venom #159

Maniac’s apparent attempts to spread symbiotes to others, when viewed through the lens of his past, thus makes a kind of sense. He is creating a network of friends/families on whom he can rely for companionship, comfort, support, and shared goals. However, he is unable, seemingly, to trust others to be with him because they wish to – he does not trust them to do it of their own free will. Thus, the bits of symbiote he ensnares them with eliminate their free will and, essentially, force others to become his friends/partners in crime.

Previous to now, the only place that Price seemed to feel mastery and find a sense of camaraderie with others is as a member of the US Rangers. This also offers some explanation for why he’d desire to build his own team. However, ultimately, the Rangers cost him three fingers and medically discharged him, leaving him once more alone. Therefore, once again, he is seeking to control his environment by refusing to allow others the free will to “ruin” his group.

The subject is definitely fueled by a desire to achieve mastery once more. This is held up by testimony from Eddie Brock via his connection to the Venom symbiote. When Brock helped separate the symbiote from Price and successfully rejoined it, he claims the symbiote provided him information about the previous host. In this case, the alien “told” Brock that the subject refused to merge with the creature and “work together” and instead sought to bend the symbiote to his will. Rather than fully tap into what the alien could offer the subject, Price made it more of a tool, choosing control over increased power and/or efficiency. Again, this speaks to a lack of trust in others to stick with him.

Venom #160

What this does not do is offer much insight into what Maniac’s end goals might be. Does he seek to infect everyone and thus, in essence, make everyone his family? Is he looking to strike out at old resentments, a possibility reinforced by rumors about those he has recently converted? Is this a limited time thing or would he prefer to maintain it as long as possible? This writer hesitates to guess at this time with the resources available to me.

For a more in-depth exploration of symbiotes and how they can influence behaviors, I have referred S.H.I.E.L.D. to Doctors Mike Costa and Gerardo Sandoval who are experts in the field. Even though Lee Price has sought to dominate his alien “companion” it may still be influencing his thoughts, feelings, and behaviors and any thorough profiling should account for that. The report will be available on January 10 in the file marked VENOM #160.

Psy D. Candidate Tim Stevens is a Staff Therapist who is only influenced in his thoughts, feelings, and behaviors by the union of chocolate and peanut butter.

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The youthful original X-Men encounter a teleporting tyrant!

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.

In November of 1963, Jack Kirby’s art featured in eight different comics from Marvel! Hank Pym transitioned from Ant-Man to Giant-Man in TALES TO ASTONISH #49, Molecule Man debuted in FANTASTIC FOUR #20, and the merry mutants faced off against The Vanisher in UNCANNY X-MEN #2! Today we’ll focus on that last one, an issue written by frequent Kirby collaborator Stan Lee. The issue began with Cyclops, Iceman, Angel, Marvel Girl, and Beast splitting up to make their way to Professor X after he mentally called for them.

Once the students gathered before Xavier, their mentor told them that he sensed the presence of an evil mutant called The Vanisher. The telepath then showed them how this new rogue robbed a bank at gunpoint and then teleported away without much fuss. To prepare for this new kind of foe, Professor X sent his students to the Danger Room where they trained. Meanwhile, Vanisher struck again, this time popping into the Pentagon to let the chief of staff know that he would steal the continental defense plans in a few days! After word of his exploits spread, the vanishing villain became a huge figure in the underworld, with hoodlums clamoring to work for him.

Having trained up until the last possible moment, the team lit out from the Xavier mansion to Washington, D.C. to put a stop to the baddie’s brazen operation. They didn’t arrive in time, though, to stop Vanisher from grabbing the plans. The X-Men did show up during the ne’er-do-well’s escape though and started giving him trouble, but the whole thing turned into a super-powered version of keep away as everyone went after the case holding the defense plans. Still, Vanisher wound up making his escape, marring the mutants’ reputation with the public in the process.

Uncanny X-Men (1963) #2

Uncanny X-Men (1963) #2

  • Published: November 10, 1963
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
  • Rating: T+
  • Penciller: Jack Kirby
  • Cover Artist: Jack Kirby
What is Marvel Unlimited?

After beating themselves and each other up a bit, Xavier’s students listened as their teacher laid down a new plan of attack to stop Vanisher blackmailing the government out of $10 million in exchange for returning the plans. This lead to a standoff in front of the White House with the X-Men on one side and their opponent on the other, backed by his army of crooks. Professor X then appeared and offered the chance to surrender. The Vanisher scoffed and soon learned the true power of the man he faced as his memories completely fell away, leaving him confused and tired.

The angry mob only felt anger, though, and attacked our heroes, but ultimately stood no chance. Professor X ended the issue with a nice message for everyone: “The greatest power on Earth is the magnificent power we all of us possess…the power of the human brain!”

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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Artist Pepe Larraz sets the stage for the 16-part weekly saga!

On January 10, the Avengers assemble like never before.

No, not to ring in the New Year together, but to figure out who kidnapped Earth and then try to get it back in one piece! The story—a weekly, 16-part crossover event that calls together the casts of AVENGERS, UNCANNY AVENGERS, U.S.AVENGERS, and OCCUPY AVENGERS—kicks off in the pages of AVENGERS #675, written by Mark Waid, Al Ewing, and Jim Zub with art by Pepe Larraz.

We spoke with Larraz about bringing all these team members together, working on a new character, and jumping into the cosmic action!

Marvel.com: What unique challenges do you come up against when working on a huge, weekly story such as this?

Pepe Larraz: Well, it is probably the biggest thing I’ve ever done at Marvel so far, in terms of characters involved, team size, and work done in advance. The main challenge for me ended up being how to handle all these characters on stage, trying to get the hang of all their personalities—the way they act, talk, and interact with each other. Also, having three or four scenes of epic action happening in different parts of the globe at the same time, and making that easy and clear for the reader. It can be difficult when you have to make two or three big, eye-catching panels on the same page and you have to avoid the panels competing between themselves to win the reader’s attention.

Marvel.com: How much did you have to familiarize yourself with all of the books’ characters? Did you find any surprises as you prepared?

Pepe Larraz: I came from working on UNCANNY AVENGERS, so some of them felt pretty familiar to me. I had worked with some of the others during my career in comics, but most of the characters proved to be new to me as an artist. So I did some research on the backgrounds of the ones that have predominant roles in the series, such as the U.S.Avengers or the Occupy Avengers, to understand what motivates them.

I had a blast drawing the Black Order because Jerome Opeña‘s designs look really fantastic. I also had the privilege of redesigning the existing members of the Lethal Legion and to also create a few new ones. Yes, as you can expect, this series is cramped with characters!

Marvel.com: In addition to the characters, you also begin the event with these cosmic objects falling to Earth. How did you go about designing those?

Pepe Larraz: It was quite simple, to be honest. The script calls them “piramoids,” so the shape their shape seemed quite obvious. Then I tried not to add anything superfluous—the main idea was to keep the alien technology as simple as possible. You’ll see the signs Jim Zub designed on them later on. We all provided ideas for the designs, so all of them ended up being more or less the result of teamwork.

Marvel.com: This also features the return of a mysterious forgotten Avenger by the name of Voyager. What can you tell us about bringing her to life on the page?

Pepe Larraz: The Voyager design is a joy, with that classic Jack Kirby-ish look to it. I wanted to transmit the feeling of a mystery being unfolded with every new issue of the script. Okay, you don’t remember her, but all of the Avengers trust her, so what could possibly go wrong? She feels so self-assured—she has such authority—that you get convinced immediately.

Marvel.com: Did you notice a difference between how each different writer approached the material?

Pepe Larraz: Not really, because they’re so well coordinated. I didn’t even notice that different hands wrote it because all their styles and approaches to the scene seem melted together on this collective script. I think this will be one of the better things of this series: the script has three different writers, three heads full of ideas, but one unique voice. I’m glad to be part of this project and have the privilege of working with Mark Waid, Al Ewing, and Jim Zub, all together. It’s an absolutely new experience. Sometimes it can be exhausting, sure, for the amount of characters on every page, but the story is awesome, and the artist group—Paco Medina, Kim Jacinto, and I—want to transfer that “awesomeness” into the pages the best we can. Hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Witness the beginning of the end of an era with AVENGERS #675, by writers Mark Waid, Al Ewing, Jim Zub, and artist Pepe Larraz on January 10!

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How is it to live every day seeing the flaws in everyone and everything?

The client, Karnak Mander-Azur, is a self-identified Inhuman and longtime advisor to the Royal Family. Currently he belongs to an Inhuman/S.H.I.E.L.D. collaborative organization known as the Secret Warriors, although I am unclear on whether or not this is a formal designation or a colloquial title adopted by the group. He presents as a man in above average physical health who is noticeable by the facials tattoos that indicate his membership in a religious movement known as the Tower of Wisdom.

Karnak joined the movement after his parents refused to let him undergo the Terrigenesis process due to how the Mists affected his brother Triton. Instead, Karnak studied under the Wisdom monks, learning both philosophy and a variety of martial arts. These studies are credited with his abilities — the client is a master planner who is evidently able to see the flaws in everything including people, objects, and plans — although it is unclear if this is a “power” or just a highly developed skill. It also marks him as distinctly different from the rest of the Inhuman population who undergo exposure to the Mists; while not all react to the gas and change, participation in the process is nearly 100 percent. The combination of his experiences, his skillset, and being this literal outlier often leaves him feeling very separate from others. In therapy, we have also explored if he furthers this sense of separation on his own, choosing it instead of reaching out, but so far the client is fairly resistant to this avenue of discussion.

Karnak has recently undergone some fairly significant life changes. In the first place, in response to knowledge he still has not fully articulated, he ended his own life. Through a process this writer confesses he does not wholly understand, but hinges on another Inhuman that was genetically related to Karnak that could absorb the genetic memories of dead Inhumans, Karnak was reborn. While retaining his memories, he lost his distinctive head shape. While this seems to have cost him nothing, it is worth note as it is significant change to his appearance.

Secret Warriors  (2017) #12

Secret Warriors (2017) #12

Since his rebirth, he has been far more paranoid, secretive, and withdrawn as well. While being a member of a team, he often seems to be working at odds with their goals or following a very different route without explaining or alerting his teammates to his choices.

Additionally, most of the Royal family, arguably the individuals he is closest to and calls friends and family, have left the planet and did so largely without explanation. While he largely downplays this development on his psyche, for an individual who is slow to trust and has few supports, this sudden loss of so many people from his life has undoubtedly affected him.

Due to his overall hesitance to open up, much of our therapy has been focused on daily coping skills. With his ability to see flaws everywhere, day-to-day life is a series of encounters that scream at him to solve problems that he cannot, for many reasons, starting with the fact that it is impossible to make a person perfect. For another example, it is difficult to get anyone to listen to you when you claim there is a structural flaw in a building that will cause it to collapse in 96 years. We are working on active ignoring, how to evaluate which flaws are fixable and worth focusing on now, which can be delayed, and which, ultimately, must be accepted. Along with this we are working on emotion regulation to help him connect better with others and reduce his susceptibility to anger, disappointment, etc., with normal human failings. Lastly, we have been practicing mindfulness techniques, something the client has taken to very well given his experiences in studies in the Tower of Wisdom.

As part of his therapeutic process, Karnak Mander-Azur has agreed to attend a group session as a kind of exposure therapy for managing his emotions and his reactions to the flaws of others. He will attend Doctors Matthew Rosenberg and Javi Garron’s group starting on January 10, 2018 and information on his progress with be available in file SECRET WARRIORS #12.

Psy D. Candidate Tim Stevens is a Staff Therapist who thinks you—yes, you!—are flawless.

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Guess the identity of Kamala Khan’s mystery foe!

Ms. Marvel has gone missing. And in her place, her friends have decided to take up her position as New Jersey’s finest crime stopper.

But in part two of the “Teenage Wasteland” arc, an old enemy makes their return with a few unexpected tricks set for Kamala Khan’s buddies. It all takes place on January 10 in writer G. Willow Wilson and artist Nico Leon’s MS. MARVEL #26!

One question, though: who might this mysterious big bad be?

From the moment Kamala stepped through the transformative Terrigen Mist, nefarious nincompoops started showing up to cast their villainy about town in her beloved Jersey City. Ms. Marvel’s seen everything from a Canadian Ninja Syndicate to internet fanfic trolls—and once she even fought alligators. But who might show up in issue #26?

We took a look at the rogues’ gallery of MS. MARVEL villains to get a hint at who the culprit could be.

Lockdown
Rebecca St. Jude started her career as a Carol Cadet, but the power of apprehending criminals quickly went to her head. Having gotten a taste for tasering and detaining people indefinitely, Lockdown came up against Kamala before getting arrested by the Jersey City Police Department for impersonating a law enforcement officer.

She’s got the pedigree, but does the giant robot gecko on the cover of issue #26 seem like her way of doing things? Maybe? But also maybe not.

Discord
Josh Richardson (A.K.A. the guy Rebecca St. Jude tasered) got a taste for evil and ended up joining forces with Lockdown and Chuck Worthy. Taking on the code name Discord, Josh acted as the enforcer for Worthy’s K.I.N.D. initiative, rounding up Inhumans in a detention center without cause.

Smashing up Jersey City with a giant lizard-bot doesn’t seem like something Discord would do, but his boss, the pro-gentrification Chuck Worthy, might be a little more into the idea…

Doctor Faustus
A frequent collaborator of Worthy’s, Doctor Faustus masterminded the Hope Yards Development and Relocation Association, which turned out to be a secret Hydra cell. Faustus also once used a special drink concoction to inoculate the local populace with mind-controlling nanomachines…so he knows how to effectively craft crime on a major scale.

Might Doctor Faustus turn his dastardly minded methods to a massive city-destroying machine chameleon? He seems to use subtler tricks than that, but we wouldn’t rule it out.

Hijinx
Hijinx, the leader of the Canadian Ninja Syndicate (a group Kamala scuffled with on the road to Civil War II), once planned to drive a tank through Jersey City—sort of like a lizard robot. Though, most recently, Hijinx and the Syndicate actually teamed up with Ms. Marvel to fight Lockdown. Though have they done a heel turn when Kamala least expects it? Maybe!

Kamran
Kamala’s crush-turned-nemesis seized Ms. Marvel and took her to Lineage—the leader of a radical Inhuman terrorist organization—who tried to recruit the hero in his dark campaign. She refused (obviously!) and later escaped. Then Kamran appeared again to kidnap Kamala’s brother Aamir! Even though the villain hasn’t appeared since that abduction, his under-the-radar approach might make him the perfect man for this latest assault.

Though if Kamran doesn’t seem quite convincing, consider…

The Inventor
Kamala’s first villain was a half-cockatiel, half-Thomas Edison clone created by a scientist named Knox. The bird-faced replicate, who took on the codeman “The Inventor,” immediately started experimenting as evil bioengineers; The Inventor and Knox forced young people to serve as living batteries.

Though The Inventor supposedly perished in battle against Ms. Marvel, that biomechanical lizard looks a lot like something he might put together. And remember those alligators we mentioned earlier? Those were bioengineered alligators, sent by none other than the Inventor!

Maybe he’s got a thing for taking down cities with artificial scaly beasts.

Find out the true identity of the big bad in MS. MARVEL #26, by writer G. Willow Wilson and artist Nico Leon, on January 10!

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Meet one of the most deadly and persistent super villains of all-time!

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.

How do you stop a villain from the future, who knows the past and also comes stocked with weaponry to make even Tony Stark’s head spin? Jack Kirby and Stan Lee answered that very question in 1964 with AVENGERS #8. In that issue, Earth’s Mightiest Heroes met at Stark’s mansion by request from the Pentagon who showed them a video of an unidentified flying object landing in Virginia. Unafraid of the human element, the craft’s pilot smoothed over a mile of forest to land and then used another ray to vibrate the approaching tanks to pieces!

Before long, the invader revealed himself as Kang, the Conqueror! At the government’s request, the Avengers flew off to investigate. When they arrived at the craft, they found their foe lounging on an invisible, floating chair, completely unimpressed with their appearance. The villain then very simply stated his objective of taking over the entire planet and backed that up by tossing the mighty super heroes around like paper dolls.

Once the under-secretary of defense showed up, Kang explained that he had been born in the year 3000, mastered time travel, and then visited the past as Rama-Tut, first seen in FANTASTIC FOUR #19. While trying to return to his home time, he actually went to the year 4000 where warring barbarians wielded technologically advanced weapons built in a bygone era. However, the self-styled Conqueror grew bored with the war-ravaged climes and decided to return to an earlier Earth. He ordered his minions to build him another time machine and that’s how he came face to face with the Avengers.

Avengers (1963) #8

Avengers (1963) #8

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

Uninterested in Kang’s claims of dominance, the Avengers attacked the would-be despot, but didn’t fair well. The time traveler zapped Giant-Man, deflected Mjolnir, and foiled Wasp’s attempts at de-powering his helmet. Tired of the battle, the rogue had the male members of his opposition sucked into holding cells inside his ship and then gave the world an ultimatum: surrender or die.

Kang would soon learn the error of his ways in ignoring The Wasp and Rick Jones, though. Jones called in his Teen Brigade pals and feigned allegiance, causing all kinds of trouble along the way. They even managed to free our heroes! Meanwhile, Wasp searched Hank Pym’s lab and found a power ray she thought would tip the scales in their favor.

Reunited, the Avengers pressed their attack, which included a blast from the gun that unleashed a suit-melting acid on Kang. The invader then unleashed a Neutrino Missile, but Iron Man easily deflected it as Giant-Man sealed off the launchers on the ship. Besieged and beleaguered, The Conqueror could do nothing more than retreat to his chronal conveyance and make a hasty retreat! And that’s how you beat a time traveler!

Check out more Kang in video game form with “LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2”!

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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Luke, Leia, and Han continue making the galaxy safe five years later!

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.

As we all know, the Rebel Alliance didn’t blow up the second Death Star and walk off into the sunset with the galaxy instantly eschewing the Empire and its ideas. Eventually, Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa, and Han Solo helped bring about a new era of peace across the cosmos, but not instantly. In 1991, author Timothy Zahn published the first entry in the Thrawn trilogy of novels that picked up five years after the end of “Return of the Jedi.” STAR WARS: HEIR TO THE EMPIRE came out as a six-issue comic adaptation by Mike Baron, Olivier Vatine, and Fred Blanchard in 1995.

As the story began, Luke looked to rekindle the Jedi Order while the now-married Han and Leia expected twins. Still, the Alliance now had other problems, like trying to find people who would run their shipping lines. Even Han Solo had trouble finding smugglers who would go straight! At the same time, the Empire lived on through a man named Grand Admiral Thrawn. He studied a culture’s artwork to help understand its people in order to both manipulate them and predict their movements. He also teamed up with an old Jedi by the name of Jorrus C’baoth who wanted to meet Luke and Leia, regardless of their own feelings on the subject.

Meanwhile, a smuggler by the name of Captain Karrde also played into the action heavily as he worked with Luke Skywalker’s future wife Mara Jade, found himself sought by Solo to establish shipping lanes, and also sold Force-blocking creatures called Ysalamiri to Thrawn and his people. As it happened, most of the major players in the story wound up on Myrkr, Karrde’s home base planet, meaning he had to deal with a visiting Thrawn, a captive Skywalker, and an intrusive Han along with Lando Calrissian.

Star Wars: Heir To The Empire (1995) #1

Star Wars: Heir To The Empire (1995) #1

What is Marvel Unlimited?

As these things go, Luke escaped, but wound up having to work with Jade while Han and Lando eventually discovered that Karrde had held their friends captive, which did not sit well with them. While all this transpired, Leia hid out on Kashyyyk with Chewbacca because a race of aliens called the Noghri continued to hunt her down across the vastness of space at the behest of Thrawn. Originally, they served The Emperor, but with his passing sought other employment.

At the end of the day, Luke and Han reunited. They soon made their way off planet along with Lando and stumbled into a battle that Thrawn had orchestrated. Thanks to their friendship with Lando, though, they all figured out a way to stop the assault and flew off in victory, preparing for the next battle with this dangerous new enemy in the process.

From the Jedi Temple Archives

Though this particular story now finds itself categorized in the Legends universe, that doesn’t mean Grand Admiral Thrawn’s been left out in the cold. Instead, he’s been re-integrated into the current, official canon, first in episodes of “Star Wars Rebels” and then in a book published earlier this year called “Thrawn” written by none other than Timothy Zahn! A sequel called “Thrawn: Alliances” will debut next year!

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What price will Jane Foster pay in the penultimate showdown with Mangog?

The murderous Mangog has set himself on a collision course with the God of Thunder–could a story titled “The Death of the Mighty Thor” end any other way than in tragedy?

With the fate of Asgard in jeopardy, Jane Foster takes up the hammer against her formidable foe in MIGHTY THOR #705, available March 21 from the creative team of writer Jason Aaron and artist Russell Dauterman. Thor has run the gamut of her predecessor’s greatest foes since the start of this ominous arc in MIGHTY THOR #700. By the time she gets to Mangog, our truly Worthy hero may be operating low on lightning and unable to fully bring the thunder.

“This is it folks,” teases series editor Wil Moss. “The big showdown between Thor and Mangog. The penultimate chapter of ‘The Death of the Mighty Thor.’ Jason Aaron and Russell Dauterman have been building to this issue for over three years, and you absolutely do not want to miss this. You may think you know where things are going, but I promise you do not.”

Jane Foster faces her most devastating foe as Mangog comes calling and the Goddess of Thunder has no option but to answer. Find out what happens when the unyielding meets the unstoppable on March 21 in MIGHTY THOR #705–and take a sneak peek at  awesome Dauterman art from issues #703–out January 17–and #704–coming February 21–as well as the cover to #705 in the pages above!

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Artist Matteo Lolli returns to scratch off Wade Wilson's bucket list!

“Killing Cable”—the murderous first arc of DESPICABLE DEADPOOL—planted a seed in Wade Wilson’s head. And when that seed grew, it became a list of all the people the Merc with a Mouth wants to kill, maim, or generally annoy. Naturally.

On January 10, artist Matteo Lolli joins writer Gerry Duggan to check a few names off DP’s hit list. So who will they be? Stevil Rogers? Rogue? Madcap? And where will Deadpool end up when his affairs have been put in order? Find out as a new storyline begins with part one of “Bucket List” in DESPICABLE DEADPOOL #292!

We caught up with Lolli to get a few answers about what those on Wade’s list might think when the Regenerating Degenerate comes knocking.

Marvel.com: You’ve worked with Gerry many times before on DEADPOOL. How has it felt to get the band back together again for “Bucket List”?

Matteo Lolli: It’s always a pleasure both working on this character and working with Gerry, probably because each time, I discover new layers of personal conflict in Deadpool. And the “Bucket List” story has been no different. When I read the scripts I felt so bad for the poor fella, having to go through all of this because Gerry has no remorse going hard on him. But that’s what a great writer does to write a great story arc. He doesn’t go easy on the main character, and oh boy, Gerry really knows how to do that.

Marvel.com: It sounds like Wade has a hankering to take care of some unfinished business. Would you like to see him cross off any names of characters that you’ve worked on before?

Matteo Lolli: I’m pretty happy because I wanted badly to see the conclusion of the main grudge with Madcap. But I’d really like to see him meet Sabretooth again. I love how they can fight and not hold back in any way.

Marvel.com: How has it been working with characters like Hydra Cap, Rogue, and Madcap in the arc so far?

Matteo Lolli: Simply great. Each one has some deep link with Deadpool and his personal story that makes each of their appearances immediately interesting, even from a creator’s point of view. I really like Rogue’s relationship with Deadpool.

Marvel.com: Bucket lists tend to imply that the list maker might not have a long time left…does that thought weigh on Wade’s mind? Does that change how he behaves at all?

Matteo Lolli: I think he doesn’t care for himself anymore. I see him in a sort of quicksand; the more he tries to get out of it, the more his efforts turn out badly and he ends up going further down. Choosing to hurt someone to save someone else, feeling used, feeling there’s no escape—I think he’s coming to the breaking point. Actually, he seems like such a train wreck that I’ve rarely seen any other character this way before, and that’s what I think is the true tragically beautiful aspect of Deadpool.

Marvel.com: Sounds like Deadpool might also flirt with taking out Apocalypse. How do you go about crafting the image of an iconic villain like that?

Matteo Lolli: I’d fear for the poor Deadpool crossing his path. You know, his mouth moves much faster than his punches. As a comic artist, working on such an iconic villain would be awesome, but also scary and exciting at the same time. I usually feel there’s never enough time to get used to such important characters, but at the same time, the deadlines and excitement make me want to tackle them as soon as possible. In any case, it’s always a blast, so bring it on.

Start the list in DESPICABLE DEADPOOL #292, by writer Gerry Duggan and artist Matteo Lolli, on January 10!

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Take a look at exclusive WORLD WAR HULK II pages courtesy of Greg Pak and Tom Brevoort!

Marvelites, 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 HAWKEYE, DOCTOR STRANGE, and CAPTAIN AMERICA, with Ryan, Ben and Tucker. Tune in for a riveting WORLD WAR HULK II chat with Ben and Greg Pak (1:05:25)! In fact, get an exclusive taste of WORLD WAR HULK II below thanks to Greg Pak and Tom Brevoort! Christine and Eric dish out some TV news from the West Coast and discuss all things Marvel Games with Tim Hernandez and Danny Koo (1:20:45). Close everything out with Ryan, Ben and Tucker answering your questions and comments (1:38:15)!

Download episode #319 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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