Jack draws the true heroes of the House of Ideas into adventure!

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 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.

We all know the basic plot of how the Fantastic Four came into being: a quartet of people went up into space, flew through some cosmic rays, and came back to Earth with incredible powers. We know the group as Reed Richards, Sue and Johnny Storm, and Ben Grimm—but what if the transformations hit Marvel stalwarts Stan Lee, Flo Steinberg, Sol Brodsky and Jack Kirby?! In 1978’s WHAT IF? #11—written, drawn, and edited by Kirby—that’s the group that “The King” gave fantastic powers to in “What if the Fantastic Four were the original Marvel Bullpen?” In this alternate reality, Marvel’s then-Editor, Secretary, Vice President, and most storied artist would leave their comic-creating jobs to fight evil as the FF!

As we learn about how these familiar names became heroes, we also get to see them taking on a large purple monster-man who turned out to be Doctor Morrow, the man they’d left on a mission to meet. Before long, they entered Morrow’s laboratory—which came jam-packed with one-of-a-kind Kirby tech—and, after hours of searching, finally found the box they’d been looking for. We see a flashback to the early 60s when Stan informed Jack that some scientists planned on basing their next experiment on their comics. After Sol and Flo enter the room, they open a box that shoots them all with cosmic rays turning them into the famous team!

Readers saw the birth of The Thing, Invisible Woman, Mr. Fantastic and Human Torch in a very different environment: Stan Lee’s office! Upon realizing that the device had been sent by a group called The “S” People, the crew got to work tracking them down when not making comics. As we came to understand, characters like Sub-Mariner wound up with counterparts in this alternate reality as well. In fact, the FF tussled with Namor as he’d come across one of the boxes himself. After convincing him they had nothing to do with its creation, Namor promised to help find the source of this power. As it turned out, the infiltrators stood right in their midst—and the “S” People turned out to be Skrulls!

What If? (1977) #11

What If? (1977) #11

  • Published: October 10, 1978
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: September 17, 2008
  • Writer: Jack Kirby
  • Cover Artist: Jack Kirby
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This Fantastic Four and Sub-Mariner then teamed up to give chase to the invaders, ripping apart his ship in the process. The coalition also destroyed the other boxes the Skrull intended to use on Earthlings. They then carried on in their efforts to both entertain humanity and also keep it safe!

Many people have wondered how much of himself Kirby put into characters like Ben Grimm, so it’s really interesting to see him do that literally. The Kirby-fied Thing looks a bit different, but they sound the same, for the most part. Kirby also wound up being the one who didn’t quite trust the mystery box and also destroyed the one that changed them with his shoe!

The Watcher stepped in to explain that the comic book counterparts took on some of the characteristics of their creators, like, “Sue Storm was a fit projection of Flo Steinberg’s courageous dedication to a venture filled with countless dangers.” In other words, this issue offers a unique look at some of the dynamics at work during Kirby’s days at Marvel.

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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Jack Kirby helps bring the God of Thunder down to Earth!

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.

We all know that Stan Lee and Jack Kirby changed the world when FANTASTIC FOUR #1 debuted in 1961 by kick starting the Silver Age of super hero comics. However, the full shift back to costumed gladiators didn’t come right away. When Thor debuted the next year, Kirby had, as usual, a number of books out that month including three horror anthologies and a RAWHIDE KID! No offense to STRANGE TALES #99 or TALES TO ASTONISH #34, but it’s pretty easy to see that JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #83 stands as Jack’s most important comic that month!

“The King” had been contributing stories, mostly of the monstrous variety written by Lee, to JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY since 1959’s issue #52 and would stick around through to that series’ completion and on into the THOR ongoing that launched with #126.

Back to that first appearance, though, Stan and Jack started with a near-splash page of this new character wielding his hammer and claiming immortality before jumping back and showing Dr. Donald Blake vacationing in Norway. Unbeknownst to anyone, a group of aliens seemingly made out of stone landed nearby, witnessed only by a fisherman whom no one believed. No one except Blake who overheard the story and investigated the next day. To his surprise, the fisherman’s story proved a reality! He would have snuck away, but he stepped on a snapping stick and made a break for it, hiding in a nearby cave.

Journey Into Mystery (1952) #83

Journey Into Mystery (1952) #83

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Before long, Blake witnessed the opening of a huge stone door and decided to scope out the newly opened room. Inside he discovered a stick that he used to move another obstructing rock. When it didn’t budge, Don slammed the boulder with the stick. A flurry of lightning zapped the meek doctor, seemingly disintegrating the man, but instead turning him into Thor!

Shocked to find himself transformed, Blake looked down to read the inscription on the mystic hammer: “Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of…Thor.” With that, he easily freed himself from the cave and discovered some of the intricacies of his new abilities like how letting go of the hammer for a time resulted in him turning back into his mortal form. He then threw the mighty mallet and saw it return to him. He even brought about a huge thunderstorm with the yet-to-be-named Mjolnir!

While Blake played around, the Stone Men continued their plans for taking over the Earth, which partially revolved around projecting images of giant dragons into the sky to confuse approaching jet fighters. Witnessing the destruction caused when the planes hit a force field, Thor flew into action and easily bested the Stone Men at every turn, using his hammer to take out their weapons and even destroying their Mechano-Monster with a swing of Mjolnir!

Seeing that Earth played home to denizens such as Thor, the Stone Men retreated, hopped back in their spaceships and took off for other planets to conquer more easily. Not wanting to become an “international curiosity,” Blake turned back into his normal self and wandered off before the military could question him.

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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Ben Acker and Ben Blacker embark on a journey to ‘The Last Jedi’!

Among the many wild wonders awaiting moviegoers this December in “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” the planet Crait stands tall as a battleground that may decide the fate of a galaxy. STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI – STORMS OF CRAIT, hitting the shelves shortly before the film, will not only shed illumination on the world and its possibilities, but also tie its story to the classic era that preceded it in the overall galactic struggle.

The STORMS OF CRAIT writers, Ben Acker and Ben Blacker, can’t be more excited to give readers an up-close tour of everything this mysterious new locale has to offer a certain war-weary band of freedom fighters.

Marvel.com: Gentlemen, how did it feel to be asked not only to write a Star Wars comic, but one that ties directly into the new film and the classic Rebellion era?

Ben Blacker: We’ve been in the Star Wars family for a little while now with our YA novel series Join the Resistance, but this was our first opportunity to write some of the characters who, in many ways, are responsible for our wanting to become storytellers. So, obviously, it’s completely thrilling.

Ben Acker: Yes, just to name-drop some of the folks we have gotten to work with thanks to this issue, there’s Luke, Leia, Han. That’s the big three right there. I also had no idea how much affection I had for Wedge Antilles until we got to write this one.

Ben Blacker: And that the comic takes place around “A New Hope” but has repercussions for the new film is really cool. We’re the biggest fans of [director] Rian Johnson, so anything we get to do that even tangentially ties in with “The Last Jedi” is exciting. Now we want to write tie-ins for all of Rian’s movies. Our “Brick” spin-off about Lukas Haas’ character is gonna be amazing.

Marvel.com: Where are both Luke and Leia at in their heads as this story unfolds? What are they feeling, either privately or publicly?

Ben Blacker: Post-“A New Hope” but before [“Empire Strikes Back”] is an interesting time to visit the characters. They won a battle—they destroyed the Death Star—but they haven’t won the war. So imagine what that does to a leader like Leia, who has so much responsibility resting on her shoulders. She might be looking for any kind of win. And for Luke, who isn’t really a leader yet but both wants and needs to be, he’s still learning what it takes. He’s going to get things wrong because he doesn’t understand the nuanced facets of what makes for a leader.

Ben Acker: Not that we’ve won any battles or anything, but Luke is a classic Hollywood story. He’s a kid who left his moisture farm to be a part of something bigger and he had early success—he blew up the Death Star—but he still feels like a farm boy inside. I found it really relatable.

Marvel.com: Why is the planet Crait of interest at this time to the Rebellion? Why might it be a good place to hide out?

Ben Blacker: When we find the Rebellion in this book, they’re on the run and without a base of operations. Crait has some personal backstory for one of the characters, which is, I think, all we can say about that. It’s also just remote and abandoned enough to be a good Rebel base.

Marvel.com: What did you both personally find fascinating about this world?

Ben Blacker: The most interesting aspect of Crait, I think, is the visual element. What you see in the trailer for “The Last Jedi” is this white-covered planet that kicks up red when the speeders fly over it. It’s really beautiful and kind of creepy. I’m not sure how much we can tell about that visual element, but how the topography got to be that way is a major story point and was definitely the hook for the book for me. And [artist] Mike Mayhew draws the planet gorgeously.

Ben Acker: Mike Mayhew is the real deal. I’m not sure he is capable of drawing anything ungorgeously. I’m also not sure “ungorgeously” is a word.

Star Wars – The Last Jedi: Storms of Crait #1 cover by Marco Checchetto

Marvel.com: Okay, let’s go there—how’s it feel to have Mike backing you on art?

Ben Blacker: This guy is incredible. We loved his work on the STAR WARS title, but collaborating with Mike has been a terrific experience. He’s a really thoughtful artist, asking lots of questions and making lots of suggestions that make the book better. He does his homework too! The ships look amazing, and I have no doubt they’re “correct” down to the details.

Ben Acker:  He’s such a fan of this stuff too. He’s excited by and meticulous about every ship and wardrobe choice. It’s amazing for us to write Luke and Leia, but seeing him put Luke in one particular jacket was next level. Mike inventing Leia’s outfit based on others we’ve seen was the same. It makes it that much more exciting for us and we know the readers will feel the same.

Ben Blacker: His character designs are really considered and smart. And everything just looks stunning. We’re lucky to work with this guy. He makes us look like we know what we’re doing.

Ben Acker:  This is absolutely true.

Marvel.com: Back to the story, who will be the antagonists in this tale? What are the challenges for our heroes?

Ben Blacker: The challenges come from both within and without. As I mentioned, Leia and Luke both struggle with leadership and expectations post-“New Hope.” There’s also some romantic tension between Han and Leia that was fun to play with, nudging them along to where they are in “Empire.” As for outside antagonists, there are a few. If you’re a fan of the ongoing STAR WARS comic—which we really, really are—then you’ll see some familiar baddies.

Marvel.com: Will we see some new, original Rebels of your own creation?

Ben Blacker: You’ll see some new characters. What their alignment is, however, you’ll have to wait to find out.

Marvel.com: You mentioned Mike Mayhew’s work on ships; assuming you get to utilize Rebellion-era ships and the like, what was highest on your priority list to have in the story?

Ben Blacker: The first couple of pages of the story are a big space chase and dogfight. I was excited to write it, but I was more excited to see what the artist did with it. And then we got Mike’s pages and now I cannot wait for everyone to see them! I was never a big vehicles-guy, but the way Mike drew X-Wings, and TIE Fighters, and some of the other ships makes me want to be there. Really, his art makes me feel like I am there.

Ben Acker:  It is un-ungorgeous. I just want to say to Blacker that I’m surprised you’re not a vehicles guy, considering the relish with which you attacked the space chase.

Later this week, artist Mike Mayhew shows off and talks about his work for STAR WARS – THE LAST JEDI: STORMS OF CRAIT, coming soon!

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Writer David F. Walker takes Luke back to his roots for Marvel Legacy!

Once upon a time, Carl Lucas got thrown into jail for a crime he didn’t commit and emerged as Luke Cage, the humbled Hero for Hire. Now, courtesy of writer David F. Walker and artist Guillermo Sanna, he’s going back in.

On October 18, Marvel Legacy begins with a trip back to the crucible that forged this future Avenger in LUKE CAGE #166! The “Caged” story arc catches Luke out of his element, at a low point in his life—and stuck in a prison he can’t escape with his fists.

We sat down with Walker to hear more about heading back to the character’s iconic roots.

Marvel.com: What can you tell us about Luke getting chucked back into prisonand the threats both inside and outside those walls?

David Walker: Well, when Marvel first announced the whole Legacy initiative and we were discussing it, we talked about bringing some of these very iconic characters back to their core and their essence. And to me, it was pretty simple—why don’t we take Luke Cage back to where he started when we first met him back in 1972? Let’s put him back in prison.

And then it became a question of getting him there. What might he be in prison for? How do you keep him in prison when he’s got super strength? We reverse engineered a certain amount. To a certain extent, this storyline that we’re doing could almost be a retelling of his origin in a weird sort of way. So then our questions were: who’s our villain going to be? Who will be his allies? And how will this story take Luke to someplace new?

For me, as a writer, there’s no point of tackling something if you don’t have the opportunity to try to get the character to someplace new—some realization about themselves that they never had.

Marvel.com: Unlike the first time he found himself in jail, Luke heads inside as an established hero. How will this new stint in jail affect him?

David Walker: That’s a really good question and it’s loaded with potential spoilers…but there are some obstacles that keep him from being the Luke Cage we know and love; that keep him from being Luke Cage that he knows he can be, if that makes sense.

A lot of it will be about him rediscovering himself and, in the process, older readers and old school fans will hopefully appreciate the trials and tribulations we’re putting him through. And new fans will jump on to see a guy really going through, essentially, discovery.

Marvel.com: You touched on this, but Luke has his powers now…so what’s stopping him form just breaking out of jail?

David Walker: Ahh, now there’s a big spoiler right there.

There will be obstacles—he’ll face a lot of obstacles and that ended up being one of the tricky things we had to try to figure out: how do you keep him from just busting out? We didn’t want it to be the standard “special prison” that has like, you know, some sort of de-powering ray gun or something like that. But how he’s kept locked up, why he’s locked up, all that stuff becomes interconnected and a lot of it gets revealed within the first issue of the arc. Then we build upon that and then it becomes about overcoming these things that are keeping him trapped.

A lot of it becomes a metaphor for the way all of us can become trapped in circumstances that may be beyond our control and seek to define us in ways that are not accurate or truthful to who we actually are.

Marvel.com: Being behind bars has always been crucial to the Luke Cage legacy because it helped transform Carl Lucas into the hero for hire. Since this kicks off Marvel Legacy, how did you want to explore the character’s history?

David Walker: I’ve been doing a lot of whispering to my editors that I’d love to do a “Luke Cage: Year One” sort of story.

In the original series, back in the ‘70s, the time he spent in prison covered, I think, one or two issues. He didn’t spend a lot of time in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. They would recall that a lot—though they didn’t spend a lot of time showing him there. We’re spending a fair amount of time showing him in this place where he actually doesn’t have the control that he thinks he has or that he’s used to having—and that’s the part of the exploitation of the character.

I really wanted to use this opportunity to tell a story that explored not just Luke Cage at his core, but who Carl Lucas at his core—because a lot of people sort of forget that before he was Luke Cage, he was Carl Lucas. What exists deep down inside? What makes him the hero that he is? That’s part of what I wanted to get into in a way—now he’s in prison with a lot of history and a lot of experience, so who Luke now feels very different than Luke then.

I don’t know if that answers the question or not. I’m worried about dropping spoilers because it seems like this whole story arc is full of spoilers.

Marvel.com: Can you talk about how you went about writing the overall narrativeand perhaps offer a few teasers about what we can expect as the “Caged” storyline begins?

David Walker: There will be more than one cliffhanger. Issues #166-#169 just keep getting worse for Luke. Issue #166 ends pretty bad, #167 feels like, “Oh, I didn’t know it could get any worse,” and then it just keeps getting worse, and worse, and worse for poor Mr. Cage.

Writing it turned into a question of finding the right beats. The first beat, in terms of cliffhanger endings, will be Luke in a situation where he’s unaware and he doesn’t know what’s going on. The second one ups the danger level and will be like, “OK, now we’re going into uncharted territory. And then life and death territory.” We’ll turn up the tension with every single issue.

LUKE CAGE #166, by David F. Walker and artist Guillermo Sanna, hits on October 18!

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Charles Soule gives us a Star Wars mission update!

Cue the recap roll! Poe Dameron and his team of elite pilots have been tasked with finding Lor San Tekka, a wise old explorer who may know the whereabouts of Luke Skywalker. Suffice it to say the gang has faced their fair share of trouble along the way, everything from fighting off a glorified bounty hunter to orchestrating a good old fashion prison break, knocking them a bit off track.

But come October 18, writer Charles Soule and artist Angel Unzueta make sure the team gets back on track. “Most of the main threads we’ve been dealing with in the series have been wrapped up, except one – the one that began the book,” says Soule. STAR WARS: POE DAMERON #20 will kick off a six issue story that is, as Soule puts it, “an epic in the great Star Wars tradition.”

So just how far out is Poe from completing his mission? Let’s check the reports!

Operative: Poe Dameron

Commanding Officer: General Leia Organa

Objective: Find Lor San Tekka and determine what he knows about the last remaining Jedi, Luke Skywalker – our only hope.

Progress: Black Squadron has made some great leaps in furthering the resistance’s agenda, most recently securing a fuel transfer for the rebel bases depleting resources and gathering footage of operatives in action to use as a way to rally support for the cause. However, progress toward the major objective has been slow going.

“Poe made progress early in, finding a list of possible locations, but it’s taken a while for the Resistance to work through it and narrow it down,” notes Soule, “C-3PO and his squad of droid operatives have been working through the list trying to see if any of the locations will bear fruit.” Time to lace up your boots and pound the space pavement as the search kicks off anew.

Poe Dameron (2016) #20

Poe Dameron (2016) #20

  • Published: October 18, 2017
  • Cover Artist: Phil Noto

Deviations: The team has encountered a few hiccups along the way, some more heartbreaking than others. However, “the biggest issue is that Poe made an enemy of an extremely versatile and deadly First Order Security Bureau named Terex,” notes Soule, “This fellow was once an Imperial Stormtrooper, and in the decades since the fall of the Empire made his way through the galaxy by being scarier than anyone else. Not a good person to have trying to hunt you down!”

So far Poe and his team have successfully thwarted the attempts of the First Order to capture them, but with Terex brainwashed into mindlessly following orders, Black Squadron finds it harder and harder to pull of their usual escape just in the knick of time antics.

Next Step: “Survive and thrive…hopefully,” suggests Soule. General Organa has planted a seed in Poe’s mind – the resistance is bigger than just one person. Why is this significant for Poe you may ask? “Poe has lost long-time companions, dealt with traitors, and has been learning the galaxy is a darker, more complex place than he realized,” explains Soule, “He’s understanding that he needs to evolve – that maybe he can’t just be a hotshot pilot anymore. The Resistance needs more – it needs a leader.”

Will Poe find Lor San Tekka and become the leader the Resistance needs? Find out on October 18 in STAR WARS: POE DAMERON #20, written by Charles Soule with art by Angel Unzueta!

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Get the exclusive NOT BRAND ECHH creative team announcement from Heather Antos!

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

Catch up on all the latest comics news and info as Ben, Tucker and Maggie give you the rundown on all of this week’s new comics releases including AVENGERS, AMERICA, SPIDER-MAN, X-MEN, and more! Not one to rest on his laurels, Ben talks to editors Jordan D. White and Heather Antos about creative changes to the STAR WARS book, and gets the exclusive announcement on the NOT BRAND ECHH creative teams from Heather (55:25)!

Exclusive announcement on NOT BRAND ECHH creative teams, you say? Here’s the scoop:

  • SECRET EMPIRE ABRIDGED – Written by Nick Spencer and Inks by Scott Koblish
  • FORBUSH MAN RETURNS – Written/Art by Jay Fosgitt
  • GWENPOOL ABSORBS THE MARVEL UNIVERSE – Written by Christopher Hastings and Art by Gurihiru

Over on the West Coast, Christine and Eric have everything you need to know about TV, Films, Games and Themed Entertainment (1:19:35). And from there, it’s back to the east coast for your questions and comments (1:38:55)!

Download episode #308 of This Week in Marvel from Marvel.com, check out Marvel Podcast Centralgrab the TWiM RSS feed and subscribe to This Week in Marvel on iTunes, so you never miss an episode! We are now also on Soundcloud! Head over now to our new hub to listen to the full run of This Week in Marvel!

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

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Find out how Kirby cartoons inspired this artist!

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, you can barely flip the channels without finding Marvel-inspired shows on the air, but not back in the early 1960s! Not until the syndicated “Marvel Super-Heroes” debuted in 1966. Focusing on five heroes—Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, and Namor—the cartoon essentially took panels straight from the comics of the day and added animation embellishments.

In addition to getting Marvel’s characters out into the world in front of even more eyes, the series also introduced people all over the world to artists like Jack Kirby! In fact, that’s how Ariel Olivetti first discovered the King’s work!

With credits that include THE LAST AVENGERS STORY and various Hulk and X-Men efforts, Olivetti’s more than familiar with drawing on Jack for inspiration. We taledk with the artist about that, the cartoons, and more!

Marvel.com: Do you remember how you first encountered Jack Kirby’s comics and what did you think of it then?

Ariel Olivetti: The first thing I saw about Kirby were the Hulk, Captain America, and Thor cartoons, and they were beautiful.

Marvel.com: Can you remember any lessons or tricks you’ve learned from Kirby’s work over the years?

Ariel Olivetti: The simplification of line in function of the graphic dynamism.

Marvel.com: One of your first interior works for Marvel was THE LAST AVENGERS STORY. Did you feel any intimidation when taking on a comic that would tell the end of a tale Jack Kirby and Stan Lee started?

Ariel Olivetti: It was a great responsibility, but it was the project that I enjoyed the most.

Marvel.com: You have done a lot of work with various X-Men books. Did you ever look back to the Kirby-drawn issues from that franchise’s earliest days for reference or inspiration?

Ariel Olivetti: I always try to look at Kirby’s design for the original characters.

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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Writer Tom Taylor teases the Orphans of X as Marvel Legacy begins!

Coming up, things get more personal than ever for Laura Kinney.

Having returned from her Brood-killing mission alongside the Guardians of the Galaxy, Laura has no choice but to return to the place where her journey began—to fight for the family she has left.

On October 11, writer Tom Taylor and artist Juann Cabal reintroduce Laura and Daken in ALL-NEW WOLVERINE #25!

We caught up with Tom to hear more about the Marvel Legacy beginning of a complex new partnership for Laura and her long-lost “brother.”

Marvel.com: Catch us up on what’s been going on in the wonderful world of Wolverine!

Tom Taylor: At the moment, we’re just coming back from space—Laura, Gabby, and Jonathan have been off with the Guardians of the Galaxy. They dealt with a massive threat there and now they’re coming back to Earth in the hope of finding some normalcy in their new residence on Roosevelt Island. But—of course—we’re going to be turning their world upside-down.

Something very bad happens. Daken will be taken…but a piece of him will also be found.

Marvel.com: Oh no.

Tom Taylor: Yeah, right!? That will start Laura on a very big journey which will involve her past, her present, and her future. There will be an intensity in our Legacy arc that we haven’t seen before. By the end of the first issue of our Orphans of X run, everybody will want to pick this book up.

Marvel.com: Just to recap, it wasn’t so long ago that Daken and Laura were—literallyat each other’s throats. Where do we find their relationship now?

Tom Taylor: Daken and Laura are actually quite close. We saw it in Marjorie Liu’s run and we saw it in the recent Immune arc where Daken comes—not to help Roosevelt Island in the middle of their horrible infestation—but to help Laura. Daken doesn’t get close to a lot of people. But he does respect Laura and I think that becomes quite clear.

We are playing with them as brother and sister and I think that comes through in all of Orphans of X, but in the beginning of Orphans of X, Daken gets taken prisoner (I can’t say by who yet!) and Laura has to deal with that. But it feels quite traumatic, and this will be one of the most intense arcs we’ve ever done.

Marvel.com: It seems so cool to go back to Laura’s roots with Legacy—to see her challenged in such a personal way.

Tom Taylor: She’s a fantastic character—she has an incredibly traumatic past but she’s not a victim. Particularly after everything she went through in Enemy of the State arc, she has really come through it and become a hell of a hero—as I hope we saw on the moon with the hive…like, she just went to an alien moon, took on the Brood, and she saved an entire island of people! She kicks ass in every way.

Marvel.com: Generally speaking, what does the legacy of Marvel Comics mean to you?

Tom Taylor: I’m a fanboy and I always have been. I’m a fan of these great characters. And when Marvel calls you up and says, “Hey Tom, do you want to write Iron Man?” you absolutely lose it! You just do! It feels insane. Like, this stuff just doesn’t happen. My first gig in American comics was writing Star Wars. And it’s just like…you’re kidding me. You want me to write Luke and Han and Leia? What!? I’m a guy from Melbourne, Australia. This just doesn’t happen.

I think we were talking about something else with Marvel at one stage and then they were like, actually, would you like to do Wolverine? What person in the world would say no to that!? Of course I want to do Wolverine! I’ve been reading Wolverine comics my whole life, I have shelves of them—yes I want in on this. I love Laura, ever since I saw her in “X-Men: Evolution”!

It’s just exciting to be on all of this and—I think I can say this—I’ve just been offered a new project for Marvel and it’s exactly the same. I have a very packed schedule but I just thought, you know what, I’m going to immediately drop everything I’m doing to jump onto this and make it as good as I possibly can; it couldn’t be more exciting to do another incredible Marvel property and to try to do my best at it.

Marvel.com: That’s so exciting! So Legacy must be a treat to work on.

Tom Taylor: Yeah—and we’re seeing things like going back the Muramasa Blade here, which has been a huge part of Logan’s past and what that came to mean. And now that his children have to deal with that will be a really big thing. That’s the kind of Legacy thing that we’re seeing in this, and I have to say that the artwork by Juann Cabal and [colorist] Nolan Woodard together looks like nothing you’ve ever seen. The three of us are just jamming so well! We’re adding extra beats everywhere and it’s amazing to be working with these talented guys.

ALL-NEW WOLVERINE #25, by Tom Taylor and artist Juann Cabal, drops on October 11!

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His creative contemporaries and successors remember legend Len Wein!

Additional reporting by TJ Dietsch

“If you really want to tangle with someone—why not try your luck against—the Wolverine!”

Imagine: It’s the summer of 1974. You’ve just read to the end of INCREDIBLE HULK #180—the newest issue—and a brand-new character nearly leaps out of the art at you with claws extended. You’re just not sure how you’ll be able to stand the wait until the next installment to see what’s up with this new mystery man, and then you turn to the book’s credit page and wonder how this Len Wein guy keeps coming up with all this cool stuff…

“The Wolverine” moved on past his throwdown with The Hulk and Wendigo to become one of the most popular comic book characters ever when he hooked up with a certain band of merry mutants a few months later in GIANT-SIZE X-MEN #1—also written by that Len Wein guy. Today, the long line of legacy from the writer through his creation to modern scribes and artists stands as a testament to the impact Wolverine’s made on the comics industry and its fans.

“In that seminal issue, Len established Wolverine’s blunt, pugnacious, take-no-prisoners voice as a character,” posits X-MEN: GOLD writer Marc Guggenheim. “Sure, Wolverine would become less verbose and chatty in future incarnations, but his blunt attitude was established in that first appearance in INCREDIBLE HULK.”

“It’s incredible how Len Wein, along with artist Herb Trimpe, shaped Wolverine perfectly from the very start,” says ULTIMATE WOLVERINE VS. HULK artist Leinil Francis Yu. “That [debut] is 40-years-old and it still reads like the Wolverine we have today, complete with the attitude and richness we all love about him.”

Mike Deodato, himself a veteran X-Men illustrator and current artist on OLD MAN LOGAN, agrees: “He is a rebel; he is rock n’ roll. He doesn’t care for anything or anybody, but at the same time he will give his life for them. He is savage, unpredictable, and that is what makes him so attractive.”

“It’s the physicality—short, hairy, like a gnarled old tree—and the indomitable spirit, I think,” ponders DEATH OF WOLVERINE writer Charles Soule when considering Wein’s mutant scrapper. “Wolverine never stops, no matter what gets thrown in his way. Because of his healing factor, it’s almost like he can’t stop. He’s very fun to write, but more importantly, very fun to read.”

Wolverine’s Canadian heritage made him something of a rarity at that time among super heroes, as well as his direct approach to problems in his path.

“In many ways, Wolverine was so unlike any character readers were really familiar with,” one-time WOLVERINE writer Cullen Bunn insists. “He was violent and vicious, but a hero, too. The mystery element was heavily ingrained in the character, which made him all the more interesting. He was working for the government, but beyond that, we didn’t know much about him. Maybe more than any character created before or since, he represented the potential for amazing stories ahead. Other creators capitalized on that potential, making Wolverine the household character he is today.”

“I think Wein created the ultimate outcast,” says Juann Cabal, the artist behind ALL-NEW WOLVERINE. “To me, Logan is the outcast among outcasts. To Wein’s credit, [he] gave him the appeal of being different, wild and mysterious without falling strictly into the antihero cliché. He might have his inner demons, but his moral compass is always pointing the right direction. In my opinion, this is what has made the character stay relevant all this time.”

Perhaps Cabal’s partner on ALL-NEW WOLVERINE, writer Tom Taylor, sums it up best when he notes that “there was something perfectly realized about that first appearance of Wolverine.”

“It was all there on the page. The attitude was there, the brash bravery. But Wolverine was also not infallible. He had a savagery, and wasn’t a perfect, untouchable hero. It was a character everyone wanted to see more of. And, clearly, the rest of the world did too. There have been so many great Wolverine stories. None would exist without Len.”

By summer of ’74, Wein’s comic career stood as relatively new, though he’d racked up a sizable number of scripts for a variety of titles. He’d taken over INCREDIBLE HULK only an issue before “the big one” but his introduction—along with artist Herb Trimpe and costume designer John Romita—of Wolverine to fight the jade giant forever cemented him into the firmament of comic book superstars.

He also, by all accounts, kept his feet firmly panted on solid ground.

“I got to meet Len a number of times in 2014 while I was writing the DEATH OF WOLVERINE story, as well as working on a long run featuring one of his other signature creations, Swamp Thing, over at DC,” says Soule. “I found him to be gracious and kind, and generous with his conversation and time. He dreamed up enormous swaths of the super hero landscape that will last for generations—a legacy most could only dream of.”

“First and foremost, Len’s creation of the ‘All-New, All-Different’ X-Men was seismic and industry-changing,” notes Guggenheim. “Without Len, there’s an excellent argument to be made that there wouldn’t be any X-Men today, and certainly not the X-Men that we’ve come to know, love, and cherish. I had the good fortune to meet Len a few years ago at San Diego Comic-Con and he truly couldn’t have been a nicer guy.  He clearly loved comics, both the industry and the medium.”

“As a creator, I think the truly incredible thing you discover writing [his] characters is just how different they are, and how human,” offers Taylor. “They have flaws. They’re complex. They struggle. Len’s characters breathe.”

Bunn takes it one step further: “Len’s work was a huge influence on me. Like many of my absolute favorite creators, he wore his imagination on his sleeve, and he didn’t let anything hold him back from putting that on the page.

“Since I owe my whole career to Wolverine, Len and Herb’s creation means a ton to me,” says Yu. “We may be divided by a few decades, but I am proud to inherit and to continue to breathe life into Wolverine and the X-Men.”

“As a fan, Len created some of my absolute favorite heroes,” concludes Taylor. “Some of these characters are the reason I’m a comics fan.

“The world would have been a far less heroic place without Len Wein.”

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