Discover the first year of T’Challa’s reign in the brand new series!

Black Panther came onto the scene in 1966 when he invited the Fantastic Four to his home—the hidden nation of Wakanda—to evaluate the threat that the super humans might’ve posed. Since then, T’Challa has had a long and storied history in the Marvel Universe, but his earliest days as both The Black Panther and King of Wakanda have never been closely explored.

But this January, that untold story will finally be revealed when writers Evan Narcisse and Ta-Nehisi Coates join artist Paul Renaud for RISE OF THE BLACK PANTHER. This limited series will uncover how T’Challa came to grips with ruling Wakanda—and how he brought the nation onto the global stage.

We grabbed a few minutes with Narcisse and Renaud to learn as much as we could about the early years of Black Panther.

Marvel.com: How did this whole project come about?

Paul Renaud: [Editor] Wil Moss offered me this project when I came fresh off of GENERATIONS: CAPTAIN AMERICA. I think the structures of these two stories feel similar in that they explore different periods of time while giving a new perspective on it. That seemed like the main motivation for asking me to do the job. And I couldn’t have been happier to say yes.

Evan Narcisse: This came about when I got a text from Ta-Nehisi. I was at a film screening, and I checked my phone—a big no-no—and he asked me if I wanted to write comics; if I really wanted to do this. Over the years, as a comics journalist and critic, people have often expressed admiration for my writing and asked if I wanted to get into the industry proper. I always said no. I like being a critic, I like being a journalist, I like being somebody who offers commentary. But [Ta-Nehisi] said he wasn’t the one asking—Wil Moss, his editor, wanted to know if I had any interest. So I told him I’d think about it.

An idea came to me pretty much immediately, but they said they wanted to explore the early years—a T’Challa-becoming-king story. It felt like an opportunity I couldn’t walk away from. I saw a chance for me to write a pivotal story for my favorite super hero—and I couldn’t turn that down.

Marvel.com: Describe the early conversations you had with the editor on this book, Wil Moss.

Evan Narcisse: Wil just said “early days of Black Panther” and after that, all the pieces sort of fell in place for me. They wanted something specifically about the lineage of kings that T’Challa would be inheriting; something based on T’Chaka. I started thinking about it, and I landed on T’Chaka’s death being a pivotal moment in Wakandan history. This country has never been conquered, never been colonized, and they suddenly lose a king who dies at the hands of outsiders. You can’t be the same, your national identity would be affected.

So, then I started to think about how it would affect T’Challa’s psychology. His father died because they didn’t know the outside world enough, so he feels they have to go and meet the outside world. That’s kind of the psychological underpinning of the run—deciding that Wakanda needs to be a part of the world, that they can no longer be apart from the world. The corollary to that is Wakandans are full of themselves, right? T’Challa believes that if they’re really the best, they need to show the world that they’re the best. They need to be part of the world, part of the ecosystem of global powers, and let them all know Wakanda has a spirit and technology that can rival any nation on Earth.

Marvel.com:  So this will be an element of T’Challa’s history that we’ve never really seen. There have been flashbacks over the years, but we’ve gotten these details.

Evan Narcisse: Yeah, it’s a story we’ve never seen before. We first see Wakanda in the comics as a secret nation that sends this special vehicle for the Fantastic Four to get there. Later, on an adventure with Cap, [the Wakandans] do the same thing. And then, a few years later, Wakanda becomes a part of the global community. The Wakandan Design Group stock gets traded on the stock exchange. So how do you go from secret and hidden to participating in the global economy and diplomatic community? That felt like a story that needed to be told.

But going global is not a popular move at all. He mentions it to some of the royal council and they’re like, “What the hell are you doing?” I do want to stress the fact that it won’t be an origin story—by the time we see T’Challa, he’s already king. We’ll flash back to Challenge Day trials and I have plans to show some of the Heart-Shaped Herb ceremony, but this won’t be him learning to be the Black Panther. This will be a story about a king who has to reckon with his history and decide how to move the country forward.

Marvel.com: What headspace do we find T’Challa in at the start of this story?

Evan Narcisse: He knows what path he has to take; he knows from the outset. The first few issues will be T’Challa deciding that Wakanda must move forward out into the world. He’s not ambivalent about that. The learning curve for him will be reckoning with the powers he encounters—both the global powers and the individual characters. He’s not the master strategist of [writer] Christopher Priest’s run yet. He’s making his first steps out into the world, so he’s a little more improvisatory.

Marvel.com: Evan, you’ve been a comic book journalist for years nowhow does your time in that field inform your work on this side of things?

Evan Narcisse: I’ve been a comics critic for 10 or 15 years at this point, so I’ve been doing it a long time. It’s weird, because thinking about writing comics from the outside always felt like a matter of guessing at intent and execution. Now I’m actually doing it, and I realize that the visual command and necessity for brevity and the creative flow can be a lot trickier than it seemed from the outside looking in.

But also, I feel like I’m trying to write the comics I’d like to read as a critic. I’m trying to have thematic underpinnings, have it be character driven, leave the characters in a different place than where I found them, and add to the layered history of Marvel continuity. Super hero comics nowadays acknowledge—in both textual and meta-textual ways—the history and the mythos of their characters, like Ta-Nehisi does in the main BLACK PANTHER book, or Ryan North does sort of elliptically in THE UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL. That’s what I want to do—be self-aware about the craft while working at the craft.

Marvel.com: Speaking of Ta-Nehisi’s BLACK PANTHER, will readers spot any direct or indirect references between the books?

Evan Narcisse: Indirect, yeah. I know where he’s heading, and I know certain characters that show up in RISE OF THE BLACK PANTHER have either already showed up or will show up in the main BLACK PANTHER title. We want to build some synchronicity there.

Marvel.com: Paul, you did some covers for a BLACK PANTHER series back in 2009 when Shuri took up the mantle. T’Challa has appeared briefly in some ensemble books you’ve worked on, but this presents the first time you’re focused on him. What’s it been like to work with the character in earnest now?

Paul Renaud: Yes, it’s the first serious work I’m doing with Black Panther. Doing those covers back then felt more like an appetizer, even though I had a ton of fun drawing Shuri. Not only does RISE OF THE BLACK PANTHER allow me to draw T’Challa, but also the previous Panthers—building the Black Panther’s fame into the Marvel universe through generations.

It’s a great chance to explore Wakanda, and all the cast of family and foes, in depth. Getting to draw the rise of T’Challa as Black Panther has been a dream come true for the Marvel fan that I am. I don’t want to say too much, but I’ll get to draw some historical moments too, with some very famous guest stars. Let’s not forget Wakanda acts as a central element in other heroes’ stories as well…

Marvel.com: Wakanda’s advanced technology has always been a fascinating aspect of the Marvel Universe. How does it feel to work with the earlier days of this technology?

Evan Narcisse: In the present day of Marvel continuity, everybody knows about Wakandan tech—there’s a little bit less of a “wow” when you see it, because you already know it’s supposed to be something amazing. But in the time I’m writing, the world has just started to learn that Wakanda exists, and that they don’t just exist, but that they have all this amazing stuff. So, it’s a bigger shock, I think, at everything they can do. I have certain technologically advanced Marvel characters encountering Wakandan tech for the first time and being gobsmacked, so that’s really fun.

Paul Renaud: My goal here has been to keep a level of continuity with how Wakanda gets shown over the years in the previous Panther sagas, and link that to the most recent visuals by Brian Stelfreeze. There’s still a lot of room to improvise and explore different aspects of the country.

That being said, I’m always trying to give it a Jack Kirby feel. Kirby’s DNA appears all over the Wakandan tech in a big, big way.

Marvel.com: What most excites you about the first few issues of RISE OF THE BLACK PANTHER?

Paul Renaud: All the parts that dive into Marvel history. It’s a lot of fun to explore the past while building more foundations for this beloved character.

Evan Narcisse: The first issue reintroduces a character that we’ve heard about only in name. The first issue also shows us two pivotal moments in Wakandan history that have never been shown. It also provides the answer to the question of why T’Challa became a scientist. And it gives more insight into his father.

What’s interesting about writing comics in the middle of a long-established mythos is that we’ve mostly seen T’Chaka’s death or final days. We’ve never really seen him in his prime. I’m very happy to be able to show T’Chaka in his prime and show his as a man and as a father. There have been hints of that throughout the ages—[writer] Don McGregor showed him a little bit, Priest showed him a little bit, and [writer] Reginald Hudlin showed him a little bit—but I feel like I’ve found a new angle.

What did T’Challa inherit from T’Chaka? That’s kind of a through line of the series—showing what T’Challa inherits from his forebears and how he brings that into the future.

RISE OF THE BLACK PANTHER, by Evan Narcisse, Ta-Nehisi Coates, and Paul Renaud, emerges in January!

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Looking back at the comics inspiration behind the villain of 'Marvel's Luke Cage' Season 2!

Mustafa Shakir will play the formidable Bushmaster in “Marvel’s Luke Cage” Season 2, debuting Friday, June 22 on Netflix. The live action incarnation of the character has his own compelling backstory and motivations, but is inspired by the Marvel comic book character of the same name.

Bushmaster has only made a few appearances since his debut in 1977’s IRON FIST #15, but clearly he’s made an impression. In advance of “Marvel’s Luke Cage” Season 2, we’re taking a closer look at Bushmaster’s greatest hits throughout Marvel comic history.

Troubled Youth – CAPTAIN AMERICA ANNUAL #10

Captain America Annual (1971) #10

Captain America Annual (1971) #10

  • Published: January 10, 1991
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: December 05, 2016
What is Marvel Unlimited?

As a kid growing up in the Caribbean, John McIver would entertain himself by seeing how much fruit he could swipe from the local vendors, even if that meant his little brother Quincy tagged along. One night, Quincy got caught stealing by the shopkeeper. John later killed the man, propelling himself on a path that would lead him to a gun smuggler known as Herve Argosy.

John got Quincy in on the action too, but during a job, the younger McIver lost his arms and legs in a boat propeller accident. John didn’t stay around to help his brother recuperate, instead heading to Europe where he would eventually start taking over for the Maggia crime families after killing as many of their members as it took. Before leaving though, John told Quincy that he would take on the name Bushmaster.

Knight Falls on Cutlass Bay – IRON FIST #15

Iron Fist (1975) #15

Iron Fist (1975) #15

What is Marvel Unlimited?

In his very first appearance, McIver unwittingly played host to Misty Knight who had taken on an undercover assignment to infiltrate the mob boss’s Cutlass Bay estate. Operating under the alias Maya Korday, Knight kept close to John for a while without him getting a whiff of her deception.

The Truth Revealed – MARVEL TEAM-UP #63

Marvel Team-Up (1972) #63

Marvel Team-Up (1972) #63

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Bushmaster still had Knight spying on him when he arrived in New York’s Hudson Bay some time later. Before a big party, Bushmaster ordered a hired killer to murder Iron Fist. Knight blew her cover to get the details on the time and place of the attack, tossed Bushmaster around, and used her bionic arm to evade his goons. However, the deception lead the Maggia boss to add this mystery woman to his hit list.

Master of Manipulation – POWER MAN #48#49

Power Man (1974) #48

Power Man (1974) #48

What is Marvel Unlimited?

To get Knight, Bushmaster forced Luke Cage into an impossible position…he had to find her for the villain or see two of his best friendsClaire Temple and Noah Bursteindie. With Camanche and Shades watching, Cage fought Colleen Wing, Knight, and Iron Fist in Danny Rand’s house before telling them the truth. The four heroes then joined forces and took the fight to Bushmaster at Seagate Prison. There, he coerced Burstein to upgrade the experiments that turned Cage into Power Man with threats against Temple. The process proved a success and Bushmaster fought Cage to a standstill until a beam pierced a vat of chemicals that dowsed them both and caused an explosion that seemingly killed the villain.

Power Man (1974) #49

Power Man (1974) #49

What is Marvel Unlimited?

This story notably marks the first time Luke Cage and Iron Fist met in the comics, leading to their long friendship and partnership. So we can thank Bushmaster for his role in that!

Things Fall Apart – POWER MAN AND IRON FIST #67

Power Man and Iron Fist (1978) #67

Power Man and Iron Fist (1978) #67

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Bushmaster survived, though in a less stable form as his body slowly began turning into metal. In an attempt to remove the powers Burstein’s experiments imbued him with, the villain once again threatened the scientist and had Power Man kidnapped to act as a guinea pig. When Iron Fist attempted to save his friend, Bushmaster moved to pull a switch that would kill Burstein’s wife. Danny Rand rushed to stop the movement, but Bushmaster turned to metal before he could send the final order. As the heroes made a break for it, Bushmaster’s body crumbled to pieces.

A Snake Of A Sibling – CAPTAIN AMERICA ANNUAL #10

Captain America Annual (1971) #10

Captain America Annual (1971) #10

  • Published: January 10, 1991
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: December 05, 2016
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Quincy McIver’s story didn’t end in a hospital as he recuperated from the loss of his extremities. While there, a Roxxon representative offered him the chance to take part in an experimental prosthetic surgery that could replace his limbs. Quincy agreed, but had no idea that the scientists intended to give him bionic arms…and a snake tail instead of legs. He also took on the name Bushmaster and joined up with various versions of the Serpent Society over the years. Unlike his brother, he’s still slithering around the Marvel Universe, giving everyone from Captain America to Jessica Jones trouble along the way.

Cruz Control – CAGE #12

Cage (1992) #12

Cage (1992) #12

What is Marvel Unlimited?

In the wake of his father’s death, John’s son Cruz stepped up and took over his dad’s duties with the Maggia. He also collected the pieces of his father from the bottom of the ocean and hired Hardcore to get Cage to inadvertently help him take over his dad’s power. Cruz got more than he bargained for, though, when he took a back seat to John McIver’s own personality. Taking on the name Power Master, he fought Cage and Iron Fist, but ultimately couldn’t hold onto the new body after being overloaded with electricity.

On June 22, watch season two of “Marvel’s Luke Cage” on Netflix!

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Kelly Thompson and Oscar Bazaldua kick off the brand-new series this July!

It was the wedding of the century, but not the wedding anyone expected—and it all culminated with Marvel Comics’ most shocking twist in years! So make sure to read X-MEN: GOLD #30 before diving into all the mutant mayhem on its way this July with MR. AND MRS. X!

For months, fans waited, ready for the fateful day that Kitty Pryde would finally wed Colossus…only to find out that the much hyped-about wedding simply wasn’t meant to be…but for Rogue and Gambit it was!

On July 25, discover the next big chapter in the long and difficult history of Rogue and Gambit with writer Kelly Thompson and artist Oscar Bazaldua‘s new ongoing series!

Pre-order MR. AND MRS. X with your local retailer now! Don’t miss the fan-favorite mutants as they embark on new adventures starting July 25!

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Watch the video version to preview this week's new Marvel Comics!

It’s time to THWIP! with Marvel’s The Pull List!

On the podcast, Ryan and Tucker preview June 20’s new comic releases, including their Picks of the Week AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #801, PETER PARKER: THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN ANNUAL #1, TONY STARK: IRON MAN #1, X:MEN GOLD #30, and all the other books that’ll be waiting for you in stores tomorrow!

Watch the video version of Marvel’s The Pull List above as Ryan and Tucker highlight the Spider-centric stories on offer before jumping into the full audio episode below.

Here’s the full list of what’s available from Marvel this week:

MARVEL PRINT COMICS ON-SALE (6/20/18) 

  • AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #801
  • AMAZING SPIDER-MAN: RENEW YOUR VOWS #20
  • ANT-MAN & THE WASP #2
  • AVENGERS #3
  • BEN REILLY: SCARLET SPIDER #20
  • CABLE #158
  • CAPTAIN AMERICA #704
  • CHAMPIONS #21
  • DAREDEVIL #604
  • DOCTOR STRANGE #2
  • HUNT FOR WOLVERINE: CLAWS OF A KILLER #2
  • INFINITY COUNTDOWN: BLACK WIDOW #1
  • INFINITY COUNTDOWN: CHAMPIONS #1
  • PETER PARKER: THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN ANNUAL #1
  • RUNAWAYS #10
  • SPIDER-GWEN #33
  • STAR WARS: POE DAMERON #28
  • TONY STARK: IRON MAN #1
  • WEAPON H #4
  • X-MEN: GOLD #30
    • TRUE BELIEVERS: ANT-MAN – THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING DOOM #1 
    • TRUE BELIEVERS: SCOTT LANG, THE ASTONISHING ANT-MAN #1 

COLLECTIONS

  • AMAZING SPIDER-MAN: WORLDWIDE VOL. 8
  • CHAMPIONS CLASSIC: THE COMPLETE COLLECTION
  • DOCTOR STRANGE BY DONNY CATES VOL. 1: GOD OF MAGIC
  • THE UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL VOL. 8: MY BEST FRIEND’S SQUIRREL
  • VENOMNIBUS VOL. 1 (HC)
  • WEAPON X VOL. 3: MODERN WARFARE
  • WOLVERINE: SAVAGE ORIGINS

DIGITAL COMICS ON SALE THIS WEEK 

  • SPIDEY: SCHOOL’S OUT #2

ALSO ON SALE ON THE MARVEL APP THIS WEEK 

  • CAPTAIN AMERICA: DEAD MEN RUNNING (2002) #1-3     
  • QUASAR (1989) #26-27  
  • SENSATIONAL SHE-HULK: CEREMONY (1989) #1-2             
  • SPIDER-MAN: GET KRAVEN (2002) #1-6   

DIGITAL COLLECTIONS 

  • CAPTAIN AMERICA: WAR AND REMEMBRANCE
  • FANTASTIC FOUR: EXTENDED FAMILY
  • THOR: IF ASGARD SHOULD PERISH
  • THOR: THE QUEST FOR ODIN
  • THOR: WORLDENGINE

FRESHLY DIGITIZED COMICS ON MARVEL UNLIMITED 

  • ALL-NEW WOLVERINE #28
  • BEN REILLY: SCARLET SPIDER #11
  • BLACK PANTHER – LONG LIVE THE KING #1
  • CABLE #152
  • CAPTAIN MARVEL (2000) #26-35
  • DAKOTA NORTH (1986) #1-5
  • DAREDEVIL #596
  • DESPICABLE DEADPOOL #290
  • FALCON #3
  • FORCE WORKS (1994) #1-5, 8-22
  • FREE COMIC BOOK DAY (ALL-NEW GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY)#0 
  • JEAN GREY #10
  • ROYALS #12
  • RUNAWAYS #4
  • SECOND COMING: PREPARE (2010) #1
  • SECRET WARRIORS #10
  • SHE-HULK #160
  • SPECIAL EDITION: X-MEN (1983) #1
  • STAR WARS #40
  • THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #792
  • THE PUNISHER #219
  • THE UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL#27
  • WEAPON X #12
  • X-MEN: BLUE #17
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We wrap up our look at Spidey's story so far with the Clone Conspiracy and much more!

For over 50 years, Spider-Man has been a sensational standout in the Marvel Universe and the web-slinger is now back on the silver screen once again in Marvel Studios’ “Avengers: Infinity War”! In celebration of his memorable history, we present our final installment of Spidey’s spectacular step-by-step story so far…

The Jackal revealed his resurrected dead villains to Spider-Man in DEAD NO MORE: CLONE CONSPIRACY #2, while Carrion attacked Peter Parker’s clone Kaine in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #21. Spidey dodged the bad guys in DEAD NO MORE: CLONE CONSPIRACY #3 and a returned Ben Reilly swung in to help and to illustrate his amazing recovery in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #22.

The Amazing Spider-Man (2015) #23

The Amazing Spider-Man (2015) #23

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Doctor Octopus and the Lizard ramped up their violence in DEAD NO MORE: CLONE CONSPIRACY #4, and the Gwen Stacy clone began to decay when Ock set wheels in motion to hurt his foe as much as possible. Gwen tried to convince Spidey to join with Jackal in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #23, but when he refused she ran interference for him before she disintegrated completely in DEAD NO MORE: CLONE CONSPIRACY #5. Ben Reilly took on Jackal directly in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #24, and gained a new life for himself in DEAD NO MORE: CLONE CONSPIRACY OMEGA #1.

Spider-Man witnessed the return of Kang the Conqueror in AVENGERS #1, learned the truth behind it in AVENGERS #2, watched as Wasp attempted to fix the problem in AVENGERS #3, learned of Kang’s history in AVENGERS #4, found himself lost in time in AVENGERS #5, and helped to bring about Kang’s ultimate defeat in AVENGERS #6.

Avengers (2016) #1

Avengers (2016) #1

  • Published: November 02, 2016
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: May 08, 2017
  • Rating: Rated T+
  • Writer: Mark Waid
  • Cover Artist: Alex Ross
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Comedian-magicians Penn and Teller helped Spidey and Deadpool battle Tarot in SPIDER-MAN/DEADPOOL #11, then the wallcrawler and the Merc with a Mouth tried to save Christmas in SPIDER-MAN/DEADPOOL #12, and somehow ended up in Weirdworld in SPIDER-MAN/DEADPOOL #13. Spidey made it a major mission to seek out Norman Osborn for capture in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #25, leading to he and Silver Sable invading her home nation of Symkaria in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #26.

In Symkaria, the wallcrawler learned of Osborn’s plan to gas citizens with Goblin Serum in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #27 and disabled the missile that would carry it in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #28. Doctor Doom sought the Avenger’s help in AVENGERS #7, and Avenger X made a surprising reappearance in AVENGERS #8. Nightcrawler manifested in SPIDER-MAN/DEADPOOL #14, while Itsy Bitsy planned more mischief. The underground Monster Metropolis rose up in SPIDER-MAN/DEADPOOL #15, and Dracula made his presence known to Spidey and Deadpool in SPIDER-MAN/DEADPOOL #16.

Spider-Man/Deadpool (2016) #15

Spider-Man/Deadpool (2016) #15

  • Published: March 08, 2017
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: September 11, 2017
  • Rating: Rated T+
  • Penciler: Scott Koblish
  • Cover Artist: Reilly Brown
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Otto Octavius joined with the Hydra Captain America in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #29 and began to destroy Parker Industries. Cornering Spidey in Shanghai in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #30, the “Superior Doctor Octopus” saw his plans crumble when Peter Parker tore down his own company and fortune to halt his enemy’s march to victory in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #31. Later, the webslinger joined with other rebel heroes at the Washington Monument to battle Hydra in SECRET EMPIRE #9, and cheered on the real Captain America as he confronted his corrupt doppelganger  in SECRET EMPIRE #10.

After standing alongside his teammates in the aftermath of Hydra’s defeat in AVENGERS #11, Spidey investigated a criminal tech ring in Chicago in PETER PARKER: THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #1. Peter’s long-lost sister Teresa, now a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, sought his aid in PETER PARKER: THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #2, helped him confront the Kingpin in PETER PARKER: THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #3, and then fight the Vulture in PETER PARKER: THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #4 and PETER PARKER: THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #5.

Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man (2017) #1

Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man (2017) #1

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Our hero’s hackles rose over Itsy Bity’s and Patient Zero’s killing spree in SPIDER-MAN/DEADPOOL #17, and he subsequently believed Itsy destroyed in a “plasma breeder” in SPIDER-MAN/DEADPOOL #18. Spidey and Deadpool decided to get serious about crimefighting in SPIDER-MAN/DEADPOOL #19, but the presence of Slapstick during a brouhaha with El Tenor in SPIDER-MAN/DEADPOOL #20 put Peter back on the laugh-track.

Norman Osborn traveled to Tibet to find a way to reactivate his goblin powers in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #32, and Peter Parker found himself once more down on his luck and hated by everyone around him in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #789, including his old friend Johnny Storm in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #790. Things grew worse when Arcade kidnapped him for a new Murderworld in SPIDER-MAN/DEADPOOL #21, prompting Deadpool to make a hard choice over whether to rescue him or not in SPIDER-MAN/DEADPOOL #22.

The Amazing Spider-Man (2015) #789

The Amazing Spider-Man (2015) #789

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Elsewhere, a mystery meteorite fell to Earth and demanded the attention of Spider-Man and Earth’s Greatest Heroes in AVENGERS #672

Now that we’re (mostly) caught up through the end of last year and Spidey’s more recent adventures, this is the last installment of History of Spider-Man for now. Thank you for following along with us! If you’ve missed any previous entries, click on the History of Spider-Man archives to read more at Marvel.com.

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This September, uncover secrets in Journey into Mystery: The Birth of Krakoa!

An old-school Marvel team is about to go on an all-new adventure!

On September 12, writer Dennis Hopeless and artist Djibril Morissette-Phan present JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY: THE BIRTH OF KRAKOA #1! As World War II ends, Sergeant Nick Fury and the Howling Commandos go on mission that will haunt them for years to come. Reunite with this classic Marvel squad as the mystery behind the origins of Krakoa finally come to light in this special one-shot.

“Krakoa is a classic X-Men fixture—from its first appearance in GIANT SIZE X-MEN #1 to revelations about its true nature in X-MEN: DEADLY GENESIS decades later, ‘the Island that Walks Like a Man’ has fascinated generations of readers…but we’ve never known the story of how it came to be—until now! And you never know when or how Krakoa will come back to play a role in the journey of the X-Men, either,” explains series editor Annalise Bissa. “In this story, we fill in some of the history of Sergeant Fury and his Howling Commandos as well. Their story drops off late in WWII and we don’t see the Howlies again until they’re reunited during the Korean War, after several years of civilian life. So…what did they do at the end of the War? And how does it intersect with the atomic origins of Krakoa? If you want to know, this is the story for you!”

Get an exclusive first look inside JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY right here!

Prepare to dive into Marvel history with Dennis Hopeless and Djibril Morissette-Phan’s JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY: THE BIRTH OF KRAKOA #1 on September 12! Visit your local comic shop to get your copy first!

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Walt Hickey gives an infographic-filled look at every Marvel wedding in history!

In just a few days, one of the longest running on-again, off-again relationships in the Marvel Universe will come to a climax when Kitty Pryde and Piotr Rasputin—better known in some circles as Shadowcat and Colossus of the X-Men—tie the knot in a ceremony everyone’s been anticipating in the pages of X-MEN: GOLD #30.

I combed through over 50,000 issues to find 98 different weddings shown on the pages of Marvel Comics over the decades. Big picture—getting married in the Marvel Universe is hard, with 2/3 of all wedding ceremonies getting attacked or interrupted, and nearly 50% not even making it to the reception. When it comes to Super Heroes, if you can survive the wedding day, you can survive anything.

Planning a wedding in any situation can be stressful, but planning a wedding in the Marvel Universe comes with a whole new set of things that can go wrong besides centerpieces, rowdy plus-ones or drunk uncles. Let’s just say proceedings can take on a whole new tone when your wedding crasher is a furious Victor von Doom. So in addition to nailing down a DJ who knows to avoid playing the “Chicken Dance”—a faux-pas even if Falcon isn’t on the guest list—Marvel brides and grooms have to contend with Super Villains, hostage-takers, alien armadas, furious fathers, demons, and the most nefarious wedding threat of all: cold feet.

Still, time and time again the heroes of Marvel have confronted these challenges, fought off the bad guys, and brought a whole new meaning to “save the date.” I scoured the history of the comics to find as many weddings as I could through the decades of stories. In the end, I tracked down just under 100 distinct wedding ceremonies that graced the pages. Just in time for the latest in a long line of X-Weddings, I found the risks involved with Super Hero wedding planning, just how often hero couples and villain couples—and all kinds of couples made it work—and the single foolproof way to make sure the ceremony goes off without a hitch.

First Rule of Weddings: Expect the Unexpected

If we’re going to talk about weddings in Marvel, the one that started it all—and set traditions that all weddings since then have emulated—was between Reed Richards and Sue Storm in the FANTASTIC FOUR ANNUAL #3 in October 1965. Not exactly prime wedding season, but the guest list was positively stacked, and included the original X-Men lineup, all the Avengers, Daredevil, Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, representatives from S.H.I.E.L.D.—the whole works. Stan Lee and Jack Kirby were turned away at the door.

What made the Mister Fantastic-Invisible Girl nuptials so notable in the history of Marvel was the notorious interruption. Namely, Doctor Doom used a device to compel the entire Super Villain community to attack the Baxter Building, with everyone from Mole Man to the Mandarin to Kang the Conquerer to Hydra crashing the party. It took intervention from the Watcher—a guy whose sole claim to fame is non-intervention—to clear the attackers and make way for the ceremony. Sue and Reed, despite their challenges, went on to have one of the most enduring and iconic marriages in the world of Marvel.

A trial-by-fire is the hallmark of the Marvel wedding. All told, 2/3 of the time, wannabe mates have got to deal with super powered wedding crashers! For plenty of couples, this is a formative moment in their relationship. Hank Pym and Janet Van Dyne had the first-ever intra-Avenger wedding, which was naturally crashed by the Circus of Crime imitating caterers. When Scarlet Witch and Vision got hitched they had an even more ridiculous test: their wedding—a double event with Mantis and her fella—was officiated by Immortus but also attacked by Kang the Conqueror. For those out of the loop, Immortus and Kang are the same time traveller but at different points in his life.

And if Pryde the bride is worried about possible unexpected guests, she should take heart that the experience can lead to a stronger relationship. Bruce Banner’s first attempt to marry Betty Ross was ruined when the Rhino attacked and the wedding was called off. During their much-later second attempt to tie the knot, the ceremony withstood an interruption from her heavily armed father, Thunderbolt Ross, and they made it to the reception.

How to Doom-proof Your Upcoming Nuptials

Sometimes the knowledge of how to survive a wedding day is passed from father to son. Three generations of Jamesons have been wed in the pages of Marvel Comics: J. Jonah Jameson Sr. to Aunt May, J. Jonah Jameson to Marla Madison, and John Jameson III to She-Hulk. Both of the older Jamesons had a traditional ceremony, and both of the older Jamesons had one member of the couple kidnapped by a foe of Spider-Man. The youngest Jameson eloped in Las Vegas and had an uninterrupted wedding. Read that as you will.

(Eloping turns out to be the only foolproof wedding in Marvel; nobody managed to thwart the improvisational ceremonies uniting Jameson and She-Hulk, or Hawkeye and Mockingbird.)

If Rasputin and Pryde want to be absolutely sure that they get to “I Do,” they’re going to want Spider-Man in their corner; weddings of Spider-Man’s friends and family end up making it to the reception 50% more often than the generic Marvel wedding. On the other hand, if you want to guarantee an interruption, marry an Inhuman—those weddings are always getting crashed by the Skrulls or the Shi’rar war fleet or Ultron or a rebellion of Alpha Primitives, which always makes for a lively ceremony to say the least.

Marvel Weddings Change the Couple Forever

The Marvel Universe has also seen its fair share of unique nuptials. There have been more royal weddings than the House of Windsor has had since the ’70s, with highlights including the marriage of Storm and Black Panther, the wedding of Inhuman princess Crystal and mutant speedster Quicksilver, and Namor’s assorted complicated marriages. There have also been vows that made real-world history: Northstar’s wedding to Kyle Jinadu in 2012 marked the very first same-sex marriage in Super Hero comics.

There have been weddings that served as the origins for entire characters, like Gambit’s reason for skipping town, or Punisher ally Rachel Cole’s gut-wrenching origin story. The Young Avengers all met at a particularly disastrous wedding where future Hawkeye Kate Bishop was a bridesmaid.

On that note, while mutants often see their powers as a curse, Kitty and Piotr are pretty lucky they have their powers on their wedding day. Non-powered people don’t have it easy when it comes to wedding planning. About 1/5 of Marvel Universe weddings are between two people who don’t wear capes and are just trying to get through their day, but lo and behold, 13 out of 18 of them get attacked by baddies. It’s actually more peaceful when two Super Heros tie the knot; only about 42% of Good-aligned marriages have an interruption. I figure having most of the Avengers in your bridal party is a distinct disincentive for a full-on assault.

Something Old, Something New…

So what does this mean for Colossus and Shadowcat? X-Weddings are actually some of the most peaceful nuptials of any Marvel squad. A majority of Avenger weddings, Fantastic Four weddings, Inhuman weddings, and Spider-Man weddings get assaulted by Super Villains. Only about 2/5 of X-Weddings involve an unwanted wedding crasher. The wedding of Scott Summers and Jean Grey was downright pleasant given how tumultuous that relationship would turn out to be.

Even more, the fact that this is a Super Hero-Super Hero marriage bodes very well for their chances of making it to the honeymoon; while relationships between colleagues can be so very perilous, it’s generally more conducive for villains to marry villains, heroes to marry heroes, and neutral civilians to stay the heck away from folks in capes of any morality.

In the 48 weddings where the two people getting hitched were both good, both villains, or both civilians, 81% of the weddings were successful and only 56% were attacked in the middle. For normal folks marrying a Super Hero or the uniquely rare good guy-bad guy romance, those were attacked 80% of the time and only made it to “I Do” about 3/10 times.

All told, this hotly anticipated wedding couldn’t be in better shape. They’re both heroes, which is a good match. Colossus, to my knowledge, hasn’t asked Mephisto for a favor lately, and Kitty Pryde isn’t marrying Hawkeye—so they both have avoided the dumbest marital errors in Marvel history. Worst case scenario is an unwanted guest, and even then, if history is any guide they’ll come out on the other side even stronger.

Welcome to the reception, Kitty Pryde, I hope you survive the experience!

Read X-MEN: GOLD #30, by Marc Guggenheim and David Marquez, this week—on June 20!

Walt Hickey is a data journalist and writes the daily morning newsletter Numlock News. His work has previously appeared on FiveThirtyEight and Business Insider. 

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The PlayStation 4 game’s main character will be seen in SPIDERGEDDON #0 and on variant covers.

This September, the star of an epic blockbuster video game will make his way to the pages of a comic book, when the new web slinger from Marvel’s Spider-Man makes his Marvel Comics in-continuity debut in Spidergeddon #0!

On top of that, to celebrate the launch of the highly anticipated game — which will be available exclusively on PlayStation 4 on September 7 — the game’s version of the wall-crawler will be showcased in a set of five variant covers.

How will the star of one of the most anticipated video games of 2018 enter the Marvel Universe, and what role will he play? All will be revealed on September 26 by writer Christos Gage – who not only is the scribe of SPIDERGEDDON #0 but is also one of the co-writers of Marvel’s Spider-Man – and acclaimed artist Clayton Crain.

SPIDERGEDDON #0

The Marvel’s Spider-Man Video Game Variant cover program is illustrated by Insomniac Games artists Dennis Chan, Daryl Mandryk, Eve Ventrue and Sing Ji, and Marvel Games’ own Art Director Tim Tsang, and all five covers pay homage to classic Amazing Spider-Man comic covers!

Look for Marvel’s Spider-Man Video Game Variant covers on these select titles in September:

1. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN ANNUAL #1 MARVEL’S SPIDER-MAN VIDEO GAME VARIANT by DENNIS CHAN (homage to Amazing Spider-Man #546 by Steve McNiven)

2. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #5 MARVEL’S SPIDER-MAN VIDEO GAME VARIANT by DARYL MANDRYK (homage to Amazing Spider-Man #46 by John Romita)

3. AVENGERS #7 MARVEL’S SPIDER-MAN VIDEO GAME VARIANT by EVE VENTRUE (homage to Dark Reign: Mister Negative Issue #1 by Jae Lee)

4. SPIDERGEDDON #0 MARVEL’S SPIDER-MAN VIDEO GAME VARIANT by SING JI (homage to Amazing Spider-Man #671 by Humberto Ramos)

5. WEST COAST AVENGERS #2 MARVEL’S SPIDER-MAN VIDEO GAME VARIANT by TIM TSANG (homage to Amazing Spider-Man #151 by John Romita)

You can see all five variant covers in the gallery below.

“Growing up as lifelong fans of the web-slinger, everyone on the Marvel Games, Insomniac Games and PlayStation teams are honored and thrilled that characters from Marvel’s Spider-Man are not only gracing all-new variant covers, but are also starring in an in-continuity Marvel Comics event,” said Marvel Games executive creative director Bill Rosemann. “While making the game we poured through hundreds of Spidey’s comics, which inspired our take on his many famous friends, foes, costumes and moments. For the creative process to come full circle and see our version of the characters now appear in the web-slinger’s latest comic book saga is a dream come true for these True Believers.”

“It’s been such an honor for all of us at Insomniac Games to bring the friendly neighborhood wall-crawler to the PlayStation 4, but to see our version of Spider-Man now swing to the pages of a Marvel comic and be featured in SPIDERGEDDON is something we could have never imagined,” said Insomniac Games creative director Bryan Intihar. “We’re all web heads and super excited for the upcoming comics.”

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Artist Christian Ward joins writer Jason Aaron for Thor's futuristic journey!

At the very end of THOR #1 was a promise that the All-Grandfather’s cosmic adventure would continue in THOR #5, which will go on sale September 19. While there will be plenty of Thor to hold readers over until then, THOR #5 will not just continue writer Jason Aaron’s epic tale, it will also carry on Christian Ward’s amazing artwork! Marvel.com asked Aaron about what we can expect from the upcoming story, and Ward shared his creative inspirations and what it’s like to draw Thor as an aging god.

If you’ve read THOR #1, you know that a very famous mutant made a surprise appearance at the very end. Wolverine, also as an old man, and also possessed by the Phoenix Force, showed up while Thor was sailing through the dying universe. But Jason Aaron’s plans for Thor and Old Man Logan’s new incarnation may not be what you’re expecting — and they certainly won’t be alone:

“When [Thor] goes looking for answers and runs into his old friend Wolverine, a very, very Old Man Logan who’s now in possession of the Phoenix force, Thor figures he’s found an ally in his quest to save creation. But it’s not quite that simple. By reigniting the fires of life on Earth, Thor has drawn the attention of some dark cosmic forces. If you thought Old Man Phoenix was wild, just wait until you see who else is about to join the party.”

While creating a look for THOR, Christian Ward drew inspiration from a number of sources from “1970s rock album cover artwork” to other comic artists including Moebius, Frank Quietly, and Bill Sienkiewicz. He also cited “illustrators like Roger Dean but equally fine artists like Gustav Klimt.” He added: “I used to be more of a fine art painter, and one of the things I love about space scenes is that they feel more like big canvas paintings with masses of swirling colors and layers of textures.” Citing his past work on BLACK BOLT, Ward said Jack Kirby was also a big inspiration since he “wanted the universe to feel huge with endless color and possibility.” To capture not just an older Thor but an older universe, he wanted the latter to seem “dead and empty yet still interesting” and used oil and rust for color themes.

As for drawing an elderly Thor, Ward said that “[d]rawing old faces is always easier. Lines in someones face tell their story.” He added that with this part of Thor’s story taking place “untold eons from now,” that is a very long story. Ward continued: “Beyond just being old, Thor’s tired so I wanted him to feel heavy. (His armor is a great way to emphasis that too!) But at the same time he’s more powerful than he’s ever been, so all that power’s built up in him like a powder keg. We’re going to see some of that explosive power in #5 and it’s been really good fun to bring it crackling to life.”

With the appearance by a Phoenix-possessed Wolverine at the end of THOR #1, THOR #5 promises to be a tale of galactic proportions!

THOR #5, written by Jason Aaron with art by Christian Ward, goes on sale September 19! Contact your local comic shop to pre-order your copy!

 

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Visit a comic book shop near you for Marvel’s Father's Day Spectacular with comics and giveaways!

This Father’s Day, share your love of reading and comics with the next generation of Super Heroes as you celebrate with new Marvel books and special giveaways!

On June 17, fans of all ages can collect an exclusive free Marvel bookmark and jump into the Marvel Universe alongside Ms. Marvel, Squirrel Girl, and Marvel’s next generation of heroes with MARVEL RISING #0 and MARVEL RISING: ALPHA #1!

Marvel Super Hero Adventures early chapter books are perfect for preschoolers and young readers who want to explore the Marvel Universe with their favorite characters through stories that touch upon aspirational themes of friendship, helping others, and heroism, so be sure to check out MARVEL SUPER HERO ADVENTURES SAND TRAP!, MARVEL SUPER HERO ADVENTURES DECK THE MALLS!, MARVEL SUPER HERO ADVENTURES: SPIDER-MAN AND THE STOLEN VIBRANIUM #1, MARVEL SUPER HERO ADVENTURES: THE SPIDER-DOCTOR #1, and MARVEL SUPER HERO ADVENTURES BUGGIN’ OUT!

And be sure to pick up a free Marvel Coloring Poster to create your very own father-son or father-daughter work of art with a few of your favorite Marvel characters.

Pick up the perfect comic trades, early chapter books, and digests for all ages and share with your family this Father’s Day!

Find your local comic book shop right here! Then visit your local shop for more details about celebrating Marvel’s Father’s Day Spectacular this weekend with these special Marvel stories.

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