A brand new Swordsman aims to make Cap’s life miserable
Captain America just wants to travel across America and right the small injustices that he has often missed. A simple wish, a noble one. And one the brand new Swordsman has no intention of letting Cap achieve without a fight.
Mark Waid took a moment from learning blacksmithing to tell us about the new villain, give credit to his collaborator Chris Samnee, and continue to promote the rehabilitation of Steve Rogers.
Marvel.com: To start from a broad perspective, as a writer what about creating a new Swordsman appealed to you? What kind of challenges did the character present in terms of being revamped and reintroduced?
Mark Waid: To be honest, it was Chris Samnee’s suggestion. The challenge was to introduce and motivate him quickly to make room for a dynamic sword vs. shield battle!
Marvel.com: As much as you can, without spoiling things, what does this new Swordsman have in common and how does he differ from his predecessors who used that name?
Mark Waid: He looks very much the same—I wouldn’t be surprised if there were some relation to the original Swordsman—but this one’s different in that he’s basically an extortionist. That, and he may or may not be being played by someone else.
Marvel.com: As an antagonist, how does he fit in with the overall theme of this opening arc of Steve reconnecting with himself and rediscovering Captain America?
Mark Waid: Cap has to fight Swordsman to save an entire small town from destruction. As is the ongoing theme of this book, this is about Steve Rogers connecting with and saving ordinary people in the heartland, the kinds of people he doesn’t often encounter in New York or Washington.
Marvel.com: Given your history, it is clear you and Chris Samnee make an excellent team. On creating the new Swordsman, how did that collaboration work? How much did Chris help you determine things like the character’s personality, motives, and such, and how did you help him to craft the character’s look?
Mark Waid: Straight up, this is 90% Chris. I’m terrible at design, so I always leave that to my collaborators—but giving the Swordsman a unique voice was my challenge to face.
Marvel.com: To stay with art for a moment, Matthew Wilson’s coloring, in collaboration with Chris’s art, favors something sunnier and more open than with previous team ups for Daredevil and Black Widow. How does that help you to realize the themes of the arc? How does it inspire your conception of the action, set pieces, and so on of each issue?
Mark Waid: Cap doesn’t live in a dark, foreboding world–or if he runs across it, he provides a light. That’s it in a nutshell.
Marvel.com: What makes this issue a great point to jump on to the book?
Mark Waid: It’s a clean done-in-one story that hits home the ideals for which Captain America stands and what his physical limits are. If you like Steve Rogers on the screen, you’ll love him on the printed page.
Read CAPTAIN AMERICA #695, by Mark Waid and artist Chris Samnee, now, and don’t miss part 2 with CAPTAIN AMERICA #696 on December 6!
Magdalene Visaggio and Laura Braga take the stage!
Turn down the house lights, turn up the volume, and get ready to rock with DAZZLER: X SONG #1! Written by Eisner nominee Magdalene Visaggio with art by Laura Braga, the punk rock hero grabs the mic for a one-shot this June!
It’s all glitter and glamour in the underground punk scene…until Dazzler stumbles upon a part of her world that’s dangerous and violent. Now, it’s up to Dazzler to protect her dedicated Inhuman fans, even if doing so means that she has to turn to her own past for clues and answers.
“Dazzler has always been one of my favorite X-Men, and one of the most sadly underutilized,” says Visaggio. “She’s been wandering for so long, and I’m so excited to help bring her back to her musical roots and the X-family. Anyone who knows my work knows how much I love to frontline women who quite literally rock, and I hope me and Laura can bring some of that same energy and positivity to Dazzler.”
Get ready for a one-shot filled with music and mayhem from one of Marvel’s most talented mutants when DAZZLER: X SONG #1, by Magdalene Visaggio and Laura Braga, hits comic shops on June 6!
Get an exclusive look at the variant cover for Tony Stark's high-flying anniversary!
On May 23, world-renowned artist Olivier Coipel celebrates of the one of the most anticipated anniversaries of the year with a variant cover for INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #600!
Alongside AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #800, the issue marks two long-awaited landmark events in the comic book universe. In a story that writer Brian Michael Bendis has been building to for years, Tony Stark marks his solo title’s 600th issue—and 50th anniversary—with a tale unlike any other.
Get the first look at Coipel’s cover here!
Invincible Iron Man #600 Variant Cover by Olivier Coipel
In issue #600, Tony Stark is back…but in what form? Huge surprises await new and old fans alike as industry legend Brian Michael Bendis ends an era with this super-sized anniversary extravaganza! Featuring artistic contributions from a bevy of Bendis’ collaborators including Jim Cheung, David Marquez, Mike Deodato Jr., Mark Bagley, Leinil Francis Yu, Daniel Acuña, and a few other surprises, INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #600 will be an unforgettable anniversary event!
Check with your local retailer for more information on this Olivier Coipel variant cover! And get ready for INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #600, written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by Jim Cheung, David Marquez, Mike Deodato Jr., Mark Bagley, Leinil Francis Yu, Daniel Acuña, and more, on May 23!
T’Challa goes to Hell and back, teams with the Avengers, fights for his country, and more!
For more than 50 years, the Black Panther has stood at the forefront on the Marvel Universe. With T’Challa appearing on the big screen again this year in both Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther” and “Avengers: Infinity War,” take a look back at over five decades worth of comic book adventures for the King of Wakanda!
His mind troubled by the Tomorrow Fund and the coup in Wakanda, T’Challa fell under the gaze of the demon Mephisto in BLACK PANTHER #3, which led to a full-blown confrontation between the two in BLACK PANTHER #4. Subsequently, Mephisto sent the hero and U.S. representative Everett Ross to Hell in BLACK PANTHER #5 to cause them even more trouble and turmoil.
Later, at a state dinner in New York, the Panther fended off an attack from Kraven the Hunter in BLACK PANTHER #6, and set up a rematch with him in BLACK PANTHER #7. The Avengers joined their old compatriot in BLACK PANTHER #8, when Michael Achebe, the man behind the Wakandan coup, orchestrated a riot.
The Black Panther stood with Earth’s Mightiest Heroes in AVENGERS #19 during an assault on the team by Alkhema, a female version of the robotic Ultron. Afterward, T’Challa and his teammates learned of Ultron’s destruction of the small European country Slorenia in AVENGERS #20, and made plans to lead a multi-nation invasion to stop him.
Once in Slorenia, Captain America instructed the Panther and Firestar to hunt down Ultron’s location in AVENGERS #21, and when they accomplished their task, the Avengers seemingly destroyed their foe…until a multitude of Ultrons arrived to battle them. New team member Justice’s timely arrival with Antarctic Vibranium helped turn the tide in AVENGERS #22.
T’Challa decided to confront Achebe directly in BLACK PANTHER #9, but as the situation in Wakanda grew grimmer, in BLACK PANTHER #10 he accused the U.S. intelligence community of fostering the coup. Back in Wakanda in BLACK PANTHER #11, the king fought valiantly against his enemy, but even though he escaped Achebe’s deathtrap in BLACK PANTHER #12, he faced the threat of The White Wolf, too.
BLACK PANTHER #13 revealed T’Challa’s quest for Monica Lynne, while the mystery of the woman known as Queen Divine Justice expanded in the background.
While The Black Panther tracked down the villainous Hydro-Man in BLACK PANTHER #14, his friend Everett Ross settled into his new position as regent to Wakanda. Later, Ross found the job to be fraught with danger as The Hulk appeared during a ritual elephant hunt in INCREDIBLE HULK #15.
T’Challa continued his search to find old foe Erik Killmonger in BLACK PANTHER #16, while back in Wakanda, Killmonger met with Ross and revealed his plan to take over the nation. The Panther mused briefly on the news of Sue Richards marrying Doctor Doom in FANTASTIC FOUR #27, and then joined Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and The Falcon to battle Killmonger’s Harlem-based agents in BLACK PANTHER #17.
Brother Voodoo and Everett Ross urged T’Challa to return to Wakanda in BLACK PANTHER #18 to confront Killmonger’s ever-increasing boldness. Voodoo and the Panther fought Killmonger and his Death Regiment directly in BLACK PANTHER #19, leading to the two eternal foes’ struggle to the death at Warrior Falls in BLACK PANTHER #20.
Moon Knight entered the land of the dead with Brother Voodoo’s help to rescue a dying T’Challa in BLACK PANTHER #21, while Killmonger rose to the role of Chieftan of the Panther Clan in the waking world. The Panther battled Nightmare in BLACK PANTHER #22 to reform his mystical bond to the Panther God. In Wakanda, a war broke out in the Techno Jungle between the Avengers, Deadpool, and Killmonger’s forces in BLACK PANTHER #23.
Still weakened from his ordeal, T’Challa held off an attack by Malice in BLACK PANTHER #24, and Killmonger lost his life while attempting to secure the heart-shaped herb that allows the Black Panthers their strength and abilities. In BLACK PANTHER #25, T’Challa and Ross dealt with the global Maximum Security situation of aliens designating the Earth as a prison world.
Look through a gallery of retailer exclusive variants!
On March 21, the rage of the Hulk and the claws of Wolverine come together in one vicious experiment called WEAPON H!
When issue #1, by writer Greg Pak and artist Cory Smith, hits stands next week, it’ll be available with retailer exclusive variants at Sanctum Sanctorum Comics & Oddities, Frankie’s Comics, Unknown Comics, and KRS Comics!
Flip through a gallery of the covers here:
Of their special variant, the staff at Sanctum Sanctorum said, “INCREDIBLE HULK #377 was one of our favorite iconic covers growing up. Being huge Hulk fans, we were excited to have Dale Keown recreate his classic art 27 years later for our store exclusive of WEAPON H #1.”
With a similar shoutout to a classic cover, KRS mentioned, “We wanted to homage one of our favorite Hulk covers of the copper age by Todd McFarlane. Tyler Kirkham did an incredible job!”
And Frankie’s Comics mentioned their gratefulness for “the outstanding art from [Clayton] Crain!”
Visit one of these shops—or visit your local comic store—to pick up WEAPON H #1, by Greg Pak and Cory Smith, on March 21!
The Dora Milaje meet the Marvel Universe in their own stories this summer!
In an interview today with Vogue Magazine, Hugo and Nebula Award winning writer Nnedi Okorafor revealed Marvel’s latest plans for the Dora Milaje…WAKANDA FOREVER: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN!
Starting this June, Wakanda’s fiercest warriors are set for a three-part story that’ll see them team-up with Spider-Man, the X-Men, and the Avengers! In the first issue, written by Okorafor with art by Alberto Jimenez Alburquerque, the Dora catch wind of a Wakandan threat causing trouble in New York before leaping into action—with or without the Black Panther.
Okoye, Ayo, and Aneka are going on a globe-trotting mission to protect the realm at any cost. WAKANDA FOREVER starts here before continuing later this year in July’s WAKANDA FOREVER: X-MEN and August’s WAKANDA FOREVER: AVENGERS!
“I’m super excited about writing this storyline. Powerful disciplined African women with futuristic spears who faced their shortcomings and changed a nation? Oh heck yeah, I’m so there,” shares Okorafor. “Fans of the Dora Milaje can look forward to seeing them out in the world beyond T’Challa and the Wakandan throne’s shadow. They’ll get to see the Dora Milaje come into their own, while teaming up with the unexpected.”
WAKANDA FOREVER: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #1 Cover by Terry Dodson
“As millions of moviegoers now know (and as comic readers already knew!), the Dora Milaje are the absolute coolest. And the rest of the Marvel Universe is about to learn this too when Okoye, Ayo and Aneka leave Wakanda on an adventure that will see them team up with Spider-Man, the X-Men and the Avengers,” teases series editor Wil Moss. “Nnedi Okorafor and a talented team of artists will be telling one Dora Milaje story that runs through these three separate WAKANDA FOREVER one-shots. We’re lucky to have Nnedi on board for this—she’s an incredible novelist, and her recent BLACK PANTHER: LONG LIVE THE KING digital series proved that she’s a great comic book writer too. She’s come up with a crazy-tough problem for the Dora Milaje to solve—but if anyone can, it’s these crazy-tough women.”
Join the fearless trio of Okoye, Ayo and Aneka in all-new stories as they travel the globe to protect Wakanda on June 27 in Nnedi Okorafor and Alberto Jimenez Alburquerque’s WAKANDA FOREVER: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN!
Actor Michael Kenneth Williams joins the podcast!
It’s a big day for Marvel fans, so keep the fun going with the latest episode of This Week in Marvel!
Ryan and Tucker chat with Michael Kenneth Williams, then take a deep dive into the latest Marvel news, their comic book picks of the week, and more!
Download the episode from Marvel.com, check out Marvel Podcast Central, grab the TWiM RSS feed, and subscribe to This Week in Marvel on iTunes so you never miss an episode! Then head over to our Soundcloud hub to listen to more!
With new episodes every Friday, This Week in Marvel delivers all the latest Marvel discussion and news about comics, TV, movies, games, toys, and beyond! We want your feedback—as well as questions for us to answer on future episodes—so tweet your questions and comments about the show to @AgentM, @tuckermarkus, or @Marvel with the hashtag #ThisWeekinMarvel!
See Illyana Rasputin go from Colossus' little sister to leader of the New Mutants!
Every Friday we use the powers of Marvel Unlimited to look back at the very first appearance of a major character, place, or object that made waves this week.
NEW MUTANTS: DEAD SOULS debuted this week, giving team leader Magik and her crew—Rictor, Strong Guy, Wolfsbane, and Boom-Boom—a mission to investigate some of the weirder, more supernatural threats hiding out in the shadows of the Marvel Universe. With issue #1 of this six issue limited series by Matthew Rosenberg and Adam Gorham already in stores, we decided to focus on the New Mutants’ leader and check out her wild history in comics!
Illyana Rasputin debuted right alongside her big brother Piotr, A.K.A. Colossus, in 1975’s GIANT SIZE X-MEN #1. Though unnamed in that story, we see her saved by her brother after he armored up and stopped a tractor from running her over. This heroic act led Professor X to ask Piotr to be part of his new X-Men.
Some time later, Arcade used a robot double of Illyana to attack Polaris in UNCANNY X-MEN #145–#147. The real version of the hero had been kidnapped and brought to Doctor Doom’s castle in an effort to lure Colossus and the X-Men there. After being saved, Illyana returned with her brother to the X-Mansion and lived there for a while.
Then everything changed for the young woman in the pages of UNCANNY X-MEN #160. In that story, a demon called Belasco lured the girl away from her fellow mutants to another dimension called Limbo. Belasco intended to use both Illyana and Kitty Pryde to help get him out of of the zone, but the X-Men fought the demon and made their escape. With Kitty grabbing hold of Illyana in her dimension and Belasco holding onto her in his, Kitty eventually managed to pull her through, but instead of seeing the little girl version of Illyana that went in, a 13-year-old teen stood in front of her! Though she seemed to only spend a few seconds on the other side of the portal to Limbo, Illyana actually spent seven full years with Belasco in his demonic realm.
Feeling out of place, but now with a great deal of power and experience, Illyana joined the New Mutants, took the codename Magik, and became an important member of her team, as well as the larger X-Men squad. Magik has dealt with the dark corners of the universe plenty of times, even serving as one of the five hosts for the Phoenix Force during AVENGERS VS. X-MEN.
In the four issue MAGIK limited series by Chris Claremont and John Buscema, readers learned more about what actually happened to Illyana in Limbo. Though tormented, she did have allies like that dimension’s versions of Storm and Kitty Pryde who taught her white magic and physical combat skills.
Still, Belasco managed to train her in the ways of black magic while also creating Bloodstones every time he corrupted part of her soul. In defiance, Illyana managed to create the Soulsword, take over Limbo, and banish Belasco before being pulled back into her home dimension nearly a decade older.
Spidey has notable team-ups with Human Torch, Captain America and... Loki!?
For over 50 years, Spider-Man has been a sensational standout in the Marvel Universe and the web-slinger will swing onto the silver screen once again in Marvel Studios’ “Avengers: Infinity War” this May! In celebration of his memorable history, we present Spidey’s spectacular step-by-step story…
While Spider-Man battled a Shocker-like new bad guy, across town Aunt May chatted with her late husband at his grave in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #501. Not long after, the webslinger foiled an assassination attempt in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #502 with help from a tailor who serviced both heroes and villains alike.
In SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #6, a more-powerful Dr. Octopus demanded that Spidey unmask, and later returned to his boyhood home in SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #7 to hatch his full scheme. The Super Villain kidnapped the Palestinian ambassador in SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #8 to use as leverage against his webby enemy, and in SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #9, Spidey felt he’d no other option than to publicly unmask. When he did so in SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #10, he revealed only another mask underneath the first one, and proceeded to fight Ock to a standstill.
When an other-dimensional woman named Morlen claimed a human host on Earth in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #503, the Asgardian god of mischief Loki took notice and decided to help Spidey defeat her. After their victory over Morlen in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #504, Loki gifted the wallcrawler with a favor the hero could call in at any time. Later, Spidey worked with the Human Torch to fight Hydro-Man in FANTASTIC FOUR #512 and FANTASTIC FOUR #513.
Following a tense stand-off with a teen wielding a gun in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #505, our hero helped his friend Dr. Curt Connors investigate the destruction of the scientist’s lab in SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #11 and SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #12, but when Connors’ alter ego the Lizard hit the scene in SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #13, Spidey knuckled down and fought the scaly specimen back into the swamp.
The enigmatic Ezekiel returned in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #506 to warn Spidey that the Gatekeeper would soon arrive to take back the spider-powers the hero accidentally received as a teenager. When the Gatekeeper revealed himself in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #507, he informed the webslinger that Ezekiel himself coveted the spider-powers. Waylaid to a temple in South America by Ezekiel soon after, Spidey watched as his own blood transformed into a monster spider and Ezekiel sacrificed himself to save him from it in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #508.
The webslinger joined with his fellow costumed crimebusters to confront Tony Stark over his strange behavior in AVENGERS #501, but when the alien Kree took advantage of the situation to attack New York, Spidey fought as hard as anyone to hold them off in AVENGERS #502. Afterward, he protected a handicapped man from Morbius the Living Vampire in SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #14.
Captain America and Spider-Man both confronted a strange woman calling herself the Queen in SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #15, but after she beat the webslinger into submission, she kissed him passionately. Spidey discovered she desired a mate in SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #16, and he and Cap disagreed on the best course of action to squash her scheme. The Queen’s kiss began transforming Spidey into a true insect in SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #17, and Cap revealed the Queen’s origins as another World War II-era Super-Soldier experiment in SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #18.
Now a man-spider monstrosity in SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #19, Spidey fought back against the Queen’s desires while the super hero community searched for him. After the Queen’s defeat and the webslinger’s rescue in SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #20, our hero learned he’d been reborn with new spider-like powers.
A letter from the late Gwen Stacy arrived at the Parker home in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #509 with dire news of a secret the girl kept back from Peter while she lived. At Gwen’s gravesite, two shadowy figures attacked Peter and warned him of their wrath. In AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #510, Peter discovered the shocking identities of his attackers: Gabriel and Sarah, twins Gwen delivered while away in Europe, but now inexplicably adults.
The twins’ belief in Peter as their deadbeat father stood revealed in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #511, but in reality, Peter realized their father to be Norman Osborn, his sworn enemy, in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #512. Hoping to save them from their rapid aging due to Osborn’s Goblin formula in his blood, Spidey drew them out in the open in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #513, managing to defeat Sarah and capture her, but letting Gabriel slip away to learn the horrible truth of his parentage for himself…
A peacekeeping mission goes astray for the Jedi!
Between the events of “Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace” and “Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith,” the Jedi contended with the rising power of their ancient foes as well as unknown forces attempting to manipulate their affairs from afar. Of course, the two would turn out to be directly related, but power struggles and the tumult of war muddled the Council’s ability to decipher the threats.
“Emissaries to Malastare,” published in issues #13-#16 of 1998’s STAR WARS, by Tim Truman and Tom Lyle, takes place just after “The Phantom Menace” in Legends continuity and focuses on a mission by the Council to bring peace to the planet Lannik. During a meeting of the Jedi, Adi Gallia brought up the troubles between the planet, which was the home of fellow Jedi Council member Even Piell, and local a terrorist group called Red Iaro. The aggressors agreed to a truce, which would be expanded upon by six Jedi representatives during a meeting on a neutral planet called Malastare. Chancellor Palpatine requested that only Council Members go, so Ki-Adi-Mundi, Even Piell, Adi Gallia, Plo Koon, Yaddle, and Mace Windu volunteered for the mission.
Malastare concealed plenty of dangers for the assembled Jedi, as planet Senator Aks Moe worked behind the scenes with Myk’Chur Finux Zug—leader of the Red Iaro and old enemy of Master Piell—to manipulate the peace proceedings. The talks between Zug and the mostly reprehensible Lannik leader Prince R’Cardo Sooflie IX were strained to begin with and weren’t improved by the presence of the Jedi, who were not respected by either side.
With the talks crashing to a halt, the Jedi traveled to their quarters. Instead of a peaceful ride near the local podrace track, they instead found themselves betrayed by Red Iaro spies who intended to blow them up. Though surprised, the Jedi proved adept enough to survive the attack. Once safe, the Jedi discussed the situation, positing that the Red Iaro intended to make it look as though the Lannik prince betrayed his own people, which would shift the power dynamic into the Red Iaro’s favor.
With the larger plan scuttled, Zug led the Red Iaro into the Prince’s chambers to put a murderous end to the negotiations when the Jedi burst through a window to stop the plot. Seeing his plan falling apart, Zug used a jetpack to escape, but wound up flying straight into a podracer turbine. With that, the peace talks came to a close and the Jedi Council members returned to Coruscant—except for one.
From the Jedi Temple Archives
Zug, leader of the Red Iaro, utilized a pack of creatures called akk dogs to generate fear within his foes. The abuse of these animals disturbed Mace Windu, who explained that the creatures came from his home planet of Haruun Kal and were capable of good, depending on the training they received. This connection led Mace into his next adventure on the smuggler’s moon of Nar Shaddaa in STAR WARS #17–#18, by Truman and John Nadeau.
A moon of the Hutt capital world Nal Hutta, Nar Shaddaa proved dangerous, even for Windu, so he welcomed the assistance of fellow Jedi Council member (and his one-time Padawan) Depa Billaba. The duo received unexpected assistance from a third Jedi, Quinlan Vos, who guided them to the lower depths of the moon where they found mutated and brainwashed akk dogs forced to fight for entertainment.
After unsuccessfully attempting to commune with the creatures, Windu and Billaba were forced to confront the dogfight’s sponsor, Gargonn the Hutt. He passed the blame, of course, but with his enterprise in shambles and the audience rioting over unpaid bets, Mace and Depa hoped that the akk dog issue would be solved for good.