Kieron Gillen stirs up conflict in a galaxy far, far away!
Though the Empire has already razed the sacred moon of Jedha, they’ve come back for more. In their attempts to raid the Kyber mines for the powerful crystals that fuel the Death Star’s weapons system, Imperial forces will encounter some familiar foes…but will Luke Skywalker be among them?
On January 3, Luke wavers between his allegiance to the Rebellion and his quest to become a Jedi in STAR WARS #41! Writer Kieron Gillen and artist Salvador Larroca present a few unexpected challenges in the fight against the Empire as the story continues.
Gillen stopped by Marvel HQ to speak about where Luke—and the Rebellion at large—find themselves in issue #41.
Marvel.com: With Luke preoccupied with his Jedi training, who might step up to lead the fight against the Empire?
Kieron Gillen: “What’s the right thing to do?” is just one of the questions that haunt this story. Hell, it haunts all fiction—or at least my own. I think you can chase that through the cast in the arc. Some of the characters go the other way—chasing the martyr journey that Jyn Erso ended up taking. Okay, that might be a bit philosophical for an answer, but to be more specific, Han would be the person I’d keep an eye on for the rest of the arc.
Each of the main three characters have their own arc in “The Ashes of Jedha,” and they rise and fall at different times. Luke’s started earliest and peaks with the training. Han starts lower and builds bigger later.
Marvel.com: How do Han and Leia react to Luke now that he’s gone off to do his own thing?
Kieron Gillen: I’d say the head-to-head between Leia and Luke says it all. It’s a fair question. What is practical in a situation? Either way, someone will have to make amends.
Marvel.com: Since the Death Star attack, what strategic value does Jedha hold for the Empire and the Rebellion respectively?
Kieron Gillen: For the Empire, it’s what it always was—a place rich in the resources they want. They’re a gauntlet squeezing the last bit of juice from the orange. The Empire needs all the orange juice it can get. Conversely, for the Rebellion, they don’t think the Empire should be allowed anything with Vitamin C in at all. They want the Empire to get scurvy. Any time the Empire try to buy some fruit juice, they’re arrive, swatting away the grasping gauntlet-y fingers.
Err…I’m not talking about actual orange juice, by the way.
Marvel.com: Right there with ya! Will we see any familiar faces in this struggle for Jedha?
Kieron Gillen: Well, Chewie has been conspicuously absent. I need to get some Bowcasting action in, surely?
Marvel.com: Oh yeah. Last question: how does it feel to have the chance to tell these stories between the action fans already know so well?
Kieron Gillen: It’s pretty magical. I’m working on the second arc at the moment, and I feel that I’ve really got the characters under my fingers. It feels like such a wonderful period of growth for the three core members and the Alliance, and getting to delineate the adventures they have along the way is so much fun.
What I’m doing is basically what I did with DARTH VADER—look at the gap in time, work out what’s been implicitly changed in that space, and then try to cook up a compelling reason for all those changes. Well, all the changes that [previous series writer] Jason Aaron hasn’t already touched on. That the book leans more towards the military side of the Rebels really brings Leia forward and Han’s conflicted response to it all. The trick ends up being about balance, so all the cast have their parts to play. For me, it’s an ensemble cast and I want to give everyone something.
Also, it never gets boring working out cool things you can do with a lightsaber.
Kieron Gillen and artist Salvador Larroca’s STAR WARS #41 hits on January 3!
See how the Lethal Legion members made their debut!
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.
A collection of the greatest super heroes on Earth have found themselves facing a monumental challenge in the pages of AVENGERS: NO SURRENDER. With the Grandmaster and the Challenger stealing Earth and utilizing the Lethal Legion and Black Order to enact their cosmic schemes, readers have been introduced—and reintroduced—to a variety of super villains. Two of these baddies have been around for longer than most; the Blood Brothers first premiered in 1973’s IRON MAN #55.
Now members of the Lethal Legion, the pair originally appeared as Thanos’ lackeys in an issue that also introduced Drax and gave an early look at the Mad Titan. The Brothers showed up, knocked Tony Stark out, loaded him onto their ship, and took him to their master’s secret Earthly lair. It was then revealed that Drax actually warned Stark about the oncoming threat before it occurred; to protect himself, he donned the armor just as the Blood brothers entered Stark Industries. Further warning Iron Man about the villains’ presence, Drax telepathically filled the hero’s mind with images of Titan, Mentor, Eros, and Thanos. These warnings, however, proved to be too late.
Upon regaining his senses inside Thanos’ base, Iron Man blasted the Blood Brothers with his repulsors before escaping to free Drax. The Blood Brothers managed to recover in time, though, and attacked the Armored Avenger once more. Though with the help of the Mentor, Iron Man prevailed again, allowing him to free his newfound friend, Drax.
Iron Man and the Destroyer then teamed up to face the Blood Brothers and bested them with ease. The duo then turned their attention toward Thanos, but the villain fled instead of staying to fight. The alien brutes survived, though, and would go on to menace Iron Man again along with the likes of the Thing, Daredevil, Quasar, and now—in the pages of AVENGERS: NO SURRENDER—the entire Earth!
Between their early days and their current status as members of the Lethal Legion, the Blood Brothers have encountered some wild events during their stay on Earth. After crashing to the planet on an alien spaceship, the duo managed to enslave a small Alaskan town, fight Drax again, and evade death. After one of the Brothers supposedly died, the other was sent to space jail, which he broke out of before becoming fixture in large criminal gatherings like The Hood’s syndicate, the Siege on Asgard, Mr. Knife’s Slaughter Lords, and even Pleasant Hill, where his long-lost brother was mysteriously revived.
Check out the bite-sized podcast preview of this week's new Marvel Comics!
Sweet Christmas! It’s Marvel’s The Pull List!
In this episode, Ryan and Tucker preview February 21’s new releases, including LUKE CAGE, AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, the BLACK PANTHER ANNUAL, DOCTOR STRANGE: DAMNATION, STAR WARS: DOCTOR APHRA, and all the other books that will be waiting for you in stores tomorrow!
Here’s the full list of what’s available from Marvel this week:
MARVEL PRINT COMICS
- AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #796
- ASTONISHING X-MEN #8
- AVENGERS #681
- BLACK PANTHER ANNUAL #1
- DAREDEVIL #599
- DEADPOOL VS. OLD MAN LOGAN #5
- DEFENDERS #10
- DOCTOR STRANGE: DAMNATION #1
- GENERATION X #87
- INCREDIBLE HULK #713
- INFINITY COUNTDOWN PRIME #1
- LUKE CAGE #170
- MIGHTY THOR #704
- MONSTERS UNLEASHED #11
- STAR WARS: DOCTOR APHRA #17
- TALES OF SUSPENSE #102
- VENOM #162
- X-MEN: GOLD #22
- ALL-NEW WOLVERINE VOL. 5: ORPHANS OF X
- ASTONISHING X-MEN BY CHARLES SOULE VOL. 1: LIFE OF X
- CABLE & X-FORCE: ONSLAUGHT RISING
- EXCALIBUR EPIC COLLECTION: THE CROSS-TIME CAPER
- INVINCIBLE IRON MAN IRONHEART VOL. 1 RIRI WILLIAMS TP
- MARVEL LEGACY HC
- SECRET WARRIORS VOL. 2: IF TROUBLE MUST COME
ALSO ON SALE ON THE MARVEL APP
- AMAZING SPIDER-MAN: EXTRA (2009) #1-3
- CAPTAIN AMERICA: WHAT PRICE GLORY (2003) #1-4
- DEADLY FOES OF SPIDER-MAN (1991) #1-4
- X-FORCE (1991) #49-55
- SPIDER-MAN: DEADLY FOES OF SPIDER-MAN
FRESHLY DIGITIZED COMICS ON MARVEL UNLIMITED
- ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN AMERICA #1-4
- CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE 1940S NEWSPAPER STRIP #1-3
- GENERATIONS: WOLVERINE & ALL-NEW WOLVERINE #1
- ULTIMATES 2 #100
Download episode 7 of The Pull List from Marvel.com, check out Marvel Podcast Central, grab the This Week in Marvel RSS feed, and subscribe to This Week in Marvel for The Pull List updates on iTunes! Then head over to our Soundcloud hub to listen to more from Marvel!
Jason Aaron and Donny Cates pen the new number ones!
Make Mine Marvel this May!
Jump on board as Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and the Venom symbiote get fresh creative teams and ground shaking new adventures! AVENGERS #1, written by Jason Aaron with art by Ed McGuinness, launches on May 2! And VENOM #1, by writer Donny Cates and artist Ryan Stegman, kicks off on May 9!
Art by Jim Cheung
“Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll be rolling out new beginnings for a few of our key franchises—new creative teams, new starting points, new storylines—all the big stuff that we’ve been building towards since Marvel Legacy began. This isn’t a clearing of the slate—while these new starts will kick off with new #1s, we’ll be maintaining the classic Legacy issue counts as dual numbering on these titles as well,” says SVP and Executive Editor Tom Brevoort. “Oh, and don’t read anything into not seeing a character on the Jim Cheung piece…we can only squeeze so many characters in there without killing poor Jim!”
In AVENGERS, the Big Three are reunited at last! Thor Odinson, Steve Rogers, and Tony Stark join forces once again to save the world from total annihilation at the hands of their most powerful enemies yet: the 2000-foot-tall space gods known as Celestials! And as teased throughout the pages of recent Marvel Comics, the Final Host will arrive…
Joining Thor, Captain America, and Iron Man in the new iteration of the team will be an unexpected, unprecedented collection of super heroes! Get a peek at Ed McGuinness’ art for AVENGERS #1 here!
And while Earth’s Mightiest Heroes fight the good fight on a cosmic scale, an inky symbiote will stretch across the streets of New York City and beyond in writer Donny Cates and artist Ryan Stegman’s VENOM!
In the wake of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s collapse, a primordial evil has been awakened beneath the streets of NYC, and with it, something equally evil has awakened in that most Wicked of Webslingers. This never-before-seen threat could force Venom to relinquish everything it holds dear…including Eddie Brock!
Get ready for a Venom adventure 1000 years in the making…And catch a glimpse of Ryan Stegman’s VENOM #1 art below!
Read AVENGERS #1, by Jason Aaron and Ed McGuinness, on May 2! Then catch VENOM #1, by Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman, on May 9!
Old Man Hawkeye writer Ethan Sacks joins the podcast!
Kick your big Marvel weekend off right with a brand-new episode of This Week in Marvel!
In this installment, Tucker yells, Alex invents a reason to go to Hong Kong, and Ryan doesn’t like rollercoasters. Then, OLD MAN HAWKEYE writer Ethan Sacks drops by to talk about the future of the series and how he got his start in comics.
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 the entire run of the show!
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! TWiM is hosted by Marvel Creative Executive Ryan “Agent M” Penagos, Marvel.com Assistant Editor Tucker Markus, and Assistant Manager of Social Media Alex Lopez. 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, @alexl0pez_, or @Marvel with the hashtag #ThisWeekinMarvel!
Dan Slott nears the end of his AMAZING run with a milestone issue on May 30.
After 10 years, Dan Slott’s epic run on AMAZING SPIDER-MAN is nearing its end in a big way with the “Go Down Swinging” arc, and AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #800 will be an appropriately huge issue in more ways than one.
Slott and artist Stuart Immonen will unveil what’s being touted as the biggest Peter Parker and Norman Osborn story of all time, joined by Humberto Ramos, Giuseppe Camuncoli and Jim Cheung. AMAZING #800 will mark the first Marvel comic to ever hit 800 issues, and will feature 80 pages of brand-new story from Slott, who has written more issues of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN than any creator.
Slott’s time on AMAZING – before he moves over to IRON MAN – will wrap up in #801, but first “Go Down Swinging” is giving fans one of the most exciting stories in Spider-Man lore, culminating with Spider-Man facing his most evil villain yet.
Said editor Nick Lowe, “AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #800 is the biggest single-issue story I’ve ever worked on. It’s 80-pages of story! And Dan and Stuart are being joined by some very important past AMAZING SPIDER-MAN artists to bring it to you in the coolest way possible! Everything you’ve loved about Dan Slott’s run on this book is on full display in this monumental issue that will have you shivering, crying, cheering, laughing and wishing it would never end!”
THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #800
GO DOWN SWINGING
Written by Dan Slott
Art by Stuart Immonen, Humberto Ramos, Giuseppe Camuncoli
Cover by Alex Ross
Kelly Thompson and Marc Guggenheim unite! Chris Claremont returns!
It’s almost time for Kitty Pryde and Colossus to tie the knot…but a Marvel Wedding is never a simple affair!
This May, take part in epic and adventurous stories written by Kelly Thompson and Marc Guggenheim! Plus, a wedding gift all on its own in the form of a brand-new Kitty Pryde story from legendary writer Chris Claremont, who returns to the X-Men just in time for the celebrations! But remember, when super heroes get together, mayhem ensues…and the X-Men are no exception.
“X-Men Weddings are always a big deal, if only because they’re so rare,” teases Thompson. “I think you probably have to go all the way back to X-MEN #30 in 1994—the wedding of Jean Grey and Cyclops—to get a wedding as potentially big as the wedding of Kitty Pryde and Colossus: two X-Men who’ve been around (and on again/off again) for literal decades.”
In this essential companion to the X-MEN: GOLD storyline “‘Til Death Do Us Part,” get a glimpse at Kitty and Peter’s march toward wedded bliss! It’s a celebration, Marvel style, with all the action, adventure, and surprises that we’ve come to know and love from Marvel’s merry mutants—and it’s only in comic shops this May!
Preview the director and the writer's exclusive conversation!
The time has come…Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther” is in theaters now!
Travel to Wakanda, meet the King, and explore his world. But when the movie ends, you can continue to journey alongside the Black Panther in writer Ta-Nehisi Coates and artist Leonard Kirk’s BLACK PANTHER. The series, which “Black Panther” executive producer Nate Moore has described as one of the “most inspirational” for the movie, sees T’Challa battling Ulysses Klaue, teaming up with Nakia, Shuri, and Ayo, and handling the responsibilities of the throne.
And on February 28, aside from the action and political intrigue of the story, issue #170 will debut an exclusive conversation between series writer, acclaimed novelist Ta-Nehisi Coates and Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther” director Ryan Coogler! The two creators explore each other’s thoughts on the character, the new film, and the cultural impact of Black Panther.
Here’s a quick snippet of their talk:
Ta-Nehisi Coates: So how do you feel now, after the premiere the other night? Is the weight still on your shoulders? Are you feeling like you did something? Are you happy yet? How you feeling?
Ryan Coogler: At premieres, you got a room full of people who want the film to work, you know what I’m saying? Everybody here wants the film to work. They want to watch a good movie. They want to see something that is going to make them proud. It makes you incredibly nervous, man, and you don’t know if the response is real or not. But I’ll tell you now that that night, the Panther premiere, that experience…Man, that’s one I’m going to remember for the rest of my life. I’m still trying to process it now.
Read the full conversation only in BLACK PANTHER #170 on February 28!
The Panther encounters the Avengers, the Fantastic Four, Iron Man 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!
The Black Panther found himself psychically forced to attend a gathering of heroes at Avengers Mansion in AVENGERS #211. There, he discovered a membership drive of sorts taking place, driven by the mental powers of Moondragon to bolsters the team’s ranks. When fights broke out among those gathered, T’Challa resisted Moondragon’s challenge and any offer of Avengers membership for the time being.
After being among the many heroes present for the tragic events in THE DEATH OF CAPTAIN MARVEL, T’Challa welcomed his friends the Fantastic Four to his African nation of Wakanda in FANTASTIC FOUR #241, and learned that the famous family sought a strange energy signature within the country’s borders. T’Challa disguised himself as one of his warriors to keep an eye on his friends, but when they stumbled upon a man using an ancient alien power to set himself up as a Roman emperor, he moved in to help them bring him down.
The cosmic Grandmaster summoned every known hero on Earth to compete in a grandiose game in CONTEST OF CHAMPIONS #1, and the Black Panther learned of the being’s desire to resurrect his brother the Collector should he win. Placed on a team alongside the X-Men’s Angel and the Russian hero Vanguard, T’Challa traveled to a city in Japan in CONTEST OF CHAMPIONS #3 to battle the Thing, Wolverine, and Peregrine. The Wakandan monarch’s team ultimately lost the challenge.
T’Challa next traveled to Washington D.C. to support the Hulk’s plea for amnesty from the President of the United States in INCREDIBLE HULK #278. When a supposed alien attack broke out, the Black Panther fought alongside the green giant to stop it, and then later raised his voice in triumph as the Hulk stood hailed as a hero.
Tony Stark visited some holdings in Wakanda in IRON MAN ANNUAL #5, but ran face first into a gambit by Madame Slay to kill T’Challa. The Panther’s old foe Erik Killmonger then claimed the heroic mantle while Iron Man helped T’Challa behind the scenes to root out the true villain of the piece: The Mandarin.
Dive into the Marvel library with Erik Killmonger!
Before Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther” hits the big screen this weekend, we decided to look back at the comic book history of a few of T’Challa’s greatest nemeses. Part One covered the life and times of Ulysses Klaue, and today we’ll review the Black Panther’s other archenemy: N’Jadaka, A.K.A. Erik Killmonger!
Forced into servitude by the evil Ulysses Klaue, N’Jadaka’s father was forced to help the mastermind steal vibrantium from Wakanda. The heist culminated in Klaue’s murder of King T’Chaka before the villain went on a rampage, killing N’Jadaka’s entire family before taking him captive.
After escaping Klaue’s clutches, N’Jadaka ended up in Harlem, New York. There, the young man developed a deep hatred for T’Chaka, believing that his weak leadership was responsible for the death of his family. In return for these perceived failures, N’Jadaka vowed to take revenge on T’Chaka’s son, T’Challa. During his time in Harlem, N’Jadaka changed his name to Erik Killmonger and dedicated his life to avenging his family’s murder.
Erik cultivated his combat skills, and eventually got his Doctorate in engineering, before contacting T’Challa himself for permission to return to Wakanda. His request was granted, and once in the country, the villain began working to overthrow the King. After wreaking havoc on several small villages, Killmonger lured The Black Panther into coming to help. Then, using his trained leopard, Preyy, as well as a number of his followers, the man formerly known as N’Jadaka attacked. After being defeated in his initial run-in, Killmonger returned again with the aid of fellow baddies Sombre and King Cadaver. After another battle, T’Challa prevailed again, this time killing his foe in the process.
Killmonger was resurrected by his followers and, in a meeting of villainous minds, teamed up with Klaue to take down T’Challa. This time, however, he succeeded, defeating T’Challa and taking control of Wakanda. Though, when Killmonger tried to consume the Heart-Shaped Herb to undergo the full process of becoming The Black Panther, the Herb turned out to be poisonous to those not of the royal bloodline. After recovering from being poisoned, Erik learned that T’Challa had retaken his place on the throne, but had not resumed his duties as The Black Panther—a New York cop named Kaspar Cole had taken over the mantle instead. Killmonger created a synthetic version of the Heart-Shaped Herb and came to New York City for a rendezvous with Cole, and attempted to woo him into revolting against T’Challa to no avail.
Recently, since T’Challa resumed his position as The Black Panther, Killmonger was the despotic ruler of Wakanda’s neighbor country, Niganda. After capturing T’Challa’s sister, Shuri, Wakanda invaded in retaliation and, in the chaos, Erik Killmonger was killed again.
Meet Erik Killmonger, Ulysses Klaue, and the rest of the characters in Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther” on February 16!