Artist Marcus To talks Infinity Stones, Nova Corps, and emotional turmoil!

The hunt for the Infinity Stones continues in writer Gerry Duggan and artist Marcus To’s GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #147!

On November 15, before these space cowboys can save the universe, they’ve got to save themselves. Managing the spurs in their sides—the missing cosmic Elders, Groot’s inability to progress through plant puberty, and Loki sneaking around behind the scenes—will prove difficult.

We spoke with Marcus to hear a little more about how the team might tackle these problems.

Marvel.com: Can you give us a rundown on this Marvel Legacy arc so far?

Marcus To: For my arc on GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, the gang joins the Nova Corps. I imagine that it would be like the guys from “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” trying to do a job while playing spy at the same time. They don’t really know what they’re doing, but we’ll see some old favorites—and some serious developments—that will have lasting repercussions in the quest for the Stones. Also, expect some big fights.

Marvel.com: What can we expect visually from your work on this arc?

Marcus To: I always try to make sure the visuals look fun and expressive, especially for characters like the ones in the Guardians. [Colorist] Ian Herring and I want to create classic sci-fi adventures with the art style we’re coming up with.

Marvel.com: Which aspects of the book did you find to be the most interesting to portray? Which were the most challenging?

Marcus To: I love the unique looks to all the Guardians; it’s something really different than other books and you can have a lot of fun with designs like Rocket and Groot. The hardest part in any team book has always been the amount of characters in each panel. A lot of group shots and crowd scenes take more time to draw and to plan out.

Marvel.com: Gerry has introduced a few new characters to the team—what roles will they play in the quest for the Infinity Stones?

Marcus To: The team is still finding out more about Rich Rider and Scott Lang. They’re a fractured team in a lot of ways and each of them wants to figure out where they fit—if at all.

Marvel.com: The team might be a little stressed with everything going onGamora’s strange Soul Stone connection, Groot not growing, and now learning that some of the Cosmic Elders have gone missing. How will they deal with it all?

Marcus To: Not too well. Some are hiding secrets from the others while others are nearing emotional breakdowns. Each of them wavers, and by the end of the arc, we’ll see who stays and who goes.

Marvel.com: Will issue #147 see any of those problems solved?

Marcus To: There’s going to be a solution at the end for one of them, but we don’t know yet if it’ll make things better or worse.

Marvel.com: Describe the dynamic of the group now that a couple new characters have joined the fray.

Marcus To: The best thing about team books is exploring their past relationships. We’re totally going to see how they react to Nova being there. At the moment Gamora is keeping her feelings on that close to the chest.

Marvel.com: What about Peter and Rich?

Marcus To: This relationship will be a little more explosive.

Marvel.com: How will the Nova Corps continue to manage working with this band of not-so law abiding space bandits?

Marcus To: The best way to find a scoundrel is with a scoundrel. The Corps will learn how to bend the rules for the greater good. That said, some of the Guardians might end up enjoying being a part of the Corps a little too much.

Check out GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #147, by writer Gerry Duggan and artist Marcus To, on November 15!

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As Scott Lang joins the Guardians as Ant-Man we look back at how he joined the Marvel Universe!

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 first day on the job usually leads to some uncomfortable situations. You’re not quite sure where to park or sit for lunch. Maybe the people don’t take to you immediately or show even a remote sense of interest in your existence. And then sometimes, Wonder Man tries to punch you in the face because the Avengers Mansion security tried taking him out.

That wasn’t just Scott Lang’s first day on the job as an employee of Tony Stark’s installing the security system at the famous domicile, but also his very first appearance as seen in AVENGERS #181 by David Micheline, John Byrne and Gene Day. 

Avengers (1963) #181

Avengers (1963) #181

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Now that Lang has joined up with the team in ALL-NEW GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, it’s the perfect time to look back at how he made his less-than-spectacular debut in 1979. In an interesting little twist of fate, Iron Man actually saw the original Guardians off after a shared adventure they had in #177.

Anyway, Lang walked away with his head intact thanks to Stark interceding on his behalf, which allowed him to show up again in MARVEL PREMIERE #4748 by Micheline, Byrne and Bob Layton. 

Marvel Premiere (1972) #47

Marvel Premiere (1972) #47

What is Marvel Unlimited?

This issue kicked off with Lang already in the Ant-Man duds thinking to himself about saving his daughter while interrupting a surgery. He held his own, but didn’t succeed in completing his mission, which gave him time to think back.

In that second appearance, Lang remembered being an inmate in a prison that helped him get a job interview with Stark International. Wanting to put his burglary days behind him and embrace his electronics background, which worked out, but only for a while. Soon, his daughter Cassie exhibited an inoperable aorta condition that seemed to leave them all with little to no hope.

Desperate, Lang broke into a an old mansion belonging to Hank Pym. He wanted cash to help pay for Cassie’s treatment, but wound up stumbling upon the Ant-Man costume and helmet, which he made off with. He soon put the duds on and found himself at eye level with the insects.

Only later did the opening scene come into focus more fully as he intended to kidnap Dr. Sondheim who was working on the procedure and force her to help Cassie. Instead, he discovered that a hulk of a man named Darren Cross had actually kidnapped Dr. Sondheim already in search of her services.

After rescuing the good doctor, she helped save Cassie’s life and things started looking up for Lang, and then Pym appeared in his Yellow Jacket costume. Instead of chewing the thief out, Hank congratulated him on a job well done and said he could keep the suit if he kept doing good with it.

Lang jumped at the chance and has been striving to stay on the right side ever since. He even did a good enough job parenting to help raise Cassie into a strong young woman who became a hero in her own right known as Stature!

Flash Forward

The MARVEL PREMIERE issues as a test to see if this new Ant-Man could shoulder his own series. The numbers didn’t quite work out for that, but he did wind up becoming an Avenger. In #181, he showed up at Yellow Jacket’s request to help the team find out what the Wasp might be doing at the Solomon Institute for the Criminally Insane. The two shrunk down to infiltrate the building and free Jan, which succeeded. Unfortunately they ran into a new foe: The Taskmaster! They put up a good enough fight to eventually earn Scott a spot on the team!

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Gerry Duggan drops hints on the team's future—and Adam's return!

This January, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY reaches its landmark issue #150!

Just in time too, as the Guardians will have to contend with a big player reentering the scene: Adam Warlock.

Writer Gerry Duggan joins artist Marcus To as Gamora, Drax, Star-Lord, Rocket, and Groot quest for the Soul Stone, try to contain Adam, and battle the Raptors in this epic sesquicentennial event.

We asked Gerry for some insight on what to expect from The Return of Adam Warlock, Part 1.

Marvel.com: What can you tease about Adam’s return?

Gerry Duggan: Well, he returns more than once…kind of. Pretty mysterious!

Marvel.com: Will they run into any other classic characters who’ve made recent comebacks? Maybe…Wolverine?

Gerry Duggan: The Guardians will meet Logan! Just not right now.

Marvel.com: You’ve mentioned before that Gamora will take a very personal journey with the Soul Stone. How might that come about? Will she enter the Soul World?

Gerry Duggan: Well, technically she’s been encountering it in visions in our run. Because her eyes have opened to what the Soul Stone really is. The world within presents itself as a Utopia, but is anything but. The Soul Stone hungers

Marvel.com: You’ve teased that this arc takes the Guardians to some amazing locations. What can we expect to see? How has Marcus To been in realizing these sights?

Gerry Duggan: Marcus has been so wonderful. We’re going to see the Nova’s new HQ, visit space ravaged by Ultrons, visit a new location with a big secret…lots of fun inbound!

Marvel.com: Will war still be on the table for Gamora and the Guardians as we approach #150?

Gerry Duggan: By issue #147, you’ll visit the location of a very important flashpoint in the coming war. Every issue, the drums of war get louder…

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #150, by Gerry Duggan and artist Marcus To, arrives in January!

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Gerry Duggan previews the Guardians’ Infinity quest!

The Guardians’ hunt for the Infinity Stones begins.

But first, they have to join up with the Nova Corps! On November 1, “The Infinity Quest,” kicks off as writer Gerry Duggan and artist Marcus To see the team suit up with the Gold Domes. Everything, however, might not be as it seems within the Nova ranks…and Peter, Gamora, Drax, Rocket, and Groot will have to figure out why in GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #146!

We caught up with Gerry to hear more about the start of a new journey for the team.

Marvel.com: How do the Guardians qualify for joining the Nova Corps?

Gerry Duggan: Right now the bar sits pretty low—do you have a head to put a helmet on? If so, welcome aboard! But if the galaxy has a chance at survival, they’ll need to recapture their former glory.

Marvel.com: Do the Guardians embrace the new Corps? How will they fit into their new roles?

Gerry Duggan: Quite simply: if the new Corps fails, the Guardians have even more work to do. So this ends up being a preventative defense for them. They’re still misfits, but they’re helping root out some real problems.

Marvel.com: The Guardians have butted heads with Nova Corps before…what’s the dynamic feel like now?

Gerry Duggan: Rocket, for example, has an interesting time. You’d think he would despise it….but you’ll see why he’s enjoying himself.

Marvel.com: How has the team evolved since Rich Rider last appeared on the team?

Gerry Duggan: Groot looks pretty small now, Drax hasn’t been himself, and Gamora seems a little soulless… Everyone feels like a mess.

Marvel.com: Rich and Gamora have such a complicated historyhow do they feel about this new team-up?

Gerry Duggan: Rich and Gamora’s reunion will have to wait…she never told Quill that he returned. Issue #147 will be a very fun reunion—and also contains a discovery of huge proportions.

Marvel.com: Gerry, personally speaking, would you choose to join the Nova Corps or the Guardians? Why?

Gerry Duggan: I’d die really quickly either way, so I’d join the Guardians. It would be more fun.

Gerry Duggan and artist Marcus To’s GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #146 kicks off on November 1!

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Warlock returns in Guardians of the Galaxy #150!

Coming up inside GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #150, Adam Warlock makes his return to the Marvel Universe in a Marvel Legacy special event as the search for the Infinity Stones continues! Written by Gerry Duggan with art by Marcus To, Gamora and company seek the Soul Stone—but what will the reappearance of their once ally and former holder of said bauble mean for their quest?

First introduced in the 1967 pages of FANTASTIC FOUR #66, Warlock evolved over the years to become a cosmic warrior and key figure in the saga of the Infinity Stones. A mercurial figure, and a one-time Guardian himself, Adam could tip the scales in favor—or against—the current squad.

Why has Warlock come back? And from where? The mystery remains. Does he seek the Infinity Stones for himself? Find out in “The Return of Adam Warlock, Part 1”!

Stay tuned to Marvel.com/nycc2017 for more news from New York Comic Con! And check out our social channels all weekend with #MarvelNYCC.

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The team adds a new member soon—see if you have what takes!

Can you keep your cool in a sticky situation? Do you know how to turn anything into a weapon? Do you view the law as a loose guideline? Then writer Gerry Duggan and artist Rod Reis may have just the job for you!

On October 18, the Guardians begin interviewing for a brand new position on the team in ALL-NEW GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #12! Explains Duggan, “As the Guardians conclude their adventure on Earth to free the planet from Stevil Rogers, they encounter several characters in search of an exit from this planet. One will make the trip. However, even though this issue has its feet on the ground, there will be a very important cosmic encounter that affects the quest for the Infinity Stone.”

Check out this job application for more info about the position…

Team Searching For Celestial Chaperone

Job title: Guardian of the Galaxy

Salary: Glory and a share of the score

Job summary: The Guardians of the Galaxy are a rag-tag team of assorted criminals who travel from world to world stealing from the highest level security facilities in the universe…and occasionally, saving the galaxy.

The positions of comic relief, crazed weapons specialist, former assassin, adorable mascot, and metaphorically-challenged muscle have already been filled. But don’t worry, Editor Jordan D. White details, “They tend to gather new members as they go, like a space snowball rolling downhill. And yeah, I did just say the Guardians are heading ‘downhill’—they have no idea what sort of trouble they’re in for.” Despite the foreshadowing there, the position does promise to be a great opportunity for anyone looking to get the heck off Earth and take on what White mentions could be called an “Infinite” quest…

It’s the Infinity Stone. They’re questing for the Infinity Stone. That’s the quest.

Responsibilities: You will be responsible for assisting the team on each mission while helping keep the peace between senior members. You will familiarize yourself with the targets of each mission and be ready to fill in wherever needed—that means getting comfortable in each team role and being prepared to fake it ‘till you make it when the plan inevitably falls apart.

You will follow any and all orders given to you by a senior Guardian. If you receive conflicting instructions, use your discretion to determine which will prove most profitable to the group. This position will also play a role in caring for—or “babysitting”—a recently regrown juvenile Flora Collossus. What can we say; it can’t all be gun slinging, explosions, and glamour.

Qualifications:

  • Music lover; particularly ‘60s and ‘70s Earth music
  • Mystic powers (ideal, but not required)
  • 2+ years of criminal and/or hero experience
  • Ability to regenerate a plus
  • Advanced combat and weapons capabilities
  • Experience time traveling (preferred)
  • Ability to cope in high stress situations
  • Chemical enhancements accepted
  • Willingness to follow orders but skilled improviser
  • Comfortable around talking woodland creatures and semi-communicative trees
  • Actually, if you could just be an ex-Avenger, that’d be great

So who might the candidates be? Take a look at the cover! White teases, “Any one of the five folks on there would make a fascinating addition to the team, would they not? And yeah—I did say five.” He clearly knows something we don’t—given that Dr. Strange, Deadpool, Cable, and Man-Thing seem to be the only newbies in the image…

Send your application in today! Email pquill@dangerousfuncoolguy.org or try reading your resumé to a raccoon and hope you get lucky.

Find out who clinches the job on October 18 with ALL-NEW GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #12, by Gerry Duggan and artist Rod Reis!

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Gerry Duggan and Marcus To tease the Legacy launch of Guardians of the Galaxy!

This fall, it’s a new dawn for the Universe as Marvel Legacy begins.

53 signature Marvel titles—and every series is an event! Each book pays homage to the beloved heroes, villains, teams, and artifacts that shaped Marvel’s past and determine its future. On November 1, dive into the Legacy of the Marvel Universe’s favorite dysfunctional family, as writer Gerry Duggan and artist Marcus To present GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #146!

Gerry and Marcus took time away from their mysterious intergalactic mission to give us some teasers about the Legacy launch.

Marvel.com: Without spoiling anything, can you give readers a hint about what happens at the start of Guardians Legacy?

Gerry Duggan: As we head into the Guardians story for Marvel Legacy, we’re continuing to explore Gamora’s relationship with the Soul Stone; that’s one of the big overall stories that we’re telling. At that point [artist] Aaron Kuder’s first arc will have concluded and we’ll have a little more information about what’s happening in the galaxy. The source of Groot’s affliction will have been revealed—but the problem will escalate. And it’s no secret anymore that Ant-Man has joined the team! He will leave Earth to get away and take a break in the wake of Secret Empire…but I don’t think he’ll find a lot of rest and relaxation in space.

We’ll also continue a story thread from my UNCANNY AVENGERS days, when Ultron infected aliens with a virus—and then told them that if they survived, they could look up the Avengers on Earth for payback. So he’s creating a lot of ticking time bombs, which will be of personal interest to Scott Lang.

The real thrust of this arc, though, is the idea that there’s a problem inside the Nova Corps and it relates to the Fraternity of the Raptors. So the Guardians are going to fight for the soul of the Nova Corps—joined by Rich Rider and some other unexpected cosmic favorites. In Marcus’ upcoming arc, we’re also going to be revealing the location of the first Infinity Stone.

Marvel.com: Ooh!

Gerry Duggan: Yeah, that’s the prize! We’re building up to a very special issue #150 that will see some new beginnings and at least one ending. It will all set the table for a conflict that centers around the Stones.

Really, this is going to be a story about two families: the Guardians and the Cosmic Elders. The Elders are not privy to all of the secrets of our universe, so they have theories to approximate some answers—the most crazed of which is the notion that there’s an intelligence behind their world that, maybe, doesn’t have their best interests at heart. Unfortunately for them, that theory proves true.

Marvel.com: There’s an interesting sense of history to the Legacy stories. Marcus, have you been doing any research into the old comics for inspiration?

Marcus To: Actually I have been digging—not necessarily specifically into Guardians of the Galaxy—but into old X-MEN stuff, old FANTASTIC FOUR, and Silver Surfer. They give a really good insight into why fans fell in love with these characters in the first place. So even though the artistic style might not be the same, I’d like to think I took a lot of storytelling cues to try to capture the same love that the original creators of these books had.

Marvel.com: What about you, Gerry? Have you been reading, say, THE INFINITY GAUNTLET?

Gerry Duggan: Actually…we’re not telling an Infinity Gauntlet story as much as we’re telling a story about the Infinity Stones. Not to misdirect you from Thanos and the importance of the Gauntlet, but Editor Jordan D. White and our collaborators all agree that the Gauntlet story has been told—and told well—so we’re going to blaze some new trails. So, yes the Stones are coming back in an interesting new way that I think will surprise some people. They’re out there…and we’ll get to see how they impact these characters.

But to answer your original question: yes, I have been reading a lot of old Marvel comics—and I’ve also been reading a lot about the notion that our universe could be a simulation.

Marvel.com: So what stories would you recommend people check out to get the full history of the Infinity Stones?

Gerry Duggan: I will say that readers should be reading up on Marvel Unlimited to see the stories by folks that have come before us. And make sure to check out the INFINITY GAUNTLET: WARZONES series I did with Dustin Weaver (co-writer and artist on that book); we’re going to start pulling some strings from that in a fun way.

Marvel.com: Marcus, during your artistic process, were there any particular challenges in the new book? Anything you were especially proud of?

Marcus To: I feel that every project has challenges of its own, but I take a lot of cues based off of who I work with. This is the first project I’ve worked with Gerry on and I’m enjoying it quite a bit. His storytelling style makes things very easy on an artist—it allows space to tell a story without bombarding it with exposition too much. That makes it fun because you can really pull off some comedic moments—and some character moments can breathe a little bit more. And since these books are delivered twice a month, we have a little more room to add scenes and really develop these characters the way we want to.

Gerry Duggan: Yeah, the pages that Marcus has been doing are great. It’s not just great character work and great gags, but also high drama. We try to put in a lot of real character moments to ground the story when things are a little bit crazy, especially now with a couple of different emergencies going on in outer space. Not everyone can nail the drama and the comedy, but Marcus has that talent and it’s a joy to work with.

Marcus To: Thanks, man!

Gerry Duggan: Thank you!

Marcus To: You know, what we love so much about these team books are the interactions they have with each other—the small, short moments are really when you get to know these characters. That’s what we’re really trying to inject into these issues, and art-wise those are my favorite things to draw. You can use comedic, lighthearted events—or even emotional ones—to do that. Gerry has allowed us to experiment with that a little bit more.

Marvel.com: Each of these characters has such a unique appearance. What’s it like telling a story with Groot, for example, largely using body language as a communicator?

Marcus To: If I can’t tell a story without words, then I’ve failed as a comic book artist. And I’m also a firm believer that storytelling is king. I’d like to think that, if you took out all the words, you could still kind of know what’s going on with my stories. I always try to practice that. When creating, I think of myself as the actor and director when it comes to these things, so hopefully it reads that way as well. I’ve always tried to make sure that, if there’s a character like Groot, who can’t express himself with words, he’ll do so with acting. Hopefully it reads that way as well!

Marvel.com: Any last words ahead of the new Marvel Legacy Guardians series?

Marcus To: Well, I guess Gerry did say that the Nova Corps will be there…my story revolves around the Guardians of the Nova, so you get to see all the Guardians dressed as Novas—even Groot! I laugh even thinking about it because it’s kind of ridiculous. But my favorite thing about it is Rocket because he gets to play a cop.

Gerry Duggan: With regard to the future of the Guardians, we’re definitely interested in telling new stories—not just with some familiar objects, but also older characters that may be coming back in new and exciting ways. So, check out Marvel Unlimited to read up on some of the old cosmic stories from Jim Starlin and Brian Michael Bendis to Jim Valentino and DnA (Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning). I think we’ll be tying into a lot of our predecessors in a cool way.

Keep your eyes peeled for GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #146, by Gerry Duggan and artist Marcus To, available on November 1!

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Speculate on what’s been stunting Groot’s growth with Gerry Duggan!

Since the start of ALL-NEW GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, Groot’s been stuck in a small state and True Believers across the galaxy have been attempting to guess why.

Normally a giant, the talkin’ tree has been relegated to sapling status—but on September 6 that all changes with ALL-NEW GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #9! Guest artist Mike Hawthorne joins series writer Gerry Duggan to reveal the source of Groot’s problem and where the one-line wonder goes from here.

But before issue #9 officially answers the question, we asked Gerry to give us his thoughts on a few of our reasonable (and unreasonable) theories about the cause of Groot’s perpetually-slight stature.

Marvel.com: Our first guess: there’s a unique frequency in every Electric Light Orchestra song that keeps his species from growing any biggerand he’s just danced to one too many. 

Gerry Duggan: Or fans keep breaking pieces off of him.

Marvel.com: Maybe he got in the way of one of Rocket’s mad science experiments and got blasted, poisoned, or shot into permanent-baby form. 

Gerry Duggan: Well, Groot’s not exactly a baby in All New—he’s just physically diminished. He’s banzai Groot.

Marvel.com: What if Rocket made such a snarky quip that it degraded Groot down to his current state?

Gerry Duggan: No comment is too salty for this team.

Marvel.com: Perhaps, before the start of this series, the Guardians fought some powerful cosmic gardener/Edward Scissor Hands-esque entity that wanted to trim Groot into a beautiful and delicate lawn feature. 

Gerry Duggan: That would be quite a gardener/mohel.

Uncover the mystery at last with ALL-NEW GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #9, by Gerry Duggan and artist Mike Hawthorne, on September 6!

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Writer-artist Chip Zdarsky breaks down the special variant series!

Evoking what was once a standard of comics past, a collection of How-To-Draw variant covers will be available across 20 different issues this October—including BLACK PANTHER #166, CAPTAIN MARVEL #125, ALL-NEW GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #11, DAREDEVIL #27, and GWENPOOL #21!

Via the artistic tutelage of Chip Zdarsky (writer of PETER PARKER: THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN, STAR-LORD, and HOWARD THE DUCK), readers will get a step-by-step guide to illustrating their favorite characters. How “expert” that artistic tutelage will be…is less certain.

We sat down with Chip and Editor Nick Lowe to chat about how these covers came to life.

Marvel.com: Nick, when was the first time you ever came across a how-to-draw featurette in a comic—and what did it mean to you? And then how did this project come about?

Nick Lowe: The book How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way was huge for me back in middle school and high school—and still is today. Let’s be honest: John Buscema is one of the most underrated artists in comic history. He could draw anything and you’d hear these amazing stories about him, but you see how he approached the work and it’s just stunning.

We generally do Sketch Variant covers for our big launches and when PETER PARKER: THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN came around, it hit me that we could do something a little different…especially with someone as truly bizarre as Chip, our writer. So I emailed Chip and before I knew it he sent in the hilarious How-To-Draw Spider-Man cover. [Editor-in-Chief] Axel Alonso saw it and loved it and he had the idea to roll it out into all these variants.

Marvel.com: Chip, what did you think when they approached you about this?

Chip Zdarsky: Well, like Nick says, we were gearing up for issue one of Peter Parker and, you know, launching a Spider-Man book is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so I told Nick that I’d love to do one of the variant covers.

Marvel.com: Nick, what made Chip the go-to man for these covers? What are his strengths with this kind of work?

Nick Lowe: He’s a very troubled individual, so I knew I could exploit those troubles here. His strengths certainly aren’t art, that’s for sure, but I guess he’s pretty funny.

Marvel.com: Chip, there’s got to be more to this story. What do you remember about the Spidey editorial team’s reaction to your interest in doing a variant for the book?

Chip Zdarsky:  Never heard back. Which, you know, stung, since they had 80-90 variants for issue one. But, I forgave Nick, ‘cause he’s a really busy guy, spending most of his day telling me “no” to my story ideas. So it probably slipped his mind to tell me “no” for my variant.

Then, just before they were sending the covers to the printer, Nick contacted me. He said they were doing one of the blank sketch variants, but that I could maybe write a fun little thing on the back cover before they sent it to the printer. Was it out of pity for me? Probably. Would I exploit that pity? Yeah. Yeah, I would.

So I sent him a How-To-Draw guide for Spidey instead. It seemed to fit in with the theme of the blank covers. Nick loved it and told me I’m his favorite person at Marvel; more than Mark Waid, Dan Slott, his assistant editors Alison and Devin, etc., which was really nice to hear.

So, the Spider-Man cover came out, and people seemed to like it! I figured at that point Marvel would greenlight a How-To-Draw movie and I’d be set for life. But instead, I got a text message from Axel Alonso, Editor-in-Chief—I call those Axts—telling me that I was now drawing twenty of those covers.

Marvel.com: Nick, do you have a favorite cover?

Nick Lowe:  I love the Lockjaw one a lot. I love the DAREDEVIL one, too. But they’re all so great.

Marvel.com: Chip, do you have a personal favorite?

Chip Zdarsky: I’m pretty happy with the DAREDEVIL one, which has made its way online already. But so far my favorite is the PUNISHER one, ’cause it’s really tricky to capture the soul of a killing machine. But I think I succeeded.

Marvel.com: How long did a typical cover take you to create from beginning to end?

Chip Zdarsky: In a lot of ways, my entire life has been leading to this job, so I would say each one takes a lifetime. Or, like, half an hour. Depending on how you look at it.

Marvel.com: Nick, any chance that something like this could be expanded upon in the future?

Nick Lowe: I sure hope so! I think they’re so fun and I can’t wait for a generation of burgeoning artists to be led down the wrong path! These are the complete inversion of my beloved How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way!

Marvel.com: We’ll give the last words on these variants to the writer-artist—Chip, given a hypothetical chance to do more of these, which other characters would you love to do?

Chip Zdarsky: [Redacted], I guess.

Marvel.com: *sigh*

Keep an eye out for Chip Zdarsky’s How-To-Draw variant covers in stores this October!

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Follow the path that led Drax from destruction to life as a pacifist!

No one likes change, least of all Drax the Destroyer.

Maybe that’s because most of the change in Drax’s life came without his choosing; but now, as we’ll see in ALL-NEW GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #7, out August 2 from writer Gerry Duggan and artist Greg Smallwood, the big change in his attitude will be all his own, for better or for worse.

“Fans who know Drax only from the Guardians film series might be surprised at how different the comic book Drax’s history is from the cinematic one,” notes ALL-NEW GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY editor Jordan D. White. “Yes, it is true that Thanos killed his wife and child… but [in the comics] they were an Earth wife and child, because Drax was a realtor named Arthur Douglas who enjoyed playing the saxophone.”

When Arthur’s car, carrying himself, his wife and daughter, crashed due to Thanos’ evil intervention and Douglas died, the man’s spirit found itself resurrected in a new body thanks to beings from the moon of Titan. Now called Drax the Destroyer and tasked with nothing short of killing Thanos, he dived headlong into a chaotic career of battling weirdos and space monsters until he regained his Earth memories and seemingly failed at his job when the space-faring Captain Marvel managed to put The Mad Titan down.

Wandering the star lanes, Drax joined with his daughter, now the powerful psychic Moondragon, but fell under her mental domination. Once freed, he shouldered the burden of guarding one of the Infinity Stones alongside Adam Warlock, until he suffered a series of setbacks due to his failing mind and death.

“The films’ portrayal of Drax as unable to understand metaphors has its roots in a later depiction of him, [during one of the times] he was brought back from the dead,” says White. “He came back with reduced intelligence, acting almost childlike. I think, comedically, [writer] Peter David’s use of Drax in his CAPTAIN MARVEL series was probably peak humor.”

Yet another new version of the Destroyer emerged after the prison ship he’s on crashes on Earth and he befriends a young girl he mistakenly believes to be his daughter.

All-New Guardians of the Galaxy #7 cover by Aaron Kuder

“The look of Drax that they echoed in the film, the look that he still sports now, came later still, when Keith Giffen wrote him,” White explains. “Gone was his purple cape and childish persona, and in came the red tattoos and the gruff brawler he is now. That was a fun series, with Drax teaming up with and protecting a young girl named Cammi.”

Drax could catch no break nor receive no breather in his life when the Annihilation Wave spread out over the cosmos until he took the fight directly to the destructive force’s point of origin and finally fulfilled the promise of his creation when he killed Thanos during a battle.

From there, he joined the new Guardians of the Galaxy at the request of Star-Lord, and until very recently enjoyed the thrill of a warrior’s life. Today, Drax embraces a peaceful existence, one that his fellow Guardians may scratch their heads over, knowing their comrade as they do.

“I am not sure any of Drax’s teammates are really on board with him swearing off violence,” White states for the record. “Violence is pretty much all he’s been about for so long, I am not sure they know what to make of a Drax who won’t throw a punch.

“There is a sketch from the Netflix show ‘With Bob & David’ about New Year’s Resolutions where a bunch of guys have these crazy unrealistic resolutions, and then they give one guy so much guff when he says he’s swearing off red meat. I think that captures the Guardians’ attitudes on Drax’s resolution pretty perfectly.”

Drax seizes the spotlight in ALL-NEW GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #7 by Gerry Duggan and Greg Smallwood, coming August 2!

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