Follow the Ultimates powerhouse back to his formative days!

Celebrate Black History Month by delving into the first appearances of Marvel’s most prominent African and African-American characters on Marvel Unlimited!

Unfortunately, not everyone who puts on a costume to defend the defenseless receives the adulation and thanks they so rightly deserve. In the case of Adam “Blue Marvel” Brashear, instead of praise, he received fear and admonishment, just because of the color of his skin.

The 2008 five-issue limited series ADAM: LEGEND OF THE BLUE MARVEL by Kevin Grevioux and Mat Broome kicked off with the villain Anti-Man taking on the Avengers—including Ares, She-Hulk, and Sentry—single-handedly before disappearing.

The story then cut to June 4, 1962 as Anti-Man fought the hero known as Blue Marvel. In addition to trading blows, the two super beings also argued about whether the world should be forced to change or not. The fight ended with Blue Marvel standing victorious over Anti-Man, but with the color of his skin exposed through his torn costume. This resulted in mistrust on both sides of the racial divide.

The Pentagon immediately investigated the images, discovering the Marvel’s true identity as Adam Bernard Brashear, a Magna Cum Laude Cornell graduate with a PhD in theoretical physics who also played football and served in Korea. Though highly conflicted in doing so, President John F. Kennedy asked Adam to stand down when it came to using his powers.

Back in the present, Tony Stark—then the head of S.H.I.E.L.D.—used his clearance to find out the story behind Blue Marvel and why he hadn’t heard of him. Stark learned that the President called Adam in to face a harbinger from space and he disappeared during the cosmic conflict.

Adam: Legend of the Blue Marvel (2008) #1

Adam: Legend of the Blue Marvel (2008) #1

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In reality, though, Brashear had been living a normal life married to a deep undercover S.H.I.E.L.D. agent and teaching physics at the University of Maryland. After learning the truth about his wife, Adam flew to the moon and had a conversation with The Watcher. He then met with Iron Man and the other modern heroes to explain that he and Anti-Man got their powers when Brashear’s experimental antimatter negative reactor exploded, consuming both Adam and his best friend Conner Sims. With Anti-Man returned, they used this information and Adam’s experience to take on the threat.

After talks with Namor and Anti-Man, Blue Marvel faced off against the Avengers, lost someone very close to him, and then finally ended his one-time friend’s life-threatening rampage. With his secret life no longer a problem, Adam eventually returned to being a hero, though not as prominently as he had in the past.

History Lesson

Adam Brashear kept something of a low profile after his introduction to the Marvel Universe, but before long joined up with Luke Cage’s Avengers in MIGHTY AVENGERS. As part of that group he faced off against the Illuminati leading into Secret Wars and then stood as a member of the proactive big brain squad appearing monthly in ULTIMATES and now ULTIMATES 2. As part of that group, Adam has helped cure Galactus of his hunger, save Anti-Man from certain death in Exo-Space and fix the fabric of time and space. That’s a pretty respectable track record for a character who’s been around for less than a decade.

Next week kicks off with the man who went from Tony Stark’s best friend to an armored hero in his own right: James Rhodes!

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Al Ewing assembles the most powerful team in the Marvel Universe to deal with Galactus and other massive challenges!

The world has changed. It no longer resembles the era that gave birth to the Avengers. A new time deserves a new kind of super hero team. Writer Al Ewing and artist Kenneth Rocafort intend to give fans exactly that in ULTIMATES.

With a heavy emphasis on science and exploration, this new assemblage have more on their mind then simply being the team that arrives in the nick of time to put down the bad guys. If their missions succeed, there will be no nick of time at all. However, Ewing recognizes that proactivity does not come without quandaries.

“There are going to be some moral debates—when the problems you’re dealing with are sentient or even above-sentient cosmic creatures, how do you ‘solve’ them?” he questions. “At the same time, someone’s got to deal with these long-running, world-threatening issues. You can put up with a leaky roof if you have to—you can’t put up with a collapsing house.”

“Science and exploration feels like something very positive, a general good—it helps mitigate some of those moral concerns,” continues the writer. “I think an emphasis on expanding knowledge makes the team a lot more interesting and sympathetic than, say, a mission to beat people up in the name of preserving the current social order.”

Looking to do more than keep the status quo status demands a strong lineup and ULTIMATES more than meets this challenge with a roster that boasts Blue Marvel, Spectrum, Black Panther, Captain Marvel, and Miss America Chavez.

“It’s basically a mix of power levels and general interest,” reveals Ewing. “I wanted to continue telling Adam’s and Monica’s stories [from MIGHTY AVENGERS], so they were definitely in, and then we ended up picking characters with a big, passionate fan base who’d mesh well and bounce interestingly off each other—and who were incredibly, hugely powerful too. This was always a cosmic team for cosmic threats; only the most powerful, physically, mentally or politically, need apply.”

The writer remains dedicated to telling stories with characterization, no matter the size of the cosmic threat bearing down on them.

“Well, there’s obvious chemistry that’s been building with Adam and Monica, and some drama between Adam and T’Challa, the potential for some robust debate,” he acknowledges. “Monica and Carol spark off each other well. MAC, meanwhile, is almost the outsider, and judging their ability to do a job she’s been doing since she was a kid.

“Really, any of the five will react with any other, which is the mark of a fun team.”

Ewing and Rocafort will be giving the team plenty to react to immediately out of the gate.

“We start off very much in media res: the team [is] fully set up, they’ve got all their equipment in place and they’re ready to kick ass,” the writer promises. “Scientifically!”

Will science and proactivity be enough to meet the trial of a certain purple cosmic entity though?

“We do have some Galactus-shaped plans—but what they are will remain top secret,” Ewing tantalizingly drops. “And I don’t think anyone’s guessed them yet.”

Nonetheless, as ULTIMATES #1 opens, Ewing makes it clear where all eyes will be looking:

“The focus is where it should be: on the Devourer of Worlds!”

Find out what Al Ewing and Kenneth Rocafort have in store for Galactus and the team in ULTIMATES, later this year! For the latest All-New All-Different Marvel news, stay tuned to Marvel.com and our social channels!

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The Blue Marvel honors the memory of the Watcher, while Blade battles the supernatural in these preview pages by Greg Land!

This month, the Blue Marvel grieves for the passing of The Watcher in MIGHTY AVENGERS #10, a tie-in to Original Sin! From the creative team of Al Ewing and Greg Land – the Watcher has many enemies, some that would go so far as to murder him in cold blood. But he also has friends. On the moon, Adam Brashear honors the memory of one of his dearest friends and the gaping hole he leaves behind in the Marvel Universe. And a chance encounter with an old flame from Uatu’s past will reveal startling secrets the Blue Marvel never knew about the cosmic entity!

On Earth, the ghostly Deathwalkers have risen, stronger than ever. Closing in for the kill, Blade fights for his life against hordes of supernatural foes. But his best may not be enough. And the secret to defeating them may lie in a secret that’s better left buried. Don’t miss the explosive start to the story that will turn the Mighty Avengers on their heads when they crash headlong into Original Sin this May in MIGHTY AVENGERS #10!

MIGHTY AVENGERS #10 (MAR140634)
Written by AL EWING
Art by GREG LAND
Cover by GREG LAND
Teaser Variant by FRANCESCO FRANCAVILLA (MAR140635)
FOC – 05/05/14, On-Sale 05/28/14

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Preview the Original Sin hidden history between Blue Marvel, Blade and more!

Each week on This Week in Marvel NOW!, we’ll speak with the creative minds behind the top characters and hottest books in comics!

This episode, writer Al Ewing talks to Ben about the secret past between Blade, Blue Marvel and the father of Luke Cage unfolding in MIGHTY AVENGERS during Original Sin, plus Adam’s relationship with the Watcher and more!

This Week in Marvel NOW! - Mighty Avengers

This Week in Marvel NOW! – Mighty Avengers

Download This Week in Marvel NOW! – Mighty Avengers from Marvel.com!

This Week in Marvel NOW! focuses on delivering all the info on the latest comics being produced by Marvel! New episodes will be released every Wednesday co-hosted by Marvel Digital Media Group Executive Editorial Director Ryan “Agent M” Penagos and Marvel.com Editor Ben Morse. 

We also want your feedback, as well as questions for us to answer on future episodes! Tweet your questions, comments and thoughts about TWiM to @AgentM@BenJMorse or @Marvel with the hashtag #TWiMMarvelNOW!

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Al Ewing flashes back to the 1970's for a tale of the original Mighty Avengers, featuring Blue Marvel and a different Cage!

Some of the deepest darkest secrets in the Marvel Universe will fall into dangerous hands as part of Original Sin this May following the murder of the Watcher. Among those secrets: the story of the original Mighty Avengers, an unlikely team of 1970’s heroes led by Luke Cage’s father, NYPD detective James Lucas.

In the MIGHTY AVENGERS tie-in to Original Sin, Al Ewing and Greg Land uncover the lost history of this forgotten team of heroes and their struggle against dark and deadly supernatural forces. We spoke to Ewing for a first glimpse into the shadows, and to learn how this story ties back to the adventures of the present-day team.


Original Sin teaser by Francesco Francavilla

Original Sin teaser by Francesco Francavilla

Marvel.com: So you’re taking us back to the 1970’s. What’s the story?

Al Ewing: MIGHTY AVENGERS readers will know that we’ve been hinting at something big and bad involved a mysterious secret society known as the Deathwalkers, who operate using magical half-animal servants and possessed human slaves. Well, their plan to end the world as we know it is about to come to a terrifying head, so it’s a good time to ask if they’ve ever tried it before. And it turns out they have—in 1972. Luckily, there were six people around to stop them.

That’s #11 and #12; #10 is a more self-contained story, involving Blue Marvel’s relationship with the late lamented Watcher.

Marvel.com: What can you reveal about the 1970’s team? Is it all new faces?

Al Ewing: There’s exactly one new face, someone I thought up for a previous pitch that ended up going nowhere, who turned out to be too good an idea to let go.

Adam Brashear [Blue Marvel] is the face readers will be most familiar with, and by the time #11 rolls around, [we] will have a clearer idea of how he could get into that kind of strange action when he was barred by executive order from being a super hero.

One of the things I wanted to explore with that character was the idea of the history and current affairs we don’t know, that we’re not taught, that’s edited out of the school curriculum and the newspapers by our cultural bias. It’s an idea that’s complicated by Marvel’s sliding timeline, but that’s a complication that fascinates me more than frustrates me.

Hopefully readers will feel the same.

So there’s one new face and one old face to play with. And anyone who’s been reading carefully will already have an idea about two or three other team members.


Mighty Avengers (2013) #10 cover by Greg Land

Mighty Avengers (2013) #10 cover by Greg Land

Marvel.com: How does this story parallel the events of the present-day MIGHTY AVENGERS?

Al Ewing: The Original Mighty Avengers were involved in a race against time to stop the Deathwalkers from accomplishing their goals and ending the human world. The Mighty Avengers of the present day are in a similar situation—but much, much further behind. Is it already too late? What will they do if it is?

Marvel.com: Marvel’s sliding timeline means you’re telling stories from the era that originally gave us Luke Cage, who first appeared in 1972. Was that strange to play around with?

Al Ewing: Well, Luke Cage’s Dad is involved—there’s another face on the team—so there is that connection. But James Lucas, Detective, is a different archetype from his son. Luke Cage was a private eye, slash bodyguard, in super hero drag; Jim Lucas is a “murder police” on the edge of something strange and sinister, in a world between heroic ages. There’s the First Line [the “forgotten super-hero team” from MARVEL: THE LOST GENERATION], but they’re probably somewhere else that week. I came very close to putting Captain Hip on the team.

So they’re worlds apart. That said there’s definitely a temptation to go there in terms of the writing, to do things with the medium that were in style at the time, conversational captions, for instance. Calling the reader “baby” un-ironically. The trouble is, if I did, the tone wouldn’t fit the story at all—it’d be a humorous thing, retro irony—and what happens when I want to call the reader “baby” un-ironically in a contemporary setting? You never know, baby, I might.

So I suppose I’m thinking less of imitating the Marvel 70’s and more of creating a workable voice for the period that doesn’t rely on the reader having knowledge of the writing styles of 40-odd years ago.

Marvel.com: What sort of influences come into play to create a 1970’s version of the Marvel Universe?

Al Ewing: In terms of the story itself, obviously this is not the first time that this, or something like this, has been done. THE LOST GENERATION, AVENGERS 1959, AGENTS OF ATLAS, INVADERS, the 50’s Cap saga—I’m not breaking any new ground here. I’ve done it myself a few times before now—I keep going back to periods in Dredd’s past before Prog 2 of 2000AD. He wasn’t in Prog 1. Trivia!

Mighty Avengers (2013) #11 cover by Greg Land

Mighty Avengers (2013) #11 cover by Greg Land

But like I say, I’m fascinated by the sliding timeline, and I’m kind of relishing the chance to jump headfirst into the beautiful strangeness of retcons. I mean, this is going to be maybe the third 1972 Marvel’s had? And I’m probably missing a few. Isn’t that great? Isn’t that weird?

But as for stylistic influences, I would be very surprised if Richard Stark didn’t feature heavily in the tone of it. So far it’s feeling a little bit noir and a little bit pulp—and a little bit of that indefinable Mighty Avengers thing. That thing people like.

Continue to follow Marvel.com for all the latest news on Original Sin before the event kicks off this May!

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