A gallery of variant covers by Frank Miller, David Mack, Adam Hughes, and more!

It’s never too early to get excited for new comics! The upcoming new CAPTAIN AMERICA #1, written by Ta-Nehisi Coates with art by Leinil Francis Yu, will be available on July 4. The regular cover is by the legendary Alex Ross, and there are even more variant covers that will get you in the patriotic spirit for Cap’s new run. Here’s a complete list of these great artists: Mike Zeck, Frank Miller, Leinil Yu, David Mack, Jim Steranko, Adam Hughes, Marko Djurdjević, Paul Renaud (with Joe Simon and Jack Kirby), Ron Garney, and John Cassaday.

CAPTAIN AMERICA #1 begins with the shield-slinger trying to polish his tarnished reputation after the Hydra takeover. But now, Cap will have to face a new enemy: the Power Elite. Watch a teaser for the new issue above, then view the variant covers in the gallery below:

 

CAPTAIN AMERICA #1 goes on sale at MIDNIGHT on July 4 along with COSMIC GHOST RIDER #1, DEATH OF THE INHUMANS #1, and STAR WARS #50. Also, pick up where you left off and get the second issues of critically acclaimed new series including IMMORTAL HULK and DEADPOOL! Check in with your local comic shop to see how they’re celebrating the release of Cap’s new adventure and reserve your copy!

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Everything you need to know about Marvel Games, this week!

True Believers, every week, make your way over to Marvel.com for a rundown of all this week’s Marvel Games news, from console game releases to character drops to mobile event updates, and more!

MARVEL PUZZLE QUEST

The fan-favorite Captain America – Peggy Carter of Marvel Puzzle Quest, of course – has tons of in-game activities to support the release of EXILES #3 from Saladin Ahmed and Javier Rodriguez, available in stores and digitally, tomorrow, May 9!

In EXILES #3, Peggy Carter Cap faces off against an apocalyptically armed Red Skull! And the Exiles are just in time to join the fight – ‘cuz they’ve been kicked off their mission! There’s a new team of Watchers in town, and they’re cracking down on the Exiles’ interference in the timestream – even if it means the death of everything. Can the Exiles salvage Peggy Carter’s world, fix the Tallus and get back to saving reality before the Time-Eater tracks them down again?

Meanwhile, in-game, the Peggy Carter Bundle started this week, and kicking off today, we’ve got a Peggy Carter Versus Event as well as an Exiles Limited Vault, where everyone will receive a free Vault token.

Going day and date with the release of EXILES #3, Peggy Carter (Captain America) Champion Rewards are updated to include Captain America (First Avengers) and update Valkyrie to use EXILES #1 (Design Variant).

What exactly does Peggy Carter Captain America have up her sleeves? Her first ability is Ultimate Soldier, a red ability that costs 9 AP. When Captain America has a mission, no one gets in her way. Peggy lands a well-placed blow, ignoring any Protect tiles and dealing damage to the target.

Her second ability, Legendary Presence, is a Yellow Passive, which does not cost AP and is constantly active. When she enters the battle, her enemies panic and falter. While Peggy’s health is above 50%, all enemy abilities cost more AP to execute.

Lastly, Do As Peggy Says costs 11 Blue AP. When Peggy lands a direct hit with her shield, she disables the enemy team and helps her allies get the drop on their target.

Peggy Carter Captain America is earnable in the Unstable ISO-8 Event, this Thursday, May 10, and for an added bonus, this event is double Red Iso-8! Be sure to round out your roster with Peggy Carter in Marvel Puzzle Quest!

MARVEL CONTEST OF CHAMPIONS

For three and a half years, Marvel Contest of Champions has been setting up its own Infinity War storyline. The Mad Titan has been operating in the shadows, collecting the stones, since 2014. It’s been leading to this – a devastatingly epic final boss fight!

We need all the heroes we can get, and this Thursday, May 10, Captain America (Infinity War), complete with his Wakandan vambrace shields, enters the fray as he makes his way into the Contest! If you can’t get enough of Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Infinity War, pick up this 4-star Steve Rogers whose designs are inspired by the box office hit.

Since opposing the Sokovia Accords, the super-soldier has lost his shield and been forced underground. But with the help of friends new and old, he’s managed to re-equip and remain under the radar, all the while continuing to do what he believes is right – saving the world one clandestine mission at a time.

Cap’s basic abilities including Bleed, Stun, Fury and Kinetic Potential. His vibranium vambraces allows the Captain to store up to 5 Kinetic Potential charges. Summon up several of Cap’s special attacks like My Ally’s Claws, which inflicts Bleed and reduces his opponent’s defensive ability accuracy by 100%; activate Kinetic Discharge by smashing together his vambraces, unleashing a wave of kinetic energy, stunning your opponent; Lead from the Front, which sends his enemy crashing to the mat; and Leadership, where Cap learns from his teammates gaining a unique effect with Kinetically Charge for each class represented on his team, excluding himself.

We recommend mastering: Inequity, with his Signature Ability and the right teammates, Cap is capable of putting a lot of Debuffs on his opponent, allowing him to make greate use of this; Despair, with his natural ability to place Petrify Debuffs on his opponents, this can make for a powerful combination; and Petrify, where Cap can do a lot of Stunning, both through Well Timed Blocks, and through his Special 2 Attack, allowing him to keep the Petrify effect active for much of the fight.

See our fearless leader in action below and be sure to grab him this Thursday!

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

Wakanda Forever! Marvel Studios’ Black Panther is now available on 4K UHD as of today! That’s not all, Marvel Studios partnered with Xbox for 5 lucky fans to win a custom Black Panther Xbox One X console and a 4K copy of the film! It may or may not be made of Vibranium. Test your luck and enter here.

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Get free Captain America, Spider-Man, and Avengers stories on Saturday, May 5!

Get ready, True Believers—Saturday, May 5 is Free Comic Book Day 2018!

To celebrate, local comic book shops everywhere will be offering some brand-new Marvel stories featuring your favorite characters! Marvel Comics Executive Editor Tom Brevoort says, “Marvel’s two Free Comic Book Day releases feature the inaugural installments of our new AVENGERS, CAPTAIN AMERICA, and AMAZING SPIDER-MAN series, by our very finest talent! These aren’t pulled from the first issues in question, they’re entirely new stories done especially for the FCBD issue! So don’t be caught short!”

Watch the video above as the stars of “Marvel’s Cloak and Dagger”, Aubrey Joseph and Olivia Holt, give you a different look at what’s on offer at your local shop tomorrow! Then read on for a closer look at the books below.

Free Comic Book Day CAPTAIN AMERICA, by Ta-Nehisi Coates and Leinil Yu, is the first issue of this all-star duo’s run with Steve Rogers! Teeing up a story that begins with CAPTAIN AMERICA #1 on July 4, Coates—writer of BLACK PANTHER—joins Yu for a fresh perspective on the Sentinel of Liberty.

Free Comic Book Day AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, by Nick Spencer, Ryan Ottley, Cliff Rathburn, and Laura Martin, kicks off another new creative team’s run with an iconic Marvel super hero—Peter Parker! Artist Ryan Ottley makes his Marvel debut alongside renowned writer Nick Spencer ahead of their July 11 launch of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #1!

Free Comic Book Day AVENGERS, by Jason Aaron, Sara Pichelli, and Justin Ponsor, unites Earth’s Mightiest Heroes around the “Big Three” super heroes of the Marvel Universe—Thor, Captain America, and Iron Man! Jump on board with this special issue as Jason Aaron continues his brand-new run alongside the super squad!

Free Comic Book Day MARVEL RISING #0, by Devin Grayson and Marco Failla, with a cover from Helen Chen, as Ms. Marvel and Squirrel Girl meet for the first time in a twist of fate, discovering each other’s secret identities in a classic super hero first meeting!

Find your local comic shop with the Store Locator on FreeComicBookDay.com to see where you’ll be able to get in on the FCBD party! See you Saturday!

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Sideshow discusses designing a one-man army with their new version of Cap.

Sideshow recently unveiled an all-new take on one of pop culture’s most beloved heroes, Captain America. This new Premium Format™ Figure depicts an updated, tactical interpretation of the star-spangled soldier, while retaining many of the iconic costume design elements that make him such a stand-out character in comics.

Marvel.com spoke to Sideshow Art Director David Igo and digital designer and sculptor Daniel Bel to learn a little more about this impressive new statue, and about bringing the iconic Avenger to life…

Marvel.com: Tell us a little more about how you chose the team for the Captain America Premium Format™ Figure, and a little about each of the people involved.

David Igo: It’s totally awesome figuring out who’s the best fit for each project. There are a lot of unique factors that go into the team building, and no one project is the same as any other, really…

Assembling the team isn’t solely my decision. There are a lot of other people involved as we build the project, but I do work closely with the design and the sculpt teams to figure out who’s going to work on what project. For CaptatMartin Canale & Guillermo Barbiero, had translated that material into a rough 3D pose study to make it more heroic and Captain America feeling. From there, we had enough reference material to convey to Daniel an idea of what we had in mind, and how to go about the project – and off he went!

Throughout the sculpting process, we make sure the sculptors are supported with the right Project Manager and Art Director, and that duo will make sure the sculptor has every everything they need. It’s a real collaborative effort, designed to support the sculptor every step of the way, and let them do what they do best.

Marvel.com: Daniel, were you excited to explore a new version of Captain America? How does the process of designing this character begin?

Daniel Bel: Yes, totally. There are already many classic versions of Captain America on the market, so the idea of creating a new, modern comic book-inspired interpretation really caught my attention.

It was a huge challenge for the whole team to design this character from scratch, and it was very gratifying to have the chance to put my own style into every part of this piece. As with any other project, the team gets together to brainstorm ideas. Then, with all the opinions on the table, we begin to narrow down the scope to make decisions on the details that work best for the piece.

In order to achieve the best representation possible, we always do a deep exploration of the story and the main features of the character. Collectors love those details!

Marvel.com: This piece in particular is very interesting because, although it’s incredibly dynamic with lots of movement, it also has a very classical feel. The pose in particular is almost like a Greek statue. Was that a deliberate aim going in to this project?

Daniel Bel: Of course! We all love classic sculptures and this kind of pose in particular is named “contrapposto”, a pose very commonly used by the Greeks and Romans in their pieces to convey the feeling of movement and dynamism. It’s also very helpful to break the symmetry of the body too. In this post-battle scene of Captain America versus the Ultron sentries, he looks victorious and heroic, so I think we managed to get all that we wanted in just one pose.

David Igo: I couldn’t have said it any better! The pose was also an homage to the heroic stature of our very first Captain America Premium Format™ Figure that we did YEARS ago… We were trying to recapture that same “Ultimate Hero” feel, but with a unique pose and story to the piece, as well as a more modern twist to his look.

Marvel.com: What was the decision process regarding the evolution of Cap’s armor? It’s very modern and tactical, with lots of layers and different materials, but there are also lots of nods to the classic costume.

Daniel Bel: This was the most difficult part of the whole process, because we know collectors love the classic version of the suit. Taking that into account, we decided to re-design the suit while paying homage to the classic design, but giving it a much more tactical and modern look.

We used a variety of textures and shadings to give the feeling that he is very well-protected and the same time still agile. We tried to convey the look of very strong materials, like high density carbon fiber for the shoulder pads, helmet, gloves, and the upper torso. Then, to give him freedom of movement, we chose more flexible materials such as kevlar fabrics for the abdomen, arms, and pants.

We then designed some semi-rigid components for the boots, knee pads, and elbows pads. There are lots of little details, and if you take a closer look you can see that his shield has a magnetic device that allows him to throw and catch it with more precision.

David Igo: To add to what Daniel said, we also thought to ourselves, “Captain America is not indestructible- he’s still human, even though he is SUPER human…”

His classic suit might have worked great fighting in World War II, or against other villains and superhuman threats, but with technology evolving, weapons getting more powerful, unstoppable robots, space aliens, gods, etc… even Cap might need additional protection so he can go into battle and hold up against those kinds of foes in hand-to-hand combat.

I mean, if I had a friend like Tony Stark, I’d probably hit him up for an upgrade every once in a while! Ha ha ha!

Marvel.com: Can you tell us more about the design choices? Anything you’d like to call out or draw attention to?

Daniel Bel: I would like to highlight his face. One of the main questions from the team was what kind of facial expression we wanted. This is a very important thing, because in a statue everything is connected, and the wrong expression may not flow with the body, posture, gesture, and so on.

So instead of doing a shouting or a grimacing expression, we decided to play with the position of his eyes and with his lips to suggest a stern look and aggressive attitude, and get the feeling across that he is ready to keep fighting.

Marvel.com: The Exclusive edition for this particular figure is a swap-out hand holding an Ultron Sentry head. Tell us more about the genesis of this idea…

Daniel Bel: We decided to go for an Ultron Sentry head because they are one of the most well-known enemies of the Avengers, and of course they fit perfectly with Black Widow too, which, with a similar background scene, is the perfect companion to be displayed next to Cap.

David Igo: Honestly, sometimes the most difficult part of the design process for me is figuring out the base. You don’t want it to be too big, or too small, and you still want enough context to tell a story without distracting from the figure itself. So when we added the Ultron Sentry to the base, we just knew that Cap holding a torn-off head in his hand would be super awesome and could tie the whole thing together.

Marvel.com: The Captain America Premium Format™ Figure was also unveiled shortly after a new Black Widow Figure. Are they part of the same series?

David Igo: We always want to make sure our statues are strong standalone pieces first and foremost. But, if we have other pieces planned that could work as a “set” or a “series”, making those gel together is a great bonus. Cap and Black Widow look fantastic together, but they also look awesome as standalone statues.

Marvel.com: There’s also a Premium Art Print depicting the two characters together. What can you say about that?

David Igo: Ian MacDonald and Alex Pascenko are both amazing designers and print artists who have worked for Sideshow for years. They both worked with us on the early designs of the two statues, and they totally nailed the art print for us too!

Naturally, pieces evolve from the initial 2D design to a 3D design and final 3D sculpt, then a final painted prototype, so even though Ian and Alex helped design the statues, we waited until both statues were fully completed before starting on the print.

Ian and Alex worked together to make a single illustration of the two characters, with some additional context – the Helicarrier, the Quinjet, and some added effects that are hard to make work in 3D… Smoke, fiery embers. So basically, we were able to expand on the story of the 3D statues for collectors, and that’s always really rewarding to do.

It’s a great complimentary element for a collection that features one or both of the statues, as well as a great piece of art in its own right!

The limited Sideshow Exclusive Edition of the Captain America Premium Format™ Figure is priced at $585 and is currently on pre-order at http://sideshow.com/capt

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The writer details the new iteration of Earth's Mightiest Team!

Written by Jess Harrold

The old order changeth once again—for a bold new era! And it doesn’t come much bolder than the creative team of Jason Aaron and Ed McGuinness putting together one of the mightiest Avengers rosters ever seen! Here, Aaron talks about his plans for the book—including building on ideas he introduced in MARVEL LEGACY #1.

Marvel: So with you writing, the incredible Ed McGuinness on art and a spectacular lineup, there’s no doubt about it: this is one blockbuster book! What can fans expect?

Jason Aaron: Coming into this, we wanted it to feel big and epic—like a huge Marvel event, every arc. So I wanted a lineup of all big, iconic characters. Some of them you’ve seen as Avengers—like Steve Rogers, Tony Stark, and Thor Odinson—but for the first time in years, the “big three” are back together. There’s also some characters we’re not used to seeing. Ghost Rider, I guess, is the big surprise, and it’s cool for me getting back to writing Ghost Rider again.

Marvel: And Captain Marvel and Black Panther make for a big five! There’s been a lot of conflict between these characters in recent years. How well are they all going to cope with working together again?

Jason Aaron: Well it’s not necessarily a “snap your fingers, and it’s done” kind of thing. The first arc is really about the hardships of putting that band back together. It’s very much a team drawn together for very specific reasons, instead of just Steve Rogers calling people in his Rolodex. The circumstances of this threat are really what bring these characters together. They are drawn into this battle for very specific reasons, which only become evident as that arc rolls on—and then continue to play a part going forward. Some of that clearly links back to the prehistoric Avengers introduced in MARVEL LEGACY #1. You will see them again in this arc, and they will be a part of the series going forward.

Marvel: Will you be adopting a similar multi-timeline approach to the one we’ve seen in your THOR run?

Jason Aaron: Yep, absolutely. In this first arc, the roots of the Celestial threat the Avengers are facing go back to those prehistoric days with Odin. But we will come back between arcs and do issues focusing on that group and those prehistoric characters. We will learn more about them as we go forward, get to see them in action in the past and see the ways their adventures connect to the present day.

Marvel: Another stalwart Avenger on the roster is Jennifer Walters—but is she She-Hulk or Hulk? And what can fans expect from her on the team?

Jason Aaron: Yeah, I’ve just been calling her “Hulk” in the book. It is the same Jen Walters we’ve seen in recent issues of her own series so we definitely continue on from that. But this story also changes things for her and takes her in a bit of a different direction. We switch around her powers a little bit and try to differentiate her more from her cousin. What is exciting me is to see Ed McGuiness draw the Hulk again!

Marvel: As for the new guy you mentioned—we know you know a thing or two about Ghost Riders, but what do you like about Robbie Reyes?

Jason Aaron: He’s a great entry-level character for the Avengers; he is still very much a new kid on the block. He doesn’t really know these characters and has not been a part of something quite like this. You know his life has been pretty crazy in its own right since he became the Ghost Rider, but this really takes things up a notch. We get to see him level up in terms of his power. He is unlike any of the previous Ghost Riders so we will continue to explore what that means and exactly what he is capable of. Also, the more I write it, the more I love the idea of having a guy in the Avengers who drives a car. He just goes driving into battle in the Hell Charger. I love that, and I love the way Ed’s drawing him.

Marvel: Another character you have history with is Doctor Strange, who is on the team at least to begin with, right?

Jason Aaron: He pops up initially in a different sort of team-up. He and Black Panther are investigating something that pulls him into this bigger mystery. Strange plays a big part of this first arc, but you kind of have to wait and see after that who sticks around. I don’t want to specifically have a cast too large, but I think we will have at least one slot rotating—have a character join for a couple of arcs, and then somebody else takes the pledge. There’ll be some old familiar faces and some we’re not used to seeing in the pages of an Avengers comic.

Marvel: You mentioned the Celestial threat, the ominously named Final Host—they seem like a great fit for Ed’s bombastic style.

Jason Aaron: Absolutely. We see a lot of different Celestials over the course of the story—some classic ones, some all-new designed by Ed, which look amazing. Ed is also so great at conveying the feel of something like this: our Avengers against giant space gods who are thousands of feet tall. How can the Avengers go toe-to-toe with characters who are that powerful? That’s the challenge they face right there out of the gate.

Marvel: And it all begins with a Free Comic Book Day issue featuring another stellar artist, Sara Pichelli, correct?

Jason Aaron: Yes, it’s sort of a direct lead in to AVENGERS #1. It’s mostly a story about Black Panther and Odin—a meeting of the king of Wakanda and the All-Father of Asgard, which again kind of stretches back to those prehistoric Avengers and plants the seeds for the Celestial threats the Avengers will face. And it’s free!

Marvel: And from there, the main series is set to really blow everyone’s socks off.

Jason Aaron: Yeah, I want this to be a book that issue to issue gives you a look at the entire Marvel Universe. So we will travel the globe, we will cross the galaxies, we will go to all the different hot spots of the MU. If you are only reading one Marvel Comic—not that you should just read one Marvel Comic—this book will give you an idea of what the entire breadth of the Marvel Universe looks like right now at this moment in time.

AVENGERS #1 by Jason Aaron and Ed McGuinness is on sale May 2!

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Mark Waid tells a new story with original artwork from Jack Kirby!

The main story in CAPTAIN AMERICA #700, by storytellers Mark Waid and Chris Samnee, colorist Matthew Wilson, and letterer Joe Caramagna, serves as a powerful culmination of this creative team’s run alongside the Sentinel of Liberty. But these all-star artists aren’t the only ones getting in on the landmark issue action! The Cap’s co-creator, Jack “King” Kirby himself, contributes to the action as well in a special bonus story written by Waid with colors by Wilson!

In the back of issue #700, Mark Waid took on the mammoth task of repurposing original Jack Kirby and Frank Giacoia art from TALES OF SUSPENSE with a brand-new Steve Rogers story. To get the all the details, we caught up with the writer to ask how he went about creating this cross-generational collaboration.

Marvel.com: How did you come up with the idea for this one-of-a-kind story?

Mark Waid: I’ve been wanting to do something like this for a long, long time. In the earliest days of the MARVEL ESSENTIALS black-and-white volumes, I came to realize just how many Silver Age and Bronze Age comics artists produced consistent and reliable work in an old-fashioned six-panel grid. To be honest, there weren’t that many who did huge, long, hundreds-of-pages uninterrupted runs in the 1960s and 1970s—John Buscema, Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, Gene Colan, a few others. But I’d always wondered what it would be like to redialogue their material to create new stories—especially if I could pick-and-choose specific panels to build brand-new pages.

Marvel.com: Can you tell us what your process was like?

Mark Waid: Way more complicated than you’d think.

STEP ONE: I had to pick a character, but that was a gimme seeing as how this was going to be for CAPTAIN AMERICA #700.

STEP TWO: Before I even began choosing the artwork, I had to settle on one and only one penciller/inker team for visual consistency. This immediately winnowed down the number of available Captain America pages pretty substantially—inkers like Syd Shores and Dick Ayers were fine craftsmen, but their work was either too sparse (comparatively) or too centered on very specific scenes (say, World War II battle scenes) that would be difficult to weave into a modern narrative. In the end, based on the volume of collaboration as much as anything, I opted to pull from the Jack Kirby and Frank Giacoia stories from TALES OF SUSPENSE.

STEP THREE: I had to narrow the available Kirby/Giacoia artwork down even further, in search of panels that had word balloons and captions that didn’t hide important background art and thus wouldn’t require much if any retouching by the production department. I didn’t want to simply “white out” existing balloons and replace that dialogue—that would mean having not only to write dialogue but then to fit it within specific spaces on the page, with almost no margin for error. What I’d already set out to do would be hard enough. Moreover, I needed panels that would fit into a Silver Age-style six-panel grid—panels of wildly differing sizes would be impossible to jigsaw-puzzle together.

STEP FOUR: I had to look over all the existing pages and, while making detailed notes, get a sense of what kind of story might be told with the artwork at hand. There were a lot of pages of Cap simply fighting modern-day villains in the streets and buildings of New York City. Suppose Cap were racing across Manhattan, facing some sort of gantlet put before him by the Red Skull? If so, why? There were some panels I could use of scientists in a lab. Perhaps Cap was struggling to get something to them? How would the menaces he’d face connect to be part of a cohesive story?

STEP FIVE: All of this left me with roughly 150 pages of artwork from which I could choose panels. I’m pretty versatile in Photoshop and could have begun cutting and pasting on the computer—but at this stage, it was just easier and faster to stay old-school. I printed every page out with my inkjet printer, got out scissors, X-Acto knives, and a cutting mat and built a deck of panels to play with, moving them around constantly in search of building some continuity.

STEP SIX: A rough narrative began to take shape. Here’s a good sequence with Cap fighting the Super-Adaptoid, but I can’t imagine a way to put that villain in the middle of a story and not see him defeated; out it goes. Here’s a run of panels showing Cap fighting a soldier with a raygun back in World War II—is there anything specific in the artwork that locked it into the 1940s? No? Can those panels be incorporated and juggled?

STEP SEVEN: The selection of potential panels grows smaller. Repetitive action poses? Out. Random gunmen just appearing and then disappearing? Out. But I’m finally zooming in on around 50 panels that could tell a story about Cap racing across New York to get to an injured S.H.I.E.L.D. agent in a lab. Hey, look! Here’s the only usable panel that might show such an agent. It’s from much later in the Captain America run, meaning the linework was a little bolder but not uncomfortably so, that’ll fit nicely. Huh—I have a dozen Red Skull panels here—which two or three would make him a presence in the story without having to have him confront Cap directly?

STEP EIGHT: The rough-draft paste-up was done with scissors and tape to arrange the panels into a Silver Age-style grid. I scanned the pages for the Marvel production offices to use as a guide, providing them also with identification as to where each and every panel came from, specifically.

STEP NINE: Production’s ten dialogue-and-caption-free pages come back for dialoguing, and I finally get to work with The King.

Overall, the project took about three days—one to go over the material, one to think up a story, and one to do the actual physical production. It was much more difficult to do than I’d dreamed—but with the right artist (Steve Ditko? Jim Aparo?), it might be fun to take another swing at it down the road.

Read the full story in CAPTAIN AMERICA #700, by Mark Waid and Chris Samnee—out today!

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It’s all been leading to April 27!

There was an idea, to bring together a group of remarkable people, to see if we could become something more.

We’re nearing the April 27 release of “Avengers: Infinity War”! Last week, Marvel Studios revealed five character posters. Now, they’re back with 22 mighty posters spotlighting each of our impressive super heroes ready to take a stand against the threat that is Thanos!

Leading the gallery above is the first Avenger (and birthday boy) himself, Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man! See the rest of the Avengers and their super allies — Zoe Saldana as Gamora, Chris Evans as Steve Rogers/Captain America, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Benedict Cumberbatch as Stephen Strange/Doctor Strange, Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow, Tom Holland as Peter Parker/Spider-Man, Chadwick Boseman as King T’Challa/Black Panther, Karen Gillan as Nebula, Chris Pratt as Peter Quill/Star-Lord, Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch, Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier, Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner/Hulk, Letitia Wright as Shuri, Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel voicing Rocket and Groot, Paul Bettany as Vision, Danai Gurira as Okoye, Dave Bautista as Drax, Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson/Falcon, Pom Klementieff as Mantis, Don Cheadle as James Rhodes/War Machine, and Benedict Wong as Wong.

“Avengers: Infinity War” opens in theaters on April 27. Get tickets on Fandango now! Stay tuned to Marvel.com, follow @Avengers on Twitter, and Like “The Avengers” on Facebook for the latest on the Avengers as it develops!

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Big announcements at WonderCon 2018!

Marvel Animation panels are always a packed house thanks to continuing storylines for our favorite heroes, and new and interesting art styles that fans love to see. This year’s WonderCon panel was no exception, as fans waited excitedly to see what would be revealed during Marvel Animation: From Pencil To Screen.

The crowded panel room were welcomed by Cort Lane, Marvel’s SVP, Animation & Family Entertainment, who lead a panel featuring Kalia Ramirez, Director, Family Entertainment – Development & Partnerships; Harrison Wilcox, Senior Director, Television, Development & Production; Eric Radomski, SVP, Production & Creative Director, Animation; Jeff Allen, Supervising Director; Mairghread Scott, writer and story consultant; and Collette Sunderman, Voice Director, “Marvel’s Spider-Man.”

First up was big news for fans of “Marvel’s Avengers,” Lane described season five as a Black Panther story and is thusly titled, “Marvel’s Avengers: Black Panther’s Quest.” Along with the addition of this new hero comes a design change that simplifies the style and conceptualizes a brand new look. The new style reflects T’Challa’s sleek fighting style that sets a new tone for the production design.

James Mathis continues to voice T’Challa and the big reveal was that his sister Shuri will be voiced by Daisy Lightfoot. Recording as an ensemble to voice the Wakandan siblings reflects the core of the season where togetherness reigns as Black Panther must battle an old foe, the Shadow Council.

Fan-favorite “Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Mission: Breakout!” integrates the Guardians with the Disney California Adventure Ride attraction and the fallout of dealing with the Collector. Scott teased this season the Guardians will quite literally get to explore the galaxy even more, including further exploration of the Symbiote storyline. Expeditions into different dimensions also brings about the possibility of changing animation styles.

Marvel Funko Shorts have always been a hit with fans, and at the panel the audience was treated to the premiere viewing of the new short, “Rooftop Rock,” which features Spider-Gwen and Marvel’s most popular villain, Venom.

The Marvel LEGO collaboration brings toys and animation together and the panel was the perfect opportunity to announce the voice cast for “LEGO Marvel Super Heroes – Black Panther: Trouble in Wakanda.” James Mathis III returns to his role as T’Challa/Black Panther, along with previously announced Daisy Lightfoot as Shuri. The cast is rounded out with Keston John (Killmonger), Yvette Nicole Brown (Okoye), Trevor Devall (Klaw), Mick Wingert (Iron Man), Travis Willingham (Thor), Roger Craig Smith (Captain America), Laura Bailey (Black Widow), Liam O’Brien (Doctor Strange), Issac C. Singleton Jr. (Thanos), and the ever popular Fred Tatasciore (Hulk).

The biggest cheer of the panel was the announcement of “Marvel Rising: Secret Warriors.” Fans were so excited, cosplayers already appeared on the show floor with fully detailed costumes, with little to no information to go on. The six four-minute digital shorts will be accompanied by a feature length animated film to be released later this year.

The content features an all-star lineup of voice talent, Dove Cameron (Ghost Spider), Chloe Bennet (Quake), Tyler Posey (Inferno), Booboo Stewart (Exile), Kathreen Kavari (Ms. Marvel), Milana Vanytrub (Squirrel Girl), Cierra Ramirez (America Chavez), Kamil McFadden (Patriot), Skai Jackson (Gloria), Kim Raver (Captain Marvel), Ming-na Wen (Hala), Steven Weber (Captain George Stacy), and Dee Bradley Baker who takes on the voices of Lockjaw & Tippy Toe.

Lane emphasized the inclusivity of Marvel, “It’s meant for all kids but we’re particularly excited to bring together these new and very exciting characters that have already sort of garnered big fan attention for years.”

“There are so many strong, interesting, and diverse female characters—body types, great personalities, individual strengths, so we’re so excited about that,” said Lane enthusiastically.

For all the Marvel Animation updates, keep it on Marvel.com. Don’t forget to subscribe to Marvel HQ on YouTube for full episodes and more: www.youtube.com/MarvelHQ

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See Black Widow and Captain America gather the team against Thanos on April 27!

Avengers Assemble! After a Civil War, a Ragnarok, and the fight for Wakanda—Marvel’s mightiest heroes are coming back together for a fight of galactic proportions. Marvel Studios’ “Avengers: Infinity War” brings together the original team and more to unite and battle against the Mad Titan himself, Thanos.

Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow) and Chris Evans (Captain America) talked with us during a set visit last summer about what it was like to rejoin the fragmented squad and how their characters are moving forward as a team despite their differences.

When we last saw Steve Rogers, he was at odds with Tony Stark, but Evans feels like both characters are ready to move on and get the job done, “I don’t think either one of us are ones to hold grudges. We operate very binary, utilitarian approach to most things we do, and I don’t think we let emotion dictate our reality. It’s been a couple years so I think we both—to some degree, not moved on—but maybe buried some things.”

Director Joe Russo, Captain America/Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) and Director Anthony Russo

As “Infinity War” begins—dare we say it—is Cap broken at this point? “I kind of went rogue a little bit. But again, it’s in his nature to be of service, and to some degree, in order to maintain sanity, he had to function within a system. That’s how his brain works; there has to be some kind of functioning factory that he can operate within.” Having lost his shield, even Cap’s suit is showing signs of exhaustion. Alone and without protection, Evans knows Cap leaned on Widow, “He’s been running these missions, answering to nobody, really. It really is the sign of a broken person. But yeah, that’s the wear and tear.”

The breaking point during the end of “Captain America: Civil War” was a hard one to bear but Cap had an ally in Widow, and Johansson explained their mutual desire for duty, “Between the events of ‘Civil War’ and now, Steve and Natasha have been together, that’s how we imagined it. They’ve kind of been sort of flying under the radar but still taking care of business in the way that they know how to do. They sort of have a seamless communication between them.”

Having been fighting away from the main group, Johnasson explained how Cap and Widow are more hardened, “When you are working underground for such a long time and you don’t have—not that they need to have any sort of back-patting or recognition exactly—but when you’re sort of fighting for something that you know is important but is not being really recognized or supported by a larger organization or even society as a whole, it takes a certain toll, and you can get feelings about it in a way. That’s kind of where we find them.”

Director Joe Russo, Director Anthony Russo and Scarlet Johansson (Black Widow) on set

A disillusioned Cap is something Black Widow can relate to. Evans sees that Natasha has already walked a similar line, “Every single movie, he learns a little bit more that the world isn’t the way he kind of wants it to be, and that’s why there’s a connection between him and Black Widow. Black Widow has seen a lot more than he is, and is kind of a little more calloused, and in a lot of ways, he looks up to that and learns from that.”

“First it was kind of the hierarchy of a kind of government structure that fell apart, and then there was a friendship that kind of betrayed him, or abandoned him, I should say, said Evans. Still, he believes  Cap knows there’s a bigger picture, “When those things happen, it’s like a destruction of a belief system to some degree, and you kind of can be a little cold as a result. And you lean on people that have walked familiar paths and there’s no denying that Black Widow has certainly faced a lot of those challenges. He’s compartmentalized it enough to put it as a lower priority than what’s at hand, which is obviously Thanos.”

As the team finally reassembles, emotions will run high. Johansson explains the enormity of the job at hand, “There’s just a lot of people coming together, a lot of universes coming together. In some ways, there’s not a lot of time to have feelings about what’s going on, because we’re facing the greatest threat we ever have, and I mean that in itself is so much.”

“Avengers: Infinity War” is the culmination of the MCU. Evans knows fans won’t be disappointed, and can’t wait for them to see it come together, “It was fun with ‘Avengers,’ bringing all these characters to life, but they weren’t all separate threads of characters that’ve had their own separate adventures. This has ever been done before, where you have so many different franchises coming together to kind of really try to make one stew. Like I said, ‘Avengers’ was pretty ambitious, but this really blows that one out of the water.”

“Avengers: Infinity War” opens in theaters on April 27. Get tickets on Fandango now! Stay tuned to Marvel.com, follow @Avengers on Twitter, and Like “The Avengers” on Facebook for the latest on the Avengers as it develops!

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Get a glimpse on the storytelling elements from balancing tones to collaborations and more.

How do you approach the behemoth that is Marvel Studios’ “Avengers: Infinity War” — a film with ten years of baggage with different storylines, different visions, different tones, to honor? How does a storyteller divide screen time among  40+ major players who are at different stages of their journeys and continue to engage and surprise viewers? The challenge and weight of what this film means to many is not lost on “Avengers: Infinity War” directors Anthony Russo and Joe Russo.

As we continue unveiling everything we learned during last summer’s set visit, we couldn’t think of two better people to get a look at the magnitude of the biggest cinematic production ever assembled than those who are helming the film — the Russo Brothers. Not only were the Russos tackling “Avengers: Infinity War” and the untitled fourth “Avengers” film simultaneously, they had to contend with the finishing of James Gunn’s “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” and Taika Watiti’s “Thor: Ragnarok,” with the concurrent production of Ryan Coogler’s “Black Panther,” start of Peyton Reed’s “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” and planning for “Captain Marvel.”

The Russos entered the Marvel Cinematic Universe as storytellers with “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” joined by screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely. The team went on to tackle higher stakes with “Captain America: Civil War.” Not to be outdone, they’re now tackling 20-some heroes, multiple locations, six Infinity Stones, and the baddest/most powerful villain our heroes have ever encountered—Thanos, with the next “Avengers” installment. The Brothers shared insight on their approach to the characters, the complications of putting together a project of this scale, and dropped some insights during our intimate set visit.

[Note: This interview has been edited for clarity.]

How “Avengers: Infinity War” Kicks Off

“Avengers: Infinity War” is two years following “Captain America: Civil War.” According to Anthony, “Infinity War” is a “direct corollary to the end of ‘Civil War,’ and our heroes will be heading into this film “with the ramifications of that film at the forefront of this film.”

Continuing, “[‘Infinity War’] is very much about how we move forward from ‘Civil War’ in a big way, and what happens to that division between the Avengers and how does that affect them. What does that mean when the greatest threat they’ll ever face comes to them.”

Despite the two years following “Civil War,” the Russo Brothers have a storytelling philosophy where make sure to “keep any big moments of the characters’ lives on camera.”

We know Cap’s team of Avengers find their way to Wakanda seeking aid from King T’Challa. Joe explained the fortified country is the most “logical place for anyone seeking refuge.”

Meanwhile, Tony Stark has to deal with the consequences of his choice to side with the Sokovia Accords. Our directors haven’t forgotten young Peter Parker. “They basically have a unique mentor/mentee relationship that continues to evolve as they move into this film,” shared Anthony.

With the Guardians, the directors acknowledged the film picks up 5-6 years following “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.” The Guardians have had a chance to deepen their relationships with each other where the Avengers haven’t had that chance.

“They’re closer, and they’re tighter, and they’ve been doing it for a while,” said Anthony. “They’ve cemented their chemistry as a team. And they would stand in contrast with the other teams. Potentially.”

They’re thrilled at the chance to take on Thor and lean into his profound experience during “Thor: Ragnarok.” As for Hawkeye, the Russos confirmed he’s on his own journey in this film.

The Directors’ Approach to the Tone and Characters, and their Collaboration with Past Filmmakers

“It’s been a personal journey for us as filmmakers from ‘Winter Soldier,’ of a theme set in that movie that we then tried to expand upon in ‘Civil War,’ that then led to Infinity War,” shared Joe Russo. “It’s how we feel about the characters, as comic book fans, the story that we want to see.”

“It’s not only a culmination of the last ten years of Marvel storytelling, but for us, it’s a culmination of our journey as directors to the Marvel Universe,” added Joe. “Having at our disposal all of those characters and allowing ourselves to re-filter them through the way that we see the universe, the way that we feel about the characters, the themes that we really want to bring to the forefront, that’s what these two movies are for us.”

“Everything’s always got to be character based,” proclaimed Anthony. “If we’re sitting in the editing room, watch the sequences for more than 20 seconds without a character having a point of view or moving the action forward, my brain just shuts down. The action for us, it’s always character based.”

In addition to screenwriters Markus and McFeely, the Russos credited the team there were able to work with the past films, including effects supervisor Dan Deleeuw, editor Jeff Ford, DP Trent Opaloch, and stunt coordinator Sam Hargrave, to achieving the complex and ambitious nature of “Infinity War.”

It was important for the Russos to honor the journeys and approach the other MCU filmmakers took their characters on, but also make it work with the film they were creating. As Joe explained, the “Russo Brothers-execution” was filtering what others have done “through our very personal expression of them as characters.” Anthony acknowledged, “Everyone is interwoven in this plot in a way where they have an emotional connection to the story…. You can’t tell a movie with this many characters and not have each of those characters show up and honor them from the different franchises if they are not motivated to be there. If there are not in life or death circumstances. If they are not fighting to save their belief system or way of life.”

The Russos equated the MCU process as similar to how comic book stories evolve and involve several comic creators. “[We] found repeatedly that the best and only way for us to move forward is to receive that information, and keep what we like, and explore what we like, and exploit what we like, and tell the story that we want to tell. The same way you do in a comic run when you’re reading it, you go, ‘I want to see someone else’s point-of-view on that.’ That’s what Marvel’s done really well, bringing in a lot of different voices to execute the films.”

It’s safe to say everyone in the Marvel Universe had been involved. During the preparation and production of the third and fourth “Avengers” films, the Russos had the opportunity to collaborate closely with James Gunn, Taika Waititi, Scott Derrickson, Peyton Reed, Ryan Coogler, and producer Nate Moore. With the Marvel Universe progressing in different courses simultaneously and at the time, not yet completed, the Russos adopted a “real collaborative united artists approach” to ensure they were sensitive to the other stories and sharing those elements.

The Sources and Influences

Mark Ruffalo previously alluded to how THE INFINITY GAUNTLET informed the film, but there are clear deviations. Joe further elaborated on the comics source: “Certainly the Starlin book was our jumping off point. It’s a brilliant comic, and the ideas behind it are so large, it’s what pushed us to go for the scale that we’re going for on these movies.”

Joe continuing, “Anth and I love the post-modern comics. We’re also drawing from newer INFINITY stuff, and we’re kind of combining it all into…how do we see elements from each helping the story that we want to tell.”

In addition, the Russos were inspired by ensemble 90s crime films, and the two films that they look to for inspiration in relation to narrative imagery were “Two Days in the Valley” and “Out of Sight.”

“These movies are so complex you need a unifying peace, or a sense of cohesion, and that cohesion can come from a narrative construct that you can apply all the characters to,” explained Joe Russo.

Thanos (Josh Brolin)

Thanos

True Believers, you’ve never seen a more formidable antagonist in the MCU like the Mad Titan, and he’s on a destructive mission to collect all the Infinity Stones no matter the stakes.

“This movie is catalyzed by Thanos’ decision and an opportunity for him to make a very aggressive move for the stones, a more effective move for the stones than he has ever in the past,” revealed Anthony. “When Thanos decides to do it, he really goes for it. He’s one step ahead of our heroes through the movie and he puts them through a lot of pain in the process.”

“Our job with Thanos is to make him the preeminent villain in the Marvel Universe,” added Joe. “In order to be a preeminent villain, you have to do some pretty bad things.”

The Russos stressed that the Infinity Stones are the “bedrock of the film” — “the key driver.”

Prepare Your Hearts

On the subject of Thanos, several of our heroes wield/guard the Infinity Stones putting them in directly in the path of Thanos, elevating the emotional weight. When asked about the invincibility of our heroes, Joe quickly teased, “I’m sorry.”

Acknowledging that every character is someone’s favorite character, Anthony explained, “We like mature storytelling. We like dramatic storytelling. We like intense storytelling. We appreciate conflict, and we appreciate stakes. And without stakes, there really isn’t a lot of value to the story. If you look at the Marvel Universe as a whole, as a story that’s been told for 10 years, you can look at [‘Infinity War’] as the climax. The stakes will be higher in this movie than they’ve ever been, times ten.”

Once the dust settles, we can expect the Avengers to see major casualties as they protect the universe and all of existence from Thanos.

Topping the “Civil War” Airport Fight Scene

“We have an equivalent that’s like if you had a comic book, and you open it up to your double panel, and then you fold it out. And then you fold it out again and again,” said Joe Russo.

Anthony Russo adding, “And you have another comic book laid out next to it.” “So we have the equivalent of that in this movie,” continued Joe Russo.

Hinting at the Untitled Fourth “Avengers” Film

The Brothers on the new challenge of shooting two MCU films at the same time: “Our approach has always been how we look at the project. It’s simply the same thing in the way that the ‘Winter Soldier’ related to ‘Civil War,’ and the way that ‘Civil War’ relates to ‘Infinity War.’ These two movies will also relate…but at the same time, there’s an independence in terms of what the experience is or where the story goes. It isn’t a true two-parter…. It ended up being more of two singular expressions.”

“We always try to make each film different so they don’t get repetitive,” said Joe. “This kind of serialized storytelling…. You have to keep evolving who’s at the forefront, how you’re laying the story out because rigor mortis will set in very quickly. Each character…can shape and color and re-tone an entire film depending on who you’re following. We find them as exciting as complex and inspiring and heartbreaking, and we believe that there are real emotional stakes. This is exactly the kind of movies we aspire to and exactly the kind of movies we look for as film goers in a theater.”

It’s safe to say that we’ve never seen anything like “Avengers: Infinity War.” Closing out the visit, Joe remarked, “If you were to think of the Marvel Universe over the last ten years of the book, this is the ending of the book. There may be new books written, but this is certainly the ending of this book.”

“Avengers: Infinity War” opens in theaters on April 27. Stay tuned to Marvel.com, follow @Avengers on Twitter, and Like “The Avengers” on Facebook for the latest on the Avengers as it develops!

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