Cullen Bunn kicks off the newest Venom crossover!

The crossover between X-MEN: BLUE and VENOM starts here!

Spinning out of the aftermath of VENOMVERSE, a new threat looms over all that the mutant’s hold dear. In response, Marvel Girl, Cyclops, Iceman, Beast, and Angel must team up with an unlikely ally—Venom! On January 24, Eddie Brock teams up with the Children of the Atom in writer Cullen Bunn and artist Edgar Salazar‘s X-MEN: BLUE ANNUAL #1!

We spoke with Bunn about what to expect from this show-stopping story. Where does this Annual fall in the timeline of the current X-MEN: BLUE series?

Cullen Bunn: The “Poison-X” story takes place some time after Thanos discovers our universe in VENOMVERSE. The Poisons have been working quietly, but quickly, making some dastardly preparations. Of course, the X-Men know nothing of this. They are drawn into this adventure because of the Starjammers. Cyclops learns that his father (Corsair) and the rest of the Starjammers have gotten themselves into hot water involving alien symbiotes. That lures the X-Men into space, and that gets them to bring Venom with them as a kind of subject matter expert.

All this, of course, couldn’t come at a worse time. The X-Men have just returned from their home timeline and are reeling from the repercussions of that trip, and they are right in the middle of investigating the Mothervine conspiracy. Who are the Poisons and what do they want?

Cullen Bunn: Imagine a weak, fragile creature…a being with no real power whatsoever, a creature at the bottom of the food chain because it’s not that smart and not that strong. Then, it discovers it can be extremely powerful with no real effort! This creature takes that power and uses it to gain more power. All the while, it has this complex because it knows it was always weak and ineffectual, and now it’s angry it ever felt that way in the first place and wants to vent that rage on the rest of the world.

Poisons have discovered that they are the perfect hosts for alien symbiotes. They have also learned that if they take a symbiote that is bonded with a super-powered individual, they gain all those powers as well. Now they’ve been combing time and space, using these symbiotes as weapons to help them gain even more power. They’re bullies and conquerors, but deep down they are terrified of losing what strength they have. That makes them very dangerous. And what can you tell us about Mothervine?

Cullen Bunn: Mothervine is already appearing in the pages of X-MEN: BLUE. It is a formula that Miss Sinister discovered in the DNA of mutants from the Ultimate Universe, and it appears to be granting secondary mutations to those exposed to it. There also seem to be some pretty severe side effects. But Miss Sinister—along with Bastion, Havok, and the White Queen—appear to have a plan for Mothervine. We don’t know exactly what they’re doing, but Magneto wants to know in a major way… How does Eddie Brock interact with the Blue team—and what problems does this team-up present?

Cullen Bunn: Venom wants nothing to do with the X-Men and their adventures through space. The X-Men, of course, won’t take no for an answer so they do what X-Men do in situations like this: they try to kidnap him.

You could say that Eddie and the X-Men get off on the wrong foot, but over the course of this story, they start to develop an understanding and even a friendship. I feel like Venom and Cyclops will be friends for a long while after this. How do the nuances of Edgar Salazar’s style bring this story to life?

Cullen Bunn: Edgar has to balance mystery and horror and symbiotes and science fiction in this Annual. We’re in a full-blown science fiction space opera here, and he does a tremendous job of setting us up! I always loved Cosmic X-Men stories as a reader, so I love seeing what Edgar is doing with that kind of tale. What’s it been like to write Venom again?

Cullen Bunn: Writing Venom is always a lot of fun. This time around is a little different for me, though, because we’re getting into the symbiote’s head a lot more than I’ve done before. We have internal symbiote monologue and symbiote dialogue, so that’s interesting for me. And having Eddie interact with characters like the X-Men shows a different side of his personality. X-MEN: BLUE and VENOM have very different tones—was it difficult to combine those two worlds for this crossover?

Cullen Bunn: To some degree, yes. There were challenges in making this story true to both Venom and the X-Men. In the end, though, every creative team brings their own tone to these characters. I think I’ve struck the right balance of VENOM story and X-MEN story, but I’m also creating a different tone that works with these characters as a whole. Can you give us any hints about what the implications of this storyline will be moving forward?

Cullen Bunn: Wow. I don’t know. Well, VENOMIZED has already been announced, so we now know that the Poisons are coming to Earth. Venom and the X-Men will be involved in that story, so Poison-X serves as a prologue of sorts.

I’ll also say this: this story has some bleak moments and hits the X-Men right where it hurts the worst.

On January 24, go cosmic with Cullen Bunn and artist Edgar Salazar’s X-MEN: BLUE ANNUAL #1!

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Celebrate the alien symbiote’s 30th anniversary!

For nearly three decades, the toxic alien symbiote known as Venom has wreaked inky black havoc across the Marvel Universe.

And since the seminal VENOM #150, in which the corrupting force reunited with its favorite host, Eddie Brock, something has been simmering ahead of the creature’s 30th anniversary this May.

On January 31, kick off a year of Venom surprises, announcements, and all-new adventures with WEB OF VENOM, a 20 x 13 laminated poster featuring artwork from superstar artist Clayton Crain! Track the history—and get a few hints at the future—of the Marvel Universe’s most infamous alien symbiote with this map, designed to show how the seeds for the milestone anniversary have been planted for the past year in stories such as EDGE OF VENOMVERSE, VENOMVERSE, VENOM INC, the upcoming POISON X, and more!

And then, on April 4, writer Cullen Bunn and artist Iban Coello heat the simmer to a boil with VENOMIZED #1! In the culmination of the VENOMVERSE story, the ravenous Poisons—not satisfied with their war against the super powered symbiotes—look to consume every hero in the Marvel Universe! This five-part limited series will be released every week in April, leading to Venom’s 30th anniversary in May!

Start the year of the symbiote off right by picking up Marvel’s WEB OF VENOM map on January 31! And celebrate the 30th anniversary of Venom with writer Cullen Bunn and artist Iban Coello’s VENOMIZED, beginning on April 4!

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Cullen Bunn on the team encountering the Master of Magnetism in the past.

Most of the time it’s pretty safe to assume that when you travel in time, you should expect some drama. What new challenges will the Original Five X-Men face in X-MEN BLUE #20 on January 24, as they encounter an old-school version of Magneto, their former nemesis turned current day ally? We caught up with writer Cullen Bunn to find out. Will encountering Magneto as they travel to the past cause the X-Men to doubt their decision to team up with him in the present? Will it remind them of all the reasons he was originally their enemy?

Cullen Bunn: Oh, absolutely! The X-Men will be seeing a very different side of Magneto. This is the Magneto who wants to conquer the world, to see mutants rule over humanity. I’m not sure this will make them doubt their decisions, but it will reaffirm why they joined Magneto in the first place. They signed up with Magneto so they could be there if and when he finally snaps and goes to the dark side. They might see some hints of the “kinder, gentler” Magneto, too. Those personality traits are always there. But this also shows that the darkness, the rage, is always there, too. On the other hand, will knowing that their relationship with Magneto changes in the present impact the ability or willingness of the X-Men to fight him as they travel through time? Will they feel more reluctant knowing that he allies with them in the future/present?

Cullen Bunn: I think they might be reluctant to fight Magneto, knowing that they will someday be allies. But…who says they’ll be fighting AGAINST Magneto in the past? At least this time around, they may be siding with Magneto. Now, if you’re talking about will traveling to the future and living with the modern X-Men make them reluctant to battle Magneto if and when they return home…well…we’re addressing that a bit in this arc. A key point of this arc is that if the Original Five do anything different in the past, it will upset the present. With that in mind, they MUST fight Magneto, just as they did in the past.

And here’s a real twist of the knife:

Maybe the Original Five in the past fought Magneto in their earliest encounters BECAUSE they know how he’ll end up in the future and they need to guide him to that moment.

X-Men: Blue #20 Magneto has always seemed like a character who, at least some of the time, has relatable motivations for what he does. He’s not just a one-dimensional bad guy. So seeing him at these different points in his personal history could kind of bring to light that internal tension that we’ve seen over the years.

Cullen Bunn: True. One of the things that makes Magneto interesting to me is that he IS a villain. He’s done some terrible things. But because of all the horrible experiences he’s had, we can almost understand why he does what he does. What’s scary about Magneto is that right now he is acting somewhat “heroically” but if he really dwells on all the awfulness that has surrounded him, he might just swing back into his rage and darkness. It’s not a matter of it, really, but of when. What do you think Magneto of the past would think of Magneto of the present and vice versa?

Cullen Bunn: The Magneto of the past would likely not understand the motivations of the Magneto of the present. He might be wondering what the angle is, because he would assume that there is one.

The Magneto of the present might look back at his past and feel a bit of remorse… but he might also know that everything he’s done has been for the good of mutantkind, and he might feel some comfort in that, some resolve. That life… those decisions… make him who he is today and may inform his choices for what comes next. Would you like to mention or tease anything else?

Cullen Bunn: Coming out of this story, we’re going to be seeing a lot of the plot lines I’ve been seeding over the course of the series will start to bear fruit. One of those threads will address the Original Five’s concerns that Magneto might one day “go bad” once more.

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The X-Men make history with Cullen Bunn!

With the timestream in ruins, the Blue squad needs to find a way to restore history before saving themselves from…themselves.

A collection of mysterious “other” versions of the X-Men have appeared to occupy the team’s places in the past. And, at long last, the original X-Men get their reunion with Professor Charles Xavier. So how will the mutants react? Find out on January 10 in writer Cullen Bunn and artist RB Silva’s X-MEN: BLUE #19!

With so many electrifying mysteries at play in this story, we went to Cullen for some answers! Walk us through what’s been happening in “Cross-Time Capers” so far!

Cullen Bunn: The story is really just getting started! The X-Men have realized that everything around them has started changing. Polaris vanishes out of nowhere. Magneto disappears. Watching television, Bobby sees a report about the anniversary of the X-Men killing Magneto and the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, something that never happened, of course.

It’s almost as if reality is correcting itself all around them, healing the way a broken bone heals…imperfectly. Amidst all this, they receive a message from Professor X, saying he needs them in the past. Thanks to the Time Platform that Magneto has been secretly building, they have the means to do that. But their first jump through the time stream took them to the future instead of the past and they’ve been trying to work their way back from there ever since. How has the Blue team been trying to put the timeline right?

Cullen Bunn: The message from Professor Xavier comes from the past, and they believe that something has happened in their original time to cause all these strange problems. They believe that their absence in the past may finally be catching up with them!

The problem is that they visited their point of origin once before and saw that they still existed there. They started to believe that maybe they came from an alternate reality…but if that’s the case, how could they be causing such trouble in this reality? It all feels pretty headache-inducing for them. Will Professor X have some answers once they all meet up?

Cullen Bunn: I don’t know if Professor X will have all the answers, but he does have something very important to tell the X-Men—something that will guide them in the days to come. They’ll come out of this story with a clearer view of where they’re headed. They’ll have more questions, too, but that’s only to be expected. How do the “other” X-Men, as seen on the cover, play into this issue?

Cullen Bunn: This story has everything to do with the “other” X-Men they saw when they hopped back through time in ALL-NEW X-MEN. When they reach the past and encounter themselves, they’ll be quite surprised by what they find!

The Blue team will wonder if something changed in them when they started traveling through time. In facing their past selves, though, they will need to align with an unexpected ally… How do you think this experience has changed the X-Men?

Cullen Bunn: The Original Five are completely different than they were before. They have discovered new things–about themselves and about the world. They have developed new relationships, developed new abilities and powers. All of that’s important, too. Assuming these X-Men come from “our” reality, there’s no way they can just return to their time. The physical and psychological changes they’ve experienced could “break time” too. If the Blue team manages to get back to where they came from, will the Gold team follow?

Cullen Bunn: This one stands all on the shoulders of the Blue team—they are the only heroes who can solve this crisis…because, in many ways, they caused it. If they fail, the Gold team will likely never exist. As you’ll see in the story, their travels through time have really twisted reality, not just for them, but for others in the future and the past as well. How does the team feel about the prospect of going back to their old lives?

Cullen Bunn: It’s not something any of them take lightly. Some of them—like Bobby—hate the idea of returning once and for all. But, as I mentioned, it’s more than just popping into the past and carrying on as if nothing ever happened; the X-Men are different now. They can’t simply go home. If time can continue unhindered, they must return just as they were when they left. Their physical changes must be undone. Their mental changes must be undone.

Imagine knowing that, in order for the world to go on spinning, you have to sacrifice everything that makes you who you are; for some of the X-Men, that price might be one they’re unwilling to pay. Any hints as to how this whole paradox will resolve itself?

Cullen Bunn: They have to be very careful here. They could change everything with their actions in the past. Really, though, that’s how they have gotten themselves into this mess in the first place. We’ll see that they are not the only people from the past that know they have been traveling through time.

We’ll also see that they’re really just patching leaks in the time stream with this adventure; if they want to repair the paradox once and for all, they must return to their timeline. Anything else destroys reality.

While this is a fun, crazy adventure, I think it leaves the Blue team with a deeper understanding of the inescapable fate that ultimately awaits them.

Cullen Bunn and artist RB Silva’s X-MEN: BLUE #19 ventures into the past on January 10!

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The original Generation X comes calling for the old school X-Men!

In the upcoming X-MEN: BLUE #18 by writer Cullen Bunn and artist R.B. Silva coming December 27, we’ll see the original Generation X crossing paths with the original five team. So how will it all go down? We chatted with writer Cullen Bunn about what we can expect when these mutants all go head-to-head. We’ve got the original Generation X team coming in, but we’re not quite sure whether they’ll help the Blue team, or start a fight. Could you give us a couple motivations they might have for each?

Cullen Bunn: The X-Men Blue team has discovered that time is breaking down and the past, present, and future are changing all around them. So, when they meet up with Generation X, they meet a group of mutant kids who have been dealing with circumstances that are a little different than what you might expect. The Generation X team is on edge and on guard, so when the Blue team appears before them, they don’t trust them at all. In fact, the original five X-Men are seen as enemies for reasons we have yet to explain. If it does come to blows, can you weigh the odds for us? What advantages does each side have? 

Cullen Bunn: Well, Generation X has the X-Men Blue team outnumbered just slightly, but I’d say that at this point in time, the X-Men are much more seasoned. That said, Monet and Chamber are wild powerhouses and Synch and Husk both throw in such a wild card factor that Generation X is not to be underestimated. If it comes down to a fight, it could go either way.

Oh, who am I kidding? They’re gonna fight.

And the matchups between Penance and Jimmy Hudson, Monet and Bloodstorm, and Husk and Cyclops are all exciting for me. In recent X-Men history, there we’ve seen a lot going on with the timestream. Like younger versions of Jean, Scott, etc. coming into the present. So this seems like a really interesting time for the X-Men to do Marvel Legacy stories. How does the timing of all of this influence this arc?

Cullen Bunn: Anyone who reads my [X-Men] stories knows that I’m almost always looking to the legacy of the creators who came before me. I grew up reading UNCANNY X-MEN. The X-Men are very important to me. Stories like this one—and the previous “Mojo Worldwide” story—allow me to dive into that love for the X-adventures of the past in a big way. I would have wanted to tell this tale no matter what, but the Legacy angle was a happy accident. I think a lot of us—including myself!—consider Jubilee a favorite. Can you tease a little about the role she’ll have to play in issue #18?

Cullen Bunn: I was so happy to be writing the Jubilee from this era. For me, she represents everything fun about the X-Men. This chapter of the X-Men Blue story certainly has some dark moments, but Jubilee reminds us that we’re meant to have a blast reading this story. Also, there’s conversation between Jubilee and Bloodstorm that I really enjoyed writing. It’s fun and maybe a little meta, but Jubilee also sums up what I think should be the ever-present philosophy for X-Men tales. Would you like to mention anything else?

Cullen Bunn: Don’t forget that a story featuring Generation X from this timeline also means Banshee and the White Queen have a role to play. In particular, Emma plays an interesting role. In the present, the X-Men see her as an enemy. But when they encounter her in the past, they see a different side of her. Maybe—just maybe—this will inform how they interact with her when—[and] if—they make it back home.

Traverse the timestream with Cullen Bunn and R.B. Silva in X-MEN: BLUE #18, due out December 27!

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Cullen Bunn previews the squad’s meetup with the X-Men 2099!

Stranded 82 years in the future, the X-MEN: BLUE squad needs to figure out what’s gone wrong with the timestream in order to return to their own era. And when Jean Grey and her comrades call for help, the X-Men 2099 answer.

On December 13, writer Cullen Bunn and R.B. Silva put this mutant group to the test with “Cross-Time Capers Part 2” in X-MEN: BLUE #17!

Since we don’t have a time machine to jump to December now, we asked Bunn to give us a few hints on the future of X-MEN: BLUE! Catch us up on how the team got lost in time!

Cullen Bunn: The big question for the X-MEN: BLUE team is…do they really come from the past or do they come from some alternate reality? They don’t know the answer themselves.

They went back in time (during the ALL-NEW X-MEN run by Skrull-masquerading-as-a-comic-writer Dennis Hopeless) and they saw themselves right where they should have been! For a New York minute, they thought they had gotten some “Get Out of Paradox Free” card. But they came from somewhere, right?

In this arc, they’ll learn that their presence in this timeline has severe repercussions. To put a fine point on it, reality starts breaking down around them and they’re the only people who can set things straight. They receive a summons—a “To me, my X-Men!”—from none other than Professor Xavier himself, only this time he’s calling them from the past.

Luckily for them, Magneto has been building a time machine. Unluckily for them, the time machine has a few bugs in it… For readers who may not be super familiar, explain the ‘90s phenomenon of X-MEN 2099.

Cullen Bunn: X-MEN 2099 was the ambitious endeavor to introduce the merry mutants of the future to the world at-large. Just like SPIDER-MAN 2099, this gave readers a look into the heroes of tomorrow. Unlike SPIDER-MAN 2099, the characters were completely new. Other than the fact that they were mutants and X-Men, they had little connection to any characters from the “main” Marvel Universe.

We got introduced to some really strange and wonderful mutants—Skullfire, La Lunatica, Meanstreak, Metalhead, Bloodhawk! Bizarre characters and an equally strange world; a wild endeavor that really took the notion of super heroic world-building in some fun directions. What made you choose 2099 as the destination for this story?

Cullen Bunn: I chose 2099 for the weirdness of it all. When I set out to write X-MEN: BLUE, I wanted to embrace the “uncanny” side of the X-Men and put our team in some strange situations.

The 2099 mutant universe might be as weird as they come, and it gets even stranger in this arc. I like how these X-Men from the past encounter the X-Men from the future. I only have a little time to spend there, but I’m introducing a lot of little nods to the 2099 series, like the House of Pain. I’m also throwing some new twists into the mix, like Onslaught 2099 and AlchemaX (and, yes, that “X” is important). How have these young X-Men stepped up to this harrowing mission?

Cullen Bunn: The X-Men have a unique position to solve this problem. Reality has started crumbling. The past and the future have started resetting all around them. However, they all exist “outside” of this time and reality—even Jimmy and Bloodstorm hail from a step or two outside of our world. So, as these reality ripples pass them, they remain unchanged…for now. They must act fast, though, because the clock is quite literally against them. How do different members of the team feel about the damage done to the timeline? Do they enjoy time travel or do they see it as a living nightmare?

Cullen Bunn: We tackle this throughout the arc. You’ll see that Iceman gets little more excited by this adventure. Maybe he’s hopeful that they can set things right. That’s at first…but he doesn’t seem as thrilled with the idea that they may have to return home permanently to fix the problem.

Cyclops, on the other hand, sees the future of 2099 as a nightmare. It doesn’t surprise him, though, it’s a nightmare he’s been expecting. He has a little more trouble when he encounters the White Queen of the Generation X era. She confuses him a little, because she’s not the woman he thinks he knows. It’ll leave some questions for him in upcoming issues. Did you and artist R.B. Silva research old time travel X-Men stories in preparation for this arc? How did you modernize this kind of tale to make it your own?

Cullen Bunn: That research is fun! I think R.B. had as much fun as I did, but—yeah—we had to supply him with a ton of reference material.

Making the stories a little more modern has been a challenge, but having this weird X-viewpoint…they’re from the past, trapped in the present, visiting the future…helped to give it some new life. Also, the “time ripples” I mentioned helped to add many new twists and turns and surprises to the mix! Did you find inspiration from any particular time travel stories for this arc? 

Cullen Bunn: I guess I took little pieces from all over the place. Mostly, I leaned into this idea that little changes in the past can alter everything. And I liked the idea that time can almost be a living, changing thing—that when these paradoxes occur, time will work to correct itself but it isn’t an instantaneous correction. That gave me a lot of fertile ground to work with and allows for some unexpected encounters along the way. If you, personally, could jump into one X-MEN event and watch it all go down first-hand, which would you choose?

Cullen Bunn: Holy cow! That’s such a great question! And it’s nearly impossible for me to answer!

But—really—wouldn’t you have wanted to be drinking with Wolverine, Nightcrawler, and Colossus on the night Colossus brawled with Juggernaut? I have a feeling that I would have ended up getting my soul sucked out by Selene or something by the end of the issue, but I still would have liked to have bent an elbow with Logan, Kurt, and Peter.

Pick up Cullen Bunn and artist R.B. Silva’s X-MEN: BLUE #17 on December 13!

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The mutants of yesterday struggle to save tomorrow with Cullen Bunn!

When the timeline gets fractured, who would be better qualified to fix it than the time-displaced X-MEN: BLUE teens themselves? Writer Cullen Bunn and artist Thony Silas present X-MEN BLUE #16, out on November 29!

The X-MEN: BLUE team has been struggling with the knowledge of their own potential futures—including a bunch of traumatic events—but in “Cross Time Capers” they’re forced to face those events first-hand. When Magneto gives the team a time machine, they scramble to save the continuum and figure out who and what to make of themselves in this brave new world.

Cullen Bunn drops by to catch us up on the timeline(s?!) and what’s in store for X-MEN: BLUE. So catch us up on what’s going on with the X-MEN: BLUE team lately!

Cullen Bunn: The Blue team has had a lot going on as of late. They’ve been battling demons from alternate realities, adding vampires to their ranks, starring in blood sports for Mojo’s delight, and more! When I started writing this book, I was determined to throw a lot at these characters. There would be stories coming in from all directions. And no sooner than one adventure ends, another begins. Next up, the X-Men are being thrown through time on some outrageous escapades through time and space. How exactly does one “time cop”?

Cullen Bunn: Only Jean-Claude Van Damme knows for sure. But the X-Men are gonna give it a good old mutant try! There’s something dreadfully wrong in the time stream, and the Blue team is uniquely qualified to handle the situation. They have a time machine that Magneto has been building secretly in the basement of the mansion. They’re going to be putting that to good use, and they’ll be meeting the X-Men from 2099, as well as Generation X, The White Queen, and even Magneto from the past. The Blue team will be meeting Emma Frost from her Generation X days and Magneto from the height of his super villain days. Imagine that for a second. Jean’s been dealing with the knowledge of the Phoenix future that might await her, but how are the others grappling with the idea of their potential selves?

Cullen Bunn: For the original five X-Men, the future is the past. That’s a strange concept, but if they are going to grow into their more well-known counterparts, they have to return to the time they left behind. That scares the X-Men, because they have grown and changed while they have been in our world. If they return to theirs, either they have to abandon everything they’ve become or the future will change—drastically. How is Bloodstorm adapting to the team?

Cullen Bunn: Bloodstorm will always be a little out of place in this team. Remember, in her world, she killed many of the X-Men because of her unnatural hunger, so she’s always on edge, always on guard. But she has connected with at least one member of the team: Bloodstorm and Cyclops seem to have formed a bond.

X-Men: Blue #16 cover by Arthur Adams How is Beast doing after the events with Goblin Queen and his dangerous forays into magic?

Cullen Bunn: Beast is holding up well. He’s dealing with some guilt and a sense of worthlessness. That’s what led him to delve into these dark forces, anyhow. Now, though, he knows he can’t use magic without opening himself up to corrupting magic. He’s willing to do this in dire situations, but he must be careful. Of course, there might be some additional ways in which Beast could enhance his abilities, and we might see that in the time travel story… How is the team dynamic with GOLD doing after the events of their Marvel Legacy crossover?

Cullen Bunn: The dynamic post “Mojo Worldwide” will be both better and worse. The teams will have worked together. They’ll have a better understanding of each other. But, the revelation that they’ve been secretly working with Magneto all this time will strain the relationship a bit. What’s it like writing the X-Men so young? How did you get into their heads as teens?

Cullen Bunn: I genuinely love these characters, so it’s a delight to write them at this stage of their lives and on these adventures. I draw on my own youth to some degree when writing these characters, but—if I’m being honest—young people today are a lot smarter than they were when I was one of them. If nothing else, I brought the mental average down quite a bit. So, I try to think of universal truths and universal challenges that we all go through at some point in our life, then try to think about how these heroic teens might manage these situations. Tempering that with the individual attitudes and experiences of the characters, it helps to pull it altogether in a way that rings true. This story touches on how the timeline is fractured. Can you hint more about what we’ll be able to expect from that concept?

Cullen Bunn: So, there’s been this ongoing debate around this idea: are the original five X-Men from an alternate reality? Are they genuinely from the past of this universe? In this story arc, we’ll be answering that question fairly definitively.

Pick up X-MEN: BLUE #16 by Cullen Bunn and Thony Silas—available November 29!

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How can Kid Kaiju be a hero if he can’t control his powers?

Kei Kawade finds out that he’s been sleep-drawing monsters… and has somehow summoned a Fin Fang Foom from another dimension! Normally that wouldn’t be such a big deal except for the tiny detail that this particular Foom has been infected by the Venomverse. Get ready for AND LO, THERE CAME A POISON PART 2!

Does a Foom by any other name smell as sweet? Well, not when it’s punching them. Kei and his comrades in scaly arms must fight for their dimension in MONSTERS UNLEASHED #8! On November 22nd Cullen Bunn and Andrea Broccardo pit Foom vs Foom — well, technically everybody vs Foom — in a battle royale that will change the game for Kid Kaiju and his monsters forever.

Luckily, Cullen Bunn stopped by to help us understand what’s going on in the world of MONSTERS UNLEASHED. Catch us up on what’s been going on in the AND LO, THERE CAME A POISON story arc!

Cullen Bunn: There are a few moving parts in this story.

Right in the forefront, we see that Kid Kaiju is seemingly “sleep-drawing” and has opened up some sort of connection to… something else… a strange monster from another world. Kei is really just now learning to use his abilities, and they still frighten him. If you think about it, he has abilities that could be world-threatening if they ever got out of control! That’s a lot of pressure for an 11-year-old, and the weight on his shoulders is starting to wear on him. He’s not sure if he can control the vast powers at his command.

And then we have Kei’s Monsters, who are going through some sort of crisis of faith themselves. Some of them are starting to wonder where they came from. Are they simply figments of Kei’s imagination or did they have lives before they were summoned by the artist?

All this comes to a head when Kei inadvertently summons Fin Fang Foom — only it’s not the Fin Fang Foom we know. Could you explain the nature of Kei Kawade’s powers of summoning? Is the new inter-dimensional component new to his roster?

Cullen Bunn: Kid Kaiju has this vast catalog of monsters in his head. He just kind of knows every monster in the Marvel Universe. If he draws that monster, the creature is summoned to him. The monster doesn’t have to obey Kei. He can’t control them. But he does have a kind of natural monster empathy that helps him out. Early on, he discovered that he could also draw monsters from his imagination, creating them (it seems) from scratch. With these monsters, he can shape their abilities through his drawings. He can even go so far as to combine the five monsters into one super-monster to face mega-threats.

The inter-dimensional thing, though, is new to him. Up until this point, he’s only really been aware of the monsters of this dimension! Now that this new avenue has been opened, though, maybe he can start summoning creatures from other realms. Which might be a good thing or a bad thing…

In the case of this story arc, it’s bad. How does the Venomverse fit into these events?

Cullen Bunn: When Kei starts “sleep-drawing” he somehow connects with Poison Fin Fang Foom, a version of the space dragon who has been infected by the Poisons we met in my series VENOMVERSE! Kei tries to send this terrifying monster away, but when he does so, he sees a vision of dozens of Poisons. The Poisons are, arguably, monsters in their own right. But this time it seems that Kei’s powers are turning against him, almost as if some outside force is influencing him. What has Kid Kaiju been learning about his powers and does he have some control yet?

Cullen Bunn: While he has some control, Kei still doesn’t fully understand his powers, and that terrifies him. If he doesn’t get a handle on them, he could be a threat to the entire world. In this story, he’s discovering that he’s connected to his monsters in a way he never expected, and it will impact how he works as a hero going forward. He’s a kid, so we can anticipate that his powers will only continue to grow. What happens when Kid Kaiju becomes King Kaiju? We won’t find out in this arc, but — man! — that’s a story I want to tell! Are the Poison Foom’s powers different from that of our own?

Cullen Bunn: In theory, Posion Foom has all the powers of the Fin Fang Foom of our universe, but his powers have been enhanced by an alien symbiote, then further expanded by his transformation into a Poison. We haven’t fully explored what a Poison is capable of, but they are the “perfect hosts” for these alien symbiotes, and they are much more powerful than Foom (or a Foom symbiote) would be alone. How does this arc fit into the theme of Legacy?

Cullen Bunn: I think the notion of a kid learning about amazing powers at his command, dealing with the fears of losing control and becoming something awful, and learning what it means to be a hero all ties into the idea of Legacy. Many of Marvel’s best stories of old dealt with those very ideas. What does the legacy of Marvel mean to you, as a writer and a fan?

Cullen Bunn: It means honoring the comics that have come before, honoring the undeniable footprint the heroes of the Marvel Universe have left, not just in the comic world but in the real world. It also means adding some new ideas to the mix and bringing some new characters to life for the readers of future generations. One of the things I always wanted to do with MONSTERS UNLEASHED was to tell a story that could be enjoyed by longtime readers as well as new readers. I’ve had many comic fans tell me that they’ve gotten their kids reading comics with Monsters Unleashed, and that thrills me to no end.

Scramble over to a comics store near you to grab Cullen Bunn and Andrea Broccardo’s MONSTERS UNLEASHED #8 — out November 22nd!

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Analyzing a mutant Marvel Legacy with writer Cullen Bunn!

Mojo may seem like a goof, but writer Cullen Bunn needs you to know that the villain has you—and the X-Men—fooled.

The mutant crossover continues between X-MEN: GOLD and X-MEN: BLUE as the two squads unite to wage war with Mojo, Sentinels, the Brood…and the past. On October 11, Bunn joins artist Jorge Molina to keep the fight alive as Marvel Legacy begins with X-MEN: BLUE #13!

Cullen took a moment to warn us about the danger of Mojo, the devious delight of unveiling Team Blue’s connection to Magneto, and the joy of collaborating with Marc Guggenheim. What made this the perfect time for a crossover between Blue and Gold?

Cullen Bunn: What’s more thrilling than two X-Men teams coming together and facing a threat that they simply cannot face alone? There’s a long-standing tradition of two different X-teams joining forces, mixing up the rosters, and facing some dire threat. With the Marvel Legacy initiative, it seemed like the perfect time to revisit that tradition in a big, action-packed, fun way. How did you decide on Mojo as the villain to bring these teams together?

Cullen Bunn: First of all, Mojo is awesome. I’ve been planning a Mojo adventure for a while now—there are hints of it in my UNCANNY X-MEN run. When we started talking about the Marvel Legacy arc, though, we knew we wanted to have the Gold and Blue teams come together, and my Editor [Mark Paniccia] suggested that this could be where the Mojo story takes place. I couldn’t agree more. Mojo gives us a great opportunity to revisit some of the greatest moments in mutant history—the Asgard War, the Mutant Massacre, the Death of Phoenix, Days of Future Past—because he has such vast abilities to warp reality in a deadly way.

Deadly. How would you describe your take on Mojo?

People forget this about Mojo—yes, he’s kind of a goofball and he cracks weird jokes. But he’s also extremely powerful and can be scary as Hell. Mojo can be terrifying and menacing. He’s still a character with a lot of humor, but he’s not to be trifled with. In this story, his back gets pushed up against the wall, so to speak, and that makes him extremely dangerous. I just looked at some lettering notes from one of the issues, and the Editor had written “So creepy!” on a Mojo scene. That’s exactly what we’re going for. Sometimes you hear that Mojo operates in an alternate reality, so his threats aren’t all that real. Well, in this story he’s coming to our world—and we absolutely do not want his plans to succeed. How does the Blue team react to their Gold counterparts? How about Mojo?

Cullen Bunn: The teams get along fairly well. There are some very interesting dynamics here. Cyclops and Rachel, for instance. Old Man Logan and Jimmy. Storm and Bloodstorm. Of course, the 800-pound Master of Magnetism in the room is that the Gold team does not yet know that the Original Five are working with Magneto. That’s going to change in this story, and it will put some tension on the relations between the groups. Describe the collaborative process between you and X-MEN: GOLD writer Marc Guggenheim. How’s it been?

Cullen Bunn: Marc and I both have X-Men lore wired into our brains. I know for certain that Marc’s notes for X-MEN: GOLD included “softball game!”—just like my notes for X-MEN: BLUE. I’m not one hundred percent certain, but I’m pretty sure he also had plans for Mojo. Working together has been an absolute blast. We had some phone calls early on to discuss the story, then we started trading planning documents back and forth, adding to the story, making it crazier and more epic. How have your respective artists, Jorge Molina and Mike Mayhew, contributed to that process?

Jorge and Mike helped so much in defining the look and feel of Mojo’s world—we’re seeing a lot of it here—and of Mojo’s technology and the “weapons” with which he attacks Earth. Also, seeing these two talents casting the current X-teams into classic situations—and classic clothing—is something special. Given that Mojo lends himself to both humor and horror, how would you describe the tone of the crossover?

Cullen Bunn: This crossover is all about action and classic X-Men adventure. In some Mojo stories, the X-Men are thrown into silly or goofy situations, but not here. These adventures are serious business with real stakes. This feels like a fun story, make no mistake, and there will be plenty of moments of humor—some of it fun humor, some of it dark—but I don’t think what we’ve got here could qualify as silly. The X-Men are trying to save themselves, but they are also trying to save the world, and time has started running out. Tell X-Men fans why they need to get onboard with this crossover.

Cullen Bunn: I think you could start this arc without reading either book beforehand, really. We give you everything you really need in those first couple of issues. Of course, you should read both GOLD and BLUE, because you’re missing out on some really awesome fun in those titles, but you can let this be your introduction to either or both teams and still have a blast.

X-MEN: BLUE #13, by Cullen Bunn and artist Jorge Molina, launches on October 11!

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Cullen Bunn on the upcoming crossover with X-MEN: GOLD.

With X-MEN: BLUE #13, out October 11, the book enters into not only a saga-riffic crossover with X-MEN: GOLD, but also into the Marvel Legacy event. How will it all impact this team of merry mutants? How do they win against mighty Mojo and uphold their legacy? We asked writer Cullen Bunn to spill all—and still look good doing it. Cullen, in a way, X-MEN: BLUE’s legacy stretches from Stan and Jack to Brian Bendis—what does legacy in general mean to you as a Marvel writer? How does it play into what you do?

Cullen Bunn: For me, legacy is a part of every Marvel comic I ever loved, every Marvel comic I’ve written, and every Marvel comic I will write. And it goes beyond the idea of a “shared universe” or continuity, although those elements are certainly part of it. As a writer, I always try to honor the legacy of the creators who came before me, and I’m always hoping to contribute in some small way to the stories that will be told in the future.

This story, for instance, is an obvious love letter to all things X-related, but we’re telling the story through the eyes of the mutant heroes who star in the books today. We’ll have the action, the interaction, the romance, the heartbreak, the joy, the weirdness—all the things that make the X-Men one of the best superhero dramas of all time! And we’ll leave some lasting marks on the characters and the Marvel Universe. Within the book itself, what if anything does legacy mean to your cast? How much of what they do is impacted by it?

Cullen Bunn: In this crossover story, we see the idea of legacy playing out in some really interesting ways. The original five X-Men are here, and they started it all for the X-Men, but since they are young men and women lost in time, they are looking toward living up to the legacy of the modern X-Men. The modern X-Men are living up to Xavier’s ideals and dreams—and the O5 represent that to them. But we’re also dealing with Mojo in this story, and he is in a unique position to really throw the X-Men into situations that remind them—sometimes in a deadly way—of where they came from. The X-Men will be reliving some of their greatest hits, only with a Mojo twist. Hang onto that Mojo guy for a Mojo-ment—who if anyone do you feel of your leads might get more focus going forward? Has any one of them been underserved, in your opinion?

Cullen Bunn: There are a couple of characters who haven’t gotten the spotlight they deserve, namely Angel and Iceman, and I have plans for bigger stories for them in the future. There are also some really insane plans in place for Jimmy Hudson. Eventually, he’s going to be getting a code name, but I think it’ll surprise everyone how that comes about. It’s not what you’re expecting. I promise. X-MEN: GOLD #13 starts this story—what is the Blue Team’s relationship like right now with the Gold Team? How do they work best together? What about in the worst way?

Cullen Bunn: The relationship between Blue and Gold starts off on pretty good terms in this story. Once the trouble starts, they even break into teams that are a mixture of Blue and Gold members, giving us some wonderful opportunities to see interactions we might not normally expect. But the Blue team has a big secret–that they are working with Magneto, and that’s not going to sit well with the Gold team at all if they find out.

Spoiler: they find out. Okay, now Mojo. What’s up with Mojo? What level of trouble will be causing the teams?

Cullen Bunn: Mojo is a villain I’ve wanted to use for a long while. Heck, I hinted at this story back in my UNCANNY X-MEN run. The thing with Mojo is, in the past he’s always been confined to this alternate reality. Some readers think that makes him unimportant. Well, this time, Mojo is coming to our world, and he has big, evil plans for us. He’s going to turn our love of media against us. Believe me, when this is over, Mojo will have left his mark on the planet Earth. How does a villain like Mojo bring out comic book, heh, gold in terms of two teams of X-Men interacting to fight him?

Cullen Bunn: What’s fun about this story is that Mojo has these almost god-like abilities, and he uses them to make TV shows. In this case, though, he’s calling up some of the most intense moments of X-Men history, and we’re going to see some awesome scenes honoring the legacy of the X-Men. How does Scott Summers deal with Days of Future Past? How does Storm feel about being thrown into the Asgardian Wars again? How would Magneto react if he suddenly appeared in the Morlock Tunnels during the Mutant Massacre? Fun! So, what’s it like to continue to collaborate with artist Jorge Molina? How is this particular storyline bringing out his strengths?

Cullen Bunn: Jorge is a beast! He’s simply an amazing artist, and I am throwing some wild action scenes and bizarre set pieces and characters his way. He has tackled it all with a Mojo-like glee. These pages are going to blow readers away!

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