Who are the Asgardians of the Galaxy? Writer Cullen Bunn explains.

Spiraling out of the events of the INFINITY WARS, the Guardians of the Galaxy are no more.

In their place, a new team rises to look after the universe: the Asgardians of the Galaxy.

On September 5, an epic space opera by writer Cullen Bunn and artist Matteo Lolli begins, as Angela, Valkyrie, Skurge the Executioner, Throg the frog Thor, the Destroyer, and Thunderstrike join together for a larger purpose.

We sat down with Bunn to get a few details about the new limited series.

Marvel.com: Cullen, what was the pitch behind this story? Without getting into spoilers, where do we find this new team at the beginning of the book?

Cullen Bunn: So, I did a search through my e-mails and found the original message I sent to [editor] Wil Moss about this story. I sent that message, proposing a spacefaring adventure book starring the Asgardians and titled ASGARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, back in 2015. Wil and I knew we wanted to do this book straight away, but we needed to wait for the right moment. That moment, it seems, is now, as the events of INFINITY WARS leave a bit of a void when it comes to cosmic heroes.

In this story, a group of Asgardians is drawn into an intergalactic quest to stop a terrible villain (I will not reveal who just yet, but this baddie has longstanding ties to cosmic Marvel tales) from unleashing…well…something terrible upon the universe. For various reasons, though, this group of Asgardians must work without the knowledge of their peers.

Marvel.com: Why them? What brings these individuals together?

Cullen Bunn: What? Or who?

There’s another member of the initial group who remains, for the time being, a secret. When this character is revealed, it’ll baffle and surprise readers. Anyhow, this surprise character sets the Asgardians on their secret mission.

 

Marvel.com: Have you drawn inspiration for this book from any sources in particular?

Cullen Bunn: I drew inspiration from a number of sources. Guardians books, both classic and current. Thor stories. Classic Jim Starlin cosmic tales. Movies such as Marvel Studios’ “Thor: Ragnarok”, Marvel Studios’ “Guardians of the Galaxy”, and Star Wars. In my pitch document for the series, I listed a number of touchstones ranging from Star Trek to Firefly.

Marvel.com: What do the Asgardians of the Galaxy have in common with the Guardians? How are they different?

Cullen Bunn: I didn’t approach this as a group that would replace the Guardians, and the team, by its very nature, is quite different than Star-Lord and company. They have a completely different vibe and style and approach to the challenges they face.

Still, I wanted this book to be a rollicking good time, just like the very best issues of GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY. The Asgardians are facing some very dangerous threats, but I want readers to be smiling as they enjoy the story.

Marvel.com: How would you describe the Asgardians’ team dynamic?

Cullen Bunn: These characters have not worked together often, and never in this way, so the team is just starting to find its footing. Some of the characters get along better than others. Some of the Asgardians are less trustworthy than others, and that will lead to some interesting interactions. Some of the team members are unsure of the motivation for bringing the group together in the first place. Others don’t seem to belong at all. Watching this team come together and seeing how very different members of the group interact will be a big part of this book’s fun.

Marvel.com: Which character have you had the most fun writing so far, and why is it Throg?

Cullen Bunn: Haha! Of course, Throg is a lot of fun to write. Throg will be, I think, a breakout character in the book. He’s being played a little differently than he has been in other books. But he is not a frog to be trifled with.

Really, though, I love writing all these characters. It’s especially cool to be writing Valkyrie (and her mortal counterpart Annabelle Riggs) once again! But Skurge is a delight. Angela is cool. Thunderstrike is a character we’re going to make readers love. And even the Destroyer has some fun surprises ahead.

Marvel.com: You’ve worked with Matteo Lolli a couple of times before. What’s it like teaming up with him again? And what about these cosmic visuals make this a perfect story for him to tell?

Cullen Bunn: Matteo is a delight to work with, and his work is delightful to look upon. This project is a little different than what we’ve done together in the past, but I think it’s even better! He has obviously spent a lot of time drawing Deadpool, but he’s also drawn big Super Hero action, such as DEADPOOL’S SECRET SECRET WARS. His art is crisp and clear and dynamic, and he draws some amazing spaceships, alien worlds, and—of course—Asgardians!

Begin the tale of the ASGARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, by Cullen Bunn and Matteo Lolli, on September 5!

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Cullen Bunn warns of dark days to come as the Poisons invade!

The events of VENOMVERSE reach their climax in the five-issue event that is writer Cullen Bunn and artist Iban Coello‘s VENOMIZED!

When issue #1 hits shelves April 4, Venom and the X-Men are desperately racing back to Earth to warn everyone of an impending invasion by the Poisons, who want to bond every super hero with a Klyntar symbiote. And to add insult to injury, the alien usurpers have already taken possession of Jean Grey, whose powerful psychic abilities, when corrupted, do not portend good things for anyone.

Speaking to Marvel.com ahead of the first issue, Bunn detailed the impending threat, the key players in the story, and how this event will prove to be a poignant send-off.

Marvel.com: You’ve written several Venom stories now; what lessons have you learned to apply to VENOMIZED?

Cullen Bunn: That’s a tough question, really, because VENOMIZED is so different from, say, my run original run on VENOM. My Flash Thompson Venom stories focused on one man (who wasn’t necessarily super hero material) trying to be the best super hero he could. VENOMIZED (and VENOMVERSE and “Poison-X” before it) are much more focused on popcorn sci-fi action. But if my original VENOM stories taught me anything, it’s that this new tale, no matter how wild and crazy, needs to lean into the host and symbiote’s relationship. With dozens of Marvel characters getting symbiotes, I definitely focus on a couple.

Edge of Venomverse (2017) #1

Edge of Venomverse (2017) #1

What is Marvel Unlimited?

With Eddie Brock, we’ve seen tons about his relationship with the symbiote already and we’ll continue to see more in his book, I’m sure. So, I instead turned a magnifying glass on Eddie’s relationship with symbiotes as a whole. What does he think about the alien species? There are other characters who will have more complicated one-to-one relationships with their symbiotes. In particular, Spider-Man.

Marvel.com: Can you talk a little about the creation of the Poisons and why they pose such a threat in this run?

Cullen Bunn: The Poisons were created for the VENOMVERSE story. If you’re not familiar with how these semi-event comics (at least sometimes) come together, when I pitched VENOMIZED, I flew to New York and sat in a room with several editors. I threw out my idea for the story (going into the room, I was told only that Marvel wanted to do a tale focused on Venomized versions of various characters, with Eddie Brock as a focal point). From there, the story was broken down and rebuilt and broken down again. In the beginning, the “Poisons” were going to be the “Symbiote-Slayers” I introduced way back in my original VENOM run. Then they were going to be the true progenitors of the symbiotes. Then we settled on the idea that they would be the perfect symbiote hosts.

Venomized #1 cover by Nick Brdshaw and Jim Campbell

I came up with the notion that these creatures were naturally very, very weak. They were at the bottom of the food chain. But when they come into contact with an alien symbiote (especially one worn by an individual with enhanced abilities) they become these super-predators. These creatures, picked on and bullied for so long, became the ultimate bullies, and they went on a rampage to collect more and more power.

Now, the Poisons have come to our Earth, and they are collecting as many super powered individuals as they can. When they take over a person, they consume them. The person dies in order to fuel the transformation and the symbiote bonding process for the new host. The Poisons couldn’t care less about our world, save that they want all of our enhanced heroes and villains. And they have brought hundreds of Poisoned heroes and villains from other worlds to help them on their hunt.

In order to harvest super powered symbiotes, the Poisons must first prepare the harvest. That means giving as many heroes and villains symbiotes as possible. They have taken all of the symbiotes from the Planet Klyntar and are using them as weapons. You might think giving a hero a symbiote only makes your job more difficult…but the problem is, if you have a symbiote, one touch from a base-form Poison means death.

Venomverse (2017) #1

Venomverse (2017) #1

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Marvel.com: How does the absence of Venom and the X-Men complicate matters? And when might we see them again?

Cullen Bunn: Well, the X-Men and Venom are racing back to Earth to warn everyone about the coming invasion. They’ll arrive in the first issue…but it will be too late to help. Maybe a bigger complication, though, is the fact that Jean Grey has been taken by the Poisons. She’s a very powerful psychic with a deep connection to Cyclops. That’s going to cause many, many problems.

Marvel.com: Who will be fighting the enemy in their stead? What sorts of methods will they employ to try to defeat them?

Cullen Bunn: Many heroes are getting drafted into this fight. The Avengers, the Champions, the X-Men, the Defenders…and others. Defeating the Poisons will not be easy, though, because they really have no idea who they are dealing with. One hero who may be key to the resistance is Anti-Venom. His abilities make him dangerous to the Poisons, even though he may not be willing to give it his all for various reasons. Anti-Venom is one of three “anomalies” the Poisons are very interested in. Another is Kid Kaiju, who would present the Poisons with some terrifying new abilities. Another is Carnage, an alternate universe version of whom gave them fits in VENOMIZED. All three of these characters will become targets for the Poisons. And some of them may fall victim to these alien invaders. Not every hero will walk away from this fight unscathed.

X-Men Blue Annual (2018) #1

X-Men Blue Annual (2018) #1

Marvel.com: What are you most excited for readers to see in this new limited series?

Cullen Bunn: I think there are some really fun—really creepy—beats in regards to how the Poisons see each other that I’m very excited about. We know they use psychic “lures” to draw in prey. Here, we’ll see that those lures have other functions, too. And, of course, I think it’s going to be a lot of fun to see a bunch of Venomized heroes at play.

Read VENOMIZED #1, by Cullen Bunn and Iban Coello, this Wednesday—April 4!

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Cullen Bunn and Mark Bagley team up for the new limited series!

The Merc with a Mouth’s got an all-new story, and he’s bringing a friend along for the ride: his old pal, Weasel! This June, the Regeneratin’ Degenerate joins in on a killer-for-hire team-up that will make every other mercenary story look like a fairytale in writer Cullen Bunn and artist Mark Bagley‘s DEADPOOL: ASSASSIN #1!

This isn’t your friendly neighborhood Deadpool. This is Deadpool action the old-fashioned way in an all-new limited series, and it’s going to be a wild, bombastic, bloody ride!

Cullen Bunn has presented fans with twisted and epic Wade Wilson stories in DEADPOOL KILLS THE MARVEL UNIVERSE, DEADPOOL’S SECRET SECRET WARS, and DEADPOOL: BACK IN BLACK. Now, he’s teaming up with AMAZING SPIDER-MAN artist Mark Bagley for a collaboration fans will not want to miss—featuring ninjas and knife-wielding speedsters and surprises that will test Deadpool’s emotions in ways not even he can imagine! Hard to believe, right? Well, get believin’, True Believers!

Get ready for Cullen Bunn and Mark Bagley’s DEADPOOL: ASSASSIN #1 this June!

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Cullen Bunn discusses the enigmatic Emma Frost!

When the X-Men get lost in space, an opportunity arises for Emma Frost, Havok, Bastion, and Miss Sinister to hatch their devious plans in X-MEN: BLUE #23!

On March 14, writer Cullen Bunn and artist Jorge Molina trap the mutants on a spaceship, pit Polaris against the body-snatching Malice, and put future of the enigmatic Emma Frost up for grabs.

We caught up with Bunn to chat about the state of mutant affairs…

Marvel.com: What events led to the team finding themselves lost in space in issue #23?

Cullen Bunn: In the preceding arc, “Poison-X,” the Original Five X-Men venture into space to deal with something of a symbiote problem. That adventure is going to cost them dearly and they aren’t going to be able to get home as quickly as they want to. That leaves a void here on Earth, especially since the threat of Mothervine is escalating quickly!

Marvel.com: How have tensions at home been unfolding with the Blue team missing?

Cullen Bunn: Magneto is angry. I think that’s the best way to describe it. His team has left him high and dry, and his enemies are using the absence of the Original X-Men to their advantage. With the Original Five missing, Magneto is forced to take some drastic steps.

Marvel.com: What’s going on with Malice and Polaris, and what’s the history there?

Cullen Bunn: Polaris and Malice have a long history. Years ago, the psionic entity of Malice possessed Polaris and turned her against her friends. Now, thanks to Miss Sinister, Malice is back! Way back in the early issues of X-MEN: BLUE, Jean Grey found a necklace containing the Malice entity. Malice was meant to possess Jean…but she’s now found her way to Polaris. The question is, in a world of doppelgangers, is this the Malice we knew from before?

Marvel.com: Emma Frost, Havok, Bastion, and Miss Sinister are up to no good—tell us about this unholy alliance and what danger it poses.

Cullen Bunn: Each of these villains has a different reason for wanting the same thing. They are all trying to see the mutant race thrive. Miss Sinister wants this for scientific research and genetic raw materials. Bastion wants this so that he can restart his mission of killing mutantkind. Emma wants this so she can see a dream fulfilled. And Havok wants this because be believes, deep down, that mutants should rule the world. They are launching the Mothervine project in order to see this happen. Of course, once they achieve this goal, they are going to turn on each other and try to kill one another. They’re all planning for that eventuality already.

Marvel.com: This young Blue team have now been lost in time and space…sounds like a metaphors are afoot!

Cullen Bunn: Absolutely right! Growing up and finding a place in the world is a turbulent and trying endeavor for each and every young person. Hell, it’s difficult for most of us throughout our lives. This is a big theme for the X-Men. They are in a world where they, quite literally, don’t belong. They have impossible role models in…themselves…and they can’t see how they would ever become those people. In some cases, the people they are supposed to become seem horrible to them. It’s a story of destiny and a teen’s struggle to avoid said fate.

Marvel.com: Speaking of story themes, how do fan favorites Polaris and Emma Frost fit in with the idea of “destiny versus free will” that this series has been exploring?

Cullen Bunn: An interesting pair you’ve picked for this question. For one, the theme of free will is overt. Polaris is in danger of being possessed by Malice. She must struggle against that if she wants to be herself. For Emma, she struggles against destinies of her own making. She started out as a villain. She became a teacher. She became a hero. Then, because of a terrible loss, she became a villain again. The story in the next few issues will show what she decides she must be…and if those around her will accept it.

Marvel.com: With so many story threads going on, how you do you and Jorge Molina manage to keep everything unified and streamlined in terms of story and art?

Cullen Bunn: It’s a real challenge sometimes. I am working on several arcs at once, and in addition to Jorge, I’m working with R.B. Silva and Edgar Salazar and Jacopo Camagni and Iban Coello, all on stories that interconnect in significant ways. The good news is that these folks are consummate professionals, and they are working together as well as humanly possible to make sure it all comes together.

Read Cullen Bunn and Jorge Molina’s X-MEN BLUE #23 on March 14!

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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.

Marvel.com: 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.

Marvel.com: 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.

Marvel.com: 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…

Marvel.com: 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.

Marvel.com: 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.

Marvel.com: 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.

Marvel.com: 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.

Marvel.com: 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.

Marvel.com: 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.

Marvel.com: 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

Marvel.com: 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.

Marvel.com: 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.

Marvel.com: 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!

Marvel.com: 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.

Marvel.com: 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.

Marvel.com: 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.

Marvel.com: 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…

Marvel.com: 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.

Marvel.com: 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.

Marvel.com: 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.

Marvel.com: 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.

Marvel.com: 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.

Marvel.com: 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.

Marvel.com: 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.

Marvel.com: 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.

Marvel.com: 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!

Marvel.com: 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…

Marvel.com: 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.

Marvel.com: 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).

Marvel.com: 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.

Marvel.com: 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.

Marvel.com: 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!

Marvel.com: 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.

Marvel.com: 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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