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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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.

Marvel.com: 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.

Marvel.com: 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.

Marvel.com: 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.

Marvel.com: 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

 

Marvel.com: 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…

Marvel.com: 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.

Marvel.com: 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.

Marvel.com: 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.

Marvel.com: 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.

Marvel.com: 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.

Marvel.com: 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.

Marvel.com: 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!

Marvel.com: 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.

Marvel.com: 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.

Marvel.com: 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.

Marvel.com: 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.

Marvel.com: 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.

Marvel.com: 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.

Marvel.com: 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.

Marvel.com: 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.

Marvel.com: 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.

Marvel.com: 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.

Marvel.com: 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.

Marvel.com: 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.

Marvel.com: 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.

Marvel.com: 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.

Marvel.com: 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.

Marvel.com: 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.

Marvel.com: 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?

Marvel.com: 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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Cullen Bunn details Beast’s bewitching future!

On September 13, writer Cullen Bunn and artist Douglas Franchin bring a magic wand to X-MEN: BLUE #11 as Hank McCoy (A.K.A. Beast) finds himself dealing with a sudden case of sorcery.

But how does he get these powers? How will he use them? And most of all, why does a brilliant scientist need to rely on the supernatural?

The answers to these questions—and more—come to light soon, but in the meantime, we decided to ask Cullen about what these new abilities could mean for the mutant Mr. McCoy.

Marvel.com: Beast has always been known for fighting with his claws and animalistic instincts—how might magic change his reliance on those abilities?

Cullen Bunn: Magic could change everything for Beast. Since coming to this time, he feels like he’s always running to catch uptechnology and science have left him in the dust, and it feels frustrating to no end. Beast has always relied on his scientific know-how and gadgeteering more than his muscles and agility, but now he feels as if he’s lost quite a few steps. Magic seems like a way for him to find a new groove.

Marvel.com: Like you mentioned, Hank McCoy is a gifted scientist and scholar. What does this newfound talent do for his outlook on the natural world?

Cullen Bunn: Hank approaches magic as a new science. Not that different, to his way of thinking, than chemistry or biology. He’s learning the “rules” of this science so he can master it. But magic is much more mercurial than any natural science—it has a way of slipping out of control no matter what you do…

Marvel.com: What kinds of challenges and dangers come along with these new powersespecially when bestowed upon an X-Man?

Cullen Bunn: Magic has been a part of the X-World for a long time—and it always seems to cause trouble for the mutants. When you get greedy for magical knowledge, you run the risk of making mistakes or drawing the attention of dark powers. That’s really the problem that Beast starts dealing with. He has called up a power that he cannot easily put down.

Marvel.com: What else can we expect to see in issue #11?

Cullen Bunn: There will be a few new characters popping up. And we’ll be seeing some magic-influenced versions of X-Men (who are being dubbed the Hex-Men) that I’m very excited about.

X-MEN: BLUE #11, by Cullen Bunn and artist Giovanni Valletta’s, drops on September 13!

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Cullen Bunn brings Wade Wilson’s latest murder marathon to a close!

Another one of Wade Wilson’s homicidal rampages comes to an end in issue #5 of DEADPOOL KILLS THE MARVEL UNIVERSE AGAIN, out September 27. The limited series from writer Cullen Bunn and artist Dalibor Talajic came as a follow-up to the duo’s wildly popular DEADPOOL KILLS THE MARVEL UNIVERSE from 2012.

Bunn has big plans for the finale this time around and it’s chock full o’ villains. We caught up with Cullen to discuss the specifics of the last issue, why killing Spider-Man hit a high point and how the bloodshed has just begun for the Marvel Universe.

Marvel.com: The last DEADPOOL KILLS THE MARVEL UNIVERSE concluded with Wade entering our world to take vengeance on the real-life Marvel editors like Jordan D. White. What kind of epic ending can we expect this time around?

Cullen Bunn: The ending of this story will be vastly different [from] the tale we told before. We’re not having Wade break through the ultimate fourth wall here. The final issue of the series will see Wade facing off against a number of villains, including those who corrupted his mind and set him against the Marvel heroes in the first place. We’ll be seeing some pretty intense encounters with the likes of Magneto and The Red Skull. The ending of this series, I think, is much more tragic than the end of the previous tale.

Marvel.com: Did you consider any other conclusions than the one you settled on? Can you give us an example or two of rejected ideas? 

Cullen Bunn: I always had this ending in mind. As most readers have guessed, this story takes place in the same world as the classic Wolverine tale, “Old Man Logan”—at least, it takes place in a version of that reality. In this world, Logan killed off most of the X-Men, but Deadpool had a big role to play in the deaths of many of the other heroes as the villains finally got organized and made a play for world domination. At one point, I thought of ending this series with an encounter between Logan and Deadpool in the ruins of the world, but I decided against it, saving that for some time later, maybe. 

Marvel.com: What about this limited series will you miss the most after the release of issue #5?

Cullen Bunn: I love working with Dalibor. He’s such a great collaborator, and I like his dark take on Deadpool. I’ll miss the way he draws Deadpool’s masks and eyes, if that makes sense. I’ll also miss playing with the idea of different comic book formats. Comparing Deadpool’s current adventures to a manga style world or a horror comic or even an ad for pastries was a lot of fun for me, and it was like a walk down memory lane of all the types of comics that have influenced me over the years.

Marvel.com: What are your top three deaths of this series and why?

Cullen Bunn: The death of Peter Parker in issue #2 is a favorite, because it is just so terribly dark. For the same reason, the death of Spider-Woman is dark, but for different reasons. Both of those deaths played so well with the theme of Deadpool seeing sort of light-hearted and zany adventures even though he was doing something awful. And the deaths of Moon Knight and Punisher was fun for me, because Moon Knight put up one hell of a fight.

Marvel.com: Do you think there’s any way Deadpool could come back to kill the Marvel Universe for a third time? If so, how would you go about writing it?

Cullen Bunn: Sure! There’s probably a way to do a similar story in a few years. One of the nice things about this series is that the Marvel Universe has changed so much since the original tale. There’s no telling how much the Marvel Universe will change over the next few years! As for how to write it, I’m not sure just yet. It would have to be vastly different than either of the other stories, and I think I’d have to up the ante in terms of horror and brutality, which may be tough.

DEADPOOL KILLS THE MARVEL UNIVERSE AGAIN comes to a close on September 27 thanks to Cullen Bunn and Dalibor Talajic!

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Cullen Bunn on what’s to come for Kid Kaiju, including Fin Fang Foom… times two!

With big monsters, comes big responsibility…for Kei Kawade, at least. When you can bring massive behemoths to life just by drawing them, people start to take notice. Kei, AKA Kid Kaiju, currently enjoys his own ongoing series-MONSTERS UNLEASHED, from writer Cullen Bunn and artist Andrea Broccardo-and soon, he gets to join the Marvel Legacy initiative too.

In MONSTERS UNLEASHED #7 (out this fall), Kei and his colossal compatriots find themselves in the Savage Land, the classic Marvel locale untouched by time and populated by unfriendly beasts. Talking to writer Cullen Bunn we learned that the first arc will focus on classic creatures like Fin Fang Foom while also setting up important new developments for the future of the Marvel Universe.

Marvel.com: Can you talk a little bit about how this issue will directly tie into the Marvel Legacy initiative? 

Cullen Bunn: MONSTERS UNLEASHED started off as a bit of a love letter to all the classic monsters in Marvel’s vast history. With the new series, we’ve been focused on our new monsters. In this arc, though, we’re putting the spotlight back on one of the classic monsters in a big way. In addition, this story focuses on the idea of a kid struggling with powers that are new and unusual and scary to him. That’s the kind of story that made me love Marvel when I was a kid.

Marvel.com: Going off that, what kind of throwbacks can we expect to Marvel’s legacy of monsters from the Kirby era and the like?

Cullen Bunn: We’re spotlighting one iconic monster–Fin Fang Foom–in this arc. He’s arguably the most popular of the classic Marvel beasts, and he’s definitely one of my favorites. Wait. Did I say we were spotlighting one monster? I meant two. But they are both Fin Fang Foom. What does that mean? It means that while we’re honoring the legacy of Marvel comics, we’re also looking toward some very important things coming in the future.

Marvel.com: What about the Savage Land makes it so well-suited for a MONSTERS UNLEASHED story? 

Cullen Bunn: Besides the fact that the Savage Land is one of Marvel’s most legendary locales, there is an important reason that this story takes place there. When we first arrive in the land of prehistoric beasts, it is because Kei has a big secret he wants to reveal, but for various reasons he wants to be far away from modern civilization.

Marvel.com: How will Kid Kaiju’s band of world-saving monsters get along with the ones we’ll meet in the Savage Land? 

Cullen Bunn: They will not get along at all.

Marvel.com: In terms of an antagonist, what kind of threat are we looking at here, both to this land untouched by time and the world at large? 

Cullen Bunn: The threat in this story is huge–and not just physically. This creature is a threat to Kei, a threat to the Savage Land, and–if Kei and Elsa Bloodstone don’t stop it–to the world as a whole. As I mentioned, as much as this story honors Marvel’s past, it also looks to the future. The villain in this issue is just part of something much, much bigger and more terrifying.

Marvel.com: How does Andrea Broccardo’s artwork on this correlate to the story you want to tell?

Cullen Bunn: Andrea draws some great monsters and dinosaurs! He also draws great action and adventure. Most importantly, though, Andrea never forgets to keep the artwork fun. We’re telling an important story, but MONSTERS UNLEASHED is still a book you’ll have a good time reading.

Marvel.com: Will this experience be enough to turn Kid Kaiju into Man Kaiju?

Cullen Bunn: This might be a harrowing enough experience to age Kid Kaiju. It’s definitely going to open his eyes to the enormity of his abilities a little more. But I think he’ll still be a kid when it’s all over–a kid with some big responsibilities.

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The MONSTERS UNLEASHED maestro remembers his first interactions with Jack Kirby's work!

Join us this month to celebrate Jack ” King” Kirby’s 100th birthday by learning about the characters and stories he created to change comics forever. To commemorate Jack’s centennial, we’ve sat down with the modern-day creators he influenced—and the decades of work he gifted us all.

Jack Kirby co-created some of the most iconic characters in the Marvel Universe. In addition to Captain America back in the 1940s, he also helped bring Iron Man, Thor, The Avengers, Nick Fury, Hulk and the X-Men to four color life. Even before that, he worked on books like JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY and STRANGE TALES bringing weird, wild monsters into readers’ homes every month.

Cullen Bunn continues that tradition as the writer of many X-Men books–including X-MEN BLUE right now–and both the MONSTERS UNLEASHED limited series and the current ongoing which showcase many of those massive miscreants, while painting them in a new light.

We talk with Bunn about playing in Kirby’s sandbox with everything from the coolest monsters to the mightiest mutants!

Marvel.com: Do you remember when you first experienced Jack Kirby’s work?

Cullen Bunn: I couldn’t tell you a specific book that was my first Kirby experience, but I vividly remember sitting at the breakfast table in my Aunt Mary’s house in South Carolina, reading a stack of comics, many of which were clearly Jack Kirby stories. Even before I knew Kirby by name, I recognized his style, and I loved it.

Marvel.com: Were there certain lessons you learned about how comics work either visually or verbally from looking at his stories?

Cullen Bunn: The lesson I think I learned from Kirby could be boiled down to “go big or go home.” His stories are dynamic and bold and exciting. More than anything, Kirby was an “imaginer” and I don’t ever want to forget how important that is to comics. He brought his all to every page he worked on.

Marvel.com: Jack drew the first 10 issues of X-MEN. Did you look back to those earliest appearances before jumping into that pool yourself?

Cullen Bunn: Of course! I poured over those original stories again and again, and I even went so far as to read them in their original comic form–I’m a big X-Men collector–instead of in trade, just to enhance that old school feel.

Marvel.com: You got even further into pure Kirby with MONSTERS UNLEASHED. How did the idea to revive all of those great monsters come about?

Cullen Bunn: MONSTERS UNLEASHED was always intended to be a love letter to the classic Marvel Monsters and their creators. The trick, of course, was to figure out a way to bring them all together. Kid Kaiju, the boy with the power to summon monsters by drawing them, is a tribute to artists like Don Heck and [Steve] Ditko and, of course, Kirby, who brought them to life. He’s an ode to the childlike wonder Kirby brought to the page.

Marvel.com: When you started working on MONSTERS UNLEASHED, did you immediately start re-reading those comics?

Cullen Bunn: I did! I have a collection of old Marvel monster comics, and I broke them out and read those original tales. That’s a great perk of the job. For research, I can spend some time reading terrific old Kirby comics.

Marvel.com: Were there any monsters you weren’t familiar with that really surprised you in those issues?

Cullen Bunn: I think I had seen most of the monsters at some point over the years. Some of them I had encountered in other comics, drawn by other creators, though. Digging into the research, I was amazed by just how many of these creatures Kirby actually created. The list was pretty impressive. Some that were most interesting or with whom I wasn’t super familiar were Spragg, who is just an evil hill, and Trull, who was a killer steam shovel.

Fantastic Four (1961) #91

Fantastic Four (1961) #91

  • Published: October 10, 1969
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
  • Penciller: Jack Kirby
  • Cover Artist: Jack Kirby
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Marvel.com: You’ve mentioned being a fan of FANTASTIC FOUR #9193. In that storyline, Stan and Jack worked with Skrulls and other aliens, 1930s-esque gangsters and a giant robot monster in Torgo. Those issues are packed with cool visuals, but also some great Kirby face-acting as Thing struggles with all of it. Did that come into play when you were first discovering that tale?

Cullen Bunn: Yeah, for sure. This was another issue I just picked up off the rack at the grocery store, and it struck me to the point that I remember the very moment I first looked at the issue. There’s a splash page with the Thing sort of turning and brooding sadly toward the “camera” while Torgo stands behind him stoically. It’s a quiet image, but there’s so much emotion and drama on the page, it’s the one that I connect with in that arc.

Marvel.com: We’ll be speaking again soon about your love of DEVIL DINOSAUR, but in a lot of ways those original 1970s Marvel stories are pure, unadulterated Kirby. When you first read them, did that come across?

Cullen Bunn: Oh, yes! These days, I often go into the comic shop and ask to be pointed in the direction of a book full of “mayhem.” What I’m really asking for, I think, are books like Kirby used to create, with wild ideas and crazy events jumping from every panel. I’m always trying to recapture that wonderful feeling of reading those Kirby classics.

Stay tuned to Marvel.com for more throughout Kirby Month and beyond! And join the conversation on all of our social channels with the hashtag #Kirby100.

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