Cullen Bunn sheds some light on how mutants fit into Hydra’s regime!

The time-displaced original Children of the Atom make up the X-Men Blue team, with Jean Grey, Cyclops, Beast, Angel, and Iceman working alongside their former archenemy Magneto. While it’s hard enough adjusting to a new era, these kids and their formerly villainous ally now also have a Secret Empire to contend with.

Where to even start?

We asked X-MEN: BLUE writer Cullen Bunn about issue #7, available July 12!

Marvel.com: First off, how has writing X-MEN: BLUE been different from some of the other X-Men projects you’ve worked on before?

Cullen Bunn: It’s interesting, because I was writing UNCANNY X-MEN and when I got the call that we were going to be shifting over to X-MEN: BLUE and it would be the original five time lost characters. I’ve been pretty honest with this—my first reaction was not overjoyed. Because as much as I love those characters, they’re not what I would consider my X-Men. Like, they weren’t from the era that I really got into X-Men. So I was a little hesitant! I wasn’t sure I was the right guy to write the book.

As I started writing those characters, though, and putting them through the stories I’d been planning on telling, I’ve become more and more excited about them. I’m glad that this is the team I’m writing, because they have a completely different dynamic and viewpoint on the world; I’m able to tell kind of “classic” X-Men adventures and “uncanny” adventures. I’ve come to really love writing these characters now.

Marvel.com: You kind of got to make them your own, then! So, now that we’re all nice and emotionally invested in these guys, how will the Secret Empire affect them?

Cullen Bunn: Well, without giving too much away…as we’ve seen in SECRET EMPIRE, California has been ceded to mutants as a new mutant homeland. On the surface, that looks great! It’s an opportunity for mutants and homo sapiens to live in peace together. But, as we’ll find in X-MEN: BLUE, that’s not necessarily playing out the way it’s supposed to. It’s definitely a situation where we have mutants in power and that power is sort of a corrupting force. It plays to X-Men Blue for a number of reasons.

First of all, Magneto—who’s acting as sort of a mentor for the X-Men—has said recently that he does not believe the idea of a mutant utopia works. He’s seen it backfire in horrible ways time and time again, and he keeps getting drawn back into that, lured into this idea of a mutant paradise; it is a dream [of his], but now he doesn’t think that dream will ever come true. He thinks that a place like New Tian is a disaster waiting to happen, and he wants no part of it from that perspective.

We have also seen, however, that Magneto and the X-Men Blue team have a beef with Emma Frost and Sebastian Shaw and certain characters that are entrenched in this new mutant regime. And what we’re gonna see in X-MEN: BLUE is the new X-Men team almost as a rebel force at work inside New Tian.

Marvel.com: Will the Blue team take on the larger Secret Empire plotlines as well?

Cullen Bunn: There’s definitely some parallels with what’s happening in New Tian and what’s going on in the Marvel Universe as a whole, but I wanted to focus on it mainly from a mutant perspective. Again, without giving away too many spoilers, there’s a villain that shows up in these issues who I feel has a direct correlation with what’s going on with Steve Rogers and is cut from very similar cloth story-wise and we definitely lean into that to shore up those parallels even more.

Marvel.com: That’s so cool! It sort of unifies the different threads of the Marvel Universe narratively, like, a microcosm? Or even just winking at another storyline that’s happening.

Cullen Bunn: Yeah! The goal with these tie-ins for me is always that a reader can continue reading X-MEN: BLUE and not get thrown off too much by the events of the Marvel Universe. But this is such a big event! Things are changing in such monumental ways, there’s no way to [avoid it]. But I wanted to make sure that we’re seeing [that] story from a distinctively mutant point of view while not ignoring what’s going on in the world at large.

Marvel.com: So let’s talk Magneto. How is such a powerful character fitting into all this Secret Empire hubbub? Is he joining, holding back, fighting against it?

Cullen Bunn: We talked a lot about Magneto early on in the discussion about what’s going on in the world of Secret Empire and really, Magneto seems to be sitting this one out. For reasons of his own, he has struck a bargain that he’s just going to sit this one out and not interfere, and he’s agreed to that.

However.

The X-Men team is there in New Tian, and they’re obviously not just sitting back. Now, then the question will come—are they working on Magneto’s orders or against what Magneto wants? As the tie-in goes on I think there’s even a question posed like, don’t you think Magneto would have prepared for this? And we see some pretty big changes among the team itself as some of those contingencies begin to come into play.

Marvel.com: So it might be that he has something up his sleeve?

Cullen Bunn: Well, Magneto always has something up his sleeve. I think we’re gonna have come interesting interactions. He’s definitely taking a back seat in this tie-in and you don’t see him getting a lot of [face] time, but his actions are pretty important to the story and they’ll shape the X-Men Blue team after this event. And when we do finally see Magneto, I think we have an interesting interaction between Magneto and Steve Rogers in the arc that I’m pretty excited about.

Marvel.com: I know that you’ve been writing Magneto for a while, so I’m sure you’ll do him justice. After all, you know him pretty well—you guys are on, like, a first-name basis.

Cullen Bunn: [Laughs] I do kind of feel like I have a handle on where he’s coming from and how he would see what’s been going on in the world, but I also know that Magneto…he knows that, if he disagrees with this, it’s not something he can go into with guns blazing, so to speak, because that would fail. He’s got to be a little cagier about what he’s doing.

Marvel.com: How is the team reacting to this pseudo-utopia? Like, how are they taking it?

Cullen Bunn: Well, they’re not taking it well. [Laughs] It’s not going well for them. It’s a weird situation for them because here’s this place that should be a safe haven for mutants and yet they find themselves struggling against that very ideal.

In fact, I’ve often said that, to some degree, the world that they’re in right now? The New Tian mutant utopia is almost like their Days of Futures Past. They are seeing the world they’ve always been afraid they’d see happen, but they never expected these threats and these dangers to be coming from a mutant source to the degree that it is.

As well get into the first issue, we’re seeing the X-Men dealing with mutants who’ve been imprisoned and who are scheduled for psychic reconditioning because they don’t support the law of the land. That’s the kind of thing that scares the hell out of them, and they just can’t sit back and let it happen.

See how it all plays out this summer in X-MEN BLUE #7 by Cullen Bunn and Cory Smith, available July 12.

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Cullen Bunn lays out the victims in the Merc with a Mouth’s crosshairs!

Remember the year 2012? Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her 60th year on the throne. Freakish physical specimens from around the world lifted heavy stuff and ran fast in a thing called “the Olympics.” The Mayan Calendar, regrettably, got proven incorrect in its prediction of the apocalypse. Oh yeah—and Deadpool killed the Marvel Universe.

On July 5, prepare to do it all over again—the Deadpool killing the Marvel Universe part—with DEADPOOL KILLS THE MARVEL UNIVERSE AGAIN #1! Writer Cullen Bunn and artist Dalibor Talajić reunite with a brand-new five part series as the Merc with a Mouth ravages his way across all of Marvel existence one more time.

We sat down with Cullen to try and spill one or two secrets about what to expect when Deadpool kills the Marvel Universe, again.

Marvel.com: Cullen, can you tell us a few names on Deadpool’s kill list? Pretty please!

Cullen Bunn: He’s killing the entire Marvel universe! That means every name is on the kill list! Duh!

Actually, that’s not entirely true. This time around, Deadpool isn’t just setting out on rampant murder spree without direction. He has specific targets he’s trying to take out. I kept a growing list of everyone Deadpool kills in the series. That helped us keep all the deaths straight. Trust me, the list is very, very long.

I don’t want to get into too much detail, but I’ll give you an example of how this series is a little different than the original. When I wrote the first series, lots of fans gave me trouble when Wade killed Spider-Man in the second issue. I can’t blame them. It was tragic. And as a peace offering, in the second issue of this series, Wade goes after the entire Spider-Family. Those spider symbols might as well be targets.

See? I love you guys. I’m a giver.

Marvel.com: Who—or what—might be motivating the Merc this time around?

Cullen Bunn: I could tease them, but that would just make them very angry. They don’t like teasing. And they have Deadpool doing their dirty work for them, and I’ve already been killed by Deadpool more than once.

Did I say “them”? That would mean there’s more than one person pulling the strings, wouldn’t it?

Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe Again #1 cover by Dave Johnson

It’s true. There is a vast conspiracy at work behind the scenes here. And while we reveal the members of this conspiracy in the first issue, I think figuring out the mystery of what’s going on will be a big part of the fun for readers.

Marvel.com: What kind of weapons might we witness in use?

Cullen Bunn: So many weapons!

As you can imagine, if Deadpool is going to kill some of the Marvel Universe’s heavy hitters, he’s going to need some heavy ordinance. I’m not going to reveal his top secret weapons cache. It’s top secret, after all. But Deadpool’s going to surprise the heroes—and the readers—as only Deadpool can.

Marvel.com: You’ve mentioned that Dalibor is working with a few different styles for this book—what could that mean?

Cullen Bunn: With this series, we’re going to be honoring the history of comics and the vastly different styles of comics that have been delighting readers for ages. Of course, we’re honoring these wonderful comics with excessive violence and bloodshed, but that’s what we do. Dalibor has the chance to play with plenty of different styles here, as we explore how Deadpool views the world…and how the world really is. Dalibor kept telling me to challenge him; to “make his eyes bleed”—so I went right along with his request.

DEADPOOL KILLS THE MARVEL UNIVERSE AGAIN, by Cullen Bunn and artist Dalibor Talajić, starts the murder spree on July 5!

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Cullen Bunn unveils a new Intelligencia to take on Kid Kaiju and company!

Writer Cullen Bunn and artist David Baldeon deal with huge characters in MONSTERS UNLEASHED every month. However, with the series’ third issue, they’ll also be introducing some gigantic personalities all with malevolent intent: the New Intelligencia!

Originally gunning for The Hulk, this new take on the familiar group features The Leader, Mad Thinker, M.O.D.O.K. 2.0 and Mr. Sinister! As some of the most cunning minds in the Marvel Universe, they will put their giant heads together and come up with a way to target Kid Kaiju.

We talked with Bunn about building this new squad, playing with some of the most iconic villains Marvel has, and the joys of writing The Mad Thinker!

Marvel.com: Does this new Intelligencia have a specific goal or mission statement for lack of a better term? And how does that play into the series?

Cullen Bunn: This iteration of the group has the same mission statement as previous versions: evil through smarts. Okay, that’s not their mission statement, but it’s close. In the case of MONSTERS UNLEASHED, the New Intelligencia has found something they’ve not seen before. While each and every one of them has created monsters of one sort or another, they’ve always had to really work at it. Kid Kaiju, though, has actually created living, breathing creatures just by drawing them. To the Intelligencia, he represents the power of raw genetic creation, and that is worth studying.

Marvel.com: M.O.D.O.K. 2.0, Mr. Sinister, The Leader, and Mad Thinker are also fairly bombastic. How fun is it bouncing them off of each other?

Cullen Bunn: So much fun! They all have such unique personalities and approaches to reaching their malevolent goals. With this group, I wanted to show that Kid Kaiju and his monsters were going to be dealing with very real threats in the Marvel Universe. Each of the members of the New Intelligencia is a genuine threat in their own right. Working together, they are extremely dangerous.

Marvel.com: Leader, Mad Thinker, and M.O.D.O.K. have experience with this group. What made them bring in Mr. Sinister?

Cullen Bunn: Sinister, with his experience with cloning and such, was a perfect addition to the group. He is sort of a genetic expert. And I think people forget just how smart Mr. Sinister really is. His spot on this team is well-deserved.

Marvel.com: What sets the 2.0 version of M.O.D.O.K. apart from the others we’ve seen?

Cullen Bunn: Well, M.O.D.O.K. 2.0 is a clone of the original M.O.D.O.K., and he’s a little more calm and cunning than his predecessor. Of course, I always saw the original M.O.D.O.K. as a ranting fiend, so being [calmer] than him isn’t too hard. I also think he’s more cruel and scary. He actually wanted to become this abomination. Of all the members of the New Intelligencia, he’s the most evil, I think.

The Intelligencia by RB Silva

Marvel.com: Of this group, Mad Thinker’s been around the longest. What’s it like working with such a lasting villain?

Cullen Bunn: I love The Mad Thinker. I’m trying to approach him a little differently than we might have seen before. He has this weird, almost religious take on his own insanity. He’s frequently offering bits of strange philosophy regarding madness.

Marvel.com: The characters in this new version of the Intelligencia are mostly used to operating on their own or leading groups. How do they work together in a group situation?

Cullen Bunn: If anything, it will be the hubris of this group that tears it apart. Each member of the group believes they are the smartest, and there’s a little jealousy between them for that reason. Their minds are always working, always figuring out possibilities, but that makes them paranoid…maybe with good reason.

The Intelligencia makes their presence felt in MONSTERS UNLEASHED #3 on June 21 thanks to Cullen Bunn and David Baldeon.

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Cullen Bunn provides a tour for one of Marvel’s nastiest locales!

X-MEN: BLUE #6 sees our favorite mutants setting up shop on Madripoor, the super sketchy island historically populated by criminals, villains, and all kinds of shady characters. From the influence of A-list bad guys to the not-so-reliable justice system, we can think of more than a few reasons you might not want to make it your next vacation destination.

But writer Cullen Bunn has a different take—maybe Madripoor’s not such a bad place after all?

Marvel.com: Madripoor has a pretty much laissez-faire government, meaning plenty of cutthroat deals can go down…

Cullen Bunn: Sure, sure, but they throw the very best parties. I mean, look, do you want to go to the same boring old barbecue every weekend, or do you want to go the party where anything could happen? Yes, that “anything” might include getting held hostage by the Hand or some militant MGH dealers, but embracing excitement—that’s the Madripoor way!

Marvel.com: Because it doesn’t allow extradition, Madripoor basically operates as a haven for criminals. Though some of them may cut deals to help maintain the status quo, it still makes it a less than safe place.

Cullen Bunn: But every corner of Madripoor isn’t dangerous. If you can afford to hang out in High Town, you’ll be spending time with a much more civilized group of criminals.

And the X-Men live there now. Doesn’t that make you feel safer?

Marvel.com: As you mentioned, the Hand has historically had an interest in Madripoor—and you really don’t want to stick around when those guys get involved.

Cullen Bunn: Do we forget that the Hand have a sense of honor? They have a code. They are noble assassins and killers. You know how if you want to keep the spider population down, you keep wasps around? Well, the Hand is kind of like those spider-killing wasps. They help keep the population of other criminal elements down.

See? Glass half full…of ninjas.

X-Men: Blue #6 cover by Art Adams

Marvel.com: In its early days, a lot of pirates lived in Madripoor, and that tradition of lawlessness still impacts the way it operates today.

Cullen Bunn: That just means you don’t have the authorities breathing down your neck every time you want to jaywalk. People who live in Madripoor are free thinkers. They’re like artists who all live together to create a special kind of community. Yes, a good many of these “artists” work in a medium that involves crime. Some of them work in murder the way Rembrandt worked in paint. But let’s not get too judgmental.

Marvel.com: At various times, HYDRA, Magneto, and other villains have tried to use Madripoor as a base of operations, which has led to a fair amount of instability.

Cullen Bunn: Lots of villains have called Madripoor home, but now there are heroes like the X-Men getting in on the act, too. Not that the X-Men bring stability to their hometowns. They often only bring super villain attacks and building explosions.

But there are other groups who do want to see a little more stability in Madripoor, and they are working slowly but surely to do so. There’s this one group called the Raksha I’ve been hearing about a lot. They are making some waves with their efforts to shape things up in Madripoor. But I’m not really allowed to tell you much about them.

Visit scenic Madripoor in X-MEN: BLUE #6 by Cullen Bunn and Ray-Anthony Height, coming June 28!

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Cullen Bunn digs up his favorite stories starring the killer robots!

Ever since they first debuted back in the mid-1960s, the Sentinels have become an indelible part of X-Men mythology. Created by the dynamite duo of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby—and by Bolivar Trask in the comics—they’ve taken different forms and served several masters over the years, but one thing remains constant about the purpose of their existence when it comes to the X-Men: Detecting and destroying mutants.

“Sentinels are so iconic,” says Cullen Bunn, author of the currently running X-MEN: BLUE, which will host the return of the malevolent mechanical menaces this May. “I can barely imagine the X-Men without them. They’re terrific adversaries, because—in most cases—they simply have no human personalities. They exist for one purpose—to destroy mutants—and they follow that directive with cold mercilessness.”

Since “[X-MEN: BLUE] issues #2 and #3 are loaded with Sentinels,” according to Cullen, we asked him to recount his favorite Sentinel stories from over the years.

Read on for some rock em’ sock em’ robot mayhem!

Uncanny X-Men (1963) #98

Uncanny X-Men (1963) #98

What is Marvel Unlimited?
“Merry Christmas, X-Men–The Sentinels Have Returned!,” “Deathstar Rising,” and “Greater Love Hath No X-Man” in UNCANNY X-MEN #98, #99, and #100:

“Sentinels know no holidays. They attack the X-Men…on Christmas! That’s just eeeeeeevil! And then, we get some crazy Sentinel versus mutant action…in space!”

Uncanny X-Men (1963) #142

Uncanny X-Men (1963) #142

What is Marvel Unlimited?
“Days of Future Past” in UNCANNY X-MEN #141 and #142:

“I remember picking up [UNCANNY X-MEN] #142—I read them out of order back in the day—and thinking that the image on the cover could not possibly be reflective of the contents. But it was. I can barely think of a scarier representation of the lethal capabilities of the Sentinels.”

Uncanny X-Men (1963) #194

Uncanny X-Men (1963) #194

What is Marvel Unlimited?
The Nimrod stories in UNCANNY X-MEN #194, #209, and #210:

“Nimrod—and later Bastion—has always been a favorite character of mine. He had all the cold mercilessness of the Sentinels, but he also had a bit of personality, too. And I loved that he had these automatic countermeasures for anything his mutant prey [threw] at him.”

New X-Men (2001) #114

New X-Men (2001) #114

What is Marvel Unlimited?
“E Is for Extinction” in NEW X-MEN #114-#116:

“Not only did this story give us Casandra Nova, but it provided one of the most chilling examples of Sentinel power. 16 million mutants killed in the blink of an eye. It was terrifying and grim and awful. After so many years as X-Villains, the Sentinels get a big shot of nastiness in the arm.”

See the Sentinels back in action with X-MEN: BLUE issues #2 and #3, available April 26 and May 10 respectively from Cullen Bunn and Jorge Molina!

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Cullen Bunn calculates the conflict headed the Sith Lord’s way!

Only a Sith deals in absolutes. There’s no gray areas for them and it shows in writer Cullen Bunn’s DARTH MAUL limited series where the famous horned Sith Lord hunts down a Jedi Padawan against his master’s wishes.

To find out the why, we decided to delve further into the Dark Side—and Star Wars lore—with Cullen before issue #3 drops on April 26.

Marvel.com: We’re about halfway through Maul’s five-issue run. What can you tell us about the things we’ve learned about this character and the Sith so far that fans haven’t seen before?

Cullen Bunn: As for Maul, we’ve learned how unsatisfied he is with his master’s plans. We’ve learned that he’s not one to sit around waiting and that he’s been roaming the galaxy testing himself. We’ve learned that he has connections to some notorious bounty hunters. And we’ve seen a bit about the cruel training he’s endured. With the Sith, we’ve delved a bit into their past—something I’m not sure readers really expected—and saw some of their downfall. We’ve explored a bit about how the Sith see their differences from the Jedi. We’ve also seen how Maul sees the Sith as compared to the Jedi.

Marvel.com: How does this story differ tonally and thematically from the other comic-based Star Wars stories that have explored the past exploits of other iconic characters like Obi-Wan and Han Solo?

Cullen Bunn: This is a darker story than some of the others you’ve seen. Maul is cruel and cunning and devious, and he is walking a dark path. I wanted to embrace that for this series. We also get into Maul’s head in a very big way since we’re seeing how he justifies his actions in his inner monologue.

Marvel.com: He’s currently in Liam Neeson mode, trying to find a Jedi padawan who’s been kidnapped and is now up for auction. What does he want with a Jedi-in-training and how will it satiate his hunger for revenge?

Cullen Bunn: Maul is itching to test his skills against the Jedi. He’s been trained to hate them, to want them dead; but he is forbidden to strike against them. He wants to secretly rescue the Padawan Eldra Kaitis for one reason: so he can kill her.

Marvel.com: How does his plan overlap with the complex machinations of his master, Darth Sidious?

Cullen Bunn: His plans fly in the face of Darth Sidious. Sidious works slowly, weaving an intricate web of deception. Any Jedi entanglements could jeopardize everything he is working toward. If Sidious finds out about Maul’s betrayal, the punishment will be severe.

Darth Maul #3 cover by Rafael Albuquerque

Marvel.com: This is a character who is filled with hate and a penchant for taking action against his master’s wishes. In other words, he’s not the most pleasant fella in the galaxy, but since he is the protagonist of this series, how did you make him come across as the hero or at the very least, someone readers could sympathize with?

Cullen Bunn: I don’t think he comes across as a hero in any way. He is, after all, embarking on a quest to murder a Jedi. But I try to dig into his head and help the reader understand what he is thinking and where he is coming from. I show the reader some of the trauma he’s endured to get to this point. And I throw in a healthy dose of other villains who are worse than Maul, so we get a little bit of a black hat vs. black hat feel.

Marvel.com: As this series serves as a prequel to “Phantom Menace,” what was your approach to keeping readers surprised even though they know where Maul’s story eventually ends up in “Episode I”?

Cullen Bunn: My hope is that this series shines some light into some unexpected corners of the Star Wars mythos. Yes, we know what becomes of Maul in the future, but we don’t know how this adventure might have helped shaped what’s ahead. We also don’t know what becomes of some of the new characters you’re meeting in this book, and I think readers will come to care about some of them quite a bit. I also hope some of the connections to other corners of Star Wars lore will surprise readers. There’s lots of connective tissue to the movies, TV shows, and comics here if you pay close attention.

Marvel.com: Are there any other characters or stories in this universe that you’re itching to tackle?

Cullen Bunn: Oh, of course! I dearly hope this isn’t my last foray into the Star Wars universe. You’re talking to a guy who, as a kid, had Star Wars wallpaper and bedsheets, who had models of the ships hanging on fishing line from his ceiling, who sent away proofs of purchase to make sure he got Boba Fett and Bossk action figures. I love these characters and these stories. I could name a handful of characters I’d love to write about. Most of them would probably be bounty hunters—because I have a penchant for dastardly types—but I love Star Wars as a whole.

Marvel.com: Anything you can tease about DARTH MAUL #3 before it comes out in a few weeks as well as the rest of Maul’s solo story?

Cullen Bunn: In issue #3, Maul and Eldra Kaitis come face-to-face, and I think readers are going to get a real kick out of this new character. His planned abduction of the Padawan, though, will not go as planned. It might even mean that the two must work together in order for even one of them to survive.

Cullen Bunn and Luke Ross continue their Sith saga with DARTH MAUL #3 on April 26!

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Writer Cullen Bunn maps out the Merc with a Mouth’s latest murder spree!

The Avengers, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, cosmic beings across the universe—none of them stood a chance. Three years ago, Deadpool made history when he bombed, katana’d, and blasted his way through every last hero in existence. And guess what? He’s back for more.

This July, the newest super hero extinction event begins in DEADPOOL KILLS THE MARVEL UNIVERSE AGAIN #1 and #2! Writer Cullen Bunn and artist Dalibor Talajić, creators of the original best-selling series, return for an all-new five-issue run alongside the universe’s most dangerous man in red spandex.

We sat down with Cullen to learn more about the return of Wade Wilson and his thirst for super-blood in the brand new series.

Marvel.com: The first DEADPOOL KILLS THE MARVEL UNIVERSE ended with you, Dalibor Talajic, editor Jordan D. White, and Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso about to be put to the sword. How did that end up going for you guys? Is Deadpool coming back again? Does the digital team have to worry this time?

Cullen Bunn: Those were Earth 617.5678 versions of Dalibor, Jordan, Axel, and myself. The versions here—on our Earth—are much [cagier] and hardy!

I don’t think you’ll be seeing Deadpool returning to the Marvel offices in this new series. While that worked in the original book, this new story is something altogether different.

Marvel.com: In your opinion, what made DEADPOOL KILLS THE MARVEL UNIVERSE one of the most popular trades in recent years? Everyone has their own reason—but why do you think people loved it so much?

Cullen Bunn: I’ve wondered that for years!

Look, I am very proud of that original story. I think Dalibor and I did something special with it, but I never expected it to have the reaction—and the longevity—that it has enjoyed. It’s still one of the most popular books I’ve ever worked on. I think it’s the kind of book that attracts readers because it’s an easy jumping on point. You don’t need to know much about Deadpool or Marvel continuity to enjoy the story. The average reader off the street knows Captain America and Thor and The Hulk and Deadpool, and that’s all you really need to get a kick out of seeing Deadpool slaughter all your favorite heroes. Over the years, so many people have told me that this was both their first Deadpool book and their first comic book in general! So I guess the general accessibility is a factor with relatively new fans. Other than that, I think the fact that DEADPOOL KILLS THE MARVEL UNIVERSE is unlike any other Deadpool book ever published helps with the book’s appeal.

Both of those ideas—the accessibility and the unique nature of the tale—were top-of-mind for the new series. A new reader can come off the street, having never read any other comic, and enjoy seeing Marvel’s most famous heroes get the ax. And this story is something completely different. It’s not a sequel or a remake, and it treads ground totally untouched by the original series.

Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe Again #1 cover by Dave Johnson

Marvel.com: What inspired you to bring Deadpool back for some more universe-shattering super hero murder?

Cullen Bunn: Writing DEADPOOL KILLS THE MARVEL UNIVERSE was such a blast for me, so of course I wanted to return to that well at some point. I wouldn’t have pursued it, though, unless I thought we had a new kind of story to tell and some interesting and unexpected angles to explore. The tale that we’re presenting here definitely gives us something new and exciting, so it’s time to pull the trigger!

Marvel.com: The Marvel Universe has changed quite a bit since the first killing spree; a bunch of new heroes in new positions all across the board. How’s the Merc going to approach these new victims differently?

Cullen Bunn: Everything about Deadpool’s approach to murdering these heroes is different. Even though we’re revisiting a story about Deadpool killing off your favorite heroes, this is a new tale, and we went to great lengths to make sure we weren’t walking the same path. As you said, the Marvel Universe is quite different than it was when we did the original series. It has evolved and grown. Deadpool’s murderous methodologies have changed, too.

That’s not to say he will have an easy time of it. There is a core group of Marvel heroes who are opposing Deadpool and trying to stop him. I think seeing these protagonists at work will be a lot of fun. Hey, maybe they’ll even stop Deadpool before he kills everyone!

Marvel.com: How was it partnering with Dalibor once again to create the sequel to one of the most visually epic—and disturbing—series in recent memory?

Cullen Bunn: Dalibor and I have talked about working together again—and working on this project in particular—for a few years, really ever since we wrapped up work on the original series. It took a while for the timing to be right, and I knew that only Dalibor could draw this beast. This series, though, is a little different visually. Without spoiling too much, Dalibor is playing with a variety of comic book styles. I think the look of this book will surprise a lot of people. I knew there were going to be plenty of challenges involved in bringing this story to life, but every time I asked Dalibor about it, he simply said, “Bring it on! Do your worst!”

Marvel.com: The first time around, Psycho Man got everything started by pushing Wade’s mind just past the tipping point. What can you tease about how Deadpool gets his taste for hero-blood this time?

Cullen Bunn: Well, I can tell you that Psycho Man is not involved in this tragic tale of woe, but absolutely keep an eye on the bad guys. Some classic Marvel villains have a hand in Deadpool’s murderous rampage. There’s a mystery to be solved and a real exciting reveal to be had further down the road.

The carnage begins with DEADPOOL KILLS THE MARVEL UNIVERSE AGAIN #1 and #2, by Cullen Bunn and artist Dalibor Talajić, and available this July!

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Mutant expert Cullen Bunn lends a hand in evaluating the original five!

Here are my and Doctor Bunn’s notes and observations on the mutants as requested. You received their releases in advance and we have kept copies as well should their waiving of privilege need to be proven at a later date. Please let us know if there is anything further we can do to help

Jean Grey: With the knowledge of her future—or the future she would’ve had—Jean has proven to more assertive at a younger age than the Jean Grey who was not plucked from the timeline and moved forward. With this assertiveness has come some arguably problematic behaviors including overreaches in power and some manipulations.

Overall, as Dr. Bunn describes below, the main thrust of Grey’s therapy is about her feelings of responsibility for her teammates and the larger mutant community.

Dr. Bunn’s Notes: “Jean Grey has assumed a leadership role among the young X-Men, but she struggles with worry that she could be letting her teammates down. She has put her team on a potentially very dangerous path, and she feels solely responsible for their safety.

“She also shows concern over being patronized by the rest of the X-Men. She relies upon and confides in her teammate Scott Summers, who understands the struggles of leadership. Knowing that the older X-Men have faced great challenges in their lives, she hopes to prepare her team to better face the same level of threats.”

Cyclops: Summers, intriguingly, has followed an almost opposite path than Grey. Instead of the knowledge of his future making him more assertive and dedicated to assuming a leadership role, it has served to encourage him to take a step back. While supportive, he has gladly ceded the role of team leader to Grey. This stands in contrast to a Cyclops who once would literally fight teammates for the “honor” of leadership.

Knowing his future has also allowed him, it seems, to expand his attention beyond mutant concerns as demonstrated by his joining the Champions and exploring the idea of being more of a super hero and less of a mutant spokesperson/advocate.

Dr. Bunn’s Notes: “The destructive power he possesses—and the great discipline he feels he must always maintain—has contributed to Scott’s restrained, controlled, and rigid demeanor. He was the first of Professor Xavier’s X-Men, and he feels that this distinction comes with a great responsibility. Still, he is somewhat relieved that Jean has taken a leadership role for the team.”

Beast: Henry McCoy is an intriguing case to this writer. I’ve gotten to know the “adult version” as a devoted man of science so to see his teenage self beginning to dabble in more mystical pursuits has been both interesting and alarming. The client’s struggle to find a path when, of all the clients, his future seems the least fraught has certainly caught my attention, leading me to wonder if there has been some tragedy encountered by the client since he arrived that he has kept secret or that the adult McCoy has hidden or suppressed some painful memories while I worked with him.

X-Men: Blue #1 cover by Arthur Adams

Dr. Bunn’s Notes: “Hank is a man of many secrets. Since finding himself lost in our time, he has struggled to find his place in the world and his value to the team. This has led him to dabble in the mystic arts, a new interest that could prove dangerous for him.

“When cautioned about the risks inherent with the magical arts, he scoffed, saying that he has a ‘teacher’ who is guiding him in this new field of study. No record of this teacher could be found.”

Iceman: Of all the team, Bobby Drake seems to have taken the most advantage of this timeline, for lack of a better way to express it. While his confession of his sexuality was something he was rushed into by Grey’s mind-reading, he has since proven rather comfortable with both the self-knowledge of his desires and living an out life. While his adult counterpart has often seemed to vacillate between identities and responsibilities to the point that it was difficult to know if he had an authentic self, this teen seems comfortable, level-headed, and very aware of who he is.

Dr. Bunn’s Notes: “Bobby uses humor to mask his feelings of discomfort and nervousness. A great deal has changed for him since he arrived in our time. He has developed a romantic relationship with the Inhuman Romeo, and he is experiencing a wide range of emotions, as would any teenager. The fact that the young men no longer see each other as much as they once did—because of physical distance and increased responsibilities—causes Bobby a degree of uncertainty and worry. This anxiety appears to be manifesting as minor fluctuations in his powers.”

Angel: The popular conception of Warren Worthington prior to the traumatic destruction of his wings and subsequent alliance with Apocalypse was that he was a gifted and privileged adolescent who experienced little by way of adversity that was not directly associated with his wings.

This interpretation may have been true, but the teen Worthington in our timeline has shown himself to be far more complex. After being compelled to stay by Grey’s powers—as noted above, an unfortunate side effect of her increased assertiveness—Worthington has quickly shed his timeline homesickness, replaced by a sort of reckless arrogance. In some ways, he has become the least charitable assumptions about him: that he is a self-involved rich boy who only cares about his own glory. That would be concerning enough on its own, but paired with a violent streak that is unlike anything recorded about his adult counterpart’s years as Angel, it becomes something altogether worrying.

Dr. Bunn’s Notes: “At first, Warren was the most uncomfortable of the time-lost X-Men, wanting desperately to return to his point of origin. He has, however, now embraced this time period as willingly as—if not more so than—his teammates.

“With his abilities changing to be more dangerous, Warren has adopted more aggressive tactics in combat. Perhaps this has influenced a more impulsive side of his personality. Warren appears to be displaying near-narcissistic tendencies in his relationships with his teammates and others.”

This X-Men team will next meet with Doctor Cullen Bunn and his associates Doctors Jorge Molina and Matteo Buffagni on April 12 and the session notes will be found in the file labeled X-MEN: BLUE #1.

Psy D. Candidate Tim Stevens is a Staff Therapist who knows his teenage version is out there somewhere, just whooping it up.

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The surprise stars of the epic Marvel crossover get their own series written by Cullen Bunn!

Remember when as a kid you staged massive monster fights with your action figures in the sand box of your local park? Well, who ever said those epic battles needed to end when we grew up? Not Cullen Bunn! The illustrious writer takes Kei “Kid Kaiju” Kawade and his beastie pals around the paddock for another earth-shaking ride this April in an ongoing MONSTERS UNLEASHED spin-off series.

That’s right. The behemoths don’t plan on going anywhere and they’re causing a bit of concern within the Marvel Universe—along with helping Kei and his allies fight evil. Cullen took a short break from monster hunting to tell us about the upcoming super-sized series that will re-awaken the kaiju-loving kid in all of us with some serious monster-on-monster action.

Marvel.com: Last time we spoke you briefly went into detail about the MONSTERS UNLEASHED spin-off series. Now that we’re getting closer to the first issue’s release on April 19, what can you tell us about the cast of characters that will be featured in it?

Cullen Bunn: The new MONSTERS UNLEASHED features Kei Kawade—Kid Kaiju, the boy with the power to summon and create monsters by drawing them—Elsa Bloodstone—famous monster hunter turned bodyguard—and a group of five monsters that Kei has created. These new monsters—Aegis, Mekara, Slizzik, Hi-Vo, and Skragg—form a powerhouse group of heroes unlike any that have been seen in the Marvel Universe. It’s their job to combat the most dangerous apex predators in the world: other giant monsters! In addition to the main team, we’ve got a great supporting cast. Parents, S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, Damage Control representatives, H.E.R.B.I.E. robots, and a host of villains, and that’s just to start!

Marvel.com: What’s the team dynamic like between the human characters?

Cullen Bunn: Kei and Elsa have a bond. They’ve been through the fire of the Leviathon invasion together, and they are closer for it. But, in Kei, Elsa sees someone who is as interested in monsters as she is. Yes, Kei loves them and doesn’t want to see them destroyed and Elsa was trained to wipe them out, but they share that bond. Kei’s parents don’t want their son to be a super hero. They know he can’t have a normal life, but they also don’t want him risking his life fighting gargantuan beasts. And then there are the government agents and super heroes who are seemingly always orbiting Kei and his monsters. Their interactions range from friendly to commanding to downright combative.

Marvel.com: What will their interactions be like with the monsters who are staying over into the new series? Is there a lot of fear of being squashed?

Cullen Bunn: When you’re dealing with monsters the size of buildings, there’s always a chance of getting squashed, I guess. This new team of monsters, though, all have their own personalities. In terms of how they interact, they are heroes like you would see in another team book. They have unique viewpoints, and they have lots of questions about their own origins, but they see Kid Kaiju as a friend, and they would face any danger to protect him. Now, Elsa and the monsters have a slightly more contentious relationship, but they recognize that they’re all working toward the same goal.

Marvel.com: Any person or monster you look forward to revisiting?

Cullen Bunn: I’m excited about all of the main cast. Kei’s new monsters were only in a few pages of the initial series, so it has been fun expanding their personalities and seeing them become fully developed characters. Kei and Elsa are, of course, favorites of mine, and I can’t wait to expand their supporting cast. Kei’s parents, Elsa’s relatives, their friends and allies and enemies. I’m looking forward to all of them. And there are Marvel villains and monsters—old and new—that I’m thrilled about bringing into the book.

Monsters Unleashed #1 cover by Arthur Adams

Marvel.com: Will there be any backlash against the use of these creatures after their attack on the Marvel Universe? Is every hero and secret organization now wary of what Kei can do?

Cullen Bunn: Oh yes! That’s a big part of the series. Kei is a young boy with what is potentially the most devastating power on the face of the planet. This means that many, many groups are keeping a watchful eye on him, all with different agendas. The Avengers want to train him. The Inhumans want him protected at all costs. S.H.I.E.L.D. wants him contained. Damage Control wants to make sure that the monsters don’t unleash massive collateral damage onto the world. But there are others who are very interested in Kei, too. Mole Man, who shows up early on, has use [for] Kei’s abilities. Lady Hellbender wants to know how Kei can summon monsters; when he started summoning creatures in the limited series, some of Hellbender’s menagerie vanished from their cages. And there is a group of villains—some of the most dangerous minds in the Marvel Universe—who want Kei for their own vile purposes.

Marvel.com: With a title like “Monsters Unleashed” there’s obviously an expectation of seeing these behemoths stomp around, and while they are massive personalities, they’re not the only ones you’ll be using to tell the story. How will you be balancing the monsters with the human characters to tell a more rounded tale?

Cullen Bunn: There will be monster-sized threats in this series, but there will also be challenges and dangers and interactions that a giant monster simply isn’t equipped to handle. Of course, an 11-year-old boy and a brash monster killer might not be equipped to handle them, either, but those are the breaks. So, every issue will feature monster action—not always monster brawls, mind you, but definitely dynamic monster awesomeness—human interaction, Elsa hunting human-sized beasties, Kei interacting with his parents and his teachers and the people who want to watch over him, and more! I feel like the series is pretty well balanced, more than the limited series was.

Marvel.com: You mentioned last time that S.H.I.E.L.D. and Damage Control are keeping an eye on this new team. What agents are on the prowl and are they concerned about the activities of specific team members or monsters?

Cullen Bunn: We’ll be meeting a new Damage Control representative who is working directly with various agencies—including S.H.I.E.L.D.—as a “handler” of sorts for Kid Kaiju and his monsters. You’ll be meeting some new characters, such as Damage Control agent Gloria Clark. You’ll also be seeing some familiar S.H.I.E.L.D. faces, some of whom have a long history dealing with giant monsters in the Marvel Universe. These factions all have different approaches to handling the monsters. Some want to guide them. Others think they are too big of a threat and are just waiting for an excuse to destroy them.

Marvel.com: Along with her knowledge of Dracula and Frankenstein, Elsa Bloodstone is a scholar on Marvel Monsters. Will she, as a seasoned monster hunter, be a parent-like figure to the younger heroes like Kei Kawade and Aegis, who will be taking these threats head-on? How will she be reigning in their naiver and more reckless tendencies?

Cullen Bunn: Elsa is a bodyguard, mentor, and friend to Kei. It’s not a role she’s very comfortable with. She’d rather be out there killing monsters. As you’ll see in the first issue of the new series, she’s still indulging her old monster-busting activities in order to work off some steam and keep herself grounded.

Marvel.com: Any words of advice before for the new team before they hit the ground running in April?

Cullen Bunn: Beware! That villain group I mentioned earlier is comprised of some heavy duty Marvel bad guys. They’ve tangled with every hero, from The Hulk to the X-Men, and now they’ve set their sights on you! They are recruiting any ne’er-do-well with a monster connection. They are planning on testing Kid Kaiju to his limits, and then use him for their own nefarious purposes. Kei—you’re in the Marvel Universe now. Your adventures will not be on the fringe, but right in the thick of things, so buckle up.

The mayhem continues in MONSTERS UNLEASHED #1 by Cullen Bunn and David Baldeon, coming April 19!

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Cullen Bunn prepares to steer the creature-filled conflict to an epic conclusion!

By Josh Weiss

Even if you’ve been living under a rock for the past few months, you’d still be able to feel the thunderous tremors being caused by the arrival of giant monsters in the Marvel Universe, stamping around above your subterranean home. And if the names Fin Fang Foom and Goom and Googam don’t ring familiar to you, they soon will be thanks to writer Cullen Bunn who has helped re-introduced some of Marvel’s most bloodthirsty behemoths with the Monsters Unleashed event.

In the wake of Civil War II, giant creatures mysteriously began to appear and terrorize the earth; it took the greatest heroes in the Marvel Universe to address a threat that may not be as clear cut as simply punching skyscraper-sized beasties in their faces and/or multiple heads.

For MONSTERS UNLEASHED, Bunn teamed up with a team of talented artists—Adam Kubert, Greg Land, Salvador Larroca, Steve McNiven, and Leinil Yu—to bring these monsters—some well-known and some a little more idiosyncratic—back into the colorful Marvel spotlight. With just two issues left in this limited series, we spoke with the writer about the event so far, his Atomic Age aspirations when crafting the story, and the far-flung ramifications we can expect from the end of a major crossover event that he’s been preparing to write since childhood.

Marvel.com: As we begin to wind down on this awesome and—forgive the pun—monster-sized event, can you talk about what the ride’s been like for you from the idea’s inception to its fruition?

Cullen Bunn: I grew up watching giant monster movies, reading “Famous Monsters of Filmland” magazine, and reading monster comics. When I was very, very young, I wrote my own monster-centric comic titled “Attack of the Monsters,” featuring King Kong, Godzilla, and Mothra among others attacking the Earth. When I first heard about the initial idea for the series, I thought to myself how hurt I would be if I didn’t get the chance to write it. I’ve been preparing to write a book like this all my life.

Marvel.com: Monsters Unleashed drew on a rich mythology of Marvel monsters that dates back to the days of the late 1950’s, early ‘60’s. Was there a particular creature or creatures you especially enjoyed bringing back into the pop culture spotlight?

Cullen Bunn: When I started on this series, I was given a big packet detailing all of the classic monsters that were available. There were so many awesome beasts up for grabs. Of course Fin Fang Foom is a favorite, but I also fell in love with the visuals of Monstrom and the father/son dynamic of Goom and Googam. But I brought as many of the classic monsters to the series as I could. I really enjoyed writing the interaction between these monsters and between the monsters and the Marvel heroes.

Marvel.com: Given the fact that the central character behind the arrival of these monsters has the nickname Kid Kaiju” and that there were some really cool B-movie inspired variant covers released, were you influenced by any specific tropes of the classic B-grade sci-fi monster and kaiju movies of the 1950’s and ‘60’s when writing the story?

Cullen Bunn: Definitely. I drew inspiration from those classic 50’s “atomic horror” style movies and comics. I read and re-read a ton of classic Marvel monster books, especially considering how many of those creatures had starring roles in the series. I also drew upon many of my favorite kaiju flicks, like the original Godzilla and Gamera movies. The Godzilla movies of the Heisei era and movies like “Gamera 2: Advent of Legion” were particularly influential.

Marvel.com: What were some of your goals when you excavated these creations from obscurity? Did you hope to make them re-iconic” in the minds of comic book fans?

Cullen Bunn: First and foremost, I wanted readers to have fun with the series. And I wanted to honor the legacy of [Jack] Kirby, [Don] Heck, [Steve] Ditko, [Herb] Trimpe, and the other creators who brought these monsters to the page. And—yes—I wanted to establish the giant monsters of the Marvel Universe as important and legitimate forces to be reckoned with. My hope is that these beasties—the classic Marvel monsters and the Leviathons—are mainstays in the Marvel Universe for years to come.

Monsters Unleashed #5 cover by Adam Kubert

Monsters Unleashed #5 cover by Adam Kubert

Marvel.com: Have you seen your initial goals come true in the form of fan reactions to the event?

Cullen Bunn: I’ve seen plenty of people commenting on this series as a lot of fun. I’ve also seen folks mentioning that they’ve enjoyed seeing the heroes fighting by each other’s sides after such a tumultuous time among these characters of late.

Marvel.com: This event has brought the entire Marvel Universe into the fray. What was your favorite part about leaving no stone unturned by having everyone cross over in one epic series?

Cullen Bunn: It was awesome to show so many different heroes in so many different corners of the world, but—hands down—my favorite aspects of the series—at least my favorites up until the big twist at the end—were introducing “Kid Kaiju” Kei Kawade’s ancient cosmic history and writing the team-ups between the Marvel heroes and the classic monsters.

Marvel.com: Without giving too much away, how should readers prepare themselves for the end of this event?

Cullen Bunn: A fearsome enemy—the Leviathon Mother—is heading toward Earth, and she is far too powerful, even for the combined might of Earth’s mightiest heroes and their classic monster allies. In order to defeat her, Kid Kaiju will need to draw upon a power he didn’t know he had within him. That power will introduce something completely new into the Marvel Universe and establish Kid Kaiju as a major heroic player.

Marvel.com: It was recently announced that MONSTERS UNLEASHED will be getting its own ongoing spin-off series coming this April with you at the helm. Is there anything you can tease about it, like the threats Kawade and his team of monsters may be facing?

Cullen Bunn: In the event series, Kei was concerned primarily with the hundreds of Leviathon that were falling to Earth. Some of those monsters are still out there, and Kei, Elsa Bloodstone, and a group of monstrous heroes have been tasked with facing the most gigantic threats to the world. But, Kei will soon learn that monsters are not the only threats he’ll be facing. This book is firmly rooted in the Marvel Universe, and several very recognizable super villains have taken an interest in Kei. These villains—some of the most intelligent, devious ne’er-do-wells in the world—see potential in these giant monsters and potential in Kei’s unique abilities.

Marvel.com: In what ways will it be different from the event that spawned it and what are some of the repercussions it will have within the Marvel Universe?

Cullen Bunn: With the event, the pacing was frantic. Leviathons were falling to Earth one right after another, and there was little time for anything other than trying to push them back out to the depths of space. In the aftermath of this kaiju invasion, the heroes of the Marvel Universe now know that giant monsters could pose a significant threat to society in the future. Luckily, they have a new team of allies perfectly suited to battling these threats. But even a group of heroic giant monsters need looking after. Not only is Elsa Bloodstone keeping an eye on them, but S.H.I.E.L.D. and Damage Control are also watchful eyes on Kei and company. While the ongoing series will have lots of action and adventure, it will also give us the opportunity to dig into the personalities of some of these new characters in a significant way.

Marvel.com: If you had to give Kei Kawade one piece of advice about having his own Marvel comic book series, what would it be?

Cullen Bunn: I’d tell him to be careful around underground tyrants and intergalactic monster hunters.

The mayhem continues with MONSTERS UNLEASHED #4 by Cullen Bunn and Salvador Larroca, coming March 1!

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