It’s all been leading to April 27!

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

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

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

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

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Cap’s pals are reunited and ready to take on Thanos!

The Avengers are back with more heroes than ever to face the biggest threat in the universe. To take on Thanos the team is going to need help from all sides, reuniting old friends and meeting colleagues.

Both Anthony Mackie (Sam Wilson/Falcon) and Sebastian Stan (Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier) know what’s it’s like to be Captain America’s right hand man. The two actors sat down to talk with Marvel.com on the set of Marvel Studios’ “Avengers: Infinity War,” to talk about what this brand new threat means for the Avengers.

Mackie revealed that the characters went their separate ways after “Captain America: Civil War.” After going in to hiding, the heroes received their call to rally and were ready to assemble once again. “One thing about Falcon I’ve always loved since the beginning of discovering this character is his military background, his belief that his job in life to fight for his fellow man.” It’s this righteousness that Mackie finds so noble about Falcon’s bravery, “So when he hears about those in his overall idea of world destruction, he’s very disheartened and shaken by it. He’s eager to get into the fight against this super evil, this diabolical demon known as Thanos.”

If you’re looking for a warm and fuzzy reunion between Cap and Bucky, don’t hold your breath said Stan, “It went by fast. It felt pretty natural. We weren’t milking the moment or anything. It is what it is. I think the urgency of the circumstance that we find ourselves in kind of makes things go a little bit quicker.” [Note: We covered their ‘warm and fuzzy reunion’ here.]

Assembling Earth’s Mightiest Heroes is an unenviable feat. Stan is apprehensive, “I don’t know. I’m sure it’s going to be challenging for sure because there’s so many different tones to these films and that all of these characters carry. So I think it’ll be interesting to see how tonally everybody fits into the same world.”

“It’s not like you see one person who is the lead of the movie. It’s truly and ensemble movie,” explained Mackie. “I would say if anybody is the lead of the movie it’s Thanos. And it’s all of us working around, orbiting Thanos because he’s such a big bad guy.”

The Mad Titan is a definite force to be reckoned with, “He’s the uber bad guy. He’s the worst bad guy of all bad guys of all time,” emphasized Mackie. “So you can’t like put them in three scenes down, then a fight scene at the end. You really have to give them just due. So, our relationship and our scenes are more ensemble based. Everybody playing with a relationship with each other.”

With an ensemble this big, confidence between the directors and the cast goes both ways. Directors Joe and Anthony Russo had faith in their actors, “We’ve been with these characters so long, I feel like they trust us. It’s not like you’re showing up to all new material. You come to it with a history, and that’s part of it also.”

The directors’ trust is something that is important to Mackie, “You know the great thing about their style of directing is it’s really actor-first. It’s really supportive of your craft and your process, and what you bring to the characters. The best thing about working with Marvel is they know what everyone does well, and what you don’t do well. So they put you around people who do well, what you don’t do well. So they put us in a position to win, every single time with every single scene.”

The universe is big and all these heroes from across the galaxy coming together is bound to be a sort of culture clash. As for the Winter Soldier’s reaction to seeing a talking space raccoon for the first time, Stan lamented, “As usual, I question my own stability, mentally and wonder whether or not I should have just stayed asleep. Things clearly did not get better.”

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

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Here's everything we saw and learned on the set of 'Avengers: Infinity War'!

True Believers, we’re inching closer to culmination of the last decade of the Marvel Cinematic Universe with the release of Marvel Studios’ “Avengers: Infinity War,” in theaters April 27!

Last summer, Marvel.com had the opportunity to visit the “Avengers: Infinity War” set and now we’re allowed to share with you all the things we learned about the final chapter phase of the MCU. [Warning: If you want to head into the film knowing nothing, do not proceed ahead!]

With that warning in mind, let’s begin and peep some new photos while you’re at it:

[Updated Thursday, March 15]

[1] Source Material. “Avengers: Infinity War” will deviate from the source material. So don’t go in expecting THE INFINITY GAUNTLET, the 1992 six-issue run.

Mark Ruffalo, who plays Hulk/Bruce Banner, revealed during the visit, “It’s so different from the comic books. There’s elements that are clearly the same, but when you really start to get into the story, everything changes.”

He goes on to add, “[Infinity Gauntlet] is informative…but then again it just gets so off of the topic that it starts to become a little confusing.”

[2] Witness the King. Hot on the heels of Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther,” our set visit was able to witness a scene unfold as our Avengers — a fully bearded Captain America, a platinum blonde Black Widow, a visibly-wounded Vision holding on to Scarlet Witch, Falcon, War Machine wearing STARK leg braces, and Bruce Banner — make their way off the Quinjet in the country of Wakanda. Our current roster of Avengers are greeted by King T’Challa, the Dora Milaje, and Bucky.

Some of our heroes have not seen each other in a very long time following the events of Marvel Studios’ “Captain America: Civil War.” Steve and Bucky embrace while Sam approaches with a quip, “Are you gonna snap and kill someone if they say bologna sandwich?”

T’Challa asks, “How big of an assault should we expect?”

“A pretty big one, sir,” Cap replies.

As seen at the end of “Black Panther,” T’Challa has brought Wakanda out of the shadows. Is the nation ready for Thanos to bring the fight to them? That’s left to be seen.

[3] Avengers (Re)Assemble. As highlighted in the scene above, some of our heroes will be meeting each other for the first time, while others haven’t seen each other since the end of “Avengers: Age of Ultron” or “Captain America: Civil War.”

For instance, our Avengers are meeting the healed Bucky, now known to his Wakandan allies as “White Wolf.” Banner has been missing in action on his cosmic adventure, and may know how big a threat Thanos really is.

Get prepared for tons of amazing pairings!

[4] Children of Thanos. The Mad Titan himself will not be operating alone. As we’ve seen in the trailers, Thanos likes to get his hands dirty but he also has those to do his bidding. Enter the Children of Thanos. While on set, we were shown maquettes of Ebony Maw, Proxima Midnight, Cull Obsidian, and Corvus Glaive. Get a glimpse of the Children of Thanos maquettes during our D23 2017 coverage here.

Maquettes of Smart Hulk, who we caught a glimpse of in “Thor: Ragnarok” and angsty Tween Groot, as seen in the end credits of “Guardians of the Galaxy 2,” made an appearance.

[5] Costume Upgrades. You can bet our heroes are going to look their baddest and sharpest versions as they take on the Mad Titan. We’ve already seen Bucky and Cap get some upgrades thanks to Wakanda’s source of Vibranium. Spidey has a pretty sweet revamp courtesy of Tony, while Rhodey has STARK leg braces to help him navigate the injuries he endured during “Captain America: Civil War.” We can expect these aren’t the only heroes who will leveling up their armor.

That’s all we can share for now, but keep it on Marvel.com as we start rolling out interviews with the directors, screenwwriters and stars over the next few weeks!

[6] IMAX. The Russo Brothers revealed the entire film was shot by IMAX Arri 65 cameras. With unbelievably larger-than-life characters, the IMAX cameras helped the directors frame the shots and capture the intricate beauty of the exotic landscapes. Not only that, the evolving visual effects technology will push what Josh Brolin can do as a performer.

Related:

‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Brings the Heroes To Wakanda – Chadwick Boseman shares his thoughts on opening Wakanda to the world!

Hulk Is Back From ‘Ragnarok’ And Ready For Battle In ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ – Mark Ruffalo talks Hulk’s place on the team and the evolution of speaking in full sentences!

The Russo Brothers Give Us An Insider Look on How They Tackled ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ – Get a glimpse on the storytelling elements from balancing tones to collaborations and more.

Scarlett Johansson and Chris Evans Are Ready For Fans To See The Avengers Assemble in ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ – See Black Widow and Captain America gather the team against Thanos on April 27!

Danai Gurira On the Strong Female Presence In ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ – Okoye, leader of the Dora Milaje, isn’t ready to assemble

Thanos Isn’t Wrong in Marvel Studios’ ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ – Marvel screenwriters on creating the Mad Titan’s emotional story in ‘Avengers: Infinity War’

Don Cheadle says ‘Infinity War’ Is Serious Business – War Machine reveals how the stakes have been raised, his road to recovery and suiting up

Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany Believe Scarlet Witch and Vision’s Relationship Is An Asset To Help Spur On The Fight In ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ – Olsen and Bettany detail the difference between a Russos and a Whedon ‘Avengers’ film

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

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Welcome Marvel Legacy to the mobile gaming adventure!

Don a suit of armor as Punisher. Soar the skies with Falcon’s new wings. Incinerate your foes in style with Satana. Witness true power with the Savior of Worlds, Adam Warlock. Marvel Legacy has arrived in “Marvel Future Fight” as of today!

To get the full rundown on all things Marvel Legacy brings to “Marvel Future Fight” this month, we grabbed a few minutes with Netmarble Monster’s lead game designer Minkyun Kim, content designer Hyunseok Kim, skill designer Jongho Park, and system designer Youjung Kim.

Marvel.com: Can you tell us about the latest Marvel Legacy update? What can fans expect?

Minkyun Kim: For the first update of 2018, we wanted to continue with what makes “Marvel Future Fight” great, while making things feel fresh. Marvel Legacy, the current event that is reenergizing Marvel’s comic book line with new costumes and stories, seemed to correspond well with the direction that we wanted to take. Existing characters return with new directions and new costumes as well. We hope that players will enjoy these new characters and the brand-new event stage we’ve cooked up for this update.

Marvel.com: Will our heroes sport new uniforms?

Hyunseok Kim: We selected heroes from the Marvel Legacy event whose looks change drastically and impactfully. Falcon is one of the key characters, because he has re-embraced his classic identity as he now fights alongside the Avengers. We decided to release his new uniform first. The same goes for the Punisher. You can find the all-new War Machine armor clad Punisher in this update! Don’t forget to thank Nick Fury while you’re at it since he helped spruce the Punisher up a bit. Lastly, you can also find a striking uniform for Satana, featuring her new look from the SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE series.

Marvel.com: X-23 and Adam Warlock finally make their debut in ‘Marvel Future Fight.’ What role will they play?

Jongho Park: X-23 and Adam Warlock are characters that the Dev team have been itching to add to the world of Future Fight. For X-23, we thought a lot about how to best portray her in a similar way to Wolverine while keeping her unique. In Adam Warlock’s case, we thought long and hard about how to express his powerful energy attacks. As these two characters are very important, we cut down the number of new characters in the update and we spent a lot of time and effort to create them. You’ll be able to meet these characters and glimpse their powerful and showy skills.

Marvel.com: Can you share any fun moments or something you were proud of while preparing for this Marvel Legacy event?

Jongho Park: What comes to mind are the things we talked about while developing the character of Adam Warlock. Inspired by his “battle mage” era from the Guardians of the Galaxy comic book series, we talked a lot of about what kind of magical energy attacks we would create for him, as well as what color his bursts should take on. In the process of discussion, we even talked about the shape of his fingers! The hand and fingers take on a variety of shapes when someone uses magic. As we talked very seriously about which stance looked stronger and better suited to a wizard, we realized that everyone was standing with their hands and fingers in different positions.

Marvel.com: What improvements have been made for the players?

Youjung Kim: We improved the elements that prevented players from playing with ease. We made sure to improve the way to check if Comic Cards are registered in a collection, and added a function where you can check the current Rank of all the characters a player possesses. We’ve also added a refresh function that makes it possible for you to check for newly-created Dimension Rifts.

Marvel.com: What can players look forward to and expect?

Minkyun Kim: We are always striving to have differently themed updates to give players a fresh experience. Since this update is themed in celebration of the newest event from Marvel’s comic books, MARVEL LEGACY, we hope that players will enjoy the refreshed characters. This year, a lot of updates will focus around not only the comics, but the new movies as well. Stay tuned!

Marvel Future Fight is available worldwide on the App Store® and Google Play™. For all the latest on “Marvel Future Fight,” stay tuned to Marvel.com and @MarvelGames on Twitter!

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Sam Wilson fights tooth and nail to free himself from Mephisto’s snare!

On January 24, after experiencing Hell on Earth, Falcon will experience Hell in, well…Hell.

In FALCON #4, by writer Rodney Barnes and artist Joshua Cassara, Sam Wilson witnesses the true magnitude of Mephisto’s might. And as the hero struggles among demons and fire, Patriot and Doctor Voodoo find themselves stuck topside trying to figure out how to help rescue their friend, body and soul.

We found Mr. Barnes in an abandoned warehouse lighting candles and making a circle in salt. While he wouldn’t explain why he was doing that, he did answer our questions about issue #4.

Marvel.com: What excited you about pushing Mephisto to not just threaten Falcon’s soul, but to capture it?

Rodney Barnes: The idea was to make the capture personal as well as literal. If Sam has to face aspects of himself that may be uncomfortable in order to gain his freedom, then he leaves Hell as a better version of himself.

We all have our demons to wrestle with in this life, and overcoming them can be the path to freedom in my opinion. For Sam, it’ll only make him stronger.

Marvel.com: How has that left Patriot and Doctor Voodoo reeling? How do they manage the situation?

Rodney Barnes: For Doctor Voodoo, it’s a matter of freeing his friend and finding help in achieving that goal. For Shaun Lucas, he’s lost his mentor, but he’s also seeing the reality of the cost that can come with being a super hero. For him this could be a period of growth or a setback; it’s all up to how decides to deal with the situation.

Marvel.com: Sam would never give up in a fight. Even with his soul in Mephisto’s hands, how does he resist and fight back?

Rodney Barnes: The initial reaction is fear and anger. Both emotions play directly into what’s going on within him presently. Once he comes to terms with his personal demons, it’ll be easier to battle the ones physically in front of him. With the help of his friends and his own sheer will, he fights back.

Marvel.com: What made Mephisto such an exciting villain for Falcon?

Rodney Barnes: After the events of Secret Empire and Sam’s recent history, he’s gone through a lot of changes. Manifesting those as a literal demon mirrored the story I wanted to tell about personal demons.

Marvel.com: Series artist Joshua Cassara has utilized Mephisto’s more traditionally human look for this story. What made that the right choice for both of you? And how does Joshua help you realize the extremely disparate settings of Chicago and Hell?

Rodney Barnes: Well, Sam’s father having been a religious leader plays a role in his faith. But that said, he’s seen it all: gods, aliens, monsters.

Josh is great at capturing tension and pain in characters faces. Because Blackheart has cast a spell on the city, people will take on the chaotic look that comes with a demon’s influence. So when the riot and chaos reaches its peak, it rivals the madness of Hades. I can’t think of a better artist than Josh to pull off that balance.

Marvel.com: This feels like a climatic moment in your run. For new readers, what makes this issue an essential one?

Rodney Barnes: It’s essential in a couple of ways. Yes, it’s certainly the first hurdle. We’re in the heat of battle now and the gloves are off. The twists and turns will be coming fast from this point to the conclusion, so yes, this point is a pivotal one. As a writer, I’m becoming more comfortable telling the tale, and as a team, Josh and I have figured out how to best complement one another. So on a number of levels, now would be the time to hop on!

Dive into the fire with FALCON #4, by Rodney Barnes and artist Joshua Cassara, on January 24!

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In theaters May 4.

There was an idea…

The first official trailer for Marvel Studios’ “Avengers: Infinity War” has finally arrived. We began our Marvel Cinematic Universe journey together back in 2008. All roads lead to Thanos next year. Get your first official look at “Avengers: Infinity War” right here on Marvel.com above.

Following the events of “Captain America: Civil War,” the Avengers as we know it no longer exists. Lines were drawn; sides were chosen. The Avengers is nothing more than a team name without any team members. Can Earth’s Mightiest Heroes put aside their differences and unite once more? Do they even stand a chance against the Mad Titan who delights in their failure and desperation? Can they stop his thirst for power and chaos as he begins to collect the Infinity Stones?

The trailer packs as many super heroes as it can in a mere 2 minutes and 30 seconds: Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow), Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Falcon (Anthony Mackie), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), the Vision (Paul Bettany), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), Spider-Man (Tom Holland), Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), Loki (Tom Hiddleston), Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), and so much more.

“You can fight it. You can run from it. But destiny still arrives.” We know the trailer brought a smile to your face as much as pain and suffering put one on Thanos’ face. Now excuse us while we watch the trailer a thousand more times!

See the culmination of the last decade of the Marvel Cinematic Universe when “Avengers: Infinity War” opens in theaters on May 4, 2018. Stay tuned to Marvel.com, follow @Avengers on Twitter, and Like “The Avengers” on Facebook for the latest on the Avengers and the rest of the MCU as it develops!

 

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Rodney Barnes details Blackheart and Falcon’s battle for Chicago!

Masquerading as the mayor of Chicago, the demon called Blackheart has declared The Falcon public enemy number one.

On December 13, writer Rodney Barnes and artist Joshua Cassara present FALCON #3! With Sam Wilson on his heels—and his young partner, Rayshaun Lucas, unable to handle the fight alone—how will the Windy City fare?

We caught up with Rodney to find out more.

Marvel.com: Blackheart’s been knocking around for a little while—do you have a favorite appearance?

Rodney Barnes: His first, in DAREDEVIL #270, which, from my hazy recollection, saw Spider-Man and Daredevil fighting Blackheart. There was something dope about heroes associated primarily with foes of a similar strength-level then fighting a demon. Plus the kid version of me thought the name “Blackheart” sounded cool.

Marvel.com: What made him stand out in your eyes?

Rodney Barnes: His look and size were just brutal. Everything about him screamed evil. He can’t be reasoned with and every appearance he made in a storyline confirmed that.

Marvel.com: So what made him the perfect villain for this storyline?

Rodney Barnes: Returning Sam to the street after his high-profile adventures of late had to have meaning. I wanted him to wrestle with his inner demons, but have it play out in a unpredictable way. Blackheart fit the bill because he stands above Sam’s power level, but not so much so that he doesn’t still have to scheme and manipulate to achieve his goals. That meant at some point he’d have match wits with Sam. And there, our hero has the advantage.

Marvel.com: How does he get under Sam’s skin? Does Sam have what it’ll take to battle such a supernatural powerhouse?

Rodney Barnes: Sam has been wrestling with doubts and regrets from both his past and recent events. Demons exploit those dynamics in people and Blackheart continues in this tradition. I believe Sam is bigger than his regrets, but defeating the son of the devil is no simple task.

Marvel.com: How has working with Joshua Cassara been on this story? What do you see as his greatest strengths?

Rodney Barnes: Josh’s art is incredible! I love his ability to go from the gritty urban environment to space, Hell, and everyplace in between. I’m grateful to have him as a partner in this. Plus he put me in a fight scene in issue #3, so he’s earned free dinners for life!

Marvel.com: Last question…might we see Blackheart’s dad anytime soon?

Rodney Barnes: Yes, you’ll see Dad pretty early on, as well as a few other evil devil baddies. Let’s just say one of them doesn’t like being shown up by Sam. There’ll be hell to pay!

FALCON #3, by Rodney Barnes and artist Joshua Cassara, drops on December 13!

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Captain America and The Falcon take a wild ride to different dimension!

1917 to 2017: 100 years of Kirby.

Join us to celebrate Jack “King” Kirby’s 100th birthday by learning about the characters and stories he created that changed 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.

In the 1960s, Jack Kirby worked with Stan Lee to start building up the Marvel Universe. Many fans rightfully think of that era as truly magical, a fount of creative energy focused on the task of making heroes and villains that would stand the test of time. But it’s also important to look at the 70s work of “The King,” when he wrote, drew and edited a batch of books that included DEVIL DINOSAUR, MACHINE MAN, and BLACK PANTHER as well as his return to the character and title he launched, CAPTAIN AMERICA.

Kirby kicked his latter day run on Cap’s book with an epic story called “Madbomb,” a tale filled with many of the hallmarks of his work from the krackle to the positive social message. Seemingly hard to top, he tried with the story starting in CAPTAIN AMERICA #201, which pits Steve Rogers and his partner Falcon against a mysterious group called the Night People of Zero Street!

The Night People not only wanted to recruit Cap as their own hero, but also launched a crime wave that hit everything from grocers and jewelers to pet and costume stores! They even swiped projectors from late night movie houses! After talking to one of the Madbomb makers, Steve Rogers and Sam Wilson thought they’d have a chance to relax, but then heard about the mysterious new group from Sam’s girlfriend Leila right before those very same denizens of Zero Street kidnapped her in an effort to bring Falcon and Cap to them!

Captain America (1968) #201

Captain America (1968) #201

  • Published: September 10, 1976
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: September 17, 2008
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Falcon flew off in a hurry, but accidentally hit an oncoming plane flown by Texas Jack Mudloon, a wealthy adventurer. After thanking Jack, Falcon flew off again, this time right into the portal to Zero Street! On the other side, the Night People grabbed him, put Falcon and Leila on trial, and then gave them shock treatment.

Back on Earth, Captain America heard about Falcon vanishing and got to work finding him in issue #202 which led the Star-Spangled Avenger to also meet Muldoon. While they figured out how to find Wilson, Sam himself—now brainwashed—moved to fight a huge, craggy, fire-breathing monster on behalf of the Night People. At the same time, Cap waited for another portal to Zero Street to open up so he could leap into action. Unbeknownst to him, Texas Jack followed him through as well!

In #203, Cap and Jack learned that an Earthly asylum had been transported to another dimension years ago, creating Zero Street and the Night People by extension. More surprises came when Rogers ran into Leila and Falcon, neither of whom recognized him! The local leaders offered the new arrivals the choice of either death or a change like the one Sam and Leila went through. While they thought on that, a small army of monsters like the one Falcon previously fought attacked. Cap got the information and equipment he needed and used a portal to Earth to get everyone to safety before blowing the machinery up, leaving Zero Street to the invaders.

As he tended to do when left to his own devices, Kirby not only offered up a super-fun super hero story with cowboys and monsters and alternate dimensions, but also social commentary on African Americans’ treatment in the justice system and also the status of those who had been institutionalized.

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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Writer Rodney Barnes puts Sam Wilson’s protégé to the test!

Rayshaun Lucas has already survived a trial by fire, having flourished, unexpectedly, during the harrowing events of Secret Empire.

How will he fare, however, with a trial by hellfire? In FALCON #2, he might find out.

On November 8, writer Rodney Barnes and artist Joshua Cassara line Falcon and Patriot up against the son of Mephisto, Blackheart.

We spoke to Rodney about the duo’s relationship, their new role in Chicago, and how they’ll handle the demon’s power.

Marvel.com: Describe the relationship between Falcon and Patriot—Sam and Shaun. How do they view one another?

Rodney Barnes: Sam embraces the role of mentor and Shaun has an awareness that he has a long way to go in regards to becoming an Avenger. But there’s a friendship under it all that my run looks to ground. Oftentimes these relationships feel one sided—the heavy telling the underling what to do and the latter doing that without question. That doesn’t describe this relationship.

Shaun isn’t afraid to disagree or speak his mind. That doesn’t mean he’s right [Laughs], but he certainly doesn’t act as the silent student. The principle that glues their relationship is honor. They believe the same things but come from two different places when expressing those beliefs. But in the end they end up side by side.

Marvel.com: How does Shaun feel about being a costumed hero?

Rodney Barnes: Great question. Shaun tends to see the bright lights first. But he’s learning that the concept of being a hero can be bigger than just the task laid before him. As he goes deeper into that idea, he’ll get better at the hero game.

Marvel.com: How does it affect Shaun to face “everyday” criminals in Chicago? People who aren’t super villains or Hydra agents.

Rodney Barnes: His desire to join this fight came from wanting to help the gang situation and stop violence in the street. So he has an emotional connection to the task at hand; were it a daily patrol-type scenario, then yes, Patriot might push back [in frustration]. The parallel to your question in the opposite direction would be, “What happens when I think I’m fighting gangs and a demon pops up?”

Marvel.com: How does Joshua Cassara’s artwork help illuminate Patriot coming to grips with this new life?

Rodney Barnes: Josh extends the boundaries. The seamless transitions between the streets and dark realms ground the believability factor. Shaun’s never dealt with anything like this, so whereas Sam can just dive in, Shaun has to digest the reality before him. Josh brings that reality to life beautifully.

Marvel.com: How does Sam approach the duo’s new demonic enemy?

Rodney Barnes: Sam’s father, having been a religious leader, plays a role. But that said, he’s seen it all: gods, aliens, and monsters.

The biggest vulnerability for Sam will be that Blackheart can play on Sam’s doubts of late—Steve, his role in the riot, his mentorship of Shaun. He’s a demon, so anything will be fair game. That said, Sam doesn’t back down—regardless of what gets put before him.

Marvel.com: How does Blackheart prey on the relationship between Falcon and Patriot?

Rodney Barnes: Well, Sam doesn’t know Blackheart’s role in this from the start. Once he does, it starts to make sense. But Sam’s doubt takes his eye off of Shaun’s training, so there might be moments where the student’s doubts start to fester. But being a hero comes from an intrinsic place, so Shaun will have to find it within himself to stay the course. Which I believe he will.

Shaun’s tougher than he knows. But aren’t we all?

Rodney Barnes and artist Joshua Cassara’s FALCON #2 tests the team-up on November 8!

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Sam Wilson takes flight in his new ongoing series with writer Rodney Barnes!

Sam Wilson’s time as Captain America may be over, but he doesn’t intend to stop protecting the country and the world. After helping end the threat of Hydra dominance in Secret Empire, Sam has decided that he needs to embrace the identity of The Falcon once again.

And on October 11, he returns to the skies with Marvel Legacy in FALCON #1! Written by Rodney Barnes with art by Joshua Cassara, Sam Wilson engages enemies on the global stage and in quiet in Chicago back alleys alike.

Barnes took a few minutes away from writing the new series to tell us about the return of The Falcon.

Marvel.com: What’s it like kicking off the FALCON ongoing series on the back of the character becoming more high profile than ever before?

Rodney Barnes: It’s exciting, anxiety-creating, and an honor all at once! I grew up reading the Falcon when he teamed with Captain America so being a part of his adventures at this point in time ticks off a bucket list endeavor for me.

Marvel.com: How would you describe the essence of Sam Wilson?

Rodney Barnes: He’s a leader and a patriot; those two aspects of him must be omnipresent in any storyline. He’s confident, but realistic in regards to the task at hand.

The work comes in making sure there’s a human being behind the mask and not a “perfect” person. We all have flaws, but super heroes operate from a higher place so finding balance will always be the key.

Marvel.com: What role does Falcon play in the Marvel Universe as this story begins?

Rodney Barnes: This goes back to your first question. He’s at the highest profile of his career. Having been Captain America, leader of the Avengers, and having been front and center during the events of Secret Empire, the whole world has an awareness of him. He’s no longer the sidekick I knew as a kid.

Although he’s viewed as a prime time player by his peers and the public, in his own mind Sam doesn’t want the everyday problems of everyday people to get lost in the shuffle of the higher profile events he’s now associated with.

Marvel.com: Where do we find Sam’s state of mind at the start of this book?

Rodney Barnes: Sam feels a need to reconnect with the issues that moved him to become a super hero in the first place. He wanted to help people, so he’s taking a grassroots approach to doing just that. The new costume acts as a symbol of that desire. It’s a new look—not identifiable with the hats he’s worn as of late. He’s proud of his time as Captain America, but it felt like an act of duty as much as a goal he sought after. He’s most comfortable as The Falcon and reconnecting with his former persona feels like coming home.

Marvel.com: What can you tell readers about his new partner The Patriot?

Rodney Barnes: He’s a fun character. Having written the story where he began his career—SECRET EMPIRE: BRAVE NEW WORLD #2—Patriot captures the mindset of a current day hero. He’s motivated by the same desire to help people as any other super hero, but he sees the world from today’s fast paced, optimistic, millennial mindset. He’s not only learning to be a hero—he’s growing up at the same time. And his points of view are being tested by the trials and tribulations of the heroes’ journey.

Marvel.com: Your opening arc pits Wilson against Blackheart. What made Blackheart an appealing choice for this storyline?

Rodney Barnes: It felt different. I knew I wanted to discuss gangs and issues of race and culture, but I didn’t want to be predictable by telling a one dimensional story. Blackheart acted as the right choice because, while he’s not someone like Mephisto, he’s still more powerful than those trying to stop him.

He’s second tier on the dark magic totem pole, so he fit the role of antagonist I needed for the story I wanted to tell. Blackheart’s presence gives me the opportunity to blend genres—I’m not just telling a story of current social ills. I’m not straying so far from the Marvel Universe that the story becomes medicine.

Marvel.com: How would you describe the tone of the book? And how does artist Joshua Cassara help create that feeling?

Rodney Barnes: The tone feels both grounded and mystical. We’re operating in the hard scrabble streets of the South Side of Chicago. Then again, we’re in hell. So it’s not something I’ve ever seen before.

I can’t say enough about Josh. He’s fantastic! He blends worlds better than I could’ve ever imagined. He’s been the perfect collaborator. I’ve never worked on an ongoing comic before but I can’t think of a better partner in this venture. I had the pleasure of meeting him at San Diego Comic Con and we had a blast talking about all of the visual possibilities of our journey with Falcon. It’s been a highlight of this experience for me. I love the guy.

Marvel.com: Lastly, what would you say directly to fans to persuade them to pick up this title? What makes FALCON a can’t-miss?

Rodney Barnes: This adventure will be one of the most personal in the history of The Falcon. He’ll have to battle a demon set on conquering mankind as well as the demons that have haunted his own psyche. If you’ve ever wanted to see the Falcon tested beyond anything he’s ever faced, this book’s for you!

FALCON #1, by Rodney Barnes and artist Joshua Cassara, takes off on October 11!

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