Gerry Duggan previews the Guardians’ Infinity quest!

The Guardians’ hunt for the Infinity Stones begins.

But first, they have to join up with the Nova Corps! On November 1, “The Infinity Quest,” kicks off as writer Gerry Duggan and artist Marcus To see the team suit up with the Gold Domes. Everything, however, might not be as it seems within the Nova ranks…and Peter, Gamora, Drax, Rocket, and Groot will have to figure out why in GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #146!

We caught up with Gerry to hear more about the start of a new journey for the team.

Marvel.com: How do the Guardians qualify for joining the Nova Corps?

Gerry Duggan: Right now the bar sits pretty low—do you have a head to put a helmet on? If so, welcome aboard! But if the galaxy has a chance at survival, they’ll need to recapture their former glory.

Marvel.com: Do the Guardians embrace the new Corps? How will they fit into their new roles?

Gerry Duggan: Quite simply: if the new Corps fails, the Guardians have even more work to do. So this ends up being a preventative defense for them. They’re still misfits, but they’re helping root out some real problems.

Marvel.com: The Guardians have butted heads with Nova Corps before…what’s the dynamic feel like now?

Gerry Duggan: Rocket, for example, has an interesting time. You’d think he would despise it….but you’ll see why he’s enjoying himself.

Marvel.com: How has the team evolved since Rich Rider last appeared on the team?

Gerry Duggan: Groot looks pretty small now, Drax hasn’t been himself, and Gamora seems a little soulless… Everyone feels like a mess.

Marvel.com: Rich and Gamora have such a complicated historyhow do they feel about this new team-up?

Gerry Duggan: Rich and Gamora’s reunion will have to wait…she never told Quill that he returned. Issue #147 will be a very fun reunion—and also contains a discovery of huge proportions.

Marvel.com: Gerry, personally speaking, would you choose to join the Nova Corps or the Guardians? Why?

Gerry Duggan: I’d die really quickly either way, so I’d join the Guardians. It would be more fun.

Gerry Duggan and artist Marcus To’s GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #146 kicks off on November 1!

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The team adds a new member soon—see if you have what takes!

Can you keep your cool in a sticky situation? Do you know how to turn anything into a weapon? Do you view the law as a loose guideline? Then writer Gerry Duggan and artist Rod Reis may have just the job for you!

On October 18, the Guardians begin interviewing for a brand new position on the team in ALL-NEW GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #12! Explains Duggan, “As the Guardians conclude their adventure on Earth to free the planet from Stevil Rogers, they encounter several characters in search of an exit from this planet. One will make the trip. However, even though this issue has its feet on the ground, there will be a very important cosmic encounter that affects the quest for the Infinity Stone.”

Check out this job application for more info about the position…

Team Searching For Celestial Chaperone

Job title: Guardian of the Galaxy

Salary: Glory and a share of the score

Job summary: The Guardians of the Galaxy are a rag-tag team of assorted criminals who travel from world to world stealing from the highest level security facilities in the universe…and occasionally, saving the galaxy.

The positions of comic relief, crazed weapons specialist, former assassin, adorable mascot, and metaphorically-challenged muscle have already been filled. But don’t worry, Editor Jordan D. White details, “They tend to gather new members as they go, like a space snowball rolling downhill. And yeah, I did just say the Guardians are heading ‘downhill’—they have no idea what sort of trouble they’re in for.” Despite the foreshadowing there, the position does promise to be a great opportunity for anyone looking to get the heck off Earth and take on what White mentions could be called an “Infinite” quest…

It’s the Infinity Stone. They’re questing for the Infinity Stone. That’s the quest.

Responsibilities: You will be responsible for assisting the team on each mission while helping keep the peace between senior members. You will familiarize yourself with the targets of each mission and be ready to fill in wherever needed—that means getting comfortable in each team role and being prepared to fake it ‘till you make it when the plan inevitably falls apart.

You will follow any and all orders given to you by a senior Guardian. If you receive conflicting instructions, use your discretion to determine which will prove most profitable to the group. This position will also play a role in caring for—or “babysitting”—a recently regrown juvenile Flora Collossus. What can we say; it can’t all be gun slinging, explosions, and glamour.

Qualifications:

  • Music lover; particularly ‘60s and ‘70s Earth music
  • Mystic powers (ideal, but not required)
  • 2+ years of criminal and/or hero experience
  • Ability to regenerate a plus
  • Advanced combat and weapons capabilities
  • Experience time traveling (preferred)
  • Ability to cope in high stress situations
  • Chemical enhancements accepted
  • Willingness to follow orders but skilled improviser
  • Comfortable around talking woodland creatures and semi-communicative trees
  • Actually, if you could just be an ex-Avenger, that’d be great

So who might the candidates be? Take a look at the cover! White teases, “Any one of the five folks on there would make a fascinating addition to the team, would they not? And yeah—I did say five.” He clearly knows something we don’t—given that Dr. Strange, Deadpool, Cable, and Man-Thing seem to be the only newbies in the image…

Send your application in today! Email pquill@dangerousfuncoolguy.org or try reading your resumé to a raccoon and hope you get lucky.

Find out who clinches the job on October 18 with ALL-NEW GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #12, by Gerry Duggan and artist Rod Reis!

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Marvel Legacy ushers in a terrible new era for the Merc with a Mouth!

Wade Wilson faced the music in DEADPOOL #36.

The Regenerating Degenerate’s choices during Secret Empire have come back to haunt him…and now he’s at the mercy of Stryfe and on the run from everything he once held dear.

The turning tides in DP’s life herald a new period in his story—and on October 11, Marvel Legacy’s DESPICABLE DEADPOOL #287 marks the start of the chapter.

Written by Gerry Duggan with art by Scott Koblish, Stryfe seeks payment for services rendered. It’s a life for a life—Deadpool owes him four—and the first name on the mutant clone’s list won’t surprise anyone: Cable.

Now Wade, having recently reached higher highs than ever before, hits rock bottom as he’s forced to kill his way out—or face the deadly consequences. Notes Duggan, “He’s putting his head down and just doing what he owes in order to get out of this. He’s not really looking to be very clever at this moment.” The grim circumstances have forced the Merc with a Mouth to recede to just a Merc.

When the thought of reneging on his debt crosses Wade’s mind, he receives an immediate rebuke—if he doesn’t hold up his end of the bargain, the Preston family, and maybe his daughter Ellie, will pay the price. Outsmarting an evil time traveler has to be even harder than it sounds, especially on your own; “There really is no one left that will trust him. He used to be a member of an Avenger squad and unfortunately that’s over. His marriage is over. A lot of his friendships are done,” explains Gerry.

So, has Wade Wilson completely resigned himself to this bleak fate? Gerry doesn’t seem so sure: “Even though Wade seems like he’s still doing terrible things—and he is—he’s still doing honorable things, so that still acts as his motivation.”

Duggan continues, “We spent a lot of years building him up and we’re destroying him in quick time. We’ll see what he has left after we strip everything away, it will be interesting to see what survives of the character after this.”

DESPICABLE DEADPOOL #287, written by Gerry Duggan with art by Scott Koblish, hits on October 11!

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Gerry Duggan and Marcus To tease the Legacy launch of Guardians of the Galaxy!

This fall, it’s a new dawn for the Universe as Marvel Legacy begins.

53 signature Marvel titles—and every series is an event! Each book pays homage to the beloved heroes, villains, teams, and artifacts that shaped Marvel’s past and determine its future. On November 1, dive into the Legacy of the Marvel Universe’s favorite dysfunctional family, as writer Gerry Duggan and artist Marcus To present GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #146!

Gerry and Marcus took time away from their mysterious intergalactic mission to give us some teasers about the Legacy launch.

Marvel.com: Without spoiling anything, can you give readers a hint about what happens at the start of Guardians Legacy?

Gerry Duggan: As we head into the Guardians story for Marvel Legacy, we’re continuing to explore Gamora’s relationship with the Soul Stone; that’s one of the big overall stories that we’re telling. At that point [artist] Aaron Kuder’s first arc will have concluded and we’ll have a little more information about what’s happening in the galaxy. The source of Groot’s affliction will have been revealed—but the problem will escalate. And it’s no secret anymore that Ant-Man has joined the team! He will leave Earth to get away and take a break in the wake of Secret Empire…but I don’t think he’ll find a lot of rest and relaxation in space.

We’ll also continue a story thread from my UNCANNY AVENGERS days, when Ultron infected aliens with a virus—and then told them that if they survived, they could look up the Avengers on Earth for payback. So he’s creating a lot of ticking time bombs, which will be of personal interest to Scott Lang.

The real thrust of this arc, though, is the idea that there’s a problem inside the Nova Corps and it relates to the Fraternity of the Raptors. So the Guardians are going to fight for the soul of the Nova Corps—joined by Rich Rider and some other unexpected cosmic favorites. In Marcus’ upcoming arc, we’re also going to be revealing the location of the first Infinity Stone.

Marvel.com: Ooh!

Gerry Duggan: Yeah, that’s the prize! We’re building up to a very special issue #150 that will see some new beginnings and at least one ending. It will all set the table for a conflict that centers around the Stones.

Really, this is going to be a story about two families: the Guardians and the Cosmic Elders. The Elders are not privy to all of the secrets of our universe, so they have theories to approximate some answers—the most crazed of which is the notion that there’s an intelligence behind their world that, maybe, doesn’t have their best interests at heart. Unfortunately for them, that theory proves true.

Marvel.com: There’s an interesting sense of history to the Legacy stories. Marcus, have you been doing any research into the old comics for inspiration?

Marcus To: Actually I have been digging—not necessarily specifically into Guardians of the Galaxy—but into old X-MEN stuff, old FANTASTIC FOUR, and Silver Surfer. They give a really good insight into why fans fell in love with these characters in the first place. So even though the artistic style might not be the same, I’d like to think I took a lot of storytelling cues to try to capture the same love that the original creators of these books had.

Marvel.com: What about you, Gerry? Have you been reading, say, THE INFINITY GAUNTLET?

Gerry Duggan: Actually…we’re not telling an Infinity Gauntlet story as much as we’re telling a story about the Infinity Stones. Not to misdirect you from Thanos and the importance of the Gauntlet, but Editor Jordan D. White and our collaborators all agree that the Gauntlet story has been told—and told well—so we’re going to blaze some new trails. So, yes the Stones are coming back in an interesting new way that I think will surprise some people. They’re out there…and we’ll get to see how they impact these characters.

But to answer your original question: yes, I have been reading a lot of old Marvel comics—and I’ve also been reading a lot about the notion that our universe could be a simulation.

Marvel.com: So what stories would you recommend people check out to get the full history of the Infinity Stones?

Gerry Duggan: I will say that readers should be reading up on Marvel Unlimited to see the stories by folks that have come before us. And make sure to check out the INFINITY GAUNTLET: WARZONES series I did with Dustin Weaver (co-writer and artist on that book); we’re going to start pulling some strings from that in a fun way.

Marvel.com: Marcus, during your artistic process, were there any particular challenges in the new book? Anything you were especially proud of?

Marcus To: I feel that every project has challenges of its own, but I take a lot of cues based off of who I work with. This is the first project I’ve worked with Gerry on and I’m enjoying it quite a bit. His storytelling style makes things very easy on an artist—it allows space to tell a story without bombarding it with exposition too much. That makes it fun because you can really pull off some comedic moments—and some character moments can breathe a little bit more. And since these books are delivered twice a month, we have a little more room to add scenes and really develop these characters the way we want to.

Gerry Duggan: Yeah, the pages that Marcus has been doing are great. It’s not just great character work and great gags, but also high drama. We try to put in a lot of real character moments to ground the story when things are a little bit crazy, especially now with a couple of different emergencies going on in outer space. Not everyone can nail the drama and the comedy, but Marcus has that talent and it’s a joy to work with.

Marcus To: Thanks, man!

Gerry Duggan: Thank you!

Marcus To: You know, what we love so much about these team books are the interactions they have with each other—the small, short moments are really when you get to know these characters. That’s what we’re really trying to inject into these issues, and art-wise those are my favorite things to draw. You can use comedic, lighthearted events—or even emotional ones—to do that. Gerry has allowed us to experiment with that a little bit more.

Marvel.com: Each of these characters has such a unique appearance. What’s it like telling a story with Groot, for example, largely using body language as a communicator?

Marcus To: If I can’t tell a story without words, then I’ve failed as a comic book artist. And I’m also a firm believer that storytelling is king. I’d like to think that, if you took out all the words, you could still kind of know what’s going on with my stories. I always try to practice that. When creating, I think of myself as the actor and director when it comes to these things, so hopefully it reads that way as well. I’ve always tried to make sure that, if there’s a character like Groot, who can’t express himself with words, he’ll do so with acting. Hopefully it reads that way as well!

Marvel.com: Any last words ahead of the new Marvel Legacy Guardians series?

Marcus To: Well, I guess Gerry did say that the Nova Corps will be there…my story revolves around the Guardians of the Nova, so you get to see all the Guardians dressed as Novas—even Groot! I laugh even thinking about it because it’s kind of ridiculous. But my favorite thing about it is Rocket because he gets to play a cop.

Gerry Duggan: With regard to the future of the Guardians, we’re definitely interested in telling new stories—not just with some familiar objects, but also older characters that may be coming back in new and exciting ways. So, check out Marvel Unlimited to read up on some of the old cosmic stories from Jim Starlin and Brian Michael Bendis to Jim Valentino and DnA (Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning). I think we’ll be tying into a lot of our predecessors in a cool way.

Keep your eyes peeled for GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #146, by Gerry Duggan and artist Marcus To, available on November 1!

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A modern Marvel writer talks classic Hulk, Fantastic Four, and more!

1917 to 2017: 100 years of Kirby.

Join us this month 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.

The road to appreciating Jack Kirby seems to be different for everyone. If you happened to be reading comics in the 60s when he, Stan Lee, and others built the Marvel Universe, then you found him everywhere. If you came to comics years later, it may have taken a little more digging to discover his legendary talents.

For Gerry Duggan, it took some time to fully understand the full importance of Kirby’s art in establishing the length and breadth of the playground he currently gets to play in.

Though probably most known for his run on DEADPOOL over the years, Duggan also penned UNCANNY AVENGERS and HULK, and currently helms ALL-NEW GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY. While working on those titles he’s come to understand some of the King’s co-creations even better.

We talked with the writer about Kirby’s monsters, mayhem and what the King might have thought of the Merc with a Mouth!

Marvel.com: Do you remember the first time you came across Kirby’s work and what you thought of it?

Gerry Duggan: His [FANTASTIC FOUR] run. Discovering comics in the era before the Internet made comics reading a much different experience. As a kid, I was unaware that the Marvel Universe flowed out of his pencil. It was just a treat to discover that the artist I knew from FANTASTIC FOUR also had runs of UNCANNY X-MEN and AVENGERS to discover. It was only later after reading so much of his work that I realized—wait—it was all Jack and Stan—and friends. A truly astonishing body of work.

Marvel.com: Do you have a favorite era of Jack’s work at Marvel between the Golden Age, the dawn of the Silver Age, or his more unleashed 70s comics?

Gerry Duggan: Sincerely, I love it all, but I’m more partial to the late era Kirby with those crazy double page spreads.

Marvel.com: You mentioned being a fan of Kirby’s monsters. How did you come to those and do you have a particular story that sticks out in your memory as a classic?

Gerry Duggan: Well, I always loved those pre-Avengers stories from Kirby. So many strange and wonderful monsters that could only have sprung from his imagination. Groot of course is one of these creations. Some of my other favorites are Fin Fang Foom and Gorgilla. So much fun.

Marvel.com: You’ve written the X-Men and Hulk before, two properties that people don’t always remember Kirby had a hand in. Did you look back to his early issues when working on those books?

Gerry Duggan: I always revisit Jack’s work from time to time. The last thing I read was his Hulk. My Hulk was a sad tale about the monster getting what he always wanted, but eventually having to accept that it wouldn’t last. His intelligence and independence from Banner were both going to slip away from his hands. I hope [artist Mark Bagley] and I did Jack proud with our year on HULK. It remains one of my favorite collaborations. The cover to my first issue was by Alex Ross—the first time his art was the cover to one of my stories. I have a picture of it in my office. Alex’s Hulk is Jack’s Hulk. It’s such an amazing and powerful image. Very inspiring.

Marvel.com: You’ve done a lot of work with Deadpool. Obviously, he came along years after Kirby’s last Marvel work, but do you see any lineage between Jack and Wade?

Gerry Duggan: Even if we weren’t Jack’s thing, I’d like to think he would have admired the amount of fun and tragedy we crammed into our run. Jack’s work made you feel something. That’s all we’re going for.

Marvel.com: You’ve written Kirby co-creations like Steve Rogers, Human Torch and plenty of others in team books. How much of the original characterization do you reference in those cases?

Gerry Duggan: Particularly with Cap. However with Torch, I had fun with him trying to navigate his world and deal with the loss of not just Reed and Sue, but also the strained relationship with Ben. Families grow, change, and are pulled apart before sometimes snapping back together. I tried to find moments for Johnny where he asked Cable if Reed and Sue ever return in the future. That felt like something he would be preoccupied with. Jack’s Cap is my Cap. When you meet a Nazi, you beat the stuffing out of him and that would be that.

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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Speculate on what’s been stunting Groot’s growth with Gerry Duggan!

Since the start of ALL-NEW GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, Groot’s been stuck in a small state and True Believers across the galaxy have been attempting to guess why.

Normally a giant, the talkin’ tree has been relegated to sapling status—but on September 6 that all changes with ALL-NEW GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #9! Guest artist Mike Hawthorne joins series writer Gerry Duggan to reveal the source of Groot’s problem and where the one-line wonder goes from here.

But before issue #9 officially answers the question, we asked Gerry to give us his thoughts on a few of our reasonable (and unreasonable) theories about the cause of Groot’s perpetually-slight stature.

Marvel.com: Our first guess: there’s a unique frequency in every Electric Light Orchestra song that keeps his species from growing any biggerand he’s just danced to one too many. 

Gerry Duggan: Or fans keep breaking pieces off of him.

Marvel.com: Maybe he got in the way of one of Rocket’s mad science experiments and got blasted, poisoned, or shot into permanent-baby form. 

Gerry Duggan: Well, Groot’s not exactly a baby in All New—he’s just physically diminished. He’s banzai Groot.

Marvel.com: What if Rocket made such a snarky quip that it degraded Groot down to his current state?

Gerry Duggan: No comment is too salty for this team.

Marvel.com: Perhaps, before the start of this series, the Guardians fought some powerful cosmic gardener/Edward Scissor Hands-esque entity that wanted to trim Groot into a beautiful and delicate lawn feature. 

Gerry Duggan: That would be quite a gardener/mohel.

Uncover the mystery at last with ALL-NEW GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #9, by Gerry Duggan and artist Mike Hawthorne, on September 6!

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Gerry Duggan and Scott Koblish prepare to pit the Merc against his one-time partner!

As the Marvel Legacy era begins, the Merc with a Mouth heads back to his murderous roots in DESPICABLE DEADPOOL #287! On October 11, he’s eschewing fame, the Avengers—and even some of his old friends—as the “Deadpool Kills Cable” story arc kicks off from dynamo creative team Gerry Duggan and Scott Koblish.

To prove that he’s back to his lethal origins, Wade Wilson has chosen Nathan Summers—the guy he spent an entire series with in the mid-2000s—as his first target.

We chatted up artist Scott Koblish and Editor Jordan D. White to find out what turned these two former friends against each other.

Marvel.com: Deadpool’s not exactly known for taking big events seriously, but how does this tale tie into Marvel Legacy?

Jordan D. White: Deadpool began his existence as an X-villain in NEW MUTANTS and then X-FORCE before he became the hero of his own stories. Even then, when his series began, he wasn’t a straight-up hero—he was a long way from the Avenger we’ve seen in recent years. He was a mercenary, killing people for money.

For a while now, he’s been trying—really trying hard—to be a better person. To be a hero, like the Marvel mainstays he admires. Unfortunately, every time he strikes a heroic pose, fate takes the opportunity to kick him where it counts. So he’s giving up on good—and doubling down on his roots.

Marvel.com: Killing Cable seems a little extreme, even for Wade. What brings about this change of heart?

Jordan D. White: In addition to being disillusioned with the side of the angels, Deadpool has made some pretty dark deals to protect the ones he loves. To protect his daughter, he made a deal with Cable’s evil clone/nemesis, Stryfe. Stryfe saved his daughter’s life (along with three other people), so now Deadpool owes him four deaths. Guess whose name appears first on his pointy-armored list?

Marvel.com: Deadpool’s currently spending his time backing Steve Rogers without fully committing to Hydra. Does that lead into this at all?

Jordan D. White: It does, in that Deadpool has just pretty visibly backed the wrong horse in a hugely public way. He went along with Hydra’s takeover, was a member of their Avengers…and on a more personal note to the good guys, he killed everyone’s favorite S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, Phil Coulson. If you know Deadpool…the thing he wants more than anything else is to be accepted for who he is. Secret Empire serves as a pretty big setback to that, which sends him in a bit of a downward spiral.

Marvel.com: Scott, how do Deadpool and Cable differ when it comes to fighting one another? How do their different approaches to combat come across on the page?

Scott Koblish: I think of Cable as more of a tank and Deadpool as more of a sports-car. Even though Cable is a mutant and Deadpool is a mutate, both men lean heavily on their use of weapons, although Cable uses more fantastical choices—bigger, more bizarre, and futuristic weapons. Cable recently has been leaning on Belle, the personification of the tech in his arm, and it’s been fun exploring what Gerry has come up with for Deadpool to counter her contributions to the fight. Weapon-wise, Deadpool will use anything to get his point across and you can even see that in the first page of issue #287.

By the way, the Legacy numbering has been a lot of fun for me to think about—I’m trying to make this the best Marvel #287 ever—even if that means I have to fight against issues like FANTASTIC FOUR #287 and UNCANNY X-MEN #287. I can assure you, I am swinging to take them down! We’ll do our best to make the deaths of Malcolm and Randall a distant memory!

Marvel.com: Jordan, how does Cable respond to Wade’s lethal new point of view?

Jordan D. White: If he’s a really good friend to Wade, he will probably say, “What do you want to do? Kill me? Well, buddy—of course I’ll support you in all things and help in any way you need.” But I suspect he may not be that good of a friend.

Marvel.com: Scott, you’re no stranger to Deadpoolhow is it chronicling this next phase in his evolution?

Scott Koblish: Over the last few years I’ve tried to explore a number of artistic flavors with Deadpool. For the most part, I was able to focus on the humorous and wacky aspects of the character—DEADPOOL: FLASHBACKS and DEADPOOL’S ART OF WAR come to mind—but this is the first time I’ve gotten to draw Wade in a real desperate and angry place.

It’s been enjoyable—I am trying to broaden my range and really sell Wade’s terrible situation following the events of Secret Empire. There is still some humor here and there, but selling a joke isn’t my focus on this arc; the thing I’m focused on here is selling Wade’s more despicable behavior. It’s no more Mr. NicePool.

Marvel.com: You’ve worked with Gerry on this character a number of times before. How would you say your collaborative relationship has evolved?

Scott Koblish: Gerry is fantastic, just a top-notch all-around great guy and a really exceptional writer—I love working with him. Every script he comes up with, I can easily and quickly visualize it in my mind. We’ve worked in a variety of ways at this point, from full-script to the old Marvel plot-style. I really like being challenged and Gerry can be counted on to push me in a lot of really great ways. We’re building on what came before, as well as striking out in directions Deadpool hasn’t explored in a while, so hopefully the reader will click with what we’re doing here. I love what the Deadpool team has come up with for this part of Deadpool’s life, and I can’t wait to see what everyone thinks of issue #287 when they have it in their hot hands!

DESPICABLE DEADPOOL #287, by writer Gerry Duggan and artist Scott Koblish, hits shelves on October 11!

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Gerry Duggan digs in on how his cosmic dream team gets along!

We’ve all seen the heroism of the Avengers and the X-Men, but another team always seems to have all the fun: the Guardians of the Galaxy. These seemingly mismatched personalities find themselves facing some pretty insane situations, and they’ve build deep bonds along the way. But as we’ll see in issue #4 of ALL-NEW GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, the group’s interpersonal relationships can get a little dicey at times.

We asked writer Gerry Duggan for his insights on the ways in which each character’s personality and background impact the group dynamics.

Marvel.com: Rocket, of course, has a bit of an impulsive streak and, even though he has a good heart, he has a pretty salty attitude. Does this impact his relationship with the others?

Gerry Duggan: Yeah, I think so. Opportunistic beings are always good to have around; they’ll maybe be able to sniff out an exit strategy that you might not have thought of. In the second arc, Rocket will get a very surprising role on the team, and it’s one that I don’t think he would pick for himself, but it’s going to be one that he will come to really enjoy and relish.

Marvel.com: We’re going to see more of a focus on Gamora shortly, and she’ll get the Guardians into some trouble. She still has a bit of a loner’s attitude, even though she cares about the team. Does this affect the group dynamics?

Gerry Duggan: She definitely is not afraid to pull the group in the direction that she needs. And that’s actually what we’ll come to see as one of the driving forces of the first arc; her personal quest will either become a Guardian’s quest, or it will mean that she’ll have to leave the team.

The Guardians are, though, pretty rugged individualists. They do understand that they all have very different personal goals, even though they may be working side by side. So far they’ve been able to make that work. But I foresee a future where that may not always be possible with this group.

Marvel.com: Groot appears in his baby form in the book. How does this change the way they approach their gigs?

Gerry Duggan: What [“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” director] James Gunn and his collaborators have done is great. In our book, even though it looks very much like he might be a baby, I view the Groot that artist Aaron Kuder is drawing more as being diminished, and not necessarily as being a baby. And at the end of the first issue, we begin to see why Groot is diminished.

All-New Guardians of the Galaxy #4 cover by Aaron Kuder

Marvel.com: Peter Quill, Star-Lord, has a tendency toward sarcasm, which comes off as very funny at the right moment but I think it could also be perceived as inappropriate at times. What do you think the others think of that? Does it ever get in the way?

Gerry Duggan: There’s an issue coming up, issue #4, that really sees Quill grab the bull by the horns and attempt to [solve] a problem, and that’s maybe the Peter Quill that used to grab for the Cosmic Cube and that sort of thing. So he definitely has a mouth on him, and that can get him into trouble, but I think it comes from a place of confidence in his abilities. And it has served him well so far.

Marvel.com: In this book, we find Drax trying to remain a pacifist—what impact does that have on the group?

Gerry Duggan: It’s much to Quill’s chagrin. And it’s made a joke of by everyone but Drax. And very transparently, for me as a writer, it’s an opportunity for a couple of gags for sure. But it also is very much coming from a crisis in Drax, and a sense of insecurity that has taken hold of him since we last saw him at the end of Brian Michael Bendis’s volume. So something happens there that makes him question the use of violence. And I should say, he’s trying to swear it off—how successful he’ll be by the end of the first arc is very much up for debate. But we’ll reveal why, and eventually he will have a bit of a reckoning. But for now I’m having fun watching Drax try and balance on this beam.

Marvel.com: Would you like to mention anything else?

Gerry Duggan: We have our first guest issue coming up with artist Frazer Irving in a Gamora-centric chapter that will explain a little bit more about what Gamora’s going through. And it will really be the catalyst for a lot of story that is to come. It will really change some people’s ideas about where this story is going to go, I think.

See the cosmic heroes on display on ALL-NEW GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #2, coming May 24 by Gerry Duggan and Aaron Kuder, then Gamora goes solo with artist Frazer Irving on June 7, and Kuder returns for issue #4 on June 21!

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Gerry Duggan helps us overthink Wade Wilson’s next move!

Wade Wilson returns to Earth on June 14 in DEADPOOL #32 written by Gerry Duggan with art by Matteo Lolli, and we’re all wondering if he’ll be adding that Hydra green to his could-be Christmas-themed wardrobe. Unfortunately for us Duggan remains stoically tight lipped about what’s in store for the Merc with a Mouth as Secret Empire creeps its way over, but he did let slip a few cryptic pieces of information that we will, of course, read way too far into.

First we set the scene: Wade and Steve Rogers showcase almost polar opposites. On the one hand you have the original Captain America, whose father died young but his loving mother raised him. Plagued by a sense of duty and honor he went on to participate in a super soldier program leaving him the epitome of an American hero: strong, handsome and just. While on the other hand, Wade rebelled into delinquency until he became a mercenary and, eventually, a participant in a super solider program that left him horribly disfigured.

But Wade has always looked up to Captain America and Duggan says the upcoming issue bridges that gap, showing readers what happened leading up to Secret Empire that affects Wade. “His moral compass definitely spins sometimes and he uses Steve as his true North,” explains the writer, “I think they’d both agree that he is at his best under the guidance of Captain America. That may not be the case forever, but right now he has no reason not to trust Captain America.” But what if Steve doesn’t point true North anymore?

Leading us to our first clue, Duggan let slip that Deadpool has already made some decisions that will prevent him from going back, if he chooses to do so, once Steve Rogers has his big Hydra reveal. “He understood there would be good days and bad, recently there have just been more bad, but he hasn’t realized that he bet on the wrong horse,” he reveals, “When Captain America says jump you don’t even ask how high, you just jump.”

Deadpool #32 cover by David Lopez

Duggan continues, “We know Steve Rogers is a bad guy, but you can have more than one bad guy. We’ll see how it goes with our choice of bad guys.” Oh man, I think that means another seemingly good guy but actually a bad guy mastermind lurks behind everything. You could assume that applies to Deadpool, “His best friend’s name is Hydra Bob, so if anyone would be comfortable with a status quo shift it would be Deadpool,” notes Duggan.

And our last cliffhanger: “The country is changing. Captain America is changing. We’re using the opportunity to change Wade’s life in a very big way,” tease Duggan, mysteriously adding, “You’re going to have to retitle the book.”

I can’t even begin to imagine what this means…it’s a self-titled book. Is Deadpool not actually Deadpool…do we find out that Wade Wilson died and someone has been pretending to be him? “He has a mutant daughter now so that can affect his decision making,” Duggan concludes. “The big thing about Secret Empire is what you’re willing to do for family; Ellie will factor in.”

Your guess is literally as good as mine in this case, so be sure to check out DEADPOOL #32, out June 14, and find out just what Gerry Duggan and Matteo Lolli have in store for us!

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Reflect on how she became the most dangerous woman in the galaxy!

In the upcoming ALL-NEW GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #3 on June 7, the spotlight will be turned on Gamora. Many know her as the “most dangerous woman in the galaxy,” but how exactly did she earn that title?

We caught up with writer Gerry Duggan about some of the moments from Gamora’s past that have helped contribute to her reputation.

Marvel.com: Thanos raised Gamora and trained her to function as a weapon. She has moved on from that, but it still has to have an impact.

Gerry Duggan: Yeah, for sure. That’s something we remind people of in our book. We have a Gamora-centric issue of GUARDIANS in issue #3 that will complicate her story a little bit. But yes, she was raised to be a weapon and actually passed at taking her shot at [Thanos] at the end of the Brian Michael Bendis run. And so, what does that do to you? So much of her life was dedicated to this vengeance that she sort of rose above. In our team dynamic at the moment, Drax is trying to turn away from violence with somewhat limited success, whereas Gamora seems very quick, at the start of our story, to embrace violence. And we’ll see why she feels that way—because of an experience that she had after she left Earth—so I’m excited to see what readers think of that.

Marvel.com: She’s the sole surviving member of her species, which must mess with her head.

Gerry Duggan: Oh yeah. There are a lot of very interesting cosmic characters that are the last of their kind. And it’s tough because Thanos was not her only tormentor, of course. Her parents were attacked by a death cult and Thanos sort of rebuilt her. He had a perverse love for her, but really she was sort of a hobby for him. She was a creature who, rather than kill, he tried to mold into his own image. But at least at the start of this particular volume, we cleared out Thanos, I’m not writing him at the moment. But that doesn’t mean that Gamora has found peace. In fact, she’s suffering from hoping to have found peace and not found it. And this happens because she turned down the opportunity to kill Thanos on Earth. That raises other questions, and it’s like an emotional blockage for her. She comes to realize something pretty startling and dark about herself if it proves to be true.

All-New Guardians of the Galaxy #3 cover by Aaron Kuder

Marvel.com: She has gone through a lot. Brushes with death, having her spirit inside the Soul Gem, and more. This probably makes her more of a risk-taker, since other dangers might seem less severe by comparison.

Gerry Duggan: I think the experience of having died and come back to life would always change someone. It’ll be interesting, as we explore the repercussions of a resurrection. That’s something that you can expect to see in the future pages of GUARDIANS.

Marvel.com: Before her time with the Guardians of the Galaxy, we saw Gamora as a fighter basically out on her own, which probably contributed to her reputation.

Gerry Duggan: Yes, and I think the gift that Brian Michael Bendis gave her, the ability to transcend her sworn vengeance and turn away from that, may have some other repercussions. And you’ll see how she has changed moving forward.

Marvel.com: Now she has something to fight for. She cares about the Guardians, and having a reason to fight, in many ways, makes her even stronger.

Gerry Duggan: She’s willing to fight and die for her friends. That’s something you’re always going to want when you’re in a high-risk environment, and on a high-risk team like the Guardians. But you know, she will also be causing her friends some distress; not intending to do so, but it comes with the territory. You hope your friends will be there to get you out of trouble, but she’s going to be getting her friends into trouble, as well.

Try to keep pace with the most dangerous woman in the galaxy on June 7 with ALL-NEW GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #3 by Gerry Duggan and Frazer Irving!

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