Gerry Duggan previews the third act of his cosmic odyssey!

Written by Jess Harrold

The Infinity Stones have returned to the Marvel Universe, and the race is already on to find them. But when INFINITY COUNTDOWN ends, INFINITY WARS begins! Here, writer Gerry Duggan and editor Jordan D. White discuss the cosmic event to end all cosmic events!

Marvel: Gerry, you followed up ALL-NEW GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY with INFINITY COUNTDOWN, and now it’s time to ask you the big question: what are you counting down to?

Gerry Duggan: Guardians was the first act—and as big as Countdown is, it was the second act. INFINITY WARS contains the last act of my cosmic story.

Marvel: What can you tell us about the state of Marvel’s cosmos when Countdown ends?

Jordan D. White: Well, I don’t want to spoil the ending of Countdown, but suffice it to say possession of a couple of the Infinity Stones has yet to be completely settled until Countdown comes to a close. When it does, the stage will be set at last for the requiem of the Infinity Stones to begin, driving us toward Infinity’s end! We are going to learn a lot about the Infinity Stones, how they work and why. And we’re going to see some…interesting combinations of characters, let’s say. Ones no one is expecting, that is for sure.

Marvel: Can we expect to see the Guardians of the Galaxy front and center?

Gerry Duggan: Yes and no. They’ll play a part, but the Stones are scattered and in a lot of different hands. Some of those hands are very happy to be holding the one rock they have. Others will want to assemble the entire set. Yes, it will be a big story, but it’s also going to be a lot of fun. The first act of INFINITY WARS is like The Warriors—if each gang had a magic rock. Most of the Marvel “families” will be represented in one way or another. This story began in space, continues on Earth…and ends up somewhere new.

Marvel: Anything Infinity-related tends to involve a certain Mad Titan, who is making major waves in other media this year. What is Thanos up to during your story?

Gerry Duggan: He’s one of my favorite parts of this tale. I think his appearance in the PRIME issue will set a new tone for him and drive home that this is, in fact, a very different Thanos story, with some unexpected dividends in the back end.

Marvel: Obviously, “Infinity” is a word with quite some pedigree in the Marvel Universe. Were you a fan of Jim Starlin’s original INFINITY GAUNTLET/WAR/CRUSADE trilogy—and indeed Starlin’s cosmic storytelling in general?

Gerry Duggan: I love Starlin’s work. His collaborations were always so big and bold. That said, this is a different story. I don’t want to be anyone’s cover band. I know readers love Jim’s work as much as I do. I’m borrowing the toys to tell a different tale.

Marvel: Gerry certainly has taken Marvel’s cosmos in a very different direction—and one unique to him. Since he’s describing this book as his “final act,” it seems like a good opportunity to ask you, Jordan, what have you enjoyed about his stewardship of the Guardians of the Galaxy and the rest of the Marvel cosmos?

Jordan D. White: Working with Gerry is terrific—he and I share so much when it comes to sensibilities. We both come at even the most dramatic story from the structure of comedy, in an odd way. Which is not to say the story is a gag—far from it. The “punchline” in Gerry’s cosmic tales is more punch than line, and it’s going to knock people off their feet.

Marvel: Speaking of knocking folks off their feet, you have an art team capable of doing just that on INFINITY WARS, right?

Gerry Duggan: It will be worth it for Mike Deodato Jr. and Frank Martin’s work alone. They are so great. This is the best work I’ve seen from them, and best of all we’ve been at this long enough that they will be providing art for the entire run. I went to New York for a one-day meeting about this story at the end of last year, and we had a blast cooking up some of our biggest ideas. I’m really happy with what we’re going to get away with.

Marvel: So if your story was this year’s big movie, what would the trailer guy say about it?

Gerry Duggan: Not a damn thing. I’d kill him first.

The battle begins with INFINITY WARS: PRIME #1, on sale July 25!

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Get ready for more info from Marvel at C2E2!

The reach of INFINITY COUNTDOWN has expanded to every corner of the multiverse, but the question remains…Countdown to what?

This July, writer Gerry Duggan, artist Mike Deodato Jr., and colorist Frank Martin answer that query with one word that resounds throughout infinity: War.

In INFINITY WARS: PRIME #1, the heroes and villains of the Marvel Universe reap what they sow as their frantic search for the Infinity Stones leads to cosmic madness like never before. The simmering events of recent months spiral into something much, much bigger in this colossal story.

Prepare to hear all the details from Marvel at C2E2 on April 6-8—but for now, take a look at the Mike Deodato Jr. cover for issue #1.

Infinity Wars: Prime #1 cover by Mike Deodato Jr.

Get ready for INFINITY WARS: PRIME #1, by Gerry Duggan, Mike Deodato Jr., and Frank Martin, this July!

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Going Rogue with writer Gerry Duggan!

Deadpool’s got a few names that he needs to cross off a kill list, or Stryfe will have his head. Of course, for Deadpool, losing his head isn’t necessarily a big deal—but still, he’s looking at other options. And in writer Gerry Duggan and artist Matteo Lolli‘s DESPICABLE DEADPOOL #293 (out today!), the Regenerating Degenerate continues his “Bucket List” story by meeting up with an old friend—Rogue.

We grabbed a minute with writer Gerry Duggan to see what to expect from the Merc’s latest misadventure.

Marvel.com: Deadpool’s already deviated from his deal with Stryfe, so just how hard will this come back to bite him?

Gerry Duggan: He’s tried to cheat and Stryfe has checkmated him at every turn, so in the last act of our story Deadpool is a beaten man, and resigned to give the devil his full due.

Marvel.com: Wade reacted pretty harshly when Stryfe told him his next target was Evan Sabahnur, A.K.A. Genesis. While you’re putting the Despicable back in Deadpool here; would Wade ever consider going through with that assignment?

Gerry Duggan: Boy, that would be messed up, right?

Marvel.com: Oh, dear. Last issue, Deadpool brought Hydra Cap, A.K.A. “Stevil Rogers,” an Inland Taipan snake to keep him company in prison. What led you (or Wade) to that specific breed of serpent?

Gerry Duggan: Wade googled the “world’s most venomous snake” and that was the one he could get his hands on.

Marvel.com: Wade threatened to take a piece off of Stevil’s body every time he visits him going forward. What piece would you say Wade would take first?

Gerry Duggan: He took his toilet and his sleep first. His nose goes next.

Marvel.com: Rogue’s back to endure more of her testy relationship with the Merc—what made you want to bring her into this story?

Gerry Duggan: I love them together, and apart.

Marvel.com: Wade needs to get his affairs in order, can you tease what’s next on his “Bucket List”?

Gerry Duggan: He’s got one more target to take out to make sure the people he got too close to will be safe…

Gerry Duggan and artist Matteo Lolli’s DESPICABLE DEADPOOL #293 is available today—January 31!

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Gerry Duggan and Aaron Kuder on setting up a new mystery in the upcoming limited series.

The Infinity Stones are cropping up across the galaxy and you just know everyone wants a piece of the action. Heroes and villains alike will clash in the pages of INFINITY COUNTDOWN by Gerry Duggan and Aaron Kuder. And make no mistake, things are about to get ugly during this five-part series, which kicks off March 7, following a one-shot prelude, INFINITY COUNTDOWN PRIME #1 (by Duggan and Mike Deodato), on February 21.

For a more in-depth preview into the upcoming struggle, Marvel.com spoke with Duggan and Kuder about why the stones are cropping up and now and the tempting sway they hold over the entire Marvel Universe.

Marvel.com: Why do you think the Infinity Stones hold such influence over the Marvel Universe, aside from their immense power?

Gerry Duggan: The Infinity Stones are dumb rocks that sometimes bang together yielding spectacular results. We’re more interested in what happens to the people holding them, and what happens after. Strictly speaking they’re wonderful MacGuffins, but we’ve all seen Thanos in his gauntlet armed with immense power. We’re telling a very different story.

Aaron Kuder: Without their power the stones wouldn’t be anything special. Even if each stone only had a lot of power (in the sense of energy sources), that in itself wouldn’t be all that interesting. It’s the unique nature of each stone, Time, Reality, Power, Mind, Soul, Space, and the way they become something greater than the sum of their parts that makes them the universe’s most powerful and dangerous items. Any one of them could give someone the master over that specific element, combining any two could conceivably make someone the most dominate creature in the universe.

Marvel.com: What’s causing the stones to reappear across the galaxy and who are some of the major players after them?

Gerry Duggan: The universe exists and so do the stones. They’re the source codes for the Marvel Universe. They can be destroyed, but they must reappear elsewhere. The stones are different now, and they work differently. It’s a mystery as to the why. The mystery will be solved later in 2018.

Infinity Countdown #1

Marvel.com: In the first issue we’ll see a race to the Power Stone, which has grown to the size of a building. Why is that?

Gerry Duggan: It’s a very good question. One that will be answered at least later in INFINITY COUNTDOWN. Obviously it is different than we’ve seen it before, but then again, the Marvel Universe is different since we’ve last seen the stones.

Marvel.com: What’s the worst case scenario in this series if these stones fall into the wrong hands?

Gerry Duggan: Since I’m writing it the argument could be made they’re already in the wrong hands. But I think you’ll see the answer to your question play out in INFINITY COUNTDOWN.

Aaron Kuder: Worst case scenario? Death would be a mercy.

Marvel.com: How big of a scope did you want the story to have?

Gerry Duggan: This is the biggest story I’ve told on the Marvel stage, and I’ve told some pretty big stories in the last five years. I hope readers will enjoy reading it as much as we’re digging it behind the scenes. Sure, some big, heavy stuff is going to happen, but it’s going to be a hell of a lot of fun.

Aaron Kuder: It’s a pretty huge cast of characters, that’s for sure… And it is spread pretty widely across the stars. No corners left untouched.

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Hear new details about Infinity Countdown from Gerry Duggan, plus so much more!

Get in here and celebrate with This Week in Marvel, the one and only official Marvel podcast, brought to you by Hasbro!

Review the biggest comics of the week, including ALL-NEW WOLVERINEFALCON, and RUNAWAYS, with Ryan, Ben and Maggie. Check in for a riveting INFINITY COUNTDOWN discussion with Ben and writer Gerry Duggan and check out the exclusive pages below from Mike Deodato and Aaron Kuder! The West Coast crew drops knowledge on all things TV, movies, and games! Then come back home and join Ryan and Ben for a very special holiday edition of #TWIMURC, featuring stories the boys wrote themselves!

Download episode #320 of This Week in Marvel from Marvel.com, check out Marvel Podcast Centralgrab the TWiM RSS feed and subscribe to This Week in Marvel on iTunes, so you never miss an episode! We are now also on Soundcloud! Head over now to our new hub to listen to the full run of This Week in Marvel!

This Week in Marvel will focus on delivering all the Marvel info on news and new releases–from comics to video games to toys to TV to film and beyond! New episodes will be released every Friday (or so) and TWiM is co-hosted by Marvel VP & Executive Editor of Digital Media Ryan “Agent M” Penagos and Marvel Editorial Director of Digital Media Ben Morse, along with Marvel.com Editor Eric Goldman, Marvel.com Assistant Editor Christine Dinh, and Manager of Video & Content Production Blake Garris. We also want your feedback, as well as questions for us to answer on future episodes!  Tweet your questions, comments and thoughts about TWiM to @AgentM@BenJMorse@chrissypedia or @Marvel with the hashtag #ThisWeekinMarvel!

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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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