With Guardians of the Galaxy - Monsters After Dark now open, a fascinating conversation took place.

An impressive group of creative minds – including scientists, explorers and storytellers – gathered together this week at Disney California Adventure at the Disneyland Resort for a special event billed as the Disney Parks Blog Galactic Meet-Up.

Panelists Capt. Mike Foreman (retired NASA astronaut), Dr. Kimberly Ennico Smith (NASA Astrophysicist), Stephen Wacker (Vice President of Development, TV and New Media, Marvel Entertainment), John Mauro (Regional Executive Producer, Walt Disney Imagineering) and Amy Jupiter (Executive Media Producer, Walt Disney Imagineering) joined moderator and event organizer Erin Glover (Editorial Content Director, Disneyland Resort) to discuss how science influences storytelling – and how fictional and fantastical stories can inspire scientists and lead to real life breakthroughs.

Check out the video above to see an overview of the event and some of the highlights from the evening, which included character appearances by the likes of Star-Lord and Gamora!

The event came on the heels of the recent debut of the new Halloween-inspired version of the popular Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout attraction called Guardians of the Galaxy – Monsters After Dark, which Mauro and Jupiter had both worked on. The panelists had all gone on the attraction together the night of the event, and as an expert on the subject, Foreman said he did indeed feel zero gravity for a moment during Monsters After Dark, though he laughed that it’s even more fun to spend “a couple of weeks in zero gravity.”

Even at their most fantastical, Smith said she felt stories like the ones Marvel tell, “throw in an element of truth,” and serve as inspiration for real life scientists as herself. Said Wacker, “The foundation of everything we do is built on that grain of hopefulness and wish fulfillment.”

Smith said that at NASA, they like to begin by asking, “What if? What if you could do that?”

Maura noted that at Disney Imagineering as well, “We ask ‘What if’ all the time,” to which Wacker replied, “’What if’ was a Marvel comic!”

The special Halloween Time version of Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT!, Guardians of the Galaxy – Monsters After Dark can be seen now through October 31st at Disney California Adventure.

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Help #SaveGroot at Disney California Adventure beginning September 15th.

Since it opened, Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! has been a big success at Disney California Adventure park and now guests will be able to experience the attraction in a whole new way with Guardians of the Galaxy – Monsters After Dark.

Part of the expansion of Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort to Disney California Adventure park, the Guardians of the Galaxy – Monsters After Dark adventure picks up moments after the events of Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! attraction. The Guardians have successfully escaped The Collector’s Fortress, but they have accidentally left Groot behind! Rocket enlists you to distract the creatures that have been accidentally released inside The Collector’s Fortress so he can find and rescue his little buddy. While The Collector’s ever-resourceful assistant, Apheta, may try to assure you that it is all just a momentary setback, you’re advised to proceed with caution!

By day, Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! will continue to operate as normal, but once the sun sets each evening during Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort, it will transform into Guardians of the Galaxy – Monsters After Dark. Music continues to be at the heart of the experience, and an all-new song, “Monsters After Dark,” was created especially for this attraction by Tyler Bates, composer of the “Guardians of the Galaxy” films.

You can help #SaveGroot at Guardians of the Galaxy – Monsters After Dark, only during Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort, September 15-October 31!

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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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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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'Guardians of the Galaxy,' 'Avengers,' and more heading to your favorite parks soon!

True Believers! At D23 Expo today, Disney Parks Chairman Bob Chapek announced that a ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ attraction was coming to Epcot in Florida. Looking ahead to the 50th Anniversary of Walt Disney World, a brand-new E-ticket attraction based on the rockin’ and action-packed world of Guardians of the Galaxy will be among their exciting plans. The Guardians-inspired attraction will be added to Future World.

The Marvel love isn’t just limited to Disney Parks in the United States. The Walt Disney Parks & Resorts panel revealed a new hotel called Disney’s New York Hotel – The Art of Marvel will be coming to Disneyland Paris!

Chapek announced the “reImagination” of the Disney’s Hotel New York into a new Marvel-themed wonderland filled with all your favorite Marvel characters, including Iron Man, The Avengers, Spider-Man and more. Located steps from the Disney Village and theme parks at Disneyland Paris, Disney’s New York Hotel art deco style and contemporary décor will be the perfect place to spotlight favorite Marvel heroes and villains.

“We’re going to create a hotel at Disneyland Paris that would make Tony Stark proud,” Chapek said. “I’m thrilled to announce that Disney’s Hotel New York – The Art of Marvel will transport our guests to the action-packed, inspiring world of superheroes including Iron Man, The Avengers, and Spider Man among others!” Disneyland Paris is currently in the midst of a stunning 25th Anniversary Celebration.

Lastly and certainly not least, we’ve teased it before, but Chapek gave a hint at what’s to come next for some of your favorite Super Heroes at Disney California Adventure park. Soon, the Guardians of the Galaxy will be joined by Spider-Man and the Avengers in what will become a completely immersive super hero universe at the park!

These new stories will build on the success of the new and already popular Guardians of the Galaxy — Mission: BREAKOUT! and create a place where you can team up with your favorite Super Heroes like never before.

Stay tuned to Marvel.com and the Disney Parks Blog for more updates on new happenings from our colleagues at Walt Disney World, Disneyland Paris, Disney California Adventure park and more!

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Get a glimpse into Rocket Raccoon's origins in Episode Two 'Under Pressure' starting June 6!

It’s time to get to know your favorite trash panda! We just dropped the first trailer for ‘Under Pressure,’ the second of five Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series episodes, which will be available starting June 6. Watch it above!

The Guardians just can’t seem to outrun the past (or their tab), but if they figure out how to control the untold power of their mysterious new relic, they might not have to. With help from dubious old friends and unwilling new allies, Star-Lord and company scour the galaxy for answers. But how long can they elude the genocidal maniac hunting them? And will simmering tensions finally tear the team apart?

Download ‘Under Pressure’ for $4.99 USD or equivalent. Individual episodes, and the series as a whole, can be downloaded on PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system, Xbox One®, Windows PC, and Mac, as well as the App Store® and Google Play™. The series is also available as a special ‘Season Pass Disc’ at retailers across North America for an MSRP of $29.99 USD, and at retailers elsewhere across the globe. The special ‘Season Pass Disc’ includes episode one ‘Tangled Up in Blue’ and grants access to download the subsequent four episodes via online updates as they are released in the coming months of 2017. Additional platforms for release are yet to be announced.

For all upcoming news on the series, sign on for updates on the official website, like ‘Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series‘ page on Facebook, and follow Telltale Games on Twitter @TelltaleGames.

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Chad Bowers and Chris Sims send the space heroes into Secret Empire!

Everybody and their father has been talking about the release of “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” but what do Star-Lord and his intergalactic crew have going on in the comics, particularly in the wake of Secret Empire? Mentally prepare yourself.

As an unstoppable Chitauri army attacks Earth on behalf of a Hydra-fied S.H.I.E.L.D., an impenetrable forcefield erected by a reality-altered evil Steve Rogers keeps the planet’s heroes off-world. We spoke to ALL-NEW GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY ANNUAL #1 writers Chad Bowers and Chris Sims—who team with artist Danilo Beyruth for the June 28-shipping special—about just what Peter Quill and friends plan to do about all this.

Marvel.com: How was it writing an annual set to go out right around the same time as a new Guardians movie? Do you see the comics as a point of accessibility to people who are getting into it because of the films?

Chad Bowers: Oh, yeah, that’s my absolute hope. I hope some people come out of the theater and drive down to the comic book store and see this next month and are all about it. That’s kind of the goal, to make sure that people [who] want more from the movie have an outlet for that. [Laughs] Yeah, it’s obviously no coincidence that several of the new characters from the new movie are in our book. We wanted to make sure we focused on those guys who the spotlight was on.

Marvel.com: So if the Secret Empire aren’t the big bad in this issue, do you focus more on the Chitauri? Or are there other enemies to contend with as well?

Chad Bowers: [The Chitauri are] sort of just a background force in our book. We don’t really go face-to-face with them; they’re a threat that’s just on the outside of our story. Honestly, I didn’t give a lot of thought to them. I tried not to put too much on who it was but rather on this thing that was looming and impending. It’s certainly a big idea because the way that the Chitauri have been portrayed in the main book is as this unlimited force battering away at people. Thinking of them as this weird limitless enemy is something we played with because it makes the stakes that much higher.

Chris Sims: Well, to talk about the enemies of the story, Yondu plays a big part, too. Yondu and the Ravagers are in there. Chad’s big high concept when we started pitching it, though, is that there was an old issue of the ‘90s GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY and it was set in the future and the cover has the blurb “Planet of the Punishers.” The idea is that, you know, in the 30th century the future versions of the Guardians come down to Earth and there’s this cult that worships Frank Castle and all these people in Punisher costumes who are attacking them.

Chad Bowers: At the time, I guess they were trying to keep people’s interest by getting as crazy as they could with the concepts and stuff, but that issue had a huge impact on me when I was a kid. I just loved the idea. Even just the title—“Planet of the Punishers”—is great. Visually it’s really cool, too. It almost has this European graphic novel feel to it, like a Mobius.

All-New Guardians of the Galaxy Annual #1 cover by David Nakayama

Chris Sims: But in Marvel comics, there’s Frank Castle as The Punisher and then there are Galactus’ killbots that are also called Punishers, so we wanted to take the idea of “Planet of the Punishers” and do it in a way that was, like, cosmic. So the big obstacle that they face in the annual is the planet entirely populated by Galactus’ Punisher robots. We thought that would be a really fun enemy for them.

Marvel.com: What’s really cool about the Guardians is that their fighting styles are so specialized from team member to team member, physically and philosophically. How does that come into play against all these different enemies and the question of whether or not the Earth even can be saved?

Chris Sims: It’s really interesting, because Star Lord’s from Earth so he’s very intimately invested in this conflict where the other Guardians aren’t, and that’s a social conflict in our story. Where it begins, Peter has a desperation in him that is really kind of appealing to me on a character level. I mean, they’re desperate enough that Peter is gonna turn to Yondu. Peter is very much invested in trying to save the Earth because even though he’s been out in space for years and years, Earth is his planet. He has a connection to the larger Marvel Universe and to Earth specifically that goes beyond the fact that he’s human. It goes to his friends and the connections he has there.

We start the story start with all the different ways they try to get help and fail. And I think that, with Peter, that builds the desperation. With Rocket, and Gamora, that builds more of the feeling that they’re trying to fix this broken planet.

Chad Bowers: There’s nobody on that team that’s even of the same, like, species; it’s a really fun way to play because you’re not likely to find as diverse a cast in comics as you will [with the] Guardians.

Chris Sims: I think it’s an interesting place to go with the story because what we’re showing is what they kind of agree on as their last attempt to save Earth and whether or not that’s gonna work.

If you go back to the Civil War II stories with the Guardians, like, Rocket hates Earth. Rocket couldn’t care less. Everyone else is sort of trapped in the middle between those two extremes. There’s Peter being like, we need to do this because it’s my home, and Rocket being like, I hate that place. And then Drax is a pacifist and doesn’t really want to get involved in conflict and for Gamora, she sees what’s happening on Earth and she [sees] what Steve Rogers is doing, what the Chitauri are doing, and she thinks they’re essentially fighting a losing battle. Because if they get back to Earth, if they break down the shield… then what? It’s a lost cause for her.

Marvel.com: How does baby Groot feel on the matter?

Chris Sims: I think he feels I am Groot [about it.]

Marvel.com: So if they get the shield down, they’ll have more problems to deal with; how would one even go about fighting against an endless enemy like the Chitauri?

Chad Bowers: Well, that’s a good question; I think the heart of our story is that it doesn’t matter how you take on that enemy as long as you don’t do it by yourself. You find people who are willing to help you and you come at it from every direction with as many allies as you can and that’s what our story’s all about, trying to find help when the world’s falling apart. Though that’s probably not as cool an idea as kung fu.

Check out Chris Sims, Chad Bowers’, and Danilo Beyruth’s ALL-NEW GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY ANNUAL #1 due out June 28.

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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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It’s time to Hero Up at Disney California Adventure Park beginning May 27!

Last weekend, “Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2” blasted its way to the top of the box office charts, and now the cosmic heroes are getting ready to land at Disney California Adventure park. The action kicks off in a big way May 27 with the opening of the all-new Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! and the launch of Summer of Heroes which includes Super Hero fun for everyone!

During “Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Dance Off!” Star-Lord and Gamora return to the Collector’s Fortress to retrieve a special artifact … Star-Lord’s precious boom box. Looking to avoid discovery, they ignite a lively party vibe, enlisting everyone gathered around to help out and show off your favorite dance moves in a rockin’ Dance Off.
And for the first time on Terra (that’s Earth to you and me) you’ll encounter the one-and-only Groot. He arrives on the scene just as the Dance Off is wrapping up, but is happy to stay for a while and visit with everyone as Star-Lord and Gamora make their escape.

Summer of Heroes also brings more excitement across Hollywood Land, including the Avengers Training Initiative featuring Black Widow and Hawkeye and heroic encounters with Black Widow, Captain America and your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. This summer is going to be epic!

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The daughter of Thanos comes to Battlerealm, hunting for vengeance!

Thanos always manages to bring out the worst in people, including his adopted daughter Nebula. Forced to fighter her sister Gamora and mechanically enhanced when she lost, this fierce warrior unleashes her fury and combat prowess on Battlerealm, and if she runs into daddy dearest all the better.

We talked to Kabam Art Director Gabriel Frizzera and Champion Designer Piero Herrera about Nebula and her seriously awesome abilities in “Marvel Contest of Champions.”

Marvel.com: Has Nebula finally found out that Gamora has been hanging out on Battlerealm? Has she entered The Contest looking to take down her sister, or for some more nefarious purpose?

Gabriel Frizzera: The Collector captured both Gamora and Nebula back in 2014, but for some reason preferred to add Gamora to The Contest and keep Nebula in storage—story of her life, really. The Guardians bump into her again when they travel back in time to 2014. All I can say is Nebula might tag along for future adventures, if Gamora and her can make up.

Marvel.com: And what’s going on with the new monthly quest? Can we get some details on that bad boy?

Gabriel Frizzera: This month’s quest, “Guardians Vol. Zero” is a throwback to the distant year of 2014, when The Contest started. Kang the Conqueror—who has a truce with the Avengers—hires the Guardians to salvage the wreck of his ship, the Damocles, where he keeps some important equipment. But Yondu gets there first, and after some shenanigans they’re all accidentally transported two years, four months, and 23 days into the past. Star-Lord sees this as a chance to warn The Collector about releasing Thanos in The Contest, but the time portal is closing; if they don’t find The Collector fast, they might get stuck in the recent past, forever—or I guess they can just wait for two years, four months, and 23 days.

This event is a great chance to look back and fill some of the untold backstory. Like in our new motion comic, where you see into the Collector’s thought process when picking Champions for his brand-new Contest of Champions. His selection process is less than perfect, as you can see here.

Marvel.com: It looks like Nebula is rocking her Ravager outfit from “Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.” What went into making sure her style stayed true to the movie look?

Gabriel Frizzera: We got lots of cool reference ahead of time from Marvel Studios for both Nebula and Yondu that allowed us to build models that are very similar to the movie characters—but of course we infused our own unique Contest style to them!

Marvel.com: Would you mind breaking down her kit for us? She doesn’t have a sword to swing around, but she’s got cybernetic implants and a mean left hook right?

Gabriel Frizzera: We decided to keep the two electric batons she fights with in the first “Guardians” movie, and that’s what Nebula uses most of the time. I think the animation team came [up] with a very unique fighting style that leverages the double weapons. She can also build up energy in her electric arm and discharge a powerful pulse to disable enemies!

Marvel.com: So what exactly is her style? How are we playing her and what do we need to look out for when relentlessly hunting down our sister?

Piero Herrera: Nebula is able to quickly charge up “Electroshock charges” when holding block. Those charges [enable] Nebula to deal high amounts of damage in a very short period of time and also can be used to lock the opponent’s Power Bar, temporarily disabling their ability to get Power. Hold block to get charges, land a Parry, and use Special 1 for Power Lock, or Special 2 for the high Shock damage burst. On top of it, Nebula also has a pretty good Self-Repair ability.

Marvel.com: How does her self-healing compare to some of the other regenerative characters in the game?

Piero Herrera: The way Nebula activates her Self-Repair is quite unique. Whenever she takes a lot of damage from a single hit, she will be able to heal all of the damage taken from that hit if she has a Self-Repair charge ready to be used. This also means that she is very strong against an opponent’s Special 3, since the damage from a Special 3 is just calculated in one big chunk after the cinematic sequence. Basically, the Self-Repair will activate whenever you need it the most.

Marvel.com: And when can we harness Nebula’s fury for ourselves?

Piero Herrera: Nebula is just about ready to start electrifying opponents with her electric arms and energy pulse discharges; be sure to check her out when she comes to The Contest on May 11!

Stay tuned to Marvel.com for more “Marvel Contest of Champions” news and interviews.

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