Family matters on a cosmic scale entangle The Conqueror!

Since the early days of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, Kang the Conqueror has agitated the Avengers and then some with his mastery of multiple eras and desire to add the Marvel Universe to his empire. On November 14, the time tyrant takes on a new role as central antagonist in the “LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2,” creating a campaign that crisscrosses all reality and space.

Before you play the game, discover the story behind this agent of chronological chaos with the History of Kang!

When it comes to a being such as the despotic time “conqueror” known as Kang, the drive to produce offspring takes on new meaning. As we time-stuck individuals discern it, Kang’s disappointment of a “son” Marcus brought chaos and tragedy to many—and illustrated the time-lord’s lack of concern for the destruction his quest for progeny would create.

In a bold move, Kang kidnapped the twin infant children of the mutant Archangel and a woman called Ichisumi. Raising them as a twisted version of a father, he set them on a mission to destroy mutants—but after years of torturing them as a means of training, Eiman and Uriel, now grown into their fantastic abilities, turned on their “benefactor” and attempted to annihilate him in a time storm.

In response, Kang traveled through time to alternate realities and gathered a pseudo-group of anti-Avengers to help exact his revenge. This band of ne’er-do-wells included the Iron Man of 2020, Doom 2099, Stryfe, and the Venom of Earth X. After Eiman and Uriel nearly decimated Earth by coaxing a Celestial to attack it, the Conqueror approached the Avengers Unity Squad and, hiding his sinister intentions, proposed to help them with his time-travel powers.

In the end, Kang revealed his true nature when he moved to seize the Celestial’s power for himself. Having failed, the Conqueror instead stole away with the child of Janet van Dyne, The Wasp, and Alex Summers, the mutant hero called Havok, leaving one more set of parents in anguish over their lost legacy.

Soon after, however, the Inhuman king Black Bolt took his only son Ahura to Kang and asked, unprompted, if the chronal despot would keep and protect the boy. Subsequently, Black Bolt released Terrigen Mist into Earth’s atmosphere to trigger the Inhumans—and arranged for Kang to look after Ahura permanently, to provide him with a safe haven from what he perceived as the impending doom of all things.

Kang then returned to bedeviling his enemies the Avengers, but it appeared to be a “splinter” version of the Conqueror, operating under the alias “Mister Gryphon” and aided by the powerful villain Equinox. That adventure involved the android Vision, who would later decide to end the problem of the Avengers’ longtime foe by removing the infant Kang from his crèche and relocating him to another point in time.

This failed to work as the android Avenger had hoped; instead, it created a new wave of Kang time-attacks on the heroes as infants in the past. In the end, multiple versions of the Conqueror were defeated by the efforts of a different future version—and at a current time, as we see for the moment, he cowers in fear of the Avengers, who aim to find him and do away with him for all eternity.

Check Out: UNCANNY AVENGERS #522; UNCANNY INHUMANS #01; ALL-NEW, ALL-DIFFERENT AVENGERS #6; AVENGERS #14.

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Learn more about the Conqueror's family & friends.

Since the early days of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, Kang the Conqueror has agitated the Avengers and then some with his mastery of multiple eras and desire to add the Marvel Universe to his empire. On November 14, the time tyrant takes on a new role as central antagonist in the “LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2,” creating a campaign that crisscrosses all reality and space.

Before you play the game, discover the story behind this agent of chronological chaos with the History of Kang!

When examining what may only loosely be called the “history” of a time-traveling being such as Kang the Conqueror, it’s inevitable that questions of family and friends will arise. But where Kang’s concerned, such questions become complicated. To quantify personal relationships when one’s timeline loops back and forth on itself might just be the path to madness.

A very personal relationship of the time-despot’s came back to bite him when he enacted a new plan to rule time by building a phalanx of time-plucked titans he dubbed the Anachronauts and set them against the combined might of the Avengers and the Fantastic Four. Ravonna, his beloved princess from the future, appeared to him as Terminatrix and revealed her lust for revenge upon him for past injustices. It seemed battle between the two formerly amorous acquaintances fell into the realm of certainty, until Ravonna witnessed Kang fall from a blow from Thor’s mighty hammer and she swept him away to safety when old feelings for him returned.

Ravonna placed the badly wounded Kang into stasis to heal, but when her subsequent scheme to run his empire crumbled under an attack by a being known as Alioth, she summoned the Avengers to aid her. When she also revived Kang, the time-master felt he’d no choice but to once again ally himself with Earth’s Mightiest heroes, but, with the clever soul he possesses, allowed Alioth to wipe out the Council of Cross-Time Kangs, his sworn enemies.

Not long after the event, as we chronal-stuck entities measure time, Kang once again entered into conflict with Immortus, his future-self, and also with the Time-Keepers. When that group tried to force Kang to evolve into Immortus once and for all, a backlash of energy split the two into actual separate beings, setting even more strife between them into motion.

Later, a fully revived Kang mounted the grandest campaign against the Earth he’d ever attempted. With the Scarlet Centurion, a young man he claimed as his son Marcus, the time-despot landed on Earth and proclaimed that he needed to conquer the planet in order to protect it from dire happenings in its near future. The Avengers of course opposed Kang, but fell after immense battles between the Conqueror’s massive forces and Earth’s meager-by-comparison defenses.

As these things happen, a resistance movement arose when Kang erected internment camps across the globe and tightened his grip upon the populace and its heroes alike. In the end, Marcus moved to betray his father and Kang’s defeat came by personal combat between him and Captain America. Marcus rescued Kang from further humiliation, but the defeated Conqueror killed the Scarlet Centurion and reflected that loyal clones seemed to remain out of his grasp.

To rub further salt into Kang’s deep wounds from family and friends, his younger self, not yet on the path to becoming the Conqueror, learned his fate and stole a set of armor to land in the present day and become the hero Iron Lad. When Kang confronted the wayward youth, Iron Lad killed his future image and, realizing his mistake, forced himself to become the very man he feared he’d become.

Check Out: CAPTAIN AMERICA ANNUAL #11, AVENGERS ANNUAL #21, AVENGERS: THE TERMINATRIX OBJECTIVE, AVENGERS #4155, YOUNG AVENGERS #16

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Death means very little to the Conqueror.

Since the early days of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, Kang the Conqueror has agitated the Avengers and then some with his mastery of multiple eras and desire to add the Marvel Universe to his empire. On November 14, the time tyrant takes on a new role as central antagonist in the “LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2,” creating a campaign that crisscrosses all reality and space.

Before you play the game, discover the story behind this agent of chronological chaos with the History of Kang!

When you’re a time-tripping chrono-despot like Kang the Conqueror, death means very little when somewhere out there in the time-stream there’s another you just waiting to take your place and prove their worth. When we last left Kang, he’d been fried crispy by his own overloaded armor, but as the next phase of his history—which may or may not be accurate in your reality—illustrates, you just can’t keep a good—or bad—Kang down.

Imagine the surprise on the part of the Avengers who took part in the Beyonder’s first great “Secret Wars” when they witnessed their old buddy the Conqueror seemingly hale and hearty and on the side of the villains on Battleworld. Doctor Doom himself described Kang as a future version of himself, but when push came to shove, Doom acted on his own behalf, despite any supposed family ties.

That Kang, or maybe another one, later ended up in front of a trio of Kangs who displayed acute unhappiness over their “brother’s” reckless behavior throughout the time-stream. One of them, known as Kang-Prime, executed a campaign to rid the universe of all other versions of himself, which of course brought him into conflict with the Avengers. Turns out that Immortus—yet another Kang of sorts—pulled the strings on Prime’s actions and after driving the guy mad, Immortus walked away, full of himself and his cleverness.

Still yet another Kang—we think—tumbled into an entire arena filled with thousands and thousands of Kangs who called themselves the Council of Kross-Time Kangs and wanted their wayward brethren to join their ranks. That Conqueror ended up in a scrap with a female version known as Nebula-Kang who sought a powerful weapon and, well, it didn’t go well. Not for Kang or anyone else.

Remember that whole Celestial Madonna thing? Kang did and wanted revenge on Mantis—the Madonna—for fouling things up for him at that time. The Fantastic Four got involved and the whole thing devolved into a fight with a being called Necrodamus and a battle between Kang and the Silver Surfer. Later, the Human Torch caught up with that Kang and while under the influence of Nebula, fried the despot in his own armor.

Then, returning things full circle, Kang—well, it looked like Kang!—allied himself with his ancestor Doctor Doom yet again during that whole Infinity War brouhaha. You can bet that turned out as well as that Secret Wars thing for Kang.

Around that time, Kang decided he needed to knuckle down and show everybody once again why he ranked as one of the great villains of all time. And he did…

Check OutSECRET WARS #1-6. AVENGERS (1963) #267269, #291297. FANTASTIC FOUR #323325, #337341. INFINITY WAR #1-6.

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War in the future, the hunt for the Celestial Madonna, and much more!

Since the early days of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, Kang the Conqueror has agitated the Avengers and then some with his mastery of multiple eras and desire to add the Marvel Universe to his empire. On November 14, the time tyrant takes on a new role as central antagonist in the “LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2,” creating a campaign that crisscrosses all reality and space.

Before you play the game, discover the story behind this agent of chronological chaos with the History of Kang!

After Kang the Conqueror’s initial defeats at the hands of the mighty Avengers, one might think the chronal despot would’ve learned his lesson. Alas, quite the contrary; he reached new levels of villainy during his subsequent gambits, destroying any credit he might’ve gained previously as an honorable opponent.

The Human Torch and The Thing broke up Kang’s attempt to subjugate King Arthur, Merlin the wizard, and the entire membership of the Knights of the Roundtable during medieval times, but the rogue bounced back not long after only to lose his new time-travel craft to Thor’s anger over his Growing Man android.

The same Growing Man later kidnapped a severely injured Tony Stark from his hospital bed under the direction of his master, which prompted the Avengers to confront Kang in his far-future palace. There they learned of their enemy’s bid to save his beloved Ravonna, a dying princess from the future, by playing the so-called “Game of the Galaxies” against the immortal Grandmaster. Kang enlisted Earth’s Mightiest Heroes to fight for him, but proved his mettle as a scoundrel when he tried to kill the Grandmaster.

The Avengers clashed with such game opponents as the Squadron Sinister and the World War II-era Invaders, but in the end, they won their freedom with the help of The Black Knight. Despite his good intentions to rescue Ravonna from the brink of death, Kang instead failed in the challenge and the princess continued to cling to only a shred of life.

After a senseless scramble to use The Hulk to invade the year 1917 and a war in the 23rd century with Zarrko the Tomorrow Man, the Conqueror pulled out all stops to seek out and seduce to his side the legendary Celestial Madonna. Operating out of the old pyramid of one of his alternate previous selves, Rama-Tut, Kang abducted three women from Avengers Mansion and waged war against the heroes with his Legion of the Unliving until the heroes allied themselves with Immortus, yet another time-version of their foe.

The Vietnamese heroine Mantis stood revealed as the Celestial Madonna, but managed to elude Kang’s clutches. The despot trapped the archer Hawkeye in the Old West of 1873, prompting Thor, Moondragon, and Immortus to travel there to mount a rescue. When Thor battled Kang for past and present grievances, the fight rang out over the land until the time lord’s armor overloaded and he seeming perished in a massive dispersal of his personal atoms. Immortus noted that with Kang gone, both he and Rama-Tut would never exist, and so to prove his theory, he faded away into nothingness before the startled eyes of the Avengers.

Check Out: STRANGE TALES #134, THOR #140, AVENGERS (1963) #6977, #131132, #141143, GIANT-SIZE AVENGERS #24, INCREDIBLE HULK #135, MARVEL TEAM-UP (1972) #9-11

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The Conqueror encounters Earth’s Mightiest Heroes for the first time!

Since the early days of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, Kang the Conqueror has agitated the Avengers and then some with his mastery of multiple eras and desire to add the Marvel Universe to his empire. On November 14, the time tyrant takes on a new role as central antagonist in the “LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2,” creating a campaign that crisscrosses all reality and space.

Before you play the game, discover the story behind this agent of chronological chaos with the History of Kang!

When one examines a being such as Kang, a master of time-travel among other incredible accomplishments, one must remember that what we perceive as a linear progression of history here in the present-day may actually not be so according to Kang himself. Slipping in and out of time along his personal chrono-line, he’s created false representations of his career to modern scholars and historians—in essence, simply because one may encounter the man at one time, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not a Kang from an earlier time in his life.

After Nathaniel Richards abandoned the guise of Pharoah Rama-Tut and adopted that of Kang the Conqueror, he entered into direct conflict with the Avengers, and thus created an enmity with Earth’s Mightiest Heroes for all time.

His first sally against the present-day Avengers came during the earliest line-up of the team, but also one of their strongest. Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Giant-Man, and The Wasp responded to a call from the Pentagon to investigate a UFO and instead met Kang in all his new-found glory. The despot explained his past persona as Rama-Tut and then proceeded to proclaim his reign over the planet. The Avengers, of course, defied him and battled until their unfortunate capture.

This first encounter ended when young Rick Jones and his so-called Teen Brigade created a diversion and freed the heroes from Kang’s holding cells, Giant-Man used a new acid-base solvent of his design to destroy much of the Conqueror’s personal equipment, and the despot escaped back to the future to lick his wounds. During the battle, the heroes found Kang to be arrogant, full of his own superiority, and disdainful of anything the present-day could offer next to his own 30th century technology.

Avengers (1963) #8

Avengers (1963) #8

  • Published: September 10, 1964
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
  • Penciller: Jack Kirby
  • Cover Artist: Jack Kirby
What is Marvel Unlimited?

After he realized his mistake in confronting the Avengers directly, Kang later schemed against them by remaining in the future and sending a Spider-Man robot to first lure the group into a false sense of security, and then waylay them one by one. The Conqueror’s plan worked beautifully until the real web-slinger swung in to destroy his artificial doppelganger and help the Avengers turn the tide once more against Kang.

In this second encounter versus the famous team, Kang’s superiority manifested again, but when he realized he’d been defeated, he devolved into near-hysterics, proclaiming everything he’d done “was all in vain.”

Time passed and Captain America took the reins of a smaller team of Avengers consisting of himself, Hawkeye, Quicksilver, and The Scarlet Witch, sometimes referred to as “Cap’s Kooky Quartet.” Looking in on them from the future again, Kang reasoned the team’s then-current status made them ripe for his revenge and so transported them to his far-flung century. His mistake manifested in his revelation to the heroes that he’d fallen in love with a princess named Ravonna, and might err in his judgment in any dealings with her. Cap’s team helped the princess in a war between her kingdom and Kang’s immense forces, but in the end those same forces turned on the despot and he in turn allied himself with Ravonna’s people to save her.

This adventure highlighted Kang’s capability to love another human being, despite his high-minded and frankly wicked actions. Sadly, as the Avengers faded away to return to their own time, Ravonna, her eyes open to Kang’s good side, fell dead from an assassin’s cowardly strike. The Conqueror, having failed to conquer love, turned away to harden his heart for the next battle against Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.

Check Out: AVENGERS (1963) #8, #11, #23, #24

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Travel the timestream to learn the true story of the master villain!

Since the early days of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, Kang the Conqueror has agitated the Avengers and then some with his mastery of multiple eras and desire to add the Marvel Universe to his empire. On November 14, the time tyrant takes on a new role as central antagonist in the “LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2,” creating a campaign that crisscrosses all reality and space.

Before you play the game, discover the story behind this agent of chronological chaos with the History of Kang!

Though shrouded in mystery, the origins of the time-despot known as Kang may be pieced together not only from records of his clashes with Earth’s many champions, but also his own words. Once assembled, a picture of the so-called “Conqueror” stands out in stark relief, an ongoing saga of ambition, greed, and tyranny.

A man named Nathaniel Richards, who claimed to be a scholar born in the year 3000, utilized a time-travel device created by Victor Von Doom, a supposed ancestor of his, to flee a future world that may or may not come to pass. Setting the device to whisk him away to a time nearly 6000 years before his own, Richards arrived in the land and era of the pharaohs of Earth’s ancient Egypt and fashioned a dynasty for himself. As Rama-Tut, he held the people of the region in thrall while he attempted to subjugate the mutant En Sabah Nur to do his twisted bidding.

Rama-Tut’s rule stretched on through the years until the time-traveling Fantastic Four landed in his kingdom from the future and challenged his authority. The faux-pharaoh made the famous heroes his slaves, but their ingenuity and will to be free broke the despot’s grip on them and he fled into an alternate dimension, leaving only vague evidence of his reign as Rama-Tut behind. The Fantastic Four returned to their own time, unsure of exactly who they fought or if they’d ever clash with him again.

Richards traveled through space and time, licking his wounds and plotting his revenge. During this period he came across none other then Doctor Doom, lost just outside the orbit of the planet Jupiter around the sun. Together, the two villains suggested they might possibly be the same person, not merely related, and made a pact to not endanger each other by battling the Fantastic Four as a single unit. The future-Kang then returned Doom to Earth and continued on his way.

Fantastic Four (1961) #19

Fantastic Four (1961) #19

  • Published: October 10, 1963
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
  • Penciller: Jack Kirby
  • Cover Artist: Jack Kirby
What is Marvel Unlimited?

An accident involving the energy that powered his ship sent Richards hurtling farther into the future then he intended, where he discovered warring armies on Earth and the opportunity to refashion himself as The Scarlet Centurion. Under the cloak of a supposed chronal imbalance in the timestream, the tyrant forced the Avengers to fight an earlier version of the team from an alternate timeline, but lost to Earth’s Mightiest Heroes in the end.

Unhappy with his unsuccessful forays into time and smarting from battle with those who opposed his advances, Richards concentrated on an ultimate persona to operate under, and thus Kang the Conqueror rose up to dominance over all. For his first, real campaign as Kang, he turned his attention back to the Avengers at a time when their limited experience as a well-honed fighting unit might serve him well…

Check Out: FANTASTIC FOUR #19, FANTASTIC FOUR ANNUAL #2, AVENGERS ANNUAL #2, RISE OF APOCALYPSE #14

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The Conqueror faces multiples generations of heroes in 'Marvel's Avengers: Ultron Revolution' clip, airing Sunday morning!

Heroes unite across multiple generations to battle Kang in a clip from “Marvel’s Avengers: Ultron Revolution”! Watch the clip above and tune in to an all-new “Marvel’s Avengers: Ultron Revolution,” airing Sunday at 8:30 AM ET on Disney XD.

When the Avengers find themselves stuck in the 30th century, Kang’s home turf, the heroes fall victim to a massive disadvantage of unfamiliarity! Luckily, once Kang reveals his plans to destroy the super heroes, Earth’s Mightiest Heroes band together with the heroes of the 30th century to attack Kang in hopes of turning the tides of battle. See the action in the clip above!

Catch a brand-new “Marvel’s Avengers: Ultron Revolution” airing Sunday at 8:30 AM ET on Disney XD! Stay tuned to Marvel.com for all the latest news and updates on your favorite Marvel animated series.

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The time-traveling tyrant terrorizes Thor in a 'Marvel's Avengers: Ultron Revolution' clip, airing Sunday morning!

Everyone’s favorite 30th century warlord Kang comes to the present to destroy the Avengers in a clip from “Marvel’s Avengers: Ultron Revolution”! Watch the clip above and tune in to “Marvel’s Avengers: Ultron Revolution” this Sunday at 8:30 AM ET on Disney XD.

When the Avengers discover that the nefarious A.I.M. has found a way to travel to the future to procure highly advanced weapons, they learn that the evil organization has brought back more than just weapons! With Kang the Conquerer hot on A.I.M.’s heels, the powerful villain realizes his opportunity to destroy the Avengers once and for all. See Thor’s attempts to take down the villain in the clip above!

Catch an all-new “Marvel’s Avengers: Ultron Revolution” this Sunday at 8:30 AM ET on Disney XD! Stay tuned to Marvel.com for all the latest news and updates on your favorite Marvel animated series.

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The Avengers respond to Cap's call for help and end up on an adventure through time!

Every day we celebrate Captain America’s 75th anniversary by looking deep into the Marvel Unlimited archives and going through some of Steve Rogers’ most thrilling adventures. Happy diamond anniversary Sentinel of Liberty!

If Captain America calls for help, you just know something big must be going on.

Hawkeye, Goliath, Wasp, and Black Panther understand this as they head to an ancient castle at the behest of their sometime leader in a story that begins in AVENGERS #56 and finishes up in AVENGERS ANNUAL #2 from 1968. Roy Thomas wrote both issues with John Buscema drawing the first and Don Heck and Werner Roth handling the annual.

Avengers (1963) #56

Avengers (1963) #56

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Soon enough, Cap explains that they’re in Dr. Doom’s old castle—originally seen in FANTASTIC FOUR #5—so they can utilize his time machine to travel back to the day Bucky died. After all this time in the present, Steve questions whether Bucky truly perished in the explosion set up by Baron Zemo.

Wasp stays back to control the machine while the others head back to the day and relive the terrible events. While there, the heroes materialize even though they should only exist as specters thanks to some mysterious machinations in both times. After reliving the events once again, Cap thinks to himself, “I can be sure he’s gone…forever! And that is a fact I’ll just have to learn to live with!”

The group, thinking they’ve returned to their own time in AVENGERS ANNUAL #2, head to the mansion only to find a version of the original Avengers sitting in their seats! The team eventually learns, thanks to an appearance by the Watcher, that this alternate dimension features the appearance of the Scarlet Centurion—also known as Kang the Conqueror—who kept the original Avengers line-up together in an effort to put down the potential threat of all other super beings, good and evil.

Avengers Annual (1967) #2

Avengers Annual (1967) #2

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Cap’s group eventually triumphs over the doppelgangers and returns to their correct plane of existence, but with no memories of the encounter. At the end, Earth’s Mightiest Heroes offer their condolences to the Star-Spangled Avenger for the assumed loss of his partner. “At least our trip to the past proved that Bucky truly died then…may his soul rest in peace,” he says reiterating his point from the previous issue. “I’ve got to learn to accept that—‘cause that’s the way he’d have wanted it!”

At peace with the situation, Captain America continues with his life assuming his partner perished which makes it all the more shocking when he reappears decades later.

Cap Declassified

From Kang’s perspective, this battle with the Avengers actually takes place before his first throw-down with the team because the Scarlet Centurion returns to his own time where he refashions himself into the Conqueror. In AVENGERS #8 from 1964, the time-traveling despot appears to face off against Cap, Iron Man, Thor, Giant-Man, Wasp, and even Rick Jones’ Teen Brigade. The villain easily captures the first four leaving the others to figure out how to stop him kicking off an adversarial relationship that continues to cause trouble for both as the years go on. 

Next, the drug problem hits home in CAPTAIN AMERICA #372-378 by Mark Gruenwald and Ron Lim.

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Charles Soule and Steve McNiven continue the saga of Medusa and company with All-New All-Different additions!

Writer Charles Soule and artist Steve McNiven add a new chapter to the saga of Marvel’s most unique heroes in the upcoming UNCANNY INHUMANS ongoing series, rolling out of the events of Secret Wars.

The creative team promises an all-new look at the Inhumans, their royal family, and their place in the world—one they share with a certain merry band of mutants.

Marvel.com: Charles, in what ways will UNCANNY INHUMANS turn the story upside down? What’s going to surprise readers the most?

Charles Soule: I’m not going to give away all the many twists and turns in the story, [but] I will say that we’re designing this as the next huge chapter in the new Inhumans story. It picks up many threads that were laid down in what I consider “Season One,” issues #1-14 plus the Annual of the INHUMAN series I did over the past year or so with Ryan Stegman, Joe Madureira, Pepe Larraz, and Andre Lima Araujo, as well as the rest of the amazing talent I worked with on that series. INHUMAN was a big, swirling story with a bunch of characters, some new, some old. It had a pretty specific ending, but many plot points were purposely left open.

UNCANNY INHUMANS will let us pick up on a bunch of those, as well as introduce new ideas. It’s huge-scale super hero storytelling at its most epic. New super-powered people with Inhuman DNA are still popping up all over the world, and the whole Marvel Universe continues to evolve in the face of that and other challenges. It’s a great time to be reading the stories.

Marvel.com: There’s romance in the air: what do Medusa and Johnny Storm see in each other? Is this a love that can last?

Charles Soule: We’ll have to wait and see; and the specifics of Medusa, Queen of the Inhumans, and Johnny Storm, aka the Human Torch, longtime member of the Fantastic Four, getting together will be teased out for a bit. All we really know is that they fulfill an emotional need for each other they weren’t getting anywhere else. They’re a pretty fun couple to write, honestly. Johnny’s a smooth talker; funny, lots of laughs, that sort of thing. Medusa’s a monarch: regal, and while I wouldn’t call her reserved, she definitely isn’t someone I’d call a party girl, either. They have more in common than you might think, though. Like I said, they’re a fun couple.

Marvel.com: Which leads us to the current rift between Medusa and Black Bolt. What caused it?

Charles Soule: A lot of this was covered in the INHUMAN series, particularly issues #9-12. Honestly, though, it’s been a long time coming. If you look back through Inhuman-related stories over the last five to 10 years, Black Bolt’s been one hell of a king, but sort of a crappy husband to Medusa. He married a ton of other ladies—which were all marriages of convenience, and Inhumans don’t run their society along the same lines we do, but you know that had to sting—he seemingly abandoned Medusa at her time of greatest need after the fall of the Inhuman city of Attilan during the big Infinity event a few years back, and left her to try to preserve its people and Inhuman culture, as well as dealing with all the new members of the Inhuman race popping up all over the planet.

So, a little while ago, when Black Bolt rolled into New Attilan—the new city founded by Medusa to serve as sanctuary for new and old Inhumans alike—and tried to take his throne back…it didn’t go well. Medusa and Black Bolt are currently very much estranged. We’ll see if they ever get back together, but right now they are, as they say, “on a break.”

Marvel.com: UNCANNY INHUMANS has an X-element to it; up until this point, what’s the relationship been like between mutants and the Inhumans?

Charles Soule: I would say it’s been fairly cordial, with the occasional hot spot, just the way most super hero relationships tend to work in the Marvel Universe. Inhumans and mutants have gotten along, more or less, but part of that has been due to the fact that until very recently, Inhumans were completely isolationist. They stayed up in their hidden city of Attilan, interacting with the “regular” world only rarely. That’s all been blown to hell recently, with Inhumans popping up over the globe. Their territory is expanding, so to speak, and it’s inevitable that they’re going to rub up against other heroes and villains, including the mutants.

When we pick up the story with UNCANNY INHUMANS, however, it seems like things have gone very wrong somehow. The specifics are yet to be revealed, but I would characterize it as sort of a cold war that occasionally goes hot. Medusa’s not thrilled about the situation—honestly, would you want the mutants mad at you? She’s trying to put her nation back together, and the idea of having this very powerful group mad at her is not ideal. We’ll just have to see how it all goes.

Marvel.com: What’s Hank McCoy’s role in the book?

Charles Soule: Hank McCoy, aka Beast, is living with the Inhumans on New Attilan when we pick up in issue #1. He’s sort of a liaison between mutantkind and the Inhumans, working towards mutual understanding. Of course, it’s more complex and awesome than that, but let’s just say that Beast has a very particular reason for “breaking” with the rest of the mutants and hanging out with Medusa and crew, and we’ll find out pretty early what that is—although as I said, it’s more complex than perhaps it seems at first glance.

Marvel.com: And what kind of new Inhumans will we see take lead roles?

Charles Soule: Reader—blind guy who makes anything he reads via Braille tabs on his belt real, with a cool seeing-eye dog named Forey—has a huge part in the first arc, and Iso is very vital as well. I have big plans for a new Inhuman character I introduced in the Free Comic Book Day story named Grid, a guy from India who can see and manipulate electromagnetic fields. They’re all part of the ongoing story, though: Inferno, Flint, Naja and of course, good old Frank McGee.

Marvel. Com: How does Kang fit into the saga?

Charles Soule: As we saw in the UNCANNY INHUMANS #0 issue, Black Bolt gave his son Ahura to Kang the Conqueror for safekeeping when he realized that the Secret Wars Incursions would destroy the world. It was a desperate move; Kang is clearly a bad, bad guy, but his time-travel abilities would allow him to take Ahura back to the past, thus keeping him alive even as the rest of the Marvel Universe was destroyed. Black Bolt was trying to be a good father, but as tends to happen in comics, things got complicated. As far as we know, Kang still has Ahura when we open in issue #1, and Black Bolt’s not the kind of guy who would let his son be raised by a time-traveling despot if he has anything to say about it.

And he does. He does have something to say about it. Which, considering the fact that Black Bolt creates something like a nuclear blast every time he speaks, might not be all that great for Kang. On the other hand, Kang’s weapon is time itself. I think it’s fair to say that literally everything is at stake for the Inhumans in the first arc of UNCANNY INHUMANS.

Marvel.com: Lastly, why is Steve McNiven, in your opinion, the perfect artist for this book?

Charles Soule: Steve is the perfect artist for every book. He excels at giving a sense of reality to even the most exotic super hero action, and I think a lot of that is in the faces. It’s very clear in every panel what each character is thinking and feeling; Steve is an excellent “actor,” so to speak. In a title like UNCANNY INHUMANS, where we have family drama and royal intrigue mixed up with characters from vastly different backgrounds working and fighting together, alongside massive super hero action, I suspect it could all easily go off the rails. Steve never lets things teeter, though; it’s all locked down and incredible, and I hope I get to keep working with him forever.

Marvel.com: Steve, your turn: What’s it like working with Charles as a collaborator? What does he do that as an artist you love?

Steve McNiven: Working with Charles? In a word: fantastic! The guy is the real deal, a writer who can do it all, and loves to collaborate. His scripts are pitch-perfect, and allow you to really exploit his storytelling, making you look much better than you actually are. What more could you ask for? How about speed? I have never waited for a script from him, and often get two or three ahead of time. If you are an artist and you get a chance to work with him I guarantee you’ll agree with everything I’m saying here.

Marvel.com: So far, which of the series cast members might present the greatest artistic challenge for you? And which are just joys to draw? 

Steve McNiven: I’d probably say Black Bolt presents the greatest artistic challenge for me as he can’t talk. Or rather he could talk but it would vaporize everything around him. So it’s all physical acting with him and that’s a bit of a challenge, but one that’s so much fun to attack. But Medusa’s the one character I love to draw because I just have such a good time drawing her hair!

Marvel.com: And what do you like drawing better, human-looking humans, or the monsters and creatures?

Steve McNiven: I have been known to love drawing old people, as it is so much easier to exaggerate their expressions than it is with the stereotypically good looking superheroes. Same goes for the creatures and monsters. You can get across a wide range of emotions when you get to exaggerate expressions, something that is a bit more difficult to do when you are known as a “realistic” artist.

UNCANNY INHUMANS by Charles Soule and Steve McNiven sets Medusa, Black Bolt, Kang, and more on a collision course later this year! Look for the latest All-New All-Different Marvel news here on Marvel.com and via our social channels!

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