Cullen Bunn on the upcoming crossover with X-MEN: GOLD.

With X-MEN: BLUE #13, out October 11, the book enters into not only a saga-riffic crossover with X-MEN: GOLD, but also into the Marvel Legacy event. How will it all impact this team of merry mutants? How do they win against mighty Mojo and uphold their legacy? We asked writer Cullen Bunn to spill all—and still look good doing it.

Marvel.com: Cullen, in a way, X-MEN: BLUE’s legacy stretches from Stan and Jack to Brian Bendis—what does legacy in general mean to you as a Marvel writer? How does it play into what you do?

Cullen Bunn: For me, legacy is a part of every Marvel comic I ever loved, every Marvel comic I’ve written, and every Marvel comic I will write. And it goes beyond the idea of a “shared universe” or continuity, although those elements are certainly part of it. As a writer, I always try to honor the legacy of the creators who came before me, and I’m always hoping to contribute in some small way to the stories that will be told in the future.

This story, for instance, is an obvious love letter to all things X-related, but we’re telling the story through the eyes of the mutant heroes who star in the books today. We’ll have the action, the interaction, the romance, the heartbreak, the joy, the weirdness—all the things that make the X-Men one of the best superhero dramas of all time! And we’ll leave some lasting marks on the characters and the Marvel Universe.

Marvel.com: Within the book itself, what if anything does legacy mean to your cast? How much of what they do is impacted by it?

Cullen Bunn: In this crossover story, we see the idea of legacy playing out in some really interesting ways. The original five X-Men are here, and they started it all for the X-Men, but since they are young men and women lost in time, they are looking toward living up to the legacy of the modern X-Men. The modern X-Men are living up to Xavier’s ideals and dreams—and the O5 represent that to them. But we’re also dealing with Mojo in this story, and he is in a unique position to really throw the X-Men into situations that remind them—sometimes in a deadly way—of where they came from. The X-Men will be reliving some of their greatest hits, only with a Mojo twist.

Marvel.com: Hang onto that Mojo guy for a Mojo-ment—who if anyone do you feel of your leads might get more focus going forward? Has any one of them been underserved, in your opinion?

Cullen Bunn: There are a couple of characters who haven’t gotten the spotlight they deserve, namely Angel and Iceman, and I have plans for bigger stories for them in the future. There are also some really insane plans in place for Jimmy Hudson. Eventually, he’s going to be getting a code name, but I think it’ll surprise everyone how that comes about. It’s not what you’re expecting. I promise.

Marvel.com: X-MEN: GOLD #13 starts this story—what is the Blue Team’s relationship like right now with the Gold Team? How do they work best together? What about in the worst way?

Cullen Bunn: The relationship between Blue and Gold starts off on pretty good terms in this story. Once the trouble starts, they even break into teams that are a mixture of Blue and Gold members, giving us some wonderful opportunities to see interactions we might not normally expect. But the Blue team has a big secret–that they are working with Magneto, and that’s not going to sit well with the Gold team at all if they find out.

Spoiler: they find out.

Marvel.com: Okay, now Mojo. What’s up with Mojo? What level of trouble will be causing the teams?

Cullen Bunn: Mojo is a villain I’ve wanted to use for a long while. Heck, I hinted at this story back in my UNCANNY X-MEN run. The thing with Mojo is, in the past he’s always been confined to this alternate reality. Some readers think that makes him unimportant. Well, this time, Mojo is coming to our world, and he has big, evil plans for us. He’s going to turn our love of media against us. Believe me, when this is over, Mojo will have left his mark on the planet Earth.

Marvel.com: How does a villain like Mojo bring out comic book, heh, gold in terms of two teams of X-Men interacting to fight him?

Cullen Bunn: What’s fun about this story is that Mojo has these almost god-like abilities, and he uses them to make TV shows. In this case, though, he’s calling up some of the most intense moments of X-Men history, and we’re going to see some awesome scenes honoring the legacy of the X-Men. How does Scott Summers deal with Days of Future Past? How does Storm feel about being thrown into the Asgardian Wars again? How would Magneto react if he suddenly appeared in the Morlock Tunnels during the Mutant Massacre?

Marvel.com: Fun! So, what’s it like to continue to collaborate with artist Jorge Molina? How is this particular storyline bringing out his strengths?

Cullen Bunn: Jorge is a beast! He’s simply an amazing artist, and I am throwing some wild action scenes and bizarre set pieces and characters his way. He has tackled it all with a Mojo-like glee. These pages are going to blow readers away!

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Feast your eyes on some Exclusive Marvel Legacy pages courtesy of Axel Alonso!

Enjoy the long holiday weekend with a brand new episode of This Week in Marvel, the official Marvel podcast! If you need to beat the heat, head to a cool IMAX theatre and experience the first chapter of “Marvel’s Inhumans” early for a limited two-week run beginning today. You can watch the complete series on ABC starting September 29.

Ryan, Ben and Tucker give you the rundown of all this week’s latest and greatest comics releases including the epic finale of SECRET EMPIRE (NOTE: if you haven’t read it yet, and want to avoid spoilers, skip to the 23:57 mark), THANOS, GENERATIONS: HAWKEYE & HAWKEYE, and so much more!

Ben kicks off a new segment where we talk with the biggest names within the Marvel Universe, within the House of Ideas. Starting at the top, Ben talks with EIC Axel Alonso about MARVEL LEGACY which will sweep across all the Marvel books this year (1:22:14). We can thank our fearless leader for these incredible never-before-seen pages by Esad Ribic and Steve McNiven from MARVEL LEGACY #1!

Eric and Christine deliver all the Games/TV/Film goodness from the West Coast (1:33:33). We close everything out with your questions and comments (1:44:17)!

Download episode #305 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 Thursday (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 Marc Strom, 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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Kicking off a new era in Marvel history with Jason Aaron!

On September 27, a new dawn for the Marvel Universe begins with the epic 50-page one-shot MARVEL LEGACY #1!

Writer Jason Aaron and artist Esad Ribic lead a team of all-star illustrators—Daniel Acuna, Jim Cheung, Russell Dauterman, Stuart Immonen, Greg Land, Pepe Larraz, Alex Maleev, Ed McGuinness, Steve McNiven, and Chris Samnee—on a journey that ushers in a new era of Marvel storytelling. And everything culminates with a return you’ve been waiting for—and one you’ve been dreading…

MARVEL LEGACY #1 springs all 53 Marvel Legacy story arcs into action—refreshing the legendary heroes you love and introducing some previously unseen faces set to assert themselves into history.

We sat down with Jason Aaron to map out a new beginning for the Marvel Universe.

Marvel.com: Can you walk us through what MARVEL LEGACY #1 is all about?

Jason Aaron: Well, it’s a huge 50-page one-shot that’s sort of like a primer, as the Legacy initiative takes off, for everything that’s going on in the Marvel Universe. It touches base with almost all of the major characters in the Universe—including the different versions we have of some of our main characters. So, you know, we see both versions of Thor, we meet up with Steve Rogers and Sam Wilson…it’s a roadmap for all the big stories coming up in all the major books. And it also sets up a couple of new stories that’ll play out in very big ways in the months to come; they’ll affect a lot of our books coming up, including a book I’ll be working on.

We introduce some new characters, too! This book introduces a group of prehistoric Avengers from 1 million B.C. They’re a big part of this once they’re introduced. Then, when their story gets up and running, we’ll pick them up down the road in the pages of something else…

Marvel.com: Is it hard to keep track of everything, considering all the characters and storylines involved?

Jason Aaron: No, not necessarily. It’s always a challenge to write characters you’ve never written before and there were a few in here I’d never handled, but that’s also exciting! You’re getting to play with so many different toys.

It’s certainly the biggest thing I’ve ever written—with biggest cast of characters I’ve ever written. It’s a lot to try and juggle because we didn’t want it to seem just like a random collection of pages; there’s got to be a story that strings everything together.

Marvel.com: Who’s working with you on this book?

Jason Aaron: This Legacy one-shot has the biggest, craziest collection of artists I’ve ever worked with! Esad Ribic does the bulk of it but you also get awesome people like Steve McNiven, Russell Dauterman, Ed McGuinness, Jimmy Cheung, Chris Samnee…and then Daniel Acuna, Stuart Immonen, Greg, Land, Pepe Larraz, and Alex Maleev. With Joe Quesada on the cover!

All of these artists are doing a part of this—and everything makes sense with the way the story gets set up. For instance, it made a lot of sense to get the guy who’s doing the brand new CAPTAIN AMERICA book to draw the panels when we cut away to Steve Rogers. [Editor] Tom Brevoort stacked up a team of amazing artists, so it’s a really gorgeous book.

Marvel.com: With so much history at hand, how do you make the story fresh?

Jason Aaron: I think that’s always the continuing challenge, the whole time I’ve been working at Marvel. You’re dealing with some characters that have been in continuous publication for a lot longer than I’ve even been alive! There’s always the challenge of continuing that story and honoring everything that we’ve built over the decades, while, at the same time, bringing something unique to the table—taking those characters somewhere further down the road than where you found them.

We’ve kept things fresh by changing the people who’ve been holding various mantles in a way that still speaks to the core of these characters’ mythologies. I like that we’ve got a more diverse cast of characters when you look around the Marvel Universe—and you can do that without changing the nature of the story those characters have existed in for years.

Marvel.com: Seeing all of those different iterations gives Marvel the chance to have a dialogue with its own history. In your mind, how has Marvel evolved over the years?

Jason Aaron: These characters have always adapted to the times, which I think they have to. Any characters who endure that long…on one hand, there’s some kind of core conceit that makes them who they are and endures no matter what—but at the same time, they have parts that need to change and adapt. That’s how the good ones last for so long.

I like that the landscape of our characters has changed. I think there’s always a push and pull between how much change might be too much, but I like that we mix it up. This Legacy one-shot acknowledges all the different versions of the characters we have right now and teases where their stories are going in the months to come.

Marvel.com: What does the legacy of Marvel mean to you?

Jason Aaron: Legacy honors Marvel’s past—all the books are reverting to Legacy numbers and have all these variant covers that refer to past storylines—so it’s very much about exploring everything you love about Marvel’s history. It’s about the legacy of these characters and the legacy of amazing creators who’ve worked on them throughout the years.

I think about the rich history of amazing writers and artists who’ve worked on these books over the years—people I grew up as a tremendous fan of… going all the way back to Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, of course! Those of us who work at Marvel and get to craft the destinies of these characters—we never lose sight of the fact that we’ve been given the opportunity to stand on the shoulders of giants.

Dive into MARVEL LEGACY #1 on September 27!

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