Ryan North sends Doreen back into space for an adventure with the new Sorcerer Supreme.

On December 13, THE UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL #27, from writer Ryan North and artist Erica Henderson, begins a new story arc titled “Forbidden Pla-Nut!” In the first issue, Doreen has to get to the other side of the galaxy to save her friends Nancy and Tippy from an alien world, so she’ll need some assistance in getting there. Naturally, she intends to recruit Dr. Strange, but finds out there’s a new Sorcerer Supreme in town, Loki!

We talked to Ryan about the new arc and how Squirrel Girl is going to get along with the mischievous trickster.

Marvel.com: In “Forbidden Pla-Nut!”, Doreen’s heading into space, but in true THE UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL fashion, this cosmic adventure isn’t the least bit orthodox. Can you talk a little about the impetus for this story and some of the exciting guest stars?

Ryan North: Sure!  It was part of Marvel Legacy but our book is only 3 years old, so there wasn’t much of a legacy to go back to – we’re still in the middle of making it!  So instead we thought “well, what’s the opposite of going back to basics” and the answer is clearly “shoot Squirrel Girl into space.”

So that’s what we did!  It starts with a kidnapping, features a talking cat, and ends up on the other side of the galaxy.  And that’s just the first issue!

Marvel.com: What drew you to pairing Doreen up with these new characters?

Ryan North: Doreen is of course lots of fun, but the fact that Loki becoming is Sorcerer Supreme now is crazy: it’s a bold twist for the character, and of course Squirrel Girl and Loki have a history, through their mutual friend Nancy Whitehead.  So this was a chance to explore that more, and once you go into space in a Marvel comic you run into all sorts of cosmic characters that I’m very excited to showcase.  If you look at the covers, the Silver Surfer is involved.  Squirrel Girl has a history with his ol’ pal Galactus, too.

Marvel.com: What can you tell us about the villains at play here?

Ryan North: I don’t want to spoil the reveal, but there’s actually a couple of villains appearing at the same time.  One of them is an enemy of Strange who believes (quite reasonably, as it turns out) that Loki is not quite as competent at the whole “sorcerer supreme” business as Strange used to be, and another is a new enemy who is similarly taking advantage of a fortunate (or unfortunate) situation.

It’ll be crazy fun!  IN SPAAAACE!

Marvel.com: What are some of your favorite “going into space” Marvel stories that inspired this arc?

Ryan North: I love the first appearance of Galactus and the Silver Surfer, back in the FANTASTIC FOUR#48.  But in more modern sense, there’s a lot of fun with the Guardians of the Galaxy, and that’s the same sort of fun I’m going for here: that sense of space being full of mystery, and a lot of it is insane, and you’re not going to understand everything but it’s going to be awesome.

That’s what I’m shooting for!

Marvel.com: You and artist Erica Henderson have been collaborating on this book for awhile now. What’s your favorite part of writing for her?

Ryan North: Erica takes what I write and elevates it into a better version of the script, which is terrific, because then everyone thinks I’m better than I am.  IT’S A SECRET, DON’T TELL ANYONE.  So my favourite part is getting back her pencils and seeing what she’s done.  We’ve also got a great working relationship where she feels super comfortable changing things for storytelling reasons, so she’ll sometimes tweak something or move stuff around, and then it’s not just “I get to see the story illustrated” but also “I get to see the story illustrated, and also, better.”  It’s super great!

Marvel.com: Is there anything ridiculous you managed to squeeze into this new story that you’re proudest of?

Ryan North: There is!  We managed to get a fresh take on the Silver Surfer that hasn’t been done in all of Marvel history.

I’m super proud of that but I don’t want to say what it is because it’s a spoiler, so I GUESS EVERYONE WILL JUST HAVE TO BUY THE ISSUE TO FIND OUT!

Readers can do just that on December 13, when THE UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL #27 drops, from Ryan North and Erica Henderson!

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A brand new Swordsman aims to make Cap’s life miserable

Captain America just wants to travel across America and right the small injustices that he has often missed. A simple wish, a noble one. And one the brand new Swordsman has no intention of letting Cap achieve without a fight.

Mark Waid took a moment from learning blacksmithing to tell us about the new villain, give credit to his collaborator Chris Samnee, and continue to promote the rehabilitation of Steve Rogers.

Marvel.com: To start from a broad perspective, as a writer what about creating a new Swordsman appealed to you? What kind of challenges did the character present in terms of being revamped and reintroduced?

Mark Waid: To be honest, it was Chris Samnee’s suggestion. The challenge was to introduce and motivate him quickly to make room for a dynamic sword vs. shield battle!

Marvel.com: As much as you can, without spoiling things, what does this new Swordsman have in common and how does he differ from his predecessors who used that name?

Mark Waid: He looks very much the same—I wouldn’t be surprised if there were some relation to the original Swordsman—but this one’s different in that he’s basically an extortionist. That, and he may or may not be being played by someone else.

Marvel.com: As an antagonist, how does he fit in with the overall theme of this opening arc of Steve reconnecting with himself and rediscovering Captain America?

Mark Waid: Cap has to fight Swordsman to save an entire small town from destruction. As is the ongoing theme of this book, this is about Steve Rogers connecting with and saving ordinary people in the heartland, the kinds of people he doesn’t often encounter in New York or Washington.

Marvel.com: Given your history, it is clear you and Chris Samnee make an excellent team. On creating the new Swordsman, how did that collaboration work? How much did Chris help you determine things like the character’s personality, motives, and such, and how did you help him to craft the character’s look?

Mark Waid: Straight up, this is 90% Chris. I’m terrible at design, so I always leave that to my collaborators—but giving the Swordsman a unique voice was my challenge to face.

Marvel.com: To stay with art for a moment, Matthew Wilson’s coloring, in collaboration with Chris’s art, favors something sunnier and more open than with previous team ups for Daredevil and Black Widow. How does that help you to realize the themes of the arc? How does it inspire your conception of the action, set pieces, and so on of each issue?

Mark Waid: Cap doesn’t live in a dark, foreboding world–or if he runs across it, he provides a light. That’s it in a nutshell.

Marvel.com: What makes this issue a great point to jump on to the book?

Mark Waid: It’s a clean done-in-one story that hits home the ideals for which Captain America stands and what his physical limits are. If you like Steve Rogers on the screen, you’ll love him on the printed page.

Read CAPTAIN AMERICA #695, by Mark Waid and artist Chris Samnee, now, and don’t miss part 2 with CAPTAIN AMERICA #696 on December 6!

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Artist Marcus To talks Infinity Stones, Nova Corps, and emotional turmoil!

The hunt for the Infinity Stones continues in writer Gerry Duggan and artist Marcus To’s GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #147!

On November 15, before these space cowboys can save the universe, they’ve got to save themselves. Managing the spurs in their sides—the missing cosmic Elders, Groot’s inability to progress through plant puberty, and Loki sneaking around behind the scenes—will prove difficult.

We spoke with Marcus to hear a little more about how the team might tackle these problems.

Marvel.com: Can you give us a rundown on this Marvel Legacy arc so far?

Marcus To: For my arc on GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, the gang joins the Nova Corps. I imagine that it would be like the guys from “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” trying to do a job while playing spy at the same time. They don’t really know what they’re doing, but we’ll see some old favorites—and some serious developments—that will have lasting repercussions in the quest for the Stones. Also, expect some big fights.

Marvel.com: What can we expect visually from your work on this arc?

Marcus To: I always try to make sure the visuals look fun and expressive, especially for characters like the ones in the Guardians. [Colorist] Ian Herring and I want to create classic sci-fi adventures with the art style we’re coming up with.

Marvel.com: Which aspects of the book did you find to be the most interesting to portray? Which were the most challenging?

Marcus To: I love the unique looks to all the Guardians; it’s something really different than other books and you can have a lot of fun with designs like Rocket and Groot. The hardest part in any team book has always been the amount of characters in each panel. A lot of group shots and crowd scenes take more time to draw and to plan out.

Marvel.com: Gerry has introduced a few new characters to the team—what roles will they play in the quest for the Infinity Stones?

Marcus To: The team is still finding out more about Rich Rider and Scott Lang. They’re a fractured team in a lot of ways and each of them wants to figure out where they fit—if at all.

Marvel.com: The team might be a little stressed with everything going onGamora’s strange Soul Stone connection, Groot not growing, and now learning that some of the Cosmic Elders have gone missing. How will they deal with it all?

Marcus To: Not too well. Some are hiding secrets from the others while others are nearing emotional breakdowns. Each of them wavers, and by the end of the arc, we’ll see who stays and who goes.

Marvel.com: Will issue #147 see any of those problems solved?

Marcus To: There’s going to be a solution at the end for one of them, but we don’t know yet if it’ll make things better or worse.

Marvel.com: Describe the dynamic of the group now that a couple new characters have joined the fray.

Marcus To: The best thing about team books is exploring their past relationships. We’re totally going to see how they react to Nova being there. At the moment Gamora is keeping her feelings on that close to the chest.

Marvel.com: What about Peter and Rich?

Marcus To: This relationship will be a little more explosive.

Marvel.com: How will the Nova Corps continue to manage working with this band of not-so law abiding space bandits?

Marcus To: The best way to find a scoundrel is with a scoundrel. The Corps will learn how to bend the rules for the greater good. That said, some of the Guardians might end up enjoying being a part of the Corps a little too much.

Check out GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #147, by writer Gerry Duggan and artist Marcus To, on November 15!

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Matthew Rosenberg outlines Frank Castle’s Marvel Legacy mission!

The Punisher has never been timid with his firepower. Still, give the man a bigger weapon and you can trust he’ll find a bigger target.

So goes the premise of THE PUNISHER #218! On November 15, Frank Castle dons the War Machine armor and heads off to battle. Writer Matthew Rosenberg and artist Guiu Vilanova introduce the legendary soldier to Marvel Legacy—and a classic character pulling the strings of war.

We found Matthew Rosenberg field-stripping his typewriter and asked him a few questions about the upcoming story.

Marvel.com: Can you describe both the challenges and opportunities presented by putting Frank in the War Machine armor?

Matthew Rosenberg: I think the biggest thing—and maybe what makes this so fun—will be who The Punisher is at his core. Frank Castle, more than almost every other character in the Marvel Universe, does not change. He remains The Punisher when he fights Kingpin and The Punisher when he fights Daredevil. At the end of the world, in space, after death, as a monster, he remains a constant.

So taking his persona and what that means, and changing things around him—that feels exciting to me. There is no greater force in the Marvel Universe than Frank’s desire to punish people, and we’re going to give him the means to do that on a bigger scale. So doing that, but making it still feel like The Punisher, and feel fresh all at once, that’s the challenge and the opportunity. We have this idea, one that I think seems like the logical next step to Frank’s war, and we want to make folks feel comfortable and shocked by it all at once. Should be fun.

Marvel.com: How do you approach the symbolic nature of the War Machine being passed on? Does that carry any significance in this story?

Matthew Rosenberg: This won’t be a story about Frank becoming War Machine. One of the things I love about Marvel heroes in general is how the story is never about the suit or the equipment; it’s about the people on the inside. Everyone gets new costumes every few years, new powers, but their core humanity always counts. As much as they may have tried, when other people pick up the shield, they just aren’t Cap. Even without the bow, he’s still Hawkeye. Call her Ms. Marvel, Binary, Warbird, or Captain Marvel, it’s still always about Carol.

To me, War Machine will always be Rhodey. That’s War Machine, at the heart. He feels like this idealized version of what the armed forces can be. A hero, an Avenger, someone aspirational.

Frank Castle feels almost like the inverse of that. He received a little bit of power and took it to nightmarish extremes. I’m hoping that by giving Frank the armor, we can examine Frank’s legacy, but also Rhodey’s in a way. We have seen what this armor does in the hands of a true hero, now we see what happens when someone much scarier has it.  This is a story about how The Punisher part of Frank will infect anything he touches.

Marvel.com: How does donning the armor change things for Frank? Does it change his approach?

Matthew Rosenberg: Yeah, that’s our starting point. Frank stands amongst the most dangerous men in the world with a bowie knife and a Beretta, so what happens when he has the power of a whole army at his disposal? There have always been some bad guys who he didn’t focus on—their scope seemed too big. That ends here. Nobody is safe. And we state that in a very simple way. Frank Castle goes to war with a whole country.

He won’t be reshaping the course of a neighborhood or a city, this man changes the geopolitical nature of the world through force. And what that means for the Marvel Universe could be major.

Marvel.com: This marks your first collaboration with Guiu Vilanova—how does his style aid the tone and storytelling of this book? What makes him a great choice for PUNISHER?

Matthew Rosenberg: Guiu has been amazing. His pages look so striking when the inks come in, and to me that always marks a great Punisher book—would it work in black and white? But yeah, he’s done an amazing job so far creating these epic settings and then putting this intense and intimate action inside of that. The quiet scenes feel moody, the violent scenes look crazy and explosive, and through it all he makes Frank Castle this unmovable force of nature. He has a real weight and presence on the page that I don’t think a lot of artists can pull off. I know folks will be blown away by what he’s bringing.

Marvel.com: For readers who might be considering picking up this PUNISHER series, why would you say they should follow through on that choice? For established fans, why should they stick with the book?

Matthew Rosenberg: I think the book works on a few levels by design. We want it to really have something to say about who The Punisher and what his place in the world has been and will be. And I think even if you don’t count yourself as a fan, or are a lapsed fan, an interesting character piece emerges from under all this armor. We’re telling a story about nationalism, a nation’s role as citizens of the world, war, greater and lesser evils, moral relativism, and the legacies we create and honor. There will be a lot to unpack for people interested in those discussions, I hope. It’s also about a guy in a badass mech suit blowing bad guys up.

And for longtime fans, which I consider myself, I keep hearing the same two things. The first: “You better get who Frank is and what he is about.” I think I’ve read every issue of THE PUNISHER ever. I’ve loved this character since childhood. I feel pretty confident we are being very faithful to that.

And the second thing I hear: “This better be #$!*%@& epic.” All I say to that is give us two issues. Read two issues of our book and if it doesn’t feel sufficiently #$!*%@& epic, please tell me what comics you read that do, because I want to read those.

Marvel.com: Last thing: how would you describe the tone of the book? The setting?

Matthew Rosenberg: All-out war.

Matthew Rosenberg and artist Guiu Vilanova’s THE PUNISHER #218 launches on November 15!

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Matthew Rosenberg sets the Warriors up against a classic Marvel Legacy foe!

In SECRET WARRIORS #8, something wicked this way comes. Or, rather, something sinister.

On November 15, Mister Sinister turns his torturous methods on the Inhumans! Marvel Legacy dawns as writer Matthew Rosenberg joins artists Javier Garrón and Will Robson to see the Secret Warriors combat this classic villain—and more discord within their own ranks.

We asked Rosenberg for a couple of hints about what to expect in the newest issue.

Marvel.com: Given the unique physiology of the Inhumans and how they develop powers, it makes sense that Mister Sinister would be interested in them. Creatively, though, what drew you to using him in your story?

Matthew Rosenberg: Besides me being obsessed with the X-Men? Okay.

I think he’s a fascinating villain because he can be a great example of the very simple—but very hard to pull off—idea that villains don’t act as the villains of their own stories. Sinister has a brilliant mind and, if pointed in the right direction, could be doing some of the most important work in the Marvel Universe. His desire to figure out how the world works and conquer it feels truly admirable in many ways.

But he is psychotic and sees no value in the normal morality of the civilized world. It has never been hard to imagine him as one of the Hanks, as a Reed Richards-type. But he has no interest, and that fascinates me.

Marvel.com: How prepared will the Warriors be for this new threat? What do they know about Mister Sinister?

Matthew Rosenberg: They will not be prepared at all. Daisy knows him simply because she studied her S.H.I.E.L.D. files pretty well. Karnak knows who him because crazy people all know each other. But the rest of the team has not prepared at all. And in issue #8 you will see just how unprepared for playing by his rules they will really be.

Marvel.com: From the cover of #8, we see Mister Sinister sporting an unexpected look. Can you describe artist Javier Garrón’s visual conceptualization of the character? How does it inform or compliment your take on Sinister?

Matthew Rosenberg: First of all, let’s just say this. Javier is brilliant and I love working with him. With that out of the way, one of my favorite things has been that he just really likes redesigning characters. I think his instincts and design sense are awesome, but more than that, I just love the idea that all these characters just change it up sometimes. I don’t wear the same thing every day. Actually, I kind of do. But I get that seems weird. But why should super heroes? I get that they have a brand consciousness and want to be recognizable, but even baseball teams have a few different uniforms.

I think Javier’s design of Sinister feels like a great update that really helped me realize who he can be in our story. Sinister, obviously a psychotic maniac, is also cultured, sophisticated, and smart. His grand designs may not be evident to everyone, but he tries to shape the future of the world and he has a plan. This isn’t some two bit villain in tights. Mister Sinister wants to reshape the course of the human race, so of course he’ll dress like a megalomaniac too.

But what do I know? I wear shorts 365 days a year.

Marvel.com: Unfortunately, in the midst of this, Karnak seems to be pursuing his own agenda away from the team. Can you offer any insight into what might be going on with him? What kind of dangers does he expose the team to when he leaves?

Matthew Rosenberg: From the start, Karnak has his own thing going on, as I think he always does. Only this time it seems like his plans might be working in almost opposition to his teammates. An alarming disconnect appears to the team as a result. But it’s Karnak, so he might be playing the game 10 moves ahead of everyone else. But he also has shown a willingness to allow suffering and hardships to befall the people around him in ways that many would find troubling. Those two factors combined put him somewhere between callous and evil. And that will be a big factor of what happens going forward.

Marvel.com: All things considered, what kind of odds would you give this team on being able to stay together and survive the battle with Sinister?

Matthew Rosenberg: 50/50.

Check out SECRET WARRIORS #8, by Matthew Rosenberg and artists Javier Garrón and Will Robson, on November 15!

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Writer Brandon Montclare dishes on the Fantastic Three for Marvel Legacy!

written by Dominic Griffin

Lunella Lafayette first crossed paths with a member of Marvel’s First Family when she met Ben Grimm back in issue #14 of MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR, but now she’ll be joining forces with The Thing and ol’ Flamehead himself, The Human Torch!

On November 22, writer Brandon Montclare and artist Natacha Bustos jump into Marvel Legacy with a new Fantastic Three in MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR #25! When The Silver Surfer returns to Manhattan in advance of a cosmic threat, Lunella steps up for the job, but without Devil Dinosaur by her side, she needs some help. And that’s where Johnny Storm and Ben Grimm come in!

We spoke with Montclare to hear more about this unlikely trio.

Marvel.com: Since Lunella has taken the “smartest person on the planet” crown from Reed Richards, having her interact with the two Fantastic Four members who aren’t missing seemed like a no brainer, right?

Brandon Montclare: Precisely. It all lined up. And I think that happens because MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR has a lot of thought put into it. Even though a kid can read and enjoy it as much as an adult, it’s really layered. That doesn’t just come from me; that comes from the whole creative team. And when you have that kind of dedication, it creates an internal consistency where new things fit as if by magic!

But most of all, the FF leftovers are missing their brains—and now Moon Girl is missing her brawn. So it makes sense on paper! But Natacha and I have to make it make sense on the page.

Marvel.com: When you first created this character, did you know from the outset what kind of legacy characters she’d be likely to interact with?

Brandon Montclare: Not really. I always appreciated that Devil Dinosaur started as one of Jack Kirby’s many babies. Not the most loved! But he came from the King. So that became the inspiration for putting Lunella Lafayette on Yancy Street—as a nod to Kirby’s fictionalized version of the real Delancey Street where he grew up. So I like Lunella growing up there too. And Yancy Street leads to, of course, The Thing. But when I helped create Moon Girl with Amy Reeder and Natacha Bustos, we didn’t have the idea yet that she would be the smartest person in the world. That came to me later, and Marvel supported it. At first, she was just a typical genius! I say typical, because there’s a definite Marvel legacy of Bruce Banner, Peter Parker, Hank Pym filling that role. But Reed Richards, to my mind, acted as the prototype. So I think all that stuff pointed us toward a connection with the Fantastic Four.

Marvel.com: Can you talk a little about the chemistry Lunella has with Ben and Johnny?

Brandon Montclare: MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR #14 (guest starring The Thing) felt like the most fun for me to write. So I was happy to get back there. Chemistry in these situations becomes as much (actually, probably more) about their personality conflicts than their teamwork. Again: they hail from the same neighborhood, but have had totally different experiences (and exist at least a generation apart). Plus, they’re natural opposites. So I love the dynamic. And for the Legacy arc, I can take them in a new direction. They both miss big parts of their families, so it becomes an opportunity to bond.

As for The Human Torch, he’s fun too. I like writing him and Ben bouncing off each other. I’m definitely awed by this one short story in MARVEL FANFARE by Barry Windsor-Smith about the two of them. It’s so good that it’s intimidating! But luckily most people haven’t read it. So it just acts as motivation for me to do even better with these two members of the Fantastic Four.

Marvel.com: Do you thinkif Lunella had been created earliershe’d have been a good fit for the Future Foundation?

Brandon Montclare: No. Sometimes I default to being contrary…and Future Foundation will always be something I can’t disassociate from Jonathan Hickman…but nonetheless it wouldn’t work story-wise. Lunella has been overlooked her whole life—it’s a big part of who she is. So while she wanted to get into the Future Foundation, or anyplace other than the school she resents—that never happened. It didn’t help her social skills, but it did create a certain kind of self-reliance.

Marvel.com: We know you can’t spoil anything, but can you give us a tease as to where this team-up might be headed?

Brandon Montclare: I can say it will head to Galactus and Silver Surfer—so that’s awesome. A blast from FF past. Lots of FANTASTIC FOUR Easter eggs. And a surprise character returns. But I think the best part of working for Marvel is being a part of the big universe. So I want to tie her into FANTASTIC FOUR lore. Marvel Legacy feels very personal to me. I grew up on Marvel. And to contribute something lasting to this Universe scratches just about all the itches I have.

Before Fantastic Three, Lunella was already becoming a big part of the world: a counterpoint for the Inhumans, sympathy with the X-Men, the world tour of heroes in “The Smartest There Is.” Fantastic Three and Legacy just cement her into the ongoing continuity, which gets mirrored in both the story and my experience writing it. It couldn’t have worked out better if I’d planned it.

Catch the team-up in MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR #25, by Brandon Montclare and artist Natacha Bustos, on November 22!

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Jody Houser takes the Parker family into Marvel Legacy—and the future!

Splitting time between heading to class in high school and fighting crime on the streets has always defined the Peter Parker dynamic. Now, however, Pete’s daughter Annie has taken over the duality of running to chem class and tying up super villains!

On November 22, new series writer Jody Houser and artist Nick Roche leap eight years into the future with AMAZING SPIDER-MAN: RENEW YOUR VOWS #13! The Marvel Legacy era begins for Peter, Mary Jane, and Annie May as they contend with home life and protecting New York City.

We caught up with Jody to learn more about the Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Fam.

Marvel.com: Do you envision the Peter and Mary Jane of this series as different from the mainstream Marvel Universe?

Jody Houser: While their situation has changed in both cases, I don’t think the two of them as people have really changed much at all. That has always been one of my favorite things about alternate universe stories—seeing how the characters we know react to a universe we may not. Although in this case, I’m sure Peter and MJ wish their financial situation had changed more.

Marvel.com: A lot can change in eight years—especially for a kid like Annie. How has she changed as this issue starts? Has her relationship with her parents changed?

Jody Houser: She’s now a teenager and starts to feel stifled a bit. She loves her parents and still feels close to them, but she’s starting to wonder if the training wheels will ever come off. From her perspective, she’s around the age her dad was when he first became Spider-Man, but she has a lifetime of training and experience. She just wants them to see it that way too.

Marvel.com: What about this time jump excites you as a writer? What challenges and opportunities does it present you with?

Jody Houser: The time jump ties very much into the idea of Legacy for me. Annie stands at a point where she’s thinking very much about college, the future, the shape of her adult life. She wants to decide who she’s going to be, what kind of hero she wants to be.

Marvel.com: How has the larger world of this book changed over those eight years?

Jody Houser: The world itself has progressed quietly, with new advances in technology and such, but nothing overly dramatic or world-altering—other than the usual attempts to take over or destroy the world, I’m sure. But even those kinds of changes can have a big impact on our characters, who still depend on things like traditional newspapers to make a living.

Marvel.com: How has artist Nick Roche aided you in realizing this alternate world?

Jody Houser: Nick has been amazing to work with in terms of establishing the new family dynamic and making the super hero action exciting. Honestly, I feel like I’m on the right path when he’s excited to draw something in the script. He also shares my love of fun Easter eggs.

Marvel.com: Rumor has it the family will encounter a new threat—what can you tease about that?

Jody Houser: Let’s just say that what seems to be the main threat they’re facing probably isn’t the main threat that they’re facing…

Marvel.com: What makes issue #13 a can’t-miss for readers?

Jody Houser: It’s classic super hero fun alongside Peter Parker: Dad Joke Edition. How can you miss that?

Check out Jody Houser and artist Nick Roche’s AMAZING SPIDER-MAN: RENEW YOUR VOWS #13 on November 22!

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Writer Christa Faust previews Sable’s Marvel Legacy return!

written by Dominic Griffin

Her death may have been fake, but on November 22, she returns in a very real way.

SILVER SABLE AND THE POWER PACK makes its comeback with issue #36 for Marvel Legacy. This one-shot, written by Christa Faust with art by Paulo Siqueira, sees the Symkarian soldier held hostage by a group of terrorists. Without any equipment—or any backup—Sable has no choice but to hearken back to the old days to make sure she gets out alive. Quite the silver anniversary for a book that originally debuted 25 years ago.

We reached out to Faust to hear about writing her first Marvel book, how she made the transition into comics, and what character she’d love to scribe next!

Marvel.com: How did you make the jump from writing novels to writing comics?

Christa Faust: I had this semi-autobiographical project called “Peepland,” set in Times Square in the late ‘80s, and I’d been tinkering with for nearly 10 years. It was a very visual story about a world that no longer exists and I knew it needed to be told in a visual medium. I talked about it with my fellow crime writer Gary Phillips, who has written a lot of comics, and I asked him what he thought about maybe pitching it as a comic. Not only did he love the idea, he ended up collaborating with me. Then we found out that my crime publisher wanted to expand into comics, and everything fell into place.

Marvel.com: What have you found to be the biggest challenge in transitioning from novels to comics?

Christa Faust: Prose can be much more internal and subjective, allowing your reader inside your character’s head, whereas in comics you get limited to what you can communicate visually. That proved pretty tricky to get used to, but the hardest thing for me ended up being dialog. I love snappy wisecracks, verbal sparring, and Film Noir banter and I have a myna bird’s ear for the way people talk. But in comics, the amount of back and forth between characters gets limited by the physical space in each panel and the fact that you can’t have ten panels in a row of two people talking. You have to get your point across to the reader in as few words as possible, so everything ends up distilled down to the bare minimum, almost like a kind of haiku. But I’ve been lucky to have experienced veterans to guide me, kick my ass when I need it, and make me an all-around better writer in the process.

Marvel.com: Did you grow up as a Marvel fan?

Christa Faust: I read a lot of novels as a kid, and when I did read comics, I tended more toward indie or underground stuff. I do remember liking the X-Men as a teen. I think a lot of nerdy outsiders and queer kids like me who got bullied in school could relate to those characters and found solace in the idea that maybe being a freak could be positive and powerful.

Marvel.com: Do you have any comic creators you looked up to?

Christa Faust: Bernie Wrightson was a brilliant artist and generous friend. There will never be another like him. The Hernandez brothers had a huge influence on me and I probably would not have written my novel “Hoodtown” if I had never read “Love and Rockets.” Also, I had a cool French teacher in high school who let me read “Metal Hurlant” as my textbook, which warped my fertile little brain in the best possible way.

Marvel.com: What made Silver Sable the right character for your first Marvel story?

Christa Faust: I’m primarily a hardboiled crime writer, and most of my recent and best work centers around flawed, desperate, and complicated humans who fall somewhere in the gray twilight between heroes and villains. Silver Sable may be tough and smart and highly skilled but she’s no super hero. She’s not any kind of hero; she’s a mercenary with flexible morals who likes to bend the rules. It seemed like a perfect fit for a writer like me. I love seeing more strong female characters take center stage and I’m proud to be part of that. Not to mention the fact that my hair went white at a young age too, and I’m just now letting it grow out natural. Silver foxes unite!

Marvel.com: How has collaborating with Paulo Siqueira been?

Christa Faust: It’s been a blast. He brought lots fresh ideas into the mix that I might never have thought of on my own. I’m learning so much from working with him and everybody else on this crackerjack team of artists and editors.

Marvel.com: What kind of advice would you give to a writer looking to break into comics from another medium?

Christa Faust: I’m far from an expert, since I’m still learning myself. Mostly it’s just simple stuff. Talk to other writers with more experience than you (or me, for that matter). Don’t be afraid to ask stupid questions and stay humble. Comics will always be a team sport, so don’t be a diva. Know you’re going to screw up along the way, like we all do, but try to learn from your mistakes. Oh, and read like crazy. But if you’re any kind of writer, you should be doing that already anyway.

Marvel.com: Have you thought about any other players in the Marvel toy box you’d love to tackle next?

Christa Faust: It would be cool to do more with Silver Sable if I had the chance. Because this project has been a one off—and pretty action-packed one at that—there hasn’t been time to explore her inner demons and the ways in which she deals with everything she’s been through.

Also, I’m a massive Film Noir fan and I love that era, so I think I’d have fun with Peggy Carter. But, hey, I’m a pro, and I’m always ready, willing, and able to take on any assignment I am given.

Don’t miss SILVER SABLE AND THE POWER PACK #36, by Christa Faust and Paolo Siqueira, on November 29th!

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New series writer Donny Cates dives into Marvel Legacy!

On November 22, the bad guy wins.

Marvel Legacy gets a taste of unrepentant villainy as the Mad Titan consolidates his power and threatens the Marvel Universe like never before in THANOS #13!

A dynamo new creative duo—writer Donny Cates and artist Geoff Shaw—take over the book, which kicks off with an arc ominously titled “Thanos Wins.” And when Thanos wins, a lot of other people lose…

We spoke with Donny to get a clearer picture of the coming threat.

Marvel.com: We know that Thanos has an obsession with Death—but other than a fascination with the macabre, what makes the Mad Titan tick?

Donny Cates: Well, that’s something that we’ll be really diving into in this first arc. I’ve said in past interviews that I oddly (and perhaps worryingly) relate to the Mad Titan. And I think it comes down to his insane drive. I can relate to that (I’m writing like eight books right now) in a very real way. This idea that no matter how high Thanos climbs, it will never be enough for him. He’s searching for something he will never find. I think there’s something quite pretty about that.

In an evil murderous way, of course.

Marvel.com: How would Thanos describe his own legacy?

Donny Cates: Thanos has a very singular drive, right? He just wants her. So I don’t know that he necessarily thinks about how he’ll be remembered, you know? In his ideal world, everyone else is dead. So I think Thanos spends little time fretting over his legacy.

Marvel.com: The words “Thanos Wins” can’t be good for everyone. What will those two words mean for the Marvel Universe?

Donny Cates: I’ll say this: as bad as you think it might be for your favorite characters, you can’t imagine how horrific it’s really going to be. This isn’t a very nice book. I mean, its super fun…but yeah, don’t read it late at night. It has been by far the most brutal thing I’ve ever written. It gave me nightmares.

Marvel.com: Will Thanos be he making any allies to achieve his goals?

Donny Cates: There will be one ally that I think people will get a kick out of. He’s this cosmic lunatic with a flaming skull and a super rad space motorcycle. He’s my favorite character of all time. He’s very…mysterious. I look forward to people trying to figure out who he really is.

I can’t wait for this book to actually come out so I can answer your questions honestly! [Laughs] This book has been so much fun, and it’s my favorite thing I’ve ever written, and I want to talk about it so bad, but, alas…

Marvel.com: Last question: would you describe Thanos as misunderstood or just totally insane?

Donny Cates: Yes.

Join Donny Cates and artist Geoff Shaw for THANOS #13 on November 22!

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See what happens as Frank Castle gets his hands on heavy duty weaponry!

Frank Castle’s always been something of a battle automaton, but with November’s PUNISHER #218, he’ll become a true war machine!

Writer Matthew Rosenberg and artist Guiu Vilanova’s Marvel Legacy series will kick off with an idea planted at the end of Secret Empire: Punisher wants to do more and S.H.I.E.L.D. wants to help him. Feeling the need to make up for following the false Steve Rogers, Castle agrees to armor up in a modified version of the War Machine suit to tackle evil on a whole new level.

We talked with Vilanova about ratcheting up the violence, designing the armor, and working with one of Marvel’s busiest writers!

Marvel.com: How was it mixing elements of the previous War Machine armors with the iconography of The Punisher to come up with something new?

Guiu Vilanova: The creative process always means good fun to me. And to mix two huge iconic elements like the Punisher’s skull and the Iron Man armor is great!

Marvel.com: Has it been difficult retaining Frank Castle’s look as he’s outfitted in this new armor?

Guiu Vilanova: Sure. It’s always difficult to keep the resemblance of a character in each and every page. But I can’t complain, it comes with the job!

Marvel.com: What’s it been like working with Matthew to create or redesign a new supporting cast around Frank?

Guiu Vilanova: To work with great artists such as Matthew is always a pleasure. It makes my job way more easy and enjoyable!

Marvel.com: Punisher’s always been violent, but with this new set of weapons, he can do that on a whole different level. How has it been working in that realm?

Guiu Vilanova: Well, it’s basically the same guy but with a “bigger gun.” But Frank’s still being Frank.

Marvel.com: Does sending Frank in with this armor mean you’ve been working on even more dangerous threats for him to face?

Guiu Vilanova: That’s top secret. You’ll have to buy the book if you want to know it. But he’s not wearing the war machine armor to fry an egg, I can tell you that.

Matthew Rosenberg and Guiu Vilanova’s PUNISHER #218 ships in on November 15!

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