Cullen Bunn throws a monster mash for the ages!

Every day this month, a new supernatural character or story from the Marvel Universe gets a spooky spotlight leading up to Halloween!

Before super hero stories ruled the landscape, monsters—of all shapes and sizes—stomped across the comic book world. Most of them ended up in falling into anonymity, with few knowing the difference, for example, between Goom and Googam, Son of Goom.

Then, earlier this year, writer Cullen Bunn and a quintet of artists (Steve McNiven, Greg Land, Leinil Yu, Salvador Larroca, and Adam Kubert) dug the creatures up and made them heroes in their own right—in the pages of MONSETERS UNLEASHED!

Monsters Unleashed (2017) #1

Monsters Unleashed (2017) #1

What is Marvel Unlimited?

The story started as Earth’s heroes found themselves in a face off against a variety of beasts all over the world. Everyone—from the Avengers and the Inhumans to the X-Men and the Champions—got in on the behemoth bashing. Meanwhile, Lunella Lafayette focused her brainpower on the means of communication that the monsters utilized in an attempt to find out why they targeted Earth.

While the A-listers went at it, a kid named Kei Kawade sat quietly in his room doodling some creatures with a pencil and paper. And, shockingly, those illustrated creatures came to life.

Kei’s monsters joined the heroes’ side in the fight against the alien beasts. After teaming up with the boy, the supers learned that Kei was actually a NuHuman—and held powers similar to those of an ancient Inhuman warrior who fought The Leviathan Mother by drawing constellations to life. Then, like the events of the present, she ordered her minions to attack and cleanse worlds so she might use them for her own benefit.

The combined might the heroes and the Kei monsters temporarily halted the danger—but couldn’t stop The Leviathan Mother herself from making her way to Earth.

With most of the heroes and monsters at a loss, Kei—now dubbed Kid Kaiju—finished a few incomplete drawings and used their might to take on the Mother. These new creations—Fireclaw, Regis, Hi-Vo, Mekara, Slizzik and Scragg—eventually combined into one formidable force. With Kid Kaiju in control, the mega-monster took on The Leviathan Mother and, at last, succeeded.

Fright Fact

Kid Kaiju and his crew didn’t hang up their hats when MONSTERS UNLEASHED reached its conclusion—they moved directly into an ongoing series written by Bunn with art by David Baldeon, Ramon Bachs, and Andrea Broccardo. And on October 18, MONSTERS UNLEASHED #7 opens up the Marvel Legacy chapter of the supernatural story…

Tune in tomorrow for another t-t-terrifying Halloween Spooklight as we flash back to the 1970s with WEREWOLF BY NIGHT!

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Despite some intense MONSTERS UNLEASHED experiences, the Kid seems all right.

Kei Kawade is a teenage boy who appears to be of average physical health. He self-identifies as a “Inhuman” and the provided medical records reflect this report. He was recently exposed to Terrigen gas, underwent the cocooning and transformation process, and emerged with the ability to create and summon anything he draws. As his nickname/alter ego/Inhuman name “Kid Kaiju” implies, he tends to favor monsters as his drawings on choice.

The client was referred by an Else Bloodstone who the client identifies as a mentor figure. She declines to attend any sessions on her own but ensured his parents signed off on all forms, including permission to treat. While she had no relationship to this therapist or any of the staff prior to now and has openly disparaged the idea of therapy while the client was not present, she has also stated that “he is young and could use the help.”

In person, Kawade presents as a personable and enthusiastic youth. His general behavior is in line with how one would expect an outgoing boy his age would act and interact. There appeared to be nothing unusual in regards to emotional maturity or intellectual capacity.

The client denied either historical trauma or recent trauma stemming from his involvement in the so-called MONSTERS UNLEASHED incident. Follow up questions seem to reflect this as an honest response. While he has experienced stress in his life, then and now, he has proven resilient to it and there is no evidence of PTSD or Reactive Stress Disorder at this time.

Monsters Unleashed (2017) #7

Monsters Unleashed (2017) #7

However, his mentor’s hypothesis cannot be discounted. Kawade does seem to underestimate the danger he faces through engaging in what can best be referred to as super powered activities. He recognizes some level of harm could occur to him, but thinks it is a small chance and even if something did happen, it would be the kind of harm that might make him wince but not the kind that puts him in the hospital.

Naïve or not, he demonstrates good problem solving skills. Additionally, engaging in super heroics does not seem merely to be about the rush but it flows from having a system of morality that includes wishing to help others with the abilities you possess.

In order to have a more well-rounded perspective on the client, I am referring him to Doctors Cullen Bunn and Andrea Broccardo for a battery of tests, including a comprehensive mental functioning measure and projectives. Their appointment is scheduled for October 18 and results can be found in file MONSTERS UNLEASHED #7 on that date. This writer’s expectation is that Kawade might benefit from a check-in every few months, but will require no ongoing therapy at this time.

Psy D. Candidate Tim Stevens is a Staff Therapist who would sure be making a lot of living stick figures if he had Kid Kaiju’s abilities.

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Cullen Bunn on what’s to come for Kid Kaiju, including Fin Fang Foom… times two!

With big monsters, comes big responsibility…for Kei Kawade, at least. When you can bring massive behemoths to life just by drawing them, people start to take notice. Kei, AKA Kid Kaiju, currently enjoys his own ongoing series-MONSTERS UNLEASHED, from writer Cullen Bunn and artist Andrea Broccardo-and soon, he gets to join the Marvel Legacy initiative too.

In MONSTERS UNLEASHED #7 (out this fall), Kei and his colossal compatriots find themselves in the Savage Land, the classic Marvel locale untouched by time and populated by unfriendly beasts. Talking to writer Cullen Bunn we learned that the first arc will focus on classic creatures like Fin Fang Foom while also setting up important new developments for the future of the Marvel Universe.

Marvel.com: Can you talk a little bit about how this issue will directly tie into the Marvel Legacy initiative? 

Cullen Bunn: MONSTERS UNLEASHED started off as a bit of a love letter to all the classic monsters in Marvel’s vast history. With the new series, we’ve been focused on our new monsters. In this arc, though, we’re putting the spotlight back on one of the classic monsters in a big way. In addition, this story focuses on the idea of a kid struggling with powers that are new and unusual and scary to him. That’s the kind of story that made me love Marvel when I was a kid.

Marvel.com: Going off that, what kind of throwbacks can we expect to Marvel’s legacy of monsters from the Kirby era and the like?

Cullen Bunn: We’re spotlighting one iconic monster–Fin Fang Foom–in this arc. He’s arguably the most popular of the classic Marvel beasts, and he’s definitely one of my favorites. Wait. Did I say we were spotlighting one monster? I meant two. But they are both Fin Fang Foom. What does that mean? It means that while we’re honoring the legacy of Marvel comics, we’re also looking toward some very important things coming in the future.

Marvel.com: What about the Savage Land makes it so well-suited for a MONSTERS UNLEASHED story? 

Cullen Bunn: Besides the fact that the Savage Land is one of Marvel’s most legendary locales, there is an important reason that this story takes place there. When we first arrive in the land of prehistoric beasts, it is because Kei has a big secret he wants to reveal, but for various reasons he wants to be far away from modern civilization.

Marvel.com: How will Kid Kaiju’s band of world-saving monsters get along with the ones we’ll meet in the Savage Land? 

Cullen Bunn: They will not get along at all.

Marvel.com: In terms of an antagonist, what kind of threat are we looking at here, both to this land untouched by time and the world at large? 

Cullen Bunn: The threat in this story is huge–and not just physically. This creature is a threat to Kei, a threat to the Savage Land, and–if Kei and Elsa Bloodstone don’t stop it–to the world as a whole. As I mentioned, as much as this story honors Marvel’s past, it also looks to the future. The villain in this issue is just part of something much, much bigger and more terrifying.

Marvel.com: How does Andrea Broccardo’s artwork on this correlate to the story you want to tell?

Cullen Bunn: Andrea draws some great monsters and dinosaurs! He also draws great action and adventure. Most importantly, though, Andrea never forgets to keep the artwork fun. We’re telling an important story, but MONSTERS UNLEASHED is still a book you’ll have a good time reading.

Marvel.com: Will this experience be enough to turn Kid Kaiju into Man Kaiju?

Cullen Bunn: This might be a harrowing enough experience to age Kid Kaiju. It’s definitely going to open his eyes to the enormity of his abilities a little more. But I think he’ll still be a kid when it’s all over–a kid with some big responsibilities.

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Cullen Bunn unveils a new Intelligencia to take on Kid Kaiju and company!

Writer Cullen Bunn and artist David Baldeon deal with huge characters in MONSTERS UNLEASHED every month. However, with the series’ third issue, they’ll also be introducing some gigantic personalities all with malevolent intent: the New Intelligencia!

Originally gunning for The Hulk, this new take on the familiar group features The Leader, Mad Thinker, M.O.D.O.K. 2.0 and Mr. Sinister! As some of the most cunning minds in the Marvel Universe, they will put their giant heads together and come up with a way to target Kid Kaiju.

We talked with Bunn about building this new squad, playing with some of the most iconic villains Marvel has, and the joys of writing The Mad Thinker!

Marvel.com: Does this new Intelligencia have a specific goal or mission statement for lack of a better term? And how does that play into the series?

Cullen Bunn: This iteration of the group has the same mission statement as previous versions: evil through smarts. Okay, that’s not their mission statement, but it’s close. In the case of MONSTERS UNLEASHED, the New Intelligencia has found something they’ve not seen before. While each and every one of them has created monsters of one sort or another, they’ve always had to really work at it. Kid Kaiju, though, has actually created living, breathing creatures just by drawing them. To the Intelligencia, he represents the power of raw genetic creation, and that is worth studying.

Marvel.com: M.O.D.O.K. 2.0, Mr. Sinister, The Leader, and Mad Thinker are also fairly bombastic. How fun is it bouncing them off of each other?

Cullen Bunn: So much fun! They all have such unique personalities and approaches to reaching their malevolent goals. With this group, I wanted to show that Kid Kaiju and his monsters were going to be dealing with very real threats in the Marvel Universe. Each of the members of the New Intelligencia is a genuine threat in their own right. Working together, they are extremely dangerous.

Marvel.com: Leader, Mad Thinker, and M.O.D.O.K. have experience with this group. What made them bring in Mr. Sinister?

Cullen Bunn: Sinister, with his experience with cloning and such, was a perfect addition to the group. He is sort of a genetic expert. And I think people forget just how smart Mr. Sinister really is. His spot on this team is well-deserved.

Marvel.com: What sets the 2.0 version of M.O.D.O.K. apart from the others we’ve seen?

Cullen Bunn: Well, M.O.D.O.K. 2.0 is a clone of the original M.O.D.O.K., and he’s a little more calm and cunning than his predecessor. Of course, I always saw the original M.O.D.O.K. as a ranting fiend, so being [calmer] than him isn’t too hard. I also think he’s more cruel and scary. He actually wanted to become this abomination. Of all the members of the New Intelligencia, he’s the most evil, I think.

The Intelligencia by RB Silva

Marvel.com: Of this group, Mad Thinker’s been around the longest. What’s it like working with such a lasting villain?

Cullen Bunn: I love The Mad Thinker. I’m trying to approach him a little differently than we might have seen before. He has this weird, almost religious take on his own insanity. He’s frequently offering bits of strange philosophy regarding madness.

Marvel.com: The characters in this new version of the Intelligencia are mostly used to operating on their own or leading groups. How do they work together in a group situation?

Cullen Bunn: If anything, it will be the hubris of this group that tears it apart. Each member of the group believes they are the smartest, and there’s a little jealousy between them for that reason. Their minds are always working, always figuring out possibilities, but that makes them paranoid…maybe with good reason.

The Intelligencia makes their presence felt in MONSTERS UNLEASHED #3 on June 21 thanks to Cullen Bunn and David Baldeon.

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The surprise stars of the epic Marvel crossover get their own series written by Cullen Bunn!

Remember when as a kid you staged massive monster fights with your action figures in the sand box of your local park? Well, who ever said those epic battles needed to end when we grew up? Not Cullen Bunn! The illustrious writer takes Kei “Kid Kaiju” Kawade and his beastie pals around the paddock for another earth-shaking ride this April in an ongoing MONSTERS UNLEASHED spin-off series.

That’s right. The behemoths don’t plan on going anywhere and they’re causing a bit of concern within the Marvel Universe—along with helping Kei and his allies fight evil. Cullen took a short break from monster hunting to tell us about the upcoming super-sized series that will re-awaken the kaiju-loving kid in all of us with some serious monster-on-monster action.

Marvel.com: Last time we spoke you briefly went into detail about the MONSTERS UNLEASHED spin-off series. Now that we’re getting closer to the first issue’s release on April 19, what can you tell us about the cast of characters that will be featured in it?

Cullen Bunn: The new MONSTERS UNLEASHED features Kei Kawade—Kid Kaiju, the boy with the power to summon and create monsters by drawing them—Elsa Bloodstone—famous monster hunter turned bodyguard—and a group of five monsters that Kei has created. These new monsters—Aegis, Mekara, Slizzik, Hi-Vo, and Skragg—form a powerhouse group of heroes unlike any that have been seen in the Marvel Universe. It’s their job to combat the most dangerous apex predators in the world: other giant monsters! In addition to the main team, we’ve got a great supporting cast. Parents, S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, Damage Control representatives, H.E.R.B.I.E. robots, and a host of villains, and that’s just to start!

Marvel.com: What’s the team dynamic like between the human characters?

Cullen Bunn: Kei and Elsa have a bond. They’ve been through the fire of the Leviathon invasion together, and they are closer for it. But, in Kei, Elsa sees someone who is as interested in monsters as she is. Yes, Kei loves them and doesn’t want to see them destroyed and Elsa was trained to wipe them out, but they share that bond. Kei’s parents don’t want their son to be a super hero. They know he can’t have a normal life, but they also don’t want him risking his life fighting gargantuan beasts. And then there are the government agents and super heroes who are seemingly always orbiting Kei and his monsters. Their interactions range from friendly to commanding to downright combative.

Marvel.com: What will their interactions be like with the monsters who are staying over into the new series? Is there a lot of fear of being squashed?

Cullen Bunn: When you’re dealing with monsters the size of buildings, there’s always a chance of getting squashed, I guess. This new team of monsters, though, all have their own personalities. In terms of how they interact, they are heroes like you would see in another team book. They have unique viewpoints, and they have lots of questions about their own origins, but they see Kid Kaiju as a friend, and they would face any danger to protect him. Now, Elsa and the monsters have a slightly more contentious relationship, but they recognize that they’re all working toward the same goal.

Marvel.com: Any person or monster you look forward to revisiting?

Cullen Bunn: I’m excited about all of the main cast. Kei’s new monsters were only in a few pages of the initial series, so it has been fun expanding their personalities and seeing them become fully developed characters. Kei and Elsa are, of course, favorites of mine, and I can’t wait to expand their supporting cast. Kei’s parents, Elsa’s relatives, their friends and allies and enemies. I’m looking forward to all of them. And there are Marvel villains and monsters—old and new—that I’m thrilled about bringing into the book.

Monsters Unleashed #1 cover by Arthur Adams

Marvel.com: Will there be any backlash against the use of these creatures after their attack on the Marvel Universe? Is every hero and secret organization now wary of what Kei can do?

Cullen Bunn: Oh yes! That’s a big part of the series. Kei is a young boy with what is potentially the most devastating power on the face of the planet. This means that many, many groups are keeping a watchful eye on him, all with different agendas. The Avengers want to train him. The Inhumans want him protected at all costs. S.H.I.E.L.D. wants him contained. Damage Control wants to make sure that the monsters don’t unleash massive collateral damage onto the world. But there are others who are very interested in Kei, too. Mole Man, who shows up early on, has use [for] Kei’s abilities. Lady Hellbender wants to know how Kei can summon monsters; when he started summoning creatures in the limited series, some of Hellbender’s menagerie vanished from their cages. And there is a group of villains—some of the most dangerous minds in the Marvel Universe—who want Kei for their own vile purposes.

Marvel.com: With a title like “Monsters Unleashed” there’s obviously an expectation of seeing these behemoths stomp around, and while they are massive personalities, they’re not the only ones you’ll be using to tell the story. How will you be balancing the monsters with the human characters to tell a more rounded tale?

Cullen Bunn: There will be monster-sized threats in this series, but there will also be challenges and dangers and interactions that a giant monster simply isn’t equipped to handle. Of course, an 11-year-old boy and a brash monster killer might not be equipped to handle them, either, but those are the breaks. So, every issue will feature monster action—not always monster brawls, mind you, but definitely dynamic monster awesomeness—human interaction, Elsa hunting human-sized beasties, Kei interacting with his parents and his teachers and the people who want to watch over him, and more! I feel like the series is pretty well balanced, more than the limited series was.

Marvel.com: You mentioned last time that S.H.I.E.L.D. and Damage Control are keeping an eye on this new team. What agents are on the prowl and are they concerned about the activities of specific team members or monsters?

Cullen Bunn: We’ll be meeting a new Damage Control representative who is working directly with various agencies—including S.H.I.E.L.D.—as a “handler” of sorts for Kid Kaiju and his monsters. You’ll be meeting some new characters, such as Damage Control agent Gloria Clark. You’ll also be seeing some familiar S.H.I.E.L.D. faces, some of whom have a long history dealing with giant monsters in the Marvel Universe. These factions all have different approaches to handling the monsters. Some want to guide them. Others think they are too big of a threat and are just waiting for an excuse to destroy them.

Marvel.com: Along with her knowledge of Dracula and Frankenstein, Elsa Bloodstone is a scholar on Marvel Monsters. Will she, as a seasoned monster hunter, be a parent-like figure to the younger heroes like Kei Kawade and Aegis, who will be taking these threats head-on? How will she be reigning in their naiver and more reckless tendencies?

Cullen Bunn: Elsa is a bodyguard, mentor, and friend to Kei. It’s not a role she’s very comfortable with. She’d rather be out there killing monsters. As you’ll see in the first issue of the new series, she’s still indulging her old monster-busting activities in order to work off some steam and keep herself grounded.

Marvel.com: Any words of advice before for the new team before they hit the ground running in April?

Cullen Bunn: Beware! That villain group I mentioned earlier is comprised of some heavy duty Marvel bad guys. They’ve tangled with every hero, from The Hulk to the X-Men, and now they’ve set their sights on you! They are recruiting any ne’er-do-well with a monster connection. They are planning on testing Kid Kaiju to his limits, and then use him for their own nefarious purposes. Kei—you’re in the Marvel Universe now. Your adventures will not be on the fringe, but right in the thick of things, so buckle up.

The mayhem continues in MONSTERS UNLEASHED #1 by Cullen Bunn and David Baldeon, coming April 19!

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A farmer attempts to feed the world and ends up creating a monster!

With so many classic creatures on the loose in Monsters Unleashed, we turn to their earlier adventures thanks to Marvel Unlimited.

1962’s TALES OF SUSPENSE #26 kicked off with huge claims about it’s opening main character Jed Hanson. Stan Lee and Jack Kirby set the man up as the kind of person everyone should strive to be as he dedicated himself to finding a plant that could grow in the most inhospitable of climates in order to help feed those in other nations. Jed didn’t let anything silly like a stray meteorite landing in a nearby field deter him from breeding and cross-breeding until he developed a plant packed with “every vitamin in the alphabet and then some!”

What Jed didn’t know, though, was that his plant had been hijacked by a creature from outer space that could stretch its body around other trees as the first step in fully uprooting them! Just beginning, the creature continued to grow throughout the day, grabbing sheep and bulldozers with equal ease. Feeling guilty at his contribution to this menace, Jed did everything he could to stop the creature, but it just kept expanding no matter how much he and the others cut away. Hope seemed fully lost until the farmer literally stumbled over the original meteorite which he posited “must contain some element fatal to the plant.”

Tales of Suspense (1959) #26

Tales of Suspense (1959) #26

  • Published: February 01, 1962
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: September 27, 2012
  • Penciller: Steve Ditko
  • Cover Artist: Jack Kirby
What is Marvel Unlimited?

With a plan in mind, Jed drafted his wife and son to help him chop the space rock up with axes and distribute them around town. As the stone touched the plant-like creature, it immediately shriveled up and died. Glad to be done with the menace, the townspeople asked Jed to give up his dream of helping feed the world and he easily agreed: “I won’t monkey with anything I don’t know about!”

If he kept his word, it makes you wonder how The Thing That Crawls by Night appeared in the second and third issues of MONSTERS UNLEASHED!

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An alien looking to recharge its batteries meets the usual angry mob!

With so many classic creatures on the loose in Monsters Unleashed, we turn to their earlier adventures thanks to Marvel Unlimited.

In 1961, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby kicked the year off by introducing readers to The Blip in TALES TO ASTONISH #15. The story began with an airport radar operator noticing an unexplained blip on his equipment. Unbeknownst to him, that signaled the arrival of an electricity-based creature who had just landed on Earth.

The next morning, people in the surrounding town woke up to find their electrical devices completely drained of power. Fueled by curiosity, the radar operator used an electrometer to scan the town in search of the source. It took him hours, but he finally found the creature in a cave. The being quickly explained that it simply needed time to rest and had no intention of causing any harm to the town or planet. Blip relayed that he had traveled to another planet to help out, but got caught in a space warp on his way home which sent him to Earth. He’s been drawing electrical power from the nearby areas to recharge and get back.

At the same time, the townspeople gathered up their guns and a dynamo to get their power back. They showed up at the caves just after Blip finished telling his new friend about his journey. Though he intended to simply explain himself again to this larger group, he frightened them and they started shooting. The angry mob wouldn’t even listen to the radar operator’s claims that the creature meant them no harm and labeled him a traitor. Realizing they couldn’t hurt the alien, the people turned their rage towards the man. This did not sit well with Blip who only then used his actual powers and strength to attack the humans.

Tales to Astonish (1959) #15

Tales to Astonish (1959) #15

  • Published: January 01, 1961
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: June 22, 2010
  • Penciller: Paul Reinman
  • Cover Artist: Jack Kirby
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Disgusted by humanity, Blip used the energy from the dynamo to fully recharge himself and returned to the stars. As his new friend ascended, the radar operator tried defending his fellows. “Perhaps, next time our races meet, you frail mortals will have grown up—perhaps then you’ll be ready to join your brothers on other worlds, in other galaxies! Until then…farewell!” responded the alien.

Since that first appearance, “Blip” has come to stand for not just the alien who appeared in this issue, but a member of the whole race as well. Xemnu created a double to attack Hulk in the monster-filled INCREDIBLE HULK ANNUAL #5. Wolverine ran into some of this race in the pages of his first solo book while running around space in issues #136 and #137. Some pals of Logan’s encountered another Blip in UNCANNY X-MEN #33 when Kitty Pryde and Illyana Rasputin traveled to Monster Island to track down a powerful young girl named Bo, but only briefly. And, of course, most recently the electric alien has most recently been spotted in the pages of MONSTERS UNLEASHED #2 and #3 alongside all of the other classic creatures!

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Cullen Bunn prepares to steer the creature-filled conflict to an epic conclusion!

By Josh Weiss

Even if you’ve been living under a rock for the past few months, you’d still be able to feel the thunderous tremors being caused by the arrival of giant monsters in the Marvel Universe, stamping around above your subterranean home. And if the names Fin Fang Foom and Goom and Googam don’t ring familiar to you, they soon will be thanks to writer Cullen Bunn who has helped re-introduced some of Marvel’s most bloodthirsty behemoths with the Monsters Unleashed event.

In the wake of Civil War II, giant creatures mysteriously began to appear and terrorize the earth; it took the greatest heroes in the Marvel Universe to address a threat that may not be as clear cut as simply punching skyscraper-sized beasties in their faces and/or multiple heads.

For MONSTERS UNLEASHED, Bunn teamed up with a team of talented artists—Adam Kubert, Greg Land, Salvador Larroca, Steve McNiven, and Leinil Yu—to bring these monsters—some well-known and some a little more idiosyncratic—back into the colorful Marvel spotlight. With just two issues left in this limited series, we spoke with the writer about the event so far, his Atomic Age aspirations when crafting the story, and the far-flung ramifications we can expect from the end of a major crossover event that he’s been preparing to write since childhood.

Marvel.com: As we begin to wind down on this awesome and—forgive the pun—monster-sized event, can you talk about what the ride’s been like for you from the idea’s inception to its fruition?

Cullen Bunn: I grew up watching giant monster movies, reading “Famous Monsters of Filmland” magazine, and reading monster comics. When I was very, very young, I wrote my own monster-centric comic titled “Attack of the Monsters,” featuring King Kong, Godzilla, and Mothra among others attacking the Earth. When I first heard about the initial idea for the series, I thought to myself how hurt I would be if I didn’t get the chance to write it. I’ve been preparing to write a book like this all my life.

Marvel.com: Monsters Unleashed drew on a rich mythology of Marvel monsters that dates back to the days of the late 1950’s, early ‘60’s. Was there a particular creature or creatures you especially enjoyed bringing back into the pop culture spotlight?

Cullen Bunn: When I started on this series, I was given a big packet detailing all of the classic monsters that were available. There were so many awesome beasts up for grabs. Of course Fin Fang Foom is a favorite, but I also fell in love with the visuals of Monstrom and the father/son dynamic of Goom and Googam. But I brought as many of the classic monsters to the series as I could. I really enjoyed writing the interaction between these monsters and between the monsters and the Marvel heroes.

Marvel.com: Given the fact that the central character behind the arrival of these monsters has the nickname Kid Kaiju” and that there were some really cool B-movie inspired variant covers released, were you influenced by any specific tropes of the classic B-grade sci-fi monster and kaiju movies of the 1950’s and ‘60’s when writing the story?

Cullen Bunn: Definitely. I drew inspiration from those classic 50’s “atomic horror” style movies and comics. I read and re-read a ton of classic Marvel monster books, especially considering how many of those creatures had starring roles in the series. I also drew upon many of my favorite kaiju flicks, like the original Godzilla and Gamera movies. The Godzilla movies of the Heisei era and movies like “Gamera 2: Advent of Legion” were particularly influential.

Marvel.com: What were some of your goals when you excavated these creations from obscurity? Did you hope to make them re-iconic” in the minds of comic book fans?

Cullen Bunn: First and foremost, I wanted readers to have fun with the series. And I wanted to honor the legacy of [Jack] Kirby, [Don] Heck, [Steve] Ditko, [Herb] Trimpe, and the other creators who brought these monsters to the page. And—yes—I wanted to establish the giant monsters of the Marvel Universe as important and legitimate forces to be reckoned with. My hope is that these beasties—the classic Marvel monsters and the Leviathons—are mainstays in the Marvel Universe for years to come.

Monsters Unleashed #5 cover by Adam Kubert

Monsters Unleashed #5 cover by Adam Kubert

Marvel.com: Have you seen your initial goals come true in the form of fan reactions to the event?

Cullen Bunn: I’ve seen plenty of people commenting on this series as a lot of fun. I’ve also seen folks mentioning that they’ve enjoyed seeing the heroes fighting by each other’s sides after such a tumultuous time among these characters of late.

Marvel.com: This event has brought the entire Marvel Universe into the fray. What was your favorite part about leaving no stone unturned by having everyone cross over in one epic series?

Cullen Bunn: It was awesome to show so many different heroes in so many different corners of the world, but—hands down—my favorite aspects of the series—at least my favorites up until the big twist at the end—were introducing “Kid Kaiju” Kei Kawade’s ancient cosmic history and writing the team-ups between the Marvel heroes and the classic monsters.

Marvel.com: Without giving too much away, how should readers prepare themselves for the end of this event?

Cullen Bunn: A fearsome enemy—the Leviathon Mother—is heading toward Earth, and she is far too powerful, even for the combined might of Earth’s mightiest heroes and their classic monster allies. In order to defeat her, Kid Kaiju will need to draw upon a power he didn’t know he had within him. That power will introduce something completely new into the Marvel Universe and establish Kid Kaiju as a major heroic player.

Marvel.com: It was recently announced that MONSTERS UNLEASHED will be getting its own ongoing spin-off series coming this April with you at the helm. Is there anything you can tease about it, like the threats Kawade and his team of monsters may be facing?

Cullen Bunn: In the event series, Kei was concerned primarily with the hundreds of Leviathon that were falling to Earth. Some of those monsters are still out there, and Kei, Elsa Bloodstone, and a group of monstrous heroes have been tasked with facing the most gigantic threats to the world. But, Kei will soon learn that monsters are not the only threats he’ll be facing. This book is firmly rooted in the Marvel Universe, and several very recognizable super villains have taken an interest in Kei. These villains—some of the most intelligent, devious ne’er-do-wells in the world—see potential in these giant monsters and potential in Kei’s unique abilities.

Marvel.com: In what ways will it be different from the event that spawned it and what are some of the repercussions it will have within the Marvel Universe?

Cullen Bunn: With the event, the pacing was frantic. Leviathons were falling to Earth one right after another, and there was little time for anything other than trying to push them back out to the depths of space. In the aftermath of this kaiju invasion, the heroes of the Marvel Universe now know that giant monsters could pose a significant threat to society in the future. Luckily, they have a new team of allies perfectly suited to battling these threats. But even a group of heroic giant monsters need looking after. Not only is Elsa Bloodstone keeping an eye on them, but S.H.I.E.L.D. and Damage Control are also watchful eyes on Kei and company. While the ongoing series will have lots of action and adventure, it will also give us the opportunity to dig into the personalities of some of these new characters in a significant way.

Marvel.com: If you had to give Kei Kawade one piece of advice about having his own Marvel comic book series, what would it be?

Cullen Bunn: I’d tell him to be careful around underground tyrants and intergalactic monster hunters.

The mayhem continues with MONSTERS UNLEASHED #4 by Cullen Bunn and Salvador Larroca, coming March 1!

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