T’Challa joins the Illuminati in an attempt to protect the multiverse!

For more than 50 years, the Black Panther has stood at the forefront on the Marvel Universe. With T’Challa appearing on the big screen again this year in both Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther”and “Avengers: Infinity War,” take a look back at over five decades worth of comic book adventures for the King of Wakanda!

The Black Panther discovered something incredible in NEW AVENGERS #1: the incursion of an entire universe upon his own, and a woman named Black Swan who seemed to be facilitating the event.

New Avengers (2013) #1

New Avengers (2013) #1

  • Published: January 02, 2013
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: July 08, 2013
  • Writer: Jonathan Hickman
  • Cover Artist: Jock
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In NEW AVENGERS #2, T’Challa played host to members of the so-called “Illuminati,” high-profile heroes self-tasked to protect their world. He relayed his findings of the incursions to them, and they in turn suggested gathering the Infinity Stones to stop their progress. Despite his desire to kill Namor, a member of the Illuminati who was also responsible for past destruction in Wakanda, the Panther joined with his fellows to hunt for the Stones in NEW AVENGERS #3. Once assembled into the Infinity Gauntlet, Captain America used them to halt an incursion, and in doing so, shattered the Stones.

T’Challa and the others decided to seek more Infinity Stones in alternate universes in NEW AVENGERS #4, but ran afoul of a variant Galactus and his herald, Terrax. The Black Panther disagreed mightily with his companions in NEW AVENGERS #5 over their willingness to work with Black Swan, a decision that led them to Latveria to stop another incursion.

New Avengers (2013) #4

New Avengers (2013) #4

  • Published: March 20, 2013
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: September 23, 2013
  • Writer: Jonathan Hickman
  • Cover Artist: Jock
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Strange blue skies met the Illuminati in NEW AVENGERS #6, and T’Challa mourned the loss of the man he used to be as he himself pulled the trigger on the death of another universe. Back in Wakanda, Namor asked for peace between his Atlantis and the African nation in NEW AVENGERS #7, and T’Challa sought advice from his friend Reed Richards before his sister Shuri officially refused Namor’s entreaty and declared war.

In NEW AVENGERS #8, Wakanda attacked Atlantis, a preamble to the mad space tyrant Thanos’ invasion of Earth to find his lost son. While the main team of Avengers made plans to travel into outer space to stop an alien invasion in INFINITY #1, Black Panther helped his people fight off the Black Order’s invasion of his beloved country in NEW AVENGERS #9.

The Inhumans’ king, Black Bolt, summoned the Panther and the Illuminati to Attilan in INFINITY #2 to inform them of Thanos’ purpose on Earth. The heroes left to seek that individual in NEW AVENGERS #10, which put T’Challa on his trail at the Caalsberg Ridge. The quest continued in INFINITY #3, while Black Bolt tried to stop Thanos by himself.

New Avengers (2013) #10

New Avengers (2013) #10

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The Black Order returned to Wakanda in NEW AVENGERS #11, while the Illuminati met the Builders, an ancient race of aliens with designs on Earth. The Black Panther witnessed Wakanda in flames in INFINITY #5, a result of the Black Order’s attack, and joined with the Illuminati to defend Necropolis and its cache of incursion-stopping bombs from Thanos’ lust for power.

When Shuri believed T’Challa to be conspiring with Namor, Wakanda’s greatest enemy, she banished him to the Necropolis in NEW AVENGERS #12. Later, the Illuminati built a device to view incoming “incursions,” invasions by other universes, in NEW AVENGERS #13, and the Panther saw the death of two alternate versions of himself.

Armed with more information about The Black Swan, gleaned in NEW AVENGERS #15, T’Challa discovered a group of champions not unlike him and his fellow Illuminati in NEW AVENGERS #16. Called the Great Society, the Panther and Namor observed the team in NEW AVENGERS #17, and realized that fate intended them to meet. The Illuminati flew off to Egypt to confront the latest incursion in NEW AVENGERS #18, but Black Panther cautioned his comrades of the evil in destroying other heroes.

New Avengers (2013) #17

New Avengers (2013) #17

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Upon the Illuminati meeting the Great Society in NEW AVENGERS #19, both groups debated their ability to work together to stop the clash of universes. Ultimately, the Society decided to battle the Illuminati, and T’Challa entered into combat with the hero called The Rider in NEW AVENGERS #20, while Doctor Strange cast a dark spell to summon a horrific creature. In the middle of it all, the ghost of the Panther’s father appeared in NEW AVENGERS #21 to urge his son to detonate the bomb to destroy the Great Society’s Earth, but when T’Challa refused, his father stripped him of his kingdom and status.

After Namor destroyed the alternate Earth, the Black Panther attacked The Sub-Mariner in NEW AVENGERS #22. Namor declared his action to be inevitable and also admitted he’d sent Thanos and his Black Order to Wakanda, which prompted T’Challa to promise to kill him. Just then, another incursion alert sounded, but the Illuminati would not rise to meet it. With the ultimate end for Earth approaching, the Panther visited his former queen Storm in NEW AVENGERS #23, but the time of incursion passed without incident, mystifying the heroes.

New Avengers (2013) #23

New Avengers (2013) #23

  • Published: August 20, 2014
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: February 16, 2015
  • Writer: Jonathan Hickman
What is Marvel Unlimited?

A shadowy figure enlisted The Black Panther to follow a trail of clues identifying the Watcher’s murderer in ORIGINAL SIN #1. Together with other heroes, T’Challa tracked the mystery to chambers below the Earth and to a satellite in orbit. There he learned of Nick Fury’s involvement in the case in ORIGINAL SIN #5, and of a secret he and Doctor Strange vowed to keep in ORIGNAL SIN #8.

Namor freed the villains held captive by the Illuminati and joined with them in NEW AVENGERS #24 to block incursions. T’Challa and Shuri attempted to seize the Illuminati’s world-destroying bombs from the Necropolis, but when the Cabal stood in their way, the Panther reluctantly left his sister behind to face certain death at their hands. In their new hideout, the Illuminati welcomed T’Challa, but the Panther brought only the bad news of Wakanda’s fall to the villains.

New Avengers (2013) #28

New Avengers (2013) #28

  • Published: December 24, 2014
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: June 29, 2015
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Caught up in the impending incursions of entire universes with his own, The Black Panther and his fellow Illuminati clashed with Captain America in Spain in AVENGERS #39, but discovered it to be trap. Faced with multiple teams of Avengers, T’Challa and his comrades tried to fight their way out of the noose in NEW AVENGERS #28 until stopped by Sue Richards.

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See how a battle with Thanos over his son irrevocably changes the Inhumans forever!

Bred by an alien race to be a warrior caste and possessing alien DNA, the Inhumans exist as humans possessed of incredible and otherworldly powers when exposed to the substance known as Terrigen. Living secretly, for the most part, among their fellow man, the Inhumans forge their own destiny as a separate society. Dig into the history of the Inhumans with these Marvel Unlimited comics in preparation for “Marvel’s Inhumans” heading to IMAX and ABC this fall!

After putting his spin on the Fantastic Four, Jonathan Hickman set his sights on the Avengers and the whole Marvel Universe beyond that. He started weaving an epic story that ultimately ended with SECRET WARS, but began in the pages of NEW AVENGERS and THE AVENGERS. Smack dab in the middle, he threatened the entire planet with one angry god: Thanos!

INFINITY ran through both Avengers books as well as its own six issue, self-titled limited series and dealt with Thanos, his Black Order and their dastardly plans. While many of the Avengers headed into outer space to fight one front, Iron Man, Mr. Fantastic, Namor, Dr. Strange, Black Panther and others remained on Earth where the Black Order struck on Thanos’ orders.

One of Thanos’ Outriders snuck into Attilan and read Black Bolt’s mind, revealing that he and the other members of the Illuminati once held the Infinity Gems. Meanwhile, Maximus worked on finding a dimension so the king could converse and also a Terrigen Bomb, both at Blackagar’s request.

Thanos then sent Corvus Glaive to request that the Inhumans kill all of their own between the ages of 16 and 22. It didn’t take long for Black Bolt to realize that this covered the Mad Titan’s true intention, to find his long-lost son, Thane!

Black Bolt then sent the Inhumans away and met with Thanos alone on Attilan. Refusing to give quarter, Black Bolt shouted at his opposition and destroyed the city himself, but not his foe. The attack also unleashed the Terrigen Bomb which started changing anyone with Inhuman genes around the world, including Thane who developed some kind of death-granting powers.

Thanos attained the upper hand on Black Bolt, took him to Wakanda’s Necropolis and attached him to a machine to use the king as a weapon. Later, Maximus of all Inhumans actually saved the day with help from Lockjaw to kill the Black Order’s Supergiant.

Having survived the ordeal, Black Bolt and Maximus discussed the future of the Inhumans high in the Himalayas. Well, Maximus did the talking as you can imagine. Anyway, Blackagar’s brother pointed out that the Terrigen Bomb actually marked the creation of a new age for Inhumans. At the very end of the story, they realized that Black Bolt’s power had been greatly reduced and planned on keeping it a secret from everyone else.

THE INHUMAN CONDITION

If you haven’t readINFINITY, you might be wondering why Thanos demanded Thane’s location from Black Bolt when the offspring didn’t actually reside in Attilan. As explained in FANTASTIC FOUR #577 – another Hickman-penned entry – a long ago argument amongst Inhuman royals lead to a split wherein each one left with their own people to populate different areas. Each group developed their own brand of Terrigenesis. The group that wound up in the hidden city of Orollan, but before that encountered Thanos. One of the women returned with the Titan’s spawn growing inside her. Thane turned into an adept healer until his true nature came to the surface when Black Bolt set off the Terrigen Bomb.

Find out what happens after the Terrigent Mist start spreading across the Earth in the INHUMANITY event!

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Jonathan Hickman and Kev Walker bring you a key issue on the road to Secret Wars!

Who is Rabum Alal? He who set off a chain of events that has led to the systematic destruction of every single universe and the death of everything. But what is the identity of this mysterious destructor?  The question that has alluded all will finally be answered this March in the pages of NEW AVENGERS #31 – from writer Jonathan Hickman and artist Kev Walker!

The Avengers and the Illuminati race against the clock to halt the death of their universe, yet the source of the Incursions remains a mystery. But not for long! Another signpost on the road to Secret Wars has been planted and you do not want to miss this issue! At long last, Rabum Alal’s identity and the origin of the Incursions revealed in March’s NEW AVENGERS #31!

NEW AVENGERS #31 (JAN150812)
Written by JONATHAN HICKMAN
Art by KEV WALKER
Cover by IN-HYUK LEE
Women of Marvel Variant by LAURA BRAGA (JAN150813)
On-Sale – 03/11/15

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Collect all eight stunning variant covers to unveil an epic Avengers-sized picture!

Before Earth’s Mightiest Heroes do battle against Ultron in Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron” on May 1 2015, don’t miss your chance to own a piece of the action with these epic Avengers: Age of Ultron Movie Variants in April.

Originally debuting at Comic-Con International 2014, these epic pieces of theatrical concept art by Ryan Meinerding, Charlie Wen, and Andy Park combine to form one stunning image of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes locked in combat against Ultron’s massive army. Coming to eight Marvel comics in the month of April, these covers are just like the Avengers – better when assembled!

Don’t miss a single variant when they come to these exciting Marvel comics in April!

  • AVENGERS: ULTRON FOREVER #1 Variant Cover A
  • AVENGERS: ULTRON FOREVER #1 Variant Cover B
  • NEW AVENGERS: ULTRON FOREVER #1 Variant Cover A
  • NEW AVENGERS: ULTRON FOREVER #1 Variant Cover B
  • AVENGERS #44
  • UNCANNY AVENGERS: ULTRON FOREVER #1 Variant Cover A
  • UNCANNY AVENGERS: ULTRON FOREVER #1 Variant Cover B
  • NEW AVENGERS #33

 
“These epic posters were really the hit of last year’s San Diego Comic-Con,” says Marvel SVP Sales & Marketing David Gabriel. “We’re glad that fans who attended the convention were able to get their hands on them but we’re even more excited to bring thousands of fans who may have missed this stunning image.”

Marvel urges retailers to check their orders on these hotly anticipated variant covers as they hit comic shelves through the month of April. No fan will want to miss the chance to own this stunning, epic image when the Avengers: Age of Ultron Movie Variants hit comic shops this coming April!

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What happens when time runs out? Take a sneak peak with the final issues' interlocking covers by Dustin Weaver.

This April, the Avengers and the Illuminati face down their final hours. The clock is winding down and the final Incursion is upon us. Marvel is proud to present artist Dustin Weaver’s interlocking covers to AVENGERS #44 and NEW AVENGERS #33 – the cataclysmic final issues!

Writer Jonathan Hickman along with artists Mike Deodato and Kev Walker bring to a close the epic saga of the Avengers, the Illuminati, and a Marvel Universe on the brink of extinction. The Incursions from parallel Earths from other dimensions have taken their toll on our heroes, and the battle worn Avengers stand ready to face utter decimation.

Before the highly-anticipated SECRET WARS begins in May, close out Jonathan Hickman’s epic Avengers and New Avengers saga with these two, oversized final issues! What changes await Earth’s Mightiest Heroes? Be there when Time Runs Out this April in AVENGERS #44 and NEW AVENGERS #33!

AVENGERS #44
Written by JONATHAN HICKMAN
Art by MIKE DEODATO
Cover by DUSTIN WEAVER
On-Sale in April!

NEW AVENGERS #33
Written by JONATHAN HICKMAN
Art by KEV WALKER
Cover by DUSTIN WEAVER
On-Sale in April!

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The Avengers Executive Editor answers questions about what's coming up for Earth's Mightiest Heroes, with exclusive reveals!

In May 2015, Time Runs Out.

AVENGERS and NEW AVENGERS have already begun the long and winding road to Secret Wars, with the story having jumped into the future, pitting hero against hero as the final Incursion draws near.

Executive Editor Tom Brevoort participated in a special chat to answer your questions and reveal exclusive art and details Replay it below!!

Live Blog Time Runs Out Chat with Tom Brevoort


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The New Avengers artist shares exclusive sketches and commentary for his take on the Illuminati!

All-New Young Guns artist Valerio Schiti clearly relishes tackling the diverse number of heroes and villains that populate NEW AVENGERS. He possesses a clear grasp of what fuels the core appeal of each character and brought that to the page.

Schiti opened up his sketchbook to share his work and his views with us exclusively on Marvel.com.

Beast sketch by Valerio Schiti

Beast sketch by Valerio Schiti

Valerio Schiti: Though he has a really peculiar physical appearance, in my opinion the Beast’s most important characteristic is without any doubt his spirit. It’s the one thing that always gets to me. Basically Hank McCoy is a good person, the purest of all NEW AVENGERS together with Reed Richards. So from my first sketches, my intention was to convey this goodness of his. To achieve [this] I focused on him being a scientist, a teacher and a friend; that is to say that I focused my attention on Hank rather than the Beast; on the man rather than the monster.

Black Bolt sketch by Valerio Schiti

Black Bolt sketch by Valerio Schiti

Valerio Schiti: Black Bolt doesn’t appear much in these stories but when he enters the scene his actions speak for him and define him as the resolute and majestic character that he is. Compared with the other Avengers I tried to picture him always taller and with a more muscular physique just to show his royal status and his serious nature.

Black Panther sketch by Valerio Schiti

Black Panther sketch by Valerio Schiti

Valerio Schiti: Actually the Black Panther that appears in the book has a more simple costume than the one that appears in the sketch. The fact is that [writer] Jonathan Hickman wrote many scenes in which T’Challa’s costume becomes invisible, projects force-fields and materializes energy daggers. So I thought that it was kind of cool to make the costume look really basic. Thus the readers would have been amazed by his capabilities; and at the same time the costume would have looked to be made with a technology so advanced to be practically invisible.

Black Panthers sketch by Valerio Schiti

Black Panthers sketch by Valerio Schiti

Valerio Schiti: Creating the design of the Black Panthers from the past was one of the most amusing things of this run. For every costume I was inspired obviously by history or ethnic groups, but I added some elements that recur in every design: leather clothes, golden necklaces and animal bones, fur coats and most importantly the blue-striped cloth typical of the Black Panther’s costume. The idea was to stress tradition, the heritage that’s part of being the Black Panther, as if every chosen one had inherited even the costume of his predecessor—of course maybe customizing it a little bit and creating the minimal design that he wears now.

Doctor Strange sketch by Valerio Schiti

Doctor Strange sketch by Valerio Schiti

Marvel.com: Do you also consider his distinctive use of his eyebrows a key to getting Doctor Strange’s look just right?

Valerio Schiti: Absolutely! Yes! I wanted him to look pretty smart, sharp, a man that has lived a lot of extraordinary experiences and that knows unspeakable rites and spells and, most important of all, knows how to use them. I was inspired by Vincent Price; at first I also thought of drawing him just with his mustache, but, together with editors Tom Brevoort and Wil Moss, we decided to keep the goatee to respect continuity.

Doctor Doom sketch by Valerio Schiti

Doctor Doom sketch by Valerio Schiti

Valerio Schiti: The design that appears in the book is more classic than the one in the sketch. I focused on two things particularly: shades and metal on the mask. The Doom that you’ll see in NEW AVENGERS #24 has his face always in the shadows and that is to show the character’s dark and at the same time reflective attitude. On the contrary the mask is really rough; it doesn’t look like a hi-tech gizmo. This choice reflects on the story and it’s a way to tell Doom’s nature. He doesn’t need decorations, he doesn’t need a shiny, polished mask; Doom’s a king and he’s royal even with a piece of iron instead of his face.

Iron Man sketch by Valerio Schiti

Iron Man sketch by Valerio Schiti

Valerio Schiti: I really like this version of Iron Man suit, it’s a very strong version. The color and the shape of the helmet and the eyes make it look even more “wicked.” I think it fits more a story like the one from NEW AVENGERS. Generally speaking, for an artist it’s always fun to work with armors or costumes that have a lot of details. And it would be even more fun to create them. The problem is, if you create a super-detailed costume, could you handle it through [the entire] book? You always have to look for balance.”

Iron Man sketch by Valerio Schiti

Iron Man sketch by Valerio Schiti

Valerio Schiti: In situations like this one a sketch like this can help you a lot when you have to draw a wounded character in more than one page. You can see exactly where the injuries are so that they remain in the same places. This sketch turned out to be useful for [artist] Kev Walker too when he was drawing NEW AVENGERS #22. I’m not sure to which extent you in the USA know Saint Seiya – Knights of the Zodiac. In Italy they were very popular when I was a kid. Usually during the fights the characters remained with half or even a few pieces of armor. That’s where the inspiration for Iron Man’s partial armor breakdown comes from.”

Kristoff sketch by Valerio Schiti

Kristoff sketch by Valerio Schiti

Marvel.com: Unlike his father, Kristoff does not need to hide his face. But he clearly emulates his father in this costume.

Valerio Schiti: It’s true, he looks a lot like his father. I didn’t want their costumes to be identical, though. They often appear in the same scenes so I didn’t want to mess with the readers. I took the chance and I created a new costume that resembled Doom’s, but I drew it as if it was more sophisticated, belonging to a man who was more accustomed to royalty and luxury. Let’s say Doom’s more like a medieval monarch and Kristoff more a 1800s-like emperor.

Mister Fantastic sketch by Valerio Schiti

Mister Fantastic sketch by Valerio Schiti

Marvel.com: The first thing I noticed with your approach to Mister Fantastic, how quickly did you realize you wanted to give him the absent-minded professor hairstyle?

Valerio Schiti: [Laughs] I really enjoyed drawing Reed and you are absolutely right, I wanted him to look exactly like a genius professor that doesn’t care much for his looks. In all of the stories I read Mister Fantastic has always been a lab rat and I didn’t understand why he was looking so picture-perfect! Also I thought of drawing him tall and very thin, as if his looks would suggest his powers.

Namor sketch by Valerio Schiti

Namor sketch by Valerio Schiti

Valerio Schiti: A lot of readers appreciated Namor’s new haircut and I’m really happy for that. Actually the look came quite naturally, I was looking for a real modern haircut that would have given the same weird effect of his classic haircut. But in my opinion the essential feature to really show Namor’s attitude is his gaze, he has to look always bored and not interested. I hope I got that one right; I really wanted to express his superiority complex. And needless to say, he has to be super-handsome!”

Hulk sketch by Valerio Schiti

Hulk sketch by Valerio Schiti

Valerio Schiti: The Hulk’s costume is his body, his muscles. The Hulk doesn’t need a real costume! It’s a really basic character, almost primitive I’d daresay. And I think Jonathan Hickman got the Hulk’s real essence: ‘Hulk is the strongest there is.’ Stop.

Pick up NEW AVENGERS #24 for Valerio Schiti’s next work, plus keep checking Marvel.com for the latest on the All-New Young Guns!

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Glimpse the future for Earth's Mightiest Heroes and the Illuminati with these exclusive covers plus comments by Tom Brevoor

For Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and the Illuminati, it has all been building to this.

In September, writer Jonathan Hickman jumps the cataclysmic saga he has been building for two years forward to the day of the Final Incursion. AVENGERS #35 and NEW AVENGERS #24, both double-sized issues, will jump eight months into the future where the end game begins.

“After the cataclysmic events of the Avengers tie-in to Original Sin and the revelation as to what the Illuminati has been up to all this time, we jump the storyline ahead to the moment where time runs out for everybody,” reveals Marvel Senior VP – Executive Editor Tom Brevoort.

New Avengers (2013) #24 cover by Gabriele Dell'Otto

New Avengers (2013) #24 cover by Gabriele Dell’Otto

As seen from the covers to these two issues, a lot will have changed when these stories pick up. What has become of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes? Who comprises the new Cabal? And what’s coming in May, 2015?

“In addition to setting the table for the astonishing climax of Jonathan Hickman’s run, we’ll also be providing a glimpse into the immediate future of our characters and what changes await them over the course of the next eight months of publishing,” promises Brevoort. “This isn’t some maybe-future; this is the real deal, what’s awaiting the Marvel Universe in the coming year.”

Avengers (2012) #35 cover by Jim Cheung

Avengers (2012) #35 cover by Jim Cheung

AVENGERS #35, illustrated by Jim Cheung, and NEW AVENGERS #24, with art by Mike Deodato, both double-sized and both written by Jonathan Hickman, arrive this September!

Stay tuned to Marvel.com and our social channels for all the latest AVENGERS and NEW AVENGERS news

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The upcoming New Avengers artist shares what he's learned at his time at Marvel, characters he'd like to work with and mo

A close examination of Marvel’s All-New Young Guns brings to light a common thread: talented artists who love the collaborative process.

Italian-born-and-bred Young Gun artist Valerio Schiti, in particular, consistently dives hands first into any Marvel script that crosses his drawing table. Building upon increased popularity from his recent stint on MIGHTY AVENGERS, Schiti hopes to expand his ever-growing fan base beginning this week on NEW AVENGERS.

In this interview with Schiti, he discusses the enriching collaborations that led him to joining the new class of Young Guns.

Marvel.com: What first sparked your interest in working in comics?

Valerio Schiti: In one word? John Byrne. Ok, these are actually two words but it was definitely John Byrne’s fault! My mother bought me my first super hero comic book when I was a kid; it was one of Byrne’s run on FANTASTIC FOUR in the early 1980’s. Here it was 1988 or so because of the delay between the U.S. and Italian releases. I fell desperately in love with the characters, the poses, the drama and the action. I always liked drawing so how could I resist the urge to try to copy that amazing art? I even did some funny little comics for me and my friends at school; I think it’s the same for every comic artist in the business. It was so fun that I started dreaming to make it my real work one day. And I was so damn lucky to succeed.

Marvel.com: While many fans of your work first became aware of your run on JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY, can you detail how you first start working at Marvel?

Valerio Schiti: My first contact with Marvel was a portfolio review with C.B. Cebulski here in Italy. I wasn’t ready to work as a professional but he noticed something in my art and asked me to do some sample pages. I really have to thank his sixth sense! It was the beginning of a long correspondence with Marvel: For the next couple of years, I did a variety of sample pages and they told me how to improve them. In the meantime I was working as an assistant for David Messina, Elena Casagrande and Sara Pichelli. Then in 2011 editors Stephen Walker and Sebastian Girner asked me to do a little backup story for GHOST RIDER #1—it was my debut on a Marvel book. After that I started a wonderful collaboration with IDW on titles like Dungeons & Dragons, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Battle Beats and then the lovely Lauren Sankovitch called me back to Marvel to work on JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY with the amazing [writer] Kathryn Immonen.

New Avengers (2013) #18 preview art by Valerio Schiti

New Avengers (2013) #18 preview art by Valerio Schiti

Marvel.com: Fans of your work know that you have a love of Marvel history, working many classic Marvel monsters into your JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY run—what is it about Marvel’s rich history that tempts you to bring characters back into the present day?

Valerio Schiti: I did a proper [amount of] research on Marvel monsters while I was working on JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY, there’re so many of them! Thanks to Kathryn Immonen’s imagination I had the opportunity to bring some of them back to life with a new role. The giant monsters were initially created to entertain and astonish kids. On JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY, Kathryn and I wanted to resurrect those creatures one more time to be as threatening and bizarre as they used to be. There was a lot of love in that work; let’s face it: everybody loves weird creatures in comics.

Marvel.com: Fans know they are reading a Schiti-drawn comic partially because of your great facial expressions. How did you hone that ability to draw such striking faces?

Valerio Schiti: I really love to enhance a character’s personality through their attitude and emotional reactions, the design and of course with the expressions. It’s easier on a comic book like JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY with an emphatic character like Lady Sif, a little harder in a dramatic book like NEW AVENGERS. I’m still honing, learning how to draw people’s expressions from a lot of artists like Sara Pichelli or Stuart Immonen and from Disney’s movies but the real secret is to keep a mirror on my desk. I always do every face a character does, all day long. No one except my girlfriend will see those silly faces—luckily for me!

Marvel.com: In recent months, you have been working a great deal in the Avengers universe, be it AVENGERS A.I., MIGHTY AVENGERS and soon NEW AVENGERS. Can you talk about the creative opportunities you have enjoyed getting to artistically swim deep in Avengers waters? 

Valerio Schiti: There are two kinds of opportunities, coming from working on great characters and working with great people. As I said, I love to enhance a character’s personality, so can you imagine how fun it is to define the personality of iconic characters like She-Hulk or the Beast? It’s amazing! I had the best time ever, trying to personalize their costumes a bit, to show their emotions, to make every face distinctive and unique. Drawing the rage of the White Tiger, the sadness of Hank Pym, the strange kind of humanity of the Vision and the new life choices of Luke Cage was awesome.

New Avengers (2013) #18 preview art by Valerio Schiti

New Avengers (2013) #18 preview art by Valerio Schiti

And with great books comes great colleagues. I worked with some of the most talented writers in the business like Sam Humphries, Al Ewing and now Jonathan Hickman, with the color of amazing artists like Frank D’Armata and  Frank Martin, with the supervision of editors Tom Brevoort, Wil Moss, Jacob Thomas and Jonathan Moisan. They always help, support and inspire me and that’s the greatest thing that an artist could have to do his best.

Marvel.com: If you were not working on NEW AVENGERS, is there a wish list of Marvel books you would love to get a chance to draw?

Valerio Schiti: NEW AVENGERS is so cool because you have the chance to try a little bit of every “Marvel family”: the Avengers, the mutants, the Fantastic Four, the sorcerers; but I’m still missing my favorite character ever: Peter Parker, our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man! I already met him in JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY, in his Superior version, and it would be great to have the chance to work on his books!

Actually I love underrated characters too. I’m tempted by the potential of what a restyling and solid writing could do; something like we did with Sif. Marvel is doing amazing, breathtaking stuff with MOON KNIGHT, IRON FIST: THE LIVING WEAPON, HAWKEYE, ALL-NEW X-FACTOR, CAPTAIN MARVEL, SHE-HULK and ALL-NEW GHOST RIDER and it’d be cool to work on an all-new version of another secondary character.

Marvel.com: How has collaborating with a variety of Marvel’s top writers and editors over the past few years helped you to become a better storyteller?

Valerio Schiti: As I said I had the opportunity to work with great experts, all of them are kind and helpful. I love teamwork and as many writers ask me for suggestions so I like to show my layouts, the core of my art, before inking. I need to include editors and writers in my creative process to avoid mistakes, enhance the pages potentialities and be sure that everything is clear. That’s one of the most important lessons I have learned from my colleagues: communication and clarity are key elements for great storytelling. Sometimes you need to sacrifice a cool shot for a clear one; a little less spectacular page could make a little more amazing book. It’s a question of balance and it’s easier looking for this balance with some help from a great team.

New Avengers (2013) #18 preview art by Valerio Schiti

New Avengers (2013) #18 preview art by Valerio Schiti

Follow Valerio’s work on NEW AVENGERS beginning this week and keep following Marvel.com for more coverage of the All-New Young Guns!

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Jonathan Hickman previews Captain America learning the Illuminati's crime and much more!

Suspicion flits through Steve Rogers’ mind. Something was taken from him. He can’t account for time. Not all of it. If only he knew that the events he struggles to remember represent one of his darkest hours, when his friends betrayed him, snubbed out the very memory, and cast him out from their trust.

This May, starting in AVENGERS #29 by Jonathan Hickman and Leinil Francis Yu, Captain America remembers.

“Since the first issue of AVENGERS and the very beginning of NEW AVENGERS, it’s the thing that’s been sitting in the background, the thing you knew would come to a head,” says Hickman. “Captain America remembering. That the Illuminati reformed and kicked him out because he didn’t have his blood up enough. He remembers.”

Following the loss of the reassembled Infinity Gauntlet in a desperate effort to prevent a collision of worlds, Captain America refused to concede to his brethren in the Illuminati. Aware Cap would likely never yield, Tony Stark and Stephen Strange removed him from the equation, tabula rasa in place of the memory.


Original Sin teaser by Frank Cho

Original Sin teaser by Frank Cho

“He remembers the Illuminati standing over him,” continues Hickman. “When the events of Original Sin happen, that’s the catalyst that unlocks all of that stuff in his head. One night he goes to sleep not remembering. The next day he wakes up and he does. That fundamentally changes the world that he lives in, what this larger Avengers World is all about. This machine that he and Tony built. It colors all of that in a completely new light. It’ll color Captain America moving forward for the next year.”

Meanwhile, Hickman plans to bring the long-simmering feud between Black Panther and Namor to a head in NEW AVENGERS. Considering that that standoff played out in bloody war between Wakanda and Atlantis, the next stage in their conflict could shatter worlds.

“Namor basically betrayed Black Panther and, in essence, the whole Illuminati in order to preserve what was left of Atlantis,” says Hickman, in reference to the Atlantean’s cloak and dagger maneuvering during Thanos’ recent invasion.

Original Sin Avengers covers by Leinil Francis Yu

Original Sin Avengers covers by Leinil Francis Yu

INFINITY represented a major turning point in that saga, but now that the smoke is cleared, the writer hopes to take that more personal conflict “full steam ahead.” While Hickman thrilled at the scope and gravity of INFINITY, he’s equally excited for the character studies at the center of Original Sin and its themes of betrayal and atonement. Wronged so profoundly, can either Captain America or Black Panther even consider forgiveness?

“I think we’ve skirted around the question of these heroes’ capacity to do something villainous, because they don’t have any other choice,” Hickman notes. “These issues during Original Sin will answer that. The next year for both AVENGERS and NEW AVENGERS is going to be pretty crazy. We’ve got Valerio Schiti on art in NEW AVENGERS and Leinil Yu drawing AVENGERS, and the books just look beautiful. Both of these are six-issue arcs, and both of those guys are just killing it.”

Continue to follow Marvel.com for all the latest news on Original Sin before the event kicks off this May!

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