It’s all been leading to April 27!

There was an idea, to bring together a group of remarkable people, to see if we could become something more.

We’re nearing the April 27 release of “Avengers: Infinity War”! Last week, Marvel Studios revealed five character posters. Now, they’re back with 22 mighty posters spotlighting each of our impressive super heroes ready to take a stand against the threat that is Thanos!

Leading the gallery above is the first Avenger (and birthday boy) himself, Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man! See the rest of the Avengers and their super allies — Zoe Saldana as Gamora, Chris Evans as Steve Rogers/Captain America, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Benedict Cumberbatch as Stephen Strange/Doctor Strange, Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow, Tom Holland as Peter Parker/Spider-Man, Chadwick Boseman as King T’Challa/Black Panther, Karen Gillan as Nebula, Chris Pratt as Peter Quill/Star-Lord, Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch, Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier, Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner/Hulk, Letitia Wright as Shuri, Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel voicing Rocket and Groot, Paul Bettany as Vision, Danai Gurira as Okoye, Dave Bautista as Drax, Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson/Falcon, Pom Klementieff as Mantis, Don Cheadle as James Rhodes/War Machine, and Benedict Wong as Wong.

“Avengers: Infinity War” opens in theaters on April 27. Get tickets on Fandango now! Stay tuned to Marvel.com, follow @Avengers on Twitter, and Like “The Avengers” on Facebook for the latest on the Avengers as it develops!

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Check out new characters and pre-order the upcoming releases now!

Hasbro is turning heads with the relaunch of Mighty Muggs this month, bringing a new spin to collectible figures. These head-spinning heroes and villains pack a mighty punch, letting fans of all ages experience a different side (or sides) of their favorite characters.

The first of the new Marvel Mighty Muggs — which feature a push-and-turn mechanism that lets fans change the figure’s facial expression by pushing down on the head — are now available for pre-order, with several additional characters having just been added.

Here at Marvel.com, we have your first look at three newly-revealed figures — Black Panther, Doctor Strange and Rocket Raccoon — which will all be part of Wave 2 of the new Marvel Mighty Muggs, available in February. Check out the gallery at the top of the page to see how all three appear in their packaging, along with photos of each of their distinct faces.

The upcoming return of Mighty Muggs (which also include new Star Wars-based characters) can be pre-ordered now at major retailers.

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Writer Al Ewing illuminates the raccoon’s dark past!

The Marvel Universe can barely contain the story of Rocket Raccoon.

He’s done it all—from his adventures with the Guardians of the Galaxy, to finding love, to pulling heists with his own crew of ne’er-do-wells. And on October 11, writer Al Ewing and artist Adam Gorham present ROCKET #6, in which the smart-talkin’ hero continues his (not-so-successful) fight against rival rodent Castor Gnawbarque III!

We spoke with Al to break down Rocket’s past, present, and tenuous future in issue #6.

Marvel.com: Rocket’s changed a lot in recent times. How do you plan to reconcile his past with his current mentality?

Al Ewing: Well, I’ve hinted in interviews and in the actual text—in the “prose gutter” where we keep most of the narration—that Rocket remembers a little more of the old days than he lets on. We’ve actually seen him bump up against his past on Halfworld before, so this isn’t such a new development. But Adam and I add a little noir tinge to that—Halfworld feels explicitly like the Good Old Days in our book; the days that were lost and can never come again.

We’re leaning into the meta-knowledge that the once innocent, playful, fun character has become a hard-bitten sci-fi thief—we move forward, and that’s for the best, but at the same time Rocket’s lost something that he can’t quite define or put his finger on, and the knowledge eats at him.

Marvel.com: How much of Rocket’s old life will we witness as the series continues?

Al Ewing: We get deep into it in issue #6…I won’t get too spoiler-y about how the memories come up, but they provide quite a contrast between how Rocket used to be and how he acts now. Fans of the old Bill Mantlo and Mike Mignola series will hopefully be happy with the glimpse they get of some of the old gang—and our superstar artist Adam Gorham puts his all into bringing them back to life.

Marvel.com: What made you originally decide to tell a crime noir story in this series?

Al Ewing: When I got the call to do ROCKET, I’d been reading a lot of Richard Stark and that sat heavy on my mind. I knew Rocket had become a little shadier since the early days—and obviously in the films he’s a much more criminal character—so the idea of putting this little Raccoon guy in a suit and having him pull off stylish sixties-influenced heists really tickled me. And when the initial absurdity of the situation wore off, I started thinking about how interesting it’d be to get into the deep-down melancholy of this character.

Marvel.com: What traits did you feel were integral to bringing Rocket to life in this storyline?

Al Ewing: Well, they’re more Raccoon-centric than Rocket-centric, but I found out raccoons have excellent senses of touch and hearing, which pretty much instantly made me think of safecracking. But, as we’ve seen, he also applies that to listening to people.

In terms of specifically Rocket-centric traits, he projects a lot of confidence in this two-parter. Rocket knowing how to wear a suit becomes bizarrely integral to the plot. And his ability to take a good thing and screw it up also jumps to the front and center.

Marvel.com: How does Rocket handle the difficulties of his tragic past while simultaneously dealing with the Technet?

Al Ewing: The Technet are a fun addition to the book. You can thank [Editor] Jordan White for that, since he asked me to bring them back, which I was more than happy to do…in fact, my one regret is not thinking of it myself.

We’ve set up a will-they-won’t-they, flirtatious thing between Rocket and the Technet’s leader, Gatecrasher, but whether it’s all going to end well…well, we’ll have to see. Somehow I doubt it.

Marvel.com: What inspired the “prose gutter” format of this comic?

Al Ewing: The “prose gutter” became part of the plan from pretty much the very beginning. I’d done it once before in an old issue of MIGHTY AVENGERS, but, full disclosure, it’s not a new idea—it shares some DNA with a few comics that came before. ROCKET presented me with an opportunity to use the noir voice, but I’m sure I’ll break it out of storage in the future, as well—it can be so fun to write in that sparse, gritty style.

Marvel.com: With Otta Spice now in the picture, what happened to Rocket’s romance with Lylla?

Al Ewing: We set up Otta as the rebound fling from Lylla—Rocket has a “type,” essentially, and while there may be a height difference, we made them visually very similar on purpose. How much like Lylla Otta actually acts…well, we’ll find out. But Rocket’s certainly projected an awful lot of Lylla onto Otta in a way that absolutely can’t be healthy or smart. And I doubt I’m giving out any big spoilers when I say it all comes back to bite him.

Writer Al Ewing and artist Adam Gorham’s ROCKET #6 drops on October 11!

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Writer Al Ewing discusses the raucous raccoon’s newest foe!

Rocket Raccoon’s been traveling around the galaxy for decades—and he’s come up against some formidable opponents in that time. He’s battled cosmic villains, alien races, and sometimes even himself—but he’s never had to contend with an anthropomorphic beaver that’s CEO of a mega-corporation.

Introducing Castor Gnawbarque III—a walking, talking nocturnal mammal that rivals even our hero. And in ROCKET #5, out on September 13, writer Al Ewing and artist Adam Gorham bring the two face-to-face…or snout-to-snout.

What else will we learn about this villainous semiaquatic rodent? We met up with Al Ewing in a secluded beaver dam to find out.

Marvel.com: I’ve got to ask… How exactly does one get in the headspace of a sentient animal?

Al Ewing: I haven’t really thought about it in those terms. I guess I have given Rocket some animal characteristics, in that raccoons have excellent hearing and a very good sense of touch—which ended up informing the comic a lot with Rocket being good at cracking safes. But mostly, I’m just writing an alien who happens to be Raccoonoid instead of humanoid, in a universe where a lot of alien species are some form of evolved animal. In a lot of ways, ROCKET veers into being a funny animal type of book—it’s the easiest thing in the world to describe a new alien as being like a giraffe or a warthog, and our superstar artist Adam Gorham loves to play around with what that might mean.

Marvel.com: Right! Rocket is so much more complicated than he seems. Is it difficult writing him?

Al Ewing: I think the challenge was reconciling the happy-go-lucky Rocket of my childhood with the very different character he’s become—and finding a way to make those two elements work together. And that’s the joy of it, too, because as soon as I understood that the Rocket of then and the Rocket of now are the same person, a whole chunk of his personality clicked into place. He’s a character who’s fallen a long way from what he was, which makes him very suitable for the kind of absurdist noir we’re telling.

Rocket (2017) #5

Rocket (2017) #5

  • Published: September 13, 2017
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: March 19, 2018
  • Rating: Rated T+
  • Writer: Al Ewing
  • Penciler: Adam Gorham
  • Cover Artist: Mike Mayhew
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Marvel.com: He’s definitely grown a lot since then. What do you think of his modern pop culture presence? Did it alter how you developed him for the book?

Al Ewing: Well, I was already far along with the Rocket book when I saw “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” but one thing that struck me in the movie was that Rocket carried a lot of sadness. His arc was all about lashing out, driving people away, dealing with his pain. And, yes, the movie Rocket is a very different character to the one we’re writing, but they do share that emotional core. Rocket’s someone who carries a lot of pain around.

Marvel.com: And how does Castor Gnawbarque III fit into this story?

Al Ewing: Castor Gnawbarque is the guy behind all of Rocket’s troubles…but at the same time, as I’ve been writing him, I’ve realized that he’s not a bad guy. Or he is, but as villains go, he’s a flawed, desperate individual trying to fill a hole inside him that no amount of money can fix. Essentially, he’s quite a small, paranoid man, driven by petty little neuroses. But because he’s so rich and powerful, his desperate scrabbling around for some meaning in life affects more people than just him. Without even thinking about it, he’s causing misery for a whole planet—and Rocket can’t let that go.

Marvel.com: Sometimes villains echo experiences the heroes are going through themselves. How do you think Gnawbarque and Rocket differ—and how are they the same?

Al Ewing: Well, obviously, they’re both small furry mammals and they’re both plagued by inner pain. But where Rocket is a raccoon—a thief—Castor is a beaver—a worker. In some ways, he’s been poisoned by that; work doesn’t make him happy, his damming projects are creating an environmental disaster, but he can’t stop. He’s driven by the ghost of his father—to achieve more and more, without knowing why. In some ways, despite the fact that Rocket’s essentially a failure and a guy who lost everything that mattered to him a long time ago, he’s retained more of his soul than someone like Gnawbarque.

Marvel.com: How does this adventure influence Rocket’s difficulty grappling with his identity and past?

Al Ewing: Rocket has to deal with his identity in a lot of ways over the course of this caper. We’ll see what remains of Rocket when you take every distinguishing feature away and who he chooses to stand by when the chips are down. We’ll also get a good look at how he deals with the ghosts of his past. Frankly, I’m not sure there’ll be a dry eye in the house when this all ends.

Meet Castor Gnawbarque III in ROCKET #5, by Al Ewing and artist Adam Gorham, available on September 13!

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Congrats to Marvel Animation on their first Emmy nomination!

Thanks to a genetically-enhanced raccoon and a Flora colossus, Marvel Animation has garnered its very first Emmy nomination for “Outstanding Animation Short Form Program.” “Marvel’s Rocket & Groot” features the voice talents Trevor Devall (“Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy,” “Johnny Test”) as Rocket and Groot is voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson (“Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy,” “The Cleveland Show”).

Featuring animation by Oscar-nominated Passion Pictures, the shorts are directed by Arnaud Delord, written by Chris “Doc” Wyatt and Kevin Burke, executive produced by Cara Speller, Alan Fine, Dan Buckley, Joe Quesada, Cort Lane, and co-executive produced by Stephen Wacker and Stan Lee.

We spoke with SVP, Animation & Family Entertainment Cort Lane, as well as writers Chris “Doc” Wyatt and Kevin Burke about what makes the Emmy-nominated “Space Walk” short (above) so very special.

Marvel: This is Marvel Animation’s very first Emmy nomination, how excited were you when you found out the news?

Kevin Burke: I was in a state of denial for a bit, I was waiting for Cort to make the announcement. I was texting Doc, “Is this real, is this a misprint?”

Doc Wyatt: I checked the official Emmy website that has the nominations but I was also waiting to hear from Cort. I stalked his social media.

Cort Lane: I also checked the official Emmy website, then I congratulated the folks at Disney XD. Then it was a flurry (ed: on social media).

Kevin Burke: It’s thrilling!

Marvel: Marvel animated shows all have their own uniquely designed look—I know Skottie Young consulted on the series but the final product almost feels like a loving tribute to the style of Chuck Jones.

Kevin Burke: On the writing side, in terms of coming up with bits and gags, the material is very much inspired by that. We had 90 seconds so it wasn’t so much about big plots, it was about a setup and a payoff and some fun gags, and the Chuck Jones style is very much that as well. So we were looking for comedy in that sense, and visually it went that direction.

Cort Lane: Passion Animation in the U.K. brought in Arnaud Delord, who’s a famous French animation director—well known for the Gorillaz music videos—and in the pitch we expressed being influenced by the Skottie Young style from publishing.

Passion Animation delivered something that had that Chuck Jones looseness and comedic sensibility—which really adapted well to the Skottie Young illustration style—but then rendered it in CG so that it felt really rich. It’s hard to capture that level of expressiveness and squash-and-stretch cartoony quality in CG, so they actually gave us a little animation test which showed us what it might be like and they blew us away. Then we got Skottie Young involved in creating some ancillary characters, but a lot of the baseline stuff was what he had already done in publishing.

Marvel: Not to discount the always amazing voice acting work in Marvel animated shorts, but “Space Walk” was gorgeously done with very little dialogue. Again that’s reminiscent of Saturday morning cartoons and captivating kid’s imaginations, was that the intention?

Kevin Burke: Absolutely, conceptually it was always about the visual nature of them being unable to speak. So from a pitch when we put it together it was: they’re trapped outside, they can’t say anything, they’re pulling everything they can to make it back inside the ship to survive. And so the setup was always there, in fact it was one of the easiest story pitches that we’ve ever done because that framework was there.

Then the fun part was working with the animators and Doc and I writing up gags because there’s so many different gags you can play, all visual. We got a chance to do something that we don’t do that often. In some of our other Marvel shows they’re very story driven with complex villain plots—this was just a moment in time—to play visually with music and sound, it worked out really well and we’re very proud of it.

Doc Wyatt: The director is French and he had his team with him at the story summit, we got up in front of the room and pitched the story idea and they would confer amongst one another in French for a very long time. Of all the stories that we discussed at our story summit, “Space Walk” was particularly well received.

Cort Lane: It was a strong concept from the beginning. I’ve always had a preference for Blue Danube—so I think I suggested it—and then someone said, “That’s waltz music, on their way back to the ship as they’re holding each other spinning back and forth it will look like a waltz.” Which was one of the little payoffs that we did manage to get in there.

Marvel: Fans truly love the space duo of Rocket & Groot.

Cort Lane: Everybody is so pleased with how these came out, they work so well as a duo. And it’s not just because they’re both funny and odd, it’s because their personalities are so distinct and opposites attract in a wonderful way. Rocket is such a strong personality but he needs Groot’s heart to get him to do the right thing a lot of the time.

Kevin Burke: On the writing side it is some of the most fun stuff we’ve ever written and most of that comes from these characters. As Cort said, Rocket is sarcastic and a big character and Groot has heart, but at the end of it, the whole thing has heart to it. It isn’t just about gags and doing the most funny, outrageous thing, these guys actually care about each other and there’s a friendship there and that helps move along any adventure they go on. I think people really relate to that.

Marvel: It’s inevitable to ask about Easter Eggs in these shorts.

Doc Wyatt: In the “Space Walk” short in particular, no. But there are a couple of…the answer is yes, but we’re not going to give them away!

Marvel: How amazing would it be if Groot was to give an Emmy speech?

Doc Wyatt: He wouldn’t need the teleprompter!

Cort Lane: I think it would be more awesome if Rocket did one because he would just yell at everyone!

Emmy voting is now open. Cast your vote for “Marvel’s Rocket & Groot” short between now and August 28! Stay tuned to Marvel.com for all the latest news and updates on all of your favorite Marvel animated series.

 

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Al Ewing reveals Rocket's latest partner in crime!

Rocket is back on August 9 in ROCKET #4 and per usual, the heat is on! Written by Al Ewing with art by Adam Gorham, our favorite trash panda finds himself in a pinch for some fast cash after his attempts to win back his ladylove goes horribly wrong.

So what’s a genetically-altered space rodent to do? Well, he happens to find himself in the same place as none other than the Merc with a Mouth, Deadpool. “Is that a bar? Is that a cell? All will be revealed,” teases Ewing. So when life hands you a crazed, possibly schizophrenic, semi-heroic lemon with a knack for shooting first and asking questions later, I guess you make some lemonade…and then rob the mob after you’ve quenched your thirst with said lemonade.

“Artist supreme Adam Gorham – who, as ever, knocks this issue so far out of the park it might as well be in space itself – asked me when we met in person if I was interested in doing a Space Kingpin and I’ve done my best to give Rocket that kind of adversary,” notes Ewing.

“The creep’s name is Cordyceps Jones, and he’s got a particular talent that biologists reading this may already have picked up on, that’s going to end up being quite a headache for at least one of our heroes,” says Ewing confirming that yes, he is a mushroom, because space. “One of the things I’m fairly proud of with this series is building various Swiss-watch space heists, and while the one in this issue is fairly simple, it’s probably one of the strangest. How do you steal a man’s brainwaves,” asks Ewing.

This issue also boasts a brand new omniscient narrator. “That’s right, this issue is narrated entirely by Wade Wilson himself, using the prose gutter provided, and giving it his best noir,” says Ewing. That should prove interesting considering the duo don’t really know much about each other. “All Rocket knows is that Deadpool’s an Earther, that all the other Earthers hate for some reason, and Earthers also seem to hate clean water and a livable climate, so he’s not going to care to much about that,” notes Ewing. However, Deadpool does care about Rockets lack of knowledge when it comes to hilarious pop culture references. “I mean that extended bit about the Evergreen Forest – pearls before swine, man, pearls before swine,” recalls Ewing.

The end of the issue does see our two friends – we’re using a very loose interpretation of friends here – going their separate ways. Wade back to his own story and Rocket on a quest for vengeance. “It wouldn’t be a hard-boiled noir space-heist furry mammal story without a little revenge on the big bad responsible for all the hero’s troubles…which, in this case, is Castor Gnawbarque III, a criminal CEO, and beaver, with his teeth buried in a tasty log of illegal activity that’s about to come back to bit him, like a beaver, because he’s is a beaver. I don’t know if I made that clear,” jokes Ewing. I don’t know guys, sounds like the guy pulling the strings might be a gopher or something…

Catch all the inevitable puns, guns and heroes on the run in ROCKET #4, written by Al Ewing with art by Adam Gorham, out August 9.

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Case your votes by Friday, June 23!

Marvel congratulates the Marvel Animation team for their work on “Marvel’s Rocket & Groot” animated shorts!  The 12-episode series of animated shorts follows Rocket and Groot as they try to figure out how to get enough credits to buy a new ship after their old one breaks down. View the compilation of all the shorts above!

“Marvel’s Rocket & Groot” is eligible for nomination voting in the “Outstanding Animation Short Form Program” Emmy category now on the Television Academy website! Be sure to cast your vote by this Friday, June 23rd!

Rocket is voiced by Trevor Devall (“Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy,” “Johnny Test”) and Groot is voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson (“Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy,” “The Cleveland Show”). Featuring animation by Oscar-nominated Passion Pictures, the shorts are directed by Arnaud Delord, written by Chris “Doc” Wyatt and Kevin Burke, executive produced by Cara Speller, Alan Fine, Dan Buckley, Joe Quesada, Cort Lane, and co-executive produced by Stephen Wacker and Stan Lee.

 

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Al Ewing takes us inside the confines of Colon to catch up with our hero!

After falling prey to the siren song of an old flame, Rocket starts back down the not so righteous path of stealing from the rich and, well, keeping it for himself mostly. But he gets played by a pretty face and ends up trapped deep within the bowels of the Colon where the clock winds down. Can he escape before the metaphorical—or possibly literal—crap hits the fan?

ROCKET #3 takes us inside one of the worst penitentiaries space has to offer on July 12 and we spoke with writer Al Ewing to give you all the lay of the land before setting off on this daring escape mission.

Marvel.com: Give us a quick run down of The Colon, what it’s like on the inside, how Rocket ended up there and why it’s called that?

Al Ewing: I’m so glad you asked me this question. What is it like, inside The Colon? In the hot, cramped confines of The Colon? How did Rocket end up in The Colon? Some would say that, in a real sense, Rocket entered The Colon the moment I began work on the character. Anyway, to answer your question: The Colon is a dark place, where the squeeze is on and something somewhere stinks. There’s a network of tough guys there—a ring of muscle, if you will—and Rocket has to navigate the twists and turns of The Colon in order to escape through the rear exit. It’s very much a bum note in his life.

Anyway, it’s named after the punctuation mark, clearly.

Marvel.com: Rocket’s been behind bars before; how does this joint stack up to other prisons and how is he handling life on the inside? What does he miss most?

Al Ewing: Silly name aside, this one’s pretty grim. It’s owned by a big corporation, and the shareholders like it when the prisoners are brutally and inhumanely punished; there’s a lot of “prison shouldn’t be a holiday camp” thinking in the richer parts of space. The prisoners are put to work making the space equivalent of license plates all day—and if they don’t, they go to The Hole, which is basically a pay-per-view gladiatorial arena that makes money for the prison through illegal gambling. Oh yeah, and every prisoner has a “punishment implant” attached to them that can deliver pain in various different ways for the most minor infractions. It’s a hellhole, essentially.

Marvel.com: I’m sure Rocket is already coming up with an escape plan—what can you tell us about it and how does the execution of said plan go?

Al Ewing: At first, Rocket’s keeping his head down, getting the lay of the land—but then he learns that there’s a deadline, and if he doesn’t break out immediately, he’s screwed. So the countdown is on, and it involves taking everything The Colon throws at him and turning it into an asset. We put all the puzzle pieces in place, and then we watch Rocket put them together. Not that his escape is a certainty; it’s well within my power to have him get all the way to the end, get a stroke of bad luck, and end up in an even worse situation. Maybe I’ll do that, maybe I won’t—I’m a capricious god.

Marvel.com: Does Rocket have any help/meet anyone while he’s there? Any interesting new characters to tease?

Al Ewing: Well, this might be the sensational character find of 2017: Rocket’s cellmate, Gasbag, a living sentient gas in a kind of rubber gimp suit. Also we have the usual complement of alien creatures, all with their own laws, customs, and bodily functions and all wonderfully illustrated by Adam Gorham.

Marvel.com: If Rocket taught Prison Life 101 what would be on the syllabus? What are Rocket’s three rules for surviving the slammer?

Al Ewing: As we see in the issue, Rocket’s first rule is to learn the lay of the land and find out the individual peculiarities of this particular hoosegow. Learn who his friends are, learn who his enemies are, learn the routines. Somewhere in that knowledge is the map to the exit.

The second rule is to make sure you get the top bunk. That’s the plum position in any cell. Norman Stanley Fletcher had the top bunk. Seriously, Rocket will fight you.

And the third rule is that there are no rules! Psyche!

Marvel.com: What is your favorite scene in issue #3?

Al Ewing: Well, without spoiling too much, there’s a wonderful bit that happens in the vacuum of space. Again, Adam’s work is superlative here; he really conveys the feeling of weightlessness, the terror of being in airless space with only a very fragile means of survival. Another favorite bit is when Rocket has an exchange with an old lag, a wizened inmate with vital information on the prison setup; Adam draws a wonderful rhinoceros person, which I think readers will probably end up falling it love with.

Marvel.com: Is there anything you can tease about what’s in store for our furry weapons crazed friend?

Al Ewing: Well, from here, he’s meeting up with a very special guest star—your friend and mine, Deadpool—and together, they’re going to get deep into the gangster life, with tommy guns, bursting out of cakes, and a heist aimed at a particularly vicious space mobster. Adam wanted a space Kingpin—and I put my thinking cap on and gave him one that’ll hopefully be a presence in Marvel Space for a little while to come.

Be sure to catch all the face palming, snarky remark making, prison life action in ROCKET #3 out July 12, written by Al Ewing with art by Adam Gorham!

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Rocket Raccoon runs up against the bizarre bounty hunters!

They may have been gone a long time, but they have returned in the pages of ROCKET #2 on June 7. Technet. Back and bickering more than ever?

Oh, you don’t know Technet?

Don’t worry, you will love them, we promise. Or love to hate them.

Can’t believe it? Good thing we roped in ROCKET writer Al Ewing to give you the lowdown.

Marvel.com: Given most comics fan might have missed out on Technet since they haven’t appeared in nearly 20 years, who or what is the Technet? What does it mean that they are seemingly at war with itself?

Al Ewing: The Technet are a group of extremely alien bounty hunters with very strange powers that are destined, in the future, to travel through time and become a headache for Captain Britain some years ago. Which is probably more information than readers strictly need to know.

What’s important is that they tend to get into disagreements with each other about money, and this particular schism is no different; it’s essentially half the Technet doing a walkout and striking out on their own because their leader, Gatecrasher, hasn’t paid them in a while. I wish it was all about higher-minded ethics or morals, but it’s not. It’s about the moolah, as always.

Luckily, Rocket is on hand with an offer of work…

Marvel.com: What classic Technet members will readers get to see?

Al Ewing: Well, in the first issue, Technet fans will get to see Ferro-2, the skinny four-armed werewolf with the big swords, China Doll, a half-snake lady with excellent hair who shrinks things and people, Scatterbrain, a walking psychedelic episode, Numbers, a big cowardly lizard-creature with a head for accounting and a robotic turn of phrase, and then there’s the egg.

Technet fans will remember the egg. We don’t want to spoil the egg for new readers. We love the egg.

I’ve tried very hard to keep the Technet just the way I’ve found them, and use them in the spirit of their original appearances. Fans will hopefully feel like they’re speaking in their authentic voices from the days of yore.

Rocket #2 cover by Mike Mayhew

Marvel.com: How did you and artist Adam Gorham collaborate together to update the looks of the members of Technet for 2017?

Al Ewing: It’s always a very difficult job, drawing characters that are so heavily associated with one particular creator—the marvelous Alan Davis—but Adam’s been fantastic. I don’t think he’s updated the looks as such, but he’s adapting them to his own style and the tone of the book and the results are, as ever with Adam, absolutely terrific. He’s a complete joy to work with.

Marvel.com: How does Rocket fit into this larger conflict? Is he a helpful factor or does his presence promise to make things much worse?

Al Ewing: Well, in some ways he’s a catalyst for events. Left to their own devices, the Technet would probably squabble and reconcile as they ever have, but Rocket slides in at the perfect moment with a big job offer—a heist that needs the team’s unique skills—and that might keep the conflict going a little longer. If nothing else, Gatecrasher’s going to be interested in any Technet members making big bucks outside her purview. But anyone who wants to know how it all shakes out will have to pick up ROCKET.

Catch up with the gang in ROCKET #1 by Al Ewing and Adam Gorham, available May 10, and then in issue #2 on June 7!

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The Guardians' dynamite duo reloads for another run!

The next characters to receive a “Marvel Puzzle Quest” upgrade bring bombs, bullets, and rocket fuel to the party.

Prepare yourself for Rocket and Groot reloaded as 4-Star brawlers to celebrate the release of “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.” We talked to D3 Go! Senior Producer Josh Austin about the pint-size pair and how they fit into the “Puzzle Quest” universe.

Marvel.com: Following close on the heels of Star-Lord (Awesome Mix Volume 2) we have a revamped Rocket and Groot! How do they differ from their 3-Star incarnation?

Josh Austin: The most obvious difference is the size of Groot! Other than that obvious size difference, this 4-star Rocket and Groot (Awesome Mix Volume 2) is more atomic, focusing on their last power, where an Atomic Bomb Countdown tile is created and will damage the enemy team, or if it’s matched before it resolves, it will damage both the opposing team and the players team.

Marvel.com: Thinking about Rocket and Groot’s dynamic as inseparable pals, what’s it like creating different abilities for two characters who work as one?

Josh Austin: Actually for these two it’s a lot of fun. Their characteristics from the trailer sparked the final animation sequence and power change. The “Don’t Push this Button” part of the trailer was fun and found its way into the game. Since Rocket and Groot are so inseparable, it makes it fun to combine them. Though, I have heard the community would like a 5-star “baby” Groot.

Marvel.com: Let’s talk a little about Rocket and Groot’s kit. What kind of trouble will these two be stirring up?

Josh Austin: Rocket and Groot (Awesome Mix Volume 2)’s first power is called Rocket’s Pack and it costs 12 Blue AP. For this power, Rocket zips around the battlefield with his new Aero Rig, blasting any poor schmo that gets in his way. If a Blue Countdown tile hasn’t been created for this power already, this power creates one that deals damage and creates a Black Attack tile each turn.

Their second power is called Welcome to the Team and it’s a Yellow Passive, which means it costs 0 AP. At the start of the battle, this creates a bunch of Strike tiles. If there is another member of the Guardians of the Galaxy on their team, this creates stronger Strike tiles instead. Welcome to the frickin’ Guardians of the Galaxy.

The final power is the most involved! The last power is called Don’t Push This Button and costs 10 Green AP. Rocket yells at Groot to not push that button [because] it will kill everyone! Using this ability first creates a 3-Turn Atomic Bomb countdown tile that deals damage to the enemy team. If it’s matched away, it deals slightly less damage then if the bomb went off to the enemy team and about 1/4th the damage to the players team.

While the Atomic Bomb countdown tile is on screen, this power becomes “I Aaaaaaam Grooooot!” which is a Green AP Passive. At the start of each turn, Groot makes a match for you. This clears lines and creates critical tiles as normal, but no extra turns. When the Atomic Bomb Countdown tile is matched or goes off, this power becomes Don’t Push This Button again.

Marvel.com: Welcome to the Team is really interesting. There aren’t too many abilities in the game that change depending on your team composition. Is this something the team is looking into exploring for other characters?

Josh Austin: We hope to be adding a lot of these before the end of the year; there isn’t much we can talk about yet, but we are hoping this becomes more of a thing very, very soon.

Marvel.com: And with I Aaaaaaaam Grooooooot!, does Groot make a move before, or after the player makes a move?

Josh Austin: Groot makes a move before the player does, which gives the player AP. This basically gives the player a few rounds of extra AP generation which is nice!

Marvel.com: Who fits best fighting beside the tree and space rodent? Obviously the Guardians work awesome together, anyone else?

Josh Austin: Because the Don’t Push This Button power is so strong, the player may want to focus on characters that fortify the player’s Countdown tiles like Green Goblin, Captain Marvel (Carol Danvers), or Hawkeye (Clint Barton). The player could also select someone that enhances or is enhanced by special tiles including Medusa, Punisher (Max), Mr. Fantastic, and Professor X.

Marvel.com: And when do we get a shot at these two troublemakers?

Josh Austin: Rocket and Groot (Awesome Mix Volume 2) are available starting on Thursday, May 4. They can be found as placement rewards in the Meet Rocket and Groot event that is running from May 4 through May 8 and features their new art. Rocket and Groot (Awesome Mix Volume 2) will be featured and available in the Vault for Thick as Thieves that runs May 7 through May 12.

Their special Guardians of the Galaxy story tie-in event is called Backup Plan, which continues the journey in the I Have a Plan event featuring Star-Lord. This event runs May 11 through May 16 and features Rocket and Groot (Awesome Mix Volume 2) and grants the player covers in mission rewards. Their Versus Tournament is called Best Buds and runs May 11 through May 15.

Pick up the new 4-Star Rocket and Groot here and stay tuned to Marvel.com for more “Marvel Puzzle Quest” news and interviews.

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