Dalibor Talajić and CM Punk give the martial arts hero a wild day off!

Even a true leader in his field needs a break. Of course, when someone throws on the sweats and hopes to relax, any number of problems can come up. For you and I, thought might mean a plumbing issue or noisy neighbors—but we’re not Shang-Chi!

With MASTER OF KUNG FU #126, writer CM Punk and artist Dalibor Talajić take Shang-Chi from lounger to fighter in one issue. For his part, Talajić drew on previous incarnations of the ferocious fighting hero to help give this more out-there tale a firm base.

We talked with the artist about balancing the wild tone of the story with more grounded art, working with Punk, and taking inspiration from artists like Paul Gulacy and Mike Zeck.

Marvel.com: In the wake of his initial series, Shang-Chi’s been a guest star and team player for the most part. Why do you think it’s important to showcase him in his own book like this?

Dalibor Talajić: Well, times do change. His initial series was during the “Enter The Dragon” Bruce Lee era. And even though Bruce Lee is still considered the king of the martial arts realm, his time did pass. I guess Shang had to redefine himself and find his place under the sun anew.

His own book was also a team book, so naturally various comic book teams wanted to place him within a [group]. So, yes I do believe it is important to give him a chance to breathe on his own—so to speak—even in a story like this, where circumstances are almost ridiculous, one might say to see him on his off side.

Marvel.com: Shang’s always been tough, but in the last few years he’s proven himself on a larger scale by working with the Avengers. Has that changed how he handles himself at all?

Dalibor Talajić: Well, I guess his self-confidence in what he does better than anyone is what places him among the heavy hitters. True, he has no special powers, but his focus, his stamina, and [his] philosophical depth make him a genuine super human.

Yet his philosophical depth is what keeps him constantly questioning both his actions and himself, and thus keeps him down to earth. He won’t allow himself any arrogance. But all these features combined open the doors for his endless growth as a character. This is something that reflects our own lives: the possibility of growth that only needs to be noticed by us. This is why I love this character; he is closest to us, to the best in us.

Marvel.com: What was it like figuring out his look for this series?

Dalibor Talajić: Well, given the nature of the story, I imagined him in his sweatshirt and stuff. You know Sunday afternoon stuff that you wear while watching TV and having a nap. The circumstances take him off guard and he stays dressed like that all the way through. He even loses his sneakers at some point. Here and there, through flashbacks, I would nod to Bruce Lee’s famous yellow jump suit. Or the fact that he ends up topless. But the idea was the everyday Joe looks. As I’ve said—one of us.

Marvel.com: Overall, how’s it been working with CM Punk on this project?

Dalibor Talajić: Well, fun! CM writes very funny dialogue. But the story is a slippery slope. In it’s essence it’s so pulpy that it’s close to ridiculous so I had to be very careful to keep it balanced. If I was leaning to a stronger stylization, as the story might trick you into, it would end up like a flat out crazy cartoon. Instead, I went for “realism” so that ridiculous part would serve as a crazy Bond-like villain comedy.

Marvel.com: How has it been digging into Shang-Chi’s history with this story? Are you looking back at a lot of his other comics for reference or possibly other mediums?

Dalibor Talajić: That was a difficult task. Because initially Shang-Chi is a serious character. So was the art depicting it. [Paul] Gulacy was treating him with an almost noir atmosphere, while I don’t think is possible to make him more badass than [Mike] Zeck did. Even I treated him seriously a few years back in [the] MASTER OF KUNG FU [limited] series. There, I wanted to mimic classic flashy Hong Kong action films.

So I guess I tried to combine all of that a bit and hopefully blend it into something that honors all those beautiful incarnations of the character that were already there long before me. I can only hope I did Shang-Chi justice.

CM Punk and Dalibor Talajić give Shang-Chi a less-than-relaxing day off in MASTER OF KUNG FU #126 on November 8!

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CM Punk brings Shang-Chi back with a Marvel Legacy one-shot!

He’s the greatest hand-to-hand fighter in the Marvel Universe.

Stepping back into the limelight with this title’s first appearance since 1983, Shang-Chi returns in MASTER OF KUNG FU #126!

Brought to life by a writer that knows a thing or two about combat in close quarters, CM Punk, alongside all-star artist Dalibor Talajic, the Marvel Legacy one-shot kicks off on November 8!

We met up with Punk for a little insight into a revival 34 years in the making.

Marvel.com: What’s your approach to bringing the Master of Kung Fu to life?

CM Punk: It helps that it’s a one-shot, because I think we can just create a fun comic book. I have zero history with Shang-Chi, aside from being a comic book fan and knowing about him from various team-ups, but I wanted to do a throwback to some 1970s action with a bit of campiness.

Marvel.com: How does your own fighting mastery influence the way you write this story? Do you and Shang-Chi have similar styles?

CM Punk: Oh, absolutely not. Shang-Chi is a martial artist. I’m a fighter. I’ll be able to lay out some great action, though.

Marvel.com: What’s he up against in this one-shot?

CM Punk: Without giving anything away, I want to have fun with the idea of him having a “day off” from fighting forces of evil. However, evil never sleeps…

Marvel.com: And how does it feel to work with Dalibor Talajic on the book?

CM Punk: He’s such a perfect artist for this—he practices martial arts himself! I think that will be a great help.

CM Punk and artist Dalibor Talajic reawaken MASTER OF KUNG FU with issue #126 on November 8!

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Dalibor Talajic illustrates CM Punk’s Shang-Chi story in Marvel Legacy!

Shang-Chi’s back in the game and ready to prove to all challengers that he’s the one-and-only Master of Kung Fu.

Writer CM Punk and artist Dalibor Talajic kick off a new era for the martial artist in MASTER OF KUNG FU #126, a one-shot in celebration of Marvel Legacy. Shang-Chi’s operated as secret agent, adventurer, and Avenger, but he’s on his own again and his artist’s vision of him remains clear and focused.

Marvel.com: Dalibor, what do you find visually cool about Shang-Chi?

Dalibor Talajic: Shang-Chi is essentially Bruce Lee. He was created during Bruce’s peak of popularity and was clearly based upon him. So visually, I guess his expression is what makes him unique. He is peaceful and calm, but beneath this calm there’s a deadly volcano. And if I manage to capture that in his eyes, I’ll be happy. This mesmerizing presence of his is something that must be felt throughout every panel.

Marvel.com: You did a MASTER OF KUNG FU four-issue series with Haden Blackman in 2015—what kinds of research might you be doing to prepare for this new one-shot?

Dalibor Talajic: I might say that this is a familiar territory. However, I always try to complicate things for myself artistically.

Marvel.com: How so?

Dalibor Talajic: Sometimes, I decide on a different lay-out design, sometimes it’s more blacks, sometimes no blacks at all. Last time I was concentrating on fight choreography and the clarity of the art itself. This time I might be playing with shadows—maybe? A humble nod to [artist Paul] Gulacy’s legacy?

Marvel.com: Given that this is a Marvel Legacy project, that’d be entirely appropriate.

Dalibor Talajic: Right, but all this depends on a story, of course. I’ll see where the story takes me and work from there. I always try to tie myself to the story. Comic book artists are often compared to movie directors, and there is a saying: the best directors are those you don’t even notice. So story comes first. What I’ll be doing emerges from that.

Marvel.com: How do you feel about working with CM Punk on MASTER OF KUNG FU?

Dalibor Talajic: I honestly can’t wait to see how he deals with this. He is also a professional fighter, so he’ll know what he’s writing about. I myself am a kung fu practitioner and I know what’s humanly possible during the fights. So we’ll see whose kung fu is stronger!

Gather your fighting spirit and look for MASTER OF KUNG FU #126 from CM Punk and Dalibor Talajic coming this November!

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Greg Pak runs down the participants in the Big Apple Showdown!

There’s trouble brewing in New York City. And there’s only one Totally Awesome thing standing between the Big Apple and destruction. On January 25, Amadeus Cho jumps fist-first into the “Big Apple Showdown” in TOTALLY AWESOME HULK #15!

But even with a Champion’s might, Hulk can’t wage this war alone. So, who’s coming to help Amadeus in the fight? An all-star array of Asian American heroes will be answering the call.

We caught up with writer Greg Pak to see who’s ready to rumble. Greg, over to you…

The Totally Awesome Hulk
“First off, we’ve got Amadeus Cho, aka the Totally Awesome Hulk, who thinks he’s gonna be the best Hulk ever. Amadeus has been through some traumatic and humbling experiences over the past few issues, but you can’t keep a good Hulk down, and he probably still thinks a bit too much of his own awesomeness. But our story begins with Amadeus having the chance to hang out with some of his fellow Asian American super heroes. And we’re going to see a whole other side of Amadeus and all of these heroes as they chill and bond; and then see how long that bonding will last as a massive crisis hits.”

Ms. Marvel
“Kamala Khan, aka Ms. Marvel, is one of Amadeus’ teammates on the Champions. She’s well aware of Amadeus’ impulsiveness and cockiness and may serve as a good check for him. But even more importantly, she’s got the heart of a champion, always focusing on the underdog and protecting whoever needs protecting. And although she might be the smallest of the group in her ‘normal’ form, her shape-shifting abilities can make her the biggest asset the team has in any fight.”

Jake Oh
“S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Jake Oh just tangled with Amadeus in our Civil War II tie-in. Jake’s a young Korean American dude like Amadeus, and in some ways they actually have a lot in common. But Jake’s a military guy with a genuine respect for discipline and the chain of command. We’ll see how much he’s willing to trust Amadeus and how much Amadeus can trust him. Jake’s great in a fight; he’s got total mastery of a variety of S.H.I.E.L.D. tech, but I’d say what he really brings to the table is measured judgement and a commitment to serve.”totally_awesome_hulk_vol_1_15_textless

Jimmy Woo
“Jimmy Woo’s one of Marvel’s oldest characters; he first appeared as the hero of the YELLOW CLAW book in 1956, years before the Fantastic Four and the Avengers! He’s been an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. and now runs another shadowy organization, the Atlas Foundation. Jimmy’s the oldest and most experienced of all these heroes. He also might be the most ruthless, which could be a huge asset, or could be pretty darn scary. Keep on reading and we’ll see!”

Shang-Chi
“Shang-Chi is the Marvel Universe’s greatest martial artist; the undisputed Master of Kung Fu. He’s a bit older than most of the younger heroes in this team up and absolutely has an emotional center and discipline that most can only dream of. His abilities also aren’t based on technology or super-powers, which means under certain circumstances, he could be absolutely key. We’re also going to learn a bit more about Shang-Chi in this story arc; he’ll do something you’ve never, ever seen him do in issue #15. Dontcha dare miss it!”

Silk
“Cindy Moon, aka Silk, is a bit older than Amadeus, but she spent 13 years alone in a bunker, so in some ways she still interacts with the world as a much younger person might. In a lot of ways, she and Amadeus have a similar spirit and vibe. I could imagine the two of them getting in a lot of trouble together pretty quickly, given the opportunity. Or they might just have way too much fun eating Korean barbecue and singing karaoke. Cindy’s got awesome spider-based powers which are absolutely going to come in handy as our story progresses.”

Throw down with TOTALLY AWESOME HULK #15, by Greg Pak and artist Mahmud Asrar, on January 25!

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Recruit street level heroes to take down a corrupted Daredevil!

The latest update for “Marvel Future Fight” brings a slew of new PVE content for rookie players and hardcore fans alike. Pulling inspiration from the 2010 Shadowland event, players will find themselves up against The Hand and their newest leader: Daredevil himself! The assassin cult has released a demon—The Beast—who has possessed the Man Without Fear in an effort to use his status as a hero to get close to the rest of the team.

In order to defeat Daredevil, players will work through the most difficult combat ever seen in “Marvel Future Fight,” battling more and more powerful bosses to dispatch the Hand’s lieutenants and clear a path straight to their new boss. Your team of heroes won’t be alone in this fight, however, as some new faces join the ranks to face off against their former ally. Shang Chi—the Master of Kung Fu—uses a mix of the physical and mystical arts to dispatch his enemies with ease, while Misty Knight—cunning detective and one-time leader of the Heroes for Hire—baffles foes with her bioengineered arm, throwing ice and lightning to defeat the Hand’s assassins.

Alongside the new stages pitting players against The Hand and Daredevil, a new challenge mode will task them with climbing a tower, battling an ever increasing number of Hand assassins to reach the top and unlock new rewards. And what better way to dive headlong into this challenge than with new uniforms? Moon Knight sports a new armored costume, while Ghost Rider gets his INHUMANS: ATTILAN RISING look. Black Cat and Daredevil can unlock their All-New, All-Different looks as well.

Netmarble hasn’t left their PVP fans in the dust. Changes to Alliance tournaments add match replays and allow for tournaments to run more quickly, while Cheer Rewards have been updated to more appropriately reflect the ranks of teams involved.

Dive into Shadowland, bring some of Marvel’s greatest street-level heroes to your team, and defeat the demon inside the Man Without Fear in “Marvel Future Fight”!

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Reginald Hudlin & Scot Eaton team T'Challa with Luke Cage, Shang-Chi, Blade, Brother Voodoo & Monica Rambeau!

Read through some of T’Challa’s most thrilling adventures on Marvel Unlimited to mark Black Panther’s 50th anniversary!

By now we all know that T’Challa and Ororo wedded in the now-classic BLACK PANTHER #18, but before that, the King of Wakanda had to come the realization that she was the one for him. Much of that soul-searching came in the pages of BLACK PANTHER #1013 by Reginald Hudlin and Scot Eaton.

Thanks to a reminder from the Queen Mother, T’Challe realized that being the ruler not only included taking on the Black Panther mantle, but also building a family and siring heirs. In other words, she told him it was time to get married! 

T’Challa then headed to New York City where he met with Monica Lynne. She reminded him that her life remained in constant danger when they dated, that his mother doesn’t like her and, most importantly, that they both understood that another woman held the status of his true love.

Black Panther (2005) #10

Black Panther (2005) #10

What is Marvel Unlimited?

After that, T’Challa and the Dora Milaje jumped to a club where they ran into Luke Cage and the famous rapper he’d been hired to bodyguard. The night ended with Black Panther and Luke Cage hanging out at the latter’s place where a small army of sword-wielding ninjas attacked!

All of that acted as an invitation for T’Challa to travel to China to visit Han, Shang-Chi’s dad, who wanted to marry Shang’s sister Kwai Far off to the king of Wakanda. The Panther attempted to politely decline, but that didn’t go so well and another battle ensued with the Master of Kung Fu there to help.

On their way back to the States, T’Challa and Cage visited New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina to stop “certain predatory elements,” which turned out to be vampires! There, our heroes meet up with Blade, Brother Voodoo, and Monica Rambeau to put a stop to the bloodsuckers’ reign partially thanks to Black Panther sliding into his thrice-blessed armor and wielding the ebony blade confiscated from the new Black Knight in the first arc.

Not only do these four issues include some amazing super hero team up battles with Black Panther at the center of them, but also Hudlin and Eaton’s updated takes on a variety of genres ranging from horror to kung-fu and beyond!

SECRETS OF WAKANDA 

Currently, Black Panther and Monica Rambeau–now going by Spectrum–serve together on the team in ULTIMATES by Al Ewing and Kenneth Rocafort. Along with fellow members like Captain Marvel, Ms. America, and Blue Marvel, the group attempt to fix huge problems like Galactus’ hunger and the ravages of constant time travel on the space-time continuum. These days Spectrum uses her powers in all kinds of amazing ways, which is interesting because T’Challa said to her, “You have the power of the sun at your disposal and you use it like a six-shooter. You manipulate matter on a molecular lever. You are a goddess. Act like it.” When the Wakandan king talks, people listen.

Captain Britain, Meggan, Shadowcat, Captain America and War Machine visit Wakanda in EXCALIBUR #5960 by Scott Lobdell and Scott Kolins.

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Shang-Chi is unleashed in these preview pages by Dalibor Talajic!

Can one man stand against the might of an entire empire? Find out this May, as Shang-Chi is unleashed in MASTER OF KUNG-FU #1, a new four-issue Secret Wars limited series! Creators Haden Blackman (ELEKTRA) and Dalibor Talajic (DEADPOOL KILLS THE MARVEL UNIVERSE) take you on a wild martial arts thrill ride through the mystical land of K’un-Lun.

Once the most prized student in all of K’un-Lun, Shang-Chi now wanders the streets as a derelict. Cast out and forsaken, Shang-Chi and others shunned like him will rise up to dethrone the evil Emperor Zu. One problem – Zu is Shang-Chi’s father!

Things are going to get messy. Can one beaten-down man become a MASTER? As the Secret Wars begin, step into the arena and find out who will be…MASTER OF KUNG-FU! The story begins this May!

MASTER OF KUNG-FU #1 (MAR150636)
Written by HADEN BLACKMAN 
Art by DALIBOR TALAJIC
Cover by FRANCESCO FRANCAVILLA
Variant Cover by BUTCH GUICE (MAR150637)
FOC – 04/27/15, On Sale – 05/20/15

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Haden Blackman and Dalibor Talajic insert Shang-Chi into Battleworld alongside Marvel's greatest martial artists!

Starting this May, writer Haden Blackman’s MASTER OF KUNG FU reveals how Secret Wars will impact even the bastions of immortality, such as K’un-Lun, when he chronicles the adventures of Shang-Chi with artist Dalibor Talajic as part of Battleworld.

The opportunity to indulge in some world-building amidst the chaos of coming events clearly appeals to Blackman.

“As soon as I heard ‘K’un-Lun’ I was in,” he admits. “I love the intermixing of mythology, martial arts, and masks that the setting affords. This is also a great opportunity to do some real world-building; to come up with the culture, traditions, and history of this version of K’un-Lun, and figure out how to integrate a wide range of reimagined characters into that mix.”

Master of Kung Fu sketches by Dalibor Talajic

Master of Kung Fu sketches by Dalibor Talajic

The writer also enjoys the prospect of working with Talajic.

“I’ve been really fortunate to have worked with some incredibly talented collaborators, and Dalibor is just continuing that trend for me,” Blackman affirms. “I’ve just received some of his designs, and his interpretations of both Elektra and Typhoid Mary feel familiar but wholly new, which is exactly what I had hoped.”

A chance to give readers a Shang-Chi never seen before, of course, also ranks high.

“He begins the story very down and out, an exile and an outcast himself,” Blackman reveals. “Shang-Chi has a really interesting internal conflict. He wants to prove himself to his father, but how can he do that when he’s cursed with a strong moral compass that is at odds with his dad’s own code? Even when he turns against his father, I feel like Shang-Chi is trying to defeat him in order to prove himself, to show that he’s still worth something despite seeing the world so differently.”

Master of Kung Fu sketches by Dalibor Talajic

Master of Kung Fu sketches by Dalibor Talajic

Blackman hopes to reveal different sides of Shang-Chi, who finds himself a reluctant mentor in MASTER OF KUNG FU. The writer admits scouring the ranks of Marvel’s martial artists to select a few that might not be immediately obvious or expected.

“Razor Fist plays a big role in the first issue,” he notes. “Shang-Chi meets a group of outcasts with some familiar faces in their ranks. There’s also a dog—and at least one very rambunctious dragon.”

Any story set in K’un-Lun would not be complete without Iron Fist, he concedes, while admitting he could not resist the chance to include Elektra: “Incarnations of both Iron Fist and Elektra factor heavily into the story.”

Blackman acknowledges a love of researching films to put a jolt in some of the story’s fight scenes, as well as broadening the variety of action for MASTER OF KUNG FU fans.

Master of Kung Fu (2015) #1 cover by Francesco Francavilla

Master of Kung Fu (2015) #1 cover by Francesco Francavilla

“I’ve been drawing inspiration from the classic kung-fu films like ‘The 36th Chamber of Shaolin’ to the over-the-top martial arts flicks like ‘Kung-Fu Hustle,’” he discloses.

Fans of both big brawls between large groups of combatants or intricate one-on-one fights should be equally delighted by what Blackman and Talajic plan for MASTER OF KUNG FU.

Follow the latest updates on Secret Wars daily on Marvel.com and via our social channels!

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TWiM provides the latest news, plus Avengers, Iron Man, Secret Avengers and more!

It’s episode #133 of This Week in Marvel! Join Ryan, Ben and Marc as they look at the latest print and digital releases including AVENGERS #29, DEADLY HANDS OF KUNG FU #1, IRON MAN #25, SECRET AVENGERS #3, X-FORCE #5 and more, plus new additions to the Marvel Comics app and Marvel Unlimited!

Download episode #133 of This Week in Marvel from Marvel.com, check out Marvel Podcast Centralgrab the TWiM RSS feed and subscribe to This Week in Marvel on iTunes or Zune, so you never miss an episode!

Download Episode 133 of This Week in Marvel

Download Episode 133 of This Week in Marvel

This Week in Marvel will focus on delivering all the Marvel info on news and new releases–from comics to video games to toys to TV to film and beyond! New episodes will be released every Thursday (or so) and TWiM is co-hosted by Marvel Digital Media Group Executive Editorial Director Ryan “Agent M” Penagos and Marvel.com Editor Ben Morse, along with Marvel.com Editor Marc Strom and Manager, Video & Content Production Blake Garris.We also want your feedback, as well as questions for us to answer on future episodes! 

Tweet your questions, comments and thoughts about TWiM to @Agent_M@BenJMorse or @Marvel with the hashtag #ThisWeekinMarvel!

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Do-gooders from all over the globe comprise Earth's Mightiest Heroes!

The ongoing series AVENGERS WORLD may be a recent addition to Earth’s mightiest publishing schedule, but the Avengers have been an international team for almost 50 years. Ever since the Eastern European twins Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver joined their ranks in AVENGERS (1963) #16, a number of representatives from all across the globe have walked through the Avengers Mansion doors and stood alongside Captain America, Thor, and Iron Man. With their recently expanded ranks, the Avengers have prepared themselves to protect not just America, but the entirety of Earth – and they have heroes that ensure a home field advantage on every populated continent. In no particular order, meet six international Avengers members.

1. SPIDER-WOMAN

Spider-Woman (1978) #1

Spider-Woman (1978) #1

What is Marvel Unlimited?

The cunning Jessica Drew doesn’t bring her origin story up all that up much, so readers might be surprised to learn that she hails from London, England. She actually might have dual citizenship – if the High Evolutionary actually bothers with such things on Wundagore Mountain, that is.

2. BLACK WIDOW

Black Widow: Deadly Origin (2009) #1

Black Widow: Deadly Origin (2009) #1

What is Marvel Unlimited?

You can tell Black Widow’s been around a long time because her birth certificate has Stalingrad on it, a Russian city renamed Volgograd in 1961. But Natasha Romanoff’s origin really encompasses all of her home country, from Moscow to Kaliningrad.

3. SHANG-CHI

Secret Avengers (2010) #7

Secret Avengers (2010) #7

  • Published: November 24, 2010
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: October 10, 2012
  • Rating: T+
  • Writer: Ed Brubaker
  • Penciller: Mike Deodato
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Born in his criminal mastermind father’s fortress in the Henan Province of China, Shang-Chi initially focused his heroism in his home country before expanding outwards. He recently fought alongside Captain America’s Secret Avengers in Hong Kong, where his dad Zheng Zu had teamed up with the Shadow Council.

4. SUNSPOT

New Mutants (1983) #7

New Mutants (1983) #7

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Professor Xavier’s first recruits for the New Mutants included teenagers from vastly different backgrounds, from Scotland to Vietnam and Brazil, home country of the new Avenger Sunspot. Early on in the team’s time together, Roberto da Costa took his new friends down to Rio de Janeiro for Carnival.

5. MANIFOLD

Secret Warriors (2008) #4

Secret Warriors (2008) #4

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Thanks to his teleportation powers, the Avenger Eden Fesi can skip the long flight back to his home in the Kata Tjuta rock formations in Australia’s Northern Territory. Daisy Johnson and Sebastian Druid really needed Manifold’s abilities, especially after they wrecked their plane while on their mission to recruit him.

6. BLACK PANTHER

Black Panther (2005) #1

Black Panther (2005) #1

What is Marvel Unlimited?

The African nation called Wakanda not only has Black Panther as their king, but they also have him as their Avenger. T’Challa’s strong leadership has allowed the technologically advanced nation to thrive even when he’s away on Avengers duty.

For more international Avengers action, check out AVENGERS WORLD #5 on April 30!

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