The writer of Iceman pays homage to Bobby Drake’s co-creator!

1917 to 2017: 100 years of Kirby.

Join us this month to celebrate Jack “King” Kirby’s 100th birthday by learning about the characters and stories he created that changed comics forever. To commemorate Jack’s centennial, we’ve sat down with the modern-day creators he influenced—and the decades of work he gifted us all.

Forgive the pun, but in 1963, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby created the coolest character in comics: Iceman! Debuting alongside his fellow mutants in the pages of UNCANNY X-MEN #1, Bobby Drake not only revealed himself as the youngest of the bunch, but also the class clown. The frozen hero has grown quite a bit since then, but ICEMAN writer Sina Grace still sees the connections going back to those earliest appearances when he looked more like a walking-talking snowman than the experienced X-Man we’ve come to know and love.

We talked with Grace about how a toy probably introduced him to “The King,” the personality Stan and Jack infused Bobby with, and how all that influenced his own work.

Marvel.com: How did you first discover Jack’s work? Do you remember what you thought of it at the time?

Sina Grace: I think maybe the first time I saw Jack Kirby’s work was in some UNCANNY X-MEN #1 reprint that came with an action figure? Growing up, I remembered always being drawn to it over some of his other contemporaries. Like, I’m pretty sure I’m the only kid in the world who was like, “Why is this Neal Adams guy drawing X-Men in later issues?!” [Laughs]

Marvel.com: When you knew you wanted to make comics, did you go back, look at his work and learn anything that helped you in your own process?

Sina Grace: My experiences learning from Kirby’s art were always about how to communicate a lot of information with the constraints of being under deadline. Jack was so prolific, and his art was always dynamic. I examined that. I remember seeing an exhibit with his originals for the Masters of American Comics exhibition, and just spending solid minutes looking at every detail, every brush stroke. Thanks Glen David Gold for contributing so much of your collection to that!

Marvel.com: Iceman obviously looks different now than he did when Jack drew him, but what do you think makes that a classic look?

Sina Grace: Jack’s representation of Bobby is sort of how I love him best: being a walking, talking snowman could be fodder for embarrassment, but our boy leaned into it and was in on the joke from the get-go. Jack always drew him with humor and levity, when he could have been far more angsty about his skill set in those early years.

Marvel.com: You’ve worked on a lot of different kinds of books in different fields, like Jack did. Do you think he inspired you at all in that way?

Sina Grace: I wouldn’t say that Jack directly inspired me to go ahead and play around with genres and art styles, but I will say that I was always inspired by the way he was able to evolve his style while staying consistently true to what made something deserving of the Kirby signature.

Stay tuned to Marvel.com for more throughout Kirby Month and beyond! And join the conversation on all of our social channels with the hashtag #Kirby100.

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Explore a wild kingdom only the mind of Kirby could imagine!

1917 to 2017: 100 years of Kirby.

Join us this month to celebrate Jack “King” Kirby’s 100th birthday by learning about the characters and stories he created that changed comics forever. To commemorate Jack’s centennial, we’ve sat down with the modern-day creators he influenced—and the decades of work he gifted us all.

Back in the 1960s when Stan Lee and Jack Kirby laid down the base for the Marvel Universe, they created a number of unusual and endlessly captivating nooks and crannies to explore. In 1965’s UNCANNY X-MEN #10, readers discovered a secret place called the Savage Land that played home to dinosaurs, Neanderthals, and other forms of life including the heroic Ka-Zar and his saber-tooth tiger Zabu. Those last two came into the merry mutants’ world by way of a television broadcast showing the “Antarctic Wild Man” saving a researcher wearing only a loin cloth and accompanied by a supposedly extinct cat.

At first thinking he might be a mutant, the X-Men wanted to go check the mystery out. Professor X told them that, had he been a mutant, Cerbro would have spotted him, but then allowed them to go anyway. Upon exploring a recently created crevasse, the team traveled down through an icy tunnel that emptied into a boneyard for huge animals.

From there, the teens saw many of the wonders hidden below the ice in the Savage Land, but also several of the dangers ranging from pterodactyls to primitive warriors riding huge birds and wielding impressive weapons. Those attackers got the drop on the X-Men and made off with Marvel Girl while Ka-Zar made his first appearance alongside faithful companion Zabu!

Uncanny X-Men (1963) #10

Uncanny X-Men (1963) #10

  • Published: March 10, 1965
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: April 08, 2009
  • Rating: T+
  • Penciller: Jack Kirby
  • Cover Artist: Jack Kirby
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Thanks to some misunderstood differences in customs, the strangers fought one another, but only until Maa-Gor, the Killer, popped up to murder the self-proclaimed “Lord of the Jungle.” With that confrontation over, Ka-Zar agreed to help the X-Men save Jean from the Swamp Men. Angel flew ahead to scout, but got captured himself!

Ka-Zar and company made it to the Swamp Men’s walled village just in time to help Angel and Marvel Girl fend off an attacking T-Rex, thanks in part to the small army of mastodons the jungle lord called in for reinforcements. Upon freeing the captives, Ka-Zar bid the X-Men farewell, explaining concisely that he preferred his world to the one above.

Kirby returned to the Savage Land and Ka-Zar along with Lee for the first issue of ASTONISHING TALES in 1970. The character had appeared in various places in the five years since his creation, but this marked his first real showcase, though he had to share it with the villainous Doctor Doom! With the second issue, Roy Thomas took over for Lee on the scripts. Kirby only lasted one more issue himself before making way for artists like Barry Windsor-Smith, Herb Trimpe, Gil Kane, John Buscema, and Marie Severin.

Stay tuned to Marvel.com for more throughout Kirby Month and beyond! And join the conversation on all of our social channels with the hashtag #Kirby100.

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A look back at Wanda's checkered past.

 

Every Friday we use the powers of Marvel Unlimited to look back at the very first appearance of a major character, place or object that made waves this week.

We bet Wanda Maximoff would feel a bit green if she looked back at her first appearance in 1964’s X-MEN #4 and not just because she was mis-colored on the cover! 

Uncanny X-Men (1963) #4

Uncanny X-Men (1963) #4

  • Published: March 10, 1964
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
  • Rating: T+
  • Penciller: Jack Kirby
  • Cover Artist: Jack Kirby
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Earlier that year, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby introduced the merry mutants starring in the series as well as their number one enemy, Magneto. By this issue, he’d surrounded himself with a group calling themselves the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants.

Consisting of all-new characters Toad, Mastermind and the sister-brother combo of Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, the group seemed as focused on giving each other trouble as they were the X-Men.

In fact, Pietro and Wanda almost left, but then Magneto recounted their shared history which saw Magneto saving her from a mob of angry villagers. She pledged her loyalty to him right there and was soon joined by her brother.

By sticking around, the super powered siblings played a part in Magneto’s plot to use a stolen battleship to take over the small nation of Santo Marco. Though not a fan of Magneto’s fear-mongering, Wanda did take on the X-Men, specifically Angel with her mysterious hex powers.

The X-Men gained the upper hand and the villains made their escape, but before doing so, Quicksilver ran back to stop a bomb Magneto left behind. After several more missions with Magneto, the siblings’ distaste for Magneto and his methods outweighed their loyalty to him and the broke out on their own after the Stranger took their one-time leader in X-MEN #11

Uncanny X-Men (1963) #11

Uncanny X-Men (1963) #11

  • Published: May 10, 1965
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
  • Rating: T+
  • Penciller: Jack Kirby
  • Cover Artist: Jack Kirby
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Not long after, the Avengers found themselves at a crossroads. The team of Iron Man, Thor, Giant-Man, Wasp and Captain America had been getting along pretty well, but other concerns lead to a massive roster change. Pietro read about their acceptance of former villain Hawkeye to the squad in the newspaper and told Wanda. Before long, the two traveled to New York City to see about joining up.

By the end of that same issue – 1965’s AVENGERS #16 to be exact – all of the original members left, leaving Captain America to lead three former criminals on the world’s most renowned super team! Wanda soon proved herself and became an integral part of many Avengers line-ups. She’s also known as one of the team’s biggest threats, having played a part in destroying the team, creating the House of M universe and diminishing the mutant population severely. 

Avengers (1963) #16

Avengers (1963) #16

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Back in good standing now, she returned to fight alongside her teammates in the pages of UNCANNY AVENGERS #26 after being controlled by the demon Chthon during Secret Empire, which ended with #10 this week.

Flash Forward

For a more detailed account of Wanda and Pietro’s past, check out AVENGERS ORIGINS: SCARLET WITCH AND QUICKSILVER by Sean McKeever and Mirco Pierfederici. In this OGN we see the siblings trying to make their way alone in the world until Magneto appeared to help them. We then see the Maximoffs join up with the Brotherhood, even though they don’t exactly see eye to eye with its leader, who we know is actually their father! The issue shows some of the parent-child moments behind-the-scenes even if the participants didn’t know it!

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Two of the Fantastic Four tie the knot, Hulk fights Thor, plus more!

In celebration of Jack “King” Kirby’s 100th birthday, we’re reviewing the man’s legendary creations with a year-by-year examination of his unparalleled career at Marvel Comics. Read on and witness the work that made him comic book royalty.

Even a casual Marvel reader in 1965 might’ve believed that Jack Kirby worked on every single issue of every single title the House of Ideas published that year. The truth of it stands as something less than that, but Marvel editor and writer Stan Lee knew a good thing and ensured Jack’s presence across the line in varied ways, and with a concentration where the Kirby touch would bring comic book gold.

First and foremost, Lee and Kirby’s flagship book remained Jack’s true focus at the midpoint of the 1960s. In FANTASTIC FOUR #32, after a battle with the strange android Dragon Man, Reed Richards received the answer he’d hoped for from his marriage proposal to Sue Storm, setting up one of the true monumental moments in comic history: the wedding of Mr. Fantastic and The Invisible Girl in FANTASTIC FOUR ANNUAL #3 that summer.

Not to rest on their laurels, Stan and Jack also introduced the Frightful Four in FANTASTIC FOUR #36, brought Daredevil in for a guest-spot in FANTASTIC FOUR #39, and following Gorgon’s introduction in FANTASTIC FOUR #44, unveiled their next big idea, the incredible Inhumans, in FANTASTIC FOUR #45 to round out the year.

Over in Thor’s universe, Jack illustrated one of the greatest clashes of comics, the Thor-Hulk match fans clamored for, in JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #112, as well as designing a villain for the ages, Absorbing Man, for JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #114. In addition, Jack’s images of the robotic Destroyer impressed fans in JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #118, but perhaps the real stand-out moment of the year in Thor’s world came in the introduction of Greek demi-god Hercules into the ongoing drama in JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY ANNUAL #1.

Jack’s penciling duties for 1965 also extended into Captain America’s solo series in TALES OF SUSPENSE. For the first part of the year he produced covers and simple layouts for others to follow, but for his and Stan’s powerful team-up between Cap and Nick Fury in TALES OF SUSPENSE #78, he provided full interior art. From there, the duo planted dynamite under Cap’s world with the return of The Red Skull in TALES OF SUSPENSE #79, and the amazing Cosmic Cube saga beginning in TALES OF SUSPENSE #80.

Speaking of Nick Fury, Jack’s visions of technological wonders expanded exponentially when he and Stan promoted the sergeant into their newest concept, S.H.I.E.L.D., in the landmark STRANGE TALES #135. For the next several issues of the mag, Jack would do layouts and covers, helping guide his former World War II star into the Swingin’ Sixties.

Jack relinquished penciling chores on AVENGERS in 1965, but also helped out with layouts and covers, same as with SGT. FURY and TALES TO ASTONISH. Over in UNCANNY X-MEN he worked to illustrate the memorable meeting of the young mutants and the Avengers to fruition in X-MEN #9, and introduce the savage Ka-Zar in X-MEN #10.

Stay tuned to Marvel.com for more throughout Kirby Month and beyond! And join the conversation on all of our social channels with the hashtag #Kirby100.

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Acclaimed creator Ed Piskor takes on mutant history in a unique way!

For the last year and a half, writer and artist Ed Piskor has worked in secret on a project for Marvel, and recently, the House of Ideas revealed said secret—X-MEN: GRAND DESIGN, a trilogy of two-issue limited series that will retell the first 280 issues of the X-Men in Piskor’s unique style.

Best known for his work on Hip Hop Family Tree for Fantagraphics, another ambitious project that recounted the early history of hip hop, Piskor shared more details on his love for the X-Men and its creators, and his plans for remixing the material into something new.

Marvel.com: Ed, before getting into the project itself, obviously, you have a lot of love for the X-Men to embark on a project like this. Do you remember the first X-Men comic you read?

Ed Piskor: I do. [UNCANNY X-MEN #157], which has a cover date two months before my D.O.B. I think my dad was excited for me to be born because, even though we weren’t well off by any means, he still did what he could to spoil me, and there were always toys and comics around during my very first memories. That issue of X-Men is also responsible in a major part for me becoming a cartoonist because the credits box on the first page let me know that there are actual human beings behind these comic books. That became my goal from age four, probably. I never flip-flopped. Never wanted to be a fireman or an astronaut. Always a cartoonist, and if I got to make X-Men comics, well then, that’s just icing on the cake.

Marvel.com: What are some of your favorite moments from the X-Men’s history, and your favorite characters? Which X-Men creators really stood out to you over the years?

Ed Piskor: Some of my favorite X-Men comics are from when Chris Claremont, Marc Silvestri, and Dan Green were churning them out on a bi-weekly basis. There’s a kinetic energy to them that is really fun and inspiring to me. I, un-controversially, think that the best era was during the [John] Byrne run. It’s one of the very few cases where there is complete synergy among the talent all the way through, from [writer] Claremont, to [artist] Byrne, to [inker Terry] Austin, to Tom [Orzechowski] on lettering, and Glynis [Oliver] on color. I can count the great collaborative teams in the history of comics on one hand, and this would be on that extremely short list. Most comics feel like the creative players are competing for shine rather than working together to try and make the best comic possible.

I’m not really a character guy. I more like the idea and spirit of X-Men than I’m into it because Wolverine’s a badass or something. I guess I was a Longshot fan as a kid, but I think I just couldn’t articulate that I was a massive Art Adams fan at the moment.

My favorite Jack Kirby inker is still Chic Stone from those first bunch of issues. You can tell that’s the stuff that guys like Bruce Timm go nuts for. Those big, chunky lines. From [Jim] Steranko forward, the art of X-Men was to die for. It seemed clear at a certain point that the mandate must have been to put Marvel’s top [artists] on the book, and it shows. Steranko, [Neal] Adams, [Dave] Cockrum, Byrne, Paul Smith, Art Adams, [John Romita Jr.] C’mon, man. You can’t step to this crew. And Chris Claremont was the glue that gave X-Men its heart.

Marvel.com: This sounds like such a cool project, but at the same time it is pretty different from what people might expect from a major comics company, bringing in someone to “remix” the history of one of their biggest franchises. How did you go about pitching it, and what was the reaction?

Ed Piskor: I’m hip hop oriented with lots of bravado, and I simply tweeted one day that Marvel should just let me make whatever X-Men comic I wanted to. [Marvel Editor-in-Chief] Axel [Alonso] hit me up within an hour or two, and the ball began rolling from there. I told him that I can make the first 8,000 or so pages of X-Men work as a 300-page story. He told me to do it in 240. I accepted.

Marvel.com: What’s the format of X-MEN: GRAND DESIGN, and how will it be released?

Ed Piskor: X-MEN: GRAND DESIGN is basically a trilogy of two-issue [limited series] or arcs—your choice of nomenclature. Each issue will be 40 pages. Six issues total. Every two issues will be collected into a giant format book similar to my Hip Hop Family Tree comics. Same paper quality and design sense. Each big book will also come packaged with a classic reprint. This first book will reprint Kirby and [Stan] Lee’s [UNCANNY X-MEN #1], and I’ll be recoloring it to keep the entire volume congruent. It’s a pleasure to examine that classic work at its molecular level.

A two-issue series/arc and a book collection will come out each year for several years.

I’m basically good for 80-90 pages a year if I promise to work seven days a week. [Laughs]

X-Men: Grand Design by Ed Piskor

Marvel.com: And are you doing everything yourself—writing, art, lettering, etc.—like you did on Hip Hop Family Tree?

Ed Piskor: Yep. Could this be the first Marvel comic done completely by one person? I think it is. I just don’t know how to not do all the jobs. I’m a cartoonist. Not a writer. Not an illustrator. Not a letterer. I have to do it all so that I can be totally accountable for the quality of the piece. I don’t want to be in the position to blame someone else for the end result after I grind as relentlessly as I do. If it works, I can look in the mirror with satisfaction. If it doesn’t, then I’m totally accountable. I live for this kind of pressure. I take it very seriously and with great respect that I’m being trusted to do right by the property.

Marvel.com: So 280 issues of X-Men—minus the 20+ reprint issues that preceded the launch of the new team in issue #94, of course—condensed down to about 240 pages…how exactly are you doing that? What do you plan to cut from that material, and will you make any additions?

Ed Piskor: Well the short answer would be that you need to read it and see how it’s done rather than me explaining how the sausage is made, but I can explain a few things. There was a legendary editorial dictum from former [Marvel] editor-in-chief Jim Shooter that every comic is somebody’s first comic. This is something I can sort of get behind, though it created lots and lots of redundancy issue after issue. That’s the first stuff I stripped away. We only need Cyclops crying about his vision once. We only need Rogue lamenting that she can’t touch people once. Wolverine doesn’t need to say, “I’m the best there is at what I do…” a hundred times. From there it’s about figuring out the bigger theme of each arc and then curating events to meet those ends.

There will be some creative re-edits to get everything to work together, but I wouldn’t call them additions, per se. The raw materials are generally so good that the actual job is to just prune and reduce things down to the most crucial elements.

I’ve literally gotten well over 10,000 hours practice at this exercise on my Hip Hop Family Tree comics for four years, and it all built to prepare me for the task at hand with X-MEN: GRAND DESIGN.

Marvel.com: Issue #280 of the original series takes you right up to before the team split into the blue team and gold team, and into two X-Men books. Why did that make an ideal place to stop? 

Ed Piskor: It’s about where I left off personally. I won’t go into much detail, but you can imagine I was one of those millions of kids who followed the artists away when they decided to do their own thing. I did pick it up a little here and there. I liked [John Romita Jr.’s] second run when his style was more codified. I’m also a fan of Joe [Madureira’s] contribution.

Marvel.com: Finally, I have to ask: what’s more difficult, capturing 15 years worth of hip-hop history in roughly 400 pages, or condensing 280 X-Men comics into 240 pages?

Ed Piskor: They each come with [their] own sets of challenges, but I would never in a million years choose a project that is easy where I can coast just to collect a payday. I only work on dream projects, so the challenges are met with open arms and I don’t feel right if I don’t go to sleep completely exhausted and mentally drained each day. Both projects have rabid, passionate fans who need authenticity, and it’s no question I can meet and exceed those demands. One benefit of the X-Men comic over Hip Hop Family Tree is that Charles Xavier can’t call me at 3 AM to ask why I didn’t mention him on this or that page, and Ororo Monroe can’t yell at me because I drew her with the wrong kinds of jeans on.

Experience history in the making with Ed Piskor’s X-MEN: GRAND DESIGN, kicking off December 6!

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Take a look at the history of Kitty Pryde and Peter Rasputin's star-crossed romance.

The on-again-off-again roller-coaster romance of Kitty Pryde and Peter Rasputin’s become the stuff of legend among X-Men fans, and it’s about to receive a new wrinkle in X-MEN: GOLD #9, out August 8.

The two star-crossed lovers first met in UNCANNY X-MEN #129 when Kitty first walked into the original X-Mansion and met the man-mountain mutant called Colossus. An inauspicious beginning to such a star-crossed love story, to be sure, but by UNCANNY X-MEN #174 they’d recognized their attraction to each other and shared a kiss or three.

Uncanny X-Men (1963) #129

Uncanny X-Men (1963) #129

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Peter threw the first monkeywrench into the mix right around the time he’d returned from the first Secret Wars in UNCANNY X-MEN #183 and declared his love for the alien Zsaji to Kitty, though said Zsaji’d perished by that time. Ms. Pryde ratcheted up the anti-feels by joining Excalibur and heading into a hot-and-heavy thing with a guy named Pete Wisdom—a relationship Peter gave his “blessing” to, but also kept one metallic eye on. 

Uncanny X-Men (1963) #183

Uncanny X-Men (1963) #183

What is Marvel Unlimited?

When the Legacy Virus later tore apart the mutant population, Colossus seemingly sacrificed his life during the chaos in X-MEN #110, prompting Kitty to sort out her feelings for the big lunk and insure his ashes traveled back to Russia. Imagine her surprise when Peter turned up hale and hearty in ASTONISHING X-MEN #14, strange situation which led to a passionate reunion and a new outbreak of dating. 

X-Men (1991) #110

X-Men (1991) #110

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Alas, right around the time of the X-Men’s latest disagreement with the Juggernaut and his power source Cyttorak in UNCANNY X-MEN #543, Kitty broke it off again with Peter when she disagreed with his well-intentioned noble thoughts to die for her in battle. Sadly, that meant that she and Colossus’ couple-ness still existed in a state of suspension when Kitty got stuck in a giant bullet traveling around the solar system in GIANT-SIZE ASTONISHING X-MEN #1. Peter tried to move on with his life, but to his credit, he tattooed “Katya” in her memory on his chest in UNCANNY X-MEN #507

Uncanny X-Men (1963) #507

Uncanny X-Men (1963) #507

  • Published: March 18, 2009
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: February 11, 2011
  • Rating: T+
  • Writer: Matt Fraction
  • Penciller: Terry Dodson
What is Marvel Unlimited?

No good mutant hero ever stays lost, though, and so Kitty Pryde returned to Earth, thanks to Magneto, in UNCANNY X-MEN #522 and reclaimed her claim to the big metal guy in UNCANNY X-MEN #522…which of course hit the skids by UNCANNY X-MEN #543. The former Shadowcat struck up a few new relationships in the aftermath, in particular with Iceman in WOLVERINE AND THE X-MEN #14, and with Star-Lord in X-MEN: THE TRIAL OF JEAN GREY #1-6

Wolverine & the X-Men (2011) #14

Wolverine & the X-Men (2011) #14

  • Published: July 25, 2012
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: April 08, 2013
  • Rating: Rated T+
  • Writer: Jason Aaron
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Today, Kitty’s done with star-hopping scoundrels and Peter’s, well, Peter, and the two of them, as seen in X-MEN: GOLD #1, believe they can fight alongside each other as “just friends.” But, anybody who’s ever been in their position knows that trick never really works, right?

Stay tuned…we should be finding out whether or not our beloved Kitlossus will ever be a thing again very, very soon.

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See the Children of the Atom combat all manner of monstrous behemoths!

The X-Men clash with giant monsters in ALL-NEW X-MEN #1.MU, out February 1, but not for the first time. The merry mutants’ history’s littered with instances of colossal creatures crashing their parties, but this latest threat might prove the most challenging.

Take a look at a few of our favorite instances of the X-Men squaring off against monstrous opponents.

Uncanny X-Men (1963) #10

Uncanny X-Men (1963) #10

  • Published: March 10, 1965
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: April 08, 2009
  • Rating: T+
  • Penciller: Jack Kirby
  • Cover Artist: Jack Kirby
What is Marvel Unlimited?
UNCANNY X-MEN #10
When the young mutants traveled to the Savage Land, a tropical throwback in the middle of Antarctica, they encountered the world’s original giant monsters: dinosaurs! Cyclops and the gang avoided a phalanx of pterodactyls to rush right into the arms of the not-so-friendly Swamp Men, who in turn introduced them to a hungry tyrannosaurus. Needless to say, the X-Men made their escape to return more than once to the prehistoric playground.

Giant Size X-Men (1975) #1

Giant Size X-Men (1975) #1

What is Marvel Unlimited?
GIANT SIZE X-MEN #1
When the original team disappeared, a new group of X-Men banded together to investigate. That search led them to a strange encounter with Krakoa, a literal living island mutated by atomic energy and able to walk like a man. Up against incredible odds, the new crew won the day with guts and gusto, a great beginning for a historical collection of heroes.

Uncanny X-Men (1963) #96

Uncanny X-Men (1963) #96

What is Marvel Unlimited?
UNCANNY X-MEN #96
Cyclops’ heavy guilt over the death of teammate Thunderbird dredged up a horrifically large demon named Kierrok. The X-Men opposed the creature’s advance, but soon began to succumb to its immense powers until Professor X got wise and directed Storm to the demon’s point of origin, which she destroyed.

Uncanny X-Men (1963) #181

Uncanny X-Men (1963) #181

What is Marvel Unlimited?
UNCANNY X-MEN #181
A gigantic dragon returned with the X-Men from the first so-called Secret Wars and immediately began to lay waste to Tokyo. The team tried their best to contain the creature, but when the damage and destruction grew too great, it fell to Kitty Pryde’s dragon companion Lockheed to sway the towering serpent away from its lethal path.

Astonishing X-Men (2004) #39

Astonishing X-Men (2004) #39

  • Published: June 01, 2011
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: May 16, 2012
  • Rating: T
  • Writer: Daniel Way
  • Penciller: Jason Pearson
What is Marvel Unlimited?
ASTONISHING X-MEN #39
Years later, Wolverine and Cyclops battled another dragon in and around Tokyo—a legendary one by the name of Fin Fang Foom! They learned the great beast operated under the tight mental control of the villainous Mentallo, a situation which eventually led them to Monster Island and into the waiting jaws of, yep, you guessed it: more giant monsters.

Join up with the mutant heroes as they dive into Monsters Unleashed in ALL-NEW X-MEN #1.MU on February 1!

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Cap teams up with Black Widow and Wolverine across two eras!

Every day we celebrate Captain America’s 75th anniversary by looking deep into the Marvel Unlimited archives and going through some of Steve Rogers’ most thrilling adventures. Happy diamond anniversary Sentinel of Liberty!

As one of Marvel’s most popular and trusted heroes, it comes as no surprise that Captain America pops up in other books on a fairly regular basis. A particularly interesting example came in the form of Chris Claremont and Jim Lee’s UNCANNY X-MEN #268 from 1990.

That issue jumps between 1941 and the present day as Wolverine faces off against the Hand in Madripoor. In the past, Cap meets a man named Logan for the first time as the two stumble into the Genin—also known as the Hand—who happen to be working for Baron Strucker. It soon comes to light that their Russian compatriot Ivan Petrovitch lost the young potential assassin Natasha Romanoff to the Hand, currently in the employ of Strucker and the Nazis. In the present, Wolverine joins forces with the Black Widow to take on the Hand with the assistance of Psylocke and Jubilee.

Uncanny X-Men (1963) #268

Uncanny X-Men (1963) #268

  • Published: September 20, 1990
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: September 17, 2008
  • Rating: T+
  • Writer: Chris Claremont
  • Penciller: Jim Lee
  • Cover Artist: Jim Lee
What is Marvel Unlimited?

The issue might focus more on the long-lasting relationship between Logan and the little girl he saved back in World War II who went on to become an Avenger, but Captain America’s presence and villains loom large throughout. Logan makes short work of the evil Nazi priest who intended to turn Natasha into an assassin for the Hand earning the nickname “Little Uncle.”

In one of the most satisfying moments of the issue, Steve and Logan trade goodbyes towards the end of the issue. Cap says they could have made a good team to which Logan replies: “Don’t need a sidekick.” Still, this marked the beginning of a long-standing working relationship that led to Cap one day welcoming Wolverine into the Avengers.

Cap Declassified

If you enjoy seeing Captain America and Wolverine play off of one another in the modern era you should check out their run together in NEW AVENGERS and if you dig the World War II tales, look at WOLVERINE: ORIGINS #16-20 by Daniel Way and Steve Dillon. Featuring Logan remembering the hero after his death post-Civil War, this story also dives deeper into the events of UNCANNY X-MEN #268 and also introduces Cap to Nick Fury for the first time. The differences between tactics used by the stand-up hero and the assassin stand on display as a way to showcase how different these long-lasting heroes operate.

Next, Greg Pak and Mirko Colak turn the spotlight on Johann Schmidt’s early days in the five issue limited series RED SKULL: INCARNATE.

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All alone in the X-Mansion, Kitty Pryde faces a literal demon on Christmas Eve!

Celebrate 12 Days of Marvel with a showcase of holiday-themed comic books ready to read on Marvel Unlimited!

For many, the holidays offer a time for reflection, spending time with loved ones, and spreading cheer. Kitty Pryde expected to spend a quiet Christmas Eve in the X-Mansion with everyone else heading out for the night, but instead found herself face-to-gruesome-face with a devilish N’Garai demon.

Written and drawn by Chris Claremont and John Byrne, UNCANNY X-MEN #143 features the X-Teen, then going by the codename Sprite, about to settle down for a nice Danger Room training routine when an intruder alarm reveals a creature has broken into Storm’s attic sanctuary.

Assuming the being to be a brute, Kitty tries to trick it, but discovers that brains and beauty do not always come hand-in-hand—or claw-in-claw. Foiled at nearly every turn, Kitty must head to the Blackbird hangar to see if she can remember the lessons Professor Xavier went over with her at the very beginning of the issue in an attempt to finally outwit the monster.

Uncanny X-Men (1963) #143

Uncanny X-Men (1963) #143

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The result: a roasted demon and one heck of a story the 13-year-old X-Man shares with the team once they finally return to the Mansion at the end of the issue along with Kitty’s parents as a nice Chanukah present.

One of the most well-regarded holiday stories ever published by Marvel, “Demon” actually continues an early adventure of the then-new X-Men by Claremont and Dave Cockrum from issue #96. As the stellar two-page spread reveals in the beginning of #143, Storm used her power to vanquish the N’Garai, but one of its number made a sinister return nearly 50 issues later to test Kitty’s mettle.

The issue ends with a quote that’s as inspirational as any holiday movie or song: “Alone on Christmas Eve, Kitty Pryde underwent a rite of passage—a supreme test of her abilities, her intellect, her courage, her…self. She passed.”

On the first day of X-Mas my True Believer gave to me a demon in the X-Mansion.

Come back next week for another Holiday Grab Bag featuring FANTASTIC FOUR #361!

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The mutant heroes must save Storm from the Lord of the Vampires!

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

Last year, during the week-long ramp up to Halloween, the most famous Count in the world easily earned a spot in the Spooklight with his first Marvel appearance in TOMB OF DRACULA #1 from 1972. While the well-dressed bloodsucker appeared plenty of times in the next decade, one of the most surprising and memorable came in 1982’s UNCANNY X-MEN #159 by Chris Claremont and Bill Sienkiewicz.

It all starts off simply enough as Storm, Nightcrawler, Wolverine, Colossus, and Kitty Pryde show up at Misty Knight’s apartment in New York City to crash for a bit while Kitty visits her folks. After dropping the youngest X-Man off, Storm becomes the victim of a back alley attack. A stranger takes her to a hospital suffering from neck wounds but she seems to heal quickly. After returning to Misty’s place, Storm’s progress slows until a nighttime visit from Dracula reveals the real cause of her ailment: vampirism!

Luckily for Ororo, Kitty’s faith and bravery lead her to figure this all out on her own and attack the vampire who later faces off against the assembled X-Men, though he takes them down with ease. Dracula even turns a Fastball Special into a Bellyflop Surprise for Wolverine.

Uncanny X-Men (1963) #159

Uncanny X-Men (1963) #159

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Kitty saves the day again with her quick wit which brings Storm back around in time to face off against Dracula in Central Park. At the end of the day, Dracula gives up not because of fisticuffs, but because of a deep respect for his quarry. And how could you not respect a weather-controlling mutant goddess, especially when drawn by Sienkiewicz in full vampire thrall?

Even though Dracula flies off into the night, seemingly leaving the mutants behind in the process, he returns in that year’s UNCANNY X-MEN ANNUAL #6 which…will get showcased later in the month!

FRIGHT FACT: While Storm dodged the curse of the vampire, fellow X-Woman Jubilee cannot say the same. A de-powered Jubilation Lee got soaked in infected vampire blood before Drac’s son Xarus fully turned her. Still dealing with her condition, Jubilee rejoined the X-Men and adopted a baby named Shogo.

Come back Monday for another Halloween Spooklight on VAMPIRE TALES!

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