Stephen Wacker and Cort Lane talk about this weekend's two-part, season two debut on Disney XD!

What’s an intergalactic team of galactic guardians to do during a brief stay on Earth? Well, if they’re the Guardians of the Galaxy, they try to steal a shrunken asteroid from the Avengers, inadvertently blast the surrounding area with a satellite laser and team up with the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes to take on the High Evolutionary!

That’s how the first two episodes of the Disney XD series “Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy” will kick off on Saturday, March 11 at 9:00pm ET/PT on Disney XD. To get an early look at what to expect from “Stayin’ Alive,” “Evolution Rock” and the rest of the season we spoke with Senior Vice President, Animation and Family Entertainment Cort Lane and Vice President, Animation Stephen Wacker!

Marvel.com: This two parter features the Guardians teaming up with the Avengers to stop a series of threats. There are so many great interactions between characters like Rocket and Captain Marvel. Did those come naturally in the writing process?

Stephen Wacker: No. In the room with the writers and our story editor Marty Isenberg, we really played a lot. It took a while to get going on story because we were really playing the “what if” of how this character bounces against this one or how this character bounces against that one. I think what’s so rich about the Guardians is that every combination worked in their own way. You team any of those characters up with any of the Avengers and you get something new out of it. It wasn’t a situation where we just naturally said, “Oh, we want these two obviously together.” The problem was that there was so many iterations, that choosing which one gave us the best story [was difficult].

Marvel.com: The one that really clicked in my head was between Ant-Man and Star-Lord as both having outlaw backgrounds, but trying to do the right thing now.

Stephen Wacker: It’s been a year and a half since we broke the story, but I don’t remember that one coming instantly. We sat down with Marty and Mairghread Scott, our consulting producer, as we were breaking it all. I think we realized at a certain point, “Oh this is interesting. There’s some fun here that we can dig into.” When we first started to break into it, it was not long after the Ant-Man film had come out, so we brought in that fresh perspective from the movie as well.

Marvel.com: Going back a bit, you had a great first season, but I’m sure you’re always looking at what to do next. What were some of the big themes and ideas or even stories and villains you wanted to tackle this season?

Stephen Wacker: We get challenged by our bosses, and most directly Cort, with finding the new thing or new twist. Where we ended season one was with a big Thanos battle and the team on Earth. The season starts with shorts of the team finding a little something on Earth. What we really had from Cort after such a big action story was the challenge of really finding the fun. We ended with a big dramatic story, let’s come back in. Of course, we’re going to need action in the mighty Marvel manner, but let’s find the fun of this team on Earth because who knows if we’ll ever see this again.

So, if you had one time to tell this story, let’s make it as absolutely fun and funny as possible. There’s a lot of comedy in this show that is a little harder to pull off on, say, AVENGERS where it’s the end of the world for 22 minutes every week. Finding little things like Groot in his New York City John Lennon shirt, seeing how a bunch of people in Central Park react to the ship, seeing Gamora with a Statue of Liberty hat on, those were just moments we weren’t sure we’d ever get to see again and really wanted to have fun with it.

Marvel.com: Was the idea of teaming them up with the Avengers an extension of that idea of making this trip super memorable?

Stephen Wacker: Yeah, I come from that comic book world so I want to see our characters butt heads with each other and finally find a way to work together despite their differences. The Avengers are the greatest super team of all time and the Guardians, arguably, one of the worst, so there’s a great contrast there that’s a hell of a lot of fun.

Cort Lane: I would add that the Marvel Universe works because of the connections to some extent, but also the characters are so relatable because their emotions and personalities and flaws are so human. You can connect to them even these rogues in the Guardians. Getting really interesting, relatable diverse characters to interact with each other creates great character moments which I don’t think a lot of franchises connect to the way that Marvel can. We really wanted to play off the characters with each other and we did that in a really fun. I think my favorite in it is the way Rocket and Hulk actually really get along. Their personalities are not that different. And just like you mentioned, Star-Lord and Ant-Man are sort of similar, but different. There can be conflict and comedy, but also, in the end, some camaraderie with them playing off of each other.

Marvel.com: How was it coming up with this take on The High Evolutionary and his alien-based creatures?

Stephen Wacker: That strictly came from Marty. Marty is a fan of that character. I had done several High Evolutionary stories in publishing. I find the character baffling and impossible to wrap my head around. I certainly laid down the gauntlet to our writing team that if they want to use a character like the High Evolutionary, they really had to make it so I could understand it and, by extension, an audience of kids or new viewers can understand just what this character is. He sort of rides a line between good and evil depending on perception. I was very happy where they ended up. We really had to dig into the character, from my perspective, to make him understandable to a human being.

Cort Lane: I had the opposite reaction. I love the High Evolutionary, Wundagore Mountain. He’s right though, some of these villains across Marvel history have not been as fully fleshed out as a villain like Magneto or Ultron. So, it was good to challenge the story editors to give him a clearly defined motive and personality. I think it comes across well here because I was delighted to see him in animation.

Marvel.com: Going into these episodes, I was more on Steve’s side. I got the whole scientist thing, but adding in the part about him seeing himself as an artist really made everything click for me.

Cort Lane: The best Marvel villains have a relatable motive that you can connect with them and they’re not just cartoon villains.

Stephen Wacker: Yeah, High Evolutionary thinks he’s the good guy in the story.

Marvel.com: Without giving too much away, Rocket makes off with something at the end of the episode that comic fans may recognize. How will that play into the rest of the season?

Cort Lane: Steve, what can we say?

Stephen Wacker: It will play in a very big way. Everything Rocket has, is always important. As we learned, even a robot leg that wasn’t initially needed will become very important.

Cort Lane: There’s something interesting with making Rocket a bit of a scavenger, like a lot of raccoons are. The things that he gathers and uses become important in the story, particularly the thing you’re talking about. Yes, yes, a thousand times yes.

Marvel.com: My note when I saw that was, “Is that HIM?”

Stephen Wacker: I think we have talked about the character publicly.

Cort Lane: Yes, we have actually. We said that he’ll be important to this season. So, yes, it is HIM.

Marvel.com: What else can you tell us about this season and the stories or characters it will hold?

Stephen Wacker: I can say there’s a lot of Nova this year. The Nova Corps and Nova himself play an important role in the season and we really dig into Sam in particular, but everything about the Nova Corps and their relationship with the Guardians. We’ll see a return of the Black Order, Cosmo. We’ve got a really fun episode around 8 or 9 called “Me and You and a Dog Named Cosmo” when we find Cosmo going undercover. There’s a lot of belief that Cosmo could be a really fun character for us to flesh out the team.

Cort Lane: There’s a story for Tana Nie which is not something you’d expect, but it makes her a really compelling character and really relatable to young people too.

Stephen Wacker: A big storyline coming up this season, that I think will have a lot of people talking, is what we’re calling The Symbiote War. That’s coming about halfway through the season, following up on our Symbiote story from season one and it takes us back to Groot’s homeworld.

We’ll see more of Quill’s sister, we’ll see Thor throughout the season. It’s important for people to know that, like with season one, there is an arc to the season. Our stories can be enjoyed individually, but we do leave the team at the end of 26 episodes in a different place than we find them in. That journey’s going to be dramatic, with some wins and some losses. It’s going to have a little good, a little bad, a little bit of both throughout it. I know Cort and I are very excited about how deep we were able to dig into the Marvel cosmic universe this season.

Cort Lane: It’s a little more exploratory, even though there is a defined arc and something to do with HIM that carries us through the end of the season, but we get to meet a lot of new races and key characters throughout the Marvel cosmic universe. Last season was more of a scavenger hunt and them on the run, this is an exploration of the Marvel Universe.

To go exploring with the Guardians check out “Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy” season two as it returns on Disney XD this Saturday at 9:00pm ET/PT on Disney XD! Stay tuned to Marvel.com for all the latest news and updates on your favorite Marvel animated series.

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'Marvel's Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur' is currently in development.

If this past weekend’s release of Marvel Studios “Black Panther” has taught us anything, it’s that brilliant young girls run the world. Lunella Lafayette, it’s time for you to take center stage!

Marvel TV today revealed that “Marvel’s Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur” (working title) is in development. Based on the hit comic book series, the animated project follows the adventures of nine-year-old super-genius Lunella Lafayette, an African-America girl who teams up with her crimson-colored dinosaur and uses her smarts to save the day. Lunella, A.K.A. Moon Girl, was created by Brandon MontclareAmy Reeder, and Natacha Bustos (and colored by Tamra Bonvillain) in 2015—and the world’s smartest person hasn’t looked back since!

“Marvel’s Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur” is being produced by Marvel Animation and Cinema Gypsy Productions (Laurence Fishburne and Helen Sugland, producers of “black-ish” and “grown-ish”) with visual and animation development services by Titmouse, Inc. The animated project is in consideration for a Disney Channels Worldwide series.

Want to know more about the smartest there is in the Marvel Universe, head over to Marvel Unlimited or stop by your local comic shop and read the source material!  

Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur (2015) #1

Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur (2015) #1

What is Marvel Unlimited?

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'Marvel's Jessica Jones' returns March 8, only on Netflix.

Want to know Jessica’s mindset heading into Season 2 of “Marvel’s Jessica Jones”? Warning, she’s still angry.

In the new trailer above, Jessica rehashes the gritty and painful details of her life at an anger management session. She’s trying to put her life back together after putting an end to her tormenter, Kilgrave, in the best way she knows how — drinking and dealing with threats head on, literally.

If there’s something you need to know, it’s that “Jessica Jones, you are a hard drinking, short-fused, mess of a woman,” according to Luke Cage.

Get ready to discover Jessica’s troubled past when Season 2 of “Marvel’s Jessica Jones” premieres with 13 one-hour episodes on March 8 at 12:01 am PT globally on Netflix.

Watch the first season of “Marvel’s Jessica Jones” streaming now only on Netflix, and stay tuned to @JessicaJones and the official Jessica Jones Facebook page for the latest!

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These pals have been through a lot. Watch two new episodes Sunday, Feb 18 at 8am on Disney XD.

On “Marvel’s Spider-Man,” Peter Parker has a lot of crisis to deal with, but he has a group of friends he can always count on – and Harry Osborn is chief among them.

As Harry’s transformation into the Hobgoblin takes place on the series, check out a new video above focusing on the two buddies. Actors Robbie Daymond (who voices Peter/Spider-Man) and Max Mittelman (who voices Harry Osborn/Hobgoblin) discuss their characters, their dynamic, and how it’s reflected in the real life friendship the two share.

“Marvel’s Spider-Man” – “Hobgoblin Parts One and Two” airs Sunday, February 18th at 8:00 – 9:00am ET/PT on Disney XD.

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Stonehouse delivers out of this world art piece for 'S.H.I.E.L.D.' program.

We close out the “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: The Road to 100” art program with artist Stonehouse capturing the highlights of Season 5 so far.

In case you missed it, take a look at the previous seasons captured by Dale Keown (Season 1)Daniel Acuña (Season 2), Nick Bradshaw (Season 3), and Rahzzah (Season 4).

With barely any time to recuperate from the events of Season 4, our agents were thrusted 70+ years into the future on a quaked apart earth by the Destroyer of Worlds as the clock ticks out on humanity. Flanking the art piece are Kasius, the Kree who rules over the Lighthouse, and his second-in-command, Sinara, who keeps the remaining humans in line. In addition to Kasius and Sinara, the agents are joined by Deke, a roguish scavenger, and a hard man to trust.

At the heart of the piece, we find Fitz and Simmons reunited after Fitz traveled across time and space to find Simmons.

“The Fitz-Simmons’ proposal is such a big moment for the show, the fans, and for everyone involved,” shared executive producers and showrunners Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen exclusively to Marvel.com. “It is the culmination of a relationship that has been maturing since Day One, and it’s only fitting that it was directed by S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Director Clark Gregg.”

As the prophecy of Quake destroying the world looms over our agents, what can we expect from this season as we draw near the 100th episode and beyond for our agents? According to Whedon and Tancharoen, “They are going to have to try to do everything they can to stop the future they saw from coming to bear. The problem is they only have vague clues as to what events lead to the earth’s destruction. It will be a race against the clock as well as a puzzle and also a mystery and a conundrum and a rigamarole and a doozy.”

Season Five will return Friday, March 2. Don’t miss the 100th episode of “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” will air Friday, March 9 at 9|8c on ABC!

For more information on “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” visit ABC.com, follow @AgentsofSHIELD on Twitter, and like “Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.” on Facebook for all the latest news and updates!

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Rahzzah takes on Hydra in new art program piece.

We’re weeks away from the landmark 100th episode of “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” and here to commemorate Season 4 of the Marvel TV series is artist Rahzzah. Don’t forget to look back at the “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: The Road to 100” Season 1 piece by Dale Keown, Season 2 piece by Daniel Acuña, and Season 3 piece by Nick Bradshaw.

The dynamic fourth season was shook by the following key events that continue to haunt our agents — at the core of the art piece by Rahzzah is the introduction of Ghost Rider. Who can forget Daisy and Robbie Reyes’ rough start as they crossed paths in Los Angeles tracking down the Watchdogs who were hunting down Inhumans? Striking out on her own, Daisy had to cope with the effects of her ‘quake’ powers on her body.

Season 4 introduced us to another new character, Jeffrey Mace, who was appointed by the President to be the new director of S.H.I.E.L.D. and enforce his vision for the organization in their new partnership with the government.

Meanwhile, the season heats up as Radcliffe and Fitz develop Life Model Decoys. As Mack and his love of sci-fi movies taught us, nothing bodes well when robots become sentient. Aida gets a little more intense and a lot more deadly when exposed to the Darkhold. Devising her own cat-and-mouse game, Aida thinks she’s doing our team a kindness by removing each of their biggest regrets in the Framework, creating a ‘what-if’ world where Hydra is in charge.

Relationships are complicated when you’re an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. and unfortunately for Coulson, he ended up locking lips with LMD May. Aida envisioned herself as Madame Hydra with a callous Fitz by her side. And Mack was reunited with his daughter Hope. Could Yo-Yo draw him out of the Framework to save his life?

In one of the defining moments of the season, Mace as the Patriot, assuring his life is real, sacrifices himself to save a child when a Hydra correctional facility is attacked on Aida’s orders. In sacrificing himself, he also sacrificed his real human self in the real world.

The choices and experiences made in this season continue to reverberate for our agents as they navigate Season 5. Some of which have yet to come to light…

Season Five will return Friday, March 2. Don’t miss the 100th episode of “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” will air Friday, March 9 at 9|8c on ABC!

For more information on “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” visit ABC.com, follow @AgentsofSHIELD on Twitter, and like “Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.” on Facebook for all the latest news and updates!

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Peter's got a notable new enemy in the episodes airing Sunday, Feb 18th at 8:00am on Disney XD.

There are two new episodes of “Marvel’s Spider-Man” airing this coming Sunday, and their titles say it all, as Spidey takes on the formidable threat known as Hobgoblin!

In “Hobgoblin Parts One and Two,” Spider-Man must find a way to stop Hobgoblin – who is completely bent on destroying Spider-Man, whatever it takes.

Check out a clip above, as both Peter and Miles battle the Hobgoblin, who quickly makes it clear he is not holding back – even while Peter’s personal connection to the man behind the mask leaves him conflicted.

“Marvel’s Spider-Man” – “Hobgoblin Parts One and Two” airs Sunday, February 18th at 8:00 – 9:00am ET/PT on Disney XD.

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Marvel Television says goodbye to a member of the family.

Statement from Marvel Television:

“Everyone at Marvel Television is deeply saddened by the loss of Reg E. Cathey. It was an honor to work with him and to know him. Our heartfelt condolences go out to his family and friends.

In ‘Marvel’s Luke Cage’ Season 2, Reg played James Lucas, Luke’s father. We were lucky enough to experience the magic that was Reg in his final performance.”

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A look at Gwen and Anya and the women who voice them before Sunday's new episodes on Disney XD!

Peter Parker has some formidable friends on the animated series “Marvel’s Spider-Man,” and a new behind the scenes video puts the focus on Gwen Stacy and Anya Corazon.

Check out the video above to hear what Laura Bailey (who voices Gwen) and Melanie Minichino (who voices Anya) have to say about the strength and intelligence of Spider-Gwen and Spider-Girl.

You can see Gwen and Anya in action on “Marvel’s Spider-Man” this weekend in the episodes “Spider-Island Parts Three-Five” airing Sunday, February 11th at 9:00-10:30am ET/PT on Disney XD.

Subscribe to Marvel HQ on YouTube for more clips, behind the scenes info, and full episodes from Marvel!

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Wendy Willming on how Season 3 of the series redefined Hydra's history and purpose.

Today, we shine a spotlight on Season 3 of “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” as we draw closer to the landmark 100th episode.

The next piece, shown below, in the “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: The Road to 100” art program comes from artist Nick Bradshaw, and helping us walk down memory lane is “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” producer Wendy Willming. Don’t miss the Season 1 piece and Season 2 piece.

Marvel.com: Bradshaw highlights several key moments from Season 3. What were the significance of these scenes and how did it impact our agents?

Wendy Willming: These moments depict some of our more iconic scenes and Bradshaw weaving a sense of evil throughout the piece is telling of the many layers that are uncovered this season.

On the far left, Fitz holds Simmons after he pulls her out of the portal from Maveth – a sunless, desert-like planet where Simmons was stranded for “4,722 Hours,” which also happens to be the title of the 5th episode in this season.

Shown on the far right, Coulson dives into the portal after Ward and Fitz. Coulson ultimately kills Ward with his prosthetic hand, finally destroying the evil that has plagued our agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. for years. Unbeknownst to our team back on Earth, an ancient and parasitic Inhuman named Hive, finds Ward’s body and returns in his form until he reveals his true appearance – an octopod-like creature – that Bradshaw has depicted on the right.

In the bottom left hand corner, the art piece also features the Secret Warriors, finally together . It’s an iconic moment for our Inhuman agents – Daisy Johnson, Elena ‘Yo-Yo’ Rodriguez, Lincoln Campbell and Joey Gutierrez.

Bradshaw also gives us Bobbi Morse and Lance Hunter, our beloved bickering couple. Fans will remember the episode “Parting Shot.” Morse and Hunter choose to leave S.H.I.E.L.D. after their lives are spared with the caveat that they never work for the U.S. government again. The team takes a shot in their honor but their undeniable presence is sorely missed.

Marvel.com: Hydra breaks the S.H.I.E.L.D. logo and its tentacles looms over the entire piece. How had the Hydra revelations change the course of the season?

Wendy Willming: The revelations that unfold throughout the season give a whole new perspective and understanding of Hydra’s history in the Marvel Universe. It also ties in the thread of Inhumans. In our third season, we learn that Hive is the source of Hydra and what an ancient, parasitic Inhuman has built, lived on to become the most feared institution in history. For fans and anyone keeping track of the Marvel U thus far, it redefines Hydra’s history and purpose.

 

Marvel.com: As we near the 100th episode, is there anything you’d like to share with the cast, the teams behind the scenes and the fans?

Wendy Willming: I’ve had the incredible fortune of being apart of Season 3 and our current Season 5. It’s a privilege to be a part of such a wonderful group of storytellers and artists. Everyone on this team, and it takes a village and then some, has been a complete joy because they love what they do and they love the show they get to bring to life every single day. I truly believe that if you love your job, it shows on screen. And this group, shows it on screen every week. Here’s to 100 more!

Season Five will return Friday, March 2. Don’t miss the 100th episode of “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” will air Friday, March 9 at 9|8c on ABC!

For more information on “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” visit ABC.com, follow @AgentsofSHIELD on Twitter, and like “Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.” on Facebook for all the latest news and updates!

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