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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Download Ep. 63 to director Billy Gierhart discuss Season 4's Fiery Finale!

***SPOILER ALERT: Don’t listen in if you haven’t seen the most recent episode of “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”!***

In the latest episode of “This Week in Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” we chat with director Billy Gierhart about the fiery finale for Season 4! “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” will return to ABC for a fifth season soon.

Download episode #63 of “This Week in Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” from Marvel.com! “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” will return to ABC for a fifth season soon.

Go behind-the-scenes of “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” with a new podcast series for the hit show on ABC! Every week we’ll talk with a different member of the cast and production crew as well as Executive Producers examining the twists and turns of the most recent episode, as well as taking a look at the creation process behind this exciting series! Don’t miss “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” Tuesdays at its new time, 10:00 p.m. ET on ABC, and catch a new episode of “This Week in Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” right here every Wednesday!

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Ghost Rider returns while Fitz & Simmons contemplate their options!

Old friends return and our heroes weight their options as “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” races towards its fourth season finale!

First, see more of Robbie Reyes–a.k.a. Ghost Rider–as he reveals more about the changes Aida has gone through. Then scroll down as Fitz and Simmons go back and forth on just how they can stop Aida in the first place!

Catch an all-new “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” Tuesday at 10:00 PM ET on ABC, and keep up to date by following @AgentsofSHIELD on Twitter and “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”!

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'Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.' Star Passes Away

Marvel recognizes the passing of prominent actor Powers Boothe, whose brief stay in the Marvel Cinematic Universe remains one of strength and stately impact to its fans.

Boothe felt the pull of Shakespeare and the Bard’s stage at an important time in his life, and became an actor after leaving his boyhood Texas farm for the lights of New York City in the early 1970s. Work on Broadway led to film and TV roles, and in 1980 he cemented his face and voice in the minds of millions of viewers when he played cult leader Jim Jones in a landmark TV movie, “The Guyana Tragedy.”

Still relatively young and with an Emmy Award under his belt for the role of Jones, Boothe struck out into a career of varied challenges, winning parts in such favorite films as “Southern Comfort, Red Dawn,” “Extreme Prejudice,” Tombstone,” “Sin City,” and “Nixon.” Unsatisfied with limiting himself to film and TV, he also lent his forceful voice to video games where he moved even closer to the world of comic books.

In 2012, the actor filmed a brief scene for “Marvel’s The Avengers” in which he played an unnamed figure on the World Security Council. Fortunately, Boothe jumped at the chance to expand upon the part in 2015 on “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” There, the figure in shadows became Gideon Malick, a wicked Hydra leader that the actor poured all his experience and expertise into playing, making Malick a villain known for his cunning and cruelty even as audiences came to better empathize with him.

Powers Boothe continued to act right up until the end, and leaves behind an incredible range of roles, one any actor in the profession would be envious of.

The Marvel family is saddened to hear about the loss of our longtime friend, Powers Boothe. Our sincerest condolences go out to his family and friends.

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Serve up this tasty treat inspired by the Darkhold!

Recipe by Jenn Fujikawa

Ingredients:

12 ounces dark chocolate
1 cup Cocoa Rice Krispies Cereal
4 packets Strawberry Pop Rocks
¼ teaspoon kosher salt

Step 1: Prep a quarter-sheet pan by lining it with a Silpat or buttered parchment. Set aside.

Step 2: Melt the chocolate over a double boiler, stirring until smooth.

Step 3: Take off the heat and stir in the rice cereal.

Step 4: Pour the chocolate mixture on top of the prepped baking sheet. Use an offset spatula to spread evenly into a large rectangle.

Step 5: Place the sheet into the freezer to set.

Step 6: Take the sheet out and let warm to room temperature for 5-7 minutes then sprinkle the Pop Rocks and kosher salt. *

Step 7: Break into pieces to serve.

*Note

If you want to decorate it to look like Darkhold, cut out a Darkhold “d” symbol template, approximately 6-inches tall. Place over the chocolate and use the template to sprinkle the Pop Rocks into the “d” shape onto the chocolate to serve.

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New series coming to Fox this fall in association with Marvel Television!

Fox has unveiled the first trailer for “The Gifted,” and you can check it out right here on Marvel.com!

Following a family who discovers their children have powers, the new series from director Bryan Singer is coming to Fox this fall.

Stay tuned to Marvel.com and follow “The Gifted” online with @thegiftedonfox on Twitter and the official Facebook page!

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Treat your mom to a super-Inhuman day with this Terrigen Mist Bath Ball!

Ingredients Needed:

1 cup Baking soda
½ cup citric acid
½ cup Epsom salt
½ cup corn starch
1 tbs coconut oil (cooled)
¾ tsp water
2 tsp lavender essential oil
Few drops of food coloring

Other Tools:

2 Bowls
Bath Bomb molds
Whisk
Spoon
Wax paper
Fluffy Towel

Step 1: Combine dry ingredients & liquid

  • Place coconut oil, water, essential oil, and food coloring into a small bowl. Stir with spoon until well mixed.
  • Dump dry ingredients into a medium bowl and stir with whisk
  • Slowly add a little liquid at a time to dry ingredients while whisking (repeat until completely combined)

(The mixture should begin to clump together when you squish it)

Step 2: Pack mixture into molds

  • Grab bath ball mold and start to pack the mixture tightly into the first half of the mold
  • Do the same with the second half of the mold
  • Squeeze the molds together to create your sphere

Step 3: Removing the bath ball

  • Remove any excess mixture around the mold
  • Loosen the mold with a spoon
  • Gently remove the bath bomb

(If the mixture isn’t packing well, place the mixture back in the bowl and add a tiny amount of water)

Step 4: Let bath bomb dry

  • Place on wax paper on top of a fluffy towel
  • Let dry for 24 hours
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Coulson & his team to return for another season!

Good news, Agents—Coulson and his squad will return for a fifth season!

ABC officially announced today that “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” will return for Season 5, continuing the adventures of your favorite agents.

Don’t miss the Season 4 finale this Tuesday at 10:00 PM ET on ABC as Ghost Rider returns to join forces with Coulson’s team and face the newly-empowered (and newly-human) Aida!

Catch an all-new “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” Tuesday at 10:00 PM ET on ABC, and keep up to date by following @AgentsofSHIELD on Twitter and “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”!

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Download Ep. 62 to hear Elizabeth Henstridge discuss Simmons' journey throughout Season 4!

***SPOILER ALERT: Don’t listen in if you haven’t seen the most recent episode of “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”!***

In the latest episode of “This Week in Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” we chat with actress Elizabeth Henstridge about Simmons’ tumultuous journey throughout Season 4, the repercussions of the Framework, and her relationship with Fitz. Catch the action-packed season finale of “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” next Tuesday at 10:00 PM ET on ABC.

Download episode #62 of “This Week in Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” from Marvel.com! Catch new episodes of “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” Tuesdays at 10:00 PM ET on ABC.

Go behind-the-scenes of “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” with a new podcast series for the hit show on ABC! Every week we’ll talk with a different member of the cast and production crew as well as Executive Producers examining the twists and turns of the most recent episode, as well as taking a look at the creation process behind this exciting series! Don’t miss “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” Tuesdays at its new time, 10:00 p.m. ET on ABC, and catch a new episode of “This Week in Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” right here every Wednesday!

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FXX orders ten episodes of the first season which is scheduled to debut in 2018

FXX has placed a series order with Marvel Television and FX Productions for the untitled Marvel’s Deadpool series, an animated adult action-comedy TV series adaptation of the hit Marvel character Deadpool, it was announced jointly today by Eric Schrier and Nick Grad, Presidents of Original Programming, FX Networks and FX Productions, and Jeph Loeb, Head of Marvel Television.

Atlanta creator and Golden Globe® Award Winner Donald Glover and Stephen Glover will serve as Showrunners, Executive Producers and Writers of the series. Marvel’s Jeph Loeb and Jim Chory are Executive Producers. The untitled Marvel’s Deadpool series is produced by Marvel Television in association with FX Productions and ABC Signature Studios for FXX, which has ordered ten episodes for season one.

“Donald Glover is an incredibly gifted and versatile artist who’ll bring the untitled Marvel’s Deadpool series to life with the same intense, singular vision as his breakout hit Atlanta,” said Nick Grad. “With the success of Legion, we’re looking forward to again partnering with Marvel Television to create a series that is bold, striking and entirely original.”

Jeph Loeb added, “How much more fun could this be? Deadpool, Donald and FX – the perfect fit for the Merc with the Mouth! We’re thrilled that our relationship with FX that started with Legion continues with what is sure to be a groundbreaking show in adult animation.”

Since his debut in 1991, Deadpool has grown to become one of Marvel’s most popular characters thanks to his unique blend of humor and over-the-top action. With a rabid following of fans from across the globe, he currently stars in a variety of best-selling titles from Marvel Comics.

Donald Glover is the creator, executive producer, writer and star of Atlanta, which was the most critically acclaimed comedy series of 2016, basic cable’s most-watched new comedy in three years and the highest-rated comedy in FX Networks’ history. Glover himself won the Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice Awards and the show took home the awards for: Golden Globe, AFI, Peabody, and WGA and received DGA and NAACP nominations. Season two of Atlanta is tentatively scheduled to debut in early 2018 on FX.

Upcoming for Glover includes Jon Watts’ Spider-Man: Homecoming, Han Solo and Jon Favreau’s The Lion King. Glover is known for his success under the stage name “Childish Gambino.” He released his first album, Camp, in 2011. His second album, Because the Internet, was nominated for two Grammy Awards and generated the hit song “3005.” His most recent album, Awaken, My Love!, was released in December 2016, debuted #1 on the R&B Albums Chart and is his highest-charting album.

Stephen Glover is a staff writer on FX’s award-winning series Atlanta, writing four episodes of the series ten-episode first season. In addition to script writing, he also wrote music and lyrics for the show with Donald Glover. Along with writing for television, he also has experience writing for stand-up comedians. Glover also works in music as an accomplished songwriter and performer.

Donald Glover is repped by Dianne McGunigle of MGMT Entertainment, WME and Lev Ginsburg. Stephen Glover is represented by WME and Lev Ginsburg.

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