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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Our heroes unite in a new look at 'Marvel's The Defenders'!

Sometimes, things really are black and white.

The four heroes of “Marvel’s The Defenders” strike a pose in a new poster for the series, debuting only on Netflix August 18!

Daredevil (Charlie Cox), Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter), Luke Cage (Mike Colter), and Iron Fist (Finn Jones) give the camera some attitude in the first poster for the upcoming series.

Check out the poster below, and keep your eyes right here on Marvel.com for more on “Marvel’s The Defenders”!

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Case your votes by Friday, June 23!

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

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

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

 

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The ABC series is up for Choice Action TV Show while Gabriel Luna is up for Choice Action TV Actor!

Agents, Coulson and his team need your help to they can take home the trophy at this year’s Teen Choice Awards!

The ABC TV original series “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” has been nominated for two Teen Choice Awards in the “Choice Action TV Show” category and Gabriel Luna (Robbie Reyes/Ghost Rider) in the “Choice Action TV ActorTeen Choice Award’s official website” category, but we need you to head to the and VOTE NOW! Voting for this first Wave of “Teen Choice 2017” nominees runs through this Thursday.

Choice Action TV Show (#ChoiceActionTVShow)
“Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”

Choice Action TV Actor (#ChoiceActionTVActor)
Gabriel Luna – “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”

Voting for the first wave of “Teen Choice 2017” nominees are officially open via TeenChoice.com and Twitter. Starting now through Thursday, June 22 at 9:00 PM PT, fans are allowed 10 votes per category, per day, per platform user ID, for their favorite “Teen Choice 2017” Wave One nominees. Vote via Twitter by tweeting a category hashtag with the nominee’s name. You may only vote for one Teen Choice nominee per Tweet.

Celebrate this year’s top teen icons in television, music, film, sports, comedy and digital when the choicest, star-studded two-hour event airs LIVE Sunday, Aug. 13 (8:00-10:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed) on FOX.

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Watch a brand new two-part arc of 'Marvel's Avengers: Secret Wars' this weekend on Disney XD!

Season Four of “Marvel’s Avengers: Secret Wars” premieres this weekend on Saturday, 6/17 on Disney XD beginning at 11:30 AM ET. Earth’s Mightiest Heroes will muster all of their knowledge and strength to try and find a way to bring Tony Stark back from the alternate dimension he is trapped in. Before they can, they’re attacked by a New Cabal of villains who scatter our heroes across space and time. With the help of the All-New, All-Different Avengers (Captain Marvel, Black Panther, Ms. Marvel, Ant-Man, Wasp, and Vision), the Avengers must reunite in time to not only save Earth, but all of reality. Check out a brand new clip from the one-hour premiere of above!

Tune in to the one-hour premiere of “Marvel’s Avengers: Secret Wars” – Avengers No More Parts 1 and 2 this Saturday beginning at 11:30 AM ET on Disney XD! Stay tuned to Marvel.com for all the latest news and updates on your favorite animated series.

 

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Josh Keaton talks about taking on the role of Scott Lang in 'Marvel’s Ant-Man' shorts!

Good things come in small packages as Marvel Animation’s series of cartoon shorts is kicking off this weekend with “Marvel’s Ant-Man” on Disney XD. The debut of these six new action-filled shorts gives viewers a peek into the life of Scott Lang as he battles Yellowjacket, finds common ground with Wasp, and creates a giant piece of cheese. You know, the typical super hero life.

Marvel.com talked with the new voice of Ant-Man Josh Keaton, whose previous roles include many familiar video game voices and most recently, Shiro on “Voltron: Legendary Defender.” We spoke with Josh about taking on the exciting task of voicing of the Ant-Size Avenger, and whether saving the world or helping with homework is the more difficult task.

Marvel.com: Have you always been a Marvel comics fan?

Josh Keaton: Absolutely, my favorite comic book character is Spider-Man. Ant-Man is a new thing for me, I didn’t go into this knowing as much about him so I had research more about the character, I started reading more about Scott as the process was going on.

Marvel.com: How did you decide to approach the character of Scott Lang, did you use past iterations of Ant-Man (“Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes!,” Marvel Studios’ “Ant-Man” movie) to get his character just right or is this your own new variation on Scott Lang?

Josh Keaton: I’m definitely putting my own spin on it, I like a lot of the stuff that other people who have played him have contributed. I like Paul Rudd’s snarkiness, I’ve been a fan of his for a long time. It’s not necessarily a recreation of any particular performance, I’m taking elements of what I’ve read about the character and how I feel he would be.

Marvel.com: Is there a particular way you get into character to voice a superhero? Most superheroes have alter egos so it’s really two characters in one but here you have Scott Lang, Ant-Man, and also Giant Man, so you get three characters in one.

Josh Keaton: At the end of the day it’s all Scott. He’s got the mask on but he’s very much the same character in and out of the suit. There’s not a lot he’s trying to hide, if anything he’s trying to prove himself to the rest of the Avengers and trying to prove that he’s not a bad guy. He’s a likeable guy and he wants to be liked.

Marvel.com: You’ve voiced Shiro in “Voltron Legendary: Defender.” While Shiro is a born leader, Scott was pretty much thrown into the action. How does that manifest itself in the way you approach voicing “Marvel’s Ant-Man”?

Josh Keaton: It helped the process that I wasn’t as familiar with the character as I have been with other superheroes that I’ve played. Shiro is larger so there’s a physicality that I get into when voicing him, and Ant-Man is more like an everyman. There are definitely some parallels between the characters—there’s a huge amount of loyalty that you can find in both. It’s really more of a mental place to get into, rather than physically preparing to get into the role.

Marvel.com: With these shorts you get a quick but concise look into Scott Lang’s world. What do you think fans will like most about these shorts?

Josh Keaton: One of the things that I really love about the shorts is the fact that—much like the fact that he can shrink and grow—his problems and the enemies that he faces also shrink and grow. I mean, he’s fighting this massive force of nature in one, and then in another one he’s fighting the exterminator that’s going to kill his ant buddies. It’s just a run of the mill exterminator that is just as much of a supervillain to his ant buddies as a much bigger supervillain would be to the rest of the world. He still has that loyalty to his little buddies that he does to humanity.

Marvel.com: Wasp is clearly superior when it comes to plan of attack against enemies, do you think Scott’s faltering helps his character?

Josh Keaton: Absolutely. He’s able to poke fun at himself. He knows that he’s still kind of figuring stuff out, things are going to go wrong and he just kind of deals with it. There’s definitely a relaxed-ness to him, even under fire. There’s even a little bit of crossover with Spider-Man, there’s that humor that comes out under fire and Scott’s always down to make the joke.

Marvel.com: Yellowjacket ruining kids’ science projects is the ultimate in villainy, do you think Scott has a more difficult time fighting the bad guys or helping out Cassie with her homework?

Josh Keaton: How much more evil can you get than messing up kids’ science projects? I think it’s a little bit of both. I have two young kids and I barely have time, so if I had to add fighting supervillains to my schedule, I don’t know how I’d get it all done.

Marvel.com: What would you like to say to the fans who’ll be tuning in this weekend?

Josh Keaton: Thanks for watching, thanks for supporting Marvel and everyone who worked so hard to make these!

Catch Josh Keaton as the voice of Ant-Man in “Marvel’s Ant-Man” when the first of six of the two-minute shorts titled “Science Fair,” will debut on Disney XD on Saturday, June 10 starting at 7:58 AM ET, with “Alien Invasion” and “Soup Time” following in every four hours at 11:58 AM and 2:58 PM. The next three shorts will follow on Sunday, June 11 with “Exterminator” at 11:28 AM, followed by “Proton Cube” at 5:28 PM and finally, “Not a Date” at 8:58 PM.

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Watch them all now!

Ant-Man continues to prove he’s one of the biggest heroes around in three new animated shorts!

Scott Lang, a.k.a. Ant-Man, goes from his daughter’s science fair to warding off an alien invasion and more in these new tales. Want to learn more about how they all came together? Then check out our interview with Ant-Man voice actor Josh Keaton!

These are just the first three of six shorts coming your way, Marvelites, and you can catch them all on Disney XD starting this weekend! “Science Fair” will debut on Saturday, June 10 starting at 7:58 AM ET, with “Alien Invasion” and “Soup Time” following in every four hours at 11:58 AM and 2:58 PM. The next three shorts will follow on Sunday, June 11 with “Exterminator” at 11:28 AM, followed by “Proton Cube” at 5:28 PM and finally, “Not a Date” at 8:58 PM.

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'Marvel’s Spider-Man' will be premiering on Disney XD later this summer.

True Believers, Peter Parker is heading back to TV screens once again! We’ve got a sneak peek on the upcoming “Marvel’s Spider-Man” animated series premiering later this summer on Disney XD above!

The new series, “Marvel’s Spider-Man,” tells the story of an unsure (but courageous) teen who has to figure out how to be a Super Hero from the very beginning. It’s a back-to-basics approach to the web-slinger’s origin story. Take a look at the first look above where Spidey takes on Scorpion, and check out a look the latest Peter Parker/Spider-Man below.

 

Tune in to Disney XD to catch episodes of your favorite Marvel animated series! Stay tuned to Marvel.com for all the latest news and updates on all things Marvel.

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Beginning June 2, 6 original animated shorts featuring the newest Avengers usher in the new season!

Earth’s Mightiest Heroes unite once again to fight the foes no single hero could withstand alone as “Marvel’s Avengers: Secret Wars” (previously “Marvel’s Avengers: Ultron Revolution”) debuts a fourth season with a one-hour premiere on SATURDAY, JUNE 17 (11:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m. EDT), on Disney XD, and on the Disney XD App and VOD (12:01 a.m. EDT). Disney XD will also present a series of six shorts featuring the newest Avengers – Captain Marvel, Black Panther, Ms. Marvel, Ant-Man, Wasp and Vision – in a flashback sequence that introduces their powers, beginning FRIDAY, JUNE 2, on Disney XD, the Disney XD App, Disney XD YouTube and VOD.

Picking up right after the events of season three “Ultron Revolution,” the fourth season finds Tony Stark trapped in another dimension. While the Avengers muster all of their knowledge and strength to try and find a way to bring him back, they are attacked by a new Cabal of villains who scatter the mighty heroes across space and time. With the help of the Black Panther’s new team, including Captain Marvel, Ms. Marvel, Ant-Man, Wasp and Vision, the Avengers must reunite in time to save the universe.

The multiplatform schedule is:

FRIDAY, JUNE 2 – WEDNESDAY, JUNE 7

  • Six original shorts will debut daily on Disney XD linear, on-demand and digital platforms. All six shorts will be available on Friday, June 2, on the Disney XD App. In the animated shorts, we meet the newest Avengers in a flashback sequence to learn about their background, super powers and, ultimately, what makes them super heroes.

SATURDAY, JUNE 17

  • One-hour premiere of “Marvel’s Avengers: Secret Wars” season four featuring back-to-back episodes on Disney XD (11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. EDT). The first two episodes will also be available on the Disney XD App and Disney XD VOD.
    • “Avengers No More – Part 1” (11:30 a.m. EDT)
      While trying to rescue Tony Stark from another dimension, the Avengers battle the Leader and his newly formed Cabal.
    • “Avengers No More – Part 2” (12:00 p.m. EDT)
      Black Panther assembles a new team of Avengers to stop the Leader and free the original Avengers.

The series stars: Mick Wingert (“Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy”) as Iron Man, Fred Tatasciore (“Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness”) as Hulk, Roger Craig Smith (“Wreck-It Ralph”) as Captain America, Travis Willingham (“Regular Show”) as Thor, Troy Baker (“Marvel’s Ultimate Spider-Man”) as Hawkeye, Laura Bailey (“The Super Hero Squad Show”) as Black Widow, Bumper Robinson (“The Game”) as Falcon, David Kaye (“Ben 10”) as Vision, James Mathis III (“Marvel’s Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H”) as Black Panther, Kathreen Khavari (“Big Little Lies”) as Ms. Marvel, Josh Keaton (“Ben 10”) as Ant-Man, Kari Wahlgren (“Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy”) as Wasp and Grey Griffin (“The Tom and Jerry Show”) as Captain Marvel.

Produced by Marvel Animation, the series’ creative team includes executive producers Alan Fine (“Marvel’s The Avengers,” “Iron Man,” “Thor”), Dan Buckley (“Marvel’s Avengers Assemble,” “Marvel’s Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.”), Joe Quesada (“Marvel’s Avengers Assemble”), Cort Lane (“Marvel’s Ultimate Spider-Man”), Eric Radomski (“Spawn,” “Marvel’s Avengers Assemble”), and Jeph Loeb (“Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”); co-executive producers Stan Lee (“Spider-Man”) and Stephen Wacker (“Marvel’s Avengers Assemble”); supervising producers Eugene Son (“Marvel’s Ultimate Spider-Man”), Danielle Wolff (“Marvel’s Ultimate Spider-Man”), and Harrison Wilcox (“Marvel’s Ultimate Spider-Man”); and supervising director Jeff Allen (“Marvel’s Avengers Assemble”).

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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