Celebrating Star Wars #25

Jedi Padawan Aayla Secura battles Aurra Sing in a Star Wars showdown!

We all know that the first Star Wars film changed the face of pop culture forever when it hit theaters 40 years ago today—but it’s not just the movie that’s celebrating that milestone in 2017. Star Wars comics arrived with force in 1977, and hundreds of issues later, they’re more popular now than ever.

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of Star Wars, we’re looking back at our 40 favorite moments from the history of comics from a galaxy far, far away—one day at a time.

Whereas Quinlan Vos stands out as perhaps the most important Prequel-era character created by comics, his Padawan Aayla Secura may just be the most popular, making it all the way to the the silver screen. At the same time, a Jedi-hunting bounty hunter named Aurra Sing, who made a brief debut watching the Podrace in “The Phantom Menace,” would go on to become a major player in Star Wars Prequel-era comics. Their lightsabers would clash in STAR WARS: JEDI – AAYLA SECURA, a one-shot from 2003.

While on a mission of espionage to the planet Devaron, Aayla discovers Aurra hunting her and other Jedi. Throughout the course of the action, we learn a lot about each player—Aayla’s defiance of Twi’lek stereotypes, Aurra’s taste for fear through her bionic antenna implant, and more. An emotional lightsaber battle serves as the issue’s climax, as Aayla fights to save herself and her comrades pinned in debris.

A strikingly beautiful blue Twi’lek, Aayla artist Jan Duursema and writer John Ostrander created Aayla, who made her first full appearance in STAR WARS #22. Her look made such an impression on George Lucas that he cast Amy Allen to portray her for the Battle of Geonosis in “Attack of the Clones,” later killing Aayla on Felucia as a result of Order 66 in “Revenge of the Sith.”

Aurra’s does not have as well-defined a fate. Though she never got any screen time beyond two seconds in “Episode I,” comics such as the “Outlander” story arc would make her a fan favorite. She would even mentor a young Boba Fett in Lucasfilm Animation’s “The Clone Wars.”

They continue fighting for Captain America, but why?

Each week, we use our super sleuth skills to dig into the histories of the characters fighting on both sides of Secret Empire!

It might seem like every hero in the Marvel Universe remains staunchly opposed to Steve Rogers and his new role as the head of Hydra. However, as we’ve seen throughout SECRET EMPIRE, he’s got a group he still calls The Avengers. We can understand why Taskmaster, Superior Octopus, Black Ant and maybe even Deadpool made the jump, but what about stalwart Avengers Odinson, Scarlet Witch and Vision?

The team first debuted in SECRET EMPIRE #1 fighting the huge monster known as Kriggorath. When the beast refuses to deal with Captain America, he calls in his team and they utterly destroy the monster. In #3, Baron Zemo lead the team in an attack on Atlantis to retrieve a Cosmic Cube fragment only to find a decoy.

The group did the same in SECRET EMPIRE #4, when they wound up in Alaska looking for another fragment at the same time that A.I. Iron Man, Sam Wilson and the others appeared to do the same. Thanks to Hank Pym-Ultron’s machinations, the true Avengers members all sat down for a skewed take on a family dinner, but the good guys walked away with the Cube piece.

In that issue, we also got hints as to why these former heroes remain loyal to an apparent traitor. A demon called Chthon possessed the Witch, an A.I. Virus keeps Vision in line and, according to A.I. Stark in #4, Odinson “just wants his hammer back.”

In SECRET EMPIRE #5, we learn a bit more about the former Thor’s role in all this. Captain America wielded the hammer at one time to quell the opposition, but leaves it in Washington, D.C. because he doesn’t feel he needs that kind of additional power all the time.

In the same issue, Odinson wonders about his decision to stand by his longtime comrade and friend Steve Rogers. They claim to be able to help the purgatory-trapped Jane Foster and also reconnect Midgard to Asgard, but he questions how they treat the innocent.

As Thor questions his decisions, both Scarlet Witch and Vision seem to be fighting their own torments. Meanwhile, as we’ve already examined, Deadpool feels an intense devotion to Cap, but also lied to Hydra about the resistance hiding in The Mount in DEADPOOL #32, so we’ll see which way he truly goes.

If you’re wondering how Doctor Octopus went from being, well, dead to running around in a body with Spider-Man’s powers and his own unique appendages, then you should check out the Clone Conspiracy story. The short version: Doc Ock put his consciousness in a clone body. Now he’s working with Hydra to ensure Parker Industry’s utter failure, as established in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #25. And then there’s Taskmaster and Black Ant. Those guys are just bad. Nuff said.

Seeing as how Hydra’s Avengers stand big as life on the cover of SECRET EMPIRE #6, expect them to continue playing an important part in this event.

The Empire Strikes Back

Both Taskmaster and Black Ant – formerly the Irredeemable Ant-Man – go back to their days together in SECRET AVENGERS. They wound up in the super villain-run country of Bagalia where Captain America crashed a ship in CAPTAIN AMERICA: STEVE ROGERS #1. In CAPTAIN AMERICA: STEVE ROGERS #11, Taskmaster discovered the important video footage of Cap first saying “Hail Hydra” from that first issue and tried to exploit it. In the following installment, they tried selling ousted S.H.I.E.L.D. leader Maria Hill the information. While waiting to make the transaction, Madame Hydra showed up, zapped them and brought them into the fold.

The duo meets the most unethical therapist in the Star Wars galaxy!

Allow me to, as always, state my deep commitment to the Empire. I am honored to serve you in this capacity. Or any you should call on me for.

These two subjects were referred to me prior to their release from detention for some minor violations of laws related to smuggling and space travel. There are those in the Empire that are concerned they may be more, however, and this evaluation was an attempt to discover any evidence related to this.

To deal with the droid first, this writer must confess a significant bias. Any droid that has developed a personality of its own feels, to me, to be deeply antithetical to the purpose of droids. Given my druthers, I would recommend this machine for immediate destruction. I am told, however, that this is not an option being considered at this time.

All this having been observed, K2SO appears to lack a filter. He/It comes across as arrogant, boorish, and blunt, and seems to have little interest in humanity as a whole. While it is not impossible to imagine him lying to myself or anyone, it is difficult to imagine him committing to helping any human being or lying to protect them. Also, teamwork with such a droid seems unlikely. While it is not appropriate to guess in this field, if I was asked to, I’d say these two stop working together soon after their release, if not immediately. If they do continue to work together, it seems likely the android subject would betray his human partner as soon as convenient. Again, I do confess to a certain bias in this area though.

The other subject, on the other hand, is a very different matter. Cassian Andor presents as largely calm—although his temper can be triggered—competent and utterly closed off. He was obviously deeply resentful of speaking to this writer and often would answer in short non-elaborative statements.

Of course, he was also an about to be released prisoner. It is more than possible that his mood had everything to do with this. Indeed, what person in his place would not have some anger towards an individual asking him invasive questions and delaying his release?

That said, I strongly warn the Empire to track Andor. His answers, and method of answers, suggest a man schooled in how to tell the truth without actually telling anything and concealing important details with reflexive ease. As I said, he did exhibit a flash of temper but even that was so fleeting it is tempting to label it part of the proverbial show, a sign of being shook to trick someone into overlooking more subtle signs of deceit.

Additionally, a quick review of the limited records available for the subject indicate a weapons proficiency that would be unusual in such a small time criminal. Again, this is all just assumptions, but it seems odd such a talent would be living such a life with all the opportunities his skills would allow him.

Before making any final decisions, I recommend reviewing their intake assessment done by Doctors Duane Swierczynski and Fernando Blanco. It is available on August 9 in file STAR WARS: ROGUE ONE – CASSIAN & K2SO ANNUAL #1.

Star Wars Tim Stevens is an ethically challenged therapist whose continuity is getting increasingly difficult to keep track of.

Read fresh comics featuring Civil War II, Mighty Captain Marvel, Monsters Unleashed and more!

What’s happening in Marvel Unlimited this July? CIVIL WAR II reaches its awe-inspiring finale!  Jennifer Walters HULKs out like never before! And while the MIGHTY CAPTAIN MARVEL rises from the ashes, everyone’s favorite blaster-happy …er…rodent goes feral in ROCKET RACCOON! All this, plus a ragtag crew of patriots take the defensive in U.S.AVENGERS! And can you feel the earth tremble? Must be MONSTERS UNLEASHED!

Week of 7/3

BLACK PANTHER #9
BLACK WIDOW #9
CAPTAIN AMERICA: STEVE ROGERS #8
CARNAGE #15
CIVIL WAR II #8
DOCTOR STRANGE AND THE SORCERERS SUPREME #3
DOCTOR STRANGE/PUNISHER: MAGIC BULLETS INFINITE COMIC #4
ENCHANTED TIKI ROOM #3
EXTRAORDINARY X-MEN #17
GHOST RIDER #2
GREAT LAKES AVENGERS #3
GUIDEBOOK TO THE MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE – MARVEL’S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. SEASON THREE
HULK #1
INFAMOUS IRON MAN #3
MARVEL UNIVERSE ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN VS. THE SINISTER SIX #6
MIGHTY THOR #14
MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR #14
PROWLER #3
ROCKET RACCOON #1
SPIDER-MAN #11
SPIDER-MAN/DEADPOOL #12
SPIDER-WOMAN #14
STAR WARS #26
THUNDERBOLTS #8
UNCANNY AVENGERS #18
UNCANNY INHUMANS #17
X-MEN ’92 #10

Week of 7/10

AVENGERS #3
CAPTAIN AMERICA: SAM WILSON #17
CHAMPIONS #4
DEADPOOL THE DUCK #1
DOCTOR STRANGE/PUNISHER: MAGIC BULLETS INFINITE COMIC #5
HAWKEYE #2
MARVEL’S GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 PRELUDE #1
MARVEL UNIVERSE AVENGERS: ULTRON REVOLUTION #7
MOON KNIGHT #10
NOVA #2
OLD MAN LOGAN #16
SCARLET WITCH #14
SPIDER-MAN 2099 #19
THE UNSTOPPABLE WASP #1
THE UNWORTHY THOR #3
U.S.AVENGERS #1

Week of 7/17

ALL-NEW WOLVERINE #16
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN: RENEW YOUR VOWS #3
CAPTAIN AMERICA: STEVE ROGERS #9
DAREDEVIL #15
DEADPOOL #24
DOCTOR STRANGE AND THE SORCERERS SUPREME #4
FOOLKILLER #3
GREAT LAKES AVENGERS #4
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #16
IVX #2
MARVEL NEW YEAR’S EVE SPECIAL INFINITE COMIC #1
MARVEL UNIVERSE GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #16
MIGHTY THOR #15
MS. MARVEL #14
OCCUPY AVENGERS #3
POWER MAN AND IRON FIST #12
ROCKET RACCOON #2
SILK #16
SPIDER-MAN #12
SPIDER-MAN/DEADPOOL #13
STAR WARS: POE DAMERON #10
THE TOTALLY AWESOME HULK #14
THE UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL #16
UNCANNY AVENGERS #19
UNCANNY X-MEN #17

Week of 7/24

ALL-NEW X-MEN #17
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #23
AVENGERS #3.1
BLACK PANTHER: WORLD OF WAKANDA #3
BLACK WIDOW #10
CAGE! #4
CAPTAIN AMERICA: SAM WILSON #18
DEADPOOL & THE MERCS FOR MONEY #7
DEADPOOL THE DUCK #2
GAMORA #2
GWENPOOL, THE UNBELIEVABLE #10
INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #3
MONSTERS UNLEASHED #1
MOSAIC #4
PATSY WALKER, A.K.A. HELLCAT! #14
SPIDER-GWEN #16
SQUADRON SUPREME #15
STAR-LORD #2
STAR WARS: DOCTOR APHRA #3
THE CLONE CONSPIRACY #4
THE MIGHTY CAPTAIN MARVEL #1
U.S.AVENGERS #2
ULTIMATES 2 #3
UNCANNY INHUMANS #18
VENOM #3

Week of 7/31

AVENGERS #1.MU
BLACK PANTHER #10
CAPTAIN AMERICA: STEVE ROGERS #10
CARNAGE #16
CIVIL WAR II: THE OATH #1
DAREDEVIL #16
DEADPOOL #25
DOCTOR STRANGE #16
DOCTOR STRANGE/PUNISHER: MAGIC BULLETS INFINITE COMIC #6
ENCHANTED TIKI ROOM #4
EXTRAORDINARY X-MEN #18
GHOST RIDER #3
GUIDEBOOK TO THE MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE – MARVEL’S CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR
HULK #2
INFAMOUS IRON MAN #4
IVX #3
MARVEL UNIVERSE ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN VS. THE SINISTER SIX #7
MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR #15
PROWLER #4
SLAPSTICK INFINITE COMIC #4
SOLO #4
SPIDER-MAN/DEADPOOL #1.MU
SPIDER-WOMAN #15
STAR WARS #27
THANOS #3
THE PUNISHER #8
THE TOTALLY AWESOME HULK #15
THUNDERBOLTS #9

Old Man Logan gets a new edge with Venomverse this August!

Artist André Araújo’s not only really getting into his work on EDGE OF VENOMVERSE #4—which you can read August 9—it’s almost as if he’s merging with the famous symbiote himself to create the perfect storm of a comic book with writer—and Yellowcard lead singer—Ryan Key. Take a look into his art with this special sketchbook spotlight, and catch a glimpse of what’s cooking in Old Man Logan’s dire future…

Marvel.com: André, what are your artistic inspirations in terms of figure design and layouts?

André Araújo: People that have followed my work—both here at Marvel and my creator owned work Man Plus—know I’m a huge fan of Moebius and Otomo, taking inspiration from them in regards to pretty much everything: figures, layouts, designs, themes. But many more names come to mind, with a similar impact on my work: Druillet, Hermann, Shirow, Toriyama, Leinil Yu, Frank Quitely, Sean Murphy, Samura, Urasawa…among many others.

Marvel.com: When you first read the script for this issue, what sorts of things were you immediately struck by? What did you feel you needed to bring to this one?

André Araújo: I was immediately struck by the conflict in the center of the story. I won’t spoil it, of course, but I knew it would demand some care as it wasn’t simply mindless action. So adding weight to the events on the book was my main concern, because I knew that, from the characters and situations that were on the script, the fun factor would always be there.

Marvel.com: Old Man Logan is such a fascinating character—what goes in to your portrayal of him here? How do you balance such things as strength and sympathy in him?

André Araújo: It’s all in the details, I think. Because he is Wolverine, but not the Wolverine we know. At least not entirely. So there’s a need to incorporate the old traits we all know and love about Logan, but we’re taking into account the rather dramatic story that led from Logan to Old Man Logan. It can’t be exactly the same character. So there are the subtle changes in clothing, hair, dialogue, movements. When you add it all up, you have Old Man Logan.

Marvel.com: Your rough layouts seem pretty tight. What’s a typical day like for you drawing a book like this? Where do you begin on a page?

André Araújo: After I get the script I’ll read it and draw all of the layouts, which is usually a two-thirds of a day’s process. In this step, it’s very easy [to make a fix] if something isn’t working properly; that’s why I draw them pretty tight. I take into account the composition, pose, angle, perspective, balloon position—all of it. Then I start doing the pages. I draw traditionally, ink on paper, and I start with a blank page—some artists start drawing over the layouts, which is clever, but I love a white piece of paper—it’s the part where everything is possible. I usually work in chunks of 10 pages, meaning I pencil 10, then ink the same 10 and move on. This is to prevent me from moving around too much from tool to tool, but it’s broken in chunks to avoid getting tedious. I pencil 10 pages in one week and I ink 10 in another week. That means it takes me four to five weeks to draw one issue of 20 to 24 pages.

Marvel.com: What do you enjoy most on a story like this? The more organic, down-to-earth elements or the fantastical parts?

André Araújo: It’s a combination of both. All artists love the great action splash pages, the big spread of a city where you can showcase all your skills, but you need the mundane, the routine parts, so that the big pieces have impact. So that’s how I love to craft my stories: showing all the down-to-earth bits and then surprising readers with a splash or a spread where I can flex my muscles and give the story an important/spectacular moment.

André Araújo and Ryan Key suit up Old Man Logan with a symbiote in EDGE OF VENOMVERSE #4, available August 9!

Figure out where in the galaxy this Guardian has gone with writer Christopher Hastings!

Groot the living tree—a tiny baby tree at the moment—has become lost in space. In the first arc of the new I AM GROOT series from writer Christopher Hastings and artist Flaviano, the Flora Colossus finds himself separated from his team and trapped on a strange and menacing planet where no one can understand a word he says.

I AM GROOT is the story of our diminutive hero finding his way home from a brave new world, and learning about himself in the process. We tapped Hastings for more…

Marvel.com: So tell us a little about this planet our tiny hero has been trapped on in I AM GROOT? What or who stands in the way of Groot getting home?

Christopher Hastings: [In] issue #2, we see that the planet is very strange. It’s old, its original culture and society forgotten. The people that live there now carry hints to what life used to be like, but they’re so far removed, they don’t know why. Groot has to discover the planet’s old ways, and how seemingly unconnected events, landmarks, and people all play together in order to unlock the way home.

The main force trying to stop Groot is a man we only know as The Administrator, someone who very much does not want Groot upsetting the order of the planet in order to leave this dimension and get back to the Guardians. He’s aided by an army of shape shifting service robots [who travel via] connected underground tunnels—so they can pop up anywhere [at any time].

Marvel.com: Groot is kind of like a planet himself, made of grass and rocks and wood. If Groot is a planet, is he trapped on a sort of macrocosm of himself?

Christopher Hastings: Macrocosm is an apt word! The story of the planet scales up from and runs parallel to Groot’s own journey right now, as someone who is trapped at a small size, unable to fulfill his purpose and grow.

I definitely agree that Groot has traditionally represented the duality of nature. It is life giving—or nurturing—but can flip and be total power, stronger and fiercer than any human. I think that makes Groot appealing, putting a face on nature.

Marvel.com: Usually Groot is selfless, giving help and support—literally and figuratively—to his friends. But now that he’s alone, what does this story mean for him and his growth as a character?

Christopher Hastings: I think the story of Groot’s literal growth is being handled in the main [ALL-NEW GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY] book. But this arc in I AM GROOT is more about emotional growth, adjusting Groot’s mindset for that eventual return to adulthood. [It’s] a “child stuck in a strange and scary land” kind of space fairy tale, with little notes of meditation on Groot’s current arrested development.

Also there are the creepy robots.

Marvel.com: Besides the obvious—i.e. the language barrier—how does Groot stand out from the other super heroes in Marvel’s roster for worse or for better?

Christopher Hastings: Well, right now he really stands out because he’s a super-powered toddler. I don’t believe the Avengers currently has any of those in their ranks. Little Groot is a ton of fun, just very impulsive, and we get a lot of great reactions out of him thanks to Flaviano’s artwork. As for downsides, he’s certainly not as powered up as full size, so we have to get creative with how he uses his abilities.

Marvel.com: The current incarnation of Groot is a fairly new character. Is this series about him finding himself?

Christopher Hastings: That’s very much what we’re trying to do here! It’s why I thought it important to get him away from the Guardians. He has to make this journey alone, and he’ll see pieces of himself in these other new characters he meets along the way.

Join the journey with I AM GROOT #3 by Christopher Hastings and Flaviano, out July 26!

Cullen Bunn brings back a familiar face as part of Secret Empire!

Secret Empire gets the cold shoulder in the upcoming X-MEN: BLUE #7, out July 12, as writer Cullen Bunn and artist Cory Smith bring Emma Frost back into the mutants’ midst. Hiding since the war against the Inhumans, the former White Queen finds herself in a dark place despite being a ruler of the mutant homeland of New Tian.

Oh, and did we mention that she’s also receiving push back from both the X-Men and Magneto?

We spoke to Bunn about Emma’s return and some of the threats she’ll be facing, both physical and psychological.

Marvel.com: Just to catch everyone up, where has Emma Frost been hanging out before this issue?

Cullen Bunn: Emma has been in hiding since the events of [Inhumans Vs. X-Men]. But don’t think that means she’s been doing nothing. She has been very busy. She’s been building alliances and positioning herself to make some big moves. You’ll see some of that play out in the Secret Empire story. But we’re really going to be setting something really, really big up for Emma in the future. Ever since we revealed her return, I’ve been receiving messages asking me to immediately return Emma to her status as a hero. I understand the sentiment, but that’s not something I can do right away. Emma can’t just come back from where she was with the flip of a switch. She’s in a dark place right now, and if she comes back from it—that’s a big “if”—it will take time.

Marvel.com: Going off that, what’s compelling her to join the fray now?

Cullen Bunn: Emma is part of the “ruling council” of the new mutant homeland of New Tian, and she sincerely wants to see this new society succeed. But she’s still very angry—so angry—about everything that has happened of late. Sometimes when you’re full of rage, you lash out at everyone, including those closest to you.

Marvel.com: What will Ms. Frost bring to both X-MEN: BLUE and SECRET EMPIRE?

Cullen Bunn: In SECRET EMPIRE, Emma gives us a look at a world leader who has been deeply wounded. She wants what is right for her people, but she’s so hurt and angry that she is ruthless in her pursuit of her ideals. She’s an antagonist for the X-Men, without a doubt, because the X-Men simply cannot accept what she’s doing. She’s also—in my mind—a very tragic figure, because she has lost so much and she’s fallen so far.

X-Men: Blue #7 cover by Arthur Adams

Marvel.com: Do you have personal favorite aspects of her character that you enjoyed writing/exploring?

Cullen Bunn: Emma is proud and confident, and that’s always fun to write, but underneath is a great deal of pain that she is trying—unsuccessfully—to hide. That makes her a rewarding character to write. I am looking forward to exploring how she grows and changes for some time to come.

Marvel.com: What kinds of threats will she be facing and how are her powers well equipped to handle them?

Cullen Bunn: Emma can handle just about anything you throw at her. Initially, the threats she faces come from the X-Men as they make moves against her regime. But her biggest challenges in the future will be dealing with her own sense of loss without letting it drag her into madness. And she’s making some alliances that could be very, very dangerous for her in the future.

Marvel.com: Are there any more epic mutant returns in the cards?

Cullen Bunn: Oh, yes! We know about Emma and we know about Polaris. But even in the Secret Empire arc, there will be several other mutant returns. Some of the mutants that will be popping up will be changed in mysterious ways. These changes play into something big that we’ve already been building in X-MEN: BLUE and we’ll be exploring in future issues of the series.

Face the return of Emma Frost with writer Cullen Bunn and artist Cory Smith next week in July 12’s X-MEN: BLUE #7!

Writer Jason Aaron introduces two key new characters to his saga!

MIGHTY THOR boasts a story full of exciting twists and turns—from the reveal of Jane Foster as the new Goddess of Thunder to what exactly Nick Fury whispered to Odinson to make him unworthy of Mjolnir. We talked to series writer Jason Aaron about the thrilling reveals of two more mysteries, namely the new identity of Ultimate Thor as well as the volatile Queen of Cinders.

Marvel.com: First, I’ve got to ask about the recent reveal of the new Ultimate Thor in MIGHTY THOR #20—spoilers ahead—why Volstagg?

Jason Aaron: I kind of knew, when we started UNWORTHY THOR, the plan all along was that Odinson would not pick up the hammer at the end of it. Of course, that left it for someone else to come along. I always liked the idea of introducing a new Ultimate Thor and having someone distant and unexpected pick up that hammer! I didn’t want to do the same sort of drawn out mystery that we did with Jane Foster, so I knew I wanted to tell you who it was right out of the gate and why.

I picked Volstagg for a few reasons that I think will become more obvious as the story goes along. Volstagg has been a supporting character on pretty much my entire run of Thor. He came out of the Warriors Three and moved into a desk job, so to speak, for the Congress of Worlds. And [with that role] he’s kind of been at the center of everything that’s swirling around as Malekith continues to ramp things up with the war of the realms.

We wanted to give [readers] a grounds for what the stakes are like in this War of the Realms as it continues to spread from realm to realm, and to see the profound effect that [the War] has on someone like Volstagg who has so often been comic relief. [Tragically,] after issue #20 he’s not laughing anymore.

Marvel.com: The evolution of Volstagg has been handled with such complexity and nuance. Yours are very three-dimensional representations of the Thor cast of characters. I especially like the way Loki is portrayed, for instance…

Jason Aaron: Everything I’ve done [with Loki] has been a continuation of what [past writers] Kieron Gillen and Al Ewing did on that character in the last few years of making him a much more sympathetic character, though still very much a trickster. I’m trying to continue that on while also trying to push him towards the villain side of the fence which began in a big way when he stabbed his mother, Freyja, in the back. That is still something he’ll have to reckon with.

Marvel.com: It must such a delicate balance with him, because even though he’s been into some bad things this run, he is so sympathetic; one of my favorite scenes in the whole MIGHTY THOR run might just be when he visits Freyja as she is lying in bed after the stabbing. It’s all so Shakespearean! Will Loki get a chance for redemption?

Jason Aaron: I’ll just say we’ll be seeing a lot of Loki, not just connected with Thor but also across the Marvel Universe in the coming months. He’s a big part of the MARVEL LEGACY one-shot that I’m doing this fall and that will set up even more stuff that he’s involved in. He’ll very much be at the center of the Marvel Universe as a major player but that will not take away from his role in the pages of [MIGHTY THOR] and the events of the war of the realms.

Mighty Thor #21 cover by Russell Dauterman

[As for Loki in MIGHTY THOR], he seems to be allied with Malekith and his cabal. He has [also] been hanging out with his biological dad who is the king of the Frost Giants. But Loki is always a guy who’s playing by his own rules and has his own plan so…you never quite know what he’s up to.

Marvel.com: Can you tell us a little but about the mysterious Queen of Cinders, who will feature heavily in the upcoming MIGHTY THOR issue #21?

Jason Aaron: Well, a big part of The War of Realms has been about taking readers from one realm to the next and doing a lot of world building in terms of all those different realms. That’s the [exciting thing] in these Thor stories—we have all these wondrous realms. The War continues from one to the other and [the realms] either get conquered or join Malekith. Muspelheim is the land of fire, where flame was born, and we’ve glimpsed that a little. As a part of this War Thor arc we go to Muspelheim in a big way and for the first time we’re introduced to the leader of Muspelheim, which is the Queen of Cinders. [The Queen of Cinders] is the daughter of Surtur, who’s one of Thor’s classic villains. He died and now his daughter has taken the burning throne for herself. This is the first time we’ve seen her and we’re trying to figure out who she is and what her role in this war of the realms is. This is very much about bringing her on stage and bringing Muspelheim into the midst of this conflict and also just exploring that realm. [We wanted to go] a little bit beyond it just being a place where everything’s on fire; we show what they fight for and how they live.

Marvel.com: The realms Thor can navigate must be hard to balance as a creator. What’s it like writing for such a vast, versatile series?

Jason Aaron: [With Thor] you can do stories on a different scale than you do with some other characters. Thor as a god has been around for thousands and thousands of years, and so the first story I did with Thor spanned over eons. You can also go into the far reaches of space and to all these crazy fantasy realms. Then, of course, you also get stories set on a street corner in midtown Manhattan. I think that’s one of the things that’s different about Thor, and what’s so fun about it.

Unlock new mysteries with Jason Aaron’s MIGHTY THOR #21, coming out July 19!

Learn all about what’s in store for the Marvel Universe starting in September!

You demanded it, we listened! Beginning this fall, prepare for an exciting new initiative that spans the entire Marvel Universe! Every hero! Every title! Every story! Honoring the past while proudly moving towards the future, Marvel Legacy will offer fans, both current and new, a renewed sense of hope, heroics, and dozens and dozens of returns of the heroes you have been demanding! Marvel Legacy ushers in the next few years’ worth of stories from Marvel with everything loyal Marvelites could want and more. You asked for it, and now is the time to Make Mine Marvel!

“I love the concept of returning to the classic characters as they were originally portrayed, without losing the brilliance and excitement of Marvel’s newest generation of heroes,” said Chairman Emeritus Stan Lee. “Excelsior!”

Simply put Marvel Legacy will offer

  • The most spectacular character returns
  • Epic stories adding to the next chapter of the Marvel Universe by the industry’s’ top talent
  • Heroes fighting villains
  • Clean jumping on points for all readers clearly displayed using dynamic new trade dress
  • The return to original numbering for many series
  • Did we mention the most spectacular character returns that comic fans have demanded?

And that’s just the beginning! It all starts with MARVEL LEGACY #1.

Journey to the dawn of time, as Marvel introduces you to the first Avengers from 1,000,000 BC – when iconic torch-bearers such as Odin, Iron Fist, Starbrand, Ghost Rider, Phoenix, Agamotto, and Black Panther come together for the startling origin of the Marvel Universe, in MARVEL LEGACY #1 on sale this September in comic shops everywhere!

The acclaimed team of writer Jason Aaron and artist Esad Ribic reunite for an all-new 50-page blockbuster one-shot that will take you through time to the current Marvel Universe, showing you how it’s “all connected.” A true homage to Marvel’s groundbreaking past and the vast expanse of current storytelling greats.

MARVEL LEGACY #1 isn’t simply a history lesson,” says SVP and Executive Editor Tom Brevoort. “Rather, it’s the starting gun to a bevy of mysteries, secrets, and revelations that will reverberate across the Marvel Universe in the weeks and months to come! No character, no franchise will be untouched by the game-changing events that play out across its pages. Jason and Esad pulled out all the stops to fat-pack this colossal issue with as much intrigue, action, surprise, mystery, shock, and adventure as possible!”

MARVEL LEGACY #1 will present all fans – new readers and current readers – with an exciting and accessible entry point,” says Marvel Editor in Chief Axel Alonso. “Jason and Esad have crafted an epic story that’s chock full of reveals and twists and Easter eggs that are sure to ignite a fire across the industry.  The next stage of Marvel’s evolution starts here.”

MARVEL LEGACY #1 will provide

  • The single most important first step for any fan to jumping into Marvel Legacy
  • Shocks, twists, clues, and Easter eggs
  • A blockbuster story that sets the stage for the coming years of Marvel storytelling
  • The introduction of the 1,000,000 BC Avengers
  • The most talked about return in comics
  • A brilliant tale by the legendary team of Jason Aaron and Esad Ribic
  • The set-up for 53 Marvel Universe series
  • Those character returns you’ve asked for, many of them get cued up here

And there’s still so much more to come; we’ve merely scratched the surface with a few words, a few teases, and a few dazzling quotes. Sit tight for in the coming weeks, there will be more exciting announcements devoted to Marvel Legacy featuring all the epic new entry level story arcs, the dynamic creative teams, the legacy numbering guides, the returns, the searches, the battles, the foes, and dynamic new nostalgia based promotions guaranteed to drive all fans into comic shops.  This fall, get ready to cheer Make Mine Marvel!

War in the future, the hunt for the Celestial Madonna, and much more!

Since the early days of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, Kang the Conqueror has agitated the Avengers and then some with his mastery of multiple eras and desire to add the Marvel Universe to his empire. On November 14, the time tyrant takes on a new role as central antagonist in the “LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2,” creating a campaign that crisscrosses all reality and space.

Before you play the game, discover the story behind this agent of chronological chaos with the History of Kang!

After Kang the Conqueror’s initial defeats at the hands of the mighty Avengers, one might think the chronal despot would’ve learned his lesson. Alas, quite the contrary; he reached new levels of villainy during his subsequent gambits, destroying any credit he might’ve gained previously as an honorable opponent.

The Human Torch and The Thing broke up Kang’s attempt to subjugate King Arthur, Merlin the wizard, and the entire membership of the Knights of the Roundtable during medieval times, but the rogue bounced back not long after only to lose his new time-travel craft to Thor’s anger over his Growing Man android.

The same Growing Man later kidnapped a severely injured Tony Stark from his hospital bed under the direction of his master, which prompted the Avengers to confront Kang in his far-future palace. There they learned of their enemy’s bid to save his beloved Ravonna, a dying princess from the future, by playing the so-called “Game of the Galaxies” against the immortal Grandmaster. Kang enlisted Earth’s Mightiest Heroes to fight for him, but proved his mettle as a scoundrel when he tried to kill the Grandmaster.

The Avengers clashed with such game opponents as the Squadron Sinister and the World War II-era Invaders, but in the end, they won their freedom with the help of The Black Knight. Despite his good intentions to rescue Ravonna from the brink of death, Kang instead failed in the challenge and the princess continued to cling to only a shred of life.

After a senseless scramble to use The Hulk to invade the year 1917 and a war in the 23rd century with Zarrko the Tomorrow Man, the Conqueror pulled out all stops to seek out and seduce to his side the legendary Celestial Madonna. Operating out of the old pyramid of one of his alternate previous selves, Rama-Tut, Kang abducted three women from Avengers Mansion and waged war against the heroes with his Legion of the Unliving until the heroes allied themselves with Immortus, yet another time-version of their foe.

The Vietnamese heroine Mantis stood revealed as the Celestial Madonna, but managed to elude Kang’s clutches. The despot trapped the archer Hawkeye in the Old West of 1873, prompting Thor, Moondragon, and Immortus to travel there to mount a rescue. When Thor battled Kang for past and present grievances, the fight rang out over the land until the time lord’s armor overloaded and he seeming perished in a massive dispersal of his personal atoms. Immortus noted that with Kang gone, both he and Rama-Tut would never exist, and so to prove his theory, he faded away into nothingness before the startled eyes of the Avengers.

Check Out: STRANGE TALES #134, THOR #140, AVENGERS (1963) #6977, #131132, #141143, GIANT-SIZE AVENGERS #24, INCREDIBLE HULK #135, MARVEL TEAM-UP (1972) #9-11

http://ift.tt/2sOufMN from Marvel News http://ift.tt/2sOk8HG

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