U.S.Avengers: Adjusting A.I.M.

Steve Rogers has arrived and his agenda shall not be ignored—well, that’s his plan, anyway.

Roberto da Costa, the former Sunspot and current Citizen V, however has different thoughts on the matter. He helped turn A.I.M. from an enclave of evil into an entity of scientific good in the world and he sees it just as the start. Why should he cede control now?

U.S.AVENGERS writer Al Ewing has studied the case and stands ready to arbitrate, but squeezed us into his docket to review the dispute.

Marvel.com: In U.S.AVENGERS #5, we’re promised what seems to be a battle between Sunspot and Steve Rogers for the direction of A.I.M. To handicap that faceoff for a moment, what advantages does each person—Steve and Roberto—bring to the situation?

Al Ewing: It’s more of a standoff than a battle. Steve, as the new big man on campus at S.H.I.E.L.D., is essentially Roberto’s boss now that A.I.M. have been absorbed by everyone’s favorite global superspy organization. Since Steve Rogers is also an agent of HYDRA after some meddling from a Cosmic Cube, and Roberto doesn’t know that…well, the situation’s a little tricky.

Steve’s goal here is to see if Roberto can be persuaded as to the rightness of his cause, and if not—and let’s face it, it’s going to be “not”—he’s going to find whatever weaknesses he can in A.I.M.’s defenses and generally get Roberto rattled enough to make an error.

Roberto’s goal, meanwhile, is to get through a particularly rough, and increasingly strange, performance evaluation.

Marvel.com: To look at the debit side of the ledger, what are each of their vulnerabilities or weaknesses?

Al Ewing: Roberto doesn’t know what’s going on with Steve. That’s a biggie—that’s everything. This is the first time Roberto’s been in a situation where he hasn’t been two steps ahead.

But from Steve’s point of view, Roberto is clever enough to figure it all out—if Steve pushes too hard. So there are a lot of subtle tactics, a lot of gentle probing, pushing and the occasional naked micro-aggression. HYDRA-fied Steve Rogers might think he’s the hero of his own story, but he’s a very nasty character, and he doesn’t mind if people don’t like him, either. He’s going to put all that to work.

Marvel.com: If we were able to speak to both of them, why would they say that control of the direction of A.I.M. should be theirs?

Al Ewing: Steve Rogers can’t have any loose cannons and general weirdos interfering with his masterplan. A.I.M. could be great allies of HYDRA if they just knocked off this goofy stuff they’ve gotten into. Steve likes the way Roberto’s rehabilitated the brand in the public eye, he just thinks he needs to straighten up at this point and fly right. As for Roberto, why would he want to quit now? He’s just gotten started. If Roberto’s going to hand A.I.M. over to anyone, it’ll be someone who gets it—in the meantime, he’s going to keep control as long as he can.

Marvel.com: This conflict leaves Sam Guthrie, Cannonball, feeling as though he is being pulled in separate directions. What about this situation is leaving him feeling as though he is stuck in the middle? What does each party represent and mean to him?

Al Ewing: Sam is actually on leave this issue—he’s being pulled in separate directions because he’s on his new home planet with his space family. Except Earth is his home planet, isn’t it?

Readers have been asking what the status of Izzy—aka Smasher—and their son Joshua is, and whether the marriage is going to turn up in the book; well, this issue, it does. It’s been mentioned before that Sam commutes to the team from space, but this is the first time we’ve seen him on weekends, or seen how nice the Shi’ar colony planets can be. Sam’s got a lot to think about.

Marvel.com: Within A.I.M. is there a dominant opinion amongst the employees about the direction the organization should go and who should be in charge of it?

Al Ewing: At this point, Roberto’s pruned the organization pretty effectively; anyone with a hankering for the bad old days of evil science and world takeover has been pretty much kicked out. But there are always one or two who are nostalgic for the good old days of bad against good, and Roberto might find traitors in the ranks where he least expects them.

See how the situation between Steve and Roberto plays out in U.S.AVENGERS #5 by Al Ewing and artist Paco Diaz, coming April 19!

World of Wakanda: The Return of Kasper Cole

Mentored by T’Challa and Erik Killmonger, Kasper Cole once spent his time striking across New York City in the name of what’s right. But time has passed, failure and frustration have taken their toll, and the man once known as The White Tiger stands by as Wakanda burns.

But on April 19, writers Rembert Browne and Ta-Nehisi Coates join artist Joe Bennett to bring Kasper Cole back to the fight in BLACK PANTHER: WORLD OF WAKANDA #6. The White Tiger returns for what may be the final encounter with his city and the world he once knew.

We caught up with Rembert to talk about super heroes and football, his collaboration with Ta-Nehisi Coates, and the real-life relevance of the world of Wakanda.

Marvel.com: I know you’re a big Atlanta Falcons fan, so if you could choose one Marvel hero to play for the team, who would it be?

Rembert Browne: The Falcons are cursed, so unfortunately there is no hero that could undo such evil. I’m still not ready to talk about this.

Marvel.com: Understood. So maybe a trade the other way: what Falcons player do you think would fit in as a Marvel hero?

Rembert Browne: Devonta Freeman as Ant-Man.

Marvel.com: What were the conversations you and Ta-Nehisi had about what you wanted to do with this issue? Was it all about narrative? Was it about a broader vision for the story?

Rembert Browne: We knew each other before I got the ask for this very out-of-the-blue, amazing opportunity. We chatted in the beginning and then he very much let me do my thing. I think he wanted me to feel like it was my project, even if I am creating this thing that exists and needs to make sense within this story he’s been telling. But yes, he’s a good man, that Ta-Nehisi Coates, very exciting up-and-coming writer.

Black Panther: World of Wakanda #6 preview art by Joe Bennett
Black Panther: World of Wakanda #6 preview art by Joe Bennett
Black Panther: World of Wakanda #6 cover by Rahzzah

Marvel.com: What most intrigued you about writing Kasper Cole?

Rembert Browne: There [are] few things I identify with more than feeling like you’re making a difference and still being very broke. So yes, when I saw that aspect of his bio, my recession Spidey-sense went off and I assumed I could do a half-decent job telling his story.

Marvel.com: There are few more socially relevant stories in the Marvel Universe than this one, so what excited you about writing with that in mind?

Rembert Browne: I think there’s a beautiful moment happening in art right now, stories being told that are true mixtures of the serious and the fun. Look at a show like “Atlanta,” or a movie like “Get Out.” In one moment you’re hit with the real and the next moment you’re crying laughing. It’s how real life is.

I was attracted to this story because he’s a young black man and by virtue of that reality, there will be excitement, action, disappointment, unfair treatment, pain, and redemption. Kasper’s a dude that in one day whoops ass and gets his ass whooped. To me, that’s pretty socially relevant.

Not every black story needs to be about a freedom fighter. But I also can’t imagine a story where that black person isn’t looking to be free, and doesn’t have to fight.

Also, he’s jacked, so that’s aspirational.

BLACK PANTHER: WORLD OF WAKANDA #6, by Rembert Browne, Ta-Nehisi Coates, and artist Joe Bennett, is available on April 19!

Dive into Women’s History Month!

In honor of Women’s History Month, we bring you a special packed episode of the Women of Marvel featuring comics historian Trina Robbins and Greg Young from the Bowery Boys, plus special guests!

Tune in as hosts Judy Stephens and Sana Amanat chat the history of women working in the comics industry with Trina Robbins, plus her extensive career of writing and editing. Then we welcome half of the Bowery Boys, Greg Young, to talk the importance of NYC in the comics industry and the evolution of

Listen to the Women of Marvel – Episode 139 now!

Check out all the work by Trina Robbins, including her upcoming work here.

And you can listen to episode #187 of the Bowery Boys, Super City: New York and the History of Comic Books.

——————–
The Women of Marvel podcast assemble to chat all things Marvel and more! New episodes will be released every Thursday, co-hosted by Marvel Director, Content and Character Development Sana Amanat, Marvel.com Producer Judy Stephens, along with Marvel DMG Senior Social Media Manager Adri Cowan.

Have feedback or questions? Email us at WomenOf@marvel.com, or tweet your questions and comments to @Marvel with the hashtag #WomenOfMarvel!

Poe Dameron: Building Black Squadron

The newest bad guy network set on controlling the galaxy is on the rise and it’s up to the Black Squadron to outsmart them in STAR WARS: POE DAMERON #13, written by Charles Soule with art by Phil Noto and coming out April 19. Want to know more about these selfless heroes? Let’s take a look!

Poe Dameron – This dashingly debonair pilot fearlessly leads Black Squadron with his own blend of high stakes decisions and cheeky one-liners. Following in his parents’ footsteps, Dameron left the Republic’s Starfleet to join the rebellion after General Leia Organa recruited him. He quickly became one of her most skilled and trusted operatives and assumed the task of putting together an elite team to track down Lor San Tekka and smooth talk his way to uncovering the location of Luke Skywalker, who has taken over the role of Leia’s only hope.

L’ulo – The grandfather of the group, but don’t let him catch you saying that. L’ulo is a battle warn hothead not afraid to defy orders if he thinks he knows better, which he usually does. He’s a bit of a grumpy gill but his years fighting in the Alliance have given him that right. During that time L’ulo became close with Shara Bey, Poe’s mother, and even stepped in to help raise him after her sudden death. Nothing like a somewhat endearing, semi-father-son dynamic to add a little tension to the group.

Temmin “Snap” Wexley – Poe’s right hand man and occasional comic relief, Snap, grew up on his own after Imperial forces captured his father and his mother left to join the Rebel Alliance. He learned to fend for himself working as a junk dealer on the streets of his home planet before rejoining his mother to fight against the remaining Empire forces. His combination of street smarts and fighting experience make him an invaluable member of the team. Plus he adds some adorable cheese ball moments romancing fellow squad member Karé Kun.

Oddy Muva – A classic case of a guy doing the wrong thing for the right reasons, Oddy works as the team’s mechanical tech with aspirations of becoming a pilot. Though the team might be better served finding a way to keep that mechanical genius on lock. Unfortunately, while he’s the last person Poe would suspect of being a First Order informant, it does sadly seem to be the case, as we’ve learned that the First Order officer Terex holds his wife hostage as leverage against Oddy.

Karé Kun – A seasoned Resistance fighter, Karé flew alongside Poe in the New Republic Navy as a member of Rapier Squadron and you can bet he’d trust her with his life—and has. She’s driven, remarkably talented, and one tough cookie who likes to let you know it, but don’t be surprised to hear her crack a joke with her teammates. After all, she does reserve all the teasing rights to Snap.

Jessika “Jess” Pava – The bad girl of the group, Jess likes to live on the edge and prepare herself for any situation. She has a knack for mechanics as her and Oddy like trying experimental modifications out on her ship. If it were her choice she would always have her weapons and never lose control of the situation at hand which makes for a great balance to Poe’s “make it up as you go along” attitude. And while she has an effective tactical mind and stands out as a great pilot, she also adds a needed sass to the group dynamic.

Catch the whole team back in action April 19 in STAR WARS: POE DAMERON #13 by Charles Soule and Phil Noto!   

Women’s History Month: Emma Frost

This March, we celebrate Women’s History Month by spotlighting some of the most iconic characters and creators from the Marvel Universe.

Created by Chris Claremont and John Byrne in the pages of 1980’s UNCANNY X-MEN #129, Emma Frost first entered the Marvel Universe as the Hellfire Club’s telepathic powerhouse, The White Queen. At the time, the nefarious group intended to bring the X-Men to their knees, even going so far as to put a tap on Cerebro.

With information stolen from Professor X’s machine, Ms. Frost headed to Deerfield, Illinois to meet a young woman also making her first appearance: Kitty Pryde! There under the pretense of offering Ms. Pryde a place at a school in Massachusetts, Frost happened to be there when Kitty manifested her mutant phasing powers. However, the child didn’t seem convinced, which left Emma in a bad spot as Professor X, Storm, Colossus, and Wolverine appeared for their own recruitment drive.

While Kitty grabbed a malt with the students, Frost sent armored goons in to rough them up. Though the X-Men easily handled these intruders, they remained unprepared for White Queen’s telepathic force bolt which left them unconscious. However, in the fray, Kitty phased out of the building, but stowed away on the fleeing ship to save her eventual teammates.

Kitty figured out how to contact the other X-Men and they made their way to the place where Frost held their teammates as well as Professor Xavier. During the ensuing battle, Emma fought Jean Grey and her Phoenix Force for the first time, seemingly dying in the process, but really surviving to fight another day.

For years after, Emma Frost battled the X-Men as part of the Hellfire Club. She also really did run a Massachusetts school for gifted youngsters, training them and building them into a group called the Hellions. The destruction of this young team came as a result of Trevor Fitzroy unleashing the Sentinels on them. Feeling intense guilt as the only surviving member of her squad, Frost soon teamed up with Sean Cassidy to save a group of new mutants who would eventually star in GENERATION X. Emma stuck around as the team’s mentor, but murdering her own sister, a murderer herself, didn’t sit well with the kids and the team disbanded.

However, that did not directly lead back to a life of crime with the Hellfire Club. Instead, she moved to Genosha where she taught young mutants how to use their powers. That is until another Sentinel attack left her the only survivor on the entire island nation. During the NEW X-MEN series, she not only became an important member of the main mutant team, but also started a relationship with Scott Summers, aka Cyclops, that continued up to his death.

While Scott seemingly died at the hands of Black Bolt as the X-Men tried to destroy one of the mutant-killing Terrigen mists, he actually perished earlier upon exposure to the cloud. The version seen on the battle field turned out to be an illusion that Emma cast in an effort to fulfill Cyclops’ last wishes. This, of course, led directly into the pages of INHUMANS VS. X-MEN. In that series, Frost made a number of moves that have many wondering if the intensity of the past few months has left her teetering between good and evil. Only time will tell.

Over the years, Emma Frost’s unparalleled power, whip-smart wit, and incredible fortitude have allowed her to make the transition from a hated enemy to a fan-favorite X-Man, a feat that few others have actually accomplished.

The Women of Marvel

Emma Frost survived the Sentinel attack on Genosha because she exhibited one of the first known examples of secondary mutation. In her case, she turned into a being of pure diamond. In this form, she cannot use her telepathic powers, but does become almost completely impervious to harm, temperature, psychic attacks, and even the need to breathe. This alternate form also allowed for super strength, the ability to never tire, and even a numbness to emotions and pain.

Guarding the Galaxy: Groot

Celebrate this incarnation of the Guardians of the Galaxy’s tenth anniversary while also prepping for the May 5 release of their new film with these gems from Marvel Unlimited!

Everyone loves Groot. Whether he’s blasting away bad guys with his Guardians pals or dancing in a coffee mug, only the coldest of hearts refuse to melt for this benevolent warrior. So it came as no surprise when the Flora colossi scored his own series in 2015. Written by Jeff Loveness and drawn by Brian Kesinger, the six issue run featured Groot doing everything in his power to save his pal Rocket from the clutches of the evil space pirate Eris.

In issues #25, Groot remembered meeting his raccoon-like friend in a prison, then met up with Silver Surfer and his companion Dawn, saved a planet from a cosmic storm and befriended a new group of friends including three inept Skrulls, a 90s-created robot named Mantron, and Numinus, the cosmic embodiment of chance and fate. Even without the toughest folks backing him, Groot still inspired confidence in this crew to take on Eris and save Rocket!

Groot (2015) #1

Groot (2015) #1

  • Published: June 03, 2015
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: December 07, 2015
  • Rating: Rated T
  • Writer: Jeff Loveness
  • Cover Artist: Declan Shalvey

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With that whole mess cleaned up, Rocket finally agreed to take Groot to Earth. After marking some things off of a To Do list recommended by fellow Guardians, they got down to the real business of the trip: finding an acquaintance of Groot’s. As we discover through a mental conversation between our hero and young Jean Grey, once upon a time the people of Planet X started abducting people to study. Groot knew this was wrong and helped a young girl named Hannah escape. He succeeded, but soon found himself banished from his home leading him down the path to eventually hook up with the Guardians of the Galaxy!

The series closed with Groot sitting with Hannah and a beautiful message about friendship: “Because of her, I learned the greatest truth I know. One I live be every day…Life is not about the shadow you cast on your enemies…But the shade you provide to your friends.”

Transmissions from Knowhere

Groot first appeared in 1960’s TALES TO ASTONISH #13 and only showed up a few other times between that and ANNIHILATION CONQUEST: STAR-LORD. In MARVEL MONSTERS: MONSTERS ON THE PROWL, The Collector held Groot and a variety of other creatures in his secret Canadian facility before they broke out. Later, Groot again fell into captivity, this time by the supernatural-themed team in NICK FURY’S HOWLING COMMANDOES. Sometime between the end of that series—in which he helped defeat Merlin—and STAR-LORD #1, Groot became captured again for unspecified crimes against the Kree. Since then, he’s done a pretty good job of staying out of incarceration.

Next time, Groot and his new teammates test themselves in the fires of intergalactic war in the pages of ANNIHILATION: CONQUEST.

Follow the History of the Black Panther Pt. 37

For 50 years, the Black Panther has stood at the forefront on the Marvel Universe. As we count down to a vision of T’Challa on the big screen coming soon, take a look back at five decades’ worth of comic book adventures…

After attending a party to welcome Janet Van Dyne back from exile in the Microverse in AVENGERS #34, The Black Panther discovered something incredible in NEW AVENGERS #1: the incursion of an entire universe upon his own, and a woman named Black Swan who seemed to be facilitating the event.

In NEW AVENGERS #2, T’Challa played host to members of the so-called “Illuminati,” high-profile heroes self-tasked to protect their world. He relayed his findings of the incursions to them, and they in turn suggested gathering the Infinity Stones to stop their progress. Despite his desire to kill Namor, a member of the Illuminati and responsible for past destruction in Wakanda, the Panther joined with his fellows to hunt for the Stones in NEW AVENGERS #3. Once assembled into the Infinity Gauntlet, Captain America used them to halt an incursion, and in doing so, shattered the Stones.

T’Challa and the others decided to seek more Infinity Stones in alternate universes in NEW AVENGERS #4, but ran afoul of a variant Galactus and his herald, Terrax. The Black Panther disagreed mightily with his companions in NEW AVENGERS #5 over their willingness to work with Black Swan, a decision that led them to Latveria to stop another incursion.

New Avengers (2013) #1

New Avengers (2013) #1

  • Published: January 02, 2013
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: July 08, 2013
  • Rating: Rated T+
  • Writer: Jonathan Hickman
  • Cover Artist: Jock

What is Marvel Unlimited?



Strange blue skies met the Illuminati in NEW AVENGERS #6, and T’Challa mourned the loss of the man he used to be as he himself pulled the trigger on the death of another universe. Back in Wakanda, Namor asked for peace between his Atlantis and the African nation in NEW AVENGERS #7, and T’Challa sought advice from his friend Reed Richards before his sister Shuri officially refused Namor’s entreaty and declared war.

In NEW AVENGERS #8, Wakanda attacked Atlantis, a preamble to the mad space tyrant Thanos’ invasion of Earth to find his lost son. While the main team of Avengers made plans to travel into outer space to stop an alien invasion in INFINITY #1, Black Panther helped his people fight off the Black Order’s invasion of his beloved country in NEW AVENGERS #9.

The Inhumans’ king, Black Bolt, summoned the Panther and the Illuminati to Attilan in INFINITY #2 to inform them of Thanos’ purpose on Earth. The heroes left to seek that individual in NEW AVENGERS #10, which put T’Challa on his trail at the Caalsberg Ridge. The quest continued in INFINITY #3, while Black Bolt tried to stop Thanos by himself.

The Black Order returned to Wakanda in NEW AVENGERS #11, while the Illuminati met the Builders, an ancient race of aliens with designs on Earth. The Black Panther witnessed Wakanda in flames in INFINITY #5, a result of the Black Order’s attack, and joined with the Illuminati to defend Necropolis and its cache of incursion-stopping bombs from Thanos’ lust for power.