Before it gets a new host in Mary Jane, review the symbiote selections!

On June 14, the Venom symbiote gets a brand new, untarnished host in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN: RENEW YOUR VOWS #8 written by Gerry Conway with art by Ryan Stegman. That’s right, responsible mom, loving wife, and trend setting fashion blogger and boutique owner Mary Jane Watson-Parker tackles a new challenge: showing that alien space suit who’s boss.

To see just where the bar is set let’s take a look back on past hosts…

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Spider-Men II: Double Your Pleasure

Peter Parker and Miles Morales reunite for a milestone story!

In 2012, writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Sara Pichelli gave us the legendary team-up of Peter Parker and Miles Morales with SPIDER-MEN. Through the dimensional tampering of Mysterio, Peter ended up in the “Ultimate” universe and came face-to-face with his own death as well as a brand-new and younger hero with the mantle of Spider-Man. Five years, one Secret Wars and a Civil War II later, and the two now live together in the Marvel Universe, but one massive question still remains: Who is the Miles Morales of Earth-616? The first five-issue event left that particular juicy nugget of information on a cliffhanger that has yet to be resolved…until now.

The highly-anticipated follow-up to SPIDER-MEN arrives this summer from the reunited team of Bendis and Pichelli along with colorist Justin Ponsor. Luckily, you won’t have to wait until the first issue of SPIDER-MEN II drops in July for some answers. We spoke with Brian about the long-awaited sequel, the iconic web-slinging legacy of Spider-Man, and the question he’s been asked the most on social media for half a decade.

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Star Wars Spotlight: Splinter of the Mind’s Eye

Luke and Leia fight for their lives and try to escape the Empire!

Each week Star Wars Spotlight combs through the digital archives of Marvel Unlimited to showcase one classic story from that distant galaxy filled with Jedi, Sith, princesses, scoundrels and droids.

Blowing up the Death Star at the end of “A New Hope” might have seemed like a final nail in the coffin to some viewers back when the film came out, but as we all saw in the ensuing sequels, the Rebellion still had its work cut out for it. In the wake of those heroic events, Luke and Leia continued their efforts to unify more people against the evils of the Empire as seen in adaptations like SPLINTER OF THE MIND’S EYE by Terry Austin and Chris Sprouse.

The story began with the siblings who didn’t yet know they were related flying to Circarpous IV, but having to land on the fifth planet in the system due to Leia’s ship being damaged. While trying to land, the pair find themselves hit by a strange energy that downs both ships. Eventually, the two heroes of the Rebellion—as well as R2-D2 and C-3PO—met up with one another and discovered the source of the unusual signals they’d received: An Imperial mining operation! To survive, Leia and Luke dressed as miners and infiltrated the colony.

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X-Men Blue: Sentinels Strike

Cullen Bunn digs up his favorite stories starring the killer robots!

Ever since they first debuted back in the mid-1960s, the Sentinels have become an indelible part of X-Men mythology. Created by the dynamite duo of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby—and by Bolivar Trask in the comics—they’ve taken different forms and served several masters over the years, but one thing remains constant about the purpose of their existence when it comes to the X-Men: Detecting and destroying mutants.

“Sentinels are so iconic,” says Cullen Bunn, author of the currently running X-MEN: BLUE, which will host the return of the malevolent mechanical menaces this May. “I can barely imagine the X-Men without them. They’re terrific adversaries, because—in most cases—they simply have no human personalities. They exist for one purpose—to destroy mutants—and they follow that directive with cold mercilessness.”

Since “[X-MEN: BLUE] issues #2 and #3 are loaded with Sentinels,” according to Cullen, we asked him to recount his favorite Sentinel stories from over the years.

Read on for some rock em’ sock em’ robot mayhem!

Uncanny X-Men (1963) #98 Uncanny X-Men (1963) #98

“Merry Christmas, X-Men–The Sentinels Have Returned!,” “Deathstar Rising,” and “Greater Love Hath No X-Man” in UNCANNY X-MEN #98, #99, and #100:

“Sentinels know no holidays. They attack the X-Men…on Christmas! That’s just eeeeeeevil! And then, we get some crazy Sentinel versus mutant action…in space!”

Uncanny X-Men (1963) #142 Uncanny X-Men (1963) #142

“Days of Future Past” in UNCANNY X-MEN #141 and #142:

“I remember picking up [UNCANNY X-MEN] #142—I read them out of order back in the day—and thinking that the image on the cover could not possibly be reflective of the contents. But it was. I can barely think of a scarier representation of the lethal capabilities of the Sentinels.”

Uncanny X-Men (1963) #194 Uncanny X-Men (1963) #194

The Nimrod stories in UNCANNY X-MEN #194, #209, and #210:

“Nimrod—and later Bastion—has always been a favorite character of mine. He had all the cold mercilessness of the Sentinels, but he also had a bit of personality, too. And I loved that he had these automatic countermeasures for anything his mutant prey [threw] at him.”

New X-Men (2001) #114 New X-Men (2001) #114

“E Is for Extinction” in NEW X-MEN #114-#116:

“Not only did this story give us Casandra Nova, but it provided one of the most chilling examples of Sentinel power. 16 million mutants killed in the blink of an eye. It was terrifying and grim and awful. After so many years as X-Villains, the Sentinels get a big shot of nastiness in the arm.”

See the Sentinels back in action with X-MEN: BLUE issues #2 and #3, available April 26 and May 10 respectively from Cullen Bunn and Jorge Molina!

Guarding the Galaxy: Original Sin

Discover what happened to Star-Lord, Nova, and Thanos in the Cancerverse!

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

One of the biggest mysteries ever surrounding the Guardians of the Galaxy finally got answered as part of the Original Sin event in the pages of Brian Michael Bendis’ first run on the series during issues #1820. Drawn by Ed McGuinness and Valerio Schiti, these issues explained exactly what happened to Star-Lord, Nova, Drax, and Thanos when they locked themselves away in the Cancerverse at the end of THE THANOS IMPERATIVE. Readers knew that Peter Quill along with Drax and Thanos had mysteriously returned from that death-defying dimension sans Nova, but didn’t know the how or the why until Gamora literally knocked Star-Lord out, tied him to a chair and demanded to hear the truth.

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X-Men Gold: Bring on the Bad Guys

Writer Marc Guggenheim reveals the roster of the newest Brotherhood!

Before the X-Men can even begin to signal their return to Charles Xavier’s dream, there arises a new Brotherhood of Evil Mutants to derail that plan. As the X-MEN GOLD title opens, these sides create the classic tension of the X-Men franchise.

While much of the Brotherhood’s motives and means remain hidden so as to ensure no spoilers, we did our best to pry some information out of writer Marc Guggenheim.

Marvel.com: To start very generally, one of the long debated issues when it comes to the Brotherhood is whether or not they should be the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants or just the Brotherhood of Mutants. Where do you stand on this long-running debate? What makes sense for them? Any insight into why you think about as you do?

Marc Guggenheim: I feel like I may have made a joke in one of the issues with something like, “Calling themselves the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants? They should probably just call themselves the Brotherhood of Self-Aware Mutants.”

In general, evil people don’t tend to self-define as evil, but by the end of the arc you will understand why they call themselves evil. In fact, there is a very specific reason for it. It is not a random thing. All will be revealed.

Update on Marvel Comic’s Mysterious Hulk/Wolverine Hybrid Story

Full Image at bottom

So about a month ago, we all were shown an interesting image of a Hulk looking thing with Wolverine looking claws in a test tube. Well, some new light has been shown on what many are calling ‘Hulkverine”. That sounds terrible. Please say they get a better name for it.

Anyway, the largest mystery was who or what this creature is considering Banner is dead and original Wolverine is dead. Now granted, this could be some weird resurrection cult. In a different issue of comics, namely Uncanny Avengers some ninjas from the Fist which is like a weird offshoot of the Hand stole Bruce Banner’s body and tried bringing him back to life as a Hulk Ninja. Ya. Kindof the worst combo in the world. Take what is quite possibly the WORST stealth character in Marvel and make him a ninja. That’s like turning Spiderman into a responsible adult… which I guess they did. Ok, it’s like turning Deadpool into a Pacifist… which they also did kinda recently. Fine, it’s like turning Iron Man into a Kindergarten Teacher. Am I good? Has marvel done that yet? Oh. Iron Man’s dead? ok then. We good.

This new image which was posted on Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso posted on Twitter a few days ago shows a blueprint on the Hulk with claws. Now, the biggest flaw I can imagine right from the get-go is does the Hulk stay the hulk,? Because if he shrinks and the bones are adamantium he’s gonna rip up.

We now have a little more info about where this Hulk/Wolverine is going to fit in. There is a new Weapon X that is in the comics and they are messing with all things crazy. Namely Batch H. It will play a main role in a crossover titled “Weapons of Mutant Destruction”. This crossover of the Totally Awesome Hulk and Weapon X comic series will have current Hulk, Amadeus Cho, teaming up with a team of mutants led by Old Man Logan trying to stop Weapon X from killing the mutant race. Finally, back to stories that make sense. The team that Logan leads includes Old standby’s like Sabretooth, Lady Deathstrike, Domino and Warpath. We’ll have to see where this all leads to in April when the crossover begins but you can start reading the first issue of Weapon X and Amadeus Cho now.

Most disturbing moments in Marvel comics

Comic books aren’t known for shying away from strange subject matter. But even among brain-meltingly convoluted story lines and utterly bizarre characters, Marvel somehow managed to whip up a few moments that went further than we’d ever imagined possible. These things are meant for kids, after all. Here’s a look at the most disturbing moments in Marvel comics. Some of these events caused major controversies while others flew below the radar, but all of them haunted us after we put them down. Continue reading

Black Lightning Costume Revealed!

Take a look at the Black Lightning costume. What do you think of the Black Lightning costume?

Take a first look at the Black Lightning costume as production begins on the DC Comics pilot

The latest DC Comics small screen hero has today made a colorful debut. Black Lightning, starring Cress Williams (Hart of Dixie) in the title role, has officially started production in Atlanta. In the gallery viewer below, you can take a first look at the Black Lightning costume in a piece of art from the upcoming The CW pilot. Greg Berlanti, Salim Akil, Mara Brock and Sarah Schechter are executive producers on Black Lightning, from Berlanti Productions and Akil Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television. Salim Akil is directing the pilot from a script he wrote.

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I Am Groot: Going Solo

Christopher Hastings guides the tiny tree on an interstellar adventure!

Groot has gotten himself lost. Lost and stuck in his baby-sized form. With the other Guardians of the Galaxy nowhere to be found, the tiny Groot must fend for himself in a strange world.

Thankfully, he does not have to do it all on this own. He has writer Christopher Hastings and artist Flaviano in his corner for I AM GROOT, a new series coming this May.

Hastings took a break from his bonsai garden to discuss the series with us.

Marvel.com: As a writer, what is the creative draw of Groot? What challenges does he present?

Christopher Hastings: Well the initial draw is that he is hilarious and adorable. That “Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” trailer is filled with amazing stuff I can’t wait to see, but the best part is Rocket trying to get Groot not to blow them all up. I’m really excited to put that little guy in all kinds of bad situations and see how he makes them worse.

The main challenge is of course Groot’s limited language. I’m trying to approach the story in a very specific way to make sure it’s not a hindrance, but actually part of what makes it fun.

Marvel.com: In the book, circumstances conspire to separate Groot from his teammates and he is stuck at small size besides. What’s the character’s state of mind as he finds himself alone on the planet?

Christopher Hastings: He’s scared at first. He’s basically a toddler who’s been separated from his family, and is immediately introduced to the strange new terrors of this unknown part of the universe. But that very quickly changes to an impulsive curiosity, driving him deeper and deeper into this weird land.

Marvel.com: Overall, how would you describe the tone you are trying to achieve for this title?

Christopher Hastings: I’m a big fan of stories where little kids have to navigate a weird fantasy land as some sort of metaphor for what’s going on in their normal life. In this case, I’m specifically thinking of “Labyrinth,” “The Neverending Story,” and “Return to Oz.” I’m also pulling a lot from the dreamier Zelda games—“Link’s Awakening” and “Majora’s Mask.” There’s a lot of story in those games, despite the fact that Link can’t even say, “I am Link.” We’ve got a massive advantage there with [I AM GROOT].

Marvel.com: How does artist Flaviano’s work on the book help you to realize that tone? How does his style complement your scripting?

Christopher Hastings: I’m really asking for strange settings and characters that will all tie into a core mystery of this forgotten world Groot’s landed on. Flaviano’s got exactly the kind of thoughtful and specific design mentality that’ll flesh it out perfectly. The characters are so expressive. They can charm you or unsettle you just as easily.

Marvel.com: What kind of supporting cast might readers expect to encounter in this title? Any villains in the early going?

Christopher Hastings: Like I’ve said, there’s an old secret to this planet that’s been completely forgotten, but leaves little hints scattered about. Early characters that Groot [meets] are scavengers, just trying to survive with bits and pieces of abandoned technology and infrastructure. It’s not a great situation, but it’s one they’ve learned to be comfortable with. And Groot’s just going to mess all that up in his quest to return to the Guardians.

As for a villain, there are higher status forces who have a more active approach to keeping things as they are on this planet, which simply can’t be if Groot is to return home.

Marvel.com: Speaking directly to fans, why is I AM GROOT one that they’ll want to buy?

Christopher Hastings: This is a book for anyone who wants to see more of this new really funny, really cute Groot, but pushed to the edge, completely on his own. It’s also for anyone who wants to read the words “I am Groot” a lot.

I AM GROOT #1 by Christopher Hastings and Flaviano plants its roots on May 24!