Annihilators

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Guardians of the Galaxy NYCC 2014 Panel Recap

Marvel held their “Guardians of the Galaxy – Then and Now” panel today at the New York Comic-Con.

Present were Marvel Comics editor Bill Rosemann, Andy Lanning, Doug Moench, Gerry Duggan and Jim Starlin.

Below you can check out a recap via the Marvel live blog as well as a photo.

Nothing major was announced (tune in Saturday to the Cup O’Joe Panel).

Marvel 75th Anniversary:
Guardians of the Galaxy- Then and Now
The Evolution of the Marvel Cosmic Universe

Time: 2:00 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. EDT
Room: 1A18
Following the smashing success of Guardians of the Galaxy, we decided to take fans through the history of one of Marvel’s quirkiest teams, as well as Marvel’s cosmic universe at large! This 75th Anniversary panel will feature current “cosmic” creators, as well as the writers and editors who shaped Marvel’s cosmic universe! Join us as we go back in time, and get an exclusive look inside the creation of some of your favorite space-facing characters! Panelists will include Gerry Duggan (NOVA), Al Milgrom (CAPTAIN MARVEL), Doug Moench (INHUMAN), and Jim Starlin (INFINITY GAUNTLET).

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(photo via Alternative Mindz FB)

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Exclusive: Jim Starlin returns to Marvel & Ron Lim, and so do Thanos and Adam Warlock

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Many readers define graphic novels by Marvel Comic’s first, The Death of Captain Marvel. Even more readers define great cosmic comics by the man who wrote and drew that work of fiction, the magnificent genius named Jim Starlin.

Few have contributed more to our love of space adventures, and in particular Marvel Universe adventures, than Starlin. And now, three decades after killing off a noble Kree warrior, the creator returns with a tale of his greatest creation along with a character he did not create but defined.

Thanos and Adam Warlock are back, and in graphic novel format, this summer in Thanos: The Infinity Revelation, which is part of a larger overall Starlin project under wraps by the House of Ideas. We also learn that Starlin re-teams with artist Ron Lim on a new previously unannounced project.

To find out more, Cosmic Book News M.E. Byron Brewer exclusively rendezvoused at the bar on Knowhere named for the creator and filed this interview with Mr. Starlin.   

Cosmic Book News: First, Jim, how does it feel to be back in the Marvel Universe?

Jim Starlin: Like all jobs, it’s a mixed bag. It’s great playing with old friends, like Thanos and Adam Warlock. Tom Brevoort’s office has been good to work with; very responsive and professional. But I am getting older and there are no seventeen page comics any longer. When I started on the one-hundred-page Thanos graphic novel, all I could think was that I might well be on Social Security by the time I finish this job. Just kidding.

CBN: Can you tell us how this graphic novel featuring Thanos, or rather a trio of interconnected graphic novels, came about?

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Jim Starlin: Well, the graphic novel came about when Marvel Comics and I decided to work together again, after a long spell of not dealing with each other. The graphic novel format was Tom Brevoort’s idea. Once I started coming to the end of that first project, I wanted to go onto another Thanos story I had in mind. A key character in the story was temporarily unavailable, so it was suggested I do a yet-to-be announced story arc that would lead into this delayed tale. I’ve still got two issues of that four-issue story arc to pencil and write. The third project was scripting a thirty-page story for an annual this summer. This sort of came out of nowhere, but it gives me the chance to work with Ron Lim again, so I couldn’t pass it up.

CBN: How does it feel to be handling characters that you either created or helped guide to their destinies?

Jim Starlin: It’s like hanging out with old friends again after a long separation.

Part of it is learning what they’ve been up to since I last saw them.

Some are doing better. Some have fallen on hard times. It came as a surprise to me to learn that Adam Warlock was dead.

CBN: Without spoilers, can you tell us how Adam Warlock works into this? Is it going to be a Warlock from another time, or the one that was featured in the Abnett/Lanning adventures of Guardians of the Galaxy?

Jim Starlin: Both. Neither. It’s complicated.

CBN: Any comments about what has happened to Drax the Destroyer in his evolution since you left Marvel?

Jim Starlin: To be honest with you, after a certain point I kind of lost interest in Drax back when. Warlock, Thanos and others I found much more interesting characters to play with. Drax and his blind hatred of Thanos was sort of a one-note pony.  Which is why I eventually brain damaged him in Infinity Watch. I’ve found I’ve enjoyed what I have read of Abnett and Lanning’s version of the character.

CBN: What can you tell us about this Thanos/Warlock story in general?

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Jim Starlin: It involves alternate realities, which is something I haven’t played with much before. The story’s very much about the dangers of acting on undefined urges and having to deal with the consequences afterwards.

The ramifications from Thanos: the Infinity Revelation will continue to reverberate long after the reader has finished that story. Thanos goes through a major change at the end of the tale. And Adam Warlock?

Can’t get into that just yet.

CBN: I saw some art with Eternity and some other concept entities in it. What will the roles of these cosmic heavy hitters be?

Jim Starlin: Foretellers to begin with and commentators who don’t know what they’re talking about near the end.  Is that obscure and confusing enough for you?

CBN: Can you tell us of some of the cosmic Marvel stars that might be in this graphic novel?

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Jim Starlin: Some of the Guardians of the Galaxy make a brief appearance and later in the story the Silver Surfer and the Annihilators stop by.

CBN: And you stated that all this connects up to current Marvel continuity, correct?

Jim Starlin: I tried to connect it up as best I could but Tom Brevoort wasn’t exactly forthcoming about what was taking place in the Infinity series. Now that it’s come to an end I realize I shouldn’t had Corvus Glaive standing in the background of one panel in the graphic novel, seeing that he gets killed at the end of the Infinity series. My story doesn’t start with Thanos having to get out of a block of amber either.

CBN: Anyway, Jim, we from Cosmic Book News welcome you back to creating great stories in the Marvel Universe. Speaking of which, any other projects current or future coming from the great mind of Starlin?

Jim Starlin: Just those I mentioned before.

Cosmic Book News and I would like to thank the great writer/illustrator Jim Starlin for taking time out of his very busy schedule to speak with us about this very special project. Thanks also to Marvel’s own Chris D’Lando, who helped make this rare interview possible.

“Thanos: The Infinity Revelation” hits stores this summer!

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Review: The Annihilators #1

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THE ANNIHILATORS #1 PREVIEW

Writers: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning

Penciler: Tan Eng Huat

Inker: Victor Olazaba

Colorist: June Chung

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Ikon of the Space-Knights: Dark ‘Knights: Return to glory!

Dark ‘Knights:

Return to glory!

 

By Byron Brewer, Managing Editor

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IKON – A IS SHE!

Rom was never one of my main books, but I always enjoyed the creation and mythos of the Spaceknights of Galador, and was glad to welcome them back to Marvel Cosmic in Annihilation.

Now, as we ready ourselves for a new era of wonderment by cosmic scribes Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning with the mini The Annihilators (which many of us hope will become an ongoing), a new character has popped in: Ikon, a new Spaceknight, who is ready to lead the Annihilators into battle against … what? The Dire Wraiths?

We will look forward to that discovery in March.

The Spaceknights are an elite group of cyborg humanoids from the planet Galador, created to battle the Dire Wraiths. The idea of the Spaceknights was invented by the Parker Brothers toy company as part of the background for their toy character of Rom, but it was developed by Marvel in Rom the comic book. While Rom is gone, Marvel retains ownership of the Spaceknight characters today.

Galador was located in a galaxy known only as “The Golden Galaxy” and was a paradisaical planet, with very advanced technology. Galadorians seem to be identical to normal humans but with longer lifespans. Two hundred years ago, the planet was ruled by a man known as “The Prime Director” and its scientists had already developed a class of angel-like warriors using genetic engineering. However, when it was discovered that the evil shapeshifters known as the Dire Wraiths were invading their galaxy, the Galadorian government decided that it would be necessary to create cyborg warriors to defend the planet from them.

The Prime Director himself asked the people of Galador to volunteer, promising them that their “humanity” (the body parts that would need to be removed to implant the Spaceknights’ armor) would be preserved frozen and later restored to them after the threat had passed. At first the Galadorians were hesitant, until a young man called Rom became the first volunteer. Inspired by his example, a total of 1,000 Galadorians underwent the process, and were transformed into Spaceknights — each superstrong and capable of space flight, but each having a different special power or weapon as well as an individual form and codename. Rom was given the Neutralizer, Galador’s most powerful weapon, to use.

The Spaceknights formed a ring around the planet and waited for the Wraith space fleet to reach them. After a great battle, the Spaceknights managed to repel them. Rom chased them back to their home, Wraithworld, but this caused the Wraiths to flee in all directions, infiltrating various other planets. Feeling responsible, Rom swore he would not reclaim his humanity until every Wraith in the Marvel U. had been defeated. Once again, the other Spaceknights followed his example.

Two hundred years later, Rom arrived on Earth. There he battled an Earth human who had been given the Firefall armor by the Wraiths, but who soon died in battle. The Wraiths tried to replicate the Spaceknight armor, which led to the creation of the uniforms used by The Rocketeers and the Torpedoes. While fighting The Hybrid, Rom was banished to Limbo with his own Neutralizer. There he met Karas, who helped him return to Earth with his Living Fire, and warned him of trouble in Galador. Rom returned to his homeworld, where he ended up facing Mentus, Terminator and Galactus; his humanity was apparently destroyed in the process. He was then returned to Earth.

Starshine arrived on Earth soon after, following Rom, whom she had fallen in love with, but was soon killed by a Wraith. She was buried in Clairton, West Virginia, where Rom had set up his operations, but was soon dug up by Brandy Clark, a local girl who had fallen in love with Rom, and magically given her armor by a Wraith Sorcerer called Doctor Dredd. She was transformed back to normal not long afterwards by The Hybrid.

Meanwhile, a second generation of Spaceknights had been created in Galador to protect the planet. However, these came to feel superior to normal Galadorians, and began to hunt them all down. The now-human Brandy was transported to Galador by The Beyonder since she wanted to be reunited with Rom after all the Dire Wraiths in the universe lost their powers. Rom arrived in time to save Brandy but not the human Galadorians; nor could he prevent the destruction of all the Spaceknights’ humanities. With help from the original Spaceknights, the evil ones were destroyed. Rom then found his humanity — left for him to claim by Galactus — and became human again, staying on Galador with Brandy to repopulate the planet. The other Spaceknights left to protect the planet from afar and continue fighting evil across space.

In Jim Starlin’s Spaceknights limited series, we see that Rom and Brandy have two sons, Balin and Tristan, who have become part of a new generation of Spaceknights. Note that these characters are named after two legendary knights, Sir Balin and Sir Tristan.

The six-issue miniseries Annihilation has the Spaceknights from the Starlin miniseries (including one of Rom’s sons) being led by Blastaar. They were featured most prominently (albeit still briefly) in issue #5. In issue #6, doubts about the Spaceknights’ survival were expressed.

In Annihilation: Conquest Prologue, Galadorian ships and Spaceknights appear over the Kree home world Hala where the former-and-to be Star-Lord, Peter Quill, has arranged for them to demonstrate a new defense program known as “A-ware.” The lead Spaceknight is known as Daystar and interfaces with the Kree computer War-net by downloading the defense program from his gauntlet. A scenario is then run but things go haywire as the Kree Sentinel robots begin attacking Kree ships in orbit. Quill attempts to get the War-net rebooted but is stopped by Daystar. It becomes apparent that the Spaceknights have been infected with the Technovirus and are under the control of The Phalanx. Quill kills one of the Galadorians during an escape attempt but the others survive. It is revealed that several of the Spaceknights’ “Crusade Missions” have been assimilated into the Phalanx having lost contact with their home world while in Kree Space. This causes the Galadorians to send a Spaceknight as a part of the efforts to get past the energy barrier surrounding Kree Space, along with surviving members of the Kree as well as representatives from Spartoi, Badoon and Rigel.

It will be interesting to hear Ikon’s story and see what faces our team of cosmic heavyhitters carrying out our beloved Guardians’ legacy. Here is hoping for a long, long string of space-based stories by DnA to follow. (Just itching to see the Annihilators take on the Brood!)

Annihilators #1 hits stores in March!

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Tom Brevoort: Cosmic, Crossgen, The Big Event – and more!

picAnother edition of CBR’s “Marvel T&A” hit today. This time, VP Executive Editor Tom Brevoort, comments on Marvel Cosmic, Crossgen, the next Big Event – and lots more. Pages from March’s Rocket and Groot (second half to The Annihilators) from artist Tim Green are shown off, as well.

Marvel Cosmic

Regarding Marvel Cosmic, Tom is asked if recent announcements, such as The Annihilators, are planned or part of the “natural workflow.” The VP states, “There’s a certain amount of lead time needed to put that project together – even today with the technology we have to zap files anywhere in the world. So this just happens to be when all this stuff is happening.”

As to why Rocket and Groot was combined with The Annihilators, Brevoort states that the market is soft and,  “It made more sense to us to fold those together and do it as a bigger book at a slightly higher price point than to try and release them as separate projects.”

Tom then goes on to comment on all the fans that have been overwhelming Marvel with questions on what’s next for DnA and Marvel Cosmic. “And for all those people that were barraging us with questions about what was coming next in the cosmic world and what was next for Dan and Andy on that front, hopefully they’ll dig “Annihilators” and come out to support it and keep us thinking about further projects to do in that arena.”

Crossgen

On Crossgen, Tom made it clear that the two titles announced, Ruse and Sigil, “are not continuations of the original CrossGen books. We’re approaching all this stuff as if it’s entirely new, and starting from square one.”

Another point made is there will be more Crossgen books as, “They’re the first two but not the only two planned to come.” Comments from the books respective editors are then made from Nick Lowe on Sigil and Stephen Wacker on Ruse.

Next Big Event

Again, I’m a big proponent of the Big Event and Marvel is getting back to that come 2011. Be sure to check out Marvel.com on December 21st at noon for a press announcement (here for more).

Tom Brevoort states that Marvel is undeniably doing another Big Event. I’ll let the VP Executive Editor do the talking. I hope Marvel Cosmic is part of this.

Brevoort: You know, we went into the Heroic Age, and we took a year or so off from doing big, interconnected event series, because we sensed a certain fatigue was setting in, both on the part of the readers and our creators. And fans seemed to like that for the most part. But now we’re all well-rested and it’s time to get back to business again.

So the thing we’re going to be talking about a week from now is massive. It’s incredibly huge, incredibly far-reaching. It’s a big ol’ bombshell to drop, and there’s not much more I can say about it ahead of time. But yes, this will not be a small thing. This will be a grand, sweeping, epic Marvel event the likes of which you haven’t seen in a few years. It’s definitely larger in scope than “Siege,” more on the scale of “Secret Invasion,” and as ambitious in its way as “Civil War.”

To that end, we’re having a press conference on Tuesday at Noon Eastern at a location we can’t reveal quite yet. But if you can’t make it, we’re streaming the whole thing live on Marvel.Com.

Be sure to head on over to CBR to read more. Tom announces five Captain America one-shots, including “Captain America and Secret Avengers” (No. I don’t think this is an all ages book – as it would be “&”), talks about Mark Bagley’s return to Marvel and has a question for recent fans to Marvel Comics.