Since the final days of the 19th Century, the hero known as Wolverine has had a knack for getting into bloody, violent, trouble. Marvel’s most famous mutant’s healing factor has not only allowed him to survive his exploits — it’s also kept him young and vital, which means Logan has a longer-than-average personal history, with a number of stories which have remained untold.
In the ongoing “Savage Wolverine,” writers and artists mine that history, adding to it new tales that take place in the character’s past and in the present day. This May, writer Gail Simone makes her return to Marvel with an issue that takes place in the days when young mutant Jubilee began adventuring with Wolverine and the X-Men. We spoke with Simone about the issue, which is her first full-length Marvel story in over a decade.
CBR News: If my research is correct, it’s been about 11 years since your last story for Marvel, and this spring, you’re returning with two stories: a short story in “Deadpool” #27, and issue #19 of “Savage Wolverine.” What’s it like to return to the Marvel Universe after spending so many years exploring the DC Universe and its characters?
Gail Simone: It’s an interesting feeling for sure, trading batarangs for adamantium, even for one issue. You mention “exploring,” and that was really the funnest thing about my time at Marvel. I knew the Marvel characters, but I considered myself more of an expert in the DCU as a reader. So every character who appeared in my Deadpool run, I would research them and that really was a blast; it did feel like exploring.
It’s the same thing, here. I’m trying to evoke a very specific time for the characters, without being cutesy about it. I am trying to bring a resonance of a time in their development and it really is a bit of an excavation, I really enjoy that.
Because I like to tease Marvel writers on Twitter, people think I was angry at Marvel. The truth is, when I left, everyone at Marvel was incredibly nice and supportive, and I have never forgotten that. Everyone, from Joe Quesada on down. I remember my time there with nothing but fondness. Going back even for something brief is a joy.
With your “Deadpool” story, you’re coming back to a character whose adventures you helped chronicle once already but have you written Wolverine before? What do you find most interesting about Logan? Which aspects of his personality do you want to explore in this story?
I wrote literally, like, I think one panel of Wolverine in “Deadpool” and a few more in “X-men Unlimited,” not counting writing him in the kid’s book “The Marvelous Adventures of Gus Beezer.” I am pretty sure none of that counts. But he’s a serious, bittersweet cat, I love writing him, I find him terribly sad, somehow.
There’s a thing about Logan that’s similar to Batman, in that it’s weird to call them loners when they are in every book and on every team and have fifty-twelve sidekicks. My story is about how both things can be true, a little bit.
Part of the fun of “Savage Wolverine” has got to be the freedom to set your story anywhere you want, so what can you tell us about Wolverine’s status quo with regards to this story?
This story takes place around the time Jubilee is trying to find a way to fit in with the X-people. At this point, they are just about as different as personalities as they could possibly be. It’s a lot of fun — I don’t know if they were created to contrast, but they fit together like peanut butter and machetes.
Who will Wolverine will face off against in this story?
I can’t say much, but I’m a huge fan of the weirdo secret science organizations in the Marvel Universe. They are one of the elements that you most strongly feel a connection to the early creators, the Kirby/Lee/Ditko vibe is still there in them, I love that.
It sounds like you had a lot fun writing this issue.
It’s just fun to write one of the iconic badasses. Wolverine has gone on to take over all media — he’s kind of Elvis, right now. It’s always fun to look past all that and find the tiny center that speaks to you.
Finally, are you talking with Marvel about any other projects? And are there any upcoming projects that you think might appeal to readers who are discovering your work for the first time with “Deadpool” #27 and “Savage Wolverine” #19?
I had a couple very close calls, but due to scheduling at the time, it didn’t work out, so we’ll see. I’m having a lovely time, the editors have been absolutely great to work with.
If people are having fun with these stories, I would hope they give my other work in “Batgirl,” “Red Sonja,” “Tomb Raider” and “Leaving Megalopolis” a shot. Marvel readers were incredibly supportive to me when I was on “Deadpool” and “Agent X” way back when, and have been asking me to come back ever since — so there’s definitely a bit of a feeling of coming home, in a way.
I talk about this a lot, but the first time I got a check from Marvel, I freaked out, because it said MARVEL COMICS on it, and had a little drawing of Spider-Man in the corner. Up until that moment, I hadn’t actually believed I was a working pro in comics. That changed everything for me.