Although Wolverine has plenty of solo titles, the most popular X-Man has a fair amount of connections across the Marvel Universe, which he teams up with in the pages of “Savage Wolverine.” While the Marvel NOW! title started with writer/artist Frank Cho at the helm, the series’ new arc brings the “Avenging Spider-Man” creative team of writer Zeb Wells and artist Joe Madureira back together for a Wolverine/Elektra team-up that puts the two characters to work for Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin of crime.
This week, Zeb Wells made his triumphant return to X-Position for Wolverine Month as he expounds on “Savage Wolverine,” its beginnings as an “Avenging Spider-Man” story, reuniting with artist Joe Madureira and whether he would like to return to “New Mutants.”
madroxdupe#420 kicks off this week’s X-Position with a question about your take on Elektra and the possibility of returning to the New Mutants.
Zeb, I am a huge fan of the way you wrote Elektra in the Dark Reign tie-in/limited series. Any plans to revisit that character? I’ve always thought that her and Psylocke would have had some sort of interaction by now. What do you think of pairing them two (either as friends or antagonistically)?
Zeb Wells: Thanks, madroxduuuuunope I’m not going to type that handle. I’m not going to give that to you. But to answer your question, I’m always hustling to get more Elektra stories out there, and have big plans for her if I get to write her again (if she’ll have me, of course.) I’ve never thought of her and Psylocke, but I’m intrigued by the idea. If you ever see me writing them together you’ll know it was your idea and I’ll see you in court.
Any plans on writing “New Mutants?” Your time on the series was so short. I would love a limited series by you with those same characters (and Wolfsbane — seriously why was she never in that book?).
Wolfsbane was always being used, and used well, during my run, by the great demons [Craig] Kyle and [Chris] Yost. If I did more “New Mutants” I’d want to use the same team from my run, but it looks like a logistical nightmare to get them back together. We’ll have to just enjoy my short run of excellently written comics (except for issues 6-10, which were hard to read over the sound of me violently treading water.)
cora reef is up next with a few questions about how your “Savage Wolverine” story evolved over time.
Dear Mr. Wells, Your new collaboration with Joe Mad has been teased for some time, so it’s obviously been in development for a while. As the story got closer to publication, were there any things you had to go back and change in the story?
Thank you for showing me the respect I deserve by calling me “Mr. Wells.” I also notice you don’t have “420” in your name. I salute you.
Ah, your question. The story was originally planned for “Avenging Spider-Man” and was then moved to “Savage Wolverine.” Luckily it was only a rough outline at that stage, but it did have to be reworked to be a Wolverine story. As it got closer to publication there was the small problem of Peter Parker no longer being Spider-Man, but we decided setting the story before “Amazing Spider-Man” #700 was a better solution than shoe-horning a different voice into the Spidey scenes.
Since your run on “Savage Wolverine” is limited to an arc, much like Frank Cho, is there anything you can tease about future X-Men work?
I just realized the last word of your handle is “reef.” I’m on to you, Cora. I will tease nothing.
Dave is a big fan of the current costuming in this arc of “Savage Wolverine.”
1) One of my favorite design choices of the issue was putting Wolverine in his brown-and-yellow costume instead of his standard black-and-yellow. Was that something you specified in the writing or that Joe Madureira added in at his own discretion?
I have a special place in my heart for that costume and specified it in the script. Joe couldn’t have been more excited about it. I figured that when Wolverine wants to get down and dirty he’d put on his old costume. It’s his way of saying, “This isn’t Avengers Wolverine, this is Marvel Comics Presents Wolverine.”
2) Elektra and Wolverine seems like such a perfect match team-up wise. How were you able to devise cool ways that their talents can work in tandem?
They are two of my favorite characters and it was fun to just imagine them working together. And imagining them together while being drawn by Joe Mad is even more fun. You’ll have to wait and see, but I hope we came up with some cool stuff for them to do.
Ichabod Brain wants to know more about how the story meshes with Marvel history and current continuity.
1) I’m intrigued by the idea of Wolverine working for Wilson Fisk that you introduced in the first issue of your arc. How can Wolverine justify working for the Kingpin when so much of his character is based on the Samurai code of honor?
Good question. I think Wolverine’s loyalty to Elektra supersedes any distaste he as for the Kingpin. She’s had his back at his lowest points, so if she asks for help he’s going to let her take the lead. He’s going to honor that debt he owes her. If Elektra says they’re working for the Kingpin, they’re working for the Kingpin.
2) In terms of The Hand and Bullseye, it seems like there’s a clear link to what Mark Waid is doing over in Daredevil right now. From what I read, your collaboration with Joe Madureira on this story goes way back, so did you know about Bullseye coming back in advance?
Mark actually helped me hatch this story at a Spidey retreat way back when, so yes, the two are absolutely connected.
bahblah has a question about which form of entertainment medium writing you enjoy more.
Which do you enjoy more — writing for television or writing for comics?
I have to give the same stock answer everyone gives, unfortunately. Television is much more collaborative, so it’s often more fun and active to write for, but there are also more eyes on the work and you have to be tenacious to get your voice to come through. Comics are more solitary but you have more freedom to explore your voice and take bigger chances. Plus you get to work with people like [editor] Steve Wacker and Joe Mad, who are up for just about anything.
XMarkX has a question in the same vein, but more focused, asking about how your experience with television has helped in comics.
Dear Mr. Wells, I’m actually a big fan of your work on the show “Robot Chicken.” I was wondering if your experience writing pop culture micro-sketch comedy has helped you hone your writing for comics.
I think it has helped make my writing more succinct, and hopefully a bit funnier. On “Robot Chicken” any line that doesn’t absolutely have to be there gets cut. It makes me a lot harder on every line I write now. Are they really funny, really interesting character-wise, or really important to the plot? If not, they have to go. That’s the goal, at least. I don’t always get there but I hope I’m always getting better.
Why do you think Wolverine can support so many books, including your own? Do you think he’s more interesting with other people around?
I think all of us are more interesting with other people around, but Wolverine does just fine on his own. He’s so well defined I’d read about him doing anything. I’d read a book about him buying groceries. And I bet it would be awesome. And that’s why I think he can support so many books — we’re never going to run out of things we’d like to see that character do.
That “I think all of us are more interesting with other people around” thing might be the douchiest thing I’ve ever written. I recognized it, and yet I didn’t erase it. Take from that what you will.
Will we ever get to see you write the Superior Spider-Man? Do you have any desire to write that character?
I have a fun scene with Superior Spider-man coming up in “Nova” #7. I love the idea of that character and didn’t want to pass up the chance to write him. [Dan] Slott is a madman and I love him for it.
And here’s our Behind the X question: If you had the opportunity to live in any fictional location in the Marvel Universe, where would it be and why?
That lighthouse from the Chris Claremont/Alan Davis “Excalibur” run, duh. And if Meggan needed a place to stay while I was there, I’d be open to letting her sublet. No Captain Britain, though. My lighthouse is a drama-free zone.
Special thanks to Zeb Wells for a triumphant return to X-Position!
Next week, Wolverine month continues as X-Position welcomes Marvel Comics Editor Jeanine Schaefer and Assistant Editor Jennifer Smith, the editorial team responsible for all things Wolverine in the Marvel U. Got a question on the future direction of Wolverine following this week’s “Age of Ultron” conclusion? How about a head-scratcher on what’s coming up next in the ol’ Canucklehead’s many series? Send over an e-mail with the subject line “X-Position” or if 140 character questions are more your speed, try Twitter. Either way, make sure those questions are in by Friday! Do it to it!