The mutants of the Marvel and Ultimate Universes share a number of similarly-named and powered champions, but due to the wildly different histories and natures of these universes, they often differ in rather dramatic ways. Take Wolverine, for instance. While Logan continues to protect mutant-kind in the Marvel Universe, several years ago, the Ultimate Universe's Wolverine perished during the "Ultimatum" event.â€¨However, doesn't mean that the Ultimate Universe has been deprived of a hero with razor sharp claws and a super human healing factor. In the Ultimate U, Wolverine's legacy lives on in the form of his teenaged son Jimmy Hudson, who currently appears in the ongoing "Ultimate Comics X-Men" series.
This March, the violent history of his father will collide with the young mutant's present day reality as Jimmy undertakes a quest to discover the truth about his origins and learn why his father gave him up for adoption. That quest will be detailed in the four-issue "Ultimate Comics Wolverine," by writer Cullen Bunn and artist David Messina. We spoke with Bunn about the project, from the different challenges of writing for the Ultimate U rather than the mainstream Marvel U to the true identity of Jimmy's mother, which editor Mark Paniccia told CBR "connects [Jimmy] to other important characters in the Ultimate U in a pretty shocking way."
CBR News: Cullen, you recently wrapped your run on Wolverine's Marvel Universe book, and now you're set to take a look at the character and his legacy in the Ultimate Universe. What is it about Wolverine's core character traits that make him an interesting character to explore regardless of whatever universe he might be in?
Cullen Bunn: One of the things that always appealed to me about Wolverine was the mystery surrounding him. For so long, we really knew very little about the character's past, and the potential for stories was limitless. Over the years, of course, much of Wolverine's past has been explored. With the current iteration of Ultimate Wolverine, some of that mystery has returned, especially in regard to where he came from, who his mother is and why the decision was made to give him to another family.
Another thing about Jimmy that strikes a chord with me is his upbringing and relationship with his adoptive parents versus his desire to learn more about his birth parents. It's a defining element of his character, and on a personal level it really resonates with me as my wife and I adopted our son a couple of years ago. It's obvious in every aspect of his personality that he was always meant to be our son, but I wonder how he will feel about his birth parents as he gets older. Since we know nothing about them, they will be a complete mystery to him for the rest of his life. I can't help but wonder how he'll think about that as he grows up.
Obviously, the core difference between this Wolverine book and the Marvel Universe one is that this one is sort of a legacy title. As Jimmy will be your main character in the present day sequences, let's talk a little bit about him. What's your sense of Jimmy's current temperament? He's reckless and brash, as we've seen, but how much of that is a natural inclination and how much of that is based in his knowledge that he'll heal from his injuries?
Jimmy's young and, as you suggested, brash. He was something of a daredevil before he realized he had a healing factor, so some of his recklessness -- his inquisitiveness -- is simply a natural inclination. Jimmy also has a strong sense of loyalty to his friends and family, and that is at odds to some degree with this strong curiosity he has about his origins. In many ways, I think of Jimmy as an example of what might have been. He was raised by James and Heather Hudson -- loving, caring parents. If Logan had been raised with such compassion and love, he might have turned out a lot like Jimmy.
Of course, in this story, Jimmy may find himself in a situation where it would be helpful to be a little more like the Wolverine of old.
Jimmy wasn't raised by his birth father, but he knows who he is thanks to a message he discovered from Logan which stated he never regretted giving Jimmy up. How did discovering that affect Jimmy's teenage psyche? Does he understand that his dad did what he thought best, or did it hurt him on a conscious or unconscious level?Art by Dave Messina