EXCLUSIVE: Gischler on "Wolverine: Revolver"

You wouldn't think a simple thing like a revolver would be important to someone like Wolverine. His mutant healing factor and unbreakable adamantium skeleton means Logan has nothing to fear from a revolver filled with even the heaviest of bullet calibers, and his razor sharp claws mean that a gun is of little use to him as an offensive weapon.

But this June, Samuel Colt's 1836 invention will become very important to Wolverine in the Marvel Comics one-shot "Wolverine: Revolver," by writer Victor Gischler and artist Das Pastoras a.k.a. Julio Perez ("Wolverine: Switchback").

Gischler is best known as the author of several crime novels as well as his most recent work, the humorous, post-apocalyptic sci-fi yarn "Go-Go Girls of the Apocalypse." "Revolver" marks his second comic collaboration with Marvel editor Axel Alonso, with whom he worked on last year's "Punisher MAX: Little Black Book" one-shot. It was Gischler's work on that book which lead to Alonso asking the writer if he'd like to try his hand at a Wolverine tale.

"There's only one answer to that. Hell, yes. I mean, we're talking Wolverine here," Gischler told CBR News. "I love Wolverine's very direct approach to problem solving. It's not that he's incapable of nuance. He just doesn't beat around the bush if there's no need to. Also, as a fellow short person, it's nice to see a 'runt' get his licks in. Wolverine has an animal cunning and temper that provides great material for a writer. I also love writing dialogue and narration in Logan's voice. I think if Philip Marlow were a bit more ill-tempered and had adamantium claws, he'd be Wolverine."

Gischler credits Alonso for helping him put together the plot of "Revolver." "He asked me to toss Wolverine ideas at him, and he has a very keen eye for what will work and what won't," the writer explained. "'Wolverine: Revolver' is actually a combination of a few different ideas I tossed at Axel. He pointed out different elements from each idea that he thought would work together. Axel is like a one-man how-to-write-for-Marvel university. I've learned a lot."

When "Revolver" begins, Wolverine is a man on a mission. "If we were to go back before the first page of the issue, we'd see Logan hearing about something that gets under his skin. A job only he can do, and don't try to get in his way or stop him from doing it," Gischler explained. "The great thing about Logan is that he goes into every situation like this just overflowing with confidence. No hesitation--even if he knows it might hurt a little."

Logan's mysterious job in "Revolver" brings him to Las Vegas. "I remember hearing one time that they bet on the Super Bowl coin toss in Vegas. They bet on *everything* in Vegas," Gischler said. "So it was the perfect place to set the story-- a crossroads of Russian mob crime, gambling and, well, other stuff."

In "Revolver" Wolverine is looking for a Roulette player, one who prefers the Russian version of the game. "I don't want to give too much away. Let's just say that wherever there's gambling, there's somebody looking for a way to cheat," Gischler said. "And these guys are betting on a game where they put a revolver to their heads."

"Revolver" begins with both feet firmly planted in the crime genre. "But one of the players definitely takes us beyond what we normally find in a crime story," Gischler explained. "The cover alone sort of indicates that."

Said cover features Wolverine and a monstrous bat-like creature. "Oh, he's just a member of the PTA with a bad Complexion," Gischler joked. "Ha, no, if we need Wolverine to take care of this guy, then you know he's dangerous. Looks like somebody is on the wrong plane of existence and ended up in Vegas."

"Revolver" kicks off with a tense and enigmatic tone. As the story progresses, things get fast and violent, with consequences that could prove devastating even for someone like Wolverine. "That healing ability can sort of undermine the reader's concern for his safety," Gischler said. "But I've tried to throw in a surprise or two to keep the reader turning pages, and I think we get a pretty good dose of action."

Gischler has been blown away by Das Pastoras's work on "Revolver." "I've seen some samples of the artwork so far, and you really have to stop and look twice," he said. "It catches your attention and doesn't look like anything else I've seen in comic books which I think is pretty damn cool. To be honest, Julio is the real star of the issue. I'm just happy I had the opportunity to write something that he could illustrate."

Working on "Wolverine: Revolver" proved to be a very enjoyable experience for Gischler and the author would love the chance to spend some more time with the title character. "I think a clever writer can do some good things with a one-shot, but I'd love to take a crack at a four or five-issue arc and really get more deeply into some character issues," the writer confessed. "And any opportunity I can get to stick those claws into somebody is always a treat."

"Wolverine: Revolver" goes on sale in June from Marvel Comics.

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