Before he became a major player in the world of super heroics, Wolverine lurked in the shadowy, clandestine corners of the Marvel Universe operating as a spy, soldier and assassin. He was also experimented on by the top secret Weapon X Program which attempted to turn willing and unwilling subjects into super soldiers.
â€¨The mutant known as Logan was privy to many secrets across his long life, and in the aftermath of his pending death one of his allies and several of his enemies will be forced to band together to uncover the mysteries Wolverine was acquainted with. The reluctant team comes together this January in “Wolverines,” a new weekly ongoing series by writers Charles Soule and Ray Fawkes, which was announced by Marvel yesterday at their “Death of Wolverine: The Logan Legacy” panel at New York Comic Con.
CBR News spoke with Soule and Fawkes about their cast of characters which includes Sabretooth, X-23, Mystique and Daken; the adventures the dysfunctional team will become embroiled in, and the work being done on the series’ initial arc by artist Nick Bradshaw.
CBR News: Charles and Ray, with “Wolverines,” you’re moving from an investigation of the immediate aftermath of Wolverine’s death in minis like “The Logan Legacy” and “The Weapon X Program” to the long term effects of his passing on the world and several characters tied to him — and you’re doing that with a weekly series! What made you want to tackle that investigation on a weekly basis? And how does it feel to be launching Marvel’s first ongoing weekly (if not ever, at least in quite some time)? And Ray, you also work on DC’s “Batman Eternal,” which will make this your secondly weekly on top of your other monthly series. Is it just a coincidence, or do you genuinely enjoy working on weekly books?
Charles Soule: Part of the appeal for me was the challenge of the weekly schedule. It’s not easy to keep a train like that on the tracks, and I wanted to see if I was up for it. (So far, so good, by the way). The other side of “Wolverines” that sounded great was the idea of a very tightly plotted series that builds to a specific endpoint. We’ve got what I would consider seven main characters here, along with a bunch of secondary and even tertiary characters that all need arcs, cool beats and solid characterization. Weaving all of that into an enjoyable story that ramps up with every arc is a blast — but tricky, too, which brings me to the third thing I’m excited about with the series, which is working with Ray Fawkes. We’ve known each other for a while at this point, and while I think he and I have a similar approach to stories like this, we bring different things to the table. Ray and I have been talking about collaborating on something for — maybe a year at this point, and it’s great to finally be able to do it.
Ray Fawkes: There are no coincidences here — I already knew that I love working in the weekly format thanks to “Batman: Eternal,” and didn’t hesitate when Marvel approached me about this book. And as Charles said, we put together a plan that I thought was very exciting, and was rich enough in complexity that it justified a weekly series.
One of the appeals of “Wolverines” has to be the book’s cast of characters which includes Mystique, Daken, X-23 and Sabretooth. I know you have to be wary of spoilers, but what do you find most interesting about these characters and where they’re at emotionally when this story begins?
Soule: What we’ve tried to do with the two interstitial series that bridge “Death of Wolverine” and the “Wolverines” weekly (I’m talking about “The Logan Legacy” and “Weapon X Project,” both of which I’d say are extremely helpful reading for the weekly) is to set up where our main cast is on a character level. Each of them have had a different reaction to Logan’s death (for example, X-23 finds a more heroic side coming out, while Daken, strangely enough, finds himself somewhat protective of Logan’s memory, even if he hated the guy while he was alive.) We spent a ton of time figuring out the different dynamics and how they might fit together into a larger puzzle — I hope it’s not too much of a surprise to say that something like this was one of the plans related to “DoW” all along, and so we’ve been laying a lot of groundwork.
Fawkes: And, to follow on what Charles is saying here, I believe that’s one of the great appeals of “Wolverines” — the clash of personalities and their often surprising emotional vectors. Another great appeal is, of course, seeing them kick the crap out of each other and their mutual foes…
Let’s talk a little bit more about the dynamics between your cast of characters. Is “Wolverines” necessarily a team book in the way people traditionally think of them?
Soule: I would say no, it’s not typical. These are people who don’t play well together — we have Daken, Deathstrike, Sabretooth, X-23, Mystique and a new character who gets introduced in “Death of Wolverine” #4, who has quite a journey of his own that you’ll get to read about in “Death of Wolverine: Weapon X Project.” (That series, by the way, is a direct sequel to “DoW,” and picks up two seconds after it ends, with amazing art from Salvador Larroca.)
We put this group into a situation where they’re more or less forced to work together, but no one’s particularly happy about it. That’s where we start, but things start to spiral quickly, and the scope of the story expands massively. We decided to create a story that’s constantly surprising, where anything can happen — I know that gets tossed around a lot, but we’ve been given a green light on every guest star we’ve asked for, some of which are weird (in the best way.)
Fawkes: Charles has it right on the money here — this is not a typical team. The dynamics that normally shake out in a natural group are topsy-turvy in this one. Many of the characters are used to working alone, defying rules, and getting what they want through violent coercion. Put them all together in a room and force them to work together and things get — hectic. And, in some cases, it brings out entirely unexpected traits…
What types of stories are you embroiling the cast of “Wolverines” in? Will we see specific genres? And can you hint or tease some of the obstacles and adversaries your cast will run afoul of?
Soule: The first arc is all about direct fallout from the “Death of Wolverine” — that’s where we wanted to go, and we figured that’s probably what the audience would be interested in as well. “Death of Wolverine” leaves a few huge unanswered questions, and that’s where we start. As I implied in the prior answer, though, it rapidly spins out into its own storyline (storylines, really.)
A really big villain gets involved as of the end of Issue #1 — someone that opens the door for Ray and I to do some bizarre stuff in the best Marvel tradition. While this series isn’t “N.E.X.T.W.A.V.E.,” I would say we’ve been inspired somewhat by that series’ willingness to just go anywhere and do anything.
Fawkes: I’m starting to wonder if there’s a genre we haven’t entertained in the outlines we’ve put together so far.
Artist Nick Bradshaw, who drew quite a bit of Wolverine’s world with the Jean Grey School in his run on “Wolverine & the X-Men” is working on the first arc of “Wolverines.” What do you feel he’ll bring to the aspects and characters of Logan’s world that you’re exploring here?
Soule: Enthusiasm, for one thing! Nick is super into the project, which is fun. He’s introducing some cool new characters, and he’s got a great design sense, so that’s helpful. Mostly, I think Ray and I are staying busy making sure he’s got a ton of awesome action to draw.
Fawkes: And we’re certainly doing that. I feel like I may have to send Nick flowers after some of the crazy scenes we’re asking him to tackle.
Finally, let’s finish up by talking more about your initial story in “Wolverines.” what else can you tell us about the book’s inaugural arc?
Soule: The cast comes together to pull off the heist of a lifetime, and absolutely nothing goes right. Mystique seems to have a mysterious agenda (when doesn’t she?) We meet several of the coolest new characters (well, two of them, really) I’ve ever had the pleasure to be associated with, one of whom has a pet fox named Culpepper. It’s big, bloody, weird and fun, and we look forward to you guys getting to read it!
Fawkes: That heist also takes place in one of the most weirdly secure locations in the Marvel Universe — one that was laid out by a character not bound by the normal limits of human imagination. We’re going to raise a few eyebrows with this one.
Soule: Read “Logan Legacy” and “Weapon X Project!” Come into “Wolverines” ready for anything! Just because Logan’s not in it doesn’t mean it’s not awesome! See you in January!
Fawkes: Seriously. Now that you’ve been warned to get ready for anything, get ready for all the things you haven’t thought of. Gird your brain-loins.
“Wolverines” begins in January and ships weekly from Marvel Comics.
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