Wolverine may be out of the spotlight following the fatal finale of "Death of Wolverine," but that doesn't mean his name has completely disappeared. The clawed mutant's legacy lives on in the form of "Wolverines," a weekly series from Marvel Comics written by Charles Soule and Ray Fawkes that follows a cast comprised of Logan's closest allies and deadliest enemies as they deal with the fallout of his demise. X-23, Daken, Sabretooth, Lady Deathstrike and Mystique have mixed it up with a number of new characters, including Shogun and Fantomelle, that prove that there's still plenty of life left in the Wolverine line. Now, ahead of the series' seventh issue in as many weeks, writer Charles Soule is ready to reveal part of his battle plan for the series.
"Wolverines" writer Charles Soule joins us again at X-Position and answers your questions about everything from X-23's grieving process to Daken's change of heart and Fantomelle's origin.
CBR News: Let's kick this week off with a question from HeWhoSlapsAll that's on the minds of a lot of "Wolverines" readers.
Is X-23 ever going to acknowledge Elixir, and/or show any worry regarding his fate? It seems odd that, after their time in X-Force together, and him saving her life, that she doesn't really care about him. Also, is Elixir going to have any sort of role during, and after, this title?
Well, look, there was a ton going on in the scene you're talking about ("Death of Wolverine: The Logan Legacy" #7) -- and there's been a ton happening since then, both for X-23 and the rest of the cast. X-23 was fleeing for her own life from Siphon, and had her hands full saving Daken, to the extent she could. X-23 will get a few quiet moments in the series, and I'm sure she'll take time to grieve -- although I'm not sure Elixir actually died in that scene. Are you? I mean, the guy's pretty much got the power of life and death. Seems like he might be able to bounce back eventually. I hope so, anyway!
Next up, Adam has a question about one of Wolverine's most popular supporting characters.
Does Jubilee hold any interest to you as a surrogate daughter of Wolverine and a good friend of X-23?
Sure -- Jubilee's great, I particularly like her because of her ethnic makeup. She was a diverse character with a somewhat unusual background (Eurasian) back when it wasn't as common to see stuff like that. Whether we fit her into "Wolverines," you'll have to wait and see. The cast of the series is pretty big (although if you're through issue #6, you'll see how it's been pared down a bit). That said, the personal mandate of myself and ["Wolverines" co-writer] Ray Fawkes on this series has been to fit in every possible guest star we can, from obvious to incredibly obscure.
Here's a partial list of the first initials of said guest stars, some of whom we've seen, most we haven't, from every corner of the Marvel U:
B, D, S, N, F, T, B, P, G, S, S, H, N... hmm. This probably isn't all that helpful, is it? Let me give you one, just to give you the idea: Fang. Wait, Fang? That member of the Shi'ar Imperial Guard we saw for a few issues way back when? The dude Logan stole a costume from, who was infected by the Brood and died? That guy?
Yeah. That guy.
Basically, just think of "Wolverines" as a huge, weird, bloody Saturday morning cartoon in which anyone can appear, and you'll get the idea.
That is a phenomenal sales pitch for this series. Now, MCBT has a question about one of the new characters introduced in "Wolverines."
What was the inspiration behind Fantomelle?
Two things: first, I wanted to make up a really rad character that I could have a lot of fun with. Second, I was always kind of bummed in Grant Morrison's "New X-Men" run when Fantomex revealed that his whole "gentleman thief" persona was just an act. I thought that concept was awesome. So, I figured that it was possible that Dr. Cornelius could have been inspired by that idea and tried to make his own perfect thief -- and that's Fantomelle.
Culpepper is basically her EVA, in case that hasn't been clear -- sort of an external nervous system for her, and quite the stylish fox to boot. We'll see a bunch more of both of them soon. In fact, they play an integral part in a plotline that runs through the second major arc of the "Wolverines" story -- which leads up to the next person to take on the mantle of Wolverine. That happens in issue #13.
Hmm. I possibly shouldn't have said that.
Considering the checkered pasts of the entire "Wolverines" cast, Ambaryerno has a question about trust within the group.
How difficult is it managing Mystique's personal goals on this team without the rest of the cast having to juggle the idiot ball to make it work? In #6 Storm points out what the audience has been thinking since #1: How can ANY of these people trust her considering she's the Matron Saint of the Chronic Backstabbing Disorder? X-23 and Sabretooth in particular are both VERY smart people, with Creed having decades of experience as well (along with having worked with Mystique before), and Laura herself is highly trained and experienced in subterfuge herself.
Very perceptive question. The truth is, with the history any of these characters have, there's no way any of them would ever spend more than a minute in the same room with each other without some serious murder happening. We do hit the note that Creed and the rest don't trust Mystique, but she's also very good at what she does. You'll see more of that in issue #7, for example. I see Mystique as someone who is able to constantly skirt the line -- nobody trusts her, but she's also fantastic at offering people exactly what they want, so they'll hold off killing her long enough to get it. Or, really, until she screws them over.
I mean, do you have people in your life who do iffy stuff to you, but yet they still somehow remain a part of your life? Say a sibling who borrows money and never pays it back, or a friend who makes plans and always bails on you, or a co-worker who never actually does what they say they'll do... stuff like that? I think we all do. Mystique is sort of like that, but on a grander scale. She's deadly and untrustworthy, sure, but she can also be anyone. You don't even know she's manipulating you until it's too late.
In other words, she's just that good.
Ambaryerno has another question, this time about X-23.
Speaking of X, I loved seeing how she learned from Daken and Elixir by bringing a shotgun along the next time she had to confront Siphon. It was especially good to see since a lot of writers seem to forget or overlook that her primary skill set is actually black ops work, and not as a front-line combatant. Any chance "Wolverines" will give her more opportunities to practice her espionage skills rather than just stabbing things?
Some, yes! There are some cool stories coming up with X-23. One of the things I've come to understand working on this series is just how much people love Laura, and it's easy to see why. She doesn't quit, no matter what's thrown at her -- and some crazy things have been thrown at her.
I'm glad you liked the shotgun beat. I included that at the end of #3 for precisely the reason you mention -- she's smart enough to figure out a way to deal with Siphon without getting too close -- and Ray Fawkes certainly took that concept to the finish line nicely in issue #4.
Alucard20999 has a question about Wolverine's son and his possible character growth.
Has Daken really changed this much? I know he wasn't part of "AXIS" but the loss of Wolverine brought out a change, which is something I would never have imagined him going through unless it was something out of "AXIS."
He has! I would look at issue #9 for some explanation on this front. Daken's still damn cold-blooded, but the triple hit of Logan's death, his loss of his healing factor due to Siphon and then Sinister taking his arm and eye in "Wolverines" #1... well, anyone would probably take a step back to consider his life.
There are quite a few new characters at play in "Wolverines," and Sandman813 has a question about one of them.
When will we learn more about Endo and her history? And how she is adjusting to the changes the Weapon X program did to her?
I really like Endo -- I like all of those Paradise characters, actually. Sure, they don't have a million issues of history behind them yet like, say, Victor Creed, but hopefully they'll get there. As far as her adjustment... I would say she is adjusting pretty poorly. None of those guys are loving their new lives, with the possible exception of Junk.
I almost wish that "Weapon X Program" series hadn't been scheduled as a mini. I loved writing it, but I could have gone on with a sharper focus on those characters for a while. We'll see what the future brings!
Speaking of Weapon X, Nix Uotan has a question about that shady organization.
Will we see more Weapon X program developments and revelations in this book?
Yes, definitely. Stay tuned. We'll revisit some of the locations we saw in the "Weapon X Program" mini, for one thing. Just lots of cool stories to come.
"Secret Wars" is the event on everyone's mind right now and Jackraow21 has a question about how it will affect "Wolverines."
Well, that would be pretty damn cool, but "Old Man Logan" is from a completely different universe. It was an alternate future, many years from now. Bringing him into regular continuity seems like it would be... narratively complicated, at best.
Lastly, Wind Rider wants to know if you have any further plans for the X-Men.
Any chance for you to write any other X-Men titles in the future (though I am sure you have your hands quite full at the moment)? And if so what title(s) would you be interested in writing?
I do have my hands full, but I love the X characters. I spent a while last year reading a ton of X books, just to catch up on things in preparation for "Death of Wolverine," the "Wolverines" series, etc. I don't know who or what I'd write, if I were given the chance, but here are some characters I dig: Emma Frost, Jamie Madrox, Sebastian Shaw, Deadpool, Kitty Pryde, Colossus, Dust, Armor, Fantomelle, Shogun (had to put in a few of mine!), Nightcrawler, Beast... there are a bunch.
Special thanks to Charles Soule for taking on this week's questions!
Next week, X-Position welcomes "Storm" writer Greg Pak. Have a question for Greg? Go ahead and send 'em in via an e-mail with the subject line "X-Position" or if 140 character questions are more your speed, try Twitter. But get 'em in quickly, because the deadline's Friday! Make it happen!