With cameos from everyone in-between A-list X-Men like Storm, Colossus and Nightcrawler and forgotten alien adversaries like Fang, "Wolverines" has become the place for X-Men fans to go if they're looking for big surprises and shocking reveals. Now, after eleven issues and twice as many developments guaranteed to make you say "Wha-huh?!," the team book starring an unlikely alliance between Wolverine's allies and enemies is entering into its final phase. "Wolverines" will reach its claw-tastic conclusion with issue #20, and co-writers Charles Soule and Ray Fawkes still have plenty more tricks up their collective sleeves.
This week, "Wolverines" co-writer Ray Fawkes joins X-POSITION once more and answers your questions about everything from X-23's relationship with Sabretooth and Daken to what's in store for readers as the series races to its end.
CBR News: Welcome back to X-POSITION, Ray! First up, we have a quick question from Alucard2099 about another ex-Weapon X experiment.
Is Deadpool going to show up in the book at some point before his "Death"?
Mmmaybe. Is there anywhere Deadpool doesn't show up these days?
And Alucard2099 has another question, this time about Sabretooth's role in the team.
Is there going to be a Sabertooth and X-23 centered issue and will Victor Creed try to mentor Laura -- and fail miserably at it because no one trusts him?
Well, there's no specific issue planned about Sabretooth mentoring X-23, but there will be significant interaction between the two of them, and your idea about how willing Laura -- and others -- are going to be about taking Creed's advice to heart aren't far off...
Speaking of X-23, Zaki has a question about Laura's relationship with another member of the "Wolverines" cast.
As Marjorie Liu had done with Laura and Daken, how would you explore the sibling relationship between the two and their life after Logan?
You'll see bits of it in this series. Daken's in a very dark place right now, and Laura feels a bit connected to him -- perhaps more than she ought to -- just because of shared blood. Maybe he feels the same? Read on and see...
Next up, Nikolai has a question about "Wolverines'" newer characters.
You've gotten to work with a lot of new characters in this series, like Fantomelle and Culpepper and all the Weapon X members. Since they're all relatively new and still forming, in what ways have you been able to make your mark on them? Do you see any of them as especially Fawkes-y?
The punniest answer is that Culpepper is the Fawkes-y-est of them all, ho ho. But Charles and I have worked closely on developing everyone in the book, and I'd hesitate to say that this piece is me, and that piece is him. It's more like we're both happily and proudly building everything you see together.
Not many comics at the Big Two publishers commit to a weekly schedule like "Wolverines." timdogg98 has a question about your workload.
Can you explain what it's like to work on a weekly book? Is it a 50/50 split between you and Charles Soule?
It's a lot of work! But the constant turnaround means constant opportunities for creativity, and constant surprises from my co-writer and all the great artists involved, too. The process is roughly a 50/50 split, yeah -- Charles and I discuss the overarching plot all the time, and then we each write our respective chapters -- and then return to go over each other's work, so that we can weigh in with our thoughts. It's all rather organic, and when you're working with a great writer like Charles (and Mike [Marts] and Katie [Kubert], our excellent editors), it's a smoother process than one might assume.
timdogg98 also wants to know if you've gravitated toward any character in particular.
Has a character's voice spoken to you more than others, and has there been a character you've wanted to include that was shot down?
Mystique comes pretty naturally to me, as does Sabretooth. I never would have suspected, going in, that I'd name those two.
Nothing's been shot down. We've both included some pretty surprising characters, and it's been a blast. All credit to the editorial team for entertaining our nutty ideas and giving us the leeway to run with them!
So far "Wolverines" has pulled from pretty disparate corners of X-Men continuity and MiddlePegasus has a question about that aspect of the series.
Hi Ray! I wanted to know, in your issues you've written characters like Mr. Sinister, Fang and even the X-Men themselves. Especially with a deep cut character like Fang, how much research have you had to do for this series? Is it daunting at all to write characters like Storm and Nightcrawler?
There's been a lot of reading -- but I've been happy to do it. There are worse ways to spend one's weekends than thumbing through X-Men comics.
It's a bit daunting to write Storm, say, or Nightcrawler, because you want to make sure that you're both true to the character and capable of showing them off in a way that hasn't been done before.
With "Secret Wars" on the way and a number of ongoing series coming to an end, Peggy has a question about the series' intended length.
Was "Wolverines" always intended to run for 20 issues, and have you and Charles Soule's plans changed at all along the way?
It was always intended to run for 20 issues. Of course our plans changed -- in many small ways, and in a couple of bigger ways -- mostly because we sometimes come up with great ideas mid-stream, and it's fun to tack with them. But everything is planned well in advance -- the payoff you're going to see in issue #20 is the one that was planned before we started issue #1.
Leithauser has a question about your "Wolverines" inspiration.
"Wolverines" has been a crazy fun ride so far, with all the twists and turns and fast pace. I was wondering -- are there are any movies or TV shows or even music that you looked to to get you in the zone for "Wolverines," or to inspire or influence the tone you and Soule have established on the book?
Thanks! I've been listening to a lot of speedy stuff while working on this book -- The Prodigy, etc. I like to think it comes through in the snappiness of the script.
Finally, Rasmus has a question that looks to the future.
First of all I want to say that I'm a huge fan of you, Mr. Fawkes, and I've really been loving your work in this series... Now that it is official that "Wolverines" is ending in May, do you have any upcoming work with Marvel? Also, what can we as readers expect in upcoming issues?
Thank you very much! I do have another piece coming from Marvel soon, and... who knows? I'd like to do more! We'll see how things shake out.
Upcoming issues? Expect twists, turns, deception, violence, and lots and lots more fun! You know how Mystique keeps threatening to kill Fang? I wonder where that will lead. And there's no way Mr. Sinister is done with the Wolverines, right? I mean... they trashed his lab. Nobody trashes Sinister's lab.
Special thanks to Ray Fawkes for taking on this week's questions!
Next week, "Amazing X-Men" scribe Chris Yost pays another visit to X-Position. Have a question for Chris? 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!