Rather than regretting that Logan’s dead, Lady Deathstrike only bemoans she did not kill him.
Writer Marguerite Bennett fuels November’s DEATH OF WOLVERINE: THE LOGAN LEGACY #4 with Lady Deathstrike’s fury. Denied the satisfaction of revenge, the villain must find a new purpose and she pursues her options with a passion.
Bennett also makes clear to Marvel.com the delight of reteaming with artist Juan Doe on a tale of what happens when a person loses their prime motivation, tries to fill that void and maybe discovers some free will.
Marvel.com: When I discussed LOGAN LEGACY with Charles Soule and Mike Marts, Charles made it clear, “my chapters won’t read anything like Tim [Seeley’s], or Kyle [Higgins’], or Marguerite’s. That’s a good thing, to my mind. Logan was many different things, so a set of stories honoring his legacy should have that same vibe.” What kind of vibe are you aiming to achieve with Lady Deathstrike’s story?
Marguerite Bennett: A Lady Deathstrike story is inherently a kind of revenge story and inherently kind of a body horror story. Those elements are so ingrained into the character, so informative of her personality and the way in which she inhabits the world. Lady Deathstrike is furious that Logan is dead, because she has been deprived of the purpose—killing him—for which she was made into a monster. All of the momentum of her life has been cut, and this story is her reaction. It’s violent as anything, of course, part crime, part horror, part revenge, part elegy.
Juan Doe, the penciller on our one-shot, is an absolute wizard—he gave me scenes in dense Tokyo neon and scenes in pine trees and rain and scenes played out in gilded Japanese screens.
Marvel.com: This story reteams you with Doe following AMAZING X-MEN ANNUAL #1. What is it about you two that make you such an effective creative team?
Marguerite Bennett: Juan is a genius. He’s so lovely to work with, so kind, so talented, and you see any page—any page at all, from either story we’ve done—and it immediately seizes you. His art is so striking; there’s no trace of house style, and you could read the stories again and again and still find new details he’s hidden. He’s a master of different styles, and I tend to jump around, to play with aesthetics and the expectations of those aesthetics. I love to see familiar objects through the subjective lenses of cultures and characters. In [our first story together] alone, Juan brought us crayon drawings, student sketches, street art, photo albums, and icons of Byzantine saints. He makes me want to be weird, to take risks with what we can do.
Marvel.com: Charles Soule writes the first and final installments of this LOGAN LEGACY limited series–were you able to capitalize upon some of the seeds that he planted in that first issue which you capitalize upon in your story?
Marguerite Bennett: Charles gave us each a ton of freedom to work with. His notes were always excellent, and he offered a framework of the plot and action of each character, then let us fill in the internal clockwork of emotion and motivation. We try to play with each other, hint of each others stories, and drop clues, though.
Marvel.com: LOGAN LEGACY is more than a limited series; it is the foundation for new storytelling opportunities. Without giving too much away, what does this mean for Lady Deathstrike?
Marguerite Bennett: I’m afraid anything I say would give too much away. The fun here is not knowing what’s to come—thinking, because of stories in the past, that you know what will happen, and finding you’ve been proven wrong.
Marvel.com: Are there certain past story arcs involving Lady Deathstrike that helps inform your approach to the character?
Marguerite Bennett: I did a ton of research on Lady Deathstrike. I must’ve read 15 trades on top of what was already in my head, and I’ll tell you what…
The thing that occurred to me again and again during that research was—despite that she’s an unrepentant murderer, despite all the vicious things she’s done—she was a character who was always acted upon.
She was captive, a student, a vessel, an experiment, a plaything at different parts in her life—she was raised by her father to be nothing but an extension of his will, to do as he bid and kill who he told her to. She was indoctrinated by the Strykers, experimented on by Spiral, bought by Ana Cortes the way you would buy a new toy.
She is always been forced down under someone else’s will. Even when those masters are physically removed, she still has all that sense of debt rattling around in her psyche—she’s been someone else’s instrument for so long that she fears she might not be able to define who she is. We’ve never seen who she could become with a will and a freedom of her own.
That’s what I wanted to explore.
Marvel.com: Lady Deathstrike and Logan have a rich history—how does a world without Wolverine impact her?
Marguerite Bennett: Killing Logan was the first mission, the primary motivation on which her life hinged. Now, she has failed. There is no second chance—he is dead, and her failure is permanent. This was all the urgency and passion of her life, hating him, killing him, avenging her people upon him. She’s free for the first time, the first time ever—and she’s terrifyingly alone.
What would you do?
Marvel.com: You have written for a variety of comic universes; with that diverse experience, what appeals to you about getting to write in the Marvel Universe?
Marguerite Bennett: I love the levity, diversity, and charm of the ‘verse, the creators I’m given the opportunity to work with, and the editorial teams I’m delighted to work under. There’s such rich emotion and joy in the Marvel Universe, and despite all my talk of horror and revenge, I hope to join the party quick enough. [Laughs]