NYCC 2014: Wolverines

NYCC 2014: Wolverines

Picking up the pieces in the aftermath of DEATH OF WOLVERINE, THE WEAPON X PROGRAM and THE LOGAN LEGACY, the writing team of Charles Soule and Ray Fawkes tackle WOLVERINES, a new weekly series featuring art by Nick Bradshaw.

WOLVERINES brings opposing forces—such as Mystique, Daken, X-23 and Sabretooth—together to investigate Logan’s death. In the process, Soule and Fawkes assure, characters will be pulled into many unexpected directions! Naming this weekly series WOLVERINES is a bold statement; what is the significance of the title for both of you?

Ray Fawkes: To me, the title has a few meanings. Foremost, though: In a way, most of the characters featured in this book are incomplete reflections of Wolverine. Perhaps now that he’s gone, they are free to fully realize themselves? Or maybe they’ll be annihilated by the void that he’s left behind? Either way, they are still defined—as they were before, perhaps frustratingly so—by Wolverine and what he represents to them. All of them were shaped by their struggles with him, or against him. None of them would be who they are today without his influence in their lives. Whether they like it or not, they are all Wolverine’s legacy now, by blood relation or otherwise.

Charles Soule: I agree with everything Ray said, and I’d add that there’s also a fun teasy market-y side to this as well. I mean, we just killed Wolverine—but here are six more! It’s not that specific, of course—we’re not treating this like a Death & Return of Superman situation—but it does establish a sort of tone we’re going for with the book. It’s bloody and intense in the manner of some of the best Wolverine stories. However, it also has a seriously weird side to it. Bizarre things happen in this series, and I think part of the fun for readers will be to try to anticipate where things might go next. It’ll be tough—we do like our twists and turns. Rather than having to wait a whole month for the next installment of the story, readers will get that adventure gratification on a weekly basis. How enjoyable is it for you both to be able to entertain your fanbase on a weekly basis in such a manner?

Ray Fawkes: Well, I love it. I have experience with the format, being part of the Batman: Eternal team over at DC, and I find the both the challenge of collaboration and the pace of the output to be very rewarding. It’s great seeing fans react every single week, to be honest; a pretty heady scene, compared to the usual monthlies.

Charles Soule: I don’t know what to expect yet, since I haven’t really done a weekly; DEATH OF WOLVERINE was probably the closest thing, but this is a different animal. I dig it so far from a creative perspective, though. It’s fun to think that the beats we’re planning will hit so quickly. I think we want to create something that’s like a combination of a sugar rush and a street brawl, and based on the first batch of scripts and art we’ve put together, I think we’re pulling it off. Can you give folks a glimpse of how you two plan to split up the writing duties on this series?

Ray Fawkes: Charles and I are taking a very “writer’s room” approach to this: we discuss the over-arching plot of the book, and then we chunk out the issues and handle them individually, running them by each other for notes and adjustment before turning them in to editorial and going through the rounds there. We’ve decided to keep the division of issues simple: we just alternate. Charles is scripting all the odd issues [Laughs] and I’m handling the even ones.

Charles Soule: Not much to add here; I can say that it’s really fun to do it this way. I like opening Ray’s scripts and seeing what weird/cool stuff he’s come up with. It’s like a game of very odd tennis. Am I right in thinking a major appeal for this series is teaming a cast of characters with egos and agendas that naturally create a level of tension when in the same place at once?

Ray Fawkes: You are right, yes. What an opportunity for drama! This is no boring adventure where everybody’s in lock-step, arm-in-arm against a common foe. The team involved in this book is a tangle of conflicting urges, needs, and habits. They have to work together—readers will soon learn why—but they’re never all going to see eye-to-eye. 

That said some of them are going to find out that they get along a whole lot better than they might have imagined. Some of them might even fall in love…

Oh, and one of them is crippled for life in the first issue. It’ll be fun watching the rest of them debate whether or not a mercy killing is in order. This is not a “leave no man behind” team here.

Charles Soule: The group here is not a set of people who are particularly interested in doing anything together unless they absolutely have to. I would suggest that folks check out both THE LOGAN LEGACY and THE WEAPON X PROJECT, the two “bridge” series between DEATH OF WOLVERINE and the WOLVERINES weekly. They provide a great deal of backstory to explain who these folks are—especially some of the new characters—and why/how they’re all entwined together when we open with WOLVERINES #1. Plus, they’re just great stories in their own right! Which are you two looking most forward to revealing in this series: the secrets behind Wolverine’s death or details concerning Logan’s life—or a mixture of both equally?

Ray Fawkes: Both? And other things. How about the secret truths of Wolverine’s greatest enemies? Or the secret potential of his blood relations…or am I saying too much? Stop me if I go too far, Charles.

Charles Soule: I’m actually interested in all the new stories we get to tell because Logan’s not around anymore. We’ve got some super cool new characters, including one with a pet fox named Culpepper—she’s one of my favorite things I’ve made up in a long while—some truly vicious bad guys new as well as familiar…reveals like you won’t believe.

Ray and I decided that we wanted to make a really tightly plotted puzzle with one hell of a twist ending. We know exactly where all of this is going, and it’s a blast to lay down clues as we go. The very first page of WOLVERINES #1 ties directly to one of the biggest reveals of the entire series; the idea is that when all of that pays off down the road, folks will—hopefully—think we knew what we were doing all along.

Spoiler: we do, and it’ll be a great ride.

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