When a sentient alien virus robbed Marvel Comics’ Wolverine of his healing factor his arch-enemy Sabretooth embarked upon a vicious campaign of physical and psychological warfare to shame and break his foe. The campaign left Wolverine’s body and mind severely scarred, but it also left him with a burning desire for revenge.
By trying to exploit Wolverine’s lack of healing factor Sabretooth made his arch enemy deadlier than ever, because now instead of coming at his foe head on Wolverine has constructed a cunning plan to bring his foe down. In the current arc of the new volume of "Wolverine" writer Paul Cornell and artist Ryan Stegman are showing readers how their protagonist developed his plan and some of what it entails.
Sofar we've see that Logan has donned an armored costume, distanced himself from the X-Men and the Avengers, begun working for a low level super powered crime lord, and may have murdered an innocent reporter for his new employer. CBR News spoke with Cornell about the arc and his plans for the series which include a Madripoor set story that brings Wolverine face to face with some of the character’s from the writer’s fan favorite "Captain Britain & MI:13" series, and the recently announced "3 Months to Die" arc.
CBR News: Paul, in these first three issues you've given us some hints about what Logan is actually doing now, but as of the end of "Wolverine" #3 we still have some larger questions about what Wolverine is doing with the Offer and his organization. Is Logan actually working undercover with Maria Hill and S.H.I.E.L.D.? Why did he kill the Daily Bugle reporter at the end of issue #1? And was that reporter who he claimed to be? Are these the right questions to be asking? And will these questions be answered in "Wolverine" #4? How big of an issue is #4 in terms of the larger story you're telling?
Paul Cornell: All those questions will be answered in #4, which is a huge issue for the run. That's the end of the flashbacks. From #5 we'll only go forward.
One thing about Wolverine that didn't seem to change in these first three issues was the fact that he may have broken away from the X-Men and the Avengers, but he's once again part of a team in the form of the Offer's super powered mercenaries: Pinch, Ten and Lost Boy. Why do you think Wolverine always seems to end up working with teams these days? What does being part of a team mean to him? In the flashback parts of "Rogue Logan" we see him saying that he wants to be alone, but is that really the case?
I think he hates being alone, that he associates it with the worst times in his life, and that he joins every team that'll have him for a reason. He says the opposite, but of course he would. His greatest power is knowing so many people.
We've been given some hints that Wolverine's actions with the Offer involve a shot at Sabretooth and at the end of issue #3 we checked in with Victor Creed himself. It seems to me over the past few years we've seen his evolution as a super villain. He's gone from freelancer to crime lord and at the end of issue #3 his dialogue about the device he's after suggests that he's ready to make the next step up to the would be world conqueror level. Is that what's going on here with Sabretooth? Has beating Wolverine in the last volume of this series given him Doctor Doom-style ambition to reshape the world?
It's been going on across several titles, his gradual assumption of more and more power and competence. It makes sense for such a driven and dangerous immortal. He's ready to be god now.
According to the solicits, after "Rogue Logan" finishes in "Wolverine" #4 readers will get a done-in-one story and a multi-part arc titled "The Madripoor Job." Can you talk about the plot and themes of these stories?
The single issue story, #5, is about Logan getting a tattoo for the first time, and the importance of what he chooses, about who Pinch is, and about fighting Thor in a bar. "The Madripoor Job" in #6-7 is Logan and his team returning to that island in an attempt to get in the way of Sabretooth's plans, with a guest appearance by Pete Wisdom and several members of MI-13. That's an all-action spy story.
The Madripoor job" affords you the chance to return to one of your favorite Marvel characters, Pete Wisdom. What's it like returning to Pete? How big a role will he and MI-13 play in the story?
They play a big role, back in the field, doing the super hero spy stuff. It was a joy getting to write them again. I hate going back, I always look forward, but they fitted the space and just for once I thought I'd give the fans of those guys what they've been asking me for. Faiza's in it!
What's it like playing with the classic Wolverine setting of Madripoor? What do you find most interesting about the locale? Will this arc bring us face to face with some the island nation's most infamous faces? Will we meet some new ones?
I've enjoyed suggesting how weird the place is now after all that's happened there. I've avoided the local guest cast, largely, because there isn't room, especially considering Creed now owns the place.
Artist Gerardo Sandoval will draw "The Madripoor Job" and the story that comes before it. As an artist, what do you feel he brings to "Wolverine" and these stories?
He's got a raw, exciting quality that reminds me of Ryan [Stegman]. It lets us continue to feel like a young book, which is important for this phase in my story about Logan (it's all been one story so far, really), young in the second volume, classic in the first.
Let's finish up by talking about the recently announced "3 Months to Die" arc. This is the finale to the grand Wolverine story you began telling in issue #1 of the previous volume. How does it feel to be reaching the end point of your story?
Is this the end? I can't comment on that, but I'm satisfied that I'm writing one big story about Logan, a sort of novel, that demonstrates the shape of a story over a long run. Mission accomplished, really.
"Wolverine" #4 goes on sale April 16 from Marvel Comics.