Wolverine may have been around for over a century in the Marvel Universe, but thanks to the mutant healing factor he was born with, he's still relatively youthful. Combined with a fierce determination to survive, his mutant power has allowed him to live a long, eventful life, as a solider, a spy, an assassin, a test subject for an experiment that transformed his bones into a skeleton of unbreakable adamantium, a hero, a teacher and member of both of the X-Men and the Avengers.
Of course, you don't get to live that long and accomplish all that without making more than a few enemies, and now that word is out about the loss of his healing factor, those foes are gunning for Wolverine in force. This September, in "Death of Wolverine," by writer Charles Soule and artist Steve McNiven, time finally runs out for the title character. But once that tale reaches its inevitable conclusion, a major question remains: How big of an impact will Logan's death have on his many friends and foes?
That question will be answered in the seven-issue "Death of Wolverine: The Logan Legacy" miniseries, which kicks off in October. CBR News spoke with editors Mike Marts and Katie Kubert about the series and the multiple creators working on it, including some who are making their Marvel Comics debut.
CBR News: When I first read about "Death of Wolverine: The Logan Legacy," I was very much reminded of the "Fallen Son" miniseries Marvel released in the aftermath of the death of Captain America. Is "The Logan Legacy" comparable to that book? Did that miniseries inspire this one?
Mike Marts: It actually didn't. That miniseries was great. It was a fantastic story that the Captain America guys put together, but that never came into conversation when we talked to Charles Soule about assembling this series.
Soule is just one of the writers working on "The Logan Legacy," the rest of the roster including members of the "Batman Eternal" writing team. Was that simply because of the established working relationship you have with those creators as former Batman editors? Or do you feel there's some similarities between Batman and Wolverine's worlds?
Marts: There are certainly similarities between the two characters, but with this project and the talent selection that was involved, both Katie and I wanted to turn to creators that we were comfortable with and had a great rapport with. Naturally, that included a bunch of guys and girls that we worked with at our previous post. We were more than happy to get a lot of these writers over to work on this Wolverine project with us.
Katie Kubert: Not only are they people we've worked with before, but they're also super trustworthy. It's almost like we've already learned how to speak the same language. We toss an idea at them, and they come back with exactly what we're looking for. They're reliable and they just get where wanted to go with this series.
Also, this is a really great way to introduce them to Marvel readers. It's a cool opportunity to get some new voices to Marvel, voices we knew were going to speak the right language.
Is this a miniseries of related stand alones? Or is it more of a traditional mini, where it's one plot running through the entire series?
Marts: It's a little bit of both. It's a unique structure that we set up with Charles. He's writing the bookends of the miniseries, Issue #1 and #7, and the issues in between, #2-6, are individual character spotlights which we set up in Issue #1 and then follow through on in the final issue.
We get into the story and action in Issue #1, and we get teases and glimpses of the individual characters spotlight issues. Then, we go to each of those and we come back at the end and complete the series.
Let's break down the individual issues and their creative teams. Charles Soule and artist Oliver Nome put all the chess pieces on the table --
Marts: Yes. The first issue picks up immediately after "Death of Wolverine" #4, and we meet all of the characters, including Mystique, Daken, Lady Deathstrike, Sabretooth and X-23.
Kubert: The cool thing about this series, and about what Mike was touching on, is that this isn't a sort of remembrance series or a funeral series. This is something that's launching new storylines, building up characters for new adventures. I don't want to say too much, but it's all building to something grander. This is almost an entry level way into the next wave of cool things that we'll be doing with Wolverine and in the X-Office.
Issue #2 is by writer Tim Seeley and artist Ariela Kristantina and focuses on X-23.
Marts: X-23 provides a unique perspective into the death of Wolverine primarily because she is more or less the one hero character we have involved in this storyline, and she shares the same DNA as Wolverine. I think readers will enjoy this issue because, of all the characters we feature in this series, X-23 is the most "point-of-view" character.
Readers who know X-23 well won't expect her to do much moping and crying. She's more about rage and action, so right from the get go, we're going to see her in action. She's going to approach the death of Wolverine a little bit differently than some other X-Men characters might.
Ariela Kristantina is a new artist that we see a lot of potential in, and we're really excited about her artwork on this issue.
Issue #3 is written by Kyle Higgins, drawn by Jonathan Marks, and focuses on Sabretooth. Will this series pick up whatever role he plays in the "Death of Wolverine" and then bridge him over to "Avengers & X-Men: AXIS?"
Marts: We've seen Sabretooth in a lot of places recently. He appears in "Uncanny X-Men," and he'll appear in "AXIS" coming up. And yes, this one-shot does bridge some of those stories. Plus, the artwork is phenomenal on this. Readers will have seen Jonathan Marks' work on "Savage Wolverine" #23 and also the "Wolverine Annual" for 2014. We have him busy on a lot of Wolverine related projects right now. We feel like he's the perfect guy for these characters.
Kubert: The art styles in these issues are very unique, and Jonathan's style is one that stands out amongst the entire collective. It's something that you don't see very often, but it evokes Sabretooth very well.
"The Logan Legacy" #4 stars Lady Deathstrike and is written by Marguerite Bennett with art by Juan Doe. I believe Brian Wood's "X-Men" is the last place Lady Deathstrike appeared --
Marts: Yes, and when we pick up with her, readers will see that she has changed a bit. There's a story to be told there.
We worked with Marguerite quite a bit in the past, and she's excellent at really digging into the unique aspects of a character and getting to the heart and soul of a character. She does that excellently in this one-shot, and Juan Doe is providing beautiful art work. He is such a unique artist, and we were happy that we were able to get him for this. If readers enjoyed the collaboration that Marguerite and Juan had on the "Amazing X-Men Annual" that was just the tip of the iceberg. This is going to be something above and beyond that.
Then we have writer Ray Fawkes and artist Elia Bonnetti on "Death of Wolverine: The Logan Legacy" #5, which features Daken. I understand this is Ray's Marvel debut.
Marts: Yes, this is Ray's first work for Marvel. He has such a unique approach to storytelling. He plays around with structure, pacing and a lot of times accomplishes something I think would be difficult in a way that seems so seamless and easy. He's an expert at providing cool ways to get into a story. He does that here in the Daken one-shot, and I think this story will be a surprise to readers because of Daken's unique relationship to Wolverine
Does this issue pick up from where Daken was left at the end of the latest "Uncanny Avengers" arc?
Marts: Most definitely, yes. There will be some connection to that storyline here.
Issue #6 features Mystique and is by the creative team of writer James Tynion IV and artist Andy Clarke. I understand this is also James Marvel debut.
Kubert: Yeah, it definitely is, and you can see where we're going here. We're bringing in some of the big hitters we worked with at the competition. The way James handles a character like Mystique is extremely unique, and because it's the sixth issue in the series, it kicks off an entirely new bit of action that is seen from the perspective of Mystique.
As for Andy Clarke, and I think Marts is in agreement with me: If Andy could draw everything for me, I would be a happy, happy person. His art is so amazing. Every page evokes incredible emotion and is awesome. I was very happy that both of these guys are teaming up to tackle a character like Mystique.
Finally, Charles Soule returns for the series' anchor leg, "The Logan Legacy" #7, which features art by Peter Nguyen.
Marts: Charles really delivers an amazing final chapter with this issue. It brings everything together, all the individual storylines of the one-shots. And as Katie was saying, it sets the stage for the next phase of Wolverine publishing for 2015. We have a lot coming, and we'll get a lot of hints and teases in this final issue. It also ties into another Wolverine related project, "Death of Wolverine: The Weapon X Program," which was announced at Comic-Con.
Finally, it's not part of this series, but in terms of characters reacting to Wolverine's death, we have another one-shot arriving in October "Death of Wolverine: Deadpool & Captain America" by writer Gerry Duggan and artist Scott Kollins.
Marts: Yeah, that's such a great issue. It's a combination of humor and drama. We get a unique pairing with Deadpool and older Steve Rogers as they cope with the loss of their former team mate and discover some interesting new clues surrounding Wolverine's death.