Marvel Press Conference: Daniel Way & "Wolverine Origins"

Thu, July 13th, 2006 at 12:00am PDT

Comic Books
Arune Singh, Staff Writer

With Comic-Con International almost upon us, one might expect the news to slow down a bit, but Marvel isn't relenting, with a bevy of news stories over the past week. Today Marvel hosted another of their trademark press conferences with the comic book media, this time discussing "Wolverine: Origins," the second solo ongoing series for everyone's favorite fictional Canadian (unless you're an Alpha Flight or Captain Canuck kinda guy). Exploring more of Wolverine's past, defining a new and nuanced relationship with the villain Nuke, and pitting him against the Marvel Universe, "Origins" is proving quite popular with many fans. In attendance on the phone conference today were series writer Daniel Way, editor Axel Alonso, Director of Sales David Gabriel, and Communications Assistant Manager Jim McCann.The conference just wrapped up and our full report is below. In the meantime, check out our recent interview with Way, where he discussed "Wolverine: Origins" and discuss everything X-Men on CBR's very own X-Forum.

The conference began with the creators and staff introducing themselves, then getting down to the business at hand: "Wolverine: Origins."

Some fans think the book is overkill for Marvel's (arguably) most popular hero, but Way and Alonso assure that a lot of care was put into the creation of the book. "This is the untold secret history of Wolverine. This is the stuff that has always been suspected, tossed around, but never been revealed," said Way. Old stories will be re-examined to show exactly what truths lie in there about Wolverine's history. The fifth issue of the serious will have "massive repercussions" and will set in motion the conflict that Wolverine will deal with for the rest of the series.

"It's a mixed bag," said Way of how Wolverine's history has been presented. Some previous stories have been lies, half-truths or couched in truths. Way is paying attention to previous continuity. "We're dissecting it, not deconstructing it."

The second story arc is called "Savior" and Logan finds his quest for revenge a bit complicated, "which throws a wrench in the works," Way said. There will be an examination of Team X, which included Sabretooth, Maverick and Wolverine, specifically a mission in Berlin that has huge consequences. Alonso said that fans of Jim Lee's work on Wolverine will be particularly interested in where the story goes.

Way was complimented on his storytelling in the book, the way he handled jumping around time-wise and said, "It seemed kind of natural that [Logan] has almost an omniscient view of things. I want to give a sense of the scope of his life."

As to how this series will tie into Paul Jenkins' "Origins" series, the revelation of Wolverine's origin, Marvel called it "Chapter One." It's all true and factual, and while it's the basis for everything, there won't be much digging into what happened in that series. "This is a story with a lot of chapters," said Alonso. He added that Way probably won't tell "Chapter Two" or further chapters in order, but secrets will be revealed.

Wolverine has often reflected a specific era's perception of masculinity, and when asked how he reflects the current male condition, Way said, "That chicks dig short hairy men." Alonso added, "He's a throwback. That's timeless. I don't think that will ever go out of style." Both Alonso and Way pointed out that Wolverine is a combination of violence and kindness, an interesting contrast that makes him likable and unlikable to different people.

Fans have also speculated over the relationship between Wolverine and Sabretooth, if the latter is Logan's father, and Sabretooth will play a large role in the series' future. "We love our options," said Alonso.

Popular X-woman Jubilee, once Logan's sidekick, will be showing up in the series, depowered after "House of M," and will "need Logan more than ever." "Logan will have to make a decision whether he can be there or not," said Way. Kitty Pryde's situation is "a bit different," commented Way, and said all the women in Wolverine's life will be dealt with in the series, and why he's attracted to so many problematic women.

At the Wizard World Philadelphia convention, it was noted that Wolverine will find something that will impact the Marvel Universe, so look to issues #5 and #6 for the beginning of those discoveries.

Way mentioned that he's done a lot of research into the world of Wolverine, from "The Marvel Handbook" to Internet research, for an entire year before he proceeded with "Wolverine: Origins." He wanted to meet the Marvel staff in person, so he traveled to New York to meet the Marvel staff and says he was surprised to learn that the story he pitched was being launched in a new series. "I basically got everything I wanted," said Way. Alonso praised Way's ability to reconcile Logan's history and make the repetition-or redundancy-an exciting part of his history. They've mapped out Wolverine's history so that fans will know where he was when, for example, the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. "Some people love a good Wolverine World War II story-you're gonna get 'em," said Alonso.

Artist Steve Dillon is attached to the series for the long-term even though, "he waits till the very last moment because he draws in the pub." "He can't draw without a Guinness," laughed Alonso.

The use of Nuke, the villain of the first arc, is a bit odd to some, since he's not the most well-known villain, but Way said he's "bad ass." Expect to see Nuke in other Marvel series pretty soon.

Don't look for "Wolverine: Origins" to be over anytime soon. It's not just 18 issues, as rumored, because there's decades of stories to go through. "We're not running out of story anytime soon," said Way.

 
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