"What If? Wolverine Enemy of the State" came about because of Robinson's work at Image Comics. "All credit goes to Marvel," Robinson told CBR News. "Simply put, they invited me. They were aware of 'Bomb Queen,' in particular the trade. We went through a few rounds of pitching ideas; however Wolverine was always in the foreground."
Once Robinson's "What If?" story was approved, he set about finding the point where the history of the world in his book diverges from the history of the mainstream Marvel world (AKA 616). "Basically we leave Mark Millar's work just after the events at the X- Men mansion," Robinson explained. "The death of Jean-Paul in the surrounding woods acts as a trigger effect, and Captain America never subdues Wolverine. Logan escapes and Hydra redoubles their efforts. Six months later this 'What If?' story begins, and the changes in the hero community are far and wide, simply because Wolverine was not captured and deprogrammed by S.H.I.E.L.D.
"The world has just learned of the internal struggle between Wolverine/ Hydra and the Marvel heroes," Robinson continued. "S.H.I.E.L.D. has kept a lid on the situation for months as they attempted to deal with Hydra and The Hand. But recent events cracked the story wide open. Now faith in the hero community is fractured. Nobody knows who to trust as Hydra continues to convert the victims in Logan's bloody wake. Now, pushed to the edge, S.H.I.E.L.D. takes the logical step to deal directly with Wolverine, and thus our story turns--but on a surprising personal level."
In Robinson's story, a number of surviving heroes have banded together to try to end the threat of Hydra, The Hand and their ultimate weapon, Wolverine, "We have Captain America leading the charge with Sue Storm, Magneto and Kitty Pryde who form a last stand," Robinson stated. "Working with Nick Fury they create the ultimate plan - but at what price will they pay to see it completed? That's the rub, and this is where I switch the tables on the reader. I don't want to spoil much, but let's say very old friends have to deal with their own emotional demons for this plan to work. It becomes a personal battle - and the war against Hydra will hinge on the outcome."
The heroes that encountered Wolverine at the beginning of the original "Enemy of the State" storyline faced a conflicted opponent because a small part of Logan's psyche was fighting against his brainwashing; the heroes making a stand against Wolverine in "What If? Wolverine Enemy of the State" won't have that luxury. "Wolverine's mental struggle is no longer an issue," Robinson explained. "He's full tilt now. I didn't want another version of the same story. 'What If' titles should spin off ripples of change beyond the main character, not the same character. So, this is not your daddy's Wolverine. This is an enhanced, hyper-fed bio-implanted Wolverine created by Hydra and The Hand. He's now the Six Million Dollar Wolverine. Whatever the Marvel Universe thought of him before, they're wrong. And they're finding out too late. But let's be clear, this book isn't about how many heroes Wolverine can kill, this is about how his actions change the Marvel Universe - and what the remaining heroes do about it."
"What If? Wolverine Enemy of the State" may only be a one-shot, but Robinson has jam packed the book with loads of action and characterization. "A one-shot on this magnitude has to hit the key moments quickly and effectively," he stated, "I know its tough condensing flashback battles with Spider-Man down to one page, but with only 22 pages you go in hard and fast. But the pay off is worth it. Readers will find a compelling story of personality, motivation and loss. Basically, when at war the flesh and blood become secondary to what matters most--family and soul. What happens to people when they are forced to do things against their will? Do you become the monster to kill the beast? These are some of the aspects I wanted to explore. Wolverine has become a force of nature; a hurricane of sorts. How do you prepare, and how will your past history with characters affect your actions? The Marvel Universe is ripe with personal histories. When they go to war against their own (as in 'Civil War') you change as an individual. All 'What If?' stories are about change."
The protagonists of "What If? Wolverine Enemy of the State" are struggling to cope with the changes that Wolverine's slaughter has wrought on their world and within themselves. "As I noted, in war the lines are blurred between heroes and the villain," Robinson said. "Are you still a hero if you perform un-heroic deeds, if your motivation is to stop a greater evil, which means losing your soul? Wolverine is more than just a man in a suit. He represents the animal in all of us, but balanced by his humanity. Losing that balance is dangerous, not just to him, but to friends and relationships in the Marvel Universe. Captain America is the ultimate super soldier, he has a mission and he knows the cost. Sue Storm has family at stake, and she wants a better future for them. Magneto has personal battles, and as a past villain will he play fair, or take it to the next level? Kitty Pyrde has the longest personal history with Logan, and events in 'Enemy of the State' have crushed her due to Jean-Paul's death. In short, I worked up a cast that's not walking lock-step to some mission orders. The Marvel Universe is one huge soap opera and you don't just rip through it without getting dirt under the skin."
Robinson enjoyed working on "What If? Wolverine Enemy of the State," which is his first project for Marvel Comics. "I just want to give a shout out to the Marvel Editors. They helped kick around ideas and allowed me to play in the sandbox with some serious heavy hitters in the MU. I'm looking to work on other characters in the future, so who knows where I'll be next. Also, between Shadowline's 'Bomb Queen' and Marvel's Wolverine I don't want to get pegged as the go-to guy for blood and violence. Honestly, I'm a very down to earth and nice guy. Just ignore the dead bodies."