Father's Way: Daniel Way Talks "Wolverine Origins"

Fri, February 2nd, 2007 at 12:00am PST

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Dave Richards, Staff Writer

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Many father-son reunions involve tears, but most don't usually end with the son eviscerating the father. This was the scene at the end of Marvel Comics' "Wolverine Origins" #10, in which Wolverine had his first face-to-face meeting with the son he only recently discovered he had. "Origins" #10 was the concluding chapter to the "Savior" story arc, and CBR News spoke with writer Daniel Way about the fallout from that story and what readers can expect in the next storyline.

Readers of "Origins" #10 only saw Wolverine's son from behind, but it was clear that he was sporting a distinctive hairstyle. "I said to Steve Dillon [artist of 'Origins'], let me run this by you and see what you think," explained Way to CBR News. "It all came from thinking about Spartans and the helmet with the big comb on the head. So you're in a little walled city in Ancient times and you look out and on the horizon you see that profile and you know you're in deep shit. You don't have to know who it is, you just see that profile and you're like, 'It's the Spartans! I'm fucked!'

"Wolverine Origins" #10, page 22
"Wolverine has that going on as well," Way continued. "If you see his silhouette with that hair he has, you know who it is. So, we said the son's got to have signature hair. How do we go with that? We were like what about a Mohawk? Not Wendy O. Williams style, just something kind of short that he can slick back and put on a suit and still look halfway fashionable."

Way's boss at Marvel Comics came up with the exact look of the son's hairstyle. "Joe Quesada did the character design," he explained. "He came up with basically what you saw. There's a lot more. We haven't shown all of it but there is a lot of design involved with that character."

"Wolverine Origins" #10, page 23
One of the things readers of "Origins" #10 did see was Wolverine's son's training in black and covert operations; his skills displayed when he snuck into a S.H.I.E.L.D. facility to strike at his father. "In 'Origins,' we've established that Wolverine was being trained for essentially black ops way, way before Weapon X," Way stated. "The seeds have been sewn to show that Logan's training has gone back to the days of his time with Silver Fox. That's when he was first brought in. So there's this, let's just call it a secret society, that has been training him, pushing his buttons, steering him in a particular way and controlling his memories. We showed that in 'Savior.'

"Wolverine has always fought this," Way continued. "That's why they had to treat him like they did. The son was raised inside of this society. He's not fighting it at all. To him, this is normal life. This is just the way things are. He's not conflicted about it all. He has all the training that Logan has, he just doesn't have the experience. But he's slick. Logan is definitely a guy who can sneak in and out of places but he gets kind of loud and things get nasty mostly because he has anger issues, but his son is much stealthier. In some respects he's better at this than Logan is."

"Wolverine Origins" #10, page 24
In addition to seeing his stealth skills, readers of "Origins" #10 also saw that just like his dear old dad, Wolverine's son has claws. But readers shouldn't make the mistake of thinking he has all the same powers as his father. "If anything, their powers kind of cancel each other out," Way explained. "The nature of mutation is that it's always changing. So, even though the son is very familiar to his father, he also has mutations of mutations. We'll be seeing that later on down the line; his mutation makes him almost a perfect match against his father."

Wolverine will most likely have many more battles with his son and he also hasn't seen the last of another opponent he faced in "Savior." Readers can be sure that Omega Red's vendetta against Wolverine is far from over. "The Carbonadium that's attached to his body, it's corroding," Way said. "Its unstable and the clock is ticking on Omega Red. Now he was fucking crazy before, but he's going to get a lot worse because what does he have to lose?

"When Axel Alonso and I we're talking about using Omega Red, we both believed that when he was introduced, Omega Red was the baddest motherfucker ever," Way stated. "He put Team X on its ass single handedly. Then it seems like since then he's been played like a tool. He was just a joke. So how do we get him back to his glory days? In my opinion -- and luckily I get to act on that because I'm writing the book [laughs] -- Omega Red is not a Russian crime lord. The thought of maintaining a syndicate and meetings? No. Omega Red plays for team Omega Red 24/7-365. He's got no compunctions what so ever, which is why he popped up on the radar of the same people that brought in Sabretooth and Wolverine. They we're like, 'We like Arkady Rossovich. He kills and doesn't ask too many questions.' The only problem is he's just a bit too crazy. That's going to come full circle not too long down the road."

One character that we probably won't be seeing again in "Origins," for at least a long while is Dum Dum Dugan, who appeared to have received a mortal wound when Wolverine's son stabbed him in the chest at the end of issue #10. "I can tell you that Marvel is in the business of creating characters not knocking them off, at least not forever," Way stated. "So, I'm sure Dum Dum Dugan will pop back up beside Marvel characters who have bounced back from a lot worse than stab wounds in the chest. I think we toned down that scene a bit; when I originally wrote it I believe he got it in the neck."

With one of their legendary agents violently taken out of action because of Wolverine's quest into his past some readers might expect S.H.I.E.L.D. to intensify their hunt for Logan. "That's something we're addressing," Way said. "Looking back through, not really military history, but the history of secret wars you see how in certain conflicts you end up with untouchables; where it's worse to go after them then to leave them in power and try to influence them. That's the situation that's rapidly approaching with Wolverine, especially with everything else going on in the Marvel Universe, look at just the manpower alone it takes to track down one man. The acting director of S.H.I.E.L.D. has to take a look at it and says, 'It's a nightmare. Every time we've tried to put a finger on this guy a bomb goes off. We've got dead good guys, dead bad guys and lots of collateral damage. And what do we have to show for it? Zilch.'

"Essentially Wolverine is going after bad guys," Way continued. "So, if anything, they're not going to just leave him alone, but maybe they'll throw a couple of bad guys in his path. Maybe they can take someone else who is problematic and throw them in Wolverine's path? If nothing happens, they're no worse off. If one of them dies they've got one less problem. If both of them die? Well, then crack open the champagne."

In future issues of "Origins," the current acting director of S.H.I.E.L.D. will have to reconsider their organization's stance on Wolverine and the former director of S.H.I.E.L.D. might finally pop up for a face-to-face meeting with Logan. "I think a lot of people are wondering, 'why isn't Nick Fury in this book?'" Way said. "But something I don't think a lot of fans realize is that as writers we can't just pick who we want and go with it. We basically have to get in line and take a number. You have to petition for it and kind of angle your way into it. I've been on the phone with Marvel and talking about that. We're still seeing where the lay of the land is, but I love writing the Nick Fury character."

"Wolverine Origins" #11, page 1
"Origins" #11, the first chapter of a new story arc titled "Swift and Terrible" begins shortly after Wolverine's gut shredding first encounter with his son, which resulted in him being released from his restraints. "When Wolverine comes to he's just seen his son's face and knows what he looks like but he's wondering why his son did this." Way stated. "Why did he basically spring him out of prison if he hates him so much? If he hates him so much why didn't he just leave him there to rot? It's because there's only one better way to stick it to Wolverine and that's to beat him at what he does. It's like he's saying, 'I know you're going to come after me. Let's do this on open ground.'

"In our introductory scene in the following issue Logan's son comes across as the biggest bastard since Henry the VIII," Way continued. "He's not a likeable guy but he got dealt a pretty shitty hand. He's been raised by not the most desirable people in the world."

"Wolverine Origins" #11, page 6
In "Swift and Terrible" Wolverine must reevaluate his original plan to use the Carbonadium Synthesizer to neutralize his son. "Wolverine passed of a fake Carbonadium Synthesizer and S.H.I.E.L.D. has it because he gave it to Dugan. So Logan's first assumption, and it's a pretty good one is that the kid was there in the S.H.I.E.L.D. facility so maybe he got wind of what's going on," Way explained. "Maybe the kid was looking for the Synthesizer and realized it was a fake. So where did dad hide the real one?

"The other side of that is Wolverine wants to confront his son and he wants to save him but it would be pointless without the Carbonadium Synthesizer. It would be just a bloodbath with those two going at it. He doesn't want to cut up his own son," Way said. "He knows his son will live but some scars just don't heal. So now should he go for the real Synthesizer, which Black Widow put in safekeeping in Brussels? Or does he hang back and force a confrontation? What does he do? He has to come up with a plan and he has to do it in a fucking hurry."

"Wolverine Origins" #11, page 7
Wolverine needs to hurry because in "Swift and Terrible," someone else is coming to disrupt his cat-and-mouse game with son. "There's a spanner in the works, a third player. He's a character we're bringing back, who again had a great introduction and frankly a fantastic death, Cyber." Way said. "They killed the hell out of Cyber[laughs] Even by comic book standards that mother fucker was dead but we found a way to bring him back that just like everything else in 'Origins' is built on continuity and history. In one of my favorite Wolverine stories, Cyber got his eye plucked out by Wolverine and dunked into a vat of hallucinogenic drugs which made him got a bit crazy. Also it heightened Cyber's psychic abilities. Before he could just track someone at a psychic level but after, his abilities grew to scary levels. It was always uneven and shaky."

"Cyber was sold up the river and he had these mutant Death Watch Beetles thrown on him and they ate him," Way Continued. "So Cyber retreated to the only place that he could escape to, which meant he had to leave his body. He went on a trip and now he's back. He had to get himself together. He had to find a suitable place to land in. Something like that can't be easy. You have to find the perfect target and he finds the perfect target working on a farm somewhere in America. Once he's back among the living, Cyber has got one thing on his mind and that's revenge against the people who screwed him. That kind of puts him on the same track as Wolverine; not a parallel track, it's more like two cars going at each other at about 150 miles an hour. They're destined for a smash up. It was never going to be easy for Wolverine to track down, face, or fight his son but now Cyber has gotten involved. Wolverine gets shaky around Sabretooth because he knows the score with Sabretooth but he's out and out scared of Cyber."

"Wolverine Origins" #11, page 9
Logan's fear of Cyber stems from their past experiences as the flashback sequences in "Swift and Terrible" will illustrate. "Cyber was Silas Burr and we'll find out that Burr was also a player in the secret society," Way said. "He was a trainer but not of basic skills. Cyber was there to put the finishing touch, the razor's edge, on you. To be the man you've got to beat the man and Logan is the best there is at what he does but he learned how to do it from Cyber back in the day, which we'll see. Cyber is a bad mother fucker."

As "Origins" progresses and Logan's hunt for the Secret Society that he and Cyber used to work for intensifies, readers will learn more about the mysterious organization. "The way we have this society built is that it is super secret and goes back a very long way," Way explained. "You'll start to see the scope of this in Jeph Loeb's first 'Wolverine' story. This was something that was created when the world was very small but it has existed since then. As the world has gotten bigger, the society, or the network itself hasn't had to expand its core, only its influence has grown."

Some of the events in "Wolverine: Origins" will be referenced in Jeph Loeb's first "Wolverine" story but readers won't have to read both titles to understand and enjoy "Origins." "It's not essential reading, I don't think" Way said. "But I've read the scripts and I've seen a good deal of the art and they're going so big with that first story. It really gives you a sense of what we're dealing with and laying out. "Origins is very heavy on continuity and reference and in some cases just out and out minutiae; stuff that you won't pick up on until ten issues later where you're like, 'Oh, I saw that back in that issue' but the story Jeph has is just this widescreen epic. It picks up and leaves you on its own. His story stands on its own and 'Origins' stands on it's own but read together they're extremely complementary.

"Obviously there are things pulled from 'Origins' that are in his story but at the same time he looked at my notes and where I was going and added to it," Way continued. "It's really a cool situation at Marvel. We have things like these creative retreats and chains of e-mail. Everybody tosses ideas in. Nobody is really hording things. Jeph and I personally haven't sat down and hammered things out but we've communicated via our editors on this and we've arrived at something that I'm pretty happy with."

Loeb's first "Wolverine" story arc and "Wolverine Origins" are all about Logan's quest for knowledge. In one of the flashback sequences of "Origins" #9 a character says something that's very important thematically, to Wolverine's quest for knowledge, "What you avoid knowing is sometimes more valuable than what you do know." "Logan right now is living, breathing proof of that," Way stated. "The last thing he wanted to know was that he was just as bad as and in fact worse than he always thought he was. When you think about that happening to you it makes you just want to lie down and quit. But Wolverine has always had this thing where he has to prove it to himself; to fight his nature. We've shown that when Wolverine loses his moral compass he's a man-eater, he's a bad dog but he fights that and that's what makes him heroic."

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