Tag Archives: #Wolverine

WHEN TWO TRIBES GO TO WAR: “AVX” – THE GENERALS

Super powered mad men, sinister super natural beings, intergalactic dictators and destructive cosmic entities are just some of the threats the Marvel Universe’s defenders confront on a daily basis. Diverse problems call for diverse heroics, so it’s no surprise Marvel heroes often clash when they come face to face. Usually these clashes are brief tussles occurring due to a misunderstanding in pursuit of another menace, but sometimes it’s a fight over ideologies. When this happens the heroes don’t just slug it out — they go to war! This April, ideologies clash when two of Marvel’s premiere super teams, the X-Men and the Avengers, do battle over how best to handle the threat of the Phoenix, a powerful and destructive cosmic entity heading towards Earth.

Chronicled in the 12-issue event miniseries “Avengers Vs. X-Men” by an all-star team of Marvel creators, “AvX” promises to bring a close look into the ideological stances behind both teams. In our first edition of WHEN TWO TRIBES GO TO WAR, our in-depth look at the important elements of “AvX,” we took a look at the various loyalties which will come into play over the course of the conflict. Today, we discuss the generals of the coming conflict: Cyclops, leader of the Utopia based faction of X-Men; Wolverine, leader of the X-Men team headquartered at the Jean Gray School for Higher Learning in New York; Captain America, leader of the Avengers; and Luke Cage, leader of the New Avengers. Discussing the generals of the conflict are “Uncanny X-Men” writer Kieron Gillen, incoming “Wolverine” writer Cullen Bunn and Senior Vice President of Publishing and Executive Editor Tom Brevoort whose office oversees the Avengers family of titles.

CAPTAIN AMERICA

Tom, Cap is generally recognized as one of, if not the greatest, military minds in the Marvel Universe. What is it about Cap that makes people stop and look to him for orders?

Tom Brevoort: Cap has both the practical experience — few other characters have been in an actual war, much less commanding men in one — and the personal charisma that allows him to lead people easily. It’s not just the uniform (though that was the starting point), but what Steve has done while wearing it, how he’s always comported himself, what his beliefs are and how they reflect through his actions. His indefatigable never-say-die attitude has carried him through to victory against opponents much more powerful than himself.

Does Cap expect those under his command to follow through on his orders without question or is he comfortable with others questioning his command decisions?

Brevoort: In general, Cap is democratic — he’s not looking for blind followers, but people whose ideals and idealism match his own and with whom he has common cause. That said, there’s a time and a place for dissent (though initiative is typically welcome).

Captain America is great at devising plans of attack and defense in the field but does he also have contingency plans? Does Steve Rogers sit around and come up with plans of attack and defense in his spare time?

Brevoort: Not as such, no. In his spare time, Cap works at self-improvement, maintaining and improving upon his physical skills and mental acuity. But he’s not one to have contingency plans should one of his allies go bad.

Cap went to war against his fellow heroes during “Civil War,” realizing in the end it was the wrong course of action. How comfortable is he in going to war with the X-Men at the beginning of “X-Men Vs. Avengers?” Are the events of Civil War weighing on his mind?

Brevoort: Cap is not very comfortable at having to do battle with the X-Men, but (from his point of view), as opposed to “Civil War,” in this case it’s not a principle at stake but the world and all its people. He’d happily sit down and discuss matters with Cyclops at length if he had the time — but he can’t afford such niceties with the fate of mankind at stake. He has no choice but to act.

Cap is a soldier who is presently in the position of having to be a General in both wartime and peace and those responsibilities wear on him a bit. He prefers to lead from the front and that’s not really an option when you’re the General.

CYCLOPS

Kieron, Captain America is widely regarded as the Marvel Universe’s best military mind but Cyclops is a close second. Why do you think that is and what are some of the chief similarities and differences between Cap and Cyclops?

Kieron Gillen: They are the two tactical powerhouses of the Marvel Universe. For a large portion of his life, Captain America has been the leader of the world’s premier super team and Cyclops has been a paramilitary since he was 16. Scott’s been doing this forever. So they’re both great tacticians, but Cyclops doesn’t have the likability of someone like Captain America. So he has to take a somewhat different approach.

The other major difference between Cyclops and Captain America is that on some level Cyclops has been expecting this. You could argue that Captain America is a more experienced tactician, but I don’t think that he’s been on his mind in the same way it has for Cyclops. Scott’s been thinking about what might happen if the Avengers come for him constantly. I think Cyclops is more prepared for things like this because he’s a leader of mutants. The Avengers are forces of the government and — fundamentally — the government made Sentinels.

So Cyclops is the type of leader who spends his free time thinking up contingency plans?

Gillen: I don’t think Cyclops really believes in the concept of free time. [Laughs] We’ve seen his plans to take down various threats. So he’s definitely spent some time considering various situations.

Plus, Cyclops is a guy who likes to be extremely prepared and he’s also slightly paranoid. That’s because the last few years have taught him people can betray you. Wolverine, a guy who’s had your back for years, can go off and leave him hanging. He put his trust in Sadie, the mayor of San Francisco and in the end she was planning to blow up Utopia. So he’s a guy who’s been let down a lot and because of that he’ll have plans to put into action if the worst happens. Because, for mutants, it generally does.

Earlier you commented that Scott doesn’t have the likeability of Captain America. What is it about Scott’s style of leadership that’s won him followers like Magneto, who like and believe in him and Hope and Namor who don’t like him, but stuck by him in the X-Men’s recent “Schism?”

Gillen: Scott doesn’t really need to be liked and I think everybody who follows Scott realizes he’s the guy who held mutants together in their darkest hour. It’s arguable whether or not mutants would be here without him. If he didn’t do what he did in “Second Coming,” Nimrods would probably have blown up Utopia and none of them would be here. So Scott has a track record. He got results and that’s created a level of faith in him.

I did an interview about Hope for Marvel.com and they asked me, “Hope and Scott argue all the time. Why did she stick with him?” The simple answer is because she agrees with him. I imagine sometimes she wishes she didn’t agree with Scott because than her life would be a lot easier. [Laughs] She was raised as a soldier by her father who was also a soldier. So her disagreements with Scott are about him as a person not his direction.

Other characters like Namor are a little different. We take an interesting look at what Namor thinks about Scott in the first “Uncanny” issue that ties into “AvX.”

We’ve talked about the beliefs of Cyclops’ followers, but what about the man himself? Once he commits to something, is he the type of person who can back down or change his mind?

Gillen: He believes Hope is the mutant messiah and that she’s going to save the mutant race. They just have to hold on long enough. That’s a really big leap of faith. He’s put so many chips into that bet I don’t think he can possibly back down from it. We’ve seen the “AvX” preview and he’s very much in Hope’s corner. So knowing that I think he’ll be very hard to talk out of things.

He is aware he could go too far though. That’s one of the reasons he recruited Storm for his Extinction team. He knows that if things go wrong she’ll be the ethical anchor. She’ll make sure that people on the team who are a little more ethically gray will not go too far. She’s explicitly there to disagree with Scott. So he’s fine being questioned on the details of how he executes things. He’s a big picture style leader. Everything else is secondary. To Scott that big picture right now is Hope. He believes only way mutants are going to grow and survive is through Hope.

Scott led mutants through their darkest hour and he’s now trying to lead them into their future. So “AvX” is one of the biggest battles in his career. The Phoenix is coming to Earth and this is everything he’s planned for and worked towards. So he is definitely a man to watch in this story.

LUKE CAGE

Tom, Luke Cage has proven to be an unorthodox, but pretty effective leader of the New Avengers. How would you describe Luke’s leadership style and why do you think it works?

Brevoort: I think Luke himself would argue with him being designated a leader. He’s the de facto leader of his Avengers squad, but not by design or desire. He’d much rather be concentrating on matters closer to home, but his unyielding integrity and dignity has cast him in a leadership role despite his desires. He’s a much more casual leader and one prone to sometimes forgetting that he is the leader. But when he stands on principle, it’s tough for people not to fall in behind him.

Luke is a guy who has no trouble speaking his mind and acting on his beliefs, but does he have trouble listening to team members telling him something he might not like to hear?

Brevoort: In the moment, perhaps, but not if what they’re saying makes sense. Luke does tend to let his passions drive him, but if you point out where he’s off-base, he’ll adjust what he’s doing if you have a point. He’s also not used to thinking as a leader, so he tends to make decisions for himself and then others follow along in his wake.

Unlike some of the other generals in this conflict, Luke Cage has a tight knit family pretty close by. Does having a family affect Luke’s effectiveness as a leader at all?

Brevoort: Only in that it gives him something to fight for and protect. Luke is very much guided by his ideal of how he wants his infant daughter to someday view him. He strives to be moral and worthy.

“Civil War” also drastically affected Luke Cage’s life and his relationship with his family. What’s Luke thinking about when this conflict begins? Is he ready to go to war?

Brevoort: Luke is one of the more conflicted Avengers because, as a minority member himself, the conflict with the X-Men resonates with him along civil rights lines. He knows bigotry, he’s got a healthy distrust of authority and it’s in his nature to pull for the underdog. As such, he’s got a lot of empathy for what the X-Men and the mutant community as a whole has been through. It’s not lost on him that the last time these two groups came together in a major way, an Avenger wound up neutering 98% of the mutant population. So he’s not one to blindly go along with things. Luke is on the cusp of having to make some hard decisions about what he wants out of life, so from that standpoint this crisis couldn’t have come at a worse time.

WOLVERINE

Cullen, we know Wolverine is a highly skilled covert operative and warrior, but in your opinion how much of his martial knowledge involves leading? Is Wolverine as good a general and tactician as he is a solo operator or is he more used to having someone else think about the bigger picture?

Cullen Bunn: Wolverine’s martial disciplines definitely have application for a leader and strategist, but Wolverine is far more comfortable on his own simply because he only has to worry about himself. With the current incarnation of X-Force, he probably breathes a little easier because that is a team of hard-asses. He knows they can take care of themselves. When there are people who might not be dyed-in-the-wool killers on his team, he gets a little distracted with the notion of protecting them from the horrors of war. These are things he has seen — things he is accustomed to — but we’ve seen him trying to protect “innocents” from similar sights. It’s a balance he’s coming to grips with but my guess is there is a significant learning curve.

We know Wolverine established his own branch of the X-Men to properly train the younger generation of mutants. Does that training and preparation apply to the X-Men who joined with him as well? Is Wolverine the type of leader to have contingency plans if he’s attacked?

Bunn: The Way of the Sword teaches warriors to keep both their mind and body flexible — ready to adapt — and Wolverine probably prescribes to this philosophy. He has contingency plans in place, I’d guess, but they aren’t these grand Machiavellian schemes. Instead, I think he’s always weighing several options and he’s ready to make a quick decision when the battlefield shifts.

Some generals like to surround themselves with people who may be unsure of their orders while others prefer to not have anyone question their decisions. Where do you think Wolverine falls in that spectrum?

Bunn: Wolverine doesn’t shy away from others challenging his authority. The X-Men he’s surrounded himself with — Kitty, Beast, Rachel and even Iceman — aren’t the type to blindly follow orders. That openness to ideas plays a role in the flexibility I mentioned earlier. At the same time, he’s ready to make some tough decisions and stand by his choices when the chips are down.

We’ve seen Wolverine lead X-Force and we’ve seen him lead his X-Men into battle against villains where he might not want to kill them, but probably won’t lose much sleep if he does. How comfortable do you think he will be leading a group of X-Men into battle against other heroes, where killing is not an option?

Bunn: I think this opens up a mixed bag of emotions for Wolverine. On one hand, he may feel something akin to relief. After all, he doesn’t want his teammates to be a group of killers, so a battle where killing is not an option may be more difficult but may afford him some level of comfort. On the other, he knows how quickly a fight can go terribly wrong. He’s caught in the middle of the Avengers and the X-Men. No matter which side he chooses, he’s going to be pitted against his friends. That’s not an enviable position.

Wolverine is one of the more self-reliant heroes in the Marvel Universe but he’s also a leader now. Do you think he’ll have trouble balancing his own initiative with his newfound responsibility?

Bunn: Wolverine will always be challenged to balance his inner “lone wolf” with the leadership roles he has taken on. What’s interesting is seeing how he adjusts to this new role. He’s always bristled a little at the leadership of others especially at first, but in his long life he has worked with some of the greatest leaders in the business — Captain America, Professor X, Cyclops — and his style of leadership is probably an amalgam of what he’s experienced. Still, he’s really experiencing leadership from “this side of the table” for the first time.

Check back soon for our next installment of WHEN TWO TRIBES GO TO WAR for a look at the powerhouse characters of “AvX”


Wednesday Comic Haul!

How’s it going, today’s January 11th 2012, and it’s another Wednesday comic book day. I always tell you people to go to your local comic shop whenever you can and go enjoy yourself. I went to mine here in rockin’ Milpitas, CA. Its name is Black Cat Comics.

 

Here’s my haul for this week:

              


Daken Says Goodbye

Now, I haven’t read any Daken: Dark Wolverine for a while now. I never got past beyond reading issue 2. It was a financial reason that I had to drop the book. I loved the story of the first arc, it was coinciding with the story of “Wolverine Goes To Hell” that started with the first arc of the relaunch of Wolverine. Together with X-23, Daken: Dark Wolverine always tied-in with Wolverine’s solo book. After 16 to 18 issues, the sales dropped(stated in comicbookresources.com). 

Marvel has decided to cancel Daken’s book after the 23rd issue. 

Daken: Dark Wolverine #20 starts the arc that will end the series

 

Here’s Rob William’s(Current Writer) take on the cancelation and his new story arc with Venom:

 

1) You seem to write a lot of anti-heroes (Ghost Rider, Daken, Uncanny X-Force). Why are you drawn to characters like these?

I guess because of their complexity. I love shows like “Breaking Bad,” “Boardwalk Empire,” “The Sopranos” — that thing of making you like a character, then pulling the rug out from under you by having them do something really horrible. That’s good drama.

Also, misdirections; playing with the audience’s expectations. God bless people who can write a really compelling Superman — that’s hard to do. You know that character’s going to do the right thing, whatever. It’s in their DNA. I think we all get affected by the pure altruism of a good heroic act, and that’s something that gives you faith in human beings. It’s why we love those noble characters. But the nuanced, grey area characters offer more dramatic scope, I think. 

2) Can I ask a stupid question? How can a female ghost rider have breasts if she has no skin?

This is a skeleton with its head on fire riding a motorbike. But you’re right, the boobies make no sense!

3) You’ve had two books cancelled on you within a month of each other. Not to rub salt in this wound, but is it hard as a writer not to take this personally?

Begin the salt rubbing! Being honest, of course I took it personally. You’re enormously invested in the books you create, in terms of the amount of time and energy you put into your stories, the emotion you put into them, your career, the money it brings into your household (creators have mortgages to pay, families to feed, etc.).

With any book you buy, there’s an awful lot of the personality of the creators in those pages. So when a book gets cancelled, you do take it very personally. And while you can look at how tough the market is right now and examine the sales figures — and “Daken: Dark Wolverine” and “Ghost Rider” were both still outselling an awful lot of very good comics — you still find yourself asking, “What could I have done differently to bring in new readers?” You feel responsible for their cancellation to an extent, even though I’ve written a lot of material in “Daken” and “Ghost Rider” that I’m proud of.

The people at Marvel were very enthusiastic about my work on those titles. It’s not like they were shut down because of the standard of the comics — as far as I know, anyway. If you know different then shhhhh. The industry’s just a scary place right now, and on a rational level, you accept that and try not to take things too personally. But, yes, you feel down about the news and beat yourself up for a few days and then you get back on the horse and keep writing stories. Not literally, you understand — I don’t own a horse.


4) Aside from “Venom: Circle of Four,” do you have any other projects from Marvel percolating?

I’m wrapping up “Ghost Rider” as we speak, with a big explosive finale that’s going to finalize Alejandra and Johnny Blaze’s character arcs. The final four issues of “Daken: Dark Wolverine” is a storyline I’m very excited about. And the Venom crossover, which I’ve co-written along with Rick Remender and Jeff Parker, has been a huge amount of fun. I’m busy. In terms of what’s upcoming — nothing I can talk about at the moment.

5) I’m sorry to say, but I’ve never read any of your “Judge Dredd” stuff (although I’ve heard it’s great). I’m not even familiar with the character past the Sylvester Stallone flick. What would you recommend I read to learn about the character and enjoy your books? 

In terms of the character? There’ve been so many great Judge Dredd stories over the years. If I had to advise you to buy one graphic novel, I’d say “The Complete Case Files 05.” That’s got the “Block Mania/Apocalypse War” in there, which is just one of the best action comics you’ll ever read in your life. And the art — Mick McMahon at his absolute genius best! Brian Bolland, Carlos Ezquerra — it’s stunning stuff!

In terms of my Dreddworld stories, I’ve written a few Dredds I like. “Out Law,” the one-off I did with Guy Davis (“B.P.R.D.,” one of my favorite artists, so that was a thrill), is collected in “Mega City Masters 03.” But the bulk of my Dreddworld work comes in my future crime series “Low Life,” which has been running since 2004, I think.

“Low Life” is about undercover cops in Judge Dredd’s city, and the early stories were collected in “Low Life: Paranoia” last year. The “Low Life” stories I’ve done with D’isreali (“Scarlet Traces”) in recent years, which I think are some of the best things I’ve done, are being collected in “Mega City Undercover 2,” which is coming out in March, I believe.

Thanks for the great list of reading over winter break, Rob!

Ramelito is next, and he wants to know what pushes Daken’s buttons.

1) What would you say motivates Daken? Is it revenge? Or pure entertainment?

Both, really. I think his primary motivation would be revenge, but I’m not even sure he could say for what. It’s a hugely deep rooted thing — 80 levels deep or more. He should have been born an innocent, but his mother was murdered, his father wasn’t around and his genetic lineage is to be this monstrous killer.

And then there’s how he was raised, which is a carnal house. He’s got every right to be angry at the world. But still, somewhere along the line, he made his choice. There’s probably an idealistic being of beauty deep inside there somewhere — one that’s enormously bitter about being ruined, but good luck finding it.

2) Are you going to be able to wrap up everything you wanted to do with Daken before the book concludes?

To an extent. His emotional journey, we’re going to get to the point of that. I’d have liked to have stuck around and showed him growing into one of Marvel’s main super villains. That was the main arc of the book. I’ll be keeping the same theme and making the same points I wanted to make; we’re just making it somewhat quicker. In terms of the question, “Can Daken be redeemed,” issue #20 answers that. I’m pretty proud of that issue. It’s a self-enclosed love story, albeit one that’s very Daken. It gets to the heart of him, I think.

3) Is there any chance for a Daken/Ghost Rider crossover before you go? What do you think a “penance stare” would do to Daken?

No, that won’t be happening. I considered it briefly before the cancellations, but decided they were different books, different tones. I didn’t want to muddle it. I imagine Daken wouldn’t be that affected by the penance stare. He has no remorse. No guilt. All the things that Ghost Rider preys upon aren’t inside Daken. He’s not wired that way.

Daken: Dark Wolverine #23 - The last issue of the series

Frank15 has heard about your upcoming project and he’s dying to learn more. Can you put him out of his misery? 

1) Can you tell us any details about “Venom: Circle of Four?” What is the catalyst for the events that follow? 

I don’t want to give too much away here other than to say that something very evil is going down in the Nevada desert. Red Hulk’s searching for Venom, X-23’s on the hunt for someone who’s stolen her blood and the Ghost Rider’s drawn to whoever needs vengeance most. Then the stakes raise to the point where the soul of every person on planet Earth is at risk, bringing them together.

It’s huge fun in the spirit of Walt Simonson and Art Adams’ “Fatal Four.” The visuals that Tony Moore has created for Venom #13, the 30-page launch issue, are absolutely dynamite. Seriously, this isn’t me schilling something I’m involved with — it’s a phenomenal looking book. I think Tony said on Twitter recently that it’s the work of his career, and I buy that. Lots of scope for crazy, crazy imaginative visuals in this storyline.

2) How is the work being split amongst all the writers? Did you each take a portion of the story? Or did you create the story and split the scripting of it?

In creating the story from scratch, it was basically Rick Remender, Jeff Parker, myself and a bunch of Marvel editors knocking ideas back and forth via email. Other people were involved briefly at varying stages. Jason Aaron was initially involved, I think; Marjorie Liu was involved for one phone call. Then, past a certain point, it was Rick, Jeff, Editor Jeanine Schaefer and me on a number of conference calls.

The final conference call was a big, monster two-and-a-half hour session between Rick, Jeff and myself, just nailing down the final beats. It’s been a lot of fun. Incredibly collaborative, as you can gather, and everyone’s been very open and cool throughout. That’s been the best thing about it. We’ve all gotten excited by the storyline, all bounced ideas back and forth. Whichever issue you read, no matter who’s scripting it, there’s bits of all of us in there. A writer’s room approach.

From a personal point of view, it’s fascinating and really educational to see how writers of the caliber of Rick and Jeff work. Rick’s all high energy ideas, really generating the momentum of the storyline; Jeff stays quiet for a while, and then when he does offer an idea, it’s, “Bang!” He just nails the point we were circling around. They’re both very, very good. It’s inspiring and intimidating to be working in that environment.

Last but never least, Renaldo hopes to hear more about crossovers and a dream-team of your creation:

1) Does the Ghost Rider cancellation have any impact on the upcoming Venom crossover? Also, how did you, Jeff, and Rick get together to formulate this event?

The cancellation doesn’t affect the Venom event. Ghost Rider’s involvement was happening before the cancellation. Once the Venom event ends in #13.4, we go into Ghost Rider #9, which is our final 30-page issue. That’ll tie up the Alejandra-Johnny Blaze storyline. 

2) Of the other characters — Red Hulk, X-23, and Venom — which would you like a crack at writing solo?

Hmmm — I’d like a crack at the Hulk at some point. That would be fun. Venom’s intriguing, too. I like the whole idea of the symbiote being addictive — plus it just offers some amazing visuals. Sorry, X-23, but I’ve written Wolverine’s offspring already.

3) As Daken is ending, will he abandon his plans for LA and Madripoor and return to his old ways? Maybe as Osborn’s killing machine? Or possibly taking a swipe at Logan’s new kids at the Jean institute?

You’ll have to read our final arc, running through #20-23, to find out. But you may be on the right track, there. I’m really very pleased with the last Daken arc. It’s very him, I think. It has a twisted worldview you don’t get in many mainstream superhero books. Marvel was always very supportive in allowing me to approach Daken in that way.

4) Last time I emailed into X-POSITION, we discussed the Vela and Gallas cameos in your Daken comic…and it seems we brought some luck to Arsenal! Which soccer players would you pick, from any nation/club, to comprise your soccer Avengers?

Soccer Avengers!!! Erm — Captain America would be Landon Donovan; Hawkeye would be Robin Van Persie (see what I did there?); Ultron would be Roberto Mancini; Dr. Doom would be Alex Ferguson; Batroc the Leaper would be Arsene Wenger (blatant racial stereotype!). We’d better stop this now…


Wolverine #300

Wolverine #300 regular cover

Marvel is holding its fourth and final “Next Big Thing” press conference call of the week right now, and CBR is on hand to bring you all the details. Refresh your browser from 1-2 EST for the latest updates.

On Monday, the “Next Big Thing” was a new creative team for “Astonishing X-Men,” namely Marjorie Liu and Mike Perkins; Tuesday found Dan Slott taking “Amazing Spider-Man” to “The Ends of the Earth;” and Wednesday David Lapham found himself in the “Age of Apocalypse.” In store for today is news of “Wolverine” #300, courtesy of Jason Aaron and editor Janine Schaefer.

Junior Sales Administrator James Viscardi emcees the discussion.

The call began with the announcement that “Wolverine” #300 will begin Aaron’s final arc on the series.

“I’ve been doing ‘Wolverine’ for as long as I’ve been doing comics,” Aaron reflected, referring to his first publish work being a talent search winner. “This will be a great story to go out on, the biggest Wolverine story I’ve ever done.” The story will pit Wolverine against the Yakuza.

Viscardi said Aaron had “put Wolverine through the wringer,” but Aaron said it’s “one big wringer.”

Aaron clarified that he will still be writing Wolverine in “Wolverine and the X-Men.”

The final arc will send Wolverine back to Japan and feature “the biggest group of supervillains” Aaron has ever used, the writer said. Schaefer said Aaron had been talking about doing this story since before the “Wolverine goes to hell” arc, but that it fit better with the #300 issue celebration.

Asked about highlights of his run, Aaron cited his first full story in “Wolverine #56” with Howard Chaykin. “I was real excited to prove myself, I did an oversized Wolverine story—I think it was 36 pages—and it was with Howard Chaykin.” He said he was nervous, though, as he’d never met Axel Alonso and had trouble pinning him down for a chat. Finally, catching up with Alonso at a convention Hyatt, Alonso reportedly told him, “What do you need to talk to me about? Sit down and write the fucking book!”

The arc will introduce a new Silver Samurai, the son of the Samurai killed in issue #1. “He’s not the same Silver Samurai as his dad,” Aaron said, citing different motivations, personalities, and costume. The design is by Steven Chambers, and Schaefer called it “awesome.”

Aaron said he’s leaving in part because of his busy schedule, but also because “2012 is a period of transition for me,” with “Punisher MAX” and “Scalped” also ending.

Aaron cited the Frank Miller and Chris Claremont stories set in Japan as some of his favorites, particularly for their treatment of Yukio and “all the ninjas and guys with samurai swords.” He said, though, he wants to take things further than just a big fight scene. “But there’s still lots of ninjas.”

“There’s a scene where the Hand question, ‘if somebody wants to hire us, what can we offer? We can give them 20 guys jumping through a window in ninja costumes, or 40 guys jumping through the window in ninja costumes,” Aaron said, adding that the Hand will “want to become something more.”

Asked about Japan as a visual environment, Aaron noted the opportunity to show both “the streets of Tokyo and an idyllic country setting.” He added that he and Janine discussed how to mention the tsunami. “We didn’t want to do a story in Japan that didn’t reference it, but we didn’t want it to be emotional pornography, either.”

Aaron was asked about Wolverine’s transition from outsider to father figure. “When I won that Marvel talent search contest back in 2001, I was a single guy working a warehouse job, with no responsibility,” he said. “I got married, I had kids, all those things intertwined.” He added that “I grew up a lot over those years, maybe I wanted Wolverine to grow up a little bit.” This growing responsibility culminated in “Wolverine and the X-Men,” where he leads the new school for mutants.

“But he’s still the guy who can pop the claws,” Aaron said. “There’s just a little more to him.”

Aaron sees Sabretooth as “a bigger, meaner version of Wolverine” and “all the things rolled into one that Wolverine most hates about himself.” “It’s fun to write the two of them together.”

Regarding the new Silver Samurai, Aaron said he has plans for the character “beyond this arc.” “The original Silver Samurai was kind of cool but he was clunky, he always had that big armor,” he said. “The new Samurai is like a streamlined, Japanese Iron Man.” Viscardi joked that the images showing the old Samurai sitting down were “impossible.”

Asked about highlights of his run, Aaron said “it’s all been highlights” and he’s had the chance to tell many different kinds of stories, including stories involving the drug trade and more dark, mystical tales.

Schafer added that Wolverine “takes on the aspects of whatever story you throw him into” and that Aaron has fully capitalized on this.

Aaron said that some characters and situations will carry over into “Wolverine and the X-Men,” but the arc that begins in #300 will wrap up threads from his run contained in the ongoing “Wolverine” series.

“As things stand now, I’m very happy to have this be my send off from the book,” Aaron said, noting that “I’m setting up some stuff that will hopefully be fun for the next guy and building some toys I can take with me.

“Wolverine” #300 is on sale in January.



Whatcha’ lookin’ at, Bub?

The Canucklehead about to slice someone.