The original Wolverine returned in his own solo-title with the advent of 'Dawn of X,' which revitalized the X-Men line and established a new mutant status quo. And now, with the 'Best There Is' re-established as one of the core characters of Marvel's X-Men franchise, writer Benjamin Percy is guiding Logan in a massive story that kicked off in December 30's Wolverine #8/#350 - a milestone issue that brought back aspects of Wolverine's Weapon X legacy.
Newsarama spoke with Percy about what's ahead in Wolverine as he crosses paths with his old ally/rival Maverick, catches up to new 'X of Swords' villain Solem, and sets Wolverine on a path to once again clash with none other than Sabretooth, Wolverine's most vicious foe.
Newsarama: Benjamin, you've told us before that working on Wolverine is a dream assignment for you. What's it been like shepherding him through the milestone Wolverine #350?
Benjamin Percy: Every time I sit down at the desk, I feel stupidly grateful to be writing the series. I never take this role - as the custodian of Logan - for granted and try to put all my muscle and poison into every issue of Wolverine and X-Force in the hope that I can leave a memorable set of claw marks on a character that means so much to me.
Being part of a milestone issue like Wolverine #350? It's a great honor of course. It's also a moment where we necessarily paid homage to the past while also driving forward the current storyline.
History haunts Logan; it also haunts the story that kicked off in this oversized issue.
Nrama: Wolverine #350 put Logan on the trail of his old Weapon X teammate Maverick, with a mystery around his actions. Where's Maverick been?
Percy: We're introducing a new organization - called Legacy House - that offers black market auctions on superhero and supervillain collectibles. So you might have, say, a cyanide tooth from Black Widow or a Captain America shield or a cosmic surfboard up on the auction block.
But you know what's especially hot right now? Mutants.
So there are a few big surprises we'll encounter when the auctioneer takes the stage.
And Maverick just might be involved …
Nrama: On that note, where is this reunion for Wolverine and Maverick headed? What are they going up against, besides, potentially, each other?
Percy: If you've been following X-Force and Wolverine, you might know about an organization known as the Mercs. They were responsible for several heists involving Xavier's businesses…and an action sequence that famously resulted in Wolverine severed at the waist by an ambushed Krakoan gate…
There's a lot more to this group than we initially knew … and once again … Maverick just might be involved.
Keep this in mind: there's a reason he hasn't shown up on Krakoa. Dude's been busy.
Nrama: Wolverine #350 also returned to Madripoor, a classic Wolverine location. What is this tour of Wolverine's past building toward?
Percy: Madripoor is steeped in Wolverine history, so of course we had to get in some Patch action. But more than that … consider how the island is a kind of dark mirror to Krakoa.
I'm interested in its lawlessness and dangerous seduction and black market possibilities. It's a great stage for drama. I'll be returning to it many times over the next few years.
Nrama: You've been working with artist Adam Kubert through this volume of Wolverine, and he took center stage on Wolverine #350. What's it been like establishing a rapport with Adam as this series has gone on?
Percy: Adam is a legend. One of the most iconic artists to ever bring Wolverine to life. He's also a gentleman. And a pal.
I love it when comics can exist only as comics. When they're not simply a film reel, but something that requires visual literacy unique to the medium. That's what Adam brings to every page he draws.
I'm not being hyperbolic when I say that the layouts for Wolverine #9 - which continues the story set up in Wolverine #8/350 - are some of the most dynamic I've ever seen in a comic.
Sixteen-panel grids, people.
You heard that right.
Nrama: Wolverine was recently embroiled in 'X of Swords,' which could have massive ramifications through the X-Men. How will we see that play out in Wolverine's solo title going forward?
Percy: In 'X of Swords', we introduced Solem, a delicious new character who is a kind of Loki to Wolverine's Thor. On the one hand, he mirrors Logan's power set, since his skin is a kind of micro-fibrous version of adamantine. On the other hand, they couldn't be more different, since Solem is an eely, slick bastard who plays three-dimensional chess and chases pleasure above all else. When you put him next to the blunt instrument that is Wolverine…there's good fun to be had.
The last we saw, Solem pulled a sleight of hand mid-tournament and forced Wolverine to take his place in a sword fight against War. We're going to bring him back in a huge way—in a game-changing story that kicks off in June.
Spoiler: he's been up to no good.
Also … without saying too much … readers might have noticed there is a realm of the vampires in Sevalith … and … ahem … that might connect to some of what I've already set up in Wolvie with the bloodsuckers
… ahem …
Nrama: Wolverine's arguably greatest enemy Sabretooth was cast into exile early in 'Dawn of X' – but with so much of Logan's past returning, could Sabretooth make a comeback as well?
Percy: All I can say is … right now I'm finishing the blueprint for a major story—the biggest one I've ever told in comics—that I'm calling the mother of all Wolverine stories … and for that, I'm going to need the father of all Wolverine villains.
Nrama: Bottom line, what do readers need to know about what comes next, after Wolverine #350?
Percy: We're just getting (the bloodbath) warmed up, bub.
Keep track of the upcoming adventures of Wolverine and the rest of Marvel's mutants with our listing of upcoming X-Men comics through March.