May 2, 2018 - HUNT FOR WOLVERINE - WEAPON LOST #1, ASTONISHING X-MEN #11
This one’s coming to you a bit (well, a week) late, because I didn’t have time to type it up – but the good news is that you’ll get two updates on a single day. Without further ado (I’ll save most of the new info for the May 9 post,) here are my writers notes on Weapon Lost #1 and Astonishing X-Men #11.
First, Weapon Lost #1 (or, as it’s actually titled, Hunt for Wolverine: Weapon Lost #1), with art from Matteo Buffagni, colors by Jim Charalampidis and letters by Joe Sabino. The cover below is by Greg Land and Shane Davis.
Weapon Lost is one of the four miniseries that will cover the search for Wolverine’s missing body, stolen from his grave by… ??? It stars Daredevil, Frank McGee (a grizzled Inhuman ex-cop I created with Pepe Larraz for my Inhuman series), Misty Knight (another ex-cop, but not inhuman, except maybe for her robot arm) and Doug Ramsey, aka Cypher, a mutant and X-Men member who can speak and understand all manner of languages and codes. It’s strongly rooted in the traditions of detective and noir stories, down to the art, coloring and the way I have Daredevil narrating the book. It’s designed to be very pulpy and fun.
This first issue was a “getting the team together” story, in which Daredevil, er, gets the team together. I like these, because although it doesn’t really progress the story too much, it gives the reader a chance to understand why we’re seeing the story told through the lens of these particular people, and sets up character dynamics that can play out when things get really intense down the road. And… they will.
Fun fact – WEAPON LOST was the title I wanted to use for the Weapon X Project miniseries I did which immediately followed up on the Death of Wolverine back in 2014-2015. It was negged, which I always thought was a bummer (I personally think “Weapon X Project” doesn’t tell you as much as “Weapon Lost,”) but hey, if I’ve learned one thing in comics, it’s that ideas come around. You’ll often get another shot at stuff you couldn’t do or couldn’t make work at some earlier time.
Response to this issue seems to have been extremely strong, with people really liking the very specific vibe. I think that’s something we writers of superhero comics forget (I do it too, although I try not to) – superhero stories don’t just have to be huge action pieces. These characters work in all sorts of settings.
But speaking of HUGE ACTION PIECES, let’s talk about Astonishing X-Men #11! Art by the amazing Ron Garney, colors by Matt Milla, letters by Clayton Cowles – it’s Team Daredevil reunited! (Cover here also by Greg Land - it's a Greg Land kind of week, I suppose!)
This is the second-to-last issue in my twelve-issue run on this title, and the end of the book’s second act “A Man Called X.” That means there’s just one more act to go, which is called… “Mindkiller.” A one issue, one-act play. This series has been so much fun to create and work on, especially with all the different artists. Ron Garney’s just the latest in a line of superstars to draw issues for the series. I’ve spoken a bit about that process and how it worked in earlier installments on this page, and I’ll do a bigger wrapup (probably) once AXM #12 comes out in about a month, but it was a fascinating challenge.
There’s a big twist ending for this issue, which some readers saw coming, others didn’t. That’s sort of the nature of twists, though. If you don’t telegraph them a little, then they don’t land right, but if you set them up too much, then they don’t feel surprising when they do happen. For my part, I think that twists should feel integral to the story you’re telling – surprising or not surprising, they should make sense. Sometimes the reason they make sense comes after you reveal the twist, sometimes before, but just taking a random left turn for shock value feels a little iffy to me. If all you have to generate reader interest is shouting HEY LOOK AT THIS via some crazy twist, it’s almost like you didn’t build a good story from the start. But sometimes… that’s all you’ve got, and I’m sure I’ll break my own rule soon enough in something I’m writing.
There you go – that’s the week of May 2. Next week (which is actually this week, as I type this) it’s a new issue of Darth Vader, and a huge trade I didn’t even know was coming out, the Death of Wolverine Complete Collection!