June 6, 2018- ASTONISHING X-MEN #12, HUNT FOR WOLVERINE- WEAPON LOST #2
Two big issues this week - Astonishing X-Men #12 and Weapon Lost #2, as well as (at last) the announcement of what the Hunt for Wolverine has been building up to - THE RETURN OF WOLVERINE, from me and true superstar Steve McNiven. We killed him in 2014... now we get to bring him back. But more on that in a bit - first, let's talk about Astonishing X-Men #12!
Writer: Charles Soule; Art: Gerardo Sandoval; Colors: Erick Arciniega; Letters; Clayton Cowles; Cover Artist: Greg Land
This issue ended my twelve issue planned run for Astonishing X-Men, and I am sorry to see it go - it ended up being a favorite run of my time at Marvel, with lots of great X-y moments and, of course, it brought Charles Xavier back to life in a new, different (decades younger, walking) form that will hopefully provide some cool story opportunities moving forward. (Or not! The way Marvel works, you can make the biggest change you want, but it doesn't necessarily mean it will stick.) Personally, I love the idea of a young Xavier (or "X," if you prefer) who doesn't feel the need to run a school for young mutants any longer. He's been given a new lease on life, and might be able to help the mutant cause in new, interesting ways. Time will tell...
Gerardo Sandoval had the art duties on this issue, and I think he did a phenomenal job. Every artist on the book did, really - and I know it couldn't have been easy to jump in to a story that was already moving, with previously established beats, a big cast, etc. I'd be lying if I didn't say I wonder what this book would have looked like with one artist for the whole thing. It was conceived as a multi-artist piece from the beginning, and it does work, but there's just something the develops between a writer and artist when they work closely together on one story for a long time. That's where the amazing unconscious magic starts to happen - the story soup comes to a boil. It happened here and there on AXM, but like I said... I wonder.
Just in my own work, you look at Curse Words with Ryan Browne and me, or Letter 44 with Alberto Jimenez Albuquerque, or She-Hulk with Pulido and Wimberly, or the Daredevil issues with Ron Garney. You get into a rhythm.
All of that said, I loved the experience of writing Astonishing X-Men, readers seemed to really enjoy it, and I'll put it up against any of my work. Now, it's in Matthew Rosenberg's capable hands. From what I know, he's got a very different plan - as he should - and I hope you'll stick around for it.
Weapon Lost #2 is part of the huge Hunt for Wolverine story, featuring a team of detective-types led by Daredevil as they search the Marvel universe for Logan's missing body. I wrote it, and then we had pencils,inks from Matteo Buffagni, colors from Jim Caralampidis and letters by Joe Sabino. The cover is by Greg Land.
By now, if you're reading this series, the detective/noir-y tropes should be well established in your mind. I had a number of things I needed to accomplish here, as far as nailing down some prior beats in Marvel continuity - places Wolverine has sort of been spotted here and there that have been hinting at his return. I wanted to get some fun character stuff going on for our crew, too, with beats relating to them running down the thousands of leads across the MU that hint at Logan's return. Of course, there are a lot of Wolverines running around the Marvel universe at any given time, and just because someone sees a Wolverine doesn't mean it's The Wolverine.
The ending was a little tough to write - even in two issues, I've come to really like Doug Ramsey, aka the mutant Cypher - but I don't think you can (or should) write a story like this without making the stakes feel high for the characters. Going out in search of a character like Wolverine needs to feel (and be) dangerous. We'll see what happens in #3, out next month - I think it's a heck of an issue. (And in the meantime, the second chapters of all the other minis will be hitting as well - Adamantium Agenda from Tom Taylor and RB Silva next week, then Claws of the Killer and Mystery in Madripoor in successive weeks.)
The other big news, of course, is the announcement of RETURN OF WOLVERINE from Steve McNiven and me, but I think that's significant enough to warrant its own blog post over in the "Latest News" section. I'll write that up and post it over there soon.
Next week - DARTH VADER #17, the conclusion of "The Burning Seas." I think it's a corker. See you back here then!