'Wolverine: Origin II' to offer classic Marvel characters in stripped down style
(CBR) -- Even adjusting for the Marvel Universe's sliding time scale, many of its heroes were born in the latter half of the 20th Century, but by the time Peter Parker, Tony Stark and Wade Wilson entered the world, Wolverine was already decades old. Thanks to his mutant healing factor, Logan is virtually immortal, and in 2002, writer Paul Jenkins and artist Andy Kubert explored Wolverine's early years with the miniseries "Origin." The series introduced readers to James Howlett, a sickly boy born on a Canadian plantation in the late 19th century, and by the time the series was over, readers saw how mutant powers and a number of tragedies turned Howlett into a savage man named Logan that ran with a pack of wolves.
Some of the secrets of Wolverine's later years have since come to light, but there are still big, lingering questions regarding how Logan returned to society and what, if any, enemies he made during his lost years.
This November, writer Kieron Gillen and artist Adam Kubert begin to answer those questions when they kick off "Wolverine: Origin II." Comic Book Resources spoke exclusively with Gillen about the project, which was announced today at the Marvel: Cup O' Joe Panel at Comic-Con International in San Diego.
CBR News: What made you want to get involved with "Origin II?" What was your initial reaction when Marvel approached you about it?
Kieron Gillen: I had been out of the X-Office for a while. I found that most of the time I had been with Marvel, I was either working with the Thor office or the X-Office. I was missing working with Editor Nick Lowe, who oversees that office and I had never directly worked with Jeanine Schaefer who edits the Wolverine titles, so I thought, "Great -- I can do some of this!"
The big appeal was that it almost kind of writes itself. This is an important book to the continuity, and it's a blockbuster sort of mini, however, even though it impacts everything else, the fact that it happens in sort of an enclosed space allows me to really own it. It's not like when I was writing "Uncanny X-Men" and I had to be concerned about thematic links to "Avengers Vs. X-Men" and things like that. This is a singular statement.
Plus, I haven't really written Wolverine all that much. He's a character who surprised me with how much I liked writing him when I have. I laugh at me and Paul Cornell writing Wolverine because it's these very fey Englishmen writing comics' toughest characters. [Laughs] "Origin II" is a project that's both big in scope and concentrated, and that really appealed to me. Plus, the chance to work with Adam [Kubert] was very attractive. I love his work.
In terms of where I'm going with this, specifically, we had a few ideas on what were some of the important stories left in Wolverine's past. We've seen a lot of stories about his past spread throughout the century, and we've seen some stuff with his deceased lover Silver Fox, but there's some questions about what happened, chronologically. What's the missing link in Wolverine's origins? We kind of went back to this period in the early days of the 20th century, so it's me doing a period piece, which gave me the chance to do a lot of interesting research. Basically, I'm doing a weird period novel set in the Marvel Universe, which has enormous importance for Wolverine, and it's as fun as it sounds.
It's been over 10 years since Paul Jenkins and Andy Kubert's "Origin." How much story time passes between the end of the original series and the first issue of "Origin II?"
Off the top of my head, I believe the first series ended in 1898. We're picking things up a few years later, and Logan has been living in the woods all that time. When we last saw him in "Origin," he had killed his first love and rejected humanity by deciding he would go run with the wolves for awhile.
So that's where he's been. It's a beautiful, graphic image and a nice place to start our story. I used the word novel earlier, and that's very much what this feels like. Yes, "Origin II" is a sequel, hence the roman numerals in the title, but I wanted this to be a real concentrated story about these classic Marvel characters done in a very stripped down style. People can pick this up by itself, read it, and get it. I've described the story as a period novel, which might turn some people off, but the plot is pretty much "White Fang." Jack London is a big influence on this story. Our protagonist is a savage beast at the start, and it's basically a return to civilization story -- whatever that means. Because sometimes civilization comes off more than a bit animalistic.
The character of Mister Sinister is a great example of that. Readers of my "Uncanny X-Men" run saw how I wrote Nathaniel Essex and they know I have a pretty low view of the civilization and time period that he represents.
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