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Wolverine & His Amazing Friends

Writer Daniel Way runs down the eclectic list of allies the feral mutant has gathered for his final assault on Romulus

WOLVERINE: ORIGINS #43 cover by Doug Braithwaite
By Kevin Mahadeo

He's the best he is at what he does; but this time around, the best just isn't good enough.

WOLVERINE: ORIGINS #43 continues the story of the clawed Canuck's recruitment drive of friends and enemies alike to take down the mysterious Romulus. The latest issue by writer Daniel Way and artist Doug Braithwaite slashes its way into comic shops December 16 and sees Logan come claw-to-sword against the Silver Samurai. Despite their years-long feud, the X-Man hopes to bring the armored swordsman on board as part of his motley crew.

"We finally have Wolverine facing off against his nemesis, this shadow that he's been living in his whole very long life, and he's finally getting a chance to confront it," says Way. "The trick of what he's trying to do is confront it on his terms instead of on Romulus' terms. What he's trying to do is bring different skills to the party. Romulus knows how Wolverine operates. What Wolverine is trying to do and why he's bringing in all this strange and varied outside help is to run a play that is very unlike what he would normally do."

As the man behind Wolverine's master plan, Way provides his thoughts and opinions on the members of the assault team and what they bring to the table in the upcoming battle.

"For years, Bruce Banner was the force that kept the Hulk in check," notes Way. "Bruce Banner is used to dealing with big, dangerous elements. Wolverine is dealing with one of the biggest and most dangerous elements, which is Romulus. So, even though Bruce Banner is no longer the Hulk, it doesn't mean he can't be an asset."

Way also says that Wolverine sees a certain parallels between the road Bruce Banner and his son Skaar currently walk and the one he and Daken stroll.

"They both have these sons that are what they are because of the actions of the father," explains Way. "They were trying to put their past to rest, but their past is sort of embodied in their sons, and they have no one to blame but themselves."

"Initially, Wolverine wanted the Hulk, but that is complicated by the fact that the Hulk is no more," recounts Way. "However, there is Skaar, who has a lot of the same qualities of the Hulk but is an entirely different animal with different motivations."

However, despite Skaar's current ally status, Way quickly points out the hulking behemoth's personal grudges make him an easy target for the manipulations of Romulus.

"Skaar's beef is with the Hulk, not Bruce Banner," says Way. "Skaar can't identity with Bruce Banner. He's a puny human and that's not what Skaar is. He needs to resolve this issue with the Hulk, but the Hulk doesn't exist. Skaar is waiting in the wings until that opportunity presents itself. That is how, historically, Romulus gets to you."

The teleporting Cloak finds himself without his usual partner, Dagger, a situation that Way says allows the character to be taken in directions otherwise closed off to him.

"Cloak, because of what he can do, is a huge strategic asset," reasons the writer. "Cloak can be wherever he wants to be. He can appear and disappear at will. But Cloak also has a very dark past and what we're doing in this story is involving Cloak but not Dagger. Once Cloak steps away from the light, so to speak, how does he keep himself from devolving and going back because he's not keeping very healthy company."

"Obviously he and Wolverine have history-and it's not good history," admits Way. "Wolverine cut off his hand. Again, and this applies to all of the characters Wolverine is reaching out to, Silver Samurai is not really motivated to help Wolverine. It comes down to what can Wolverine offer Silver Samurai in exchange.

"Sometimes he's a friend and sometimes he's an enemy," continues Way. "I actually like that. It makes him a lot more compelling. There are very few of us who always do the right thing. But Silver Samurai and Wolverine go way back and cross paths at very important times in Wolverine's life. Silver Samurai is Mariko Yashida's half-brother, so they were almost in-laws."

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