New York Comic Con 2012

NYCC 2012: Wolverine: Season One

Writers Ben Blacker and Ben Acker team with Salva Espin to retell the early days of Logan!



Wolverine: Season One black and white preview art by Salva Espin

By Tim Stevens

Next summer, in the WOLVERINE: SEASON ONE original graphic novel, writers Ben Blacker and Ben Acker of “Supernatural” and “The Thrilling Adventure Hour” join artist Salva Espin to take Logan back to where it all began.

“We get to tell the most iconic ‘early days’ story Wolverine has: his encounter with Wendigo and The Hulk,” reveals Acker. “This story is about the first time Logan put on his classic yellow and black suit and got the code name Wolverine.”

“Because this is a season one arc, we knew that our pal Len Wein's first appearance story would form the backbone,” Blacker continues. “We took what we knew from that time—Department H, Weapon X, his friendship with the Hudsons, the costume—and built a story around that.”

To some, Blacker and Acker might not seem the most obvious choice to revisit the beginnings of Wolverine’s costumed career. However, editor Jordan White asserts that, in fact, the two stand more than equal to the task.

“At first blush, those familiar with the ‘Thrilling Adventure Hour’ shows might think Wolverine an odd choice—their shows are hilariously funny, and Logan isn’t renowned as a jokester,” White admits. “But underneath the hilarity of their shows is a great grasp of characters and real emotions which makes them work as more than just one-off sketches. They definitely had a great grasp of who Logan is and what the story we’re looking to tell in this book is.”

Additionally, while the team might be new to writing comics, they grew up with them.

“We are both longtime comics readers since childhood,” says Blacker. “We both checked in with our favorite characters over the years, Wolverine among them. We both really dug the Old Man Logan story by Mark Millar a few years ago; that sort of put the character back on our radars.”

Wolverine: Season One black and white preview art by Salva Espin

Artist Salva Espin drew on his own father’s past to properly nail the look of early Wolverine.

“Wolverine is always a great challenge, a challenge with side-whiskers and sharp claws,” he notes. “My father—Salvador Espin Sr.—has always been a Marvel fan, so he lent me his 70’s classic comic collection for research about Wolvie’s first steps in the Marvel Universe.”

According to the writers, Espin’s research more than paid off.

“Does Salva Espin have weaknesses?”Acker poses rhetorically. “I think we're trying to find those and keep coming up short. The collaboration has been wonderful. He makes us look so good, as if we totally know what we're doing in this new-to-us medium.”

“Oh man, everything we've seen from Salva has been amazing,” Blacker echoes. “We love his bold style. Early on, he told us he loves to draw ‘big fight scenes and beautiful women,’ and we're thrilled that WOLVERINE: SEASON ONE has given him the opportunity to do both!”

Beyond giant brawls and pretty ladies, the creators bring their focus onto themes bubbling below the surface to bring depth to Wolverine’s first appearance.

Wolverine: Season One cover by Julian Totino Tedesco

“This story is about Wolverine's internal conflict between man and beast as he throws down against two other characters—Hulk and Wendigo—who have that same internal conflict,” Acker reveals. “So we got to highlight the berserker, the man resisting his demons, the gallows humor of a man aware of his limitations as he strives to exceed them. I am pleased that just as we got to show the animal lurking under the humanity, we also get to show that when he is at his most animal, he has humanity lurking just as ferociously underneath that surface.”

“Besides the man vs. animal aspect, we talked about the moment when he pops his claws being important, the first time he puts on the yellow-and-blue costume, the shadowy conspiracies about his past—and present—his lack of memory, and, of course, where ‘bub’ came from,” says Blacker, highlighting further underpinnings of the story.

In the end, however, Acker knows the biggest reason readers should pick up the book:

“He's Wolverine! He's the coolest!”

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