By Paul Montgomery
The fearless veteran of countless wars across multiple centuries may need to retire from the fastball special business this August as Paul Cornell and Alan Davis render WOLVERINE “Killable.”
Being the best he is at what he does has always required of Logan a dauntless abandon. Newly vulnerable, Wolverine faces not only an onslaught of opportunistic enemies, but his most challenging revelations.
“It’s a six-issue arc that basically changes the position of Wolverine in the Marvel Universe,” writer Cornell offers. “It changes an awful lot of things about him. It’s an emotional story that’s also action-packed.”
Naturally, the news of Wolverine’s condition spreads through the darkest nooks of the world where past adversaries welcome the new status quo with the cracking of knuckles and sharpening of blades.
“It’s a big change in his life that sees an awful lot of danger coming at him all at once,” shares Cornell. “It’s the bringing together of our Big Bad that’s been simmering away in the background through our first two or three arcs, plus the sudden reappearance of an awful lot of people he’s pissed off over the years, all coming together in one terrible moment.”
While he’s not leading the pack as it barrels towards his arch foe, Sabretooth orchestrates much of the pain from the shadows.
|Wolverine #7 cover by Alan Davis|
“We’re gonna keep him way in the background and we’re going to bring him on at the worst possible moment,” reveals Cornell. “It’s like a descent into tragedy. In ‘From Russia with Love’ we know Red Grant is waiting for James Bond at the end of that book. Just as we know Sabretooth is waiting for Wolverine at the end of this.”
So, why can’t Creed leave Logan be, especially during this, the lowest point in his lengthy and unprecedentedly endangered life?
“There’s a very, very specific reason in ‘Killable’,” Cornell explains. “He wants to send a particular message. And Sabretooth is quite different now. He’s more of a strategist, a plotter. Especially since he took over leadership of the Hand.”
As if things weren’t dire enough, Wolverine also ends up, for a time, in Wakanda to encounter Storm’s illustrious ex-husband Black Panther. Cornell does not shy from labeling it a fight. He also draws inspiration from the odds-making culture of his native England, introducing a super hero-obsessed bookie as part of the growing cast. Much of those newcomers frequent a trades bar for genuine and would-be costumed vigilantes.
Of course, Cornell won’t be satisfied to simply unsettle Wolverine physically. The character’s entire equilibrium shifts.
“It’s me doing my thing of motivating big action with big emotion,” says Cornell. “Logan, of course, doesn’t want to express those emotions.”
Wolverine’s unwillingness to bend to such calamitous change seems the beatingheart of the writer’s ambition:
“His stoicism is one of the most interesting things about ringing pain out of him.”
In the end, Wolverine will have to adjust.
“It’s all about that,” concludes Cornell. “How he has to change his life and how he does things. How initially he’s unwilling to. How initially he just butts his head against the wall. And how he’s made to realize he has to [change].”
Cornell stresses that the situation doesn’t simply arise and then resolve itself in the pages of WOLVERINE. This change, Logan’s new normal, extends throughout the Marvel Universe. For the full picture of Wolverine’s predicament, of course, readers will want to keep glued to his solo title.
For complete coverage of Marvel at C2E2 2013 all weekend long, head to marvel.com/c2e22013!