By Kevin Mahadeo
This fall, Norman Osborn's making a list, but he'll only need to check it once.
As Osborn's rule over the Marvel Universe tightens, the Green Goblin-turned-Iron Patriot targets his biggest threats and prepares to deal with them accordingly. Comprised of eight interconnected one-shots, DARK REIGN: THE LIST refers to a literal list of people, places and things that hold particular importance to the Marvel Universe's current man in charge. A different creative team tackles each issue, which each address one item on the previously mentioned list.
For the next week, Marvel.com will be speaking with the talented writers responsible for Making the List.
Jason Aaron joins his fellow Write Stuff writers on the List project along with Marvel veterans Brian Michael Bendis, Matt Fraction, Greg Pak and Dan Slott.
"It's a great opportunity for me and Remender and Hickman and Diggle to get to step up and play with the big boys a little bit," says Aaron. "It's a really cool collection of one-shots with top-tier writers and top-tier artists and big-time characters that obviously tie in to the major events going on in the Marvel U right now."
Aaron's issue focuses on the Weapon Plus facility The World, first introduced during Grant Morrison's run on NEW X-MEN, and teams the writer with veteran WOLVERINE artist Esad Ribic. Aaron joyfully sank his claws into as many toys from the Morrison toy box as possible to play with—including Fantomex and Marvel Boy—but Marvel.com managed to pull him away from his playtime to talk about the upcoming one-shot and re-opening the Marvel U to a World of possibilities.
Marvel.com: We know Marvel Boy—also known as Captain Marvel of the Dark Avengers—is involved heavily in your story. Does this mean readers can expect a throw down between him and Wolverine?
Umm….. yes. [Laughs
You know, this is me getting to play with some Grant Morrison toys. The story takes place inside The World, which is the big dome that serves as the giant laboratory for Weapon Plus that we saw during Morrison's NEW X-MEN run. It's been sitting out there kind of forgotten for a while. So, the story takes place inside that dome with Wolverine and Marvel Boy there and loads of HAMMER agents and all these mutant cyborgs populate the place. In addition to that, we'll
be meeting the newest weapon of the Weapon Plus program, Weapon XVI.
Marvel.com: When Norman planned going after the Weapon Plus program, didn't he assume Wolverine might get involved?
Yeah. Wolverine would be the first person he'd think to be involved, so he's definitely [developed] a contingency plan to deal with Wolverine. But it's not just Wolverine he'll have to deal with. You couldn't do a Weapon Plus story without an appearance by Fantomex, so he'll be popping up as well.
Marvel.com: Like you said, Norman has a plan. But Wolverine is easily a one man army. Do you think Norman seems to be underestimating Wolverine or overestimating his own power?
I don't think he's underestimating Wolverine, but when you get into these Super-Sentinels
and all these other wild stuff that Weapon Plus comes up with you're talking power levels even beyond Wolverine. Even though Wolverine beat Weapon XV, it was because he was kind of lost in thought pondering the mysteries of the universe. So, Wolverine is also in over his head a little bit. He's going to need some help.
Marvel.com: So, unlike some of the other one-shots, Norman isn't going after Wolverine directly per say. It's a matter of circumstance.
He's not directly going after Wolverine or calling out Wolverine in this story. Really, he'd like to swoop in and take these Weapon Plus resources and swoop out, but he knows that's probably not going to happen with Wolverine and Fantomex and all these other characters being there.
Marvel.com: That seems a logical step on Norman's part not to call out Wolverine as he has someone on his team with that name.
Yeah. I guess to the average person within the Marvel Universe it'd be kind of confusing. You got to wonder what the average person in the Marvel Universe knows about Wolverine to begin with. You see this guy with claws on TV or YouTube from time to time, so I guess as far as they know, the Wolverine in the Dark Avengers
is the same
Wolverine. I don't know if the average viewer would notice the claws are a little different. I think you can do a whole series about what the little guy in the Marvel Universe knows about the super hero characters. Oh, well, obviously they did do a series. It's called MARVELS. [Laughs
Marvel.com: You've mentioned the Greg Rucka and Esad Ribic run on WOLVERINE as one of your favorites. What's it like teaming with Ribic on this one-shot? Is it like a weird, surreal moment?
Oh yeah. I'm a big fan of his. Not just [the WOLVERINE] stuff, but the painted work he's done over the last few years in SUB-MARINER and LOKI. He's done tons of gorgeous work, so it's a big, big thrill to be working with him.
Marvel.com: How do you think his style will compliment this one-shot?
I think for the most part he'll ground and pull off some of the bat-s--t crazy stuff going on in this book. You're talking about this advanced closed community of mutant cyborgs inside this dome that create Super-Sentinels
, and we've got an alien Kree warrior and Wolverine and then a French guy with a flying saucer. That's a lot of craziness for one 22-page story.
Marvel.com: Well, when you say something like that, I obviously need to follow up with: what would you say is your favorite moment in this one-shot?
Well, from the get go, one of the things I was most looking forward to writing was simply the meaning of Marvel Boy to Fantomex. As a big Grant Morrison fan and a fan of the Marvel Boy [limited series] and huge fan of NEW X-MEN, it just gives me a huge nerd [high] to have those two characters meet for the first time.
Marvel.com: All in all, what readers expect coming out of this one-shot after it's all said and done?
It's mainly a fun romp, and I think a big chance to put some of these pieces back into play, like Fantomex and The World. It will have lasting ramifications for those characters. It's not a throw away. And who knows? I would love to write Fantomex and Marvel Boy again at some point. So, it's not out of the question that they'll show up in the pages of WEAPON X.
Check back in tomorrow when we speak with Greg Pak about Making the List!
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