Fans of Jason Aaron's work on Wolverine were happy to hear at the Mondo Marvel panel at Wizard World Chicago that the writer will be on the character again in a four-issue mini-series called Wolverine: Manifest Destiny.
Set to begin in October, the mini-series features pencils by Stephen Segovia, the artist on Wolverine: Origins, and will focus on how Wolverine is impacted by changes in the X-Men.
"The X-Men have relocated to San Francisco, looking to make a new home," Aaron told Newsarama of the mini-series' story. "Only problem for Wolverine is, he has history in the city. Fifty years ago, he was told never to return to Chinatown. When he sets foot there now, he stirs up lots of bad blood and very quickly has every Kung Fu fighter from every dojo in town chasing after him.
"And did I mention that his aging ex-girlfriend is now head of the local Triad and in
her employ are four warriors with amazing abilities, like the guy named Soulstriker who literally punches his opponents in the soul?" the writer added.
If the high-action Kung Fu scenes sound a little familiar, that's because Aaron got the idea for the story "from my love of Hong Kong cinema," he said. "Everything from the epic wuxia movies of the '70s to the 'heroic bloodshed' films of John Woo. And maybe a bit of Big Trouble in Little China thrown in as well."
Currently the regular writer on the ongoing Ghost Rider title and the Vertigo series Scalped, as well as the Secret Invasion story in Black Panther that starts in issue #39, Aaron returns to the character of Wolverine again after writing the "Get Mystique" four-issue story arc in the regular title that just finished up last month.
"I think my editor actually meant to call and offer [the mini-series] to Matt Fraction but dialed me by accident," Aaron joked of his return to the character. "By the time he realized his mistake, he'd already offered me the gig and it was too late to take it back. You lose, Fraction!"
As Newsarama readers will remember, Aaron's first writing gig was for Marvel was on Wolverine after he won a talent search the publisher held in 2001. His eight-page debut saw print in Wolverine #175, and last year, the writer returned to the character, this time with a single-issue story in Wolverine #56.
Now a Marvel exclusive (with a special exception for Scalped), Aaron admitted he has an affinity for the Wolverine character, although he's not sure why. "I don't know, I try not to overanalyze the thing, lest it all fall apart," he said. "I knew, though, even as I was winding up my 'Get Mystique' arc that I had more Wolverine stories I wanted to tell. And I'm Marvel exclusive, so they gotta give me something to do, right? And at least until my US-1 pitch gets the greenlight, I'll stick with Wolverine."
Yet with all his work on the character, reviewers and fans have been surprised by the variety of angles he's taken with the character. "Yeah, I've tried to do something different with each story I've done for Wolverine," Aaron said, "and I think this 'Manifest Destiny' story will be as different from 'Get Mystique' as 'Get Mystique' was different from my gritty little character drama in Wolverine #56.
While this time around, the story won't be in the ongoing title and focuses on what Aaron calls "all new characters, for the most part," Marvel Editor John Barber told Newsarama it does directly affect what's coming for the character. "This story is going to be very important to the future of Wolverine," Barber said. "The stuff that gets set up here is going to have long-lasting ramifications on Wolverine."
As for whether Aaron might get to write more stories in the regular Wolverine ongoing, Barber offered hope of the writer returning to the series. "Hmmm....you never know. People really dug his “Get Mystique” arc, and I have a feeling they're really going to love Wolverine: Manifest Destiny," Barber said. "Once the Millar/McNiven “Old Man Logan” arc is up, let's just say there are some exciting plans on the way."