Marvel's Wolverine has been gifted with a rich history of artists portraying his adventures – from Frank Miller to Marc Silvestri, from Steve Dillon to Steve McNiven, and both John Romita’s – Jr. and Sr. All those and more have contributed to Logan’s rich history, and joining that pantheon of greats is artist Will Conrad.
This Brazilian cartoonist broke into comics as an inker, but quickly showed his draftsmanship skills on titles such as Elektra and Emma Frost. Conrad’s first major series was working with Joss Whedon on two Serenity miniseries, which put him front-and-center in the eyes of readers… and editors. After helping Dark Horse launch a new Kull series, Conrad came full circle back to Marvel as the regular artist on the newly-relaunched Black Panther series. And after finding continued success on that title, Conrad now joins writer Daniel Way on Wolverine: Origins.
How did it all fall into place? Let’s find out.
“Sometimes the stars just align perfectly,” said Wolverine: Origins editor Jeanine Schaefer. “Will has been doing amazing work on Black Panther, so when the opportunity came up for him to come onboard Wolverine: Origins, I jumped at it!”
For Conrad, the move from Black Panther to Wolverine: Origins is no problem for him. "Artistically, I don't make a difference from one book to another," said Conrad. "I'll do my best to accommodate the art style to the needs of the story, whatever the title is. But obviously Wolverine: Origins will be a more challenging book, if not artistically, simply for the fact that it has more exposition than Black Panther. And Wolverine is also a character that I believe every artist always wanted to draw - and I'm no exception. So I'm very excited with the chance."
Although Conrad is currently wrapping up his final issues on Black Panther, he's eying a December start to him penciling pages for the new title. But while he hasn't started on the book, he's drawn the character numerous times in his sketchbooks. "Of course I've done Wolverine drawings, as pinups and sketches – every time I've had spare time," said the Brazilian artist. "But this will be the first time I have the chance to draw him officially for Marvel. That's going to be very cool."
Like any comics fan – be it a pro or a reader like you or I – Conrad has his eye on the future, and he's already put some thought into how he'll approach Wolverine : Origins. "I've had a few ideas already. I don't intend to move away from what's been done before, and I like the approaches of some previous artists of the character."
"I love the way Barry Windsor-Smith portrayed him, especially on the 'Weapon X' story arc," said Conrad, who will be inking himself on this book. "Also Alan Davis and Mike Deodato. I'll follow a bit of what they did, but I'll definitely put something of mine in there. I see Logan as a lone and seasoned man, who suffered a lot and is hardened by so many years of survival – and I'll try to bring that to the art."
Conrad will be following in the footsteps of the title’s previous artist, Scot Eaton, who is moving on to a big miniseries of his own. “Both [Will] and Scot Eaton are really important to us,” said the editor,” and with Scot moving to take on Doomwar, it all fell into place. Bottom line, Will is going to kill on Wolverine: Origins, and I can’t wait for the pages to start coming in!”
Conrad’s first issue of Wolverine: Origins will be the April 2010 47th issue, and will be the second part of a crossover with sister title Dark Wolverine entitled ‘The Reckoning’. This father-son chat should prove to be momentous from the title alone, and will be a turning point for both Wolverine and Daken according to the title’s editor. “Everything Daniel Way has been doing with Origins has been leading us to this moment, as they’re both forced to make some tough choices.”
Speaking of the building tension Way has constructed in the years since he launched the title, the long running feud between Wolverine and Romulus is coming due in the next few months. In the currently running ‘Seven the Hard Way’ story arc, Logan has been taking the fight to Romulus in an unorthodox and unpredictable manner, hoping to best the master manipulator. "We're coming to the end of a long journey, said the editor," and the finale won't be anything you can predict… which is just like Romulus, and that's what makes him so dangerous."
Earlier Wolverine brought in the unlikely duo of Bruce Banner and his son Skaar, and we'll soon be seeing Logan turn to some closer friends according to Schaefer. "We'll see the X-men pulled into the fight, the return of a certain creepy henchman, and a team-up you'll never see coming.
"Let's just say it's all coming to a head," Schaefer promised, " and whoever's left standing is going to have a lot to account for."