Paul Cornell Plots Changes for a 'Killable' WOLVERINE

Over the years, Wolverine's healing factor has saved him from not only certain death, but situations where he seemingly should have been vaporized, incinerated, disintegrated or otherwise wiped off the face of the earth.

Clearly, the power has come in handy, arguably even more so than the claws and unbreakable Adamantium skeleton. Which is what makes it all the more upsetting for the Jean Grey School headmaster that he appears to now be vulnerable as of the upcoming "Killable" story arc, announced by Marvel during their X-Men panel Sunday afternoon at Chicago in C2E2.

"Killable" starts in August's Wolverine #7 by series creative team Paul Cornell and Alan Davis, and will begin shortly after the ubiquitous mutant's latest feature film, The Wolverine — which appears to feature somewhat similar themes — debuts in theaters. Cornell told us more about his plans, and suggested that a major status quo upheaval in the vein of Superior Spider-Man isn't out of the question for Logan.

Wolverine #7


Newsarama: Paul, before we get to the "Killable" story, let's talk a bit about your first arc, which is still unfolding. How have you enjoyed both being back writing in the Marvel Universe, and being the writer of Wolverine? And to whatever extent you may have monitored fan reactions, have you been pleased with the reception in this very early stage?

Paul Cornell: It's been brilliant to come back to Marvel. There's a real feeling of zeal about the company now, and, I think in part thanks to [Wolverine series editor Jeanine Schaefer], a real determination to make the title the best it can be, which is all a writer needs, really. Most of the stuff I've done in comics previously has been a little bit out of the mainstream, and so it's great to be on a title that won't get cancelled... I mean, that's at the center of things. And Wolverine this time 'round really is at the center of things!

I've been delighted by the reception, particularly from people who either weren't comic or superhero fans, or are returning ones, who appreciate, I think, that we've taken time to introduce everything. From herein, it all ramps up and we go on a journey into the middle of the Marvel Universe together.

Nrama: Turning to the upcoming story, it looks like Wolverine is going to suddenly find himself very vulnerable. Fair or not, that can be the kind of thing that some readers might hear and not take especially seriously, along the lines of "Wolverine is in a dozen comics a month, he'll be fine." Does that type of attitude affect your approach at all? What's the challenge in constructing a major, credible threat for a character like Wolverine — both given his healing factor, and in his stature at Marvel?

Cornell: That was actually my central aim when I suggested this story, and I'm delighted that the ramifications of it have been taken up by the other titles too. Because of a historical accident (Wolverine getting a solo title very late on, relatively speaking), important things happening to Logan have tended to happen in team books. We all agreed that a major event in his life should happen in his own title.  

Nrama: An intriguing wrinkle in this story appears to be that the cure for Wolverine means that millions others will die. Without delving into the specifics yet to be revealed (the story doesn't start for months, after all), from your perspective, what made that a uniquely juicy dilemma for a Wolverine story?

Cornell: I can't reveal anything about what happens there. But the seeds of it are sewn from the start. This is a collection of short arcs where each builds on the last, but which all go off in their own creative directions.

Nrama: Sabretooth is said to be a part of "Killable" — how major of a role does he play in the arc? And it looks like the story will also draw in several other significant Marvel villains. Can you share at this point any other familiar faces that readers might be seeing?

Cornell: Not right now. For various reasons, Sabretooth is obviously going to be the thing at the end of the tunnel for Logan in this story arc, but we don't bring him on until a certain point. This is kind of about a long shadow falling over Logan, a destiny coming to call.

Nrama: Alan Davis is returning on art for this story, which has to be a good feeling, because of both consistency's sake, and, duh, it's Alan Davis. What's it been like working with him on this book? From your perspective, what type of different aspects of his art have been brought out by illustrating Wolverine?

Cornell: He can do both great high-powered action and the fine detail of emotion, so an arc that motivates action with emotion is really the thing for him. Logan can try to stay stoic, and not let how he's feeling be known in speech, and Alan can let us know through expression and body language.  

Nrama: This story will start at the same time the new Wolverine movie is in theaters. Did that affect your mindset in writing the arc at all?

Cornell: I guess I like the sound of putting "the" in front of "Wolverine," because it makes that character a distinct something that Logan can or cannot choose to be. So I've done that a bit. Apart from that, any other resemblance is coincidental. I was always after making this book huge, with or without a movie.  

Nrama: The information released to press really underscored that this is an important story for Wolverine, and that reader expectations will be challenged. Superior Spider-Man has shown that major status quo changes for Marvel characters can work out very well in the current climate — should readers maybe, perhaps, possibly prepare themselves for something similar with Wolverine?

Cornell: Oh yes.

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