Spoilers ahead for this week's All-New Wolverine #1
With All-New Wolverine #1, writer Tom Taylor and artist David Lopez have sent Laura Kinney on her first solo mission as Wolverine, where she finds out she's not alone -- in more ways that one. Though Laura’s first outing goes surprisingly well – she’s able to stick to her edict of not killing anyone she doesn’t have to, with some beyond-the-grave advice from Logan himself – the issue’s twist ending throws a powerful monkeywrench in the works.
Newsarama spoke with Taylor in the wake of this week's All-New Wolverine #1, exploring the differences between Logan and Laura, what fans can expect from the budding romance between Wolverine and Angel, and the surprise character Taylor wants to appear in a later issue.
Still, there are some things Taylor wouldn’t discuss – the Terrigen Mists, the clones of X-23 and their potential connection to Alchemax – that suggests there’s a lot more mystery to All-New Wolverine than what’s found in this first issue.
Newsarama: Tom, Laura is obviously a very different Wolverine from Logan. How does her outlook differ from her predecessor’s?
Tom Taylor: Laura has come through some horrific things, she has been pushed in similar ways to Logan, but she hasn't succumbed to it or let it define her. She is in no way a victim. While Logan was always on the edge of snapping, our All-New Wolverine was trained to endure a lot of punishment and take it in her stride. Laura is far more in control than Logan, she's more calculating.
I’d suggest this makes her even more formidable to anyone standing in her way. While Logan was an incredible warrior, he could lose himself to his rage. If you pushed his buttons, he could lose control. If you piss Laura off, she isn’t going to lash out. She’s going to stop and think about exactly how to hurt you the most.
Nrama: Why is Laura trying to hide that she’s Wolverine in the beginning of the story?
Taylor: She’s trying to protect someone and she’s doing so undercover. It’s hard to be undercover when you’re walking through Paris in a blue-and-yellow suit and a mask. But this cover doesn’t last long.
Nrama: Laura and Angel had a budding romance in All-New X-Men that seems to have blossomed into a full-blown partnership. What makes this pair work?
Taylor: Laura has always been a pretty dark character. She’s come from a lot of bad places. I think a lot of her fans, including myself and the rest of the X-creators and editors, want to see her given a time when life isn’t so personally horrible and where she has more support and friendship. That said, she is still definitely a force unto herself, and Angel won’t be around too much early on.
Nrama: All-New Wolverine feels a little more lighthearted than some of the stuff Logan was getting up to doing the X-Men’s dirty work. At the same time, there’s a pretty dark twist at the end of #1. As the series moves forward, how do you balance that tone? Will we see Wolverine headed back down a dark path?
Taylor: She’s Wolverine. That means she will inevitably have to tread through some dark places. But how she copes with this, how she conquers the darkness without succumbing to violence and darkness herself, therein lies our story and the strength of X-23/Laura/Wolverine.
Nrama: There’s a little bit of a mystery around the man Wolverine is trying to save at the beginning of the issue. Who is this guy, and will we see more of him as the series goes on?
Taylor: We won’t see more of him at this stage but we will see his father and discover what his father does. Cryptic enough for you?
Nrama: We'll give you that.
Laura is truly stepping into the mantle of Wolverine, even adopting a version of Logan’s classic costume. Why keep her in such a recognizable outfit, as opposed to trying something totally unique?
Taylor: From a readership point of view, we don’t want anyone to have any doubt that Laura is now Wolverine. But from Laura’s point of view, characters are bigger than costumes. This is Laura's own persona. This book is about Laura. She hasn't become Logan, she's still very much herself. Her becoming Wolverine, and putting on this costume, is about her not wanting to forget her father. She’s taken on the name for a multitude of reasons but I think it’s important to note that the Facility, the people who created and tortured her, named her X-23. I’d completely understand if she wanted to leave that name behind for a while.
Nrama: Your collaborator, artist David Lopez, isn’t exactly known for his grit – at the same time, he really sells the action of All-New Wolverine. What makes him the perfect partner for kicking off a new chapter for a new Wolverine?
Taylor: David’s art speaks for itself. We knew as soon as we saw his early character sketches, where we delved into who Laura was, her stature, her face, her abilities, her personality, that he was the right guy to bring Laura to life. He brings some truly dynamic action but what I love the most is that Laura has so much character on the page and she’s never overtly sexualized. She’s strong, athletic, fearless and determined. This is what David captures, as well as some fantastic, classic complex emotions. This is even more evident when you meet... someone else in All-New Wolverine #2. His partner in crime, David Navarrot, and colorist, Nathan Fairbairn, add so much to the scope of the book too. I feel damn lucky to get to work with a team of this caliber.
Nrama: We know from solicitations that All New Wolverine #4 will have Laura meet Dr. Strange. How closely will All New Wolverine touch the rest of the Marvel Universe? Will Laura become as central as Logan was?
Nrama: I’m hoping Wolverine will span the whole Marvel Universe just as Logan did. And Doctor Strange isn’t the only other 616 character she’ll encounter early on. This will be clearer as soon as the cover to All-New Wolverine #5 is revealed. Mainly, I want to have her break out into the wider 616 so that I can team her up with Squirrel Girl. Squeak and Snikt!
Nrama: What can fans expect from All New Wolverine #2 and beyond?
Taylor: Issue #1 asks a lot of questions. Issue #2 answers some but asks even more. Issue #2 is when we will see Laura meet a very unexpected group of people. She will then begin to keep two groups from killing each other, while trying to save the unsaveable.