Wolverine: Weapon X is gearing up for a year that includes what the writer calls the "biggest threat Wolverine has faced in recent memory."
Launched last year upon the release of the X-Men Origins: Wolverine movie, Wolverine: Weapon X reunited Aaron with his earlier Wolverine collaborator, Ron Garney. While Garney has taken a break for the current storyline, he'll return in March just as Wolverine: Weapon X sees guest stars Captain America and a new Deathlok.
The series is targeted at new audiences as well as long-time readers, taking place in regular continuity but avoiding tie-ins and character relationships that require too much knowledge of Wolverine's history.
So far, Wolverine: Weapon X has also avoided being typecast as a certain kind of comic, with two storylines that are very different in tone. The five-part The Adamantium Men story that launched the title had an espionage feel to it, while the current arc, Insane in the Brain, is leans toward horror. Next month, the comic has what Aaron calls a "sex and romance" issue.
But through it all, Wolverine: Weapon X has managed to continue more than one through-line, including a love interest. It's all leading toward stories that will get "bigger" for Wolverine, as Aaron attempts to mix a fresh, entry-level comic with long-form storytelling.
Newsarama talked to the writer about his gig on Wolverine: Weapon X, and found out he's got an upcoming mini-series that he calls his craziest Marvel story yet.
Newsarama: Jason, the first two storylines that you did on this comic were very different from one another. Before the series began, you talked about how this title would be in continuity, but wouldn't be tied down by it. Is that going to continue, and is this idea of trying different types of storylines part of the ongoing plan as well?
Jason Aaron: Yeah, that's always been the idea, like you said, to do stories that were free from continuity, but not out of continuity. I've done a lot of stuff to reference what's going on in the Marvel Universe. We saw a tease of Norman Osborn in the first arc, so there are always little connections to what's going on. But it's a book anybody could pick up, whether or not you're familiar with Wolverine's history for the last 30+ years.
Then I wanted to be able to mix it up from arc to arc. That's kind of what I've done with all the Wolverine stuff I've done, even before this. I did an issue with Howard Chaykin that was sort of a weird character study where Wolverine was a secondary character. I did a kung fu story. And an action story. So I've kind of mixed it up over the course of stuff I've done, and I want to continue to do that.
The current arc is obviously a weird horror story, and the next one is something completely different. The arc that starts in March is more of an action-packed sci-fi story, as we reintroduce Deathlok to the Marvel Universe.
Nrama: That was kind of hinted at the end of the Dark Reign: The List - Wolverine issue you did, right? We saw something mentioned called the "Deathlok Project." Can you tell us anything about what we're going to see beginning with Wolverine #11?
Aaron: Well, editor Axel Alonso's favorite character in the world is Deathlok. So from the moment I started talking to him, when I first came to Marvel and started working with Axel, we've been talking about Deathlok. He wanted to put a Deathlok back in the Marvel Universe. So I've had an idea for him for quite awhile. But it's just taken this long to get to it.
Nrama: This is a brand new character, right?
Aaron: It's an all-new Deathlok, but one that hearkens back to the Luthor Manning version. The Luthor Manning Deathlok is dead at this point. I think he was a dangling plot point that was wrapped up by Brian Bendis in Avengers.
But this is in that vein. This Deathlok is a killer cyborg from the future who's come to our present, and he's up to no good.
Beyond that, there will be a new twist to the character that makes it very different from the old Luthor Manning Deathlok.
And Ron Garney's coming back to draw that arc. It also guest stars Captain America.
Nrama: Steve Rogers?
Aaron: Well, I can't say who is Captain America, but I will say that my story includes both Steve Rogers and Bucky.
The first issue is really just a story about Logan taking Steve Rogers out for a drink, kind of in celebration of him being back from the dead. So they hop on a jet and go on a sort of international pub crawl. And do a little bit of bonding.
Nrama: Will we see the future timeline that Deathlok comes from?
Aaron: Yes, we will. We may even see a version of Wolverine in that future timeline.
Nrama: In this storyline that you're wrapping up, what were your thought behind having Wolverine be in danger mentally as opposed to physically?
Aaron: That's one of the challenges with writing Wolverine. How do you put him in danger? There are only so many stories you can do where Wolverine gets shot up and heals right back. So that's always a challenge. How do you create a villain that poses a real threat to him? Because most people can't physically challenge him enough to make for an interesting fight. At the end of the day, there's really not much anyone can do to kill him or hurt him in a real way.
So putting him in a situation where he's vulnerable mentally is a different thing. Anybody can fall prey mentally to an evil madman like the one we've set up in this arc. So I had a lot of fun with that. I think it's really interesting to put Wolverine in that situation. I mean, he's still obviously very strong mentally, almost as strong as he is physically, but still, at the end of the day, that's one way you can get to him.
And we'll see that this current arc will have a lasting effect on Wolverine. It will have repercussions that we'll follow up on down the line.
Nrama: So far, the villains we've seen in this title have been new ones. Is that something you wanted to do from the start? And will we continue to see that focus on new villains?
Aaron: That was another thing I wanted to do. I felt like Wolverine's rogues gallery, all the characters are pretty wrapped up in his continuity. So it's hard to bring in somebody and make them fresh without having to explain how they knew each other 40 years ago, and how this guy killed his wife or whatever. All their connections were pretty intricate.
So I wanted to pump a little new blood in his rogues’ gallery. And yeah, that's what I want to continue to do. With Deathlok, obviously, we're bringing back an old character, but a new version of an old character.
Beyond that, I can't really say too much about the next big arcs beyond that. But the villains I'm setting up for that arc will be, without a doubt, the biggest threat Wolverine has faced in recent memory.
Nrama: You mentioned there's going to be a lasting effect from what happens to Wolverine mentally in this storyline, and some things from the first storyline have carried over. One in particular is Melita, who is becoming important to him. Is the thought to have threads that carry over from storyline to storyline, including this love interest?
Aaron: Yeah, I'm still trying to tell one big, over-arcing story that will run through all the arcs. But hopefully each arc will be fresh enough for someone to be able to jump right into it.
But yeah, there will still be a main storyline running through there about Wolverine and this new love interest. And we'll see where that leads. Obviously, Wolverine's love interests don't have a very good track record in terms of survival. And that's something she'll be made aware of.
I wasn't looking to create another damsel in distress, just to create somebody who falls in love with Wolverine and is assailed by Sabretooth or whatever, where he's always having to rescue her. That's not the direction we're going. Wolverine's love interests in the past have always seemed to be just cannon fodder, so I wanted to create somebody with hopefully a little more life to them. And just see where that leads.
Nrama: We've seen solicitations for the end of this arc, as Nightcrawler and Psylocke show up to help out Wolverine. And there are quite a few guest stars expected in Wolverine #10. These are ladies from Logan's past?
Aaron: Yeah, #10 is like our sex and romance issue, I guess. You'll learn more about Wolverine's sex life than you've probably ever wanted to know. And it features guest spots by several different women from his life, like Storm and Rogue and Jubilee and Black Widow. So lots of different women pop up, who he's ever had relationships or close friendships with.
Beyond that we see some of the good and the bad over the course of that issue.
Nrama: You mentioned before that you've got one over-arcing story. Are you on this series for the long haul? Do you have long-term plans for the series?
Aaron: Yes, I have lots more plans for Wolverine. I mean, I expect you'll see me writing Wolverine for a good long while yet.
Nrama: Will the Wolverine series tie in at all with Siege or next year's X-Men event, Second Coming?
Aaron: No, we're not tied into Siege or Second Coming. But I've been at the retreats, in terms of helping to lay that stuff out.
With this book, I think we all want it to be something that takes Wolverine off the board a little bit and is just stories about him and for him. Something that's fresh. That's still the mandate. Now, down the road, I'm sure the day will come when we need to tie into something, but for now, I'm just trying to stay away from that stuff with this book.
But the stories in Wolverine will be getting bigger. A lot of readers banter about the phrase that they want to read about the stuff that "matters."
Nrama: What do you mean by "bigger?"
Aaron: In terms of scope and their effect on Wolverine. The stuff we have coming later this year will have a profound effect on Wolverine.
So these stories do matter in terms of Wolverine, even if you don't see a Siege logo on the cover or whatever. These are still stories that are important to the continuing development of this character.
And we'll continue to see little touches that reference the big events of the Marvel Universe, but for the most part, we'll stay out of those and just let this be the main Wolverine story for the foreseeable future.
Nrama: It sounds like it's comparable to how Spider-Man is part of the Avengers and other events in the Marvel Universe, but a lot of things that happen to him within his solo title are still "big" and important to him as a character.
Aaron: That's exactly right.
Nrama: What else do you have going on at Marvel? I know you're still doing Scalped for Vertigo and PunisherMax, but is there anything new coming up for you at Marvel?
Aaron: Yes, there is, and it's a mini-series that hasn't been announced yet, but it should be announced soon. For the foreseeable future, as far as ongoing books, I'll be doing Wolverine and PunisherMax. I plan to be working long-term on both of those. The mini-series will be something big, but it will be something that allows me to work with a couple characters I've written before. But I'm also getting to write some of the craziest stuff I've ever written for Marvel.
I'm getting to use a lot of different characters from Marvel that I never thought I could get my hands on. Everybody from Devil Dinosaur to Galactus to Dr. Doom. So it's a wild mix of characters popping up throughout this story.
Nrama: The craziest stuff you've ever written for Marvel? That's pretty crazy, Jason, considering your work on Ghost Rider last year.
Aaron: Yeah. This is a very different tone and a different kind of story, and just in terms of the tone and the big ideas and how unpredictable it is, I would call it the craziest thing I've done.