Marvel NOW! Q&A: Savage Wolverine

Marvel NOW! Q&A: Savage Wolverine

Savage Wolverine #1 cover by Frank Cho

By Andrew Wheeler

He’s an X-Man. He’s an Avenger. He’s a hero. He’s a school teacher. He’s the best there is at what he does. He’s also more than a little savage.

Wolverine may be Marvel’s best known leading man, and this January he’ll star in a brand new ongoing series: SAVAGE WOLVERINE.

He also gets a new writer and a new artist, with both positions being filled by the great Frank Cho.

Readers should count on Cho to indulge some of his favorite obsessions, such as jungle queens and giant apes, as he introduces a unique spin on Marvel’s main mutant. We spoke to Cho about his savage plans for the pugnacious pint-sized hero; plans that involves dark forces, terrible lizards, and a familiar babe in a makeshift bikini. Frank, you're both writing and drawing the new SAVAGE WOLVERINE title. How did you land the gig?

Frank Cho: Axel Alonso called me up after AVENGERS VS. X-MEN #0 was launched, and asked me if I wanted to work on Wolverine, which is a no-brainer since Wolverine is one of my favorite characters in the Marvel Universe. I asked who the writer was, and Axel replied, "You are." I was speechless. Axel reminded me that he originally hired me as a writer-artist and [was] very excited [for] what I would come with. So I told him I'll get back to him in couple weeks and see if I had a "Wolverine story" in me, one that I would like to tell. 

I pondered and went through my story files to see if any of my story ideas would fit the Wolverine character. I'm a chronic scribbler and I've been scribbling story ideas for years. At that point, I was talking with my X-Men editor, Nick Lowe, about writing and drawing an Emma Frost, Black Cat and Spider-Woman team-up story.

Shanna by Frank Cho

So I came up with a cool Indiana Jones/Cthulhu type story that I've been toying around with, modified it and turned it into a Wolverine story. Axel loved the story and told me to start working. You are going to explore Wolverine's savage side? How red in tooth and claw is it going to get?

Frank Cho: Oh, it's gets pretty bloody and savage—in a good way. What do you bring to Wolverine that we haven't seen before?

Frank Cho: Well, I come from a humor background. I did Liberty Meadows daily newspaper comic strip for five years before I was recruited by Marvel. So you'll see lot of action and humor in this story. 

This isn't just a solo Wolverine story. It's actually a team-up story with Shanna the She-Devil. Both Wolverine and Shanna have similar assertive personalities. The story is not just a quest to get home; it's a story about surviving each other's company and the Savage Land. You've worked on Shanna before in the SHANNA THE SHE-DEVIL limited series. What's your approach to the character this time?

Frank Cho: I didn't deviate too far from my original take of Shanna from nine years ago. Shanna is still abrasive, scrappy and confident. She knows how to take care of herself. Since Indiana Jones was my main inspiration for this story, I naturally envisioned Shanna as Marion Ravenwood to Wolverine's Indiana Jones.

Wolverine by Frank Cho Will we see your version of other Savage Land characters like Ka-Zar, Sauron, or the Savage Land mutates?

Frank Cho: No Ka-Zar in this story. But you will definitely see familiar savage inhabitants and brand new characters who will lead you into a bigger and more epic story down the road. Are you excited to draw dinosaurs again? Or will you be exploring your fondness for apes?

Frank Cho: Yes and yes. Keep your eyes out for both dinosaurs and giant apes. How do you plan to lure in readers who aren’t Wolverine fans?

Frank Cho: It's a great jumping in point for new readers. You really don't need to know too much back history of the character to follow and enjoy this story. I'm going to introduce brand new characters who may be very important down the road. ‘Nuff said.

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