Interview With Wolverine and Saucer Country Writer, Paul Cornell

The writer of this month's hottest book, Wolverine #1 (not to mention fan-favorites like Saucer Country, Demon Knights, Captain Britain, and a certain Doctor) sat down to give us a piece of his mind!

Paul Cornell has virtually done it all in the last couple of years. He’s written Doctor Who, successfully turned Action Comics into a book about Lex Luthor, delivered the coolest Captain Britain book in recent memory, stewarded Etrigan and friends into the New DCU with Demon Knights, is about to wrap up a critically acclaimed and criminally underrated series at Vertigo with Saucer Country, and now he’s writing the flagship Wolverine title, the first issue of which just hit the stands last week. And we’re STILL leaving stuff out! Lucky for us (and YOU) he was kind enough to give us the lowdown on what’s going on right now!

Den of Geek (DoG): How did you land this gig writing Wolverine? Did Marvel approach you or did you pitch for it?

Paul Cornell (PC): I met with X-editor Nick Lowe and Marvel boss Axel Alonso at the San Diego Comic Con. They asked me what I’d like to do, I asked for something central to the Marvel Universe (having got tired of working on fringe titles), and they delivered hugely! 

DoG: After working on fabulous but more “out there” books for DC and Vertigo, how does it feel to return to a very popular character? Any difference in your approach to a more mainstream character like Wolverine, as opposed to something like Demon Knights?

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PC: I’m aware that I’m now trying to write pop music, but I’m also trying to keep my indie roots. So this is bigger, more bombastic, but it’s still all about character. 

DoG: It’s been a while since you worked for Marvel, how has the experience been?

PC: It’s been great coming back. There’s a lot of creative freedom, and I have a really excellent editor, Jeanine Schaefer, one of the best I’ve worked with, whose sole concern is how good the title is.  And she really cares about the details.  I’m having a wonderful time. 

DoG: What appeals to you about Logan?

PC: He’s one of these super heroes who has actually had a character journey over his many decades of existence, and it’s one that makes sense. Without his memories, he acted like a bit of a teenager. Now he knows who he is, and he’s grown into this mature, responsible, tough guy. I keep getting the older Clint Eastwood in my head when I write his dialogue. I think Hugh Jackman sometimes channels that vibe too.

DoG: Wolverine appears in lots of books and on lots of teams, how much attention do you pay to what’s going on in other books he’s in? Does it affect your plotting?

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PC: I’m always aware of what’s going on. We share editorial, and I get to see the titles as soon as they’re out. I’m trying to make this title where readers come for their Wolverine news. There are big changes coming for him, in this title. It’s a historical accident, really, with him only getting his own title late in the day, that in the past big events in his life have tended to happen in team books.

DoG: Are any of your concepts or characters from your run on Captain Britain going to appear in Wolverine? Please say yes.

PC: No. I don’t look back. I want an audience who come to this title for what Alan and I are doing with Wolverine, not hoping we’ll play the hits. 

DoG: Alan Davis. Alan freakin’ Davis. How unbelievably cool is that?

PC: It’s very cool. I’m deliberately giving him this down to earth street stuff (though that builds and builds until it collapses into something entirely different) and his style now looks so modern and yet so classic at the same time.

DoG: Describe some of the themes you wish to explore in the first arc.

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PC: It’s a mystery about exactly what Wolverine is facing. It’s something he can’t hit. It’ll turn out to be the lever that opens him up.  But that’ll happen a little later.

DoG: Without spoiling, what can we expect from your run on Wolverine? People? Places?

PC: Nick Fury. A surprise guest star from the other end of Marvel at the end of #2. Helicarriers. 

DoG: Got anything cool you’d like to tell us about?

PC: My first urban fantasy novel, London Falling, modern British undercover police against dark magic, is out in the States on April 15th. I’m very proud of it. 


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