For Laura Kinney, being Wolverine isn’t just about being the best there is at what she does. It’s about honoring the legacy established by her “father,” the original Wolverine (James Howlett, aka Logan) whom she believes to be dead. That means family is very important for the clone formerly known as X-23, even those members who were estranged from her father, like his biological son Daken. And when Daken goes missing in Marvel Comics’ All-New Wolverine #25, readers will see just how important Laura’s brother is to her.
On sale Wednesday, the issue is the kickoff to an intense and violent Marvel Legacy arc titled “Orphans of X,” by writer Tom Taylor and artist Juan Cabal.
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CBR spoke with Taylor about the storyline, the relationship between Daken and Laura, and the next time she and her “sister” Gabby’s pet wolverine, Jonathan, will talk.
CBR: In All-New Wolverine #25 you kick off a new arc that brings Daken back into Laura’s life. What’s your sense of the character? How does he view Laura and her talking over their “father’s” mantle? And how does she view him?
Tom Taylor: What’s interesting about Laura and Daken is they are actually quite close. They got to this point in Marjorie Liu’s X-23 series. They are brother and sister, and we saw a lot of that in our “Immune” arc, where Daken shows up not because a city is dying, but because Laura needs him.
You’ll see a bit more of that in our Legacy arc, but it is a very fraught arc. I think these are some of the most violent comics we’ve done in All-New Wolverine, particularly the first couple of issues. I think what Juan Cabal and Nolan Woodward are doing on art is just amazing. We’re jamming really well together, and I’m very proud of this book so far. I think people are going to pay a lot of attention. That first issue should grab people very hard.
What can you tell us about the inciting incident that brings Daken back into Laura’s life?
The inciting incident is, basically, Daken is taken. We don’t know by who, but he’s taken at the very beginning of this arc. Then his arm shows up hanging from a bridge on Roosevelt Island, where Laura, Gabby and Jonathan, the actual Wolverine, live.
I can’t talk about what happens from there, but as far as inciting incidents go that’s the big one. [Laughs]
It seems like you almost set the stage for that with Daken’s appearance in the “Immune” arc, because there’s a scene in that story where Laura comments on how Daken regrew his arm.
That’s right. I think it’s pretty funny. We talked about exactly what was going to get cut off, and I was like, “You know what? He regrew his arm. Let’s cut it off again.” I like the idea that he has a tattooist on call to redo that tattoo every time his arm is removed. [Laughs]
It felt like with Issue 24 you opened up the door for some more fun and humorous scenes in All-New Wolverine by having Rocket Raccoon of the Guardians of the Galaxy give Jonathan the ability to talk. Will we see some of that in this arc.
Jonathan won’t talk all the time; we don’t have that universal translator. It’s around, but I thought about it, and the more I thought it, it would be super-creepy to have your pets talk. I can say, though, that we’ll probably see that universal translator again around Issue 31.
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There’s a real drive in “Orphans of X.” Nothing slows down for very long, but I promise Jonathan fans that you will see that translator again.
It sounds like, in terms of tone, “Orphans of X” will be an action-packed and deeply personal tale for Laura.
It is, for both her and Daken. It kind of questions everything, and it’s a very, very intense thing. I think it’s probably the most intense arc, we’ve done so far. That’s saying something after “Enemy of the State II.”
This arc brings up more from the past, and just the ramifications of who she was as a child. We’ll see that very soon.
It feels like in a way Laura has dealt with the horror of her past, but my understanding is that when you go through something as traumatic as what she went through, it comes back periodically throughout your life to haunt you. You deal with it the best you can, and try to move on.
Yeah, absolutely. We wanted to get Laura past a lot of the stuff that happened to her through her childhood and adolescence. That’s never gone, but we want to make sure she’s not a victim anymore. She fights against it, but to suggest what happened to her doesn’t effect her would be silly.
What can you tell us about the antagonists Laura and her allies are up against in “Orphans of X”? Are they facing new creations, or established Marvel foes?
They’re up against new things, but I can’t say anything else other than that. [Laughs] You’ll just have to buy those first two issues, and trust me you’ll want to.
One of the things I’ve loved about your run on All-New Wolverine is the way you’ve handled guest stars. They’re brought in via organic ways and used really well. Will we see any guest stars in “Orphans of X”?
Yes, and that’s all I’ll say. I’m a fan of the Marvel Universe, so any time I get to play with great toys, I’m always happy to. I know the characters well too. So hopefully that comes through in their voices and how I write them.
It does. I also like how you’ve brought in some of the newer versions of classic Marvel characters like the Unstoppable Wasp and Ironheart.
Yeah, I try to read as much as I can and I like to bring in those kinds of characters. With Ironheart, I loved those first issues with her. I thought she had a great, unique voice and we could really do something with her in this book.
I think there will be a fair amount of attention given to the Legacy issues of All-New Wolverine. So you’ll want to make sure you order them from your comic store. Our Generations special with the Wolverines did quite well, so there’s a lot of eyes on Laura at the moment. But I think these issues in particular will draw lots of people in because of just how well the art team has done on them. They are beautiful and really unique. So I’d urge everybody reading this to make sure they pick them up.