During today's final Next Big Thing call, Marvel ran down what's coming up in the big tricentennial issue.
- Aaron says it's weird to be working on his final Wolverine story since he's been working on the character off an on since he got into comics. He describes this one as the biggest story he's done to date, drawing together all the threads from his run up until this point.
- At issue: the death of Silver Samurai and the power vacuum it created, leading to conflicts between the Hand and the Yakuza.
- Aaron was excited about bringing Wolverine back to Japan, something he's been leading up to for several years now. Originally, it was planned to run before the "Wolverine Goes To Hell" arc, but was pushed back to coincide with the 300th issue.
- On his favorite moment working on the title, Aaron says one of his early issues, #66 with artist Howard Chaykin, and getting a terse pep talk from Axel Alonso which got him going.
- The 300th issue will introduce a new Silver Samurai. The original was the head of clan Yoshida, leading to the aforementioned power vacuum. The new one is the son of the original, and according to Aaron he's got an updated look and attitude with a new costume designed by artist Steven Sanders.
- On moving away from Wolverine: Aaron says that 2012 is kind of a year for transition for him as Scalped and PunisherMax both conclude their runs. He also wants to walk away with reader good will.
- Ninja assassin Yukio from the Claremont run and Wolverine's daughter both make their way into issue #300.
- Part of the story also redefines the Hand and the role of ninjas in the Marvel U which have become increasingly disposable.
- The book will be divided into chapters with part of the art chores handled by Sanders, part of it handled by Adam Kubert, and the rest by Ron Garney.
- The issue will also see the return of Sabertooth to Wolverine's life after his decapitation in the Jeph Loeb arc from a few years ago.
- As the new head of the Hand, Kingpin will get some time in the story in issue #20, but the action and focus will shift to Japan and the Hand leadership there.
- The new story will reflect the contrast between 80's Japan of the Miller/Claremont stories and the current state of the nation.
- Aaron says he's writing Sabertooth as all the things Wolverine hates about himself.
- Some of the characters and villains will have an impact on Wolverine and the X-Men.
Marvel also provided the first five pages and covers for the issue:
Wolverine #300 is on shelves in January and issue #20 is available next week.