Announced at the New York Comic Con Diamond Retailer Breakfast (which, despite what you may think, is not a breakfast at which retailers eat diamonds), popular Podcasters Ben Blacker and Ben Acker will be taking on Marvel's toughest mutant with the brand new OGN Wolverine: Season One. We chatted with the duo and Salvador Espin about delving once again into the origin of Wolverine, and even got a bonus sketch from Espin:
MTV Geek: For the Bens, congrats! How did you guys end up on this project, and what might people know you from?
Ben Blacker and Ben Acker: Thank you! People may know us as having written for T.V. shows such as Supernatural and Supah Ninjas as well as for The Thrilling Adventure Hour, which is a stage show in the style of old time radio that we write and produce in Los Angeles and which we podcast on iTunes. It is through the podcast that Marvel editor Jordan D. White came to know us and how we ended up on the project.
Geek: I think this is a bit of an interesting project as the Season One books go, as mostly they've adapted the first three issues of a character's series... Basically their origins and first two adventures. Here, Wolverine's history has been introduced out of order, and he didn't even show up in a solo series until eight years later. So... What the deal, yo?
Bens: We are dealing with Wolverine's first appearance, when he crossed paths with Wendigo and the Hulk. We're taking Hulk 181 (written by our pal Len Wein) and re-telling that story in the context of some of the history you mention.
Geek: Who, essentially, is Wolverine? Bad-ass mutant with a healing factor, sure; but what's his character?
Bens: The Wolverine we grew up reading was a guy who was constantly plagued by the animal within - in perpetual danger of losing his humanity to the anger... The beast. That's the Wolverine we're writing. Which is so cool.
Geek: Salva, what's your take on early Wolverine, from the artistic perspective?
Salvador Espin: Hi, everybody! Well, in the first issues we have been digging on the wildest side of Wolverine. He has lived in the deep Canadian wilderness for a long time when the story starts, so the readers will find the most genuine savage Wolverine: small height, big side-whiskers and sharp claws with extra adamantium.
Geek: Who else shows up here? I know we have Sabretooth and Hulk... Any other guest stars?
Bens: As in the Hulk issue, we get to meet the Hudsons - James and Heather - from Alpha Flight, Canada's number one super-hero team.
Geek: What's the arc for Wolverine in this book? Where is he when we start, and at least emotionally, where do you need to take him by the end?
Bens: He starts feral and he ends -- wait, are you asking me to tell you the end of the book? Can we do that? I know he's trying to be a man, not a monster. Whether he succeeds or fails? I'm afraid you'll have to read the book to find out.
Geek: Any chance we can get a radio play version of this book? Eh?
Bens: We would love to make that happen. Paul F Tompkins was born to play Wolverine.
Geek: Any final thoughts? Things you can't believe I forgot to ask?
Bens: You forgot to ask "Are you so mind-bendingly excited to write one of your favorite characters of all time that you can hardly believe it?" And the answer is "Yes, of course we are, that question has such a glaringly obvious answer, I can't believe you asked it."
SE: I can only say that it’s been a pleasure working with the Bens and with my favorite moustached editor: Jordan D. White. They´re MARVELous! Oh! I can´t forget to thank my father for lending me his ’70s classic comic collection for documentation.
Wolverine: Season One hits stores everywhere in June, 2013... But until then, here's a sketch Espin did for us: