Charlie Huston’s New Series: Wolverine?
Charlie Huston is one of the many novelists brought into Marvel by Axel Alonso, alongside Duane Swierczynski,
Mike Benson, Gregg Hurwitz, and Jonathan Maberry. While all of them have seen some success, particularly Swierczynski on "Cable," Huston had a strong run on "Moon Knight," revamping the character for the new Marvel Universe and solidifying his reputation as "the crazy hero." "Ultimates Annual #2" was a one-shot that saw the friendship between Ultimate Captain America and Ultimate Falcon bloom, and his "Deathlok" series is currently telling about an alternate version of the best killer robot with a conscience who isn't named Robocop.
While "Deathlok" is currently being serialized, Huston doesn't have any announced work coming out of Marvel's stables. Until now, that is, as he spilled the beans on a few projects on his site on Thursday. Longtime readers will know that he's written a year's worth of stories on a major Marvel series which should debut this fall, but he also revealed that he's doing a two issue story "about a guy who never misses [his] mark."
The latter one is easy: Bullseye is the obvious choice, as his entire gimmick is being deadly accurate with a variety of weapons. The twelve-issue story, however, is a bit tougher. Huston has been mum to the point that there are no real clues about the series at all, not even whether or not it stars a single character or several. The best we've got is that it's "one of Marvel's cadillac titles."
We can use the process of elimination and Huston's demonstrated sensibilities to narrow it down some, of course."Amazing Spider-Man" is sticking with its thrice-monthly schedule with the Webheads for the foreseeable future, so it can't be that one. Brian Michael Bendis just relaunched all of the "Avengers" titles, alongside Ed Brubaker and Christos Gage, so it isn't that franchise. Matt Fraction has mentioned long-term post-"Second Coming" plans for "Uncanny X-Men," as has Mike Carey on "X-Men: Legacy." That takes them out of the running. Ed Brubaker, barring some amazing catastrophe, is staying on "Captain America" until he dies or Bucky does. Rick Remender has a firm grasp on "Punisher," and Jeff Parker has "Thunderbolts" locked down. Matt Fraction leaving "Iron Man"? Not hardly. Leaving "Thor"? Even less likely. Andy Diggle just set up a long arc in "Daredevil," so I can't see him leaving the Man Without Fear any time soon. Jonathan Hickman is knee deep in building a "Fantastic Four" epic. "Hulk," Incredible or otherwise, is doing its mini-event. So, what's left?
Easy: "Dark Wolverine."
It all adds up. Daken is quickly about to be made redundant in the Heroic Age, and May finds "Dark Wolverine" and "Wolverine: Origins" crossing over and telling the tale of what happens when Wolverine finally confronts Romulus. Spoilers: It's gonna involve claws and stabbing. No matter what happens, the search for Romulus has defined the path of Wolverine's solo titles for the past several years, and the end of that quest is a nice point to cut and run. Strengthening the suggestion is the release of "Wolverine #900" in May, the same month as the last issue of "Dark Wolverine" to feature the Romulus plot. Maybe a renumbering is in store?
That leaves a gap of a few months between Huston's estimated starting time of fall 2010 and when the series opens up. Marvel has no end of Wolverine stories sitting in the hopper, though, so I'm sure they'll figure something out. What's likely is a wrap-up arc for Daken as he discovers his place in the new Heroic Age. X-23, Wolverine's female clone, found a place with the X-Men. Where will Daken end up? Villain seems likely to me.
Huston has a respectable career as a novelist, working with everything from vampires to crime fiction to light science-fiction. His strength is in his characterization and dialogue work, which is definitely reflected in his comic book work. "Ultimates Annual #2" took the form of a buddy movie between Cap and Falcon, with the bulk of it devoted simply to them interacting with each other and talking about the way things have changed since the '40s.
Doing the math, it seems likely that Charlie Huston's big run is going to be a year on Wolverine. If you think about Huston's writing, which is pulpy, grimy, darkly humorous, brutally violent, and extremely entertaining, it fits the profile for what makes for a good Wolverine run. It's easy to see Logan as a Huston protagonist, to boot, particularly if you've read "X-Force: Ain't No Dog" where Huston took his first stab at writing Wolverine two years ago.
Barring some surprise swerve like Huston writing a twelve-issue epic in "Deadpool" or "Black Panther," my money's on seeing Charlie Huston on "Wolverine" before the year's out. And if I'm not right... I should be. This one's a no-brainer.