05th Jul2017

Wolverine Wednesday #2

by Ian Wells

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It’s that time of the month again to go through all comics laced with more than a hint of adamantium. This month I will bring you up to speed on the previous three issues of Weapon X, All New Wolverine #20-#21 and then review the first issue from the new creative team on Old Man Logan #25. Before I get into the reviews I must apologise for not giving proper credits for the books I reviewed last month, so that will be rectified from here on in.

Weapon X #2-#4

Writer: Greg Pak | Artist: Greg Land/Ibraim Roberson | Inks: Jay Leisten | Colours: Frank D’Armata | Letters: Joe Caramagna

The second and third issues of this series have a certain feel of the writer following a paint by numbers. That being said I am enjoying the series thus far, but because of the characters involved and the concept of Weapon X always appeals to me. I feel for more casual readers they may struggle to enjoy the formula of these early issues. #2 focuses on the programs attempts to capture Warpath and #3 sees Domino take center stage. While Warpath and Domino might not immediately be tied to Weapon X I back their inclusion. Warpath has a history with Wolverine dating back to Classic X-Men #3. Domino previously has gone up against Weapon X in the 2002 series. Whilst the two issues may be similar in approach Greg Pak does do a good job in giving both characters distinct voices via their internal monologues. The action continues to move at a rate of knots. This offers little time to dwell on who might be pulling the strings of the new program. #3 did include a lot of female scientists which I thought might be a clue! I have often heard Greg Land’s art work criticized. The main criticism being he often draws poses rather than tells the story. Based on the four issues so far I would have to disagree. You do get a feel for motion from the art in the action sequences, there is a sense for the surroundings and in the down beat moments there is a higher degree of detail. Like in the backgrounds of the labs for example. Of course he does play to his strengths in #3 with a beautiful splash page of Domino swinging into action.

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The last page reveal of #3 does present a negative for me. As Greg Pak is writing both Weapon X and Totally Awesome Hulk he has decided to do a cross over. I don’t like the fact we are still early into the story arc of a new ongoing that it is now crossing over with another book. I get the nostalgia and the fan boy credentials of having Hulk and Wolverine together again, but it’s Amadeus Cho not Bruce Banner. I can report that you can read and enjoy Weapon X #4 without reading Totally Awesome Hulk #19. All you miss is Wolverine, Sabertooth and Domino teaming with Hulk and the how and why they have decided to attack a Weapon X facility. This issue also breaks the formula of the previous three and is even heavier on action. We also get the big reveal of the man behind the new Weapon X. But again with the turn of the last page you learn the story is continued in a further issue of Hulk and a one shot. I will continue to pick up Weapon X but a part of me is already wishing this first arc to be out the way. I want to see the team dynamic of the characters assembled and what further missions they can go on.

All New Wolverine #20-#21

Writer: Tom Taylor | Artist: Leonard Kirk | Inks: Cory Hamscher | Colours: Michael Garland | Letters: Cory Petit

First off I love the Adam Kubert cover. Whoever designed Gabby’s costume is a creative genius. If the editors at Marvel play their cards right they could have a female Deadpool on their hands. The plot of the alien virus thickens and Laura continues to be a part of the larger Marvel Universe. It goes against all the negative fans who think Marvel hate the X-Men. In these two issues alone Laura interacts with, Bobbi Morse, Amadeus Cho, Nadia Pym, Peter Parker, Doctor Strange and Ironheart. There seems to be a positive shift to the emphasis of Marvel’s strong female characters and All New Wolverine is a big part of that shift. It is refreshing to see three issue story arcs back in mainstream comics. It helps so much and doesn’t take anything away from the story. Taylor is delivering more entertainment in a more limited space than some writers are in six issues. When you know its only three issues and you get the resolution towards the end of the second issue you know there isn’t going to be any convoluted mumbo jumbo sprung on you in the final issue. Like I said refreshing! Beginning, middle and an end its all comics need. The resolution is rather simple at the end of the day but so well handled. I’m sure on some level there is a message hidden within the resolution but I don’t want to spoil it so you will have to read it to find out for yourself. Kirk delivers a brilliant splash page of some familiar faces and his art goes hand in hand with the pace of the action. I like how Kirk utilises  very conventional panel layouts on the majority of his pages. Then on another page he has a sound effect taking up most of the page. It is a good mix. With Gabby being yet another clone to fans early on it might of felt as though she was a throw away character. However the back and fourth she has with Deadpool in #21 shows her worth as a character and highlights the fact she won’t be going anywhere in a hurry. The issue ends on a cliff hanger and based on the series so far I back Tom Taylor to deliver.

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Old Man Logan #25

Writer: Ed Brisson | Artist: Mike Deodato Jr | Colours: Frank Martin | Letters: Cory Petit

I mentioned last month how I felt the timing of this series had worked out well for Marvel as it coincided with the release of Logan. I also felt Old Man Logan had more scope for stories than I expected and kind of assumed he would just be the Logan from now on. However with recent news about the Marvel Legacy initiative launching soon I’m now 90% certain the old Wolverine will be back sooner rather than later. When Jeff Lemire left the title I thought he had left the character having accepted his new surroundings and ready to go on from here with new adventures. I know its hard and often unfair to judge a story after one issue but with Maestro assembling a team of Hulks from the Wasteland it feels like “Here we go again.” Logan vs The Hulk was a big part of the original Old Man Logan story, like I said I thought all that had had a line drawn under it. It makes you question how long this creative team will be on the series and if and how this series will tie into the inevitable return of Wolverine? Maybe Brisson just said “I have a good Old Man Logan story” and the editors said “Tell it the series is ending soon.” It must sound like I’m giving Ed Brisson a hard time. I can say what is on offer in this issue is well written. There is a good balance between action and set up. There is no clunky dialogue and he has a strong handle on Logan’s internal monologue. Mike Deodato’s art is the highlight though. It was always going to be tough following Andrea Sorrentino but Deodato is more than capable. He is a good fit for Old Man Logan. Different from Sorrentino in that he has more panels but still a good fit. I like how his Logan has the longer hair but more grey, rather than looking like Steve McNiven’s original rendering. His backgrounds and scenary have a photo real quality and all the different Hulks have different personalities in his renderings. Even though I haven’t been 100% kind to this issue it is well written and I would like to see what direction it goes in. Maybe there will be a twist to take it away from another Old Man Logan vs Hulks story.

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