01st Nov2017

Wolverine Wednesday #6

by Ian Wells

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Weapon X #9-#10

Writers: Greg Pak & Fred Van Lente | Artist: Marc Borstel & Ibraim Roberson | Colourist: Frank D’Armata | Letters: Joe Caramagna

When it started, the premise of a Wolverine/Hulk hybrid seemed like a fun idea considering the character’s shared history. It was the perfect way to launch a new series: double down on action and deliver a fun story. Now we have followed these characters into a second story arc it is actually becoming a very character driven piece and still delivering! It can’t be coincidence that this shift occurred when Fred Van Lente came on board as a co-writer. This is of course merely speculation from me, either way I’m happy with the end product. It’s worth pointing out at this stage a Weapon H series was announced recently. That news of course spoils the outcome of this story arc! While he is a good character, he is better suited in the way he is being used in Weapon X I don’t think he can carry his own series. Doctor Alba is proving a well crafted villain. Rather over shadowing the more well known William Stryker. Stryker is depicted as one of the more forgettable Bond villains rather than the bible bashing mutant hating character created by Chris Claremont. There is a revelation about him in Weapon X #9 which is rather glossed over. All New Wolverine joins the team in their mission and it is a welcome addition. Over in her own title Tom Taylor has been exploring her heroic side and humanizing her more. Here Pak writes her as all business. Her mission head is firmly on. Logan and Sabertooth naturally continue to have a difference of opinion and that relationship is given an extra dimension by having Laura around. Generally she leans more to Logan’s side but it is great how she doesn’t take BS from either of them. Weapon X could really work out to Warpaths advantage. Again he gets to absolutely zing Sabertooth in this issue. He could really grow as a character and finally get some much deserved time in the spotlight. I see the make up of the team being flexible going forward so why couldn’t he lead it? On the other side of the spectrum Lady Deathstrike has been greatly under used.  The art by the duo of Borstel and Roberson continues to be top notch. Now I have never been artistic in any way so I would have great difficulty telling you where one artist leaves and the other picks up. Of course I have a vague idea but I don’t want to seem an idiot by telling you all here.  If I had to pick out one inconsistency it would be Sabertooth. Maybe he is being a diva and having a lot of costume changes but he seems different issue to issue.

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All New Wolverine #25

Writer: Tom Taylor | Artist: Juann Cabal | Colourist: Nolan Woodard | Letters: Cory Petit

Right off the bat I should say Daken is a character I have never cared for. I know he plays a big part in this story arc and I have loved everything Tom Taylor has done so far, so I will probably end up liking Daken too! Now Gabby on the other hand is a character I have all the time in the world for and I am happy to report she gets a costume upgrade in this issue and it is brilliant. There is a panel of her wearing it complete with hands nonchalantly in pockets and your like ‘yes that is her down to a tee’. With the title ‘Orphans of X’ I assume it has something to do with Laura’s past and maybe everyone connected to Logan and Weapon X. While others may shrug at a mining a characters past for a story I’m all for it. It makes sense to do it in this issue as it is All New Wolverine’s first under the ‘Legacy’ banner. Sometimes you have to look back to move forward. While the Stryker cliff hanger was glossed over in Weapon X #9 Tom Taylor knows how to deliver a cliff hanger and already has me counting the days for the next issue. With the set up you get in the story you honestly don’t see it coming. Juan Cabal comes on board for art duties and doesn’t disappoint. I was a big fan of Leonard Kirk on the previous arc and would gladly of had him stay for the duration of the series. It is always good for a book and a writer when they can regularly change artist and not have the standard drop, thus not detracting from the story. As there are lots of call backs to Laura’s origin in this issue Cabal does a good channelling Billy Tan’s art from the ‘Innocence Lost’ story which depicted her origin whilst remaining faithful to his own style. Woodard brings a great colour pallet to the issue. Flashbacks are in bold red and oranges, while scenes at The Facility are a neon green tone. The pair of them both show a great attention to detail when it comes to shadows and shading. It is not something I can say I have noticed before but in this issue the shadows all seem real with regard to light source and movement instead of just being used as artistic license. Another solid issue on all fronts!

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Old Man Logan #29

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

There seems to be some themes emerging this month in the Wolverine related comics. The themes being: a major plot point being glossed over and then an issue having a strong cliffhanger. In Old Man Logan this month the big plot point Brisson has been building to for the four previous issues now rather gets shafted for an easy resolution. Then when you think all is lost he delivers a cliffhanger that will bring you back next month. When I re-read the issue, the ins and outs of how the cliffhanger comes about are a little wishy-washy, but I’m willing to let it go in anticipation of a satisfactory conclusion to this story arc next month. In all honesty I’m already anticipating Old Man Logan #31 as I really haven’t enjoyed this story arc from the out set. As previously stated having current day Hawkeye join the fray has definitely been a huge benefit. He brings light heartedness to the tale, moreso than the titular hero. He shares a scene in this issue with Cambria which is one of those “awkward for him, funny for the reader moments”. Ed Brisson does write a good Hawkeye. I have always preferred comics Clint Barton over his MCU counterpart. His brief appearance in this story goes to prove he is still underrated and under used in the comics. I am running out of superlatives for the work Deodato and Martin are putting in on this arc. I have never appreciated panel layouts as much as I have reading this arc. Deodato has taken it to a new level. He clearly knows how to handle action sequences. But then he uses lots of panels on the more talky moments and this helps keep the reader alert. As the story involves Hulks going all over the globe it allows Deodato to showcase another of his many strengths. First of all he draws rather beautiful and believable looking Canadian landscapes. Then when the story calls for glimpses of London and New York you can tell it is them without the bright white caption text. This story arc has been rather bloody and brutal from the outset. Even though it is super hero level stuff, with the way Deodato delivers action added with Martins bright pops of blood red you do actually find yourself thinking “Ouch” a lot while reading this.

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