07th Mar2018

Wolverine Wednesday #10

by Ian Wells

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All New Wolverine #30

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

Firstly I would like to point out I am one issue behind on All New Wolverine. It is because I receive my comics by post and to ensure they are delivered in time to get my reviews done I have to miss the last Wednesday of the month some times. Over the year it will balance itself out at some point. In the top corner of the first page you see the caption ‘Orphans of X Part 6′. This story hasn’t dragged at all and the story has moved along at a good pace. Taylor has proven he can write for trade collections where some writers can’t. Each issue brings something to help develop the story. However I hope six issue story arcs doesn’t become regular in this title. This story arc and this issue in particular serves to close off a huge chapter of Laura’s life. Without spoiling too much it acts as a sequel of sorts to ‘Innocence Lost’. It sees the first ten plus years of her existence in the Marvel Universe come to a metaphorical close and sets her on a new path. Again with  out spoiling too much the climax to the story very much made me think of the moment when CM Punk joined The Nexus! Having already seen the title of next months story arc I know the set up from this issue doesn’t happen straight away. X-Titles are well known for the long game so now Tom Taylor has an established story line he can return to at any time. I also wonder if the possible new status quo may play a long term role for Laura when Wolverine returns in May. Another issue and another example of ‘Gabby Goodness’. This time she just back chats Sabertooth and Lady Deathstrike like they are nobodies! On the subject of Sabertooth and Deathstrike it is a great part of Laura’s strength as a character that she has absolutely no problem giving these two and Logan orders. Its her way or no way! Taylor has really crafted something special through his time on this title. ‘Orphans of X’ has perhaps been the pinnacle. Along the way it has provided excitement through its action scenes, intrigue through the mystery of the Orphans identity. Lastly it packed an emotional punch. The last page is pretty close to a tear jerker if you don’t mind admitting that kind of thing on a comics review blog.

Weapon X #14

Writer: Greg Pak | Artist: Yildiray Cinar | Colourist: Frank D’Armata | Letters: Joe Caramagna

The ‘Nuke-Clear War’ story arc comes to an explosive ending in this issue. I like how the issue began going back a few seconds before last months cliff hanger. Giving it a episodic TV drama feel. This arc has really been about Warpath taking centre stage, which makes a refreshing change to everything being Wolverine centric. It has also delivered on some plot threads laid earlier on in the series with the flirting between Warpath and Domino hitting new heights. Spoiler… they kiss. The only reason I have to spoil it is because the art for the kiss stuck with me with being rather bad. I know Warpath is a big guy but when they embrace the two characters are so out of proportion to each other. It is accentuated because on the opposite page they are fighting side by side without the same drastic difference. In fact there are a few panels in this issue where the art seems a little off. I would even go as far to say they look like someone else entirely drew them! What I like about this arc is that it remembers comics are a form of entertainment, it doesn’t take itself too seriously. Yes it touched on politics and had character moments but the three issues passed at an adrenaline pumping speed. We know Pak can do longer epics like ‘Planet Hulk’ but he also knows when a story can be told in three issues. He never would have been able to maintain the pace in this arc for more issues or had much more story to tell. It always makes sense to me to do shorter arcs after longer ones. ‘Nuke-Clear War’ made a good change in pace after all the Weapon H stuff. It ties up most of the lose ends and gives the reader what they want with good triumphing over evil. With all that out of the way there is even time to lay the foundations for the next story arc. I always prefer this as they are meant to be a continuation of a characters journey. It makes more sense rather than any issue starting at an random non specified time. Comics only tend to get specific about time when an event is going on. I may just be putting none existent puzzle pieces together but like with All New Wolverine I feel the next story arc of Weapon X could play a part in Wolverine’s return to a monthly title. It will be interesting to see how his return effects this series. Based on the strength of Warpath in this story arc I strongly believe it could survive with out the best there is at what he does.

Old Man Logan #34 & #35

Writer: Ed Brisson | Artist: Ibraim Roberson | Colourist: Carlos Lopez | Letters: Cory Petit

Finally it appears me and Ed Brisson see eye to eye on what makes a good Wolverine story. Pacing plays a huge part in this story arcs enjoyment. Don’t let the title of ‘Moon Over Madripoor Part 1′ fool you. These two issues are essentially a continuation of the ‘Scarlet Samurai’ story from the previous three issues. Yet by splitting into two separate parts it makes it feel fresh and allows the story to flow better. At the same time it can still be collected in one trade paperback. The three previous issues were the action issues, there to build excitement and leave you wanting more. Issue 34 is the climax, Logan saving the day. The meat in the sandwich if you will. The top piece of bread being issue 35s emotional gut punch. So far I have reviewed these issues without revealing the identity of the Scarlet Samurai. If you don’t know who it is I will be spoiling it shortly so I can praise Brisson some more. The Scarlet Samurai is 3…2…1… Mariko Yashida. She is essentially Logan’s Uncle Ben. She died in 1992 and has never been used since. Ed Brisson has crafted a story that is so entertaining whilst paying a huge amount of respect to a character. A character he didn’t create and a character who some Wolverine readers will hold near and dear. The story has been so good, these two issues in particular that I would go as far to say they have created a third instalment for a Mariko Yashida trilogy. The pinnacle is the brilliant ending. What Mariko and Logan must be feeling in these moments of the last pages are unknown to most, but the writing puts it across so well. It is a occasion in comics when words are more important than action. Also it is a bigger tear jerker than the conclusion to the All New Wolverine issue. Mike Deodato hands over art duties on these two issues (though he does supply two beautiful covers) to Ibraim Roberson. Roberson himself is no stranger to Wolverine having drawn recent issues for Weapon X. There isn’t much between the two artists so it doesn’t disrupt the flow of the story. Perhaps Deodato is more sketchy round the edges, where Roberson has cleaner faces. Roberson clearly has a different approach to panel layouts. The biggest difference is that these two issues weren’t as bloody as Deodato’s. I am so glad Ed Brisson is hitting his stride on this title now!

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