06th Jun2018

Wolverine Wednesday #13

by Ian Wells

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All New Wolverine #35

Writer: Tom Taylor | Artist: Ramon Rosanas | Colourist: Nolan Woodard | Letters: Cory Petit

Here is a review I wish I didn’t have to write. The double blow of Tom Taylor’s last issue writing All New Wolverine and the last time Laura will be seen in the Wolverine mantle. No one would complain if Taylor had gone out in a blaze of glory, killing off Laura in a heroic sacrifice in the process. But in a way that would have felt out of the place with the thirty four issues that have come before. From the start this series has always been about positivity. So I respect the decision and the skill Taylor has as a writer to deny Laura her comic equivalent of a Logan moment and still tell a great story. All of that is not to say this issue doesn’t have action. In fact it moves along at a break neck speed and even has time for an old fashioned Dr. Doom master plan. You could forgive Taylor if he simply used this issue to say goodbye. Of course he delivers another issue of all the elements that have made this series such a good read. He delivers humour in a scene involving Laura and Mjolnir. Heroics in a scene with a surprising array of heroes escaping Doom’s capture and a heartfelt ending which plays on a classic Wolverine quote. The icing on the cake of all this Tom Taylor goodness is that he brings the whole story full circle to a plot started in issue1! So if you have been on board since the get go it is very rewarding indeed. Really my review of this issue is secondary, what I really want to do is say a big thank you to Tom Taylor and all the artists, inkers, colourist, letterers and editors that have been involved in All New Wolverine.  They have not only contributed in making these thirty five issues among the most consistent Wolverine stories on the shelves but also one of the most consistently good Marvel series of all time. Okay they were assisted by Laura appearing in a brilliant movie like Logan around the time it launched But a lot of hard work into putting Laura in the famous yellow and blue. There was some fan backlash online when it was announced but they pushed her front and centre, told brilliant stories and reaped the rewards. The stories have always been imaginative and refreshing and it has always been a joy to read and was always top of my read pile when my monthlies came in the post. As well as putting Laura in the spotlight tom created Gabby who will be around for a long time yet I’m sure. Perhaps its two crowning achievements which I have mentioned repeatedly in my reviews are firstly how it seamlessly folded a X- title into the larger Marvel Universe. Secondly and more importantly this series has always championed female superheroes. So I conclude by saying Tom and everyone thank you and come back anytime you like.

Old Man Logan #39-#40

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

A younger me would always want to see Wolverine face off against Sabertooth or have a revelation about his past teased before having it snatched away at the death. But I have to confess to really, really liking this emotional, love based two issue story arc. Maybe its something that comes with maturing. Part of my attraction to the story may be due to my own experiences of online dating. Admittedly I have never had a date lead to me being in the cross hairs of The Purifiers but there is still time. To start with the title ‘Glob loves, man kills’ is genius. Anything to pay homage to the classic X-Men tales of the past gets a big thumbs up from me. There is more than my emotional side and my sense of nostalgia that make this story a success. If you have been reading my previous reviews you will know I hate with a passion six issue story arcs. Brisson seems to have stayed away from them since his first story when he took over the reigns of Old Man Logan. What I like most is that the previous story arc was three issues and more action driven. Then this arc is only two and is more story driven. Its good down time and more character focus before the next arc which could be X amount of issues and again more action orientated. This is such a better way to go in my opinion, rather six issue story arc followed by another. It means you get more than two stories a year! Perhaps what made this story really hit home was the use of much lesser known X-Men. Lesser known to me anyway. I’m sure there are many X-Men readers who know all about Glob, Shark Girl and friends. Old Man Logan has the feel of a series that is winding down. This story arc acts as a way for Logan to say goodbye to the X-Men without really saying goodbye to the X-Men and passing the baton to a newer generation at the same time. Ibraim Roberson comes on board for art duties. We already know from his time on Weapon X he can draw Old Man Logan and has a great handle on action sequences. He even manages to get convinces emotional expressions onto a character with a sharks head! I don’t think it will be too long before we are seeing more of Roberson either in the X-Books or anywhere in the Marvel Universe.

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Weapon X #17-#18

Writers: Greg Pak & Fred Van Lente | Artist: Yildiray Cinar | Colourist: Frank D’Armata | Letters: Joe Caramagna

This is a series that moves a consistent pace and remains entertaining. Starting with issue seventeen, going through the summer and coming out the other side Weapon X promises to be moving in bold and exciting new directions. If you have seen the cover to issue seventeen I am not spoiling anything when I say Sabertooth is now leading the team following the events of the last issue. That is something I like a lot about Weapon X. As a reader you have a great sense of time between issues. With other books you don’t often know how long has passed between the panels. With Weapon X you can tell if it is minutes, hours or days. Needless to say the new leadership hasn’t gone down brilliantly with everyone on the team. This arc kind of acts as the period of transition for the changes that are coming. We get Sabertooth exerted his top dog status onto everyone. This arc reintroduces us to my second favourite Wolverine villain, Omega Red. However it has been rather a long time since I have seen him in an X-book and I don’t recall him ever having voices in his head. To me it makes a once imposing villain seem rather vunerable. Also in issue eighteen I didn’t quite understand Sabertooths manipulation of Omega Red which eventually leads them to team up. I’m really enjoying the covers by Razzah that have been popping up throughout the series. The cover to issue eighteen could be rather ominous of things to come! On the cover to issue seventeen I like how the word Sabertooth is on the classic font you would associate with him. It just a little attention to detail that makes a fan boy like me smile. Cinar continuous to impress on art duties. His rendition of Omega Red remind of Doug Braithwaites work on Wolverine Origins from a few years back now. With a rotating roster of talented artists and an experience writing duo at the helm Weapon X has all the potential to become a breakout series.

Hunt For Wolverine: Weapon Lost

Writer: Charles Soule | Artist: Matteo Buffagni | Colourist: Jim Charalampidis | Letters: Joe Sabino

Charles Soule was the man responsible for penning the ‘Death of Wolverine’ and it is widely rumoured to be taking the pen up again for when Wolverine’s series returns. That is why I started my review of the ‘Hunt for Wolverine’ books with this one. Daredevil takes center stage in this tale. Soule too has been writing his ongoing series for a few years now so he has a really good hold of Daredevil’s voice. The artwork too really suits Daredevil and his surroundings. The whole vibe is a noir detective book but with the twist of it being three detectives looking for their missing person rather than a lone wolf. I think that is where the entertainment from these four issues will come. Daredevil is renowned for working alone. So him teaming with Misty Knight and Frank McGee is going to provide something outside the norm. Frank McGee is a character I wasn’t aware of before reading this but thanks to Soules writing I instantly love him. Mini series please! He has a flying motorcycle and a flying car for crying out loud! He provides one of the gags of the issue too when he asks what Wolverine they are looking for and lists “The old one, the lady, the blonde kid, the android?” It feels like X-Men vs Inhumans happened quite some time ago now but according to McGee things are still troublesome. So it will be interesting how that factors into the story in future issues. In this issue Soule done something with Doug Ramsey that finally made him an interesting character. Where was Soule when fans petitioned for him to be killed off. I won’t spoil it here it is a very fresh take but is over rather quickly. I wonder if it will be used in future issues of this series and anyother series going forward. On the art side like I said it feels very much like a Daredevil book. Buffagni’s NYC is a very moody setting perfectly complimented by Charalampidis’ colour palette. The opening sequence is brilliant including a lovely splash page of Daredevil leaping over the rooftops. I also love the panel showing how electromagnetic fields effect Daredevils powers. I understand people are going to view these series as just a cash grab. There are Wolverine fans like myself who will buy everything. I think though the way it is being presented you could get away with not reading all or any of them before the big return. Maybe if you like a certain creative team, for example there is enough story in this issue to keep me interested for four issues.

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Hunt For Wolverine: Adamantium Agenda #1

Writer: Tom Taylor | Artist: R.B. Silva | Inker: Adriano di Benedetto | Colourist: Jesus Aburtov | Letters: Joe Sabino

Penned by my boy Tom Taylor so naturally I’m in. I read on his twitter how having Iron Man, Spider-Man, Luke Cage and Jessica Jones in this story will be his first time writing Avengers so naturally he was excited. It takes a different approach to Weapon Lost as we actually get some Wolverine via flashbacks. These give Taylor a chance to write Wolverine after excelling on All New Wolverine. The story is entertaining enough for a first issue. It leaves enough for you to want to come back. He writes the four characters well and has a good take on the unique Wolverine/Spider-Man relationship. This series was billed as the action adventure one out the four and Taylor delivers on that front. I love the idea of a super powered themed black market auction taking place on a submarine out at sea. Like I said it serves me right for being a Wolverine completest but after one issue I don’t really see what this has to do with the bigger picture of Wolverines return. Especially with the direction the cliff hanger takes it! What will keep me coming back for the remaining three issues is to see what the flashback reveals. When Wolverine was on New Avengers it was one of a few times I didn’t pick up a series with him in. So I would be interested to see a fresh take from that period. On the art side it is solid enough. Though it isn’t really to my liking, I prefer it a little more in line with the Weapon Lost art and others of that ilk. The flashback scenes do feel very of the New Avengers era. I wasn’t familiar with the artist before this issue so I don’t know if he has adapted his style to imitate that era or if that is how his stuff looks anyway. If it is the former respect that effort he is putting in. Spider-Man in a shirt and tie with his Spidey mask on is a joy to see. A solid enough start and I always trust in Taylor so will be back next month. Is it strange how none of the teams asked Old Man Logan for help? I mean a few years back if they were searching for someone close to Wolverine he would have been on all four teams!

Hunt For Wolverine: Mystery In Madripoor #1

Writer: Jim Zub | Artist: Thony Silas | Colourist: Felipe Sobreiro | Letters: Joe Sabino

I can’t understand why this was marketed as the romance book out of the four. Okay we all know Wolverine is a ladies man but the central cast is Kitty Pryde, Psylocke, Storm, Jubilee, Domino and Rogue. Ok he’s definitely has romantic involvement with three of them but two of them are more daughter figures so the romance can’t come in there! Lets face it they are teaming up because they are X-Men firstly not former notches on the bedpost. What is romantic about three exes turning up at once? All that a side it is a fun story with more than a hint of nostalgia. The issue begins with a montage from when Wolverine trained Psylocke , so again we get some Wolverine action and this time in the tan and brown costume! 80′s-90′s X-Men is clearly an era Zub knows well as it gets more than a few references. The most poignant being when the group go to a secret room of mementos in the Princess Bar. Now on the art side of things I like it a lot. It is bright, bold and pays homage to the eras referenced on the story, in essence it is very Jim Lee. I do however have one major problem with it. It is a problem that I thought was slowly going out of comics so it is a shame to see it in a major event like this. With the group of characters involved and the 90′s Jim Lee homage it is all a bit overly T ‘n’ A. It even goes as far to have a page of the group dressing for a night on the town. As so often is the case Psylocke is the main victim. On the cover by Greg Land Psylocke is in her more modern costume that covers more than it ever has. I understand the use of her old costume in the flashback but the dress she wears towards the end of the issue leaves it all on show. Men on the next panel are all looking her way. Like I said it is a shame, the story probably the most fun out of the four and to see this group go on their mission will be a good read, especially with the out of the blue reveal at the end.

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Hunt For Wolverine: Claws Of A Killer #1

Writer: Mariko Tamaki | Artist: Butch Guice | Inker: Cam Smith | Colourist: Dan Brown | Letters: Joe Sabino

The team assembled in this issue seems the most obvious to go after Wolverine. Sabertooth, Lady Deathstrike and Daken will literally be playing up the ‘hunt’ part in their four issues. With Claws of a Killer being labelled as the horror story of the four it will play to the characters strengths particularly with what this opening issue set up. Also this issue sets up the biggest mystery so far out of the four, as we get a glimpse of ‘Wolverine’ in the present. Tamaki writes the three characters well. You could easily pick this up as a first time reader and understand the connection between each of them and Wolverine. So far I like her Daken too, he’s a character I have previously had an up and down time with. I’ve loved Guice’s artwork ever since I first saw it. So finally I am glad to be collecting something he is working on. I like the sketchiness to his work. The gray/browns of the colours really compliment both Guice’s art and the story itself. It’s set in Arizona, it has the horror vibe and with the characters it depicts it wouldn’t make sense for it to have a bright colour palette like Mystery in Madripoor  does. Unfortunately there is another case of T ‘n’ A. This time cover artist Greg Land is the culprit. Deathstrike has never been that chesty come on! With Sabertooth and Deathstrike being in both this and Weapon X it is a shame there is no room for crossover. It would have added a new dynamic with the way that series is shaping up at the moment. However I don’t think blame for that can lay at the door of Tamaki. It is more likely an editorial decision. These ‘Hunt For’ titles need to do one thing and one thing only. Build peoples excitement for the return of Wolverine. There is no time for synergy. I’m keeping  a close eye on this one out of the four as Tamaki is launching X-23 issue one shortly and I feel this one could end being the surprise package out of them all.

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