04th Jul2018

Wolverine Wednesday #14

by Ian Wells

Weapon X #19

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

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First things first lets talk about the cover. Again it is provided by Rahzzah who has been on Weapon X for some time now. While Russia have spent much of their existence as public enemy number one in the eyes of the west their propaganda art as always provided inspiration for the comic world. It is a cover that is related to the story without falsely giving any plot about the story within. I have always praised Weapon X for its consistent pacing. However this issue felt a little frantic. The nature of the story probably didn’t help with this. You have Sabertooth trying to recruit Omega Red and screw over S.I.C.K.L.E at the same time. Omega Red is on a mission to kill someone who’s existence would actually benefit mutant kind. Still with me? Then there are the further reveals to Sabertooth’s new secret boss/partner. The voices in Omega Red’s head are revealed. It was his brother via nanobots. See I knew it wasn’t a psycho thing. Weapon X is at a really interesting crossroads now. If you have seen future solicitations you know the villains are taking over. Marvel could really push this angle more. They have never really had a strong villain book like Suicide Squad or Secret Six over at DC. When Marvel do a villain book it tends to become a anti hero story rather quickly. Now with the pieces on place Weapon X has so much potential going forward, if it can avoid the chop! This issue also earns bonus points for actually having Old Man Logan’s condition be consistent with that in Old Man Logan. He has the scar on his eye and is weakening as the story goes. Cinar continues to impress on art duties. While Weapon X may not be a big seller for him it could certainly act as a stepping stone to a bigger series. Would it be fair to call him Deodato light? In past Weapon X runs it was always getting good when it got cancelled. I really hope this one can keep going for the reasons I stated. Solid story telling issue to issue and plenty of potential going forward.

Old Man Logan #41-#42 

Writer: Ed Brisson | Artist: Francesco Manna | Colourist: Carlos Lopez | Letters: Cory Petit

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With all the announcements surrounding the return of Wolverine every time you pick up an issue of Old Man Logan you feel it could be the end. But so far it hasn’t come. Again we get a tight well told two issue story arc. Its fun, entertaining and provides some building blocks for that potential end game. My previous exposure to Kraven The Hunter was what is considered to pinnacle of his existence, ‘Kravens Last Hunt’. So catching up with him after a long time and in a completely different series made for an enjoyable read. I like the direction Brisson takes with Kravens motivations and how he has always wanted to hunt Wolverine. In fact over the two issues Kraven does a lot of the talking that at times Logan feels like a supporting character in his own book, but it works! I am a nostalgic comics reader so I always enjoy when villains from Wolverine’s past show up. In this case we get Bloodscream and Roughhouse. Do they always work together? While I have been disappointed not to see Mike Deodato return on art duties at least he is still provided kick ass covers. Kraven vs Logan with a dinosaur in the background yes please! Francesco Manna is a perfect fit for the story. As his style is less gritty than in previous arcs it goes well with the action adventure vibe. I like his use of panel layouts to convey actions and his facial expressions are brilliant. Manna’s style paired with Carlos Lopez on colours gives this whole story a great feel. The colours are brighter and more vibrant than anything we have seen in Old Man Logan previously. Lopez really highlights the beauty and exoticness of the Savage Land through his choice of colours. If people didn’t like Ed Brisson after his first story arc like me they and led to them dropping the book they are seriously missing out now! You need to get back into Old Man Logan before it ends. So entertaining!

Hunt For Wolverine: Weapon Lost #2

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

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This was another strong issue. The narration gives the story a real hard boiled detective feel. That combined with the art style makes this very much feel like a Daredevil story. I don’t know how the four titles that make up ‘Hunt For Wolverine’ connect or if they are even meant to. Maybe there will be a last page reveal of the last issues tying it all together. So far thought two issues in the fate of Wolverine is secondary because Soule is such a good story teller it does just feel about the four characters he has chosen to hunt for Wolverine. He has fleshed out Doug Ramsey and given him more interesting character development than anyone ever has since his creation. He even takes a dig at the New Mutants comics of old when Doug says he is no good on fighting situations. This was one of  few light hearted moments that Soule absolutely nailed. Again he pokes fun at the number of current ‘Wolverines’ running around. Frank McGee continues to steal the show. While Daredevil may be the lead and supplies the narration, McGee is very much the heart and soul of the team and the mission. There is a scene in a biker bar where you get a real sense of McGee’s presence as a character. This issue actually does what none of the other ‘Hunt For’ titles have done so far and makes a mention of the Wolverine appearances in the recent ‘post credits scenes’ that occurred a few months back across a variety of titles. While the return of Wolverine is the big mystery which does get some meat on the bones in this issue there is still plenty going on to male this a good read. Mainly there is the question of what is going on between Misty Knight and McGee. Then I would like to see how Soule further develops Doug Ramsey. The issue ends with a great climax so readers will definitely be coming back for more. As Soule is the architect of Wolverine’s return I would recommend picking this series up as it will probably prove to be the most important and so far it has been the most entertaining.

Hunt For Wolverine: Adamantium Agenda #2

Writer: Tom Taylor | Artist: R.B. Silva | Inker: Adriano Di Benedetto | Letters: Joe Sabino

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Despite this issue still taking place two hundred feet below sea level this story packs a lot in, a lot of cool stuff too. The cliff hanger from the last issue proved to be not a red herring but something was dealt with rather quickly. It was just a case of Tom Taylor having fun whilst still telling an entertaining story. The flash backs add a depth to the story the other ‘Hunt For’ books don’t have. What works well about the flash backs is that they are easily accessible for Wolverine fans who didn’t read that era of New Avengers. Taylor doesn’t get bogged down in the continuity of that time. Also the flash backs connect this issue to the ‘Hunt For Wolverine’ one shot from a few weeks back. If like me you were wondering why Tony Stark was so eager to help its explained here. The characters in this issue are so strongly associated with Brain Bendis and his style. So I feel praise is due for Taylor who does such a good job of capturing their personalities and keep them feeling like they come from a Bendis story. Especially with the banter between Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Spider-Man. Again like with the Old Man Logan story arc the art work and colour choices are a good fit for this action adventure style of story. There is a great sequence of panels which show Wolverine regenerating nearly his entire upper body. Its a cool kind of gruesome. Not too bloody. There are two guest appearances that help this issue pack a punch. I don’t want to spoil either so I will dance around them as best I can. The first is an old school X-Men villain and I think it will be interesting to see him go up against this specific group of characters. It may even be a first for any of them to have interacted. Lastly the other guest star appears in disguise early in the issue then has the privilege of a last page splash. All I need to say is it’s Tom Taylor! A brilliant issue looking forward to see how the remaining two unfold.

Hunt For Wolverine: Mystery In Madripoor #2 

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

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For me this issue took a bit of a dip after the last one. Also the T ‘n’ A is still a distracting problem. I don’t want to sound a prude but it really doesn’t need to be there! We have a set of female characters all with strong personalities and all with hard core fan bases presented in a way I thought the industry was trying to move away from. The story reads very much like a third tier X-Men book with some loose connection to Wolverine. Out of the four titles I can’t see where and how this will connect to his eventual return. Again I don’t know at this stage how much it is meant to lead into his return but it should at least get closer, seeing as we only have two issues left to wrap everything up. So far it is a very cluttered story arc. The cast is two big for a four issue story. Zub does his best to tighten the story up by having three of the members help captive for the issue so we can spend the story with just three main characters. But then he fills the extra space with too many villains. Not only are there too many villains they have too many motivations which have no connection to Wolverine (at this point) so I don’t see the point of them. Where does Magneto being help prisoner by Viper and her gang fit in to it all? Like I said two issues left! Even the last page cliff hanger isn’t amazing. It is a good visual but once you sit back and think you can pretty much pre-empt how it is going to unfold in a months time. Again you can tell Zub must have been a big X-Men fan growing up. He takes some more nostalgic looks back into X-past. The Kitty Pryde/Wolverine mini series gets some mention, so bonus points for that. It is good too to see Jubilee be old school Jubilee complete with yellow jacket, rather than Vampire Mummy Jubilee. On the other hand however the Domino in this is nothing like the Domino in Weapon X. Despite my dislike for my perceived over use of T ‘n’ A I do like the cover. It is for all us fans who feel Storm/Wolverine is the greatest X-Men romance we never got. Well not for a decent amount of time anyway. If this wasn’t part of an event and if I wasn’t a Wolverine completest I would drop this book. I know full well if I do though it will instantly get better!

Hunt For Wolverine: Claws Of A Killer #2

Writer: Mariko Tamaki | Artists: Butch Guice & Mack Chater | Inkers: Cam Smith & Mack Chater | Colourist: Dan Brown | Letters: Joe Sabino

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This is my least favourite of the four, even with all I said about ‘Mystery In Madripoor’. It makes me cautious as well as Tamaki is taking the reigns of X-23 and Tom Taylor is big shoes to fill on that character. Of course the bad story may be attributed to being part of an event, it doesn’t mean Tamaki is a bad writer. With events there are certain restrictions in place so this issue should bare no resemblance to what Tamaki will do on X-23. The first issue wasn’t bad and done some pretty good set up. But this issue doesn’t really move things along at a good enough pace. Very little time passes between the middle of issue one and the end of this issue. You would think with the characters involved it would have a bigger connection to Wolverine. The Sabertooth and Lady Deathstrike are very different from their portrayal in Weapon X. They aren’t as cohesive here as there are in that story. Daken seems to have dropped back into his old arrogant self! I think part of my dislike for it comes from my dislike of the horror genre. This title was billed as a horror book but it isn’t scary at all. I thought part of the key to good horror was the tension that builds. It is harder to build tension in a comic as opposed to  a movie and with the pace this issue is at tension never builds. Stuff just happens and it doesn’t flow. The art is fairly decent though the art duties were shared between Guice and Chater. I wouldn’t want to say that is due to problems behind the scenes but after a weak issue I wouldn’t be surprised. Maybe it was just a schedule thing and Guice will be on his own again next month Again if it wasn’t part of a Wolverine centric event I would drop it and again at this stage I don’t see how it fits into the bigger picture of Wolverines return. It hasn’t laid out enough clues that you feel it could be a very frantic last issue to tie everything together.

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