01st Aug2018

Wolverine Wednesday #15

by Ian Wells

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Old Man Logan #43-#44

Writer: Ed Brisson | Artist: Juan Ferreyra | Letters: Cory Petit

Can we just delay the return of Wolverine for a few more months maybe even a year? Or just give Ed Brisson writing duties when Wolverine does return. Another solid two issues that hopefully leads to a satisfying conclusion next month. I like how the seeds for this story arc were planted in issues 36-38. Then we had some short two issue story arcs before returning to Logan vs Bullseye round two. It makes it feel more real world and works better than having everything be told in one six issue story arc. This story also has very close ties to the Bullseye five issue series from last year.  I would say it’s not essential to have read that, I didn’t read it and you can still follow this story easily. I wouldn’t mind picking it up at some point though. What is really cool is the old style ‘editors notes’ which highlight which issues some of the references come from. The issue moves at a brilliant pace getting straight to the action. Brisson does a simple thing very well in #43. I mean how many times has Logan leaving a motel been done? Close to a million? Yet Brisson does it to introduce Logan to the issue and it comes across fresh and new. Having written the Bullseye series last year Ed Brisson knows how to write him. I would even go as far to say it is the best Bullseye since Frank Millers in the 80′s. He is just a cold blooded sadistic killer. He doesn’t need to be anything else. The undoubted star of the show though is Juan Ferreyra. ‘m not ashamed to admit I’ve only heard of the really big artists. But now having seen Ferreyra’s art I will always remember where I saw it first and will be more inclined to pick up his stuff in the future. It is rather beautiful and a very interesting blend. I assume as no colourist was listed he does all his own colours too. So two pay checks and twice as impressive! What makes his style unique and I used the phrase interesting blend is that for the majority of the story he utilises a style similar to other artists on the series so far or over on Weapon X. But when he renders Wolverine solo or close up the style changes. Its more like Dell Otto on the close up stuff. I am probably not doing it justice in how I am describing it. The easiest thing to do would be to pick up these two issues! Every time I see the Marvel solicitations for the next months releases I am always expecting it to say ‘Old Man Logan’ final issue! It hasn’t happened yet so lets just enjoy it while it is still here.

Weapon X #20

Writers: Greg Pak & Fred Van Lente | Artist: Ricardo Lopez Ortiz | Colourist: Frank D’Armata | Letters: Joe Caramagna

Wow. So last month I gave Weapon X the big build up how everything is positive moving forward and how this book can be as big and great as it wants to be, then this issue hits the stand. It feels like an editorial nightmare! It has the feel like editors have swapped mid story arc without a clue as to previous stories and future directions. That is not the case. The problems begin on the cover! There is a quirky banner proclaiming ‘All New’ next to the title. This issue does not however feature the new team that has been solicited. This is still the original team minus Logan leading into that transition. If you ask me it is a continuation of the story started in #18-#19. So why on  the title page is the subtitle ‘If He Dies, He Dies Part One’? The frantic, often chaotic story telling I praised before actually works against the story in this issue. Somethings just randomly happen! The use of Warpath in this feels rather comedic compared to how he has been treated in the series so far. Look the series has been brilliant so far, punching above its weight. I have seen online it has a strong dedicated following. Issues like this just feel like a  major misstep and a turn off for some fans. If next months issue is in the same style as this okay maybe I have to accept they are trying something before the next direction. But why did this issue have to be so different from the previous 19? Then why going forward is it going to be so different again? the biggest complaint for me lies in the art work. I see a lot of videos online where people give Marvel a hard time for their art choices. Now I don’t want people to think I’m criticizing Ricardo Lopez Ortiz. The guy obviously has some talent. All I’m saying is for me the art style isn’t a match for this series. It seems so out of place with what has gone before. If the whole series had been by him no matter how much I love Weapon X I would of had a hard time picking it up every month. What annoys me most is that they hide Lopez’s art behind a cover again supplied by Razzah. The two styles are complete polar opposites in tone. As the cover is the first thing you see it sets you up tonally for what is coming. Then when you open it up and see the Lopez art you are taken away from the moment. Without banging on too much it is completely away from the tone you would expect from a black-ops based X book. Pak and the fellow creators have got to #20 before having a major misstep so hopefully after this they can right the ship and get this series being close to how I spoke about it last month. Don’t be put off too much by this I still see good things coming for Weapon X.

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X-23 #1

Writer: Mariko Tamaki | Artist: Juann Cabal | Colourist: Nolan Woodard | Letters: Cory Petit

A good but not great first issue. There are enough positives to keep me interested going forward. Of course it was always going to be tough following Tom Taylor. He done such a good job shaping Laura into a really new refreshing character to how she had been written before. Going back to the X-23 codename I suppose is the only logical move to make with Wolverine returning but then again there are male and female Hawkeyes. What is doublely tough for Tamaki is taking on writing Gabby. A character created by Taylor who I believe hasn’t been written by anyone else to this point. So really Gabby has been voiced solely by Taylor till now. I can happily report Tamaki writes Gabby as good as Taylor. She has dialled right into her voice, in particularly her sense of humour. Also she has a good hold on the relationship between Laura and Gabby. It comes across that when they are in the field on missions more of a sisterly relationship. At home when they are on down time trying to be normal its more of an adoptive mother/daughter relationship. I like how it reads and look forward to seeing it develops. Not only is Laura back in the X-23 codename she is back hunting down her past. A wider mission to stop evil experiments, especially cloning ones. It will be interesting to see how this pans out, which could be very cool as Beast is assisting her research. Always enjoy myself some well written Beast. For the longevity of the series I hope Laura’s mission doesn’t become to problematic and repetitive. Maybe the mission will be the other arcing connective tissue but there will be side stories along the way. I wonder if Tamaki will touch upon the ‘Orphans of X’ idea planted in the previous series? These two story points could work well side by side. Both Juann Cabal and Nolan Woodard are on art duties and of course are no strangers to the adventures of Laura and Gabby having worked on ‘All New Wolverine’. At first I was sad to see both characters in new costumes. Of course I understand why it was done, to separate this series from ‘All New Wolverine’. By the end of the issue thought both costumes had grown on me. When u flicked back through whilst writing this I picked up on all the little detailing. Even their street clothes are cool. I can see Laura’s leather jacket becoming iconic the deeper this series goes. I mean like Rogue’s in the animated series iconic! All in all a solid enough issue, ground work has been laid and I look forward to seeing how it plays out.

Hunt For Wolverine: Weapon Lost #3

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

This continues to be the stand out series in the ‘Hunt For’ series, but the pace does take a slight dip in this issue. After two near mile a minute opening issues this one feels like down time before next months conclusion. Its worth noting at this point all the ‘Hunt For’ issues carried an advert for next months one shot ‘Hunt For Wolverine: Dead Ends’. Now that title makes all this feel like a huge waste of time doesn’t it? I did predict you could read the upcoming ‘Wolverine The Return’ without reading any of these and I would also say you could skip ‘The Return’ before Wolverine#1 hits. Of course everyone knows its a cash grab. You can fill in the blanks with editors notes. Back to this issue. Daredevil’s narration is in the past tense which leads me to believe next months issue will be concluded with Daredevil reporting to Tony Stark and Kitty Pryde on his findings. Which apart from a very cool cameo from a 90′s classic Wolverine villain there isn’t much to show. I didn’t see it coming but the way he is used is very good. It explains some of the previous Wolverine sightings without becoming a major distracting plot point. I think we have all accepted none of the four series are going to find Wolverine. That hasn’t stopped this series being entertaining. Soule continues to have a good hold on the characters and can certainly weave an interesting story. There was a McGee/Misty twist I didn’t see coming either, little things like that will lead me to come back next month outside of the Wolverine mystery. In the future if I had an urge to read a great Wolverine story I wouldn’t reach for this. But if I wanted an entertaining Marvel story this would be well up there. If you have read all three issues so far you know what to expect on art. Unlike Weapon X #20 Buffagni’s art is a perfect fit for the story. His rendering of the secret villain is the best most realistic way he has ever been drawn before. He has adapted him to fit in with the tone of this story. Does anyone else think his Cypher looks a little like Kurt Cobain? Even though like I said I don’t believe we will get any answers next month Soule’s story telling has kept me interested. I am now invested in this four characters and looking forward to how it all concludes next month.

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Hunt For Wolverine: Mystery In Madripoor #3

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

Guess what? I actually enjoyed this issue! It’s far from perfect but it is a vast improvement on the opening two issues. It may be related to the fact the major complaint I had with those first two issues is so evident here. What I like most about this issue is that this time round it is narrated by Domino. So compared to the previous two it has a more series tone with some darker humour. Zub again shows of his love for 90′s comics. This time Domino pokes fun at herself for being a 90′s girl. I think wen reading these three issues you had accept the hunt for Wolverine would be secondary. If you get in that mind set of the characters intending to one thing but get caught up in another mess its not actually a terrible story. It is fun and again something you can get away with in a four issue mini series. I’ll be honest I’m still not completely sure what Viper and her teams aim is it all seems a bit slap dash when it comes to evil plans. When Viper was introduced I thought it was a good tie to Wolverine instead her team of villains are rather one dynamic and annoying. With Magneto now entering the frame next months climax could be very exciting if not at all relevant or cohesive. Everyone including myself love a god Magneto story so lets hope we get one. Over one art like I said there is much less T ‘n’ A on display this time around. Silas style reminds me a lot of Batman Beyond. There is a page of Domino on a rooftop in the rain that just screams of that art style from the popular animated series. I did notice this time around though all the characters have the same body shape. They are all rather spindly and all exaggerated movements. Out of the four ‘Hunt For’ titles this one has grown on me. I am a big fan of most of the characters being used. Some of them have had less of the spotlight as the series progressed. I hope there will be time in the spotlight for them all in a final issue which is hopefully another step forward instead of a sideways of backwards step.

Hunt For Wolverine: Adamantium Agenda #3

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

This third issue unlike the other ‘Hunt For’ titles actually maintained its pace and offered up some new information to move forward with. A good portion of the story is spent in the flashback. This was a little confusing for me as I thought this iteration of the New Avengers was pre Civil War. Wolverine reveals to Tony Stark in the flashback he is holding a secret from this event from him. Most probably I’m wrong so it will be worth checking back next month for the outcome. It will be cool to read one of my current favourite writers revisit one of Marvels top event storylines. I have two very  minor quibbles with this issue. The first being Sinister was dispatched of rather easily. He is a great villain who is seriously underused in the modern era. Secondly in a scene that to most probably plays a big part in this books appeal all the characters get a Iron Man style suit for the issues climax. For me it was a little hokey but I has that level of fun that you can get away with in a mini series like this. Considering Taylor had such a strong run on ‘All New Wolverine’ Laura does feel a little on the fringes after he dynamic reveal last issue. I am just happy to have her around for the duration and I’m sure it is just coincidence but the cliff hanger could tie into what Tamaki is doing in the newly launched X-23. With this being the action genre series it was fun to see it take almost a heist like vibe at the end. Stark provides narration to his plan in the future tense but the art work depicts the action as it happens. Its like something out of Oceans eleven. The art is good without being spectacular. The colours are bright when they need to be bright and muted when they need to be muted. In the flashback scenes which are mainly talking it is easier to pick out the finer detail of the art compared to the present scenes which are more action orientated. So here the art is more dynamic and your eye is drawn to the source of the action. Towards the end of the issue are two pages where the team interrogate a prisoner. Here the colours are really muted and close to something more inline with a Daredevil comic. Again no big hopes of any big clues to Wolverines return, but an enjoyable story that has kept me interested till the last issue.

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Hunt For Wolverine: Claws Of A Killer #3

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

This is proving a tough read. So little has happened over the course of the three issues. Next months finale will either prove more of the same or will be absolutely jam packed with action and explanation. Three characters each with a villainous connection to Wolverine should be a brilliant read. Instead we are getting some low rent Zombie rubbish! I don’t get why zombies? If it was five years ago I would say they are cashing in on The Walking Dead! It’s just very frustrating to have a mini series that is meant to be about Wolverine’s return from the dead just turn into a genre misfit. It’s not even a good zombie story. If next months conclusion turns out to be all about Wolverine why have we had to suffer three issues of nothingness to get there? Its like time is standing still in this story. I only have myself to blame for being a Wolverine completest. What makes it stand out is that there are three other series to compare it to. Two of which have been consistently good and the other has improved in its third issue. What I find really frustrating is the inconsistencies in Sabertooth and Deathstrike’s personalities between this and Weapon X. On the positive side I enjoyed the art work. I didn’t find two artists being a distraction for whatever reason this issue. Guice is an artist I am on again, off again in liking. I would actually pick up a zombie series by him, just not one set in the Marvel Universe. I also really like how Sabertooth is drawn in this issue. It is a slightly more human depiction and he is tall and athletic. With the art you get a sense of the rotting flesh of the zombie horde and the colours are really well suited to the stories setting. All in all if you haven’t been reading this series with one issue to go you haven’t missed anything and aren’t like to with part four.

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One Response to “Wolverine Wednesday #15”

  • Juan Ferreyra

    Thanks for the Old Man Logan Reviews man! and yeah I color my own stuff!!
    stay tuned for a new miniseries I;ll be doing at Marvel these coming months!