05th Dec2018

Wolverine Wednesday #19

by Ian Wells

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It’s that time of the month again to go through all comics laced with more than a hint of adamantium. This month I will bring you up to speed on the previous two issues of Weapon X, X-23 #6 and then review the latest and LAST issue of Old Man Logan

Weapon X #24-#25

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

Currently I am only reading Wolverine related X titles but I think it is safe to say there isn’t another X-book as balls to the wall as Weapon X. These two issues embody everything that make Weapon X different and amazing. If you’ll allow me to explain I have a new way to describe this series. Weapon X is a 90′s high octane action comic written by a proper writer instead of an artist! In #24 we get more robot Stryker, Deadppol breaking the fourth wall, heroes fighting heroes in gladiatorial combat (nearly) and Sauron! All of that and the fact it is still a coherent story. What more could you want from a single issue? At times reading it you have to take a break and rest your brain. Having Deadpool around has really added a new dynamic to the already frantic team interactions of the series. I love how they react to his fourth wall breaking. Whenever he mentions sales of comics or something of the sort they look at him like he is insane. I’m not a massive Deadpool fan, I like him little and often. That’s what Pak and Van Lente have delivered in this arc. I hope it is not a case of his presence being used to boost sales and I don’t expect him to be around when the next story arc comes around. There is a great visual interaction between Deadpool and Domino regarding her luck powers and having recently re-watched Deadpool 2 again it brought a smile to my face. Pak and Van Lente also manage to tie in some plot points from previous story arcs which I always respect. It is a reward for people reading every month rather than having writers write for trade paperbacks saying this is one story, this is another story. Over half of the story in #25 is set up for the next arc. Without spoiling too much it involves a character who I don’t know a massive amount about. All I know is he is a convoluted continuity nightmare. Again though as the writing duo are only using him for set up they use him really well and twist him to fit their story, which makes for an interesting change compared to other stories I’ve heard about said character. With him on board the second half of this issue and the forthcoming arc represent what could be a shift in tone and even genre. On the art side we get two more brilliant covers by Rahzzah. The one for #24 has a ‘Fall of The Mutants’ vibe, but more gruesome. #25′s cover is like the stories itself, bright and bold. It really catches the eye. Luca Pizzari is a good fit for the pace of the story. In #24 he has to draw a lot of mutants in big rushing crowd scenes and it never feels like he is holding back on detail. Obviously there are little artistic tricks I am not privy to but whether the character is in the foreground or the background he has given them his full attention. Even in #25 when the pace shifts he continues to be a good fit. There is a lot of talking in the second half of the issue and he has a good selection of panel layouts so the art and dialogue compliment each other, rather than one swamping the other. I am really looking forward to where the next issue takes us. That being said I haven’t seen Weapon X on the solicitations for January or February. If anyone has any information on this please put my mind at ease.

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X-23 #6

Writer: Mariko Tamaki | Artist: Georges Duarte | Colourist: Chris O’Halloran | Letters: Cory Petit

Perfect. This issue is perfect. Its a perfect light hearted story involving two characters who have shown previously they are just as adept in light hearted as well as serious stories. It is perfect that is a entertaining done in one following on from the in depth previous five issues. I hope this is a formula Tamaki continues to uses going forward. It would be especially good if Gabby was the central focus of the one off stories. I have mentioned how we have become accustomed to Laura and Gabby being at home in serious and light stories. With this issue Tamaki shows it is a skill she too can adapt to so it makes for a good mix as story arcs can be more flexible as the series goes on. I like how Beast continues to aide our heroic duo. It is a little plot device set up in the first issue and again it is something Tamaki can revisit at anytime during her run. Because the story is so entertaining and fun rather than questioning how two X-Men are able to go undercover at a school as student and PE teacher respectively you just accept it. The fun is ramped up with the reveal of the issues evil genius. Tamaki manages to blend school story tropes with the action adventure of a superhero comic to great effect. With art we continue to get a cover image in a poster style. I like this as it doesn’t build your hopes up for what may be inside or give any false pretence for what the story may be about. This time the cover is a feral/beserker style Laura by Ashley Witter. Georges Duarte comes on for art duties. His clean, crisp style in combination with O’Halloran’s bright colours really lends themselves to the school setting. A nice little touch is that the schools colours are blue and yellow! As is Laura’s coaches attire. As for how Gabby decides to outfit herself as an undercover student it is everything you would expect from her. All in all another solid issue, probably the strongest of the six so far. It sets up the prospect of an exciting year for Laura and Gabby under Mariko Tamaki.

Old Man Logan #50

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

When Old Man Logan made his way into the main Marvel Universe I never imagined he would be in a series to make fifty issues. On the whole this series has been a success. Jeff Lemire started the series off by putting a new spin on the already well established alternate Wolverine. The Ed Brisson took over writing duties for the remaining twenty six issues. From a personal point of view his run got off to a slow start with the ‘Days of Anger’ story being the one blot on the whole series. After that Brisson went from strength to strength on with his more action/adventure based story arcs. What this issue does well is put a full stop n the story of Old Man Logan in the main Marvel Universe. If your not like me and don’t want to pick up every Wolverine comic out there you can read this and be happy with the outcome and not feel the need to pick up the incoming ‘Dead Man Logan’. On that side of things I did expect more set up for the twelve issue series that will also be penned by Ed Brisson. Its fitting that with his last story arc of the series he in my eyes rights the wrongs of his opening arc. In the three issues that culminate in #50 he proves he can tell a good Logan vs Maestro story. It’s strength is in its simplicity. While Lemire looked more at the psychology of what makes Old Man Logan different to Wolverine, Brisson used Old Man Logan to tell good old fashioned Wolverine style stories. In this story we see Logan be the little guy who stands up for the little guy. The towns folk are inspired by his actions and decide the make a stand. What the story also does well is show off the human side of things. It shows the depths civilisation will sink to as they face an ever growing despair. Perhaps the bread and butter of a good Wolverine story, especially the climax to a story arc and series should be its fight sequences. This issue excels as both writer and artist knock it out of the park. What I did notice is as the issues final battle is taking the place the colour pallet actually gets brighter. You have the bright green of Maestro and the pink flesh of Logan fighting on bright blue and red backgrounds, so the action really pops. The fight itself is brutal. As a reader you feel every blow as it lands and here every sound as Logan and Maestro inflict damage on each other. The panel layouts and onomatopoeia for the decisive blow work in perfect unison. The last page is three simple but beautiful panels accompanied only by the sound effect ‘Whump’ evoking all the painful memories of Logan’s last stand in the movie Logan. This issue was a very satisfying end to an all round solid rather consistent series. Ed Brisson certainly grew on me as a writer and seemed to get better and better with every issue. Now I am really looking forward to what he brings to the table in ‘Dead Man Logan’.

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