19th Dec2018

Wolverine Wednesday #20

by Ian Wells

Dead Man Logan #1

Writer: Ed Brison | Artist: Mike Henderson | Colourist: Nolan Woodard | Letters: Cory Petit

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I know this is Wolverine Wednesday but Glob may be my new favourite character. I hope he is around for all twelve issues of this series. By having him involved he provides light relief to what is going to be a bleak and sad story. Also it provides a different angle on Logan’s relationship with the younger X-Men. Over the years we have been used to seeing him with young female sidekicks/protoges, so Glob makes for a change. I’m all caught up on the newly launched Uncanny X-Men too. Also written by Glob it too includes good Glob. Perhaps Brisson can write a Glob mini? On to the issue… It is a well crafted and solid introduction to a twelve issue series. The amount of prior information that is needed for set up doesn’t slow the pace down at all. Plus the amount of new plot points threaded in this issue which will provide the basis of the series is well handled and leads to a decent cliff hanger. Now if you are expecting a straight forward Logan vs everyone who made his life hell in his timeline than you are getting that and a whole lot more. It will be interesting to see how these new elements Brisson is weaving will fit into the original Old Man Logan story line. Talking of the OG I think it would be of benefit to have read that before delving into this series. Also early on in the issue it touched upon some plot points set up by Brain Bendis in the Old Man Logan mini series that was part of the Secret Wars event. Hawkeye makes an appearance again tying this story to the original. Even though Brisson is writing this and Uncanny I like how in this story he uses different X-Men. Yes there is Glob! But then he makes use of Forge and Cecilia Reyes as their skill set is more suited to the story. Moving to art. I’m not overly familiar with Mike Henderson. The last place I saw his work was on an Image Shadowline book about gangsters. So I was look forward to see his art style on a title I follow. I’m pretty happy with the result. Like Glob’s appearance in the issue the art provides a contrast to the tone of the story. It is a style that perhaps would feel more at home in a Spider-Man comic for instance, but that is not a bad thing. I think because the story picks up immediately from where Old Man Logan #50 left off you have to deal with a very different style from what we have seen on the series right from the get go. For this opening issue the art works because Brisson uses a lot of colourful characters from the wider Marvel Universe. Henderson has a slight Tim Sale vibe to his work. I loved seeing an old school rendition of Mysterio. The bar fight scene really shows off Henderson’s talent. It is a great showcase for brightly coloured villains in a well choreographed action sequence. A really positive start in this series which I’m sure will turn into a more than decent send off for a well liked character.

The Return Of Wolverine #3 

Writer: Charles Soule | Artist: Declan Shalvey | Colourist: Laura Martin | Letters: Joe Sabino

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The relationship between Wolverine and Jean Grey is shall we say divisive. There are fans who grew up on it from the animated series. There are those who feel it was over played in the movies. Seeing as it was a plot point introduced by X-Men master scribe Chris Claremont in Classic X-Men #1 it was obviously something he wanted to explore. Equally you could argue he didn’t want to explore it because he didn’t plan on Jean Grey coming back to life! I have always had positive vibes towards the relationship so with Wolverine returning from the dead a meeting with Jean is a big moment for me. It’s not just Jean, there is the presence of Storm, Nightcrawler and Shadowcat all ticking the nostalgia boxes for this issue. The story itself continues to be entertaining despite still feeling slightly muddled. It is following the pattern of the reader learning at the same time as the characters involved, which at times can be frustrating. For example the reader knows as much about Persephone as the X-Men do. So when she gets a two page scene which adds nothing to her story it doesn’t feel important. Also I’m still 100% sure what all the different Wolverines in cells represent. Some sub conscious Inception style mind f!*k I’m sure. In the previous issue we saw Wolverine utilise the ‘hot claws’ but in this issue the ‘berserker’ persona is released from his cell complete with said ‘hot claws’. I did however like how the Wolverine in his X-Force black and grey costume was giving out tactical information as Wolverine came into conflict with his former X-Men team mates. Again it is hinted at Wolverine’s mind is not as it was. When he first confronts Jean we get a nice three panels of him seeing her at three different stages of her life with the X-Men. Shalvey continues to impress on art duties. It is little details like the three Jean Grey panels that make an issue stand out. With the X-Men’s presence in this issue you can get away with bright colours when the action gets under way. Shalvey doesn’t hold back when delivering the action. On another page there are eight small panels at the top of the page. Shalvey uses these to give snap shots of how quickly a riot can form. Another small detail I appreciate is the clear shifts in colour pallet between scenes. The X-Men in the mansion is different from inside Wolverines sub conscious, which is different from Persephone in her HQ. While the cover promised a reunion with the X-Men things are never that simple with Wolverine. Hopefully they stick around next issue as them and us deserve more answers. It will be interesting to see how his eventual return impacts the X-books. With only two issues left there is a lot of explaining to do. I hope things become clearer because so far I haven’t been greatly impressed with how his return has been handled.

Weapon X #26

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

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Well this issue went on a bit of a tandem from what I was expecting! I suppose that is Weapon X under Pak and Van Lente. Even though it wasn’t what I was expecting it was still rather enjoyable. Rather than having a straightforward horrifying trip to hell. The writing duo put that patented Weapon X dark humour, chaotic action spin on their visit. What was most unexpected was we actually got some Sabertooth character development. We haven’t had that for like twenty years! It was refreshing seeing inside the mind of a character who has always been portrayed as Wolverine who has given into the animalistic side. This slice of Sabertooth development was served up with a big helping of continuity deep cuts so bonus points all round. Although I have previously praised the inclusion of Deadpool in this story arc it is beginning to come at the detriment to other team members. Mystique, Omega Red and Lady Deathstrike feel greatly underused, especially the latter and they are proper Weapon X members after all! With the story taking a left field approach to the teams trip the hell Pizzari didn’t really get a chance to follow up on the dark eerie art style he established in the previous issue. For me the art was to nice, with too many straight clean edges and overall too bright for a story set in hell. It is still a high standard of art keeping in with the whole series so far but for a dark horror story it missed the mark on art. The first thirteen pages are entirely in nine panel grids. This artistic style was made popular by Dave Gibbons on Watchman and has be utilized recently by Mitch Gerads on Mister Miracle. So I assume this was a choice by the artist done in homage to those two stand out pieces of work. It did work for the introduction to Sabertooth and Deadpool in their own personal hell. Last month I saw this story arc as having huge potential. This issue left me a little flat but I am still holding out hope the story arc will be concluded in the right manner.

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