04th Mar2020

Wolverine Wednesday #32

by Ian Wells

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Wolverine #1

Writer: Benjamin Percy | Artists: Adam Kubert & Viktor Bogdanovic | Colourists: Frank Martin and Matthew Wilson | Letters: Cory Petit

There best there is at what he does returns and what he does best this time is come back with a bang! A bouble bang really as this is a double sized issue with two stories. A Wolverine monthly ongoing has been missing from the comics landscape for six years now and I really wanted to like this first issue. That sounds a little harsh because mainly I did enjoy both stories for their own merits. But I wanted to enjoy a new number one a lot more! The first big positive is I love having Wolverine in the brown and tan costume, even if it is a modern take on the classic colour scheme. For years I was a complete blue and yellow convert. I suppose it comes with the animated series being my first exposure to Wolverine. But now I am older and wiser I have a soft spot for the brown and tan and love when ever it makes an appearance. He has been in it since he first returned in Uncanny pre the relaunch so hopefully it is sticking round a while yet. In the second story we do also get classic civilain clothed Logan in cowboy hat, leather jacket and jeans with a massive belt buckle. So nostalgia vibes out early. While both stories do have the feel of vintage lates 80’s/Early 90’s Wolverine stories, they do both come with ups and downs. At times the opening story feels like more of a lead into an X-Force story arc as Percy is penning both titles. The story flits between him going solo and teaming with the new incarnation of X-Force. The second story is more of the usual lone wolf stuff as he faces off against Omega Red. What is confusing is that both stories end with ‘To be continued’ but every issue can’t be double sized. So it will be interesting to see how both stories intertwine or if indeed one goes over into X-Force. I will be picking up the first X-Force trade to see how much connectivity it has with this series. Both stories done a good job of firmly rooting Wolverine in the new X-Men status quo of living on Krakoa and being their own nation. Wolverine is renowned for being the lone wolf so seeing him embrace the his new surroundings makes for a good plot point. It is even mentioned by Jean and Kitty who are two major touch stones of his X-Men life it makes sense for them to be in this first issue. Also what it does really well is make the new world of the X-Men accessible to people who may only be reading Wolverine and no other X-books. Unfortunately though we are getting the info pages like on Hickmans ‘House of X’ and ‘Powers of X’. Hopefully this is just an issue one thing and they will be phased out as the series progresses. If Hickman wants to do them in ‘X-Men’ thats fine but I feel they shouldn’t have to pass over to every X-book. Is Percy sacrificing story to accomodate them? Although I am intrigued as to whether the last infographic page is a tease to the future of the series. Perhaps there is a code to crack and I’ll find out! On the art side of things both Kubert and Bogdanovis are faultless. Two excellent stories rendered by them both. They are not massively different in styles either. Which is a benefit when having two stories in one issue. It is not taking you out of the moment with drastic artistic shifts. It gives the two stories the feel of very much being in the same world. Kuberts’ style has changed a lot since he was last on Wolverine, it may be due to moving to the digital age my unartistic brain can’t comprehend massive changes in artists. But it just wasn’t what I was expecting when he was announced for the series. There are a lot more variations on panel lay out than 90’s Kubert but that is a good thing. He really uses the iconography of Wolverine’s mask to great effect. The black on either side forming that yellow nose shape in the middle with the white eyes is pretty recognisable. On one page he uses it as the backdrop to a sequence of smaller panels. With Bogdanovic when he does the action he is perhaps a bit more animated than Kubert. It is really noticeable between the two in the way he draws the mask and the emotion in the eyes and mouth. Bogdanovic creates a lot of atmosphere with good shadow work. He delivers a great splash page showing of a kick ass rendition of Omega Red and I also really like his Magneto in the white costume. Both sets of colourists do great jobs to create mood and setting. As both stories move around location a fair bit Martin and Wilson are matching their artists stride for stride delivering appropriate colour pallets for the shifts in location. So you you get  feel for each location immediately with your eyes seeing certain colours. A solid enought start for a new series, even if at times it was unspectacular. The important thing is Wolverine is back and in a very safe pair of hands with Benjamin Percy and the artistic talents of Kubert and Bogdanovic. So from here the only way is up!

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Marvel Tales: Wolverine #1

Writers: Chris Claremont, Jim Lee, John Byrne and Fabian Nicieza | Artists: Dave Cockrum, Jim Lee and Andy Kubert | Inkers: Bob Wiacek, Scott Williams and Matt Ryan | Colours: Glynnis Wein and Joe Rosas | Letters: Tom Orzechowski and Bill Oakley

As if you couldn’t tell from that credits list this is a reprint one shot, reprinting three classic Wolverine centric X-Men stories. To me to coincide with his return to an ongoing series it would have made more sense to reprint three stories from his first ever ongoing. But this is why I am not a Marvel editior. I would strictly call this one just for Wolverine completists. I brought it mainly for the brilliant Inhyuk Lee cover depicitng a vinatge Wolverine whiskers and all! The three stories collected are ‘Uncanny X-Men’ #162, ‘X-Men’ #4 and ‘X-Men’ #25. Again there are better Wolverine solo X comics out there but I’m sure a lot of thought went into selecting these three. I have never read them and if you are the same you will get some enjoyment out of this one shot. It may be a little pricey to dive into if you have never read a Wolverine or X-Men comic before. The three stories presented aren’t exactly new reader friendly. If you have heard about the three issues in this one shot and think you would enjoy them, it would be easier and cheaper to pick them up at a con or online. I did buy ‘X-Men’ #5 before Christmas as I am a huge mark for Maverick. So I will get some enjoyment out of reading the previous issue. ‘X-Men’ #25 is significant for being the issue where Magneto rips the Adamantium from Wolverines’ skeleton. I had only ever read the afteramth of this which occurs in ‘Wolverine’ #75. There is not really much more I can say about this. It is a beautifully presented one shot of some very good Wolverine stories. Expensive for the casual reader but well worth it for the die hards.

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