31st Mar2021

Wolverine Wednesday #42

by Ian Wells

Wolverine #10

Writer: Benjamin Percy | Artist: Adam Kubert | Colourist: Frank Martin | Letters: Cory Petit

Immediately this issue gets bonus points for picking up right where we left things in #9. Not even a fraction of a jump forward. The art helps sell this in a big way. The first page is a 16 panel grid. Of those 16 pages 6 are negative space. The rest of the panels put the pieces of the story together one by one. A close up of Maverick, a close up of Wolverine, a close up of guns pointing at them and the goons doing the pointing. The final five panels pull back to reveal the full extent of the situation our heroes are in. The second page follows much the same formula, ramping up the tension of the Mexican standoff. Before BOOM! pages 3 and 4 are a double age spread of the ensuing action. I love the spattering of smaller panels picking out finer details. This is an action heavy issue that brings the events of the last two issues to a conclusion rather quickly.These two characters were pretty big deal in the 90’s and I kept thinking how horrible this arc would have ended up in that era. All action, big weapons, shouting, but when you got to the end you would be asking what really happened. Percy on the other hand is able to pivot from the high octane stuff to more philosophical story telling. You get Maverick firstly explaining to Wolverine how he is on the right path with his new line of work, he is his own boss. He then goes on to question whether Wolverine really believes in what is happening on Krakoa. I like how people who have known Logan a long time questioning him about Krakoa. It acts almost like a metaphor for the fans who are maybe still on the fence about the status quo set up by Hickman. I know I said I could have taken 6 issues of this arc and I have also said in the past how I miss the days of  3 issue story arcs. So respect to Percy for knowing when to wrap it up. The way the story wraps up it feels like Maverick’s time in this series is not over. Of course with Percy also on X-Force duties there is potential for him to show up there. After 10 issues I thought the two titles would of had more crossover. There are little nuggets here and there but largely the two titles are allowed to stand on their own. It will be interesting to see how things go heading into year two. There are enough plot points left hanging and plenty to think about that could easily be touched upon in X amount of months. Next month the 90’s goodness continues with the return of a plot thread from #1 with Omega Red!

Wolverine Black, White & Red #4

Writers: Kelly Thompson, Ed Brisson, Steven DeKnight | Artsits: Khary Randolph, Leonard Kirk, Paulo Siqueira | Inker: Oren Junior | Colourist: Andres Mossa

It was always going to be a tough job following the stellar last issue, where all three stories knocked it out of the park. Don’t shoot me I’m just the messenger, but unfortunately this issue doesn’t reach those heights. There are good moments but as a whole these 3 stories contribute to possibly the weakest of the four issues. There for leaving the series without going out with a bang. A big part of why these stories fall short, well two of them for sure is because they tie directly to past Uncanny X-Men issues, complete with editors notes pointing you in the right direction. The first story takes place after Uncanny X-Men #173 and it very much has the vibe of a modern take on a Classic X-Men back up story. It has a feeling of piggy backing on a popular X-Men story to solidify the rivalry between Wolverine and Mystique and then the friendship between him and Storm. But why? I guess it is part of being in the era of yesterdays fans being todays creators. My take on it is if you are going to tie your story to such a key moment in Wolverine history you have to bring your A game. This story is just a very well choreographed fight scene. The next story also by a fan turned creator suffers from the same problem. I grew to love Brisson’s work on Old Man Logan, I was excited to see him involved in this series and was expecting him to really cut loose. No pun intended. The story takes place right after the events of Uncanny X-Men #229 the first appearance of The Reavers. This short story neither adds, or takes away anything from that original story so why tie into it? Especially when you have been given free reign with a series like this, completely away from continuity. a short, sharp confrontation between Wolverine and The Reavers is perfect fodder for an anthology like this, forget continuity for 8 pages! Evening adding a shark to the blood and gore didn’t move my needle much! With the final issue it is left to the none comics writer to save the day. DeKnight of Daredevil Netflix fame 100% completely understands the brief of delivering a fun, bloody, short story for an anthology series. There are no ties to prior continuity. It is just balls to the wall, all out action. A comic book equivalent of a pure pop corn flick. His story provides the artist plenty of cool stuff to draw in the restricted format provided by the series title. There is a classic X-Men villain, a classic X-Men locale, plenty of fighting, a dinosaur and the story is all wrapped up in a nice bow by the end. What more do you need? After this issue the ‘Black, white & red’ format is switching over to Venom. In that case I would suggest to Marvel having the ‘Black, white & red’ heading first then the characters name. Effectively while the format doesn’t cater to every marvel character it could become a modern take on Marvel Comics Presents in a way. It will be worth keeping an eye on how long the idea runs. DC similarly now have Superman Red, White and Blue as an anthoogy series. Could anthologies be making a comeback? The last attempt at MCP did nothing for me. I do however see anthologies having a better shelf life in the digital arena if the price is write. I remember enjoying the digital first version of Legends of The Dark Knight like five years ago. My main problem with that was it went up in price depending on the creative team. Maybe anthologies around specific character groups rather than the whole MU would work. You would imagine an X-Men one would sell, equally Marvel Knights would have an audience. It doesn’t take a genius to work out I would be down for a Wolverine centric anthology and it doesn’t just have to be Logan. You have Laura, Gabby, Daken, my man Maverick and other Weapon X related stuff. I hope someone from Marvel is reading this and taking notes.

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