19th Oct2022

Wolverine Wednesday #55

by Ian Wells

Wolverine #24

Writer: Benjamin Percy | Artist: Federico Vicentini | Colourist: Frank D’Armata | Letters: Cory Petit

Wow. Wow. Wow. There is so much going on in this issue, it is a case of throwing everything at the wall and seeing what sticks! This is a melting pot of story. It throws together elements from the recent X Lives/Deaths of Wolverine event as well as elements from Swords of X, X-Force and of course the current event AXE. Despite all the moving parts going on the story moves at a great pace, jumping from scene to scene. What stands out the most to me is how Percy takes the situation of having to tie into an event and completely makes it his own monster. It feels like this arc would hold up without the AXE connection. It is a perfect example of how to tie into an event and keep the identity of your on going series. Personally I do feel like the story in this arc despite standing on its own, doesn’t make me want to read AXE the same way Percys’ Swords of X ties in made that event seem interesting. Solem returns to the fold this month and as I have stated before I am not convinced by the hype he is Wolverine’s next biggest foe and will never oust the classics for the crown. Already in this arc it appears they are playing the foes teaming up card, but again it is something I wholly expect Percy to put his own unique spin on. If event comics are the equivalent of blockbuster movies, Vicentini certainly does his best on art duties to match this vibe! While the nature of the story jumping around may not sit well with some readers, Vicentini takes the opportunity to flex as an artist. His Wolverine is a good squatness and when he is maskless I like the cartoony style. The opening panel is a narrow panel close in on Wolverine’s mask and the way he does the shadows across the mask is beautiful. One cool detail is in the panel borders for the other antagonist being red, simple yet effective.  There are lots of cool visuals on display going into the Halloween season.  We know from his recent turn on X Lives/Deaths that he can do action and the confrontation between Wolverine and Solem is where the art sings. The fight is so well choreographed, what really stands out is the cutting between panels and the straight precisions of the lines. This plays up the swordplay element of the fight and evokes Swords of X when the two first met. On the theme of Halloween, Adam Kubert offers us a great cover, which seems to foreshadow the arc rather than just this issue. It is a clear sign this story is moving in a fun, action-packed direction. This issue is a good start to the arc. I understand why people don’t like event comics and maybe turned off of this issue because of the AXE banner at the top of the cover. I would say ignore that and dive in, just like Percy has! He continues to have a good voice on Wolverine and be very imaginative in weaving other characters into the fold. For event completists, it may be confusing how Wolverine can be in two X-related tie-ins at once, with the events of X-Force tying as well. I swear before the end of this year I am going to do a trade paperback round-up on X-Force. I will be caught up, or near enough very soon.

Patch #1-#5

Writer: Larry Hama | Artist: Andrea Di Vito | Inker: Le Beau Underwood | Colourist: Sebastian Cheng | Letters: Clayton Cowles.

Reading the first issue of this seems so long ago now! I remember being pretty excited when this series was announced. especially once the first cover dropped too. It evoked a lot of memories of past Madripoor stories and Wolverine stories with a Cold War theme. The involvement of Larry Hama was a big part of the excitement. When I first got into collecting and reading Wolverine back issues Hama’s work always spoke to me the most, I would look forward to pulling more of his run from the long boxes at conventions. In fact, a lot of what I already knew about Wolverine from the animated series came from Hama’s run. The icing on the cake would have been to see Marc Silvestri return to team with Hama in this series. That is no disrespect to the artist involved just on a personal level if Marvel are to continue series of this nature they should strive to get all components of the creative team. So to set the scene the story takes place prior to Hama’s first issue on Wolverine which was #31. While I didn’t enjoy all aspects of the story it did make me want to revisit those issues as there is so much I didn’t immediately recall from them. In the future I may break the rules of the retro review segment and review Hama’s first arc just as a companion to this review. As well as acting as a prequel to #31 it also acts as a bridge between the changing of the guard. The early issues of Wolverine written by either Chris Claremont or Peter David were very pulpy in their approach to story telling. When Hama took over things became much more action orientated moving the series in a new direction. While the art is not my personal cup of tea there are some highlights throughout the five-issue run.  The first issue sees Wolverine take a dive into the jungle without a parachute on a brilliant splash page. Wolverine being in a white tuxedo whilst fighting in the jungle of Madripoor is a great contrasting visual throughout the series and of course, the details of the tux getting more and more shredded with each fight is a throughline in the story. Each issue brings with it an imaginative visual of Wolverine being shot, stabbed or whatever means of harm. The recap page of all the issues has a nice retro feel to it and I would have liked more visual call backs to the era this story is meant to be from. One consistent across all five issues is the colour work. Particularly in the jungle scenes, it has a real sense of being outside with its bright choices. Comics of this nature suffer from the same fate the new Star Wars movies suffer. The sequels and prequels happened in our heads after reading the original comics. So to retro actively slot a story into continuity nine times out of ten misses the mark and doesn’t meet readers expectations. Honestly how many new readers would have this series on their radar because it ties to a story twenty-plus years ago? I think this story could have been shorter in length, it feels very much like it was written for the trade and maybe it would read better in that format. Hama’s original Wolverine run worked best with shorter story arcs and he also penned one of comics greatest stand-alone issues in GI Joe. Perhaps one-shots would be the way forward for Marvel if they are to continue revisiting old stories with the original creative teams. There were a lot of characters to keep track of during the five issues and it led to a less-than-cohesive story.

Now we come to what the whole Internet has been waiting for, the Wolverine Wednesday response to the news Wolverine is joining the MCU in the shape of co-starring in Deadpool 3. This news is already nearly a month old and since it was announced the movie has already been delayed a few months on the Marvel slate so we have to wait a little while longer now! I don’t think Hugh Jackman as Wolverine appearing in a movie again after his death was handled so well in Logan takes anything away from that movie. Deadpool 2 already established time travel and we are now in the realms of the multiverse in the MCU. Many fan theories suggest the Professor X in Doctor Strange 2 was a live-action version of the animated one and Wolverine could follow the same route. If that means we get the yellow suit I’m here for it. The suit itself is going to be a huge topic, I’m 99% a movie with the tone od Deadpool is the place to finally get it, but do they go blue and yellow or tan and brown? I have fond connections with both and really wouldn’t complain with either. Just no black this time please! Kevin Fiege is very much having his cake and eating it with regards to the Fox properties Marvel acquired. It’s not enough for him that a new X-Men movie is on the very near horizon, he is going to service some fans along the way with call backs to the original Fox material. What I really hope is that Deadpool 3 isn’t a back door way to introduce mutants and the X-Men as a whole. I feel it would be better if the version of Wolverine we get is introduced via time travel or whatever and it serves the story for Deadpool 3 and nothing bigger. Of course there will be post-credit scenes and I really hope there is a way we can get Laura back too! As for potential storylines, I don’t think the writers of Deadpool 3 are going to draw anything to specific from the comics. They did put their own stamp on Cable and the Brolin version was universally loved. That being said Wolverine is perhaps more well-known than Cable and Jackman’s performance is so iconic they can’t stray to far from what has gone before. I’m sure all involved will be taking everything Jackman has to say into consideration. I really wouldn’t want to see him cracking too many jokes. He works better as a reactionary character even when he is a lead. The biggest question to come out of this is, is Hugh Jackman sticking around, Is there a world where he is the Wolverine for the MCU moving forward? Considering he has said he is done with the character once before will he get into franchise movie-making again? Like I said it would be cool if they could bring Laura back into the fold and have her take the mantle of Wolverine in future MCU X-Men projects. She lends herself to a wider demographic that the MCU seesm to aim for. Maybe Jackman could be a Nick Fury type of character for the mutant corner of the MCU. And a Wolverine Disney+ show with him attached may finally see me subscribe!


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