20th Mar2019

Wolverine Wednesday #23

by Ian Wells


I guess we are calling this one the long over due edition. The comic shop where I get my mail subscriptions are changing the way they handle this procedure, so here are February’s Wolverine related comics finally reviewed even if it doesn’t feel very relevant now!

The Return of Wolverine #5

Writer: Charles Soule | Artist: Steve McNiven | Inker: Jay Leisten | Colourist: Laura Martin | Letters: Joe Sabino

After five issues (and all the ones that came before) Wolverine is officially back I guess? This mini series reached a unsatisfactory conclusion both from a story stand point and a hard core Wolverine fan stand point. This issue is largely dedicated to supposed super new threat Persephone revealing her grand plan for Wolverine. The hows and whys of why she brought him back to the land of the living. All rather paint by numbers villainous scheming really. When Persephone uttered the phrase “I’ve weaponized resurrection” I was left picturing a mini series that could have been. Maybe it is my bias opinion but Wolverine should have came back in more of a blaze of glory! I have stated in my reviews of previous issues that as a whole his return has been badly handled. That is not a personal attack on the creators involved I just think on an editorial and scheduling level it has missed the mark. After all we are already seeing Wolverine complete in his brown and tan costume teamed up with Cyclops and a eclectic team of X-Men in the pages of Uncanny. I don’t think I’m spoiling too much when I say the issue ends with Wolverine walking up the stairs of the Xavier Institute and knocking on the door. The whole issue should have built to that moment! Have Wolverine looking back on good and bad times, the friends he has gained and lost as an X-Man, tell us the anxiety he is feeling in that moment as he climbs the steps. Wolverine’s death and large parts of his eventual return were all handled by creator. Okay there were a few creators working on other tie-is but the story so far has always felt like the voice of Charles Soule. With one creative force behind the project I was expecting  more cohesive story. It is unfortunate Wolverine has already been back in Uncanny X-Men under a different writer but the picture has been muddied further by the release of Wolverine: Infinity Watch #1 by Gerry Duggan. Now I can say right away I had absolutely no interest in this comic when I saw it solicited and now it feels like it is stealing Soules thunder before the dust has settled on his story. I haven’t read it and I don’t intend to but now I am curious as to how much they connect if at all. I only found out today that it too is a five part mini series so I am staying well away. Then Wolverine is also appearing in the new Marvel Comics Presents. That is penned by Soule so again I’m curious to the connectivity! Steve McNiven returns on art but with all the talking of grand plans and what not it seems like a waste of his talents. His close ups of Wolverine continue to evoke memories of Barry Windsor Smith’s classic Weapon X story. As Wolverine fights through Persephone’s base it all feels very Weapon X and Laura Martin dials up the blood lust with a range of red hues.We see the return of various incarnations of Wolverine in cages in this issue. It is always fun seeing a super talented guy like McNiven drawing eras of Wolverine you wouldn’t have seen him on before. It seemed a simple task to me a mini series titled ‘Return of Wolverine’ should have dealt with his return to life, answer the how, tell us how this makes him feel, are there any side effects? Then at the end of the mini series… Boom! Next month he is back with the X-Men. Boom! Month later a new Wolverine #1. This seems further way then ever after his initial return what two years ago now? In Marvel Legacy #1.


X-23 #9

Writer: Mariko Tamaki | Artist: Diego Olortegui | Inkers: Walden Wang, JP Mayer & Scott Hanna | Colourist: Chris O’Halloran | Letters: Cory Petit

I liked this issue a lot. I would go as far to say it has been the strongest of the series so far. It has all the key ingredients of a good X-23 story. Oh sorry X-23 and Gabby story. The plot laid out in the two previous issues, with there being yet another Laura clone on the loose. This time with cybernetic enhancements perhaps it was in danger of being an all too familiar story but this issue completely freshens up that approach and is a very entertaining read. With all the X-Books currently focusing on ‘The Age of X-Man’ x-23 is the most consistent source for good old fashioned mutant action/adventure. I would like to point out at this moment the fantastic balancing act Mariko Tamaki is doing in this series. While Laura Kinney’s alter ego provides the title of the series, Gabby has become a huge part of her story and such a fan favourite that Tamaki has to deal with playing the percentages each issue and this issue in particular highlights that done well. It helps in this arc that they are having opposing opinions on the clone situation but otherwise it is well balanced. Gabby picking Beasts brain was a conversation I didn’t know I needed or wanted till I was reading it. Very fun! While Gabby provides the philosophical approach to the story Laura is all about the action, which brings me onto the art. Olortegui I love you approach to story telling! The little animated facial expressions in the backgrounds of panels are a great touch. The blend brilliantly with the style for the rest of the art. Background or foreground every facial expression is different and that is a rare thing in a comic. The levels of detail and fun are top draw. This issue also contains the best double page splash I have seen in a very long time. In a Marvel comic anyway! Again it is a perfect balancing act. This time between what is happening in the foreground and the action in the background. The main image is Laura going toe-to-toe with four killer robots and the background is made up of lots of small panels highlighting finer close up details of the fight. Brilliant! The fight then reaches its conclusion with a nice little panel swipe from John Romita Junior work on ‘Wolverine: Enemy of the State.’ Great story so far, great art work all building to a hopefully great conclusion. A + work from all involved really.


Dead Man Logan #3-#4

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

These are two very well told issues that continue to move the story along at a good pace. Despite the title indicating that Logan is the main focus of the story Brisson is a one man band playing several instruments at once. Those instruments being the different elements of the story. Whether it is Hawkeye, Mysterio or what the X-Men are up too no element feels more important than the other and they all get enough time to expand. While these are two separate issues they could be read as one chapter. The same could be said for issues one and two which were the establishing chapter. I think this approach will help stretch the story over the twelve issues, it’ll make it feel like six chapters. What Brisson has done well so far is deliver questions, answers, more questions to be answered later and plenty of action. Yes this is an original story but it remains very faithful to the original ‘Old Man Logan.’ There are some nice homages across the two issues, but don’t get comfortable feeling your know what is coming. Brisson throws in plenty of red herrings to leave you guessing on the direction of the remaining eight issues. Jubilee makes a very welcome appearance here and holds her own against Captain America. Oh and more Glob! You won’t find me complaining about too much Glob in a Wolverine comic. I will be watching closely to see if he strikes up an sort of relationship with the original Wolverine either in ‘Uncanny X-Men’ or his own comic. I love his facial expressions when certain details of Logan’s health are revealed. Mike Henderson is an amazing artist. I think the biggest compliment I can pay him is that when we finally get a new Wolverine ongoing series could we please have Brisson and Henderson teaming up again. Is that too much to ask? I think Henderson’s style would be a great fit for the action and adventure we have become accustomed to in Wolverine comics over the years. With Nolan Woodard’s colours may be bright and vibrant but they do not detract from when the story gets violent. There isn’t one character in this story that Henderson doesn’t make visually appealing. Whether it is rendering classic X-Men looks or paying homage to David Aja’s work on ‘Hawkeye’ it is all great stuff. If you aren’t having fun while reading a comic and taking in the art work something is very wrong with that comic. Thankfully Dead Man Logan is delivering every month so far its four out of four good issues. Fun and entertaining that is really all you need, others should take note!


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