05th Aug2020

Wolverine Wednesday #36

by Ian Wells

Wolverine #2-#3

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

It has been so long since I read the first issue of the new Wolverine ongoing perhaps I should have gone back and read it before these two issues arrived in the post! If memory serves me correctly the first issue was double sized and set up two story arcs. The first being about ‘The Flower Cartel’ and the second something to do with vampires. The second and third issues deal with ‘The Flower Cartel’ story arc and rather surprisingly in this modern era are wrapped up within three issues! Shocking I know. Also I don’t know how much this story arc ties into the events of X-Force which is also penned by Percy. I did say for the benefit of research I would pick up the first trade paperback, that was originally slated for a May release and is now out this week, so expect a review in the future. Can anyone answer how much sway Jonathan Hickman has over the auxilary X-books? I don’t like the fact in the credits page he is credited as ‘Head of X.’ In these two issues there are a total of four text pages. Are these coming from Hickman or are they Percy writing in the style of Hickman? Three of the four pieces add nothing to the story.While the second in issue 3 has some potential set up for the next story arc. To be honest I don’t read them on the first read through. They take me out of the story. I tend to skim over them once I have read the story cover to cover.

Over these two issues Percy demonstrates brilliant writing in the form of Wolverine’s internal monologues. In the early days of Chris Claremont, and later Larry Hama, the internal monologue was a big part of Wolverine stories. He is a character who has seen and done a lot of shit, this should reflect in his monologues. So when Percy writes stuff like “On the skeleton coast of Namibia…” and “In Borneo I was once lost…” it not only adds more to the character but it also reminds readers there is more to him than what is currently unfolding in the pages of the comic relating to all things Krakoa. With Wolverine being a man of the world Percy uses CIA agent Jeff Bannister to explore this facet of his character. Having just finished watching Breaking Bad and having a real itch to rewatch The Wire I really enjoyed the “real world” aspect of agents in the field mixed with the superhero action. Being only a three issue story arc the story telling is really tight and very enjoyable. In the third issue there is some non-linear storytelling, but is done well and keeps the plot moving and easy to follow. With the artwork, as much as I love to see new talent, it has been a real kick having Adam Kubert on board. He was one of the artists I used to look for when I first started collecting back issues. The cover for issue two fully made me fall back in love with the brown and tan costume. I don’t know if its just in sync with my mood at the moment or what but if push came to shove I may say it is my favourite costume of all time! I salute whoever made the decision to kit him out in it in this modern era. I’m really enjoying his panel layouts, in particular the use of smaller panels within panels to dictate pace and highlight emotion. Characters breaking panel boarders really pop in the white gutters. There is a two page spread in #3 showing Wolverine through time, going from the war to Weapon X and then ending with a Wolverine v Juggernaut. This is a nice little touch of Kubert homaging himself from Wolverine #93 where Wolverine faced off against Juggernaut early in Kubert’s first run on Wolverine back in the 90’s. These were two very enjoyable issues. A good balance between fun and action, all without being over convoluted and over and done with by the end of the third issue. Yes I’m still in shock by this!

iWolverine 2020 #1 

Writer: Larry Hama | Artist: Roland Boschi | Colourist: Andres Mossa | Letters: Joe Sabino

This was another issue affected by the delays caused by the lockdown. The 2020 mini Iron Man-centric event wasn’t something I was following or really interested in. But when I saw this issue solicited with the legend that is Larry Hama returning to a character he created in Wolverine #38 (1991) my nostalgia boxes were being ticked and I had to check it out. For those not in the know Albert is a cyborg version of Wolverine programmed by The Reavers to terminate Wolverine. He was last seen in Wolverine Returns: Weapon Lost by Charles Soule and it was good to reconnect with him again after a long time and see him used in a different context. Now I don’t know how much this issue has to do with the rest of what is unfolding in the other 2020 tie ins, but it really doesn’t matter. Hama delivers a great story from cover to cover that wants you to come back next month for the conclusion. It is a simple story of Albert on the hunt for his old companion Elsie-Dee. With Albert being a rather 2D cyborg the weight of the story is carried by more colourful characters. Including Tiger Tyger, Russian gangsters and Donald Pierce. His interactions with the former were a highlight, as again it was all about the nostalgic feeling of early Wolverine comics, but with a slightly different flavour. There is a fun touch when Albert leaves the Princess Bar after a brawl he is now suited in one of Patch’s old White suit jackets. Also Boschi’s portrayal of Pierce now looks passingly like Boyd Holbrook. Again nostalgia at play. While Boschi on art is a good choice for this story, how great would it have been if they could have re-teamed Hama and Marc Silvestri! Special mention to to Juan Jose Ryp’s kick ass cover too depicting the cyborg in a classic Wolverine slashing through bodies pose. With my very limited artistic knowledge I would say the colour pallet is spot on for a story centering on cyborgs. Where as Kubert has lots of white space in his Wolverine issues the white in on display here is very sparring. Lots of colour on every page adds to the chaos of a AI uprising. Great issue I hope people check it out. After years of reading comics I don’t know what role a tie in like this serves. I can’t imagine Albert looking for Elsie-Dee will have any consequences for Tony and Arno Stark. In an ideal world a comic like this gets fans going into comic shops and checking out the original adventures of Albert and Elsie-Dee by Larry Hama and Marc Silvestri. I myself will be dipping into my back issues.


Comments are closed.