Writer: Benjamin Percy
Artists: Adam Kubert (“The Flower Cartel”), Viktor Bogdanovic (“Catacombs”)
Colorists: Frank Martin (“The Flower Cartel”), Matthew Wilson (“Catacombs”)
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Designer: Tom Muller
Cover Artists: Adam Kubert, Frank Martin
Editor: Chris Robinson
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Can a human (or, in this case, a mutant) truly change? This is an age-old question, and it’s one that fans who have been following Logan for years will find instantly familiar as Benjamin Percy crafts the very beginnings of his own answer in Wolverine #1.
Wolverine has a tall order to fill as the first solo outing in the brave new Dawn of X. Unless you’ve been hiding in the Savage Land for the last two decades, you know that everyone wanted a taste of the adamantium. Film writers, the Avengers, the X-Men … the list goes on. So, I admit to having been wary when Wolverine was announced. But fret not! Wolverine is jam-packed with story, heart, and brilliant art.
Percy (and a gaggle of brilliant artists) spin two separate tales in this oversized issue. The first story, “The Flower Cartel,” sees Logan (and his X-Force team) investigate the disappearance of Krakoan miracle drugs (“petals”) from Hellfire Trading Company shipments. Even with ample space to breathe, Percy crafts something economic here. The main action of the piece develops Krakoa’s international presence and could do just as well as an X-Force story. But this is Wolverine, dang it. So Percy shows off, checking in with Kate Pryde and Jean Grey, introducing a C.I.A. operative with a personal stake in the mutant miracle drugs, and managing to kill off X-Force! (Don’t worry, it’s in the Previews!)
The second story, “Catacombs,” brings Omega Red to Krakoa in the weaker of the two stories. Where the first story seems economic, this one comes across as overlong. Logan spends most of the story hopping around Paris and running into denizens of the night, ostensibly investigating Omega Red’s crimes. Additionally, “Catacombs” introduces a new human into the book: a Parisian vampire hunter and potential love interest. She is … fine! I can appreciate her (legitimate) purpose in the story, and I really do want to like her, so I’m curious to see how her character develops. But she and the vampires can feel distracting, especially given Percy’s compelling Wolverintrospection re: Omega Red.
However, none of this brings the book down. Wolverine is a testament to the power of a good artistic team. Kubert on Wolverine is a delight, and he stretches himself (and Logan’s cowl) out luxuriously in the first story (seriously, that man puts more emotion into a furrowed cowl than most put into an exposed face). Bogdanovic had me from the moment I saw his Magneto, eyes covered in shadow to reinforce Logan’s distrust of the master of magnetism. And when the light finally does shine on Magneto’s face? Brilliant. Martin and Wilson keep the tone throughout the book consistently moody, working in muted colors and a bucket full of red. Petit’s lettering gives kinetic energy to every SNIKT, SKASH, and FWASH, and Muller, as always, keeps the Dawn of X rolling with an always tight design.
And, since I know it matters: yes. This book has some extremely spicy Logans.
I think there’s something for everyone in Wolverine. Percy spins plates like crazy, plays in two completely separate genres, and still manages to give Logan’s demons their due. Do you want an X-Force spin-off? Great. A mystery with intrigue ripped from the headlines? Awesome. A horror-slash-adventure romp? Excellent. This book has all of that and some killer art. Even if I felt sometimes distracted from the character work by overwrought action, this book made me, a Wolverine skeptic, interested in the man behind the claws. Benjamin Percy cares about that man too, and he’s nowhere near done with him.
Out of Spile5.0/10
Mussed and Trussed10.0/10
Return of the King7.0/10
- Percy does some great character work.
- Compelling political intrigue.
- Blood a'plenty.
- Artistic team kills the game.
- Logan playing with kids.
- Weaker second story.
- Action for action's sake.
- Seriously, where did that spile come from?!
- Some tropeyness.
- My gut feeling that Louise is gonna die.