The Avengers and X-Men’s Epic Battle is over. Scott went insane. Charley took the dirt nap. Hope and Wanda made everything better. So Now what?
Well, NOW is the time for Marvel to shuffle the deck and play a new hand. It’s relaunch city as The House of Ideas brings us 20-something new #1s with all-new creative teams over the next 5 months. What will the new 23 have in store for us Marvel Zombies? Well, be sure to check out this column each week as we dissect the first issue of every new title under the Marvel Now Banner. And I don’t mean Bruce Banner…..well except when the title has the Hulk in it….you get what I mean. So sit back and relax as we check out what’s new in the 616.
If there’s one character there’s no trouble finding on the comic racks, it has to be Wolverine. He’s arguably the most over-exposed hero in comics. Sure, Superman and Batman have a bunch of books but Wolverine appears in just as many comics, if not more. Last year, he had 3 or 4 ongoing titles on top of appearing in multiple X-Books and at least 2 Avengers titles each month. When the Marvel Now relaunch came about, I really thought his visibility might lessen. But that wasn’t the case. So far, Logan is making appearances in All New X-Men, Wolverine and the X-Men, Uncanny Avengers, Avengers and Savage Wolverine, the new ongoing title from Frank Cho. When Savage launched, I truly thought that this would be the only title that the Ol Canucklehead would be the starring character of. It might be a very specific tale that takes place in the Savage Land but I thought that since he was already connected to the mainstream adventures of the Marvel Universe through books like Avengers and Wolverine and the X-Men, Logan would be fine with one book for solo adventures. I thought wrong apparently. Enter Wolverine #1, written by Paul Cornell with art by the legendary Alan Davis. When I picked up this book, I still questioned the need for another Wolverine book. After reading the first issue, I am positive this book is not necessary.
Our story begins in progress with Wolverine on the ground, his body ripped open. He lies there, slowly re-knitting himself as a man, who looks like an average joe, holds a group of people hostage in a mall. He’s got his son with him who’s obviously in shock. He’s also got a big friggin’ gun. The gun looks alien in origin and can disintegrate a person on impact. There’s no real reason given as to why the guy is doing this. His son has no idea. He also has no idea what prompted his father to do it. Just as the father is about to something even more drastic than what he’s already done, Logan is ready for action once again and does what he does best. It’s after this that the cops breach the mall and find a bunch of skeletons, a very naked Wolverine and the little boy. After a change of clothes and some friendly chit chat with Police Inspector Tomomatsu over what went down, it looks like the adventure is all over but that’s not the case. It turns out that danger can come in small packages as well. A little more carnage comes our way before Wolverine has to go on the hunt in the streets of New York City to stop the villain of this tale.
This book left me feeling very unsatisfied. It was a very hollow story that banked on you caring about the fast paced plot so that you wouldn’t see that there was absolutely no thought put into the characters. We’re dropped into a hostage situation with no explanation and then it’s suddenly over. Before we can get any answers from that part of the story, we’re back into the action. While the pacing was impressive, there was nothing for the reader to latch onto. Wolverine wasn’t really acting like Wolverine. He just came off as a generic action hero. There were no subtle character quirks or tells. If the character didn’t have popped claws and that signature hair do, I wouldn’t have felt I was reading Wolverine story. When telling a story like this, it’s cool to confuse the reader or to withhold information. But it’s important to make the reader care about what’s going on. Just having Wolverine as the star is not enough to make us care. As I said in the preamble, there are MANY books where a fan can get a Logan fix. There has to be more to this story to make someone want to get their fix here.
The book felt very much like a story from the nineties. The artwork did not help in this fact. Alan Davis has had a very storied career and has been involved in some fantastic tales, including some fun X-Men books from the late nineties. But that was a long time ago. These days, Davis’ work is not what it used to be. It feels like this once great creator has been passed up by changing tastes and instead of adapting and developing his style to move forward with these changes, he’s just delivering the same old work he did years ago. It feels like his heart isn’t in it. Like he’s phoning it in. Not to knock Mr. Davis as he is a far better artist than I ever will be, but his work here does not excite me or make me want to see what happens in the next issue. It’s sad to say because Davis was at one time one of the artists I felt could save a story that was lacking. I guess that’s not so anymore.
If you haven’t figured it out by now, I think everyone should pass on Wolverine #1. There are much better things being done with the character in both Wolverine and the X-Men and Savage Wolverine. I suggest checking out those titles instead. Not to say that either of these creators are terrible. They’re just not suited for Wolverine at this time. It’s best that they get onto to working on something else.
So this 1st Issue is done but there’s plenty more to come. Check back here in the coming week’s to find out which books are wrth your time which are a waste of it.
And if you’re gonna geek out, GEEK HARD!
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