Wolverine #1 Review
All-New Marvel NOW! kicks off another #1 issue, this time with Wolverine. Anyone who hasn’t been keeping up with this stuff, don’t worry, we got you covered. Basically, all this “All-New Marvel NOW!” talk is a way for new fans to have clear cut jumping on points. Nothing sells better than #1’s, so there’s that too. The more cynical, seasoned, comic book fans call it a quick money grab but, hey, it’s the nature of the business unfortunately. At the very least they’ve created a jumping on point. As for whether or not it’s a good one, we’ll let you know what we think.
Wolverine #1 kicks off by giving Logan a new status quo – he has no healing factor (oddly similar to the recent Wolverine movie, wouldn’t you say? Put that on the back burner, we’ll come back to it). So because of this he’s essentially human again. He has a small ops team now, wears armor and still has claws. He can’t “SNIKT” them from his bones anymore, though, as he can’t properly heal. So he wears these claw bracelets and carries a firearm. Logan and his team take down a group called STRATUS. Then the second half of the issue goes into flashback mode, where Logan has some conversations with Storm about being a human now and Ororo trying to get him to talk about it. The issue ends with Wolverine doing something, if revealed to be true, to be pretty reprehensible.
Writer Paul Cornell seems to have an understanding of what he wants to do here, but the execution just isn’t there. The flashbacks in the second half make this story have a bit of an identity crisis, like our titular hero. This book doesn’t seem like it knows what it is yet. It wants to have fun, but the action scenes make it hard to tell what is going on half of the time, which brings us to the art:
Ryan Stegman, coming over from Superior Spiderman, is an artist who admittedly does great cover work (just look at that awesome cover!). However, there seems to be a significant downgrade in his work once we get to the interiors of Wolverine #1. Wolverine’s facial features never remain consistent, and just in the sequence of three panels his height and weight seem to change dramatically given the scale of the people around him. He has a quintessentially “comic booky” style. It’s good in some ways, and in others his character features can be a bit jarring.
I wasn’t too pleased with this issue. I mean, claw bracelets? Seriously?! Going in, the least I was hoping for was a fun Wolverine comic. Instead we get the toned down version where all his powers are gone and we get to see his friends beg him to open up emotionally in flashbacks. It’s not good for Logan, as a character, as we don’t see him develop much and it makes for a story we’ve already seen before. Which brings us to the movie version of Wolverine:
I think this new #1 and the concept of Wolvie losing his powers is really more about Marvel trying to appeal to the movie crowd rather than it’s usual fans. Not that I’m complaining, as Wolverine is in nearly every Marvel comic book in existence right now. If this book doesn’t cut it, there is certainly others to get my Wolverine fix. I just wish the execution in this comic was a bit better. Also, the existence of this STRATUS team and why Wolverine and his team needed to take them down remained a mystery to me by the time I was finished with this issue.
The big thing about this comic is what happens at the end. There’s something that Wolverine does at the end of this issue which is totally out of character and makes little to no sense. I surmise there is more at play here but I have to judge the merits of this issue with what is given.