Wolverine #1 Review

By: Rob Neil Gruszecki

After a virus removes Logan’s healing factor and leaves him Killable, the Wolverine is forced to return to the Jean Grey School of Higher Learning with a message that says “The Wolverine is Dead”. Now in this new paradigm of mortality, the rabid Wolverine must learn to adapt his skills and reevaluate the ways that he functions as a member of the X-Men and a productive member of the mutant community. Now sporting brand new armor, a firearm and other defences against the inevitable threat of death against him, the Wolverine is back in action but will be forced to make controversial decisions for his own safety. Now a member of a tactical field team comprised of a shady backer and other super-powered individuals, Wolverine battles through a fortress of deadly robots and Stratus guards in a strange and gripping narrative.

Paul Cornell (Saucer Country, Dr. Who, London Falling) has returned for another Wolverine volume and number 1 but this time has the incredible help of Ryan Stegman (Superior Spider-Man, Fantastic Four) beside him. Together the two form a really balanced and interesting dynamic on what is an incredibly fun and interesting first issue. The first part in this four chapter story, Rogue Logan, jumps back and forth as Wolverine talks to his partners in the X-Men about his new mortality and his need for extra protection and development as a crime fighter, to where he is now fighting alongside some new faces and involved in some frightening business.

The work of Paul Cornell has been some of my favorite over the years in television, novels and of course comics. His last volume of Wolverine with artist Alan Davis was a great installment in the saga of the mutant as it delved into new territory for the character and put him in fresh circumstances that you wouldn’t typically get to see. Exploring Wolverine and building upon the years of story starting as a villain in the Incredible Hulk to his establishment as a grey hero on Chris Claremont’s X-Men, Cornell takes it further, especially in this issue, questioning the morality of the more vicious and animalistic side of the Canadian beast. Pacing the issue was done incredibly well and what Cornell has cooked up for the final page is a cliffhanger that really gives you your money’s worth on this new number one.

Ryan Stegman’s work throughout the run of Superior Spider-Man has been some of the best at Marvel and the prospect of him working on a Wolverine title seems like a perfect fit. His pencils do not disappoint as we see the gritty and haggard side of the drunken mess that has always been my favorite vision of the character. Artists like Frank Quitely and Chris Bachalo have drawn the disgruntled hero as a stubbly, disfigured and intimidating mess that seemed perfect to me and Stegman’s facial features given to Logan as he sits in an NYC bar beside Storm are amongst my favorite panels of the man yet. Action and detail with the costumed side of the character are powerful in this first issue and what Stegman delivers is a real gem among this new slew of All-New Marvel Now titles.

Incredibly well paced and developed, this dramatic first chapter of Wolverine comes to a screeching halt that will hook you and capture your attention like few others out there.

Rob Neil Gruszecki is a writer, musician and Wednesday warrior

Follow him on Twitter @Ghost_Factory

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