Wolverine #1 Review
By: Rob Neil Gruszecki
A battered man lies upon a bed of bones and destruction. Half his body is ravaged and still smouldering from a blast that would have ended anyone else. With his clothes torn, skin peeled off and tissue dangling like stripped paint the man looks up towards someone with a look of frantic astonishment. Between his fingers adamantium claws extend a foot outwards in a fan. As the beaten man gazes upwards he tries to issue a comforting sentiment.
It’s Okay. I’m a Superhero
After a devastating attack on an average mall a strange piece of alien technology has found its way into the hands of an unlikely supervillian, one who until recently had just been in attendance that day to buy his son some new sneakers. With each powerful blast of the weapon another falls victim to its rays that immolate in a vicious finality. Upon discovering the restorative energies of the pummelled mutant, the man becomes intrigued, but only momentarily as the distraction draws to a close with another powerful blast from the laser.
With a few twists down the road and of course some ‘snikt’ attack panels, the fist issue of Marvel Now’s Wolverine delivers a fast-paced story that drops us right in the middle of an emotional, exciting and adrenaline fueled mutant tale. Paul Cornell (London Falling, Demon Knights, Action Comics, Doctor Who, and my girlfriend would be heartbroken if I didn’t mention his brief stint as a writer on Coronation Street) scripts an ideal number one with excellent and gritty characterization and rapid story delivery that gets the ball rolling without the tedium of tired origins or the shackles of convoluted continuity with other Wolvie titles. This is something I’ve greatly enjoyed with the Marvel Now line so far (or at least in regards to Logan) as I don’t need to be reading every single title featuring the beer swilling Canuck in order to understand and enjoy what is happening in one of his stories. What this Wolverine run promises is a self-sustaining adventure focusing on the A-lister that already features cosmic guns, car crashes and a whole pile of destruction from the get go. Cornell who is currently writing one of my favorite creator-owned series with Saucer Country proves his writing chops with dramatic, poignant and fully realized characters that he absolutely has brought over to this new book at the big two. If there is one thing that Cornell is as a writer, it is versatile from scripting high-concept science fiction to conspiracy laden political drama to now one of the more explosive action series in the Marvel line.
Alan Davis pencils the interiors and main covers of the series and his work is stellar. His style seemed an odd choice for this series at first but after reading it through I’m thrilled that he will be doing the book alongside Cornell for the foreseeable future. Clearly the book features a lot of violence and carnage but it is done with a flare that isn’t wacky or goofy at all and having a distinct charm to it that even though at their core they are visceral and sinister images seem more cartoon mayhem than gorefest. That being said, the tension and impact is still clearly there displaying the dire circumstances for characters within but still maintaining an all ages innocence that could have been easily overshadowed with the dark material that Wolverine contains when considered. I mean, people being eviscerated in front of a child and hostages being burnt alive aren’t exactly ‘light’ subject matter but Wolverine manages to balance these aspects beautifully with Davis’ classic madcap style.
As a child one of my favorite heroes was Wolverine and my obsession obviously manifested with buying up any comic with his image on it, having countless toys of the character and watching the nineties X-Men cartoon religiously. As I grew up I stopped paying as much attention and other comics and characters appealed to me instead of the rabid bub. Wolverine number one by Paul Cornell and Alan Davis reminded me why I had loved the character so much all those years ago and it made me feel like a wide-eyed kid again watching a cool clawed berserker beat up bad guys and take a beating like a champ. Definitely worth a read this Wednesday.
Rob Gruszecki is a writer, musician and Wednesday warrior
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