Thursday, September 2, 2010

Wolverine #1

The fact of the matter is: while I've always liked Wolverine, I've been burned out on him for some time now.

I was reading The Incredible Hulk in the '70s when he made his first appearance, and I liked the idea of the runt with an attitude. The claws were a neat addition, but like most readers, I just thought the blades were attached to his gloves.

When he reappeared in Giant-Size X-Men, I enjoyed his contribution to the team - a gruff, flinty character who had an apparent heart of gold, and was tough as nails. I was as shocked as most fans when Chris Claremont and Dave Cockrum revealed that the blades were part of his arm (thankfully they could be retracted).

It was under John Byrne's run on the book that Wolverine's dark side emerged, and he was well on his way to being a fan favorite. It's a strange paradox in comics that a character can become hugely popular, and then through overexposure become a lot less interesting. That's how it was for me - though obviously sales don't lie, so not everyone agrees.

Wolverine's hardly the only example - Spider-Man, Batman, the Punisher and Superman have all been through it, too.

Wolverine eventually got his own title, and these days he's everywhere - in the Uncanny X-Men, X-Force, The Avengers, the New Avengers, numerous spin-off titles - and now he's back in his own comic again, with a brand-new issue #1.

It's been several years since I read any of the stand-alone Wolverine comics, so I'm not sure about the supporting characters in this title - there's a man named Wraith who was part of the Weapon X program, and there's a woman Logan's in love with whose name is apparently Melita.

Considering that it's his first issue, there's precious little Logan in this issue - the first three pages and the last page are about it. The rest of the issue is all about writer Jason Aaron setting the stage for the story to come.

It'll probably make sense in the inevitable collection, but as an individual issue it doesn't work well at all. Lots of violent things happen and we don't know why, or why we should care.

The art by Renato Guedes, Jose Wilson and Magal Haes is pretty good, although it relies on a lot of thin lines and seems to lack the "oomph" that you'd expect from a story as violent as this one.

I thought I'd pick up this issue to give the character another chance to catch my interest, to see if I'm ready to pick up his solo adventures again.

Apparently the ol' Magic 8-Ball says, "Try Again Later." Maybe next time.

Grade: C+


No comments: