Thursday, March 14, 2013

Wolverine #1

As the old saying goes, you can't swing a cat by the tail in a comics shop without hitting a Wolverine first issue.

And here's one now, making the mutant hero a featured character in more comics than any other Marvel or DC hero. (I'm just guessing - I haven't the spirit to actually try calculating those numbers.)

I haven't picked up Wolverine's solo comics in quite a while, but I made an exception here because of the artist. Alan Davis is one of my all-time favorites, a pro who has created an amazing body of work, and he shows no signs of faltering.

The art here is terrific - dynamic layouts, strong designs, emotional depictions, a bit of humor - as Davis works with his usual partner, inker Mark Farmer, and creates the kind of powerful work most artists would give their eyeteeth to achieve.

The problem with the issue is entirely on the story by Paul Cornell. It centers around a hostage situation, as a man armed with an exotic weapon (seemingly of alien origin) takes hostages in a bank.

That would be fine, but the story includes the brutal killing of a number of innocent hostages, while Wolverine is helpless to intervene. Even more annoying is the fact that a young child is in jeopardy throughout - and that, to keep the story moving, Wolverine must commit a couple of stupid and short-sighted mistakes.

With a long life and lots of experience, you would expect Logan to be the most capable hero around. Instead, he leads with his chin, doesn't think things through, and seems almost unconcerned about a murderous rampage being unleashed on the city.

You expect violence and rage in a Wolverine comic - but it would still be nice to see some more heart in evidence.

Buy it for the art, not the story.

Grade: B


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