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Comic Book Review: Wolverine #1


Caliburn24 here with the debut of the third Wolverine title. 

It is a return of Alan Davis to the X-Men fold.  He’s the best he is at what he does, which is draw Wolverine (and really any character).  Davis, of course, is known for his run on Uncanny X-Men, Excalibur, and the Wolverine one-shot, Bloodlust, on which he was artist and writer.  Here he collaborates with Paul Cornell who has also worked in the DC and Marvel universes.  In terms of X-titles, he wrote the Dark X-Men limited series.  The price of the comic is worth it for the cover alone which has Wolverine popping his claws that lash at the viewer against a blood red background.  First page, a splash, that has Wolverine fallen with half his body vaporized to his rib cage resting on a pile of skeletons.  He says he is a superhero to reassure a kid, Alex, and get him under cover.  The kid mentions his father who has a cosmic gun and vaporized another civilian to a skeleton. 

The father, Robert Gregson, is bespectacled, and very average looking while he holds captives with energy bonds.  The father examines Wolverine who tries to bargain with him to keep him hostage and let the others go.  A long panel reveals the captives, Wolverine, and a whole mall floor of skeletons.  The gun fires again.  The title page has a splash of Wolverine against a NY background.  This is actually good because there is no panel describing where all of this takes place.  The police have cordoned off the outside and are trying to negotiate with Gregson.  His response is to callously vaporize another captive.  A close-up of Alex’s teary face as bone shards fly like confetti.  Davis has a dissolve of the bone chips against black, down to a skull, and out to Wolverine pulling himself from the skeletons.  There are two captives left, but Robert Gregson turns the gun on his son.  Wolverine is on his knuckles, closes his eyes, then a close up of his face as he pops his claws.

Wolverine goes into his beserker rage leaping at Gregson, he fires the gun, and taking a chunk out of Wolverine’s side.  Davis brings us a powerful image of Alex staring as blood flies with the shadow of Wolverine slicing his father with his claws.  Very Michael Curtiz.  Another closeup panel as the father dies, but it seems like he is coming back to his senses.  A medium shot has Alex covering his face as Wolverine still smoldering kneels next to his father’s corpse.  Wolverine tries to explain his actions to the kid.  There’s a fantastic scene where they are in shadowy profile along with two surviving captives with a foreground of bones.  He says to Alex that a father would never try to harm his son.  This is when the police officers swarm into the building.  Wolverine says he is an Avenger and requests pants since he is naked.  A short haired detective, Tomomatusu, examines him closely him before he is given a track suit.

Tomomatusu explains that Gregson was a real estate agent with no mental illness.  Wolverine tells her about the gun.  Both are mysteries.  Alex makes his way back to talk to Wolverine.  He asks Wolverine about his super hero comment, “What kind of superhero?”, and Logan replies a mutant.  He also explains that he ages very slowly.  This resolves to a closeup of Alex’s eyes that glow in supernatural fashion.  Alex has the gun activate and discharges a net of energy that zaps Wolverine and several officers.  He picks up the gun and runs off with Tomomatsu pulling her gun on him.  Wolverine runs after the kid.  A series of panels has him exiting the mall with a burning police car, scattered officers, a close-up of Wolverine’s face, and then Alex in a police cruiser smashing into Wolverine.  A brilliant panel combining speed and the violence of a car impact.  Alex points the gun at Wolverine through the shattered window.  Closeup of Wolverine popping his claws.  Then, Wolverine slashes up the police car, Davis really captures the action of Wolverine’s claws like no other. 

Alex flees the exploding police car.  He fires the gun again to scatter officers.  Then, drives off in another police cruiser.  Tomomatsu races to see Wolverine pull himself from the wreckage.  He tells her to get his spare uniform from a bar.  Wolverine tells her he is going on a hunt and doesn’t want another of the Gregson family to die.  A closeup panel has the shadowy Wolverine running through the NY streets.  This is the first part of the “Hunting Season” storyline, 3 more to go, with two guest stars promised in the next issue.  One of the better Marvel Now titles with top notch art and a story that leaves enough mystery and danger to keep readers going in the Wolverse.
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