Review: The Flower Cartel Stands Revealed In ‘Wolverine’ #3

by Tony Thornley

Th new Wolverine series has already left its mark in the new status quo of the Dawn of X in several other series. However this series is creating its own niche for its star, one that’s unexpected but definitely feels like it could become a perfect fit.

With the first arc of the series over, it feels like the creative team is finding their footing for what a solo Wolverine story is in this new era. It’s not a sure footing quite yet, but it’s getting close. It’s solid work by Benjamin Percy, Adam Kubert, Frank Martin, Cory Petit and Tom Muller on Wolverine #3

Logan has a plan. It’s risky, and dependent on many factors that could go wrong. However, if everything goes right, he could take down the Flower Cartel, and the Pale Girl. It’s a risk that he needs to take.

This issue has both strong positives and negatives. On the plus side, Percy has a fantastic grasp on his lead character. He understands what makes Wolverine tick, but also the character’s history and how it’s affected him. This isn’t the screaming rage monster of the past, but a much more thoughtful and cunning hunter. The first-person narration is nearly perfectly done, and the data pages are strong supplemental material.

However, the two antagonists in the story- the Flower Cartel (revealed to be an operation of Russia) and elements of the US Government- both come across as cartoonish supervillains, rather than the nuanced antagonistic forces they even are in our real world. There was an opportunity here to use the story with commentary that is completely missed. It also feels like Percy is still trying to define the difference between a Wolverine solo story and an X-Force story. However, that said, it’s still an enjoyable, if flawed issue.

The art is almost perfect though. Outside of a few strange design choices (especially in the Russian uniforms), Kubert does a fantastic job. His action is great, and he is able to depict the characters as distinct individuals, and not just costumes punching bad guys. He’s also able to get things with several comedic bits in Percy’s script, telling jokes with a grimace on Logan’s lips or a scowl across Esme Cuckoo’s face. Martin’s colors are bright, and he uses techniques to give the art layer and depth without oversaturating it in gradients and dark tones. Petit’s letter work is almost a part of the art itself, fitting into the pages as if it was drawn that way, with some fantastic uses of special effects.

Though it wasn’t the strongest start to one of the Dawn of X series, the series is well on its way. Just like Percy’s first X-Force arc was a bit on the rough side, this is a story with a lot of potential, strong character voices, and a solid direction. A few more issues, and I think this could be one of the gems of the line.

Wolverine #3 is available now from Marvel Comics.

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