Wolverine #21 is an action-packed exposition fest, which is pretty much what one would expect when flipping open a book starring Wolverine and Deadpool together. It’s a gorgeous sight to behold artistically as Kubert and Martin are top tier for a Wolverine artistic team, especially when it comes to the type of action that Logan invariably finds himself caught up within.
When it comes to certain characters or titles within our pop culture one can be pretty sure what they are going to get when they dive into the latest installment. Within the realm of comics, two characters that fit into that space are Wolverine and Deadpool. Alone you know what you are going to get with them for the most part in solo titles and putting them together is a whole other expected flavor.
One of the things that has been clear about the X-Line since the 2019 House of X/Powers of X led relaunch is that there is an actual variety to the titles that are presented. There truly is sort of that Baskin Robbins 31-flavors something for everyone sort of feeling. Out of all the titles though Wolverine, X-Force, and Excalibur/Knights of X have had one thing in common, serial long-form storytelling where one can be a bit lost if they haven’t read what has come before.
That’s not to say that there are not more new reader-friendly spots to come on board, which this arc is somewhat that in light of the whole Destiny of X era beginning. Even with that, there is a whole ton that begins to pay off here that won’t make much sense without having read most of this whole run from the Wolverine hand reference to stuff with Maverick to the whole X-Desk thing.
Deadpool is a character that works best in small doses and to fill certain aspects of stories (outside of his own solo books), and Benjamin Percy uses that well here because Wade actually works as a great way to do an exposition dump. This exposition dump works to counteract some of what I mentioned before, trying to fill in readers on a bit of what came before without recapping everything. There are still some holes that are left but it’s a good attempt to catch up with potential new readers.
Overall this is a very action-heavy issue, as one would expect from these two characters, which helps with the excess of Deadpool exposition dumping. If one is going to have an action-heavy story like this then Adam Kubert and Frank Martin are very much the right ones to have to bring it to life. It’s detailed and full of so much kinetic energy, the paneling alone is just fantastic in how it highlights different scenes and draws the eyes along the page. I especially dig the first pages where there are the circular panels in the middle of the page (namely the ones mirroring Logan and Wade) surrounded by all the oval panels because it just feels different and unique.
Martin brings all the right tones color-wise, with just enough bright superhero action colors alongside the darker shadows needed for such a story. There is additional weight and depth that the colors bring, with a sort of grounded almost Earthy tone to them as well. It allows the moments to breathe that also allows the more brutal moments to have an impact without being overly graphic.
As noted there is a ton of exposition here, delivered in that Wade Wilson style, and Cory Petit makes it all flow and works alongside the action. All of the right energy, both Wade’s comical nature and Wolverine’s more brusque one, come through and are enhanced by the little changes to the font that give them the right weight/emphasis. I love when letterers allow volume and tone to shine through with bigger or smaller fonts, making it more impactful.
Wolverine #21 is now available.