Have We Been Here Before? Reviewing ‘Wolverine’ #28
by Scott Redmond
‘Wolverine’ takes a slightly different approach in walking down a heavily traveled road, mostly spinning its proverbial wheels before slightly advancing the overall plotline. The approaching new year could bring something far less rerun-like for the clawed mutant, but all signs are pointing towards the outlook not being good.
A malevolent force has taken control of Wolverine, using him as a weapon once more aimed at very specific targets. Part of Logan remains and is fighting back, though he’s ending up in a much deeper hole. Sound familiar? Don’t worry you’re not reading any older or classic comics, it’s just all happening again in the current Wolverine title.
Sarcasm aside, for the moment at least, there are things that one can point to in this current Wolverine-centric title that are good. Benjamin Percy writes a good Logan, and we had that recent final Deadpool guest issue that was pretty emotionally great. Unfortunately, there is just a lot of stuff that screams ‘been there, done that’ in many cases. This is an issue that goes beyond Percy, and is attached to Logan as a whole in many cases.
There are times when it feels like the character became so huge and had so many ‘iconic’ stories that many creators are just stuck in an echo chamber of repeating those stories or ideas with some new tidbits mixed into the recipe. Rather than Weapon X or the Hand, it’s the bastard Beast who is the one controlling and using Logan. Instead of brainwashing or memory wipes, it’s Krakoan tech that is used to control Logan at a baser level.
I’m not saying that there are no stories that could be told with Logan, there are avenues to take that are different, what I’m saying is that seemingly most people don’t want to take them. It’s the same issue that Batman and others have at times, people grew up reading these stories, and when they get a chance to tell stories those stories they recall seem to pop into play somehow. Not that they are trying to copy or take the glory of others before, but there comes a point where all we see of Logan is the struggle between beast/man and control, über brooding loner stuff from Batman, being the sad sack loser of the Marvel Universe for Peter Parker, etc. There are ways to counteract this but because of Marvel and DC’s insistence to mostly stick to the same decades-old status quo for many characters, they are seemingly doomed to be in the same story beats over and over again.
Percy is a good writer but I think it’s time for a change for Logan, mostly in tone and direction. We’ve spent most of this year just cleaning up dangling plotlines from the first two years of the title in mostly brief, sometimes lacklustre, ways. Hell give Laura a Wolverine title again for a bit, Logan can be in X-Force but also support Laura. Or make the Marvel Voices: The Family SNIKT a regular ongoing series to replace this as that is fun and has the whole clawed family together. Logan has a family, and this series is still just about him doing all the same loner stuff over and over, mind-boggling.
As I’ve noted in the previous two reviews, I think that the work that Juan José Ryp and Frank D’Armata are doing artistically is good but just not the right fit for this series as it currently stands. There is just something far too glossy and smooth to the whole affair. They do capture the barbaric nature of what is being done to Logan, really hitting the savage nature that has overtaken him. At the same time, it doesn’t feel like there is really any kinetic movement to the various panels and pages. Some of the panels more so than others, namely when he goes on his murder spree.
A lot of the darker pages do feel a bit less glossy, as the shadows and darkness feel real and permeate the pages. D’Armata’s color palette choices are solid and fit what we’re seeing, and give the Krakoan areas we see a nice natural but also very unnatural feeling.
Cory Petit brings emotion and energy through the lettering per usual, it feels like the smugness of Beast is just dripping from his every word. I love a great use of sentence case, it just to me feels more natural for conversation even in a comic book because it allows one to use the all-caps to do so much more with louder dialogue, setting it apart from the normal dialogue.
Overall these issues are fine, but feel like they are lacking something. Wolverine and X-Force playing in their own little corner still carrying on plotlines that have been building forever makes them feel very disconnected at times. This is one of those times.
Wolverine #28 is now available from Marvel Comics.