This is it, the end of the first month of Marvel’s first weekly ongoing series, Wolverines. From this point on I’ll most likely stick to a monthly review of this series unless there’s a particularly good or bad issue, or one that’s otherwise worth talking about in detail. And to be honest, this one would have probably been one of those exceptions.
Wolverines 4 kicks off exactly where the last one ended, with Siphon attacking Fantomelle and the Wolverines team arriving just in time to intercept. Right away there’s a minor continuity flub; X-23’s shotgun blast in the previous issue seemed to blow Siphon’s hands off, yet here his hands are still attached to his arms. Apart from that, this is a fun action scene that captures several characters’ different attitudes well.
The rest of the issue goes back and forth between different scenes, containing both dramatic moments for Sabretooth, Laura and Daken and further story development. Most of this stuff works. You can feel Daken’s turmoil when he awakes with only one eye and one arm, and it’s clear both Laura and inverted Sabretooth are concerned. Fantomelle’s excitement over breaking into Sinister’s lab is fun, and so is Mystique messing around with people on the jet. There are a lot of character moments that really help develop everyone on the team, save for Deathstrike and Endo who barely show up until the very last page’s cliffhanger.
On the downside, it feels like some of these panels are out of order. For example, Shogun and Neuro introduce Sinister’s lab to Fantomelle and talk about how it’s supposedly impossible to breach. Fantomelle says “Impossible is a matter of perspective”, and then a couple of panels of Daken’s scene interrupt before Mr. Sinister says “Nothing is impenetrable” (referring to Wolverine’s adamantium shell). That panel would have worked much better if directly after the “matter of perspective” line. Daken’s scene probably should have been done in one go rather than being split up, and the rest of the issue should have been split between Fantomelle’s planning and Sinister’s work for the purpose of tension building.
The art by Ariela Kristantina is simple, but good. Fantomelle’s various poses capture her acrobatic nature and Skel’s brutality in the opening fight, plus the little touch of Laura sliding down the building’s side to display her own acrobatics is welcome. There’s also plenty of interesting angles, whether it’s the opening page from under Laura’s shotgun or the cleaver uses of mirrors throughout the entire comic. Emotions are perfectly captured in facial expressions and poses, most notably with Mystique when she hides in the cargo bay and Fantomelle’s rapid arm movements while planning the break-in.
For the most part this is a good comic, with strong characterization, good art and exciting build-up. The odd ordering of the scenes and panels holds it back more than anything else. This still feels like a Wolverine comic and if you never liked him, you probably won’t enjoy this unless you’re a fan of at least one of the main characters. If you are a Wolverine fan, this is definitely worth checking out to get to know his associates. I’m satisfied with Wolverines so far and I’ll stick with it for at least another month.