With only 2 more issues to go, Wolverines is winding down. Issue 16 brought back Mr. Sinister when he baited the Wolverines, Shogun and Junk into an ambush, leading into a straight action issue in Wolverines 17. This issue starts exactly where the last left off, with Mr. Sinister using all the control words at once and Mystique’s jet crashing down into the building.
Before discussing Wolverines 18, I’ll briefly mention my thoughts for the last two issues since I was away in the last two weeks. Charles Soule wrote issue 16, and Ray Fawkes writes both 17 and 18. Issues 16 and 17 aren’t quite what I would call great, but they’re fun. 16 has a number of small character moments for everyone in the main cast, with Shogun, Junk, Mystique and X-23 having the most effect on the story and the most dialogue. The art by Ario Anindito is great, with a lot of character detail, action scenes that flow well and facial expressions capturing everyone’s mood perfectly. Issue 17 isn’t quite as good, but the straight action is fun and full of Mr. Sinister weirdness. It’s also great that every character has some sort of feat, whether physical or strategic. The art by Juan Cabal is … ok.
Wolverines 18 is the second straight action issue in a row, and easily the darker of the two. With all the Wolverines under Sinister’s command thanks to the control words, the Paradise team struggles to survive against them. This forces them to use the release words, permanently freeing them from Dr. Cornelius’s brainwashing. It makes perfect sense that they release Laura first, seeing how she’s the one who first offered to help them find their friends and that she’s often the voice of reason in this series. Of course, Mystique might have ways to prevent the other release words from working.
Without spoiling things, but the fight’s aftermath is tragic and a little surprising. One thing that’s bizarre about this issue is that Daken doesn’t show up at all, even though he survived the last issue and is even standing in the final panel. As someone who doesn’t like Daken I don’t mind, but his fans will likely be annoyed if not worried.
The art by Jonathan Marks is great to look at, but it’s hard to follow at times. The style really emphasizes the explosion when Mystique’s jet smashes into the building, and the orange tint through the rest of the issue matches the brutality behind the action. When characters are in silhouettes it’s easy to figure out who you’re looking at, but there are some panels where it’s difficult to separate the characters from their backgrounds. Sometimes you need the dialogue to figure out what happened. The final panel helps clear up the aftermath, except that not all the regular characters show up on page.
This isn’t quite a great comic, but it’s fun and sometimes that’s all you need. Even without Wolverine’s presence, this still feels like a Wolverine comic, and fans of his should give this series a chance. With only 2 issues to go, we still have yet to learn Mystique’s real plans or what will happen between the surviving Wolverines. I’m looking forward to finding out.
Normally I don’t do review scores, but a recent comment on my about page suggested that I should, so here it goes.