The Wolverines series has its flaws. The art good more often than not, but it’s very inconsistent, with one issue using a more conventional style and the next being more stylistic. Although it brought some good character exploration, the Fang arc feels kind of pointless and there could have been other ways to explore these characters. That said, one can’t deny that the series is really intense sometimes. Wolverines 19, written by Charles Soule, is no exception.
The last issue ended with most of the Paradise crew (the characters from the Weapon X Program series) killed in a chaotic fight. Sabretooth and Lady Deathstrike spent much of their time under the influence of their control words, attacking their former allies. This issue begins right where it left off, with Mr. Sinister emerging from wherever he hid in the last issue to attack Mystique. This brings the best quote of the week – “You threw a ship at me?!” Along with the team fighting Mr. Sinister, Mystique is scrambling to fulfil her goals while the others start trying to out manipulate her.
For the most part this issue is pretty good. Every character has their own little moment, whether it’s X-23 using her leadership skills, Deathstrike showing her sense of honor or Daken starting to become a better person. But Mystique is the real star of this issue, and her plans are all but revealed by the end. The fight is intense, and some of the arguments between the Wolverines carry dramatic weight. And of course, what would a penultimate issue be without at least a couple of plot twists?
The art by Ariela Kristantina is good for the most part. Body language is utilized very well, whether it’s Mr. Sinister being imposing, Sabretooth looking confused (he’s still recovering from his control word and being shot in the head) or Deathstrike clearly doubting everything Creed says. The action is generally easy to follow. The environmental detail is good too, showing the debris from the ship Mystique threw at Mr. Sinister and all the damage it caused the building, complete with fire smoke. On the downside, there are a couple panels with much less detail than most, and the angles used when X-23 searches the crashed ship are a little confusing.
As with most of the series, this issue isn’t quite what I would call great, but it’s fun and intense. Mystique is written better here than she has been in years, showing off her master manipulating skills and sheer determination. Although Wolverine is dead, this still feels like a Wolverine comic with the kind of action and story it features. It’s a bit late to jump in but if you’re a fan of Wolverine or any of his legacy characters in this series, Wolverines is at least worth looking into. If you only pick up one issue though, make it Wolverines 13 (Deadpool’s issue).
I don’t usually do scores, but a recent comment in my about page suggested I try them, so here you go.