Since I’m only picking up 5 comics this week, I might as well just skip the usual first impressions post and write reviews. Also since both All-New Wolverine 8 and Old Man Logan 6 released, I might as well combine these reviews. It’s kind of annoying that Marvel doesn’t spread out their titles better – I mean, both X-Men solos in the same week? Not to mention that these X-Men solos are easily the best X-Men comics coming out right now.
I’ve read comments online complaining that All-New Wolverine is too light hearted for a Wolverine comic. I have no idea what they’re talking about – the first story arc dealt with themes of suicide, child slavery, death and loss, torture and of course, revenge. That said, it does have its light-hearted moments. Can’t say that about Old Man Logan 6, but considering how dark the original story is, that’s not a bad thing. In fact it’s a good thing that these titles have different tones. In any case, let’s get started.
All-New Wolverine 8, Written by Tom Taylor, is fun. After last month’s downtime issue that was both very dramatic and a lot of fun, this one goes back to the fast-paced story and an intense situation. There’s a box that is being traded by criminals, and a bunch of SHIELD agents come by to pick it up. Of course the operation ends in off-panel disaster. The rest of the comic follows Laura and Gabby. Their first scene is a follow up of sorts to last issue, with the two discussing what Gabby should do with her freedom. It shows how Laura understands how to deal with Gabby better than Logan did with her. She’s willing to compromise instead of just forcing a normal life on someone who has no idea how to live a normal life.
Their downtime ends pretty quick when Maria Hill personally contacts Laura, and is recruited to help out with the box situation. The story is told fairly quick, yet there’s room for both humour from Gabby’s comments and Laura’s reaction to learning that Old Man Logan was involved with the SHIELD operation. The fact that she already knew of his existence but doesn’t care is fitting. Also, Gabby’s reference to Schrödinger’s cat is both amusing and kind of acts as her trying to prove that she doesn’t need school. The ending cliffhanger promises a fairly intense issue next month, not to mention the first meeting between Laura and Old Man Logan.
The art by Marcio Takara is great. Facial expressions throughout the comic do a great job at conveying emotion. There’s the sadistic look the weapon dealer gives before she unleashes it, Gabby’s anger when a lady mistakes Jonathan the Wolverine for a dog and of course the bored expression on the noodles delivery guy. Although the level of detail in the backgrounds vary, there’s usually something to look at, and there’s a lot of detail when their needs to be. The spread of the Hellicarrier flying over Laura’s apartment is complete with buildings complete with bricks and a few cracks from age, a couple of open windows along the buildings, a water tower and some pretty looking clouds. When the action starts, there’s an impressive amount of debris and destruction on panel. Jordan Boyd’s colouring is also great. Everything’s bright, colourful and appealing.
This isn’t the best issue of All-New Wolverine so far, but the last two were pretty much perfect so that’s not a problem. This is still a great comic that balances serious storytelling and fun quite well. Gabby continues to be a delightful character, Laura’s characterization is very good and the last page continues to prove that she’s worthy of the Wolverine name. X-23 fans should be reading this series, Wolverine fans who are ok with the idea of his daughter figure taking on the mantle should at least give this a chance, and if you’re the least bit interested in reading the first time that All-New Wolverine and Old Man Logan meet, this issue sets that story up.
Old Man Logan 6 kicks off where the last issue left off, with Logan visiting the home town of his wife from his home Universe, Maureen. Even as a child, she’s showing signs of the woman he fell in love with, and he wants to make sure nothing bad happens to her. It’s a nice idea for a story, but unfortunately, Lady Deathstrike and the Reavers showed up at the end of the last issue and killed a stray dog that Maureen has been feeding. I do have one complaint about this though – in the aftermath of Wolverine’s death, Deathstrike seemed to have forgiven him, and was even willing to work with him to take down whoever was hunting them in Death of Wolverine. So why does she want to kill this Wolverine when it’s clear that he’s not even the Wolverine that she knew? Maybe later issues will explain this, but for now this is a flaw. Also I don’t claim to be an expert of Lady Deathstrike, but doesn’t she consider herself too honourable to kill an entire village just to get to him?
Most of this issue is showing the Reavers attacking the town and Old Man Logan struggling to help everyone escape. His encounter with Bone Breaker is really intense and shows how merciless both characters can be. Uncle Muzzle’s fight is mostly off-screen, but it’s just as effective. Jeff Lemire’s writing is tight from start to finish – there’s a good balance between action, storytelling and small character moments.
Andrea Sorrentino’s art is fantastic. The opening page sets the scene with beautiful environmental panels, complete with a nice sunrise over the snowy landscape and the village’s scattered buildings. When the carnage begins, some of the explosions look real, the action flows well from panel to panel, and there’s the right amount of blood to match the comic’s dark tone. Marcelo Maiolo’s colouring is also fantastic. The overall blue tint at the start works well with the serene mood of the opening pages, but everything turns brown and red when the action begins. Even with the overall tints, there’s still good variety, like Maureen’s green scarf for example. As good as the writing is in this comic, the art is even better.
What makes this comic work so well is that it matches the tone of Old Man Logan’s original story, yet at the same time there’s a sense of hope behind it. With Logan bringing disaster in the wake of his wandering, it feels like a classic Wolverine story. If it wasn’t for my Lady Deathstrike complaint, this would be an easy 9.5. Wolverine fans should give this series a chance if they haven’t already.