Wolverine certainly looks startled on the first page of the new Wolverine series by Paul Cornell & Alan Davis. It could be the large chunks of his body missing or it could be he’s simply stunned by the excellent execution from the new Wolvie creatives. I was kind of startled myself when I bought it. I’ve been trying to buy less Big 2 comics, not more and Wolverine seems to have so many books already why would someone who rarely ever bought a Wolverine solo title just randomly pick up the start to yet another Wolverine series? Well, Paul Cornell & Alan Davis, that right there is why I took the chance.
This is modern superhero comics at their best, shedding decades of baffling back story, leaving out the X-men, and focusing on what Logan does best (being tortured, naked flirting, having truly disturbed villains with horrifying nightmare weapons). This book also felt like a late night 1980s crime show. Maybe it’s the title page that looks like it could be the cover to a SEGA Genesis game or the haircuts and fashions of the characters but it felt like a comic that had fallen from a different reality’s 1980s into ours, like a “lost footage” comic book. It also could have a lot to do with the crazy amount of synth music I’ve been listening to lately. (check out The Emperor Machine, too good)
The story is a near perfect blend of writing and art, with Davis showcasing the multiple sides of Wolverine, from charming to crazed with the same ease he draws graphic violence or killer death hand cannons. The story feels very “Cornell” without the script necessarily feeling so. Cornell is a writer with such a distinct voice that once you hear it, you can’t not hear it (both in writing style and booming physical presence). I love Joss Whedon but when it’s a Joss Whedon script you know immediately. Personally I like that about ol’ J-dubs, but some people freakin’ hate it. Some people also will probably hate that I’ve used “freakin” so many times. Some people will hate anything.
Speaking of negativity, there was one small aspect of the issue I didn’t particularly care for. It’s definitely not enough to avoid the book over, and probably it’s something that won’t even bother most people. At one point when Logan is looking over the scene with a NYPD friend, he describes what had occurred and mentions “energy bonds”, to which Officer Tomomatsu responds with “Like that’s something people say.” That’s something that people never say, in our world. But this is the Marvel Universe where only how many years have passed since it’s start? Something absurd right? Like Dark Phoenix was 5 years ago or something insane? New York is getting destroyed all the time. There was that time all the Skrulls attacked. There was like a billion other things happening all the time. I think we have to retire the “You sound ridiculous believing in ghosts” type talk for books that take place in either of the Big 2 Universes.
See? That wasn’t even a complaint, just a general irk I have with modern comic story telling on the whole. This is a great book. The art is flawless and the story is satisfying in that way that only well crafted stories can be. When you get a pair of creators who are not only pros but clearly in love with the work that they do, the result is an extremely satisfying comic book, which these days is really saying something.