Wolverine #1 Review - Best Wolverine Comic in Years
Updated: Jun 14, 2020
• Frank Martin (Colorist) • Adam Kubert & Frank Martin (Cover Artists)
Like many of us, Wolverine was my favorite X-Men character growing up. The gruff loner with the mysterious past that scared the hell out of hero and villain alike was an easy fan favorite.
Over time due to overexposure and demystification of the character Wolverine lost some of his luster. It also didn't help that he'd continually be watered down and softened up over the years. Long gone were the glory days of Larry Hama and Chris Claremont.
Ben Percy has a great voice for Wolverine and Kubert is an absolute legend. I haven't seen any linework from Kubert in ages and it's nice to see that he's still producing content. I can honestly say that this is the best Wolverine comic that I've read in at least a decade.
The only knock I can throw at the comic is the $8.00 cover price. I know that this is a double-sized issue and that there is a demand for the book, but the cover price is a barrier for new readers and kids will be immediately priced out.
I think there is value here for adult fans and collectors with disposable income. However, looking at the big picture an $8.00 #1 for an ongoing series is more of a barrier than an entry point. The book is essentially two full-sized comics in one book. I'll give the comic a pass and won't knock the final grade for it for that reason.
There are some beautiful pages, sequences, and events in this comic that perfectly sum up Logan as a character. In the opening sequence, he describes himself as a living scab that only he can see and I thought that was a great and poignant descriptor for the character.
Another cool sequence involved Kate Pryde. In a back and forth she describes Wolverine's current status on Krakoa. It's a rosy optimistic outlook but rather than feed into the conversation Logan cuts it short. He says she's not wrong and pushes her to get to the point of the visit. It's a little detail but it pushes hard against the softened Logan we've had running around for a while now and I absolutely loved it. It's very important that Logan rarely lays all of his cards on the table and although we get an internal monologue from him it's never overboard.
The first story follows Logan as he investigates a new street drug known as Pollin. The hook is that the drug is harvested from stolen leaves produced by Krakoa. This link ties the Wolverine title to X-Force and Marauders. I didn't get the impression that you had to read those titles to enjoy this one but it's worth pointing out that the books may interlink at some point. The second story features Omega Red as he turns up seeking sanctuary in Krakoa. Arkady (Omega Red) is my favorite Wolverine villain so I was happy to see him pop back up as a key character. Maybe we'll see Albert and Elsie Dee at some point?
The rest of this book centers around a vampire cult that tries to access Wolverine's blood. It's really intriguing stuff and all beautifully illustrated by Viktor Bogdanovic. I hope he sticks around on the title for a while. There is a lot of great material in this comic and I'm definitely interested in this grounded take on the characters. It's been a while since I've been excited about Wolverine and despite the $8.00 entry fee I'm totally onboard with Percy's vision for the character.