Wolverine (2020-) #10 by Benjamin Percy

Wolverine (2020-) #10Wolverine (2020-) #10 by Benjamin Percy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This issue was just gorgeous, and while Adam Kubert should get a lot of the credit for that, colourist Frank Martin should also get a lot of credit too, particularly for the double page spread of Logan and Maverick running across the waterfront in Madripoor at sunset. Simply stunning.

The action is fairly standard Wolverine stuff, with the main intrigue coming from the fact that Maverick has no interest in moving to Krakoa. He’s happy doing the mercenary thing. But I can’t help wondering if we’re going to return to this at some point.

Anyway, this is cracking stuff.

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Wolverine: Black, White & Blood (2020-) #3 by Donny Cates

Wolverine: Black, White & Blood (2020-) #3 (of 4)Wolverine: Black, White & Blood (2020-) #3 by Donny Cates
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Well, this is really rather good, and features three very different artists who are all superb in their own right.

The first story, written by John Ridley and illustrated by Jorge Fornes, is essentially “Wolverine does the stabby”…which is something I’ve criticised some of these stories for before, but this is “Wolverine does the stabby” done well. This is “Wolverine does the stabby” with depth. Because, yes, there’s a lot of stabbing, but the reason for the stabbing will give you a punch in the heart and you’ll end up feeling sad for pretty much everyone involved. And, yeah, Logan is a spectacularly bad adoptive father. The art is also gorgeous. There’s an economy of line here that’s simply stunning, and out of the three stories in this comic, it uses the red the most effectively.

The second story is written by Donny Cates and illustrated by Chris Bachalo, who is one of my all time favourite artists. That said, I do prefer his art when he’s inked by someone else (particularly Tim Townsend) and he’s inking himself here. It means that at times there’s a lack of clarity to his pages and they lack a clear focus. I also feel he hasn’t used the spot red particularly effectively here. That said, it’s a fun story and the art is still gorgeous.

The third story, written by Jed MacKay and illustrated by Jesus Saiz, is probably the weakest artistically, but the cleverest in terms of writing. Wolverine visits Mars, to deal with a rogue offshoot of AIM called MAIM. His overconfidence originally gets the better of him as he underestimates his enemies, but ultimately he outsmarts them and…well…does the stabby.

This series has fast become a favourite of mine, and with the promise of a Kelly Thompson penned tale in the next issue, I can’t wait to read more!

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Wolverine (2020-) #9 by Benjamin Percy

Wolverine (2020-) #9Wolverine (2020-) #9 by Benjamin Percy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sigh…let’s just get this out of the way first, when reviewing anything you should review it for what it is, not what it isn’t…and complaining about continuity issues in an X-book is like complaining about mutants in an X-book. They’re going to be there, and unless you’re going to have fun with them you should probably just move on. After all, there’s an entire podcast dedicated to walking you through the ins, outs and retcons of comics greatest superhero soap opera. As I’ve said before, continuity exists to serve the story, not the other way around.

(You should totally listen to Jay & Miles X-Plain The X-Men, by the way.)

Anyway, on with the review…

Wolverine visits the Legacy House on Madripoor, an auction room that specialises in super hero ephemera, such as Spider-Man’s grave, Captain America’s mask, Wolverine’s hand and…Maverick. Yes, that Maverick, the German mutant/secret agent and Wolverine’s team X team mate from back in the 90s who was never actually as popular as Marvel seemed to think he was. He’s one of those characters that Marvel occasionally takes off the shelf, dusts off and tries to do something with only to end up putting him back and forgetting about whatever it was they were doing.

Anyway, he’s back, and he’s been mind wiped and he’s available to the highest bidder…not only as a super tough special agent but also, as he’s a mutant, as a way onto Krakoa. This is, of course, very bad, and can’t be allowed to happen. Handily, Logan and Maverick developed a mnemonic back in their Team X days to help them break their programming and remember who they really are. So, you know, Logan does the thing, and presto, one deprogrammed Maverick and, presumably, a whole lot of fighting next issue (because that’s what Wolverine is the best at and it’s not pretty…or words to that effect).

With Adam Kubert on art duties (stunning work, of course, but I do kinda find myself missing Vik Bogdanovic) this really does feel like a classic Wolverine book. The cover, by Kubert, is quite simply drop dead gorgeous.

All in all a solid bit of classic Wolverine action. Good stuff!

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Wolverine #8 by Benjamin Percy

Wolverine #8Wolverine #8 by Benjamin Percy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

350 issue anniversary spectacular? But I thought this was #8?!?

But, aside from Marvel’s weird legacy numbering system, I really enjoyed this issue. It seems that some people aren’t enjoying this series, and I have to wonder if they’re also reading X-Force, which is written by Benjamin Percy too? Because they really are sister books, and you wouldn’t get why the merc Logan’s interrogating keeps asking if his dog, Rufus, is okay if you hadn’t read X-Force #15. (Spoilers: Rufus is very much not okay).

And then we have GoodReads’ resident “But continuity!” troll, who I apologise for bringing up in yet another review. As I’ve said before, continuity exists to serve the story and not the other way round. It has always been thus at Marvel. The existence of the OHOTMU* has tended to give the impression that it used to be otherwise, but as someone who’s been active in the online X-Men fandom since the mid-nineties (and has been reading X-Men since the eighties), I can assure you that it has not. The OHOTMU has, rather, existed in its various incarnations to help people make sense of the mass of retcons and inconsistencies that is the Marvel Universe. Or, in other words, House of M was sixteen years ago, don’t expect writers in 2021 to adjust their stories to fit with whatever it did to alter a certain character’s status quo.

Anyway…

Apart from the prologue. which is beautifully drawn by Vik Bogdanovic, this issues is beautifully drawn by Adam Kubert, who’s probably best known for his long run on Wolverine’s solo book…which is presumably why he’s here illustrating this anniversary issue.

While featured on the cover, and a key element of the plot, Maverick doesn’t actually appear in this issue (or does he?), which is a bit of shame (or is it?) because I’ve always really liked him (or have I?).

Anyway, this is a great stuff, I just hope that Rufus is okay (or do I?).

*Official Handbook Of The Marvel Universe.

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Wolverine: Black, White & Blood (2020-) #2 by Vita Ayala

Wolverine: Black, White & Blood (2020-) #2 (of 4)Wolverine: Black, White & Blood (2020-) #2 by Vita Ayala
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A solid four for a comic that’s a third illustrated by Greg Land?

Well, that’s just how good the other two thirds are… Look, if nothing else, the first story here makes it clear just how much Land owes to the colourists who usually make him look good(ish). His art here, though, without the crutch of good colouring, is just weak. The story also suffers from what the first issue’s stories suffered from…it’s no more than “Wolverine does the stabby,” and those kind of stories bore me.

The rest of the book, however, that’s a different story. The second story, written by Saladin Ahmed and illustrated by Kev Walker, sees Logan captured by Arcade, and having to rescue the waiter who drugged him (because Arcade would have killed him otherwise). The twist being that if Logan kills any of Arcade’s robots on the way, the waiter will die sooner. So Wolverine has to try not to do the stabby. Which is a nice twist.

The third story is by Chris Claremont and Salvador Lorraca and co-stars Kate Pryde…so, of course, I loved it. The writing was great and the art was stylish. You see, Land and Larroca both use a lot of photo reference, but Lorraca knows how to do it well. Because he’s a great artist who’s perfectly capable of drawing without photo reference, it’s just a stylistic choice. Whereas with Land…not so much.

So, all in all, a really good comic.

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Wolverine #7 by Benjamin Percy

Wolverine #7Wolverine #7 by Benjamin Percy
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Brilliantly insane and beautifully illustrated.

Surprising nobody at all, Saturnyne isn’t playing fair. But whether this will work for or against the Krakoans is yet to be seen. But it’s clear that the tournament is being played by her rules, and her rules are whatever she wants them to be. Which rather throws this whole thing wide open, really.

I did have my concerns that this would all boil down to a series of dull and repetitive sword fights, but clearly I needn’t have worried.

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Wolverine: Black, White & Blood (2020-) #1 by Gerry Duggan

Wolverine: Black, White & Blood (2020-) #1 (of 4)Wolverine: Black, White & Blood (2020-) #1 by Gerry Duggan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

We have some beautiful art here, particularly from Adam Kubert, with the single colour used very effectively. The writing too is good, for what it is…but these are shorts, and nothing’s really allowed to develop beyond “Wolverine does the stabby” and that’s a little disappointing. We’ve seen this kind of Wolverine solo story before, a thousand times, and I’m sure it’s exactly what some people want, but, personally, it’s got a little old for me.

Still, I can’t deny that this comic is very well written and illustrated, and if you want to read stories about Wolverine doing the stabby then you’ll probably enjoy it.

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X-Force (2019-) #13 by Benjamin Percy

X-Force (2019-) #13X-Force (2019-) #13 by Benjamin Percy
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

X-Force #13 picks up where Wolverine #6 left off…with exactly the same creative team!

Wolverine travels to hell in search of Marumasa and teams up with opponent in the upcoming tournament, Solem, to retrieve the Marumasa blades.

And, well, see my review of Wolverine #6 because this is just a continuation of that, and it’s awesome.

I didn’t talk about Percy’s writing in that, and just as Bogdanovic’s art continues to be outstanding, Percy’s writing continues to be excellent. He captures Logan’s voice perfectly. It’s gruff, moody and atmospheric.

So, Logan now has his sword, but what price did he have to pay to retrieve it…?

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Wolverine (2020-) #6 by Benjamin Percy

Wolverine (2020-) #6Wolverine (2020-) #6 by Benjamin Percy
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Three chapters in and so far I’ve previously inked two out of the three artists who’ve worked on X Of Swords. C’mon, guys, let me play too!

But, seriously, this is fantastic. I’m running out of superlatives to describe X Of Swords and we’re only three issues in. This issue introduces an intriguing new opponent for Logan, Solem. Solem seems part devil, part trickster god, and all deadly.

As I’ve mentioned before, Bogdanovic has form when it comes to amazingly good depictions of Hell, and he doesn’t disappoint here.

Where’s this all headed? Well, I’m going to crack open X-Force #13 and find out…

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