This week’s Marvel Rundown looks at a returning favorite and the arrival of some new ones to the Marvel Universe. First, Wolverine returns to solo action in a new ongoing series, yet another entry in Marvel’s Dawn of X line. Does the oversized Wolverine #1 justify itself?
We’ve got a lively discussion on that title, plus a Rapid Rundown of this week’s other new Marvel books, all ahead in the latest installment of The Marvel Rundown!
Written by Benjamin Percy
Illustrated by Adam Kubert and Viktor Bogdanovic
Colored by Frank Martin and Matthew Wilson
Lettered by VC’s Cory Petit
Cover by Adam Kubert and Frank Martin
Samantha Puc: He’s the best there is at what he does, and his double-sized Dawn of X solo debut is quite the doozy. So team, how did y’all feel about Wolverine #1?
Hussein Wasiti: I was surprised by how much I liked this, particularly the second story which hit all the right notes for me. The first story baffled me because I felt like it could have just been an arc in the X-Force book and I wouldn’t have batted an eye. There isn’t anything that justifies it as a solo Wolverine story. My biggest complaint is how long it took me to read this. I’ve missed countless birthdays and my family thinks me estranged.
Chloe Maveal: Ha! I felt the same way, Hussein. The main story hooked me fine. But after seeing there were another 40+ pages? It was a bit of a slog. I’m starting to worry that I’m falling right back into the repeat of my first two experiences with X-Men comics — being excited and then moving onto being burnt out and overwhelmed.
Puc: I agree that the first story could have been written into X-Force; it didn’t seem necessary at all to have it in the Wolverine solo title. The second story was… fine? I was really excited for an all-new X-line, but like you, Chloe, I’m getting burnt out, and while I understand that Wolverine has widespread appeal and sells books, I personally don’t need to read another Logan-centric story.
Wasiti: I rarely look ahead at the solicits but I was pretty discouraged to find out they’ll be going forward with the Flower Cartel story for the next few issues. I think if this was a tight 40 pages, featuring pulpy, fun art by Viktor Bogdanovic and Matthew Wilson with that vampire story, then this would have been a complete package for me. The price point is so impenetrable as well which will definitely put some people off.
Maveal: That’s one of the glaring issues right there, all puns intended. While I’m sure Wolverine making another appearance is going to turn some heads, the cost of the issue — and really the length that it goes on for for the price — is asking a lot from readers considering you can just buy an old Wolverine collection for basically the same price. Especially those who may have been holding out for a Wolvy-specific title or are trying to follow all of the X-titles at once right now. ‘Cause wow. There’s uh….there’s a lot of them.
Puc: There are so many. Jonathan Hickman said that the intention was never for everyone to follow all of the books, but then Marvel is releasing trades with the #1s, #2s, and so on collected… so it seems like someone, somewhere, is confused. And I do think it’s hard to keep up with one or two titles, but not the rest. Maybe that’s just me?
But speaking specifically to Wolverine #1, this issue is too goddamn long and too expensive. Marvel titles generally are too expensive, but $8 for a solo title is… a lot.
Wasiti: Especially up here in Canada, where this issue will fetch you about 11 or 12 smackaroos. I will clarify why I like the second story, though: I love that despite this new status quo there’s still a way for Logan to have these international caper adventures, with mysterious women and a secret vampire cult hiding under Paris. I also think there’s some long-overdue exploration of what it means to truly call all mutants brothers and sisters, as Logan has a big problem with Magneto welcoming Omega Red into the fold. It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a while and I’m glad it’s being addressed, as was the concept of death. Just because characters can be reincarnated doesn’t mean they’re comfortable with dying. There’s trauma in death, which Wolverine knows all about.
Maveal: That’s fair enough. It feels like something they’ve sort of swept under the rug until now, but this is a decent character to answer that question with. I just kind of wish it didn’t take an entirely separate thing to make that happen, if that makes sense?
Wasiti: What did you guys think of the artwork in this issue? I’m not a big X-Men reader but I believe Adam Kubert drew some Wolverine stories in the past, but I was mostly impressed with Bogdanovic’s work. It’s just the kind of energetic, clear style that suits a character like this.
Puc: I’m definitely interested in exploring all of that, but I still think this could have been done in one of the existing series, you know? I did really love the art, though. As tedious as I found the writing, I thought Kubert and Bogdanovic both did really wonderful work here.
Maveal: Same. The colors are consistently vibrant and Kubert keeps things moving along in a visual sense really nicely. I particularly liked the attentiom to detail in some of the more gore-heavy panels. But maybe I’m gross.
Puc: Even if you are gross, I agree — everything felt carefully executed and detailed so that nothing could be missed. I think I would like this series if it was the Paris story; like Hussein said, those international capers with Logan are a lot of fun. I think it’s a missed opportunity to focus on the Flower Cartel. That said, I did love how the Pale Girl was rendered.
Wasiti: Ultimately I think there’s a lot of value in a series that explores how a character so traumatised and ready for war like Logan can be happy in a place like Krakoa, and what that means when he’s always ready to defend this new heaven.
Puc: I think if they can continue with that focal point and really examine trauma and death and resurrection, not just for Logan but for others in Krakoa, then that will make the series worth reading so long as that examination is nuanced and well-crafted. I’ve been burned so many times by comics claiming to explore these topics in meaningful ways that then totally dropped the ball, so I’m hesitant, but I hope the creative team can pull it off. I just have to admit I am overall fatigued by the overexposure to Logan and also the length of this debut. Reading it was such a slog and I just wanted to dive into a regular-length #1.
Maveal: Yeaaaah. I’d like to keep placing my faith in the creative team as well. But this first issue in particular is starting to sound like the final bell in my interest of X-men for this decade. As much as there’s a few things to praise about this title, it’s kind of just feeling like more of the same but with extra flowers and sideburns.
Wasiti: Based on his Twitter presence, Percy comes across as one of those overly macho dudes so me thinks he’ll be exploring that kind of trauma mostly through the perspective of the manly and gruff Logan. Did you know the guy likes whiskey?
Puc: That may explain why I find a lot of his writing so boring… Well. At the very least, I hope diehard Wolverine fans are stoked about this debut, even if I have mixed feelings about it. Is there anything else y’all want to add before we deliver our final verdicts?
Wasiti: I’m giving this a STRONG BORROW. I liked this a lot more than I expected to but the price point is so absurd that I can’t wholeheartedly recommend this. I thought the second story was fantastic but shelling out eight dollars for one story that really worked for me isn’t something I can do.
Maveal: I’ll second that with a BROWSE. If you’re a massive Logan fan, maybe youll brush off this price point and oversaturation with ease. But otherwise, it’s probably going to be a book that gives you a case of the shrugs.
Puc: I think this is worth a BROWSE, but if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the current number of X-titles or if you just want more info about how the series handles certain topics before you commit, then it may be worth waiting for the trade… assuming Marvel releases series trades for this and doesn’t just lump it into the Dawn of X books.
Final Verdict: Hussein gives Wolverine #1 a STRONG BORROW, while Chloe and Samantha agree that it deserves a BROWSE.
- Captain Marvel #15
- “The Last Avenger” continues as Carol confronts the last few Avengers standing. Kelly Thompson, Lee Garbett, and Tamra Bonvillain continue to craft a tight story that showcases both Carol’s raw power and her intellect. Garbett and Bonvillain in particular have put on a clinic with this storyline, and I hope they both stick around on this title for a good while. —JG
- Guardians of the Galaxy #2
- All-out action as the new Guardians team takes on the Gods of Olympus. Everyone gets a chance to shine, and one of the team appears to make the ultimate sacrifice. Al Ewing, Juann Cabal, and Federico Blee are firing on all cylinders with this series so far. —JG
- Marvel’s Voices #1
- A Marvel Comics #1000-style anthology of stories featuring characters of color by creators of color. The hits in Marvel’s Voices far outweigh the misses, and even the ones that don’t hit outright are still pretty fun. A few stories, like those featuring Brother Voodoo and Mosaic, set up new status quos and jumping-off points for the characters that I hope are followed up on at some point. Otherwise, there’s nothing particularly essential about this book, but it’s still an enjoyable read, and it’s made me want to check out the podcast that inspired it. —JG
Next week, Cap’s partners partner up in Falcon & Winter Soldier #1!