Best Shots Advance Review: WOLVERINE #1

 

 

Wolverine #1

Written by Paul Cornell

Art by Alan Davis, Mark Farmer, and Matt Hollingsworth

Letters by Cory Petit

Published by Marvel Comics

Review by George Marston

'Rama Rating: 6 out of 10

You've met the Savage Wolverine, now meet his more mild mannered, respectable alter ego. Although Paul Cornell wisely avoids a long drawn out introduction to Wolverine, he also misses a lot of what makes him the best there is at what he does. While it's clear that this book is designed to sell the idea of Wolverine as a superhero - a term Logan himself uses throughout the issue - very little is done to show why he's any different than any of Marvel's other myriad spandex clad do-gooders.

a page from

Wolverine #1

That's not to say there aren't good or even great things about Wolverine #1. Paul Cornell's script is confident, and his pacing of this story, centered on the mystery of a young boy, his father, and a strange weapon, is brisk and involved. And while the mystery builds nicely, the problem is that there's absolutely nothing about this story that relies on Wolverine. It could be almost any other character filling Wolverine's role in the story. For a book that simply brandishes Wolverine on the cover, there's very little of the character's core essence at play.

On the other hand, Alan Davis does a remarkable job channeling some of the elements that are missing from Cornell's script. His opening scenes of Wolverine lying in a broken heap as his healing factor struggles to do its job are the most quintessentially Wolverine bit of the book. Matt Hollingsworth's colors feel a little drab, but it's probably due more to the oddly down-to-earth feel of the story than a failing in his pallet.

a page from

Wolverine #1

a page from

Wolverine #1

And that's really the core of the problem with Wolverine #1. It makes a point of telling us over and over that this is a story about Wolverine, and that he's a superhero, and yet the story, while well-paced, feels almost claustrophobic in its scope. Aside from the displays of his abilities, Wolverine comes off almost more like a private eye, or a street running tough than a superhero. He should be larger than life, charismatic, and animalistic. Instead, he behaves more like an old cop, more fastidious than grizzled.

It's a bit of a shame that there's so much Wolverine missing from his flagship solo title. Paul Cornell has the chops to do so much more with the character, especially with an artist as competent as Alan Davis at his side, but chooses instead to start small and oblique. Here's hoping Cornell can find a way to fit some of the big ideas he crafts so well into Wolverine. There are too many sticks of dynamite in this pile for this book to fizzle so much.

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