Comic rant: Wolverine #70

300px-wolverine_vol_3_70First off, I’m aware this is an older issue (this dropped back in the beginning of the month). But I read it! And what’s more, I hold an opinon about it. So up it goes!

Writer Mark Miller and Steve McNiven (the creative duo behind the poorly-ended Marvel Civil War from 2006-07) are back, working on the ongoing series: Wolverine, a book starring and centered around the claw-bearing spaz-attack himself. The story so-far has been an alternate future tale, featuring Wolverine as Old Man Logan, along with blind archer Hawkeye, going on a road trip (of sorts) across the supervillain-ravaged United States, on a quest to deliver the MacGuffin. Along the way, we’re treated to an easter-egg-filled plethora of inside-Marvel jokes and references, in the guide of a Man With No Name style western epic.

This issue tells the classic battle Wolverine fought which led him to withdraw his indestructible adamantium-steel claws, ostensibly, forever. Old Man Logan recounts the day all the superheroes in the Marvel Universe died, and what Wolverine was doing during the big battle of the century.

In a flashback, we see that while Wolverine and Jubilee are speculating on the superhero holocaust, the wall of the X-Men’s X-Mansion explodes, revealing all the supervillains you can count, attacking the X-Men and bringing about their doom. With the provocation of Jubilee’s (Wolverine’s jailbait sidekick from the 90’s) demise in the initial explosion, Wolverine explodes with a rage of metal, blood, and desperate screams to the remaining inhabitants to head for the hills.

It is a gory spectacle, made all the more “badass” by McNiven’s nigh-realistic pencils. Wolverine plunges his hand-knives into the throats of such baddies as Doctor Octopus and Sandman (curious, given that he’s made of… sand), yelling and literally drooling from screams while freaking out.

When the last villain alive, Daredevil’s Bullseye, chokes his last words, he asks Wolverine why he murdered everyone. The mist clears, and bubble-headed Spider-Man fishbowl-headed badguy Mysterio pulls back the curtain, revealing the truth: that Wolverine is a total and utter rube.

Mysterio decided, as he reveals in classic monologuing form, to take out the X-Men while the supervillains take over the world. How does one defeat the X-Men, however? After all, Magneto, Apocalypse, the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, The Scarlet Witch, The Phoenix, the entire Shi’ar Empire, Skrulls, The Brood, Stryfe, future assassins, Weapon X assassins, and evil, interdimensional counterparts have all taken their crack at taking down the biggest soap opera in comics, to no avail. Then Mysterio realized two key and obvious points about a single member of the roster: Wolverine is a complete and total spaz, and a psychopath. Appeal to both, and you have a recipe for dead X-Men.

So Wolverine murders the entire X-Men with his pointy, death-bringing adamantium claws, all the while yelling to no one things like, “RUN! GET OUT OF HERE! I CAN’T HOLD THEM OFF FOREVER!” It must have been a hilarious sight, if their eyes weren’t gouged out by three-pronged forearm knives.

He then decides he doesn’t deserve to live, so he wanders into the woods and awaits a freight train to cut his head off. It doesn’t work, because Wolverine is the Terminator on God-Mode. But it hurts. “And sometimes that’s enough,” he recounts to Hawkeye. Hawkeye doesn’t slap Wolverine in the face for being retarded, which is either a huge character flaw, or proof Hawkeye has grown some significant patience. Then they hop onto the Spider-Man dunebuggy and get chased by a Tyrannosaur wearing Venom’s alien symbiotic costume. For reals.

Is this book bad? I haven’t read the rest of the series, and it reeks of fan-service, but I have to admit– it was an interesting read. Hilarious, because I believe Wolverine is just a gigantic freak, but the art is incredible and the characters are actually pretty spot-on. The only surprise is that Wolverine lets Mysterio disappear into the mist, thanking him for being an idiot. It could be, though, that they’re saving him for later, since the story of Old Man Logan isn’t over yet. This issue was part 5 out of 8. Will I pick up the rest? I’ll probably wait for the trade.

Check it out, if only to see Wolverine bathed in the blood of his friends. I almost wish they would release a supplemental issue that showed us the reality instead of the illusion. For nearly the entirety of the book, we see Wolverine senselessly sever limbs and heads of “supervillains.” I want to see a book of the X-Men hanging out in the library or something, when Wolverine bursts in and tells them all they’re gonna die.

The look on Cyclops’ face would be worth the new $3.99 price tag, alone.

Three flags (3/5)

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~ by Crivelliman on January 21, 2009.

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