By Colin Andersen
September 2, 2010 - 19:01
I agree with a whole lot of other people out there that think Wolverine is seriously over-exposed. He is a great character but he is just appearing in far too may places at once and has been for far too long. Thus, when I heard about the launch of another Wolverine series, I was really hesitant. It’s important not to let that stop you from checking out the new title however. Keep in my mind that both Wolverine: Origin and Wolverine: Weapon X have ended recently, resulting in a total of one less book focused on the feral mutant than normal. Also, keep in mind, that the new series is being written by Jason Aaron, the stellar author of Weapon X. If you have ever liked Wolverine as a character, I suggest you give this new series a chance.
I feel like I must say that easily the weakest part of this first issue of “Wolverine Goes to Hell” is how derivative it can feel at times. In terms of real life time, it just hasn’t been long enough since the last time Wolverine’s body was possessed (see the “Enemy of the State” story), for that to not be on many readers minds going into this. There is also an unexpected parallel to Grant Morrison’s “Batman R.I.P.” The villains are an odd assortment of strangely dressed humans and they are out to ruin Wolverine’s life. And part of their plan relies on Wolverine’s body being taken over by another force and acting strangely (read: violently). Looking back on it, this story is unnecessarily similar at this point to R.I.P. though I do expect this to change as more of the story unfolds, especially with the Hell aspect. There are some unexpected pieces to the plot, especially the way that Mystique works her way into the story. I’m curious to see exactly what made her act the way she is. It may not be the most original story as of yet, but there are quite a few places it could go from here, I just hope that Aaron follows through and takes it to some unique places.
Of the small amount of his work that I have seen, I have not usually been a huge fan of artist Renato Guedes’ work and Wolverine isn’t looking to change that. His work is technically solid and isn’t exactly off-putting but I don’t find it very attractive to look at either. His style is very unusual in that it looks at once not detailed enough and also overly detailed. John Wraith was easily his worst character here and changed sizes and shape frequently. Wraith’s coat often had far too many wrinkles while the rest of him had little detail. There was also some odd consistency, such as when Wraith was brutally attacked only to show up a few pages later completely unscathed. It is really quite distracting at times and can make it difficult to tell exactly what is happening in some panels. The best way I can think to put it is that his work looks like an unfinished and rushed Dale Eaglesham at times. To be fair though, his work gets noticeably better in the latter half of the book.
Also of note is the absolutely stellar Silver Samurai back-up, also written by Aaron and illustrated by Jason Latour. I honestly hope that this team follows up on this story at some later point. Even if you have no idea who Silver Samurai is, you will get all you need to see just what kind of character he is and develop a lot of respect for him. I’ve always been fairly indifferent to the character but the ending still touched me and makes me want to see more of him throughout the rest of this story arc. It alone is almost worth the price of admission.
There are definitely some areas of “Wolverine Goes to Hell” that need improvement, but I have faith in Jason Aaron and his storytelling skills that he will improve greatly upon them. It make lack some originality, but Wolverine makes up for it in fun. It isn’t the most accessible Wolverine story ever and the art in the main story isn‘t the most appealing, but I think anyone can appreciate this new series and want to give this Wolverine series a chance.
Rating: 7 /10