In the wake of the battle against invaders from the Microverse over the last several issues of the latest volume of Marvel Comics' Wolverine series, Logan/Wolverine has been left mutant healing factor-less. While he's been without his healing factor before, rarely have we seen Logan so sentimental and introspective about his new found (again) mortality.
Talented writer Paul Cornell (Saucer Country, Demon Knights), whose well written and highly engaging Vertigo series Saucer Country was just unjustly cancelled, is taking Wolverine into familiar territory just in time to mirror one of the plot developments of the character's new film The Wolverine. Logan is once again without his mutant healing factor and is facing the perils that every other healing factor-less superhero faces daily. Mix in a little romance with Storm, some drunkenness (he can't drink gallons of alcohol anymore without getting drunk), and some maudlin moping, and we have the makings of a great story...if it wasn't Wolverine who was the center of it.
Without taking anything away from Cornell's writing skills, which are great, Wolverine without his healing factor is like Superman without his ability to fly. I just don't really care to read it. Part of what makes Wolverine so interesting is that he is virtually immortal with his healing factor. Watching a man deal with the inherent complications of someone in his position makes him interesting. Watching him deal with all of the morality issues that we all do everyday, as noble a morality play it might be, just isn't what I read Wolverine for.
Cornell's partner in crime on this debacle of a retread of a story too oft told is artist Mirco Pierfederici. While some Pierfederici's panels border on brilliance, like when Storm comes upon a pensive Logan kneeling at Nightcrawler's memorial on the grounds of The Jean Grey School, others are annoyingly disproportionate. Some of his characters faces have eyes, mouths, and noses that are way too small for their faces' size, and his panels overall lack a serious amount of detail. Yes, there is background detail, but it is featureless.
I really, really like Paul Cornell's work. This storyline would be really interesting and engaging if it was a different character, but a Wolverine who is moping around, stealing tender moments with Storm, and preparing to run around the globe chasing virus based villains just isn't the Wolverine story I'm looking for. The one silver lining to this storyline might be the budding relationship between Logan and Storm. It will be interesting to see how far, and deep, it ends up going, and if it spills into the other many, many books starring Wolverine.