Gore, gore, and more gore make up Wolverine’s first outing under the direction of the first writer other than Jason Aaron to pen his solo adventures in a few years. Gore, gore, and more gore was actually a mainstay of Aaron’s run too, so in that aspect fans of Aaron’s Wolverine can breathe a little easier. The fact that Wolverine is put up against a popular villain from Aaron’s run also helps to ease the transition from Jason Aaron to Cullen Bunn (The Sixth Gun). Someone has been messing with Logan/Wolverine’s mind, and all the signs point to the now infamous Dr. Rot. Bunn will put Logan through his bloody paces when they finally meet up for round two of the Logan/Dr. Rot battle, and the prize just might end up being Logan’s very mind and sanity. It's a plot we've seen over and over, and hopefully Bunn can do something unique with it. Do we really want to see another "mindless Wolverine murders millions" type of story again? Maybe some of Wolverine's fans do. This one definitely doesn't. Give me the mature Wolverine of Wolverine and The X-Men.
One can’t help but wonder if Bunn will be able to keep alive the flame of humanity and charisma that Aaron rekindled in Logan as a character. It was a humanity and charisma that Logan was desperately in need of at the time that Aaron came along. In fact, one could make a strong case that Aaron was the best writer to capture Logan’s humanity, heroic nature, and potential as a leading character since Chris Claremont wrote him in Uncanny X-Men. Bunn has his skills, no doubt, but his first arc, while smartly paying attention and homage to what Aaron did recently with the character (including an acknowledgment of Logan’s other activities-like being a headmaster of a school for gifted youngsters) looks like it is going to be more of a straight up horror (slasher more like) story. While these stories are a unique and welcomed change in pace for a Wolverine story, they aren’t the bread and butter type of stories that makes the character so interesting. The story that Aaron conjured up for his first arc of Wolverine: Weapon X is the type of introductory story that someone who really understands the basis of the character would write. Bunn has time though to develop his feel for Logan.
Artist Paul Pelletier definitely brings Bunn’s bloody vision to gory life. His grasp of all the sequential art requirements are there. Anatomy, detail, and background detail are all superb. He also makes some smart, but subtle, tweaks to Wolverine’s costume that makes smart sense from a realism and practicality standpoint. His artistic version of Wolverine’s claws is good. I always judge the merits of an artist’s take on Wolverine on how well (or not) he draws the flared cowl and the claws. Pelletier does an excellent job with both.
Maybe I’m just going through "Aaron on Wolverine no more" withdrawal, and am not in enough of a recovered state to objectively assess Bunn’s first issue as series writer, but if any writer has the potential to follow such a great run, Bunn does. I’ll give the series time to breath, and Bunn time to find his voice on the book, but so far…let’s just say the jury is out.