By Andy Frisk
June 29, 2009 - 22:18
Wolverine picks off the augmented Blackguard “security forces,” capturing and torturing one for answers, while using Blackguards special $250,000 a piece cancer causing bullets on another of the assassins. Yes, Roxxon, the evil, capitalist run rampant, mega-corporation, equipped its Blackguard assassins with quarter million dollar price tag bullets that instantly cause 38 different kinds of cancer to attack the body of whoever is shot by them. They were specially engineered by Roxxon for use against Wolverine, and his healing factor. Meanwhile, back home in San Francisco, Melita Garner, the reporter who we met in issue #1, following the clues dropped by Maverick, a “friend” of Wolverine’s from their Weapon X days, gets a meeting with one of Blackguard’s vice presidents, who is suffering from an attack of guilt. She gets the scoop on what Blackguard and Roxxon are up to. Basically, they want to become the United States’ “de facto military” by selling the services of their augmented assassins to the U.S. military, assassins which they intend to create plenty more of with government funding. Of course, sharing this information puts the two in mortal danger, as Blackguards HR Department shows up to terminate all loose ends…
When I mentioned, in my review of Wolverine Weapon X #2, that when Aaron’s storytelling starts firing on all cylinders that this title could really take off, I didn’t expect it to take off with the very next issue. The cylinders are not only firing, they’re running at high RPM already. Aaron revs up the storytelling action and depth in this issue, and even though the much recycled idea of the “corporation gone bad,” which is plagued by greed driven evil, is pretty commonplace, Aaron grabs the readers’ attention by thinly disguising the real life corporate entities of Blackwater and Halliburton as “Blackguard” and Marvel’s old standby, ready-made, evil corporation, Roxxon. His storytelling isn’t completely black and white though, or morally unambiguous for that matter, as Wolverine engages in some serious torturing of a Blackguard assassin. Albeit the assassin was virtually un-killable and absolutely, without a doubt, the bad guy, anytime torture is used or portrayed, especially in a tale with allegorical corporations representing real life ones, the controversies that surround the recent “War on Terror” cannot help but come to mind. It is interesting the way Aaron utilizes real life political, and economic issues as a backdrop for a superhero tale. Aaron is pretty clear on who the bad guys are, and who the good guys are, even if the good guy’s methods might be harsh.
It’s not all serious economic-political commentary this issue though. Some more snippets of Aaron’s subtle, yet sharply witty, use of humor are present. Anyone who has worked for a large corporation cannot help but laugh at Aaron’s use of the idea of an “HR Department,” and their “terminable” offenses, as literally fatal, i.e. “terminable” offenses that take away not just the job, but life of an employee of Blackguard, if committed.
There’s no further praise that can possibly be heaped upon Garney’s artwork by myself. It remains superb, and there’s nothing that can be said to be lacking in its execution. Wolverine’s new costume is particularly well designed. Whether it’s a product of Garney’s, or Aaron’s, or both of theirs’ imaginations, it’s got to be the best costume Wolverine has worn yet to date. I never understood why he continued to be drawn with the flare mask anyway. He’s, most likely, the most well known figure in the Marvel Universe, with the possible exception of Steve Rogers. Daredevil wouldn’t be Daredevil without his mask, even though EVERYBODY knows Matt Murdock is Daredevil in the Marvel Universe. But Wolverine is defined by so much more than a mask. I mean, come on. How can anyone forget a guy with that hair, and his claws? This series is becoming unforgettable as well, and definitely an enjoyable, intelligent and action packed one.
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Rating: 9 /10