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Wolverine #1

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By Paul Cornell & Ryan Stegman

Well, it’s a new year and a new Wolverine #1.  Hey, why not?  Let’s get some more people on board.  Unfortunately, it’s not that simple.  Despite their massive presence in mainstream media, Marvel’s source material is still as convoluted as ever.  This new Wolverine #1 is no exception.  It’s really not the jumping on point that it’s advertised as.  At the very least, you need to have read the previous volume.  If you haven’t done so, I can’t see there being much for you here, other than some pretty panels that will mean nothing to you.

If you have read the previous volume, then you are in for a serious treat.  Cornell has continually presented this book as more of a psychedelic episode of 24, instead of a standard Wolverine story of stabbing people.  Don’t worry, there’s a little of that too.  Now Wolverine is without his healing factor and has apparently turned away any help from friends/teammates.  He’s working for some shadowy organization run by a dude named “The Offer.”  The Offer has big plans for Logan but we are left in the dark about many of the details of this relationship.

Cornell has done a heck of a job setting up a new status quo that is probably the most interesting thing to happen to Logan in years.  The lack of healing factor has tons of story potential, but in this issue, Wolverine is wearing indestructible body armor.  That eliminates much of the drama and peril when your major hook is that the guy can now die.  Despite this, Cornell leaves us gasping for breath after the last page.  If Wolverine just did what we think he did, this changes the character on numerous levels, with even more revolutions to come.

Ryan Stegman can draw, people.  His panels slap you in the face and demand your attention.  From the very first page, Stegman stuns with a fun and powerful splash panel.  His attention to detail, along with the fantastic inking and coloring make every panel visually appealing.  It looks like standard superhero fare, but it’s so much more than that.

Wolverine #1 probably won’t drag in these new readers that Marvel is convinced actually exist, but to anybody already in the know, it’s business as usual.  Cornell’s run is truly impressive and now he has Stegman.  If Stegman stays for a while, this book will be hard to top.

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