By Elliot Kalan, Jonathan Marks and Jose Villarrubia
Wolverine has been less than impressive lately. Paul Cornell is a decent writer, but the series hasn’t felt like a great send off to Logan. Now we enter the Wolverine annual, which seemed like a way for Marvel to scoop out some more money from fan boys, but actually gives us a heartwarming tale.
Elliot Kalan is probably best known for his contribution to Comedy Central’s the Daily Show, but there is nothing funny about this stand alone tale. Kalan gives us a story that involves two different couples, Wolverine, Jubilee and Shogo, and Brad, who is taking a trip to the woods with his wife Kim to get his mind off of some health problems. Kalan fleshes out the relationships between our characters early and it’s clear that love is a key ingredient. Wolverine thinks of Jubilee as a daughter, while Kim and Brad are husband and wife. The story takes a turn as the parties collide and Wolverine must once again come to terms with his humanity. Kalan makes this section of the book very believable as Jubilee takes center stage while Logan deals with his injuries. Kalan really shows some good growth of character in both Jubilee and Logan as they go through the journey this annual provides. Kalan gives the reader a lot in this annual that will make you look at these characters in a different light.
Jonathan Marks takes on the art for this one shot tale, and he does a splendid job. There are some panels where the colors get a bit muddy, but the overall quality of the art is fine. Facial expressions look very good in this issue and Wolverine almost shows his feral side in a panel. Marks also shows us what Jubilee looks like when she gets worked up as well, and it looks almost as scary as Logan. There are panels where things look disproportionate at times, but it’s not something that will take you out of the story. While there were some odd panels here and there, Marks and Jose Villarrubia ultimately give a well drawn and colored annual that will enhance the reading experience.
The Wolverine Annual has been the best Wolverine comic to come out in quite some time. Elliot Kalan and Jonathan Marks offer up a good story and art that fits the mood. While it may not have much impact toward the main story of the series, this issue is worth a read.