This is something new to me in comic numbering. It’s Wolverine Volume 4 Issue 5.1. Yeah that’s a point one on the issue number it came out between 5 and 6 but the story doesn’t fit there. Really this is a one-off put out as a stand-alone interruption of the whole title’s over arching story line. Why it was done like this only the secret Star Chamber of Marvel knows.
Any way, the issue title is Happy and here’s the credits: Writer: Jason Aaron, Art: Jefte Palo, Colors: Nathan Fairbairn, Cover: Palo Rivera, Letters: VC’s Cory Petit, Asst. Editor: Jody Leheup, Editor: Jeanine Schaefer, Group Editor: Axel Alonso, Editor in Chief: Joe Quesada, Publisher: Dan Buckley, Executive Producer: Alan Fine.
All images are the property of their owners I reproduce them here under the Fair Use Doctrine of the copyright law for commentary and critique. No more than three pages total from any one issue is reproduced.
This is a a really simple sweet story. Melita throws Logan a surprise birthday party and invites all of his friends. However, Logan is distracted by saving a truck driver from cannibals on his way to meet her (can’t tell you how many times that’s happened to me). We see Melita learning the Marvel superhero crowd. To me the stand out stars of this are Jessica and Luke Cage. Very good couple interaction there and funny side comments.
Second we get some growth from Logan. Instead of following his instinct and dispatching the cannibals he turns them over to the law. That’s improvement, he’s doing what a Howlett would do not what a Logan would do. However the result might not be what he intended, read the issue to see what happened.
As for the art I’m of mixed feelings. First off I don’t dig the cover, that’s a fanboy cover right there for a sweet story of girlfriend throws a party and meets his friends. Fangurl cover would have Logan in his civvies like he is in the story, maybe a bit dirty from the fight.
The internal art runs from good to awful depending on the panel. So over all it left me blase about it. I’ll point out the good, the bad, and the ugly in the spoiler panels after the jump. I’ll whine again that I miss Sean Chen. I know, I know, it’s been years since he’s done Wolverine but he’s my favorite it was pretty, pretty art.
In the end I liked the story it gives us more reason to adore Logan and Melita together. She’s so good for him. We learn more about James Howlett that even Logan had forgotten despite having recovered memories. All is well that ends well and this one ends well for the couple. So PTI (Pardon the interruption) of the point one issue and we’ll return to the over arching story arc that follows the story line of what happened after Wolverine Goes to Hell. It’s told in a three issue arc entitled Wolverine Versus the X-Men.
NOW FOR THE SPOILERY BITS
Here’s the good, the damn good art. I am really digging this. Then again I personally dig Logan in his jeans, cowboy hat telling us a tale of his exploits during his down time from being an X-Man, Avenger, X-Fore, or any team superhero in spandex. (I so miss the black leathers). I really like the face here in the top panel. I also like how he answers his hero calling and is off to help out a trucker in distress. Too bad he dropped Melita’s flowers. In the story we learn at this point he thinks he’s on his way to a nice private little cabin get away with is lady so he apparently brought her black daisies. Logan is a gentleman from the upper crust that was a bed ridden sickly child so he would have learned the language of flowers. While daises are loyal love and the black part means you support me so he’s carrying a very sweet message to her. Just that he forgot them when he got distracted.
Now these scans serve two purposes right here. One is the bad. Look at Jess in that single panel on the right. She looks awful, down right cartoonish not comic book. That silly stupid grin is horrid!
That aside I love how she and Luke interact here. They are funny but are also a good couple. She observes Melita knows what her man likes. Luke points out you can’t surprise a mutant with super senses. However, in this case it’s the thought that counts and Jess know it. I can see them both wanting to see how this pans out knowing Logan as well as they do.
Here’s the ugly. Really I hate the spiky hair. I thought his face favored Brad Pitt looking stupid like he did in Burn After Reading. Aaron thought he looked constipated with a paper nose stuck on his face. Either way it’s a far cry from the cowboy hat up there and it’s ugly. I dunno what happened here but that’s not Wolverine. Actually, Aaron’s first reaction looking a the image when I showed him was “Is that supposed to be Wolverine? ” So that sums it up. There are few things that define Wolverine as a character. One is his distinctive hair style and that’s not here. Another one that has always bugged me is his inconsistent eye color. It’s listed at Marvel wiki and in all the Marvel encyclopedias (Yes I have them. You got a problem with that bub?) as BLUE. But some colorist make them brown. Some colorists are inconsistent in the same issue making it appear as if changing eye color is one of his mutant abilities.
Again an multiple purpose posting of two pages. First I like the scripted interaction of Logan and Melita here. It’s sweet, it’s good, it’s a couple who care about each other and trying to figure out how to build a relationship.
Second I find it interesting given Logan’s recent choice in Hell to disavow being the son of Thomas Logan he still chooses for his lady to call him Logan. I’m thinking the reason he’s come around to accepting James Howlett more and even putting Logan in quotations on his new business cards after Schism is because of that experience. He’s just not there at the time of this story. Which again makes it odd for it to be placed where it was between the issues.
Logan gets a new birthday but we still don’t know exactly when that its. Sure it’s winter up at his cabin in Canada so that rules out… what? July and August for sure.
Okay moving on to point out a few things that I noticed in the art on these pages. The one that bugs me the most is we’ve not settled on what traits define Melita. Here she has very dark skin, pointed chin, long smooth hair even when frazzled after a party not going as planned. She’s always been about his height but she usually has curly hair and rounded features. They need to define her a bit more.
Next is there on the first page panel three – Did Logan suddenly get dentures and his Fix-A-Dent fail?!? What is up with the teeth? Then in the last two panels on the other page he gets monkey mouth, or more like a chimp’s mouth as he’s about to kiss her. Nope this is bad ugly to me.
There you go, Logan has a new birthday that’s some month when it snows up in the Northwest Territory in Canada. He loves Melita, saves a truck driver, turns cannibals (but that’s left with a zinger read the book to see what that is) into the police but now we are back to the story line of returning form Hell to a demon possessed body when we move over to the next issue a full 6.0.
Until next time folks!