There are some arcs in the Wolverine solo title universe that just don’t exist in my Earth -616ML version. One is the Enemy of the State (Wolverine Vol 3 #20-25)/Agent of SHIELD (Wolverine Vol 3 #26-31 arc which I lovingly refer to as Mindless Enemy/Agent of YAWN because the whole mind controlled Wolvie crap had me bored to tears yet again. Another was the Return of the Native arc (Wolverine Vol. 3 #12-18 ) which still has what I refer to as frozen-Wolverpups still out there somewhere. Lame, lame, lame to do yet another rewrite of Weapon X. Oh and finally the whole Lupine, Romulus crapola fest (Evolution arc Wolverine Vol 3 #50-55) – not human but descended from dogs. Yeah way to negate the whole mutant thing of that universe. I dropped the series for a few years after those horrid messes of story lines. So when it comes to those arcs I stick my fingers in my ears sing LA-LA-LA-LA and ignore it all. BUT the ghost of the Evolution arc is baaaack to haunt me. Yes this arc entitled Sabertooth Reborn (Wolverine Vol 4 #310-313) is based on the whole Evolution arc from the Romulus crapola fest. Totally ignoring that we know Sabes is back from the Then There Was A War/Back In Japan arc of this Vol 4 that preceded this one. Not to mention Logan showing up at Sabes b-day party in One More Round. So I started off really annoyed that in the same volume that couldn’t keep their conitunality straight for five issues! Stay tuned and I’ll really tell you what I think about it!
First off here’s the legal disclaimer – 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.
Next I give credit to the creators of the arc: Jeph Loeb, Writer – Simone Bianchi, Artist – Simone Peruzzi, Colorist Issue 310 312, 313 and is colorist with Jason Keith, Morry Hollowell & Guru EFX on Issue 311 – Marks Morales, Inks Issue 311 – Comicraft’s Albert Deschense, Letterer – Simone Bianchi, Cover 310, 312, and with Simone Peruzzi Covers of Issues 311 & 313 – Ed McGuinness, Jason Keith, & Stephen Platt, Variant Covers Issue 310, Leinil Yu with Marte Gracia, Variant Cover Issue 311, J. Scott Campbell & Edgar Delgado, Variant Cover Issue 312, Art Adams & Jason Keith, Variant Cover Issue 313 – Mayela Gutierrez, Production Issue 310, Irene Y. Lee, Production Issue 311, Idette Winecoor, Production Issue 312 & 313 – Jennifer M. Smith, Asst. Editor Issues 312 & 313 – Jeanine Schaefer, Editor – Nick Lowe, Senior Editor – Axel Alonso, Editor In Chief – Joe Quesada, Chief Creative Officer – Dan Buckley, Publisher – Alan, Fine, Executive Producer.
Okay where do I start? How about what I liked because honestly I don’t have much to say there. Simone Bianchi has lovely art when I look at it panel by panel. Yet over all in a comic I feel it is often too dark in color. I don’t know if this is the printing, the colorists, or what but Bianchi did the Evolution arc back in Vol. 3 and I felt the same way. The anatomy is great not overly distorted and very realistic. The style is classic art which I love. Yet I find the painted-on look of the superhero costumes/uniforms annoying. Even spandex doesn’t fit that way, a mask or cowl wouldn’t lay that smoothly on face. I don’t like it with the style of the art. Next the hair movement is so overly stylized for the realistic/classic look of the human forms it becomes annoying very quickly. Bottom line for me is the art distracts me from the story which isn’t the whole point of comic books, the point is to blend art and story seamlessly so they support each other in the story telling. Doesn’t matter if I’m kicked out by the stunning beauty of the rendering, the glowing form fitting spandex, the odd hair, or something else – if the art punts me from the story it’s failing to do its job in the comic. Which is to tell the visual side of the story. So for as much as I love the covers and some of the splash pieces I’ve seen of Bianchi even some of the panels – I have to say I don’t enjoy comics that feature his art.
Next the story – I’ve already pointed out my first big issue with this – WE ALREADY KNOW SABES IS BACK! No need for Logan to act shocked and go dig up the body HE KNOWS SABES IS BACK HE CRASHED THE DUDE’S BIRTHDAY PARTY! So dammit that whole first issue is pointless.
Then there’s YET ANOTHER REWRITE of the Weapon-X story. Now there’s no Native (thank the deity/ies of your choice) but dammit Romulus is there. PFft- look for me the true story of Weapon X is Barry Windsor Smith’s masterpiece sure might to do some flare to it like the novel did but anything that alters that significantly doesn’t appear in my universe. So Romulus being behind pulling the strings for years – nope don’t buy it, don’t like it, get it the heck out of Earth-616 and send it over to an alternate universe. Since I can’t do that it doesn’t appear in my Earth-616ML.
Finally Remus isn’t another redhead for Logan to hump – Remus was the brother of Romulus in traditional Roman mythology. Unless we are getting into Capt. James Howlett of Earth-TRN208 this ain’t gonna happen bub. Here it’s a luscious sister who happens to be a redhead with a painted on costume and porn fantasy hair that swirls and whirls around as she banishes her sword in lots of sexy ways. Since I don’t accept her brother’s existence I don’t accept hers or this whole arc.
Also I don’t like that Logan wakes up and poof the big battle is over. It’s a lame way for a writer to avoid writing action that has a purpose and gets them where they want to be. If you’ve run out of time then you didn’t plot your arc well in the 4 issues given. It’s all amateurish and poor doing that was sadly repeated in the next arc. At least that was a better story than this in other ways. If ending this Volume and going to the next one is what it took to get back to good writing, consistent character development within five issues, and plots that don’t solve themselves while we are passed out with Logan then fine I support the decision to end the volume. I will say hold on folks there is hope the Wolverine Now Volume 5 of his solo series is starting strong with story supporting art, well developed plot thus far and well written characterization. So let’s put this whole ugly Romulus & Remus episode behind us and never speak of it again? Just like Native and her frozen Wolverpup? Okay? If only I could convince Marvel of that.
Okay below are a few scans
You have been warned they maybe spoilery
If you are still here I assume you want to see them
Okay look at Cloak’s face there in the lower center – beautifully rendered like a portrait. Now look up at the top of that page where Wolvie is holding Sabes’s head – see that sleeve cap – even spandex doesn’t fix smoothly with skin like that. This an example of two things on one page that threw me out of the story as far as art goes.
There are some beautiful two page splash pieces in this issue. Here’s a section of one where Wolverine returns to Weapon X to discover a stash of cloned Sabertooths or would that be Saberteeth?
Okay let’s introduce a new woman – painted on skimpy butt-floss costume for battle? Check – Wild porn hair? Check – Sexy pose with swords? Check – oh red hair for Logan? Check – Okay there she is saving his “Canadian Bacon” because women can’t get enough of his bacon…
Okay I do like the fact that here Logan doesn’t just screw her and wonder – he takes action even if he’s got his metaphor wrong here. Yep yet another two page splash panel of pretty art but really I’d kill for a story that made sense and fit in with the other issues in the volume…
Okay final climatic battle with the newly improved adamantium version of Romulus and we end in fade to black… Oh the line about all the healing factor but you gotta breathe – remember that we’ll come back to it in the X-Force arc discussion…
And Sabes is in the wind again per usual… the uber-baddie is in a special prison for super mutants and Logan finally gets to give Remus the Redhead some of Canadian bacon making it a happy ending while her ultra porn hair swirls about them… Look there see it says THE END oh please please let it be the end of this Romulus and Remus crap never to speak of it again!
Until next time… when I don’t have such a scathing review of my favorite character.