I've been a huge fan of Wolverine for many years now, with the little runt being my third favourite comic book character, but I've been disappointed with his outings in the Wolverine, and Wolverine and the X-Men series' prior to the relaunched Marvel NOW! I decided to finally give this a try when the second issue was released, but haven't gotten around to reading any until now, with there now being three issues released, and one issue released in the other Wolverine series. I will however be dropping this series after issue 5, as I can only really afford one Wolverine series, and with Frank Cho leaving this series, and a brilliant writer like Paul Cornell, and artist like Alan Davis working on the other I think I'll prefer the other in the long run.
8 Months after an accident in the Savage Land that has Shanna, and a host of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents stranded with no way of communicating the outside world, Wolverine is randomly brought to the island through a portal, and has to find a way of the island, whilst also discovering some of it's mysteries.
This was a very decent first issue, and although it wasn't as good as the first issue of the other Wolverine series, it was still good, and shows a lot of promise. Overall Frank Cho has done a very good job on this issue, and although story wise it wasn't anything startling, it was a very good start, and besides that his art was phenomenal. Now I've never seen anything Cho has written in the past, I actually don't know if he has written anything prior to this, but his art has always amazed me, and I've enjoyed seeing it on such titles as The New Avengers, and The Mighty Avengers. His writing isn't terrible, and as I said it was a very decent start, and if I had to say something tremendously positive about his writing, it's that it's much better than the last few stories in the previous Wolverine series, when Jeph Loeb, and Cullen Bunn wrote it. The story's very fun, as well as having depth, and the savage nature that a series with the name, "Savage" in it needs. I also liked that Cho gave us some back-story explanation, whilst also leaving some subjects mysterious. His art is also very well detailed, and I just love the way he draws Shanna, and the way he draws women in general. The colours from Jason Keith are also brilliant, and they really make Cho's art stand out, looking even better than it already does.
I have to be honest when I heard that Wolverine was going to be in the Savage Land I was a bit skeptical, as I've seen some terrible stories feature in the Savage Land, and although when done right it can be the setting for brilliant stories, most people screw up, and it's usually cause they can't write the characters in the setting. I was however interested in Cho's take on the Savage Land, and what I liked most was that it was on a different part of the Savage Land. It was also nice to see the story start 8 months prior, as it sets up what's about to happen very nicely. I also liked that S.H.I.E.L.D. were involved, but was happy that they exited quickly. The island itself was interesting, but the main thing I was curious about was how Wolverine got there, but I'm sure that will be explained in a later issue.
The addition of Shanna in this issue was nice, and I'm really happy to see her in this story. Although I said that previous writers haven't used the Savage Land properly doesn't mean that I don't like the characters, or creatures, and along with Ka-Zar, and sabretooth tiger Zabu the best part of the Savage Land. I also liked the way Shanna, and Wolverine meet in this issue. I won't say how, as it's a nice surprise, but I will say that it's entertaining, and one of the best parts in the issue. It was also nice that Shanna explained what happened during the 8 months she's been on the island, as you get a lot of stories that jump forward due to similar reasons, and don't get any explanation, which always annoys me.
Although Shanna's appearance was one of the nicer things about the issue, the most interesting probably had to go to the natives. There was so little told about these guys, and I think that's what made them interesting, and enigmatic. I also liked that the fight some of them had with Wolverine as it gave the chance to show what Wolverine's best at, which we unfortunately don't get as much. Due to his commitments as an Avenger, and teacher Wolverine isn't in too many positions where he can kill, so it was really nice to see it here, and I loved that Cho was able to make it gruesome, without ruining the tone of the issue.
Dinosaurs. Although Shanna, Ka-Zar, and Zabuare my favourite characters from the Savage Land, the thing I enjoy most is the dinosaurs. This issue featured two types of dinosaur like creatures, the first being what appeared to be a Velociraptor, and the other being a creature called a Reaper, which looks similar to a Pteranodon. These were brilliant in this issue, and although they didn't have a huge role, they reminded me why I like Savage Land stories. I do however hope that the dinosaurs are featured more in this story, without taking up too much plot time, but the end of this issue looks like it will.
Although not a brilliant issue, this was still a very good issue, and I have a lot of faith that this series will be good. It has fun, action, and mystery, and the name Savage is appropriate, even if Wolverine isn't Savage for too long. I would still recommend this issue, as it's much better than the pre-Marvel NOW! Wolverine series, and I'm sure it'll get better.