Writer: Greg Rucka
Artist: Darick Robertson
I've been trying to get through as many of my graphic novels, and comics series as I can, reviewing them along the way, whilst also reading the Marvel events that fall in between. I also plan on reading the series at the same time, reading each story that falls in line (e.g. a Spider-Man story followed by an Avengers, followed by something else, then back to Spider-Man). I've finally come to start re-reading my Wolverine collection, with this being my first review from it.
When tracking down a kidnapped girl named Lucy that he promised to protect, Wolverine travels to Westfalls to face the Brotherhood. Also Later Wolverine meets Nightcrawler in a bar to drown his sorrows.
This was an amazing story, and although it's not the best Wolverine story I've ever read it was a brilliant way to start the then new series of Wolverine. I've always liked Greg Rucka's work, especially on The Punisher, and Detective Comics (when Batwoman was the feature character), and although this isn't his best work ever it's still very good, and shows his unique style of writing. Rucka's known for his more crime based stories, and he's brought that style to Wolverine, making this more of a detective story than a hack, and slash story, which was nice. I also loved how Rucka made this story very unique, showing different sides to Wolverine, which has been interesting, as although I love to see Wolverine doing what he does best, it's always nice to see something new. The way he made Wolverine awful quiet, not having him speak to much was also brilliant, as it gave more of a mood to the character, showing that he's more a man of actions than a man of words. The way Rucka handled the narrating in the first issue was also interesting, and very unique, as although I've seen similar to this in the past, I haven't seen it in Wolverine before. I also loved that this was a more deep, and emotional Wolverine story than we usually get, as although it was still violent at times, it was more character driven, with Wolverine's emotions driving him.
The art in this story was also brilliant, and Darick Robertson did an amazing job. I've loved Robertson's work in the past, especially on the likes of The Boys, and Happy!, but his work on this story was just as good. Although I'm not entirely sure if I love his art on Wolverine himself, as although I feel that his style's brilliant for the type of series that this is, there was something not quite right about how he drew Wolverine, as he looked more square faced, and darn right uglier than usual. Put it this way, better artists have drawn Wolverine in the past, and after this. Besides that Robertson's art was brilliant, and as I said really suited the tone of the series. I really loved how it was gritty, and the violent way he drew the action was phenomenal. The way Robertson laid the art out was also amazing, as it really helped to add more drama to the story, also giving more depth. The way he drew the rest of the character's, as well as facial expressions was also brilliant, as they looked very natural, and realistic, and you could easily tell what they were feeling. The detail in Robertson's art was also outstanding, as everything looked perfect. The covers from Esad Ribic were also amazing, and like always Ribic produces covers that are simply phenomenal.
This story sees Wolverine going detective, as he tracks down the people responsible for kidnapping a girl he swore to protect. Now Wolverine has tracked people many times, and it's one of the things that he's particularly good at, but this time it was much more of a detective style, as he'd use his raw strength to get answers, instead of reverting to his Adamantium claws. He did occasionally use his claws, but he was mainly able to use his smarts, and force to get what he wanted. I love seeing Wolverine use his claws, and felt that he could have used them more in this story, but at the same time it was a nice change for him to use his other skills, which proved just as effective.
The girl that Wolverine promised to protect was called Lucy. The first issue basically revolves around her, even being narrated by her, but after that she doesn't really feature in this story much. From what we saw of the character in the first issue, I found her very interesting, as she was clearly a character that was on hard times, and who knew trouble, but wanted to change her life. The way she also interacted with Wolverine was interesting, and her calling him, "Mean Man," was also funny. I also liked that Lucy also appeared to be very strong minded, as she seemed to know what she was doing, and what it'd cause. The addition of Lucy was also brilliant as it gave motivation for Wolverine, as well as a starting point for the story, as Wolverine's always been soft for innocent girls, wanting to help, or avenge in anyway he can.
The people who kidnapped Lucy were called the Brothers of the New World, or Brotherhood for short, and were lead by a man named Cry. When I first bought this book I thought that it's have Wolverine against the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants (having not looked the book up), and was initially disappointed in what I found, but the Brotherhood was actually an interesting group, and although their goals aren't exactly original, they were strong enough to power this story, and to be honest how many ideas are completely original. The way they operated was also interesting, as well as the fact that they had the towns people scared, and the town Sheriff in their pocket, and overall although not the best group of villains I've seen they were perfect for this more realistic crime style story.
This story also saw the introduction of ATF agent, Cassie Lathrop, who follows Wolverine trying to find out what he's up to. This was a very interesting character, and with Lucy not making much off an appearance, it was nice to see another female character feature. The way she was introduced as an undercover agent was brilliant, but the way she became intrigued by Wolverine was even more interesting, as although Wolverine has had a lot of lady friends in the past, he doesn't always get ones that search for him. Her characteristics were also very interesting, as she appeared to be a curious woman, that was strong minded, and resourceful, planning on getting what she wants.
Although there wasn't ton's of action in this story, there was some, and it was awesome. Both Rucka, and Robertson handled it brilliantly, and it really gave excitement, as well as more drama to the story. The violence was also brilliant, as although this means the story isn't suitable for as many readers it does appeal more to readers like me, as I want to see Wolverine killing people in his solo series, whereas you can have a X-Men series to give a more child friendly version (e.g. Wolverine & the X-Men). I also loved how we saw the berserker come out of Wolverine, and the way that the colourist, Studio F made his eyes a different colour was very unique, and made it more viscous, and gritty.
The final issue in this story featured Wolverine in a bar drowning his sorrows, when Nightcrawler disguised as a priest comes to console him. Besides Wolverine, Nightcrawler is my next favourite X-Man, and I always love seeing the two interact. The history the characters have is amazing, and always leads to brilliant sequences, and cause of that it's easy to make an entire issue about these two. The issue itself was very emotional, and showed the character's characteristics perfectly, as with Nightcrawler coming in disguise (he later removed it) it shows how insecure he is. Now I won't go into too many details as it'd spoil the main story, but overall this was a amazing appearance, and seeing Nightcrawler, and Wolverine interact in an emotional way is always brilliant, and this was no exception.
Although not necessarily the best Wolverine story ever, it's also far from being the worst, and was a brilliant start to Rucka's run on the series. The way that it's became more of a crime series has also been interesting, and the development, and pacing of the story was outstanding, and although I personally would have preferred it at a bit quicker pace, the slower pace helped the story, and development go much smoother. The limited action was also amazing, and very violent, and although there wasn't a lot of it, what there was of it was outstandingly brilliant. I would highly recommend this story, as it is very unique, and interesting, as well as exciting, and dramatic.
The next Wolverine book I'll be reviewing will be Wolverine: Coyote Crossing.