Much like Logan himself coming back to life and starting over, I’ve lost count of the number of times that Wolverine has been rebooted back to number one. But nevertheless, let’s dive into this new, new, new Wolverine #1.
Writer Benjamin Percy sets up the story well enough, Wolverine is alive, surrounded by his X-
Force (who are decidedly NOT alive) and it looks like Logan himself did the killing. Then as he gets up, we get a flashback of the previous 4 days and we see how Wolverine fits into this new X-Nation, and on Krakoa itself, and how Wolverine was once again, briefly, happy.
The official solicit for this issue was “with his family all together and safe, Wolverine has everything he’s ever wanted… and everything to lose.” Percy shows this with Logan being a teacher again, which is a great look on him, and he’s with Kitty and Storm again, which he loves because they are family. There is even a great page where Logan is late to a mission so Kitty “punishes him” by having them drink together and he has to talk about his emotions.
I love scenes like that between Wolverine and Shadow Cat. I love that relationship and Percy gives me that hit. Speaking of hits, Percy gives us the new drug which is ‘Pollen’, where people are using Krakoa pollen to increase their mind and strength, but it’s getting mixed with bad chemicals and is killing people. While I do hope that this shines a light on the opioid problem here in America, and while this isn’t the first time we’ve seen drugs introduced, but this is the first time that one of the X-Men might be the drug mule and now this drug has caught the attention of the CIA, worlds are about to clash.
So did Wolverine really kill his team? No, not at all, and while it is a cliched beginning to a story, it’s still handled really well. Now the art by Adam Kubert is sharp, and Kubert is probably my favorite Wolverine artist of all-time. He has such a great grasp on what makes Wolverine “tick”. From his costume to his teeth baring to his claws, it all works and I’ve always loved Kubert’s art. His pages are always crisp and clean and there is never any muddling.
There is a back-up story by Percy and Viktor Bogdanovic, and oddly enough, this back-up story is what really had me hooked. Omega Red comes to Krakoa for sanctuary, and Wolverine’s first inclination is to kill him, but Magneto tells him all mutants are welcome. Wolverine tells him it’s a mistake and Mags tells him “if it is and he tries anything, we’ll take care of him.” Omega Red tells Wolverine that there is a mission that he has to finish, which takes Wolverine over to Europe where we get some great Logan inner monologue, where Logan questions just how different he and Omega Red are.
With this shorter story, Percy really shines. So fast forward a bit and what issue did Red send Logan into? Into the heart of Vampire Nation! That’s right! Vampires are back in the X-Universe and we get told that while the X-Men have Prof. X, the vampires have Dracula who has employed Omega Red to be a double agent on Krakoa since he is, in effect, a vampire (he drains life force, right?).
“Dun Dun Duuuuuuuun” aside, that last little nugget was actually a shock and just confirmed that Wolverine was, of course, right… again. The BIGGEST drawback to the issue is the price tag: $7.99 is a lot to ask for any comic book. I’ll cough up $10 for the 700, 800 issues because they are “big time” issues. For a series reboot that is going to get rebooted in a few years though, it is excessive.
It’s tough for me to say whether a comic is worth $8 or not. If the issue was more cost effective, I would say pick this book up because it’s a really in-depth read and 67 pages of beautiful artwork. If I had the money, I would 10/10 pick this issue up. But that price might (rightfully) put a few readers off. 4/5 Snikt’ed Bibles.
– Robert Bexar