14.4 C
Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Dawn of X: Wolverine #1 Review

Must read

It's been nearly six years since the original Wolverine has had a monthly, ongoing comic series to call his own. He's spent the majority of that period dead, with successors like X-23 and Old Man Logan stepping in to fill the void. But even after Wolverine's return in 2017, the character has been strangely sidelined. His journey has mostly continued in smaller-scale projects like Return of Wolverine and Marvel Comics Presents. Given the Wolverine burnout that existed prior to his death, Marvel perhaps decided to wait for the right time to put him back in the spotlight. Well, the time is right now.Like all new X-books launching within the last six months, the latest volume of Wolverine spins directly out of the Dawn of X status quo. Writer Benjamin Percy is also responsible for the current volume of X-Force, so it should come as no surprise that this series reads like a direct offshoot of that book. Tonally, it's very similar, and even many of the X-Force members play supporting roles. Yet the book does just enough to distinguish itself and not feel overly redundant. The series hits a sweet spot similar to that of Larry Hama's Wolverine run. It dovetails in and out of the X-Men's orbit, showing us what happens when Wolverine stops trying to be a team player and gets his hands dirty.

The $7.99 price tag may seem daunting, but Percy and artists Adam Kubert and Viktor Bogdonavic certainly give readers their money's worth. The book clocks in at well over 60 pages comprising two full-length stories. It's a hefty dose of Wolverine to start off the new series, and that does ultimately work in the book's favor. Had Marvel only printed the first story from Percy and Kubert, the series might have had a harder time establishing a clear hook. Of the two, Percy and Kubert's story is a little more disjointed, jumping between multiple timelines and focusing as much on a CIA agent character as it does Logan himself. It also flirts with being too X-Force-focused for its own good. Fortunately, Percy and Bogdonavic's followup story helps balance out the book and provide a more classical, narrowly focused Wolverine tale full of globetrotting and stabbing.

Even when the plot becomes too unwieldy, Percy's characterization is generally enough to make up for it. He doesn't necessarily break the mold with his narration-heavy approach to Wolverine, but nor does he resort to the tired old tropes like "I'm the best there is at what I do…" Percy succeeds in painting his protagonist as a worldly fighter with an appreciation for adventure and romance, yet also a fear of losing his edge in the utopia that is Krakoa. We also get a sense of the friction that comes from inviting many of the X-Men's worst enemies to live as brothers and sisters in the new mutant nation.

Logan's interpersonal relationships – both with familiar X-Men and with new characters – are often the driving force of both stories. The real shame in Logan taking such a back seat in recent X-Men storylines is that we haven't really gotten a chance to see him reconnect with characters like Jean Grey and Kitty Pryde. This issue helps make up for lost time, with both characters making brief yet memorable appearances in the lead story. The Logan/Kitty material is especially great at highlighting their long, shared history and Kitty's profound evolution. And if any X-book is going to clear things up as far as that weird three-way relationship Wolverine, Jean and Cyclops seem to have going on, it's this one.20 Most Anticipated Comics of 2020Both Kubert and Bogdonavic deliver top-notch Wolverine art in their respective stories. Kubert, along with his brother Andy, basically defined the look of Wolverine in the '90s, so having him on an ongoing series again is quite a treat. Not that this issue is particularly '90s-esque in its visual style, but Kubert still has a knack for exploring the darker side of the X-Men line. Bogdonavic is a fitting companion, with a style that manages to feel cohesive while also bringing its own flavor to the table. His story offers a satisfying blend of superhero action and horror, making the most of an unexpected yet completely fitting choice of villain. It helps that both stories have a similarly muted, unsettling color palette that helps tie them together.


Not that X-Men readers are starved for new, high quality books right now, but Wolverine is definitely worth a look for anyone wanting more of this iconic X-Man. Wolverine #1 is a meaty introduction to the new series, one that builds organically on the Dawn of X status quo but also taps into a classic ’90s sensibility. While the first story hits a few narrative bumps along the way, the strong visuals and characterization are enough to carry the day.

- Advertisement -

More articles

- Advertisement -

Latest article