The thing I’ve always liked most about Wolverine is that he’s a character who, for all intents and purposes, is indestructible, but unlike, say, Superman, he’s able to feel pain. That’s one thing that Marvel’s always been pretty good at – – making their characters relatable to the reader. By tempering Wolverine’s healing factor power with his very humanistic feelings of pain and agony, a new side to him develops and makes it so that the reader can sympathize with him more than they can the Man of Steel (sorry to pick on Supes, but he’s a pretty boring character sometimes).
Unfortunately, this one-shot book with three separate stories kind of ruins that entire concept. Wolverine is brutally shot, again and again, in places like his eyeballs or his neck or his mouth or, hell, right straight through his heart, but he never shows pain or acts as if he’s in any sort of harm (except for during this three-page prose section that pops up midway through the issue that is just ridiculously stupid and a waste of time and space).
What I’m saying is that it turns Wolverine into a Superman that bleeds, and it takes away all of the tension from the story. For example, there’s one little section that has Wolvie being targeted by a HYDRA sniper who repeatedly delivers headshots to the ol’ Canuckle-head, but it never feels like the outcome of the bout is in question. I know that, to a certain extent, we all know the outcome of every comic (the Day Evil Won is invariably followed the next day by the Day Good Came Back and Eventually Beat Evil), but, in this case, the excessive use of gore and violence just took me out of the story and made me feel like there wasn’t much point in my continued reading of it.
Plus, to further tank it, there are quite a few ridiculous lines of dialogue that, again, took me out of the story and/or made me groan. Telling a pack of wild monkeys to, “pack their bananas” is one such example. But that feels like a nitpick, comparatively. I just didn’t care for this thing, at all.
Fortunately, we had one other taker this week, as good ol’ Doominator took a look and has agreed to offer up his own thoughts on the issue. Here we go:
By my (probably inaccurate) count, Wolverine was or is to be in 10 or more comics shipping this month. That’s a lot, huh? Yeah, I suppose he has his own movie coming out just around the corner. But that’s still a lot of one character. To be fair, I’m including Messiah War.
So Marvel likes to sell books by peddling out the Wolverine. I remember a few brief months without Wolverine after he got his metal ripped out. I had no problem with them. Why? Unlike the comic bookerati, I don’t like Wolverine. I find him roughly the least fascinating X-Men character outside of Gambit. Oh, Gambit’s in the new movie too.
Oh, right, I’m supposed to be talking about this special. This extra special special with Wolverine in stark black and white! Witness the man with the claws as he rips off a vignette from the movie Creepshow! Skip over bits of semi-obvious prose! Spend $3.99 to look at Wolverine fight a baboon! Witness the 100-times-told story of Mr. Howlett getting shot at by a sniper and not batting a lash!
Perhaps this special was inspired by Batman Black & White. You know, Marvel always try to make it seem like Wolverine is their Batman. Problem is, they never decided why the little Canadian is so angry. You would think that a good health care system and excellent syrup would make someone happy, but nope. It took us 30 years after his introduction for someone to even make up a hint as to the root of his anger. Maybe everyone else had just assumed he was a prick.
I’m probably supposed to talk about the issue at hand, how I found the storytelling on the whole, or any of that fun stuff. I didn’t find it anything. I just couldn’t care. Clever, maybe; inventive, probably not; interesting, not at all. This was a rote exercise in idolatry, another sales whore for Marvel to prop up in the flophouse of the comic store. It was 48-pages of fandom, including the prose bit which actually became fan fiction.
I suppose I’m going in biased, unfairly criticizing a book that did nothing to me because it has a character I think is tired. But it did nothing for me, and my job isn’t to prop up the latest release of Marvel’s as if they’ve rewritten the Book of Psalms, or at least Revelations. I’m here to say what I think, and after reading The Rampaging Wolverine, I think I need a nap.