Updated: Feb 24, 2020
Writer: Benjamin Percy
The Flower Cartel
Artist: Adam Kubert
Colorist: by Frank Martin
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Artist: Viktor Bogdanovic
Colorist: Matt Wilson
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Published by Marvel Comics
Song: Long Liveth by Black Thought & Salaam Remi
Wolverine. The best there is at what he does and what he does is what has been missing for a few years in the Marvel Universe. The Idea of the Wandering Immortal Ronin is the stuff of legends. He’s been killed, resurrected, sent to Hell, to space, bonded with a Symbiote, fought in World War 2 and Vietnam, he was an Avenger, been party to nearly every major event in the Marvel Universe, a member of Alpha Flight, and an X-Man (to some, THE X-Man). Then, in lackluster form, they “permanently” killed him. They ended his life by trying to tie up loose ends of his sordid and shady past but did so in a poorly executed manner unfit for one of the greatest comic book characters of all time. Luckily, no one ever stays dead in comics, but when and how one should return is always a very fragile matter. When Wolverine was resurrected from the dead, there were a lot of questions: how? Why? And why are his claws glowing? Answering those questions just left us with more questions. Now, while I was glad he was a part of the War of the Realms, it wasn't until the Hox/PoX event that Wolverine’s character felt like Wolverine again. His selfless self-sacrifice (he died... again.) led to some Krakoan resurrection magic that somehow symbolized the rebirth of the Logan I grew up with. Donning his Brown and Yellow colorway from the days of Claremont and Byrne, the Dawn of X gave us glimpses of the old Wolverine in a new light.
Wolverine #1 starts off as all good Wolverine stories should: with dead bodies and a case of amnesia. This is a high point for me. The mystique of Logan as a whole always relied on the idea of “you don’t really know the whole story.” Benjamin Percy understands this and he utilizes it well. Percy actually understands and has a full grasp of Wolverine’s character and it was apparent in his Long Night Podcast series (which was absolutely fantastic. If you have not listened to it yet, I suggest you do yourself a favor and do so). There is mystery and intrigue with a sense of realism that would literally make you say out loud “you know what, I hadn’t thought of that, but if Krakoa were real, it’s totally plausible.” The foundation in which Percy sets up the story arc is methodical and exciting, as if he, himself, was present in Madripoor and without ever meeting Patch, he knew of all the lore and intrigue that surround him and executes this with the skill of a descriptive street scribe.
The second story of this issue, we see the return of an old foe and a personal favorite of mine, Omega Red (if Kevin Feige and the powers that be over at Marvel Studios dont give a Wolverine/X-Men movie without putting Red in as a villain, it would be a HUGE mistake and a missed opportunity!). Wolverine, being ever the suspicious type, voices his opinion on Red as soon as he steps through the Krakoan Gate and Magneto welcomes him. This sets of a chain of events that pull Wolverine into the catacombs on Paris where vetting things happen that raises flags for his tie-in to possible upcoming events with the Avengers. Again, Percy adds all the right elements for a good ol’ Wolverine story: international espionage with a mix of the supernatural with a dash of a beautiful woman. Sprinkle in the excellent lines of Bogdanovic and the color stylings of the incredible Matt Wilson (who’s doing so much work right now, I fail to believe the dude even sleeps) and this second story will be something bloody and beautiful.
In all honesty though, what drew my attention was the fact that this particular Wolverine title was tied to a singular name: Kubert. I’ve been reading comic books for a long time and if there was one thing prominent in my comic experience, it was the Kubert Family. Joe, Andy, Adam, Katie, and Emma. All bearing the sacred namesake Kubert synonymous with both comic books and the Kubert School. Since I was a kid, I was always excited seeing the signature on a cover or the name in the credits. Adam Kubert is in top form in this issue. For months, he’s been on Twitter, teasing this issue with bits and pieces of the issue and to finally see in full-color and in sequence to Benjamin Percy’s awesome writing is truly some both nostalgic and fresh. His line-work seems to have only been amplified by Frank Martin’s incredible color talent and it makes me wonder what other visual surprises they have in store for us all.
So, all-in-all, Percy’s super-Team of artists, colorists, letterers, and page designers are all poised to make this one of the best Wolverine runs since Jason Aaron was in charge of sending Wolverine to Hell and back. Where Percy will take this story? Only he and Hickman (Head of X) know, but this series is already at the top of my list for best X-Titles and it’s only one issue in.