Friday, 8 January 2016

All-New Wolverine #1 - Marvel Comics

ALL-NEW WOLVERINE No. 1, January 2016
Whilst replacing so iconic a comic book character as the “tragically… fallen” mutant super-hero Logan was never going to be the easiest job in the world for the “New York Times bestselling” author, Tom Taylor’s script for Issue One of “All-New Wolverine” arguably raises far more questions than it answers; especially for those who are unfamiliar with the history of X-23 and her creation “to be a weapon.” Indeed despite the narrative starting in the best possible way, with an ‘undercover’ Laura Kinney desperately trying to save a Parisian VIP from an assassin’s bullet and taking a few slugs herself in the process, the fast-paced chase to the top of the Eiffel Tower never pauses long enough to identify just who the ‘diplomat’ is, why someone is trying to murder him, and just who has asked the yellow and blue spandex-wearing heroine to undertake “her first solo mission as Wolverine”?

Confusingly things only seem to get even more befuddling when Logan’s protégé falls from France’s cultural symbol and is ‘swooped up’ by her evident partner Warren Worthington. The Melbourne-born writer has already gone on record to say that he wants the female clone to experience “more support and friendship” during her adventures. But trying to develop the “budding romance” the titular character ‘enjoyed’ with Angel in “All-New X-Men” so early on within this story, as the duo are busily pursing an aerial drone, is awkwardly handled at best and bizarrely results in the preposterous situation of the flying X-Man patting the supposed killing machine on the head when she destroys the “exploding predator drone.”; “A little awkward. I didn't say stop.”

Equally as questionable is the “powerful monkey wrench” Taylor purposely throws “in the works” at the end of the comic. Clearly an awful lot of exposition has taken place ‘off-screen’ or in other titles, as Kinney reveals the masked assassin to be her cloned twin. Unlike the uninitiated bibliophile however neither Angel nor Wolverine are surprised by this revelation, with Laura actually stating it’s her intention to save the rest of her duplicates. Such assumed foreknowledge is hardly desirable within the opening edition of a brand new book series surely?

Arguably this magazine’s biggest disappointment though is the inconsistent artwork of David Lopez (and David Navarrot). The majority of the Spaniard’s drawings of a fully-costumed Wolverine are superb, especially his “I want them to see the Wolverine coming” splash page, and it’s clear just why the publication’s writer thought “he was the right guy to bring Laura to life” when he first saw the artist’s “early character sketches”. Yet the illustrator’s inability to draw credible-looking faces constantly grates and at times makes the likes of Angel, Logan and Kinney appear as if they’ve been sketched by an amateur…
The regular cover art of "ALL-NEW WOLVERINE" No. 1 by Bengal

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