|ALL-NEW WOLVERINE No. 3, February 2016|
Despite the best thing about this comic book’s artwork being French designer Bengal’s cover illustration of X-23 flying towards two armoured Humvees packed full of gun-toting security staff, Issue Three of “All-New Wolverine” still doubtless pleased it’s disappointingly declining 50,990 strong readership as a result of its non-stop pulse-pounding script by Tom Taylor. In fact this twenty-page periodical’s narrative doesn’t come to any sort of a pause in its action-packed proceedings until near its very end, when the titular character, having bested both “the mercenary known as Taskmaster” as well as a heavily armed Alchemax Genetics taskforce lead by Captain Mooney, escorts her “not sisters” to the home of Doctor Strange.
However simply because the Australian author’s storyline is overpoweringly pacey and contains a plethora of panels crammed full of “armour-piercing bullets” and enormous explosions doesn’t necessarily mean that the Stan Lee Excelsior Award-winning writer’s script makes for an entirely entertaining read. This is certainly the case when it comes to the Aussies’ handling of the supervillain Tony Masters, for although “Contingency T” initially proves as formidable a fighting force as his reputation suggests by outfighting Laura, the occasional criminal training instructor is shoddily treated once defeated by ‘pitifully’ pointing out that Kinney “don’t kill anymore” and then by having both his kneecaps shot by Zelda whilst he’s lying helplessly unconscious on the ground; “There. Now, if the Taskmaster comes after us, he’ll have to crawl.”
Taylor’s usage of Alchemax Genetics’ Head of Security is no less irreverent, as the Captain once again finds himself semi-conscious on the ground at Wolverine’s feet, left “in the wreckage of a car crash, alone and bleeding.” Yet so treacherous a desperado as Mooney arguably deserves no less a fate and his self-righteous rant at Logan’s departing clone that he’ll seek revenge upon the mutant, her X-Men friends and Angel once he’s recovered from his latest set-back really does make one wonder just how much longer the woman “created to be a weapon” can stop herself from killing him.
Sadly this comic’s greatest let-down however must be David Lopez and David Navarrot’s disconcertingly anaemic artwork. The creative team are to be applauded for “magically… finish(ing) the pages on time”, and whilst costumed the duo’s pencilling of the Taskmaster is perfectly acceptable. But just how Editors Mark Paniccia, Darren Shan and Daniel Ketchum are able to approve some of the pairs’ panels containing Wolverine’s poorly-pencilled clones or an ultimately unmasked Anthony Masters is difficult to comprehend.
|Writer: Tom Taylor, Art: David Lopez & David Navarrot and Color Art: Nathan Fairbairn|