Written by Charles Soule
Pencils by Steve McNiven
Inks by Jay Leisten
The Story So Far:
Wolverine died. When a virus effectively shuts off his healing factor, Logan’s enemies all try to kill him. Wolvie confronts Doctor Cornelius, the man who gave him his adamantium skeleton, and discovers that Cornelius is trying to replicate that very experiment, but he needs Wolverine’s healing factor. Cornelius loses it and unleashes his latest creation when he discovers that Logan no longer has his healing factor. Wolverine defeats Cornelius’ creation, but he is covered with molten adamantium, which hardens on Logan’s body, and he suffocates.
Wolverine wakes up in a destroyed laboratory, with no memory of who he is, or what he is. He’s attacked by a sabre-tooth tiger, but is rescued by a woolly mammoth. He sees different reflections of himself—Patch, Wolverine, Weapon X–telling him who he is, but he doesn’t believe it. He finds his way outside and discovers a motorcycle and gun from a downed soldier nearby. He takes them and heads towards a camp in the distance.
The camp is overrun by mysterious, mute soldiers, who are hunting and killing what look like scientists. Wolverine bursts onto the scene and shoots a guard, who bears the markings and powers of Omega Red. That guard gets up and snipes Logan’s motorcycle, throwing him into a rock, and into a fever dream where he meets Persephone, who tells him that nothing in the prison block they stand in can get out unless Wolverine lets it out. She hands him a key and suggests he do just that, telling him that she’s the one who brought him back to life as he is being shaken out of his stupor by a female scientist who tells him he is Wolverine. He still doesn’t know who that is, but notes that his wounds heal, except for one on his side. The scientist offers to stitch him up if he will help her retrieve her son, who the Sotiera have kidnapped. The facility they are in is a Sotiera base for cloning.
The scientist recounts an encounter Wolverine had, and why he wears blue and yellow—to draw attention to himself from villain’s victims—as Logan gets dressed in a black uniform he finds in the medical bay. He decided to let out Wolverine in his mind, with the key that Persephone gave him, and he mentions her name to the scientist. Turns out Persephone is the architect of Sotiera, and the scientist calls her the devil.
The issue ends with Wolverine popping his claws, suggesting that he and the scientist go and meet Persephone.
The ART. Holy cow. McNiven is absolutely on point with this book. His style is reminiscent of Barry Windsor-Smith’s in the Weapon X serial from the old Marvel Comics Presents series. Definitely puts you in a nostalgic mood, and it is very evocative of that 80’s to 90’s feel of Wolverine. Back when he didn’t remember his past, and it didn’t matter.
The Pacing. The book read fast, and slick. Like an action movie on steroids. You really don’t know what all is going on, but I’m sure we will have some answers by the end of the mini-series.
What doesn’t work:
The story. Sad to say, it kind of felt like we were just ticking off boxes on a list. “Ok, Wolverine has to get a motorcycle, because that’s what Wolvie does.” “Ok, now he’s got to pop his claws.” “Ok now we need to make sure he knows he can heal.” It felt very rote. At first I thought I was opposed to the idea of bringing Wolverine back at all, but I warmed to the idea. I had a visceral reaction to Logan not knowing who he was, similar to the whole “stuffing the rabbit back in the hat” of Spider-Man’s identity post Civil War I back in the early 2000’s. That passed and I’m willing to go along for the ride, if only to find out where this is all going, but I really hope this gets better from here.