Review: Wolverine #61

Wolverine #61 coverWolverine (Vol. 2) #61
“Logan Dies, Part 5 of 5”
Writer: Marc Guggenheim;
Artist: Howard Chaykin

My frequent rants on life, I’ve been told, often begin with the phrase, “And another thing I hate…”

Well, this being the last chapter of the ‘Logan Dies’ arc, let me share with you, “…another thing I hate.”

Poor research in the Internet age is absolutely inexcusable and despite the air of authenticity, this arc is full of poor research.
-“Klik” (or more commonly “Klick”) is military slang for kilometer that originated during the Viet Nam war, at least forty years after these WW I scenes.
-“Bosch” should be “Boche” (or in rare instances “Bosche”) and is French insult for the Germans borrowed by the English. And in World War I, it would never have been used with ‘Nazi’ since, you know, the Nazis were in World War II.
-The “lazy quarterback” reference made by Logan is just plain lazy writing. Logan is Canadian, the year is 1914 well before the NFL, and well before the college sport was popular in the United States.
-“Hoser” was not exactly a term used during WW I, instead originating during the Depression referring to one who stole gas by sucking it through a hose.

Simulated realism in comics has been in vogue for a while and this story arc attempts just enough authenticity that the more preposterous components really stick out.
-On a battlefield with hundreds of dead soldiers, Logan complains that their isn’t enough time to scrounge for ammo. But there is enough time, apparently, to break off bayonets, jam them into your forearms and use armbands to secure them for bone-jarring combat. I understand the attempt to foretell of Wolverine’s claws, but this rendering is ridiculous and strains credulity, even for a comic book.
-A grenade shoved down Logan’s throat during combat. Not just shoved into his mouth, but actually down his throat. Are you kidding me?

Howard Chaykin’s artwork is embarrassingly weak and pedestrian.
-Logan looks exactly the same in 1914 as he does in present day. And with Wolverine fighting multiple versions of himself throughout the ages, you can’t tell who is who without the costumes. I mean, Logan looks exactly the same on the day he learned about his claws as a teenager as he looks now at age 120.
-I never noticed before, but Dr. Strange and Tony Stark are identical twins! Both sport massive, acromegalic jaws and steroid-induced heads reminiscent of Barry Bonds.
-Hexagons. Hexagons everywhere. Reminds me of the early days of computer art.
-I think the problem is that Chaykin’s once vibrant artwork has become passionless. Chaykin seems to be mailing it in. When you look at John Cassaday’s artwork, there is a vibrancy and passion that comes through on every panel. He loves what he is doing and it shows. With Chaykin’s run, it feels as if he’s trying to get it done as quickly as possible so he can cash his paycheck.

A previously-unknown love interest, villain and nefarious organization that spring out of nowhere unnecessarily dilute the story.
-Scimitar: Another evil organization akin to SPECTRE appears from thin air with unlimited financial resources and technology. But that’s okay because the Marvel Universe doesn’t have enough evil organizations akin to SPECTRE running around on a daily basis.
-Amir: Suddenly, Logan is in love again. I know she appeared in Guggenheim’s last Wolverine run, but she was created for the specific purpose of being killed. A character who appears in two issues is supposed to bring deep emotional anguish for Logan? With the number of Wolverine appearances that come out every week, is it too much to ask for a character to be around for more than two appearances before it becomes a shocking death?
-Shogun: Another bad guy we’ve never heard of who is suddenly a better and quicker fighter than Wolverine. Aren’t there enough of those guys popping up over the past few years? Mr. X. Gorgon. One would think that someone with the talents of Wolverine who has been fighting for 105 years might have a slight advantage over some of these losers.

Aside from that, I thought the story was pretty good…

From Marvel (preview): “This is it. The final chapter! Logan battles Scimitar, Shogun and Lord Shingen for his very soul! Will he survive? Probably, but with an arc entitled “Logan Dies,” you can never be sure. “ In stores January 9th, 2008.

Facebook comments:

  1. yes, I can understand you are very dissapointed about those points, I also agree with you but I was happy with the essential of this arc, explaining why Wolverine became practically immortal and I feel they were trying to change that (in civil war, it was riduculus that he was just bones and he healed pretty good in some minutes)

    I have a question, so part of Wolverine’s soul was in Shingen, but at the end he was still alive, does that mean Wolverine has still not his soul a whole?

  2. I believe a piece of Wolverine’s soul was in Shogun (not Shingen) so Logan’s soul should be intact since Shogun, like Generalissimo Franco, is still dead.

  3. The plot was ridiculous – an easy match for the glaring mistakes. Hopefully, one good thing came out of it though: no more plot-lite, instantaneous regeneration. Invincibility robbed Logan of a fundamental part of his character. Without the ability to die bravery becomes mundane and meaningless. Oh, he’s crashed a plane full of bad guys and got smeared all over someone’s corn crop. Never mind, he’ll be kicking major butt in the next panel. YAWN!!!

    Although the story was daft Guggenheim gave Logan his raw edge back. For that I will be eternally grateful.

    Now, if we can only dissuade Marvel from letting Day continue his disastrous, misguided and very unnecessary rewrite of Wolverine canon I’ll be more than happy.

  4. sorry, Shogun then :p, this villain didn’t have to come to life, I don’t even remember his name…

  5. LOL. I like Origins and I like that Wolverine has his normal healing factor back. I don’t like the artwork in this comic and I lol’ed at DF’s comments about it. xD

  6. i hated this arc more than any arc i’ve ever read. it was painful. i’m amazed that people that dislike Origins could read this crap and say good things about it. it screwed up his back story even worse than Way’s stuff. the art was worse than Dillon’s by a million miles and i HATE STEVE DILLON! it was a scratchy, rushed, badly written, uninteresting, insignificant, confusing mess that crapped all over most of my favorite Wolverine stories just by flashing back to them.

    the covers were good though.

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