Hi, folks…your friendly neighborhood Brian Knippenberg here! We’re rollin’ on ahead with the reviews! Without further ado…
We’ll be breaking this review down into a recap and then sum up with my thoughts. If you wish to avoid spoilers, then proceed to ‘Thoughts From A Human’s Point of View’.
THE SET-UP: Recently, Daken had donned the guise of Wolverine and joined Norman Osborn’s Avengers team in an effort to discredit his father. He launches a plan to steal the Muramasa blade to have it’s metal (the one thing that can kill his father) bonded to him. He lures the X-Men into an open trap at Prospect Park, Brooklyn only to have Wolverine intervene.
THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE: We open the issue with a flashback as Wolverine remembers the tragic loss of Itsu and how the legendary swordsmith, Muramasa channels Logan’s rage and forges it into the powerful and unique Muramasa blade.
STANDOFF AT PROSPECT PARK: The battle between the X-Men and Daken continues from last issue until both Cyclops and Daken make a run for the blade. Cyclops closes in only to have the weapon snatched away by Daken! Daken maneuvers quickly enough in an attempt to lop off the X-Leader’s head, only to have the young mutant, Armor, jump between them at the last second. As powerful as the Muramasa blade is, it is no match for Armor’s psionic shield. However, the impact from the blow causes an explosive feedback, scattering the opponents every which way. Wolverine and Daken, both groggy and disoriented, both go for the blade with Wolverine the victor…until they both pass out. When Wolverine awakens, he discovers that Daken has broken off a piece of the blade, which is all he needs for his plans.
BEYOND SALVATION: Wolverine helps up an injured and angry Cyclops and tells him what Daken has done. He also tells him that he cannot give him back the Muramasa Blade, which Cyclops also refuses. Instead, he orders Wolverine to track Daken down with it and deal with him, permanently. Wolverine refuses to kill his own son only to have Cyclops admonish him, saying that Daken is beyond saving and that Wolverine’s quest to do so is nothing more than selfishness. Wolverine ignores him and walks off.
TINKERER TOYS: Nine hours later…an impatient Tinkerer, whom Daken recruited to help with the bonding process, awaits to meet him somewhere at Grand Central Station, New York. Nick Fury successfully tracks him down and dispatches Wolverine to the scene.
OCCUPIED!: Wolverine, who was nearby, follows the Tinkerer, making his way through the station as he sees him wheelchair into a men’s bathroom. He waits for the old man to exit, which he never does, and goes in after him. The bathroom seems deserted, no sign of the Tinkerer, and then Wolverine catches a scent. He looks down at one of the men’s room stalls and sees a pair of boots. Suddenly, Wolverine recognizes the scent and is surprised. He quickly launches into action, pulling on his mask and popping his claws as he approaches the stall with lightning speed. As his claws make contact with the stall door, a hulking fist smashes out. Wolverine is pummeled and thrown across the room. As he struggles to get up, he remembers what Nick Fury had told him about the blind and mute baby who was Victor Hudson and how his mother had killed herself before a church congregation, claiming that the baby was taken back by the devil himself into his bosom. Above Wolverine, we see the silent and powerful Victor, fists clenched.
THIS IS NOT THE TRAIN TO THE LAND OF MAKE-BELIEVE: An impatient Tinkerer meets an amused Daken underneath the station, in an abandoned tunnel. An old, derelict train pulls up ready to take them to the next phase of Daken’s plan.
THOUGHTS FROM A HUMAN’S POINT OF VIEW: The struggle to stop Daken’s plan from coming to fruition continues. The X-Men get a chance to redeem themselves a bit, as opposed to last issue’s debacle. Daniel Way does a better job in this issue of portaying their strengths in battle.
What I still have trouble getting used though (and it’s not Way’s fault) is the relentless Cyclops with his exteme views of dealing with mutantkind’s enemies. It’s a bit jarring.
This book is gelling better with me as it progresses. All-in-all this was a good issue. I admit I wasn’t sure how I felt about the Wolverine/Daken relationship at the beginning, but I grow more invested with every issue. As much as Logan tries to make himself a loner, he’s always drawn to a stable family environment or at least struggles to build his own, until it falls apart. Generally, the X-men “family” has been the most stable one he’s ever had, despite their ups and downs. He’s also played the mentor or father figure role to more than one young, impressionable girl, which I believe makes him feel more grounded. But, he now knows that he has a son, a son who was born from the same type of tragedy and loss that has haunted and plagued his entire existence. And now, as a grown man, he preys upon others in a twisted game of manipulation and death, all to benefit him. It’s easy to see why Logan feels the need to at least try saving him, even if it looks bleak and even if it puts him at odds with those who believe otherwise. In saving him, he’s saving a part of himself. However, the cost in doing so may become too much.
Either way, I am curious to see what blood-stained road that Logan and Daken will travel on next, especially once Romulous enters on-stage.
Feel free to let me know how this review strikes you…Do you like the recap? Is it unnecessary? Share your opinion (or your own review), but please be kind, otherwise you might find me watching the movie Ishtar in an endless loop, until I pass out.