Wolverine Week-43-in-Review: The Wolverine Tapestries

I’ve grown bored with the ‘Wolverine Week-in-Review’ format, so instead of merely listing the week’s (or in this case, the previous week’s) Wolverine appearances with snarky and curmudgeonly comments, I am going to try to speak more broadly to the Wolverine appearances of the week as they relate to the tapestry of the Marvel universe as it stands today.

Pretentious? Probably.

But at least I won’t be bored.

One of the problems I have with Marvel Comics today and comics in general, is that there are too many monthly titles and too many appearances for continuity to work effectively anymore. No one cares about older issues because of the deluge of current ones. When I started reading comics lo these many years ago (or to quote grandparents around the world, “When I was a kid…”), we were able to read most of the titles on the market in any given month and scour comic book stores for older issues to catch up with continuity. But those were the days of one X-Men title, one Hulk, one Fantastic Four and two Spider-Man titles a month. Continuity worked in that environment. It doesn’t now when one can find 12 Wolverine appearances in a single week. Continuity is a thing of the past, in my opinion, which means that readers no longer feel the same level of connectedness with the universe.

Why the rant? Well, it speaks to the two core Wolverine appearances of the week, Wolverine: Origins #41 (preview) and The Incredible Hulk #603 (preview). Both issues star Wolverine, Bruce Banner, Skaar (the Hulk’s son) and in spirit, Daken. But the two issues are separate stories, and seemingly separate continuities. Sure we can explain away the incongruities as we always do as comic book fans, but how can editors let these books go out in the same month? This was a perfect example of two books that should have been proactively crossing over instead of running confusingly parallel stories.

As for the issues themselves, I continue to be amazed at Daniel Way’s plotting in ‘Wolverine: Origins’. Wolverine defeated Romulus last issue but wouldn’t kill him for some feeble reasoning. So when this issue starts with Wolverine explaining that he just got his ass kicked by Romulus, I’m not sure how to react. And for someone who has befuddled Wolverine for a century, I find Romulus a rather disappointing nemesis. ‘Incredible Hulk’, on the other hand, is an intriguing tale from the mind of writer Greg Pak, with a wonderful series of twists, doublecrosses and out-of-left-field-perspectives. And the tag-team artwork by Ariel Olivetti and Giuseppe Camunculi is surprisingly well done.

‘Dark Avengers’ #10 (preview) continues to be ‘the’ book that defines ‘Dark Reign’. Mike Deodato’s artwork and perspectives makes this one of the most vibrant books coming out today, and Brian Michael Bendis is at the top of his game. While Daken plays a minor role this month, it’s still an outstanding read.

The ‘Dark Wolverine’ series started with such promise. Unfortunately, ‘Dark Wolverine’ #79 is a muddled mess, with once master-fighter Daken getting his ass handed to him by a group of D-list villains. The rest of the issue is spent on those same D-list villains trying to cut a deal with Norman Osborn, with a pinch of melodramatic and cliched sexual deviancy thrown in. I don’t know where Daken’s destiny in the Marvel Universe lies, but one hopes its not the petulant path this series is currently taking.

And finally, I missed Deadpool #900 last week, a mixed bag of  short Deadpool tales by Jason Aaron, Fred Van Lente, Mike Benson, Joe Kelly, Duane Swierczynski and others. Wolverine cameos in a single panel in what I like to call a Wolverine non-appearance appearance.

Let me know what you think of the new format in the comments below OR or simply join in on the fun at the Wolverine Files Forums

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