Thursday, 19 December 2013

Wolverine: Dangerous Games Review (Gregg Hurwitz, Rick Remender)

Dangerous Games is a collection of seven Wolverine one-shot comics, each one a standalone story that anyone can read and follow whether you’re familiar with Wolverine or not. Unfortunately, despite their accessibility most of the stories are garbage! It’s strange that the quality of the stories are so bad given the talent involved like Gregg Hurwitz, Rick Remender and Chris Yost. 

In each story, Wolverine is attacked by some bad guys, he waits until it’s near the end of the story, then SNICKT - repeat x 6. Has anyone read Si Spurrier’s comics? This guy is now among my most disliked comics writers. He is the pits. Numbercruncher was awful, I’m trudging my way through X-Men: Legacy (four attempts to get through a six-issue book but I will not be beaten!), and his contribution to this book, featuring fox-hunting English stereotypes, was a trial to read and by far the worst story in a bunch of bad stories. 

Mike Carey provided the only respite with his story Firebreak where Wolverine was temporarily blinded and helped a family escape a forest fire with his nose. The story is framed by the family, whose husband and wife are going through marital troubles (he cheated), who then have to escape the fire headed their way, and then they encounter Wolverine. The meeting of real world and Marvel is a potent one and seeing ordinary people getting dragged into a superhero’s world is an interesting story to read. That Wolverine was vulnerable and being hunted by HYDRA only heightened the tension and excitement. Firebreak was a really excellent story. 

There were moments in the story where Wolverine and Trance were held captive that were decent. Wolverine’s trying to psyche a terrified Trance into busting him free by telling her all the ways he can be killed and prove that he’s not invulnerable. They are pretty extreme deaths but then nothing about Wolverine is moderate!

Dangerous Games underlines the difficulty Marvel has of putting out good solo books for Wolverine. He’s a great, enormously popular character but he’s so hard to get right on his own. While accessible to lay readers, Dangerous Games is a helluva boring book, especially for long-time readers of the character. Mike Carey’s story is the only one worth reading but it’s not really worth seeking out just to read it.

Wolverine: Dangerous Games

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