Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Savage Wolverine, Volume 4: The Best There Is Review (Jen Van Meter, Gail Simone)

Savage Wolverine, a title that only made sense in the first book because Wolverine was in the Savage Land, is now the book that’s basically a collection of “Wolverine stories set in the past because everyone in the present is pretending he’s dead”. 

I didn’t like the book very much but that cover of Logan kneeling and looking up at the cherry blossom tree is so pretty...

Stories-wise, these are Wolverine comics alright! Wolverine fights American racists in 1963, protects Jubilee from AIM scientists, fights Al Capone in prohibition-era Chicago, fights German soldiers in WW1, and fights faceless bounty hunters alongside wolves in snowy mountains. 

It’s not that they’re badly written (they’re also not well-written either) more like they just didn’t interest me at all. It’s all stuff we’ve seen Wolverine do too many times before and, invariably, it comes down to him popping his claws and going to town on whoever’s stupid enough to think they stand a chance against him. Despite the historical backdrops, they’re unimaginative tales. 

One line (one!) stood out for me. It’s in Gail Simone’s Wolverine/Jubilee story where a worn-out Wolverine looks up, he’s imprisoned in yet another lab being tortured physically and mentally, Jean having kissed him briefly before fading away into his memories, and he says: “Nothing good is real.” That sums up the character pretty well, encapsulating his hard life and brutal experiences in a single panel. But regardless he keeps going, saves Jubilee and that’s why he’s a hero. 

Like the writers, the artists switch from issue to issue (except for the John Arcudi/Joe Quinones WW1 two-parter) but none of the art jumped out at me as anything special. Did I mention the beautiful cherry blossoms cover already? Oh… 

Savage Wolverine continues to be another sub-par Wolverine series though this one seems even more directionless and pointless than usual. “The Best There Is”? Nope, not even close! The search for a great Wolverine comic not written by Jason Aaron, Mark Millar, or Daniel Way continues!

Savage Wolverine, Volume 4: The Best There Is

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