Sunday, 12 July 2015

Death of Wolverine: Wolverines, Volume 1: Dancing with the Devil Review (Charles Soule, Nick Bradshaw)

The Wolverines are: Mystique, Sabretooth, Lady Deathstrike, Daken and X-23. Together with Paradise (the team from The Weapon X Program book) their task is to find and retrieve Logan’s adamantium-encased body from Dr Cornelius’ abandoned facility. But, wuh-oh, naughty Mr Sinister steals it first! Now they gotta steal it back! 

Considering the books leading up to this weekly series (The Weapon X Program, The Logan Legacy) were so terrible, it was a pleasant surprise to discover the first volume of Wolverines is an ok read. Charles Soule and Ray Fawkes write alternating issues so the quality ebbs and flows (seemingly everything Fawkes touches turns to garbage) while the art changes with each issue, as is usually the case with weekly titles - Nick Bradshaw is the big name attached though he only draws the first ish. 

I would’ve preferred if Wolverines was just about the known Wolverine-related characters rather than include this new bunch, Paradise, created by Soule because they suuuck! They’re like the cast-offs from Soule’s Inhuman series! And Paradise - ick, what a crap team name! 

Soule continues adding to the Marvel Universe with Fantomelle and her talking wolf companion, Pep - basically the female version of Fantomex. I didn’t mind her but she’s clearly very derivative. 

She does feature in the best scene in the book where she’s hired to steal The Punisher’s t-shirt! Frank’s reaction to her psychic attack was really funny for being so on point for his character - I kinda wish Soule was writing The Punisher instead of Daredevil. It’s a nice call-back to Soule’s brief stint on Thunderbolts too. 

I also liked Sinister’s clone assistants, Starky Gripes and co. They add a nice touch of levity to the oppressive nature of the gloomy teams’ mood. The downside is the reference to the notorious Spider-Man storyline, the Clone Saga. 

There was a bit too much gratuitous Big Dumb Fighting, particularly as it starred mostly D-list characters, which took up too many pages. And while Bradshaw’s art was terrific, the other artists’ contributions were… just ok. They wildly differed in style and certainly added a lot more variety than usual to a Marvel collected edition.

Dancing with the Devil is a mixed bag. It’s sometimes interesting, sometimes not, but there’s definitely something more substantial and fun here than in any of the other Death of Wolverine-related volumes that we’ve seen so far. It’s no must-read but it’s worth a look if you’re a fan of Soule’s work.

Wolverines, Volume 1: Dancing with the Devil

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