"Enemy Of The State" Part 5 of 6
Writer: Mark Millar
Artists: John Romita Jr. (p), Klaus Janson (i)
Publisher: Marvel Knights
Just to be clear, Iím not claiming that this is Watchmen or something, so that bullet score up there is a relative value. This is about as good as a Wolverine story could be, and that's what the score reflects.
One big problem with this story so far has been that it's lacked focus, and that at times it's seemed that Millar has been making things up as he's been going along. This issue, however, we finally get some insight into the villains' plans, leading into a couple of wonderful twists. Of course, in retrospect it causes certain problems for the storyline as a whole, making the villains' scheme look rather too complicated for what it was designed to achieve. It's easy to set that aside though, as the story rattles along at a great pace, and it's always possible that Millar has an answer in mind.
Still, at the end of the day, what we have here is an issue of Wolverine fighting people that impresses mostly on the level of the plot, which is probably a sign of the apocalypse. I really enjoyed the twists and turns as we gradually learn how SHIELD and the villains' alliance have been trying to out-manoeuvre each other, with trap layered upon trap and scheme giving way to counter-scheme, with all this toing-and-froing effectively echoed in the more physical manoeuvres in the battle between Elektra and Gorgon, the representatives of the two factions. I'm probably being too generous towards Millar on this last point, but it was a nice touch that added some depth to the issue, even if it was accidental. The art is superb, with Romita and Janson clearly relishing the opportunity to depict some gratuitous violence, and I find myself impressed twice in the same week by a Marvel cover (that'll be Apocalyptic Portent number two, then). I don't think I've seen a fully painted JRJR image before, but I'd certainly like to see more, based on this cover. Richard Isanove does a great job of enriching Romita's drawing without obscuring his distinctive style, and I'd love to see them work on a full story together.
This is nothing special, but it's solid competent work that manages to impress despite the fact that it's bloody Wolverine. Great stuff.
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