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Wolverine #63

Posted: Tuesday, March 11, 2008
By: Bryant Frattalone

Jason Aaron
Ron Garney
Marvel Comics
Editor's Note: Wolverine #63 arrives in stores tomorrow, March 12.

Plot: Logan pursues Raven, and Raven evades him at every turn, but the big standoff is coming.

Commentary: Basically, we get more of the same cat and mouse antics between Wolverine and Mystique that Aaron and Garney delivered up last issue. There are some new plot twists regarding details about their past together, and their conflict escalates once again in the closing pages of the issue. It's okay to me that the plot is basically the same and is going to be the same until the end of Aaron's run. That plot simply being, "Get Mystique!." Aaron is returning Mystique to her heartless terrorist roots and frankly, that's how we love this character. She continues to do the nasty and despicable in her evasion of a hotly pursuing Wolverine. It's entertaining to watch these two use everything and anyone within arms' reach to obtain their goals. Aaron is using these characters to their fullest and most extreme potential. Yes, Wolverine gets riddled with bullets, but rather than just providing scenes of Logan being riddled with bullets like we've seen so many times before, Aaron takes this opportunity to give us Logan's reaction and thoughts to being shot so often and so many times in his career. Another thing Aaron does well is give us some dark humor in the way Logan deals with being peppered by ordinance. In one scene he literally "spits bullets" into a spittoon and states he's been doing so for days.

We also get the first mention of Logan's beginnings and life as the sickly child James Howlett, something we really haven't gotten since Origin was published not so long ago. It would be welcome if Aaron continued to explore those early days of the burgeoning berseker we've come to know and love in fandom. What Aaron does with this character is better by far than that what Way is doing over in the woefully disappointing Origins. Marvel should be building upon and expanding on what Paul Jenkins, Bill Jemas and Joe Quesada started. Origins should be cancelled as all it does is try and fit Wolverine's history in with every other Marvel Character out there or introduce less than shocking and monumental contrivances such as Wolverine's son! (Barf!) In Aaron I believe Marvel has found a writer who can bring respectability back to Wolverine and tell competent back stories for him.

Case in point is the part of this issue where we return briefly back to 1920s Kansas city to catch up with the younger Logan and Raven and their relationship. Before I go on let me say that Garney's art in this run is probably the best I've ever seen from him. Parts of it even evoke the great comics art family of the Kubert's and that's high praise indeed. Seeing Garney's 1920s Kansas City you can almost hear the pianos playing the Charleston, the sound of carriage wheels clopping alongside the newly introduced horseless carriages and smell the smoke and liquor in the bar-room scenes. The character of Mystique is also more developed as we see that even back then, as later on with the New Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, she spent her time gathering up teammates for her own selfish purposes. Mystique is a sadistic user, and Aaron paints her in all her despicable beauty. Man, this is good stuff. Gone is secret/double agent Mystique trying to find redemption as a government operative and then as a secret agent for Charles Xavier. Those are parts of her history I would love to forget and Aaron's return to her roots almost makes me do that.

Aaron's storytelling chops show again as later in the book we get another present day bar-room scene where Logan catches up with Raven. It's great contrast to the scene from 87 years ago. This scene is followed up by the desperation of both characters causing them to escalate their differences beyond single skirmishes and using a handful of flunkies. Both are out to recruit their own little armies to finish this once and for all. Mystique, of course, does this by slight of hand and subtlety while Wolverine prefers a more bold and direct approach. Again, great contrast between these two antagonists.

Final Word: A tour de force as you like it from the consummate Wolverine team of Jason Aaron and Ron Garney.







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