This latest issue of Wolverine -- the start of a new story arc -- has Logan embark on an adventure to Mexico as he has finally hunted down the individuals responsible for sending him to hell. Now he has his mind set on extracting his revenge the only way he knows how, in blood.
Setting out to review this issue has been a difficult situation to be placed in as for every cool moment to be had comes with a moment of disbelief that leaves you scratching your head in confusion. The main antagonist for our clawed Canadian X-Men comes in the form of an organization known as the Red Right Hand and a small statured elderly gentleman who has been chasing Wolverine for over half a century.
By way of some interesting flashbacks we learn just what caused these two men to cross paths. As it turns out Wolverine was brought in to "negotiate" with the owner of a series of Kentucky coal mines on behalf of the workers and their want for better provisions. Wolvie doesn't take kindly when the mining owner lashes out in a drunken stupor and takes the inebriated man's life right in front of his young sons very eyes. As you can guess, the boy vows vengeance on Wolverine and we are treated to a series of events that depict the fatherless boy attempting to kill Logan -- all unsuccessfully, of course.
Those murder attempts are the source of my main fault with this issue. It is understandable that Wolverine may give an assailant a free pass once, even if that pass may involve said attacker spending some time in traction. However, repeated attempts at killing Wolverine would only cause the famous berserker rage to rear its ugly head and result in a grisly death for his attacker. But that is not the case, as his nemesis goes on to front the Red Right Hand, who now has Wolvie in a precarious position as present day Logan has infiltrated their stronghold, out for blood.
Jason Aaron crafts a story that features some positive elements but suffers in the fact that Wolverine would never, never, allow someone such as an ordinary human the chance to get the drop on him repeatedly. Isn't Logan one of the most feared men alive and for a damn good reason? I understand that you must take liberties for the sake of the story, but it just felt to forced to be believed. Yet the rest of the contents of this issue are surprisingly strong in contrast. The uniting factor in the formation of the Red Right Hand and even the kooky adversaries that Wolverine is up against are cool enough in their own right. The mutant(?) Cannonfoot has the ability to launch object with his feet at a great velocity a la a cannon and the bondage chick looks promising though we aren't treated to much of her.
The art team lead by penciller Renato Guedes provided a good outing in this issue and provide a nice visual counterpart to the story as a whole. Despite that belies the fact that there are too many inconsistent storytelling decisions to make this anything more than an average read. Perhaps the rest of the arc will perform at a higher level because the key pieces to do so are definitely evident. However, this is an average read as is.
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