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Hunt For Wolverine #1 Review

by Charles Martin on April 25, 2018

Hunt For Wolverine #1 Review
Writer: Charles Soule
Artist (A-Story): David Marquez
Penciller (B-Story): Paulo Siquiera [sic, it should be Siqueira, way to go, title page writer]
Inker (B-Story): Walden Wong
Colourist (A-Story): Rachelle Rosenberg
Colourist (B-Story): Ruth Redmond
Letterer: Joe Sabino
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Scripting duties for the resurrection of Wolverine fall to Charles Soule. Fair enough, he's the one who killed the guy. He presents a two-part story that reveals a wild twist about how Logan was interred and then flings a grab bag of Marvel A-listers out to track him down. 

The how of Logan's resurrection remains as much mystery as ever by the end of the issue, though.

The A story opens with a desperate pack of Reavers assaulting the cabin where Logan's adamantium-covered corpse is stashed. Secret alarms summon a squad of A-list X-Men (and Zoidberg Firestar!) to tear them up.

This is intercut with scenes of the X-Men laying him to rest. It's a nice chance to get a few more lines out of OG Cyclops, and it also introduces a satisfying complication with Logan's interment. It's scripted with cleverness and great insight into the characters. The payoff to that twist, delivered when the narrative catches back up to the Reaver attack, is surely the high point of the issue.

The A story also sketches out a more sinister status quo for the resurrected Logan. So much for those happy-go-lucky "after-credits scenes" they've been salting all over Marvel comics; suddenly it looks like he's fallen into some nasty "mind-controlled assassin" shenanigans. But Logan's present condition is more uncertain than ever; this glimpse raises way more questions than it answers.

The B story is where the wheels start coming off. Once Kitty Pryde knows that Logan is missing, she fires off a lot of heroes to go hunt him down. Most make decent in-universe sense: Tony Stark Assembles some Mighty Avengers alumni, fine; Lady Deathstrike gets tipped off by a Reaver, fine; Kitty herself assembles an all-female (?) X-squad to chase him, fine. But she also taps Daredevil to go on the search? 

Is there any justification for that beyond "Charles Soule is writing him right now?" Not really. Kitty spits some nonsense about him having "a history" with Logan and "just knowing things" that falls flat even before she finishes the sentence. And in double-inexplicable territory, Daredevil summarizes the situation in a way that, after the A story, we know is inaccurate. Is Kitty intentionally withholding information from him? Why? 

Visually, this is a start-to-finish powerful presentation. David Marquez is close to the top of his game - which is a mighty lofty spot - for the A story. Rachelle Rosenberg helps out by spreading a wide selection of colours: The night-time Reaver attack, the dusky cabin flashback, and a bright wilderness funeral scene all get separate, gorgeous palettes. The A story is the strongest part of this issue, and a lot of its strengths reside in the way Mr. Marquez and Ms. Rosenberg sell the emotional turmoil Logan's friends are going through.

Paulo Siqueira does a magnificent job of living up to the standard set by Mr. Marquez when he pencils the B story. Walden Wong's inks contribute further polish to the presentation, and Ruth Redmond delivers heavier, more saturated colours that echo the expanding scope of the plot. The Hunt for Wolverine is turning into an Epic Crossover Event here, and the bright, clean visuals match that feeling perfectly.

The heavy hand of editorial edict is just too clear in the B story: "We're continuing the Hunt for Wolverine in these four miniseries, Chuck. Pitch into all of them and make it work!" "Which one has Teen Jean Grey, like we showed in Legacy?" "Ahh, nobody wants to use her, Chuck, you'll have to write her out." 

(Yeah, I'm salty about that; I like Teen Jean.)

I am just too exhausted to get enthusiastic about a big, messy, expensive resurrection event. We just got Jean Grey and Tony Stark and Bruce Banner back. I'm all resurrected out. I'm certainly not up for a sprawling crossover that doesn't even have the decency to identify the "main" plotline I should follow if I'm on a tight budget. It doesn't help that the Hunt for Wolverine is showing signs of internal inconsistency (that misinformed Daredevil) right at the start, even before Marvel adds multiple authors to the mix.

Finally, I was not at all thrilled to plow through 41 pages of "Wolverine's alive!" action with a too-big cast that was also somehow too small to include any of Logan's alternates. The man's got a son, a clone, a grand-clone, a post-apocalyptic alter-ego, and an alternate-universe son tooling around, and none of them have any bearing on his resurrection? Ah, but thank God, we had space to find out what ☠☠☠☠ Doop had to say at Logan's funeral. 

(I still love you, Doop! You were just not cracking the top 50 on my list of "characters I'd like to see in the Hunt for Wolverine!")

The Hunt for Wolverine presents terrific visuals throughout and some genuinely touching moments in the A story. The B story, though, charts out a roadmap for a vast crossover event that's already looking bloated and unsatisfying. By itself, this issue is a decent read and a very pretty one, but the continuation of the story across four different miniseries looks promising for only the most indulgent and well-heeled Wolverine superfans. 
 

Our Score:

7/10

A Look Inside

Comments

Charles Martin's picture
So who's next on the nonstop resurrection docket? Cyclops? I'm pulling for Rhodey, personally.
Charles Martin's picture
I swear I made that comment prior to reading Iron Man #599 and I really thought I was being absurd. I have gotta stop underestimating Marvel's shamelessness.