Thursday, June 9, 2011

Comic of the Week

You know why I don't worry about the reboot or anything else that comics companies do? Because ultimately, we still have great creators working in comics. Characters are not inherently interesting or boring. It all depends on who's writing them and what they do with them. Has it all been done before? Maybe. But a good creator can always put a fresh or different spin on it, or just do it very, very well. In any case, it's stories we come to comics for and stories are written (and drawn, in this case) by the creators of the comics. Superman is not limited by anything other than what writers can think of to do with him. What does this have to do with anything?  I say all this to put into context how surprising it is that my pick this week is Jason Aaron's Wolverine, for two issues in a row now: a character I and many others have adamantly said was overused and boring and done. And this from me, who mainly reads DC books, but has been coming back to Marvel little by little, thanks to creators like Aaron.

The last issue, I called a 70's action movie. I also said it could be some unmade Tarantino film. This issue is a little harder to pin down, but the style is still somewhere in the grainy film past. Wolverine is off to find the people responsible for sending him to hell and now knows where to look. What he, and we, don't know is who they are and why they are after him. But we start to learn in this issue. We basically get a flashback to the 1930's, through the eyes of the man leading this crusade against Logan. Wolverine killed this guy's bastard of a father while he watched, and so the kid made it his life's mission to find Wolverine and avenge his father. Of course, he soon learned that wouldn't be easy to do. But, apparently, he eventually develops a new plan and recruits other people like him, wronged by Wolverine over the years, and now their plan is coming to fruition.
I can't say there's anything big about this issue that makes it compare to the chase scenes or overall tone of the last issue. Sure, the scenes in the past do have a dusty feel to them that puts you in the moment. But ultimately, it's just a solid plot that may work whether it's about Wolverine or anyone, but is very much about Wolverine. You can take him out of it, and you might have a revenge tale, but it would lose something vital. Wolverine has always been a guy with a haunted past, and this story addresses that in a way that I don't think I've seen done. Here, his past is coming back to get him, but it's not some Russian superspy that's after him. It's just regular human beings who have had to deal with the same past as him, although from a different angle. And maybe this has been done before. Maybe I just didn't read it. But I'm willing to bet, if it has been done before, it hasn't  been done this well.

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