Comic Book Review – Hunt for Wolverine #1 (Marvel Comics)

Adam reads as many comics as he can afford. Then he reviews one every other week.

This week I picked up Hunt for Wolverine #1 from Marvel Comics, written by Charles Soule with art on the first story ‘Secrets and Lives’ from David Marquez and Rachelle Rosenberg, and on ‘Hunter’s Pryde’ from Paulo Siquiera, Walden Wong and Ruth Redmond. Lettering was provided by VC’s Joe Sabino, with cover art from Steve McNiven, Jay Leisten and Laura Martin.

Cover art by Steve McNiven, Jay Leisten and Laura Martin

Wolverine has been dead for a couple of years. Spoilers I guess. We reviewed the final issue of Death of Wolverine here. back in 2014 While the revolving door of death in comic books made his eventual return a certainty, it isn’t like the Marvel universe has been devoid of a Wolverine in the meantime. It’s had two in fact – Old Man Logan, deposited into the regular universe following Secret Wars for reasons I don’t remember, and X-23 who took on Logan’s mantle while he was dead. For whatever reason now though, he is in the process of returning. Logan has been popping up in several other teasers to tie in to the Infinity Quest upcoming event, but Hunt for Wolverine kicks off his return proper.

The first story is action heavy and involves the Reavers turning up to try and steal Wolverine’s body, encased in the solid adamantium shell that led to his death when the molten alloy was poured over him. The X-Men turn up to foil this attempt, that turns out to be largely pointless anyway. They took the body out after his death, essentially leaving a metal shrine to Logan. Cue a big fight, followed by more confusion as to where the body actually is. Part 2 of this issue leads on from the realisation on the part of the X-Men that the body isn’t where they think it is either. What follows is Kitty Pryde recruiting several disparate groups to join the search for Wolverine, including Tony Stark and some past and present Avengers, Daredevil, and one of the other groups of X-Men.

There is a consistency with Soule that leads on from Death… to Hunt… that shows clearly through the two stories. However, as this issue focuses more on the X-Men than Wolverine himself, Soule is given the opportunity to stretch out here and does it well. A few of the characters have little to do or say, but voices like Kitty Pryde come through as strongly as that character should. The first story, ‘Secrets and Lives’, is the meat of the issue here. The action is a lot of fun, the dialogue not too distracting or overblown. While there is interesting material in the second story, ‘Hunter’s Pryde’, that part of the issue unfortunately plays out like an advert for the 4 separate series that will continue the story of Wolverine’s return and as such is less strong.The characterisations there as still great, and overall this is a well written issue.

Art by David Marquez, Rachelle Rosenberg and Joe Sabino

The main draw for me to check out Hunt for Wolverine was David Marquez’s art. Civil War II, while a bit of an unnecessary mess from a story perspective, was a gorgeous book. As was the recent Defenders series. Here Marquez has the opportunity to flex his artistic muscles with some great fights that seem grander than what was on show in The Defenders without being weighed down by the sheer number of characters in Civil War II. He also manages to draw everyone as distinctly beautiful, even Reed Richards with his weird neck. I was a little disappointed when I realised Marquez wasn’t drawing the whole book, but Siquiera’s art in the second shorter story is still good, despite no action taking place, with the strengths there on the character work and some very nice backgrounds.

Hunt for Wolverine is worth picking up if you are a big Logan fan and want to know where he has been and what is coming next. The art is great, and the characterisations and dialogue from Soule are good too. At times it reads a lot like an advert for what is coming next, which is pretty typical for comics, but the fact that what is next is 4 separate series, it seems a little far and unfriendly to the wallet. Even so, I think this is a good issue and worth your time.

Score: 6.5 Adamantium shells out of 10

Comic Review: The Defenders #4 (Marvel Comics)

Adam reads as many comics as he can afford. Then he reviews one every other week.

This week will be a bit of a short review (its late!), but I picked up The Defenders #4 from Marvel Comics, written by Brian Michael Bendis and drawn by David Marquez, with colours from Justin Ponsor and letters from VC’s Cory Petit.

Cover by Marquez & Ponsor

This iteration of The Defenders stars Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist and Daredevil (hey, isn’t there a TV show coming soon with this exact team?), as they face off against a back-from-the-dead Diamondback, who is not only pushing a new deadly drug onto the streets, but also seems to have equally deadly superpowers of his own. He has already beaten Cage, and at the close of issue #3 it looked like he had put Iron First down permanently. But now that members of this newly formed Defenders team have started to work together a little more, Diamondback may have bitten off a little more than he can chew with these heroes.

It is interesting to see how much The Defenders has been informed by the Netflix shows, or at least what has been well regarded about them. Most of the characters are consistent between the comic and TV show versions (Diamondback not so much). However, Danny Rand is much more in line with the comic book version of the character, and the series is better for it. But there does seem to be a leaning on recognizable elements, and the next threat the team will face looks to be no different. However, with issue #4 wrapping up the initial conflict with Diamondback, this has been a very kinetic, simple and fun story.

Art by Marquez, Ponsor & Petit

However, as with Civil War II last year, the real headline for this book is David Marquez’s art. Everything in these 4 issues has been consistently great, with superb character work and even stronger action. The start of the issue is quick but subdued, with some very good shadow effects in the club and facial work from both the couple partaking in the Diamond drug, and the journalists at The Bugle. But the 3 pages with  Iron Fist unleashing his full power on Diamondback was gorgeous work from Marquez, and Ponsor’s use of dazzling yellow fire and red strikes made those pages sing.

The Defenders #4 is a fun cap to a very enjoyable opening arc. Bendis knows how to write team books and he knows how to write these characters. But David Marquez turns this into a truly strong book, and well worth picking up. Check it out digitally or in our local comic book shop now!

Score: 8 Emergency Transfers out of 10