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Wolverine Paperback – March 18, 2009
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After enjoying Hugh Jackman's portrayal of Wolverine in the X-Men films, I was looking forward to reading his first solo appearance in comics. Wolverine is an enjoyable and memorable story of romance and action that leaves a lasting impression.
The story follows Wolverine's return to Japan to visit his old flame, and what follows is a story that breaks Wolverine down and builds him back up again in a way that will make you unable to resist audibly cheering for him as he fights to regain his honor and discover his own humanity. This comic feels like a perfect blend between old and new styles of the medium: the pencils by the talented (not yet legendary when this was first published) Frank Miller evoke a modern sensibility, while the colors are old-fashioned, but still have a coherent palate. Claremont uses plenty of internal monologue to convey Wolvie's thoughts and feelings as the story progresses, and it works quite well. One can't help but wonder if Frank Miller picked up on this style and later used it to great effect in Batman: The Dark Knight Returns and Batman: Year One. The art and writing converge to near perfection near the end of the third issue, including what might be one of my favorite pages in all of comics, and perhaps the one page that would define who Wolverine is more than any other. You'll know it when you read it: it's good stuff.
The two issues from Uncanny X-Men are nice to have from a value standpoint, but ultimately unnecessary and less serious than the limited series that precedes it in the trade. They focus on the aftermath of the events in Wolverine on the X-Men and are ultimately forgettable on their own. If you are a fan of the X-Men you may get more mileage out of these. Frank Miller is NOT the artist on these issues, which is unfortunate because his pencils were quite good on Wolverine. Still, you can't complain about added extras when they don't detract from the main event.
Wolverine is a fascinating and exciting read that I would recommend to anyone who has an interest in the character. It was an excellent starting point for me personally, having no prior knowledge about Wolvie from comic books, only from the movies. It is a story that you will want to read again after finishing it. It's just that good.
Read it if you like: Hugh Jackman's portrayal, Japanese culture, Good Sequential Art and Storytelling
Don't read it if you dislike: Added bloat in the form of extra issues (although I don't believe that they take away from the actual story, and I'll take all the value I can get)
Early Frank Miller art and when Chris Claremont was on point.
I'm just glad I took in some proper 616 canon. Was great to see the X-men of yore all together. The art is nice, though I confess to having missed the more modern style from the Ultimate U, not least the full page action/ hero shots. The plot is unpredictable and the characterisation is solid; vintage Miller really. The man has revived so many doddering franchises (Daredevil, Batman) that what he does with the iconic Wolverine is in that sense predictably delightful. Well worth the money.
Most recent customer reviews
Claremont and miller really knew what they were doing. Great job!