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Wolverine: Enemy of the State Paperback – June 25, 2008
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As a character, Wolverine is overused. He's also underwritten. Most writers have a hard time bringing out the qualities in the character that make him interesting. Mark Millar has no such problems here as he presents a character most know as a hero in the role of a villain.
You can read the plot in the item description, but know that it merely scratches the surface of this tale (which would make a great movie, by the way). When Wolverine goes rogue, some of Marvel's finest are out to take him down. It's a task that is a daunting as it is messy, and the various outcomes will leave your head spinning.
This is great stuff from Millar and artist John Romita, Jr.. If you are a Wolverine fan and haven't read this yet, you can't waste another minute.
I won't give anything away here, but the story involves Wolverine, that lovable killing machine, doing what he does best against a whole lot of people who have done him wrong. It is brutal (though not as brutal as the first part), and it will go down in the history of the character as one of the best storylines involving him. That's not hyperbole. Read both parts and then say differently.
In case you hadn't noticed, the cover is an homage to Jim Steranko, one of comic's best creators. Normally such a move would be meant to distract readers from a subpar plot. Here it is an homage in the finest sense of the word. It is done out of respect, and it is thoroughly fitting based upon the story.
Wolverine is an overused, overhyped character. Few writers do him well. Few writers give him any depth. While there may not be much depth to the character here (at least not when compared to what Chris Claremont did with him), there is one bang-up job of a story that is pure action through and through.
The "Wolverine: Enemy Of The State" epic is one of the most thoroughly enjoyable, fast-paced, no-holds barred superhero stories I've read in quite a while. Too often nowadays these big story arcs seem to wrap up in a hurry and have a weak ending -- such is NOT the case here: Mark Millar built up the tension, sustained the action and kept the pace just right, from beginning to end. Job well done. Here, Wolverine breaks free of the mind control that Hydra trapped him with, and is thus set loose to slice and dice to his heart's desire. Plenty of zombie ninja bite the dust, and Logan once again reasserts his butt-kicking bona fides. If you're looking for a good, simple, slam-bang superhero story, this is a darn good choice. (ReadThatAgain!)
I wasn't as impressed with this volume (and, by association, the ending). The first volume saw Wolverine going up against other heroes (some that he doesn't often have much screen time with, even), and was written to show the character's inner monologue (which was actually his new HYDRA/HAND programming) and turmoil (the noble Logan trying to break free of this latest mental manipulation).
This second volume picks up after Logan has been taken down by the combined might of the X-Men, Avengers, SHIELD, and probably a host of other superheroes that John Romita, Jr. could just not fit in the panels. I was surprised to see them taking the time to show SHIELD still attempting to break Logan free of the aforementioned programming, but I thought it could be interesting. Turns out, not so much. The de-programming was never completed, but Wolverine miraculously rises with absolutely no hint of his previous programming coming up for the remainder of the book. Not even a hint of him losing it in a fight (dancing the line between "berzerker rage" and "mind-controlled assassin"), talking to himself, or questioning his actions. So the rest of the book is just mindless shredding through an estimated 50,000 bad guys until finding the boss battle--the Gorgon.
I would've liked to have seen what another writer could've done with this character, the Gorgon. No offense to Millar, who has written some very entertaining stories. He's great at large, Hollywood-style stories, and can add some interesting quirks to his characters. And I love, love, love, John Romita, Jr (look for his Spider-Man towards the end of the book)! Even still, I was just not as enthused by this half, and I really had to work to get through it. But I admit freely that some time had passed between the time I picked up the first half and this purchase.