Wolverine goes to Hell in his new series, and it's devilishly good stuff.
Credits & Solicit Info:
Written by Jason Aaron
Illustrated by Renato Guedes, Jose Wilson Magalhes, Matt Wilson and Jason Latour
Acclaimed author JASON AARON (ASTONISHING SPIDER-MAN AND WOLVERINE, WEAPON X) and superstar artist RENATO GUEDES (Action Comics, Adventures of Superman) launch an all-new ongoing Wolverine series as Wolverine goes to hell... literally! Someone's out to destroy Wolverine-permanently-and they may have succeeded. But if Wolverine's soul is in hell, how is his body terrorizing those closest to him?
Marvel Comics - $3.99
For a character that's supposedly uber-popular, it seems there are a lot of comics fans who don't really like Wolverine. I'd put this down to a dilution of the brand, there's so much of Wolverine out there, readers are getting over-exposed to Wolvy, and then the back-lash begins. Which is a shame, because he really is a top-notch character, and one deserving of attention. Hopefully this new relaunch and streamlining of the 'Wolverine Family' of books (with Daken and X-23 getting new ongoings, all we need now is a Wolverine's Pal, Jimmy Olsen title) will help fans who've wandered away from Wolverine come back, and really enjoy some top-notch Snikty action.
And with Jason Aaron, they've certainly got the best man for the job, this new #1 is basically a continuation of the sterling work Aaron has been doing on the Wolverine: Weapon X title, a book which for some reason seemed to have gone under many people's radars. But he's probably the best writer to work on Wolverine in a long time, he knows the character, and gets right to the core of who and what Logan is.
This new title kicks off a big new epic storyline entitled 'Wolverine Goes To Hell', it's a simple title, and it's basically what the story is. Wolverine does indeed go to Hell, and he will indeed fight some demons. I'm pleased to see Aaron tackle religious themes in his Wolverine work, as it's something he did to great effect in his run on Ghost Rider. There, he turned his attentions to Heaven, but now we've got Hell. We've been promised appearances from many of the people Logan has killed and sent to Hell, so that's something to really look forward to, but I'm actually more interested in what Aaron has to say about the place, what is Hell? The conversation between Logan and Wraith at the issue's opening raises some interesting possibilities indeed.
But this isn't just Wolvy traipsing through fire and brimstone, his soul has been sent to hell, but where does that leave his body? Well, it's been possessed by some demons and is running amok, replete with some new demonic powers. We've seen Wolverine possessed and evil a few times before, most recently in Mark Millar and John Romita Jnr's 'Enemy Of The State' storyline, so I sincerely hope Aaron does something different with it. Odds on he will.
There's another factor to this issue, and it's that of Melita Garner, Wolverine's new, civilian girlfriend, who is attacked in her office at a San Francisco newspaper by an assortment of oddball villains, and then rescued by Mystique. Jason Aaron previously handled Mystique wonderfully in the 'Get Mystique' story, and so I'm excited to see what exactly her game is here. Add to that a mysterious conspiracy, and it's clear that Aaron has put quite a few irons in this fire, and we can expect multiple plots to weave nicely throughout his run.
The artwork here comes from Renato Guedes, an artist that will be familiar to Superman fans, as he drew large chunks of both Kurt Busiek's and James Robinson's runs on Big Blue. Now Wolverine is a very different character to Superman, and it's clear that what worked for one character won't work for the other, and so Guedes has made a slight shift in style, it's a little more line-heavy, and hence a little darker, and it works. His detailed lines come into their own in the scenes set in Hell, with the tall spires of impossible stone twist and turn, and on the hideous faces of the demons. He's a strong storyteller, and he looks to be a good fit for Wolverine and this storyline.
This issue also comes with a back-up story about the Silver Samurai, written by Aaron, and drawn by Jason Latour, and wow, does it look amazing. It's highly stylized, but it really is beautiful. It's hard to really describe how good it looks. Just check it out.
From this issue, Wolverine is off to a strong new beginning. Some fans may feel that there's too much Wolverine out there, but as of now, this is the only place to get solo stories about the character, it's the only place to get pure, uncut Wolverine, and it's damn good. You've got Aaron playing to his strengths, several interesting plots, and what looks to be fascinating take on Hell. If you say you hate Wolverine, check this out, and maybe you'll think again.
Review by: Niam Suggitt