Overview

Wolverine #42

Review

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Wolverine #42

Credits

  • Words: Marc Guggenheim
  • Art: Humberto Ramos
  • Inks: Carlos Cuevas
  • Colors: Edgar Delgado
  • Story Title: Vendetta: Part 1
  • Publisher: Marvel Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: May 24, 2006

Spinning out of Civil War, Wolverine takes on a personal mission to track down Nitro, the man responsible for killing hundreds of children and making "superhuman" a dirty word.

After dispatching an anti-hero terrorist threat, Logan learns of the fateful events occurring in Stamford, Connecticut involving the New Warriors. As he rushes to aid in the rescue/clean-up, a dark figure in Latveria enters the fray. Logan later finds that public opinion against the superhuman community has gone toward the untrustworthy, and he’s seen enough.

For awhile now, Wolverine has focused closely on Logan’s personal journeys with only the slightest hint of his team affiliations. This issue reaches a fine balance of both, with the re-creation of several scenes in Civil War #1 involving the Avengers and a few moments in the Xavier Institute with leaders of the X-Men. These moments highlight the politics Logan must deal with both before and during his actions in the world; and it also points out that very few, if any teammates and he ever really see eye to eye.

For most of the issue, Guggenheim’s script is pretty standard fare—Logan kicks ass, goes for a drink, threatens some people who wisely reconsider their positions and broods over what has befallen his "kind." Then, as promised by the Civil War tie-in, the finer points of a Superhuman Registration Act are pondered and discussed. This is where the script hits its most thought-provoking highs and where Wolverine becomes a well-rounded superhero. In a short conversation with Luke Cage, Logan makes analogies between this registration and the one implemented by the Nazis for Jews during WWII. With any other character in the Marvel Universe (save, perhaps, Captain America) this discussion might come off as false and preachy, but because of the Wolverine issue written not long ago by Mark Millar, we know that it’s true when Logan mentions his ties to his "friends back in Germany." It is a beautiful use of continuity during a time when continuity is often overlooked.

I was completely surprised by Humberto Ramos’ art here. The angular and overly distorted figures he created during his run on Spectacular Spider-Man several years ago are but a bad, distant memory. The pencils are still distinctively angular (though even that is "softer" than before), but the distortion is practically gone. That may be due to Cuevas reining in Ramos by creating thicker lines with a good deal of shading. And maybe it’s the overall dark coloring scheme that covers all the flaws. I suspect, though, that it is Ramos evolving as an artist, perhaps taking past criticism to heart in order to improve himself.

Anyone hoping to learn more about Civil War from this issue isn’t going to find much. This is mostly a set-up for how Wolverine plans to face a world that hates him for more than just being a mutant. It is, as the story title suggests, about his personal vendetta against a man who has changed the public’s perception of their "heroes" in one tragic moment.

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