Overview

Wolverine #49

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Wolverine #49

Credits

  • Words: Rob Williams
  • Art: Laurence Campbell
  • Inks: Kris Justice
  • Colors: Paul Mounts
  • Story Title: Better to Give?
  • Publisher: Marvel Comics
  • Price: $3.99
  • Release Date: Dec 13, 2006

The holiday spirit is not in the air as Logan does a little shopping…and chopping.

Christmastime comics have been around for years. Most end up looking like lackluster, ham-fisted parodies that are shoehorned into a series for the sake of some false holiday cheer. Maybe I’m just being a Scrooge, but I expect a good story regardless of the season. While this extra-sized issue of Wolverine fits that bill, it is actually pretty enjoyable.

Wolvie hits the mall, and though he predictably detests shopping, his evening is about to get much more interesting. A spoiled, rich daddy’s girl is also at the mall, and though she has five body guards, Santa and his little helpers see her ransom as a way to get rich quick. Unfortunately for them, there is a hairy superhero with a bad attitude nearby that just loves to remedy these types of situations.

Prior to this issue, writer Rob Williams is probably best known for Com.X’s Cla$$war, which was artist Trevor Hairsine’s last project before being named one of Marvel’s "Young Guns." Some of his dialogue was a little corny, but that is pretty typical for the superhero/Christmas story. However, what I enjoyed about Williams’s story was that he didn’t focus the entire issue on the title character, rather pinning the majority of the narrative on the victim and the leader of "Black Christmess" (yes, Williams even makes fun of this silly moniker). Though this issue doesn’t have heavy intellectual leanings, there is enough of claws being popped, skulls being crushed and a soaring body count that is sure to satisfy the action-seeking reader.

I’ve not heard much of Laurence Campbell, but a quick Google search shows that he has mostly worked abroad during his comics career. He and Williams collaborated for a stretch on the weekly British sci-fi comic, 2000 AD, and he did a few issues of things like Judge Dredd. His first work on a Marvel icon is pretty impressive. He has a decent sense of pace and conveys action and emotion equally well. And I would be remiss if I didn’t add that Paul Mounts should be given equal kudos for bringing to life the wide variety of settings and explosive scenery with his vibrant colors.

Coming off a very solid arc by Guggenheim and Ramos, this issue was bound to pale in comparison. However, for a Christmas special, you could certainly do worse than this. I usually avoid these things like the plague after having been bitten by similar purchases in the past, but this creative team managed to entertain me. Hopefully Loeb and Bianchi will keep the ball rolling when they jump on in thirty.

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