Overview

Wolverine #52

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Wolverine #52

Credits

  • Words: Jeph Loeb
  • Art: Simone Bianchi
  • Inks: Simone Bianchi & Andrea Silvestri
  • Colors: Simone Peruzzi
  • Story Title: Blood on the Wind
  • Publisher: Marvel Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Mar 28, 2007

It’s Sabretooth vs. Wolverine: Round 3! But questions abound as Creed appears to be working to another agenda and the Lupine mystery takes another twist.

The latest bout between these two implacable enemies was interrupted in last month’s cliffhanger by fellow X-Man Storm. This issue Ororo reveals that an archaeological find in Wakanda appears to hold answers to Logan’s nightmares about the wolfish Lupine, a vicious humanoid race from the dawn of time who may have very definite links to Wolverine and Sabretooth. With Sabretooth on the run in Wakanda and the Black Panther in pursuit, a mysterious shadowy figure appears to be pulling everyone’s strings.

Going into this arc I will admit up front that I had negative preconceptions about yet another alleged fight to the death between these two characters. Wolverine and Sabretooth battles generally have all the resonance of a Tom and Jerry slugfest and the violence seems to have about the same level of long-term consequence as well. They’re largely undemanding, comfort reading for those who enjoy big, bad super-hero smackdowns with little depth or significance.

What’s surprised me about this arc then is that, for once, it appears that there may be some longer-term ramifications to this showdown and perhaps even a revelation or two of some note along the way. This issue’s disclosures that Wolverine’s dreams may well have some basis in reality raise this above the repetitive tedium of your average Logan-Creed claws and teeth sessions.

My only real concern is that this arc covers pretty much the same thematic ground as Wolverine: Origins is currently doing. One book with the Canadian X-Man trying to reconcile his memories into a coherent whole is enough. I would have to question the need for two Wolverine books adopting this same direction.

Let’s forget the writing for a moment though, because Simone Bianchi’s lavish art is worth the cover price alone. Bianchi’s ability to draw the reader into the story through his compelling interpretations of the locales of the Marvel Universe is simply masterful. Wakanda, for example, is both majestic and savage, befitting its somewhat contradictory synthesis of technology and tradition. Similarly, his recreations of dead civilisations and prehistoric environments in Logan’s dreams are breathtaking. This is an artist who can casually pull the reader into whole new worlds with frightening ease.

It remains to be seen if Jeph Loeb’s conclusion to this storyline will match the intriguing buildup, but he should at least be congratulated for giving us a Wolverine/Sabretooth match that actually has a little more substance than the usual feral hacking and slashing. To be honest I have about as much faith in this being the "last ever" conflict between these two enemies as I do that Steve Rogers is really dead but as these confrontations go, this one is certainly above average.

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