Overview

Wolverine: Under the Boardwalk

Review

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Wolverine: Under the Boardwalk

Credits

  • Words: Stuart Moore
  • Art: Tomm Coker
  • Colors: Daniel Freedman
  • Publisher: Marvel Comics
  • Price: $3.99
  • Release Date: Dec 9, 2009

One doesn't think of Wolverine as a hard boiled crime hero, so this entry by Stuart Moore and Tomm Coker is a little odd, but ultimately a superior tale despite some minor flaws. Four decades prior, Logan got a severe beating from Phil Deblasio's gang for spending the night with the mafia underboss' girlfriend. At the time of the beating, he also witnessed the burying of a victim under the boardwalk. These vague memories lead him to answer the invitation of a text message beckoning him to come to the Casino Alexander in Atlantic City. Logan reconnects with the girl, now an older waitress, and gets mixed up with current day mobsters.

Stuart Moore does a great job with the script. It reads like a classic noir story with the unusual Wolverine as its main protagonist. He puts Logan through the usual paces, with dames, and goons, and mysterious strangers from a past nearly forgotten. I'll admit, it wasn't a perfect fit, and at various times in the book, Logan as Sam Spade seemed a little forced, but overall it worked. Believability was stretched, specifically with the time-line. The character of Katrina McCann, the young lady with whom Logan had the tryst 40 years before doesn't look a day over 40 in her present day rendition, when she should be more like 60+. And while she says Logan looks exactly the same, any normal person would wonder how that would be possible. And how could normal folks get Logan's cell number to send the text anyway? Minor quibbles aside, Moore cooked up a fine crime story with all the expected tropes of the genre.

Tomm Coker's artwork is simply brilliant. His art has gone through transformations over the years, but this is his finest work ever. He employs a healthy amount of zipatone, to excellent effect, reminiscent of Ashley Wood. The storytelling is clear and compelling, with great transitions, especially in the hectic fight scenes. Embellished with Daniel Freedman's moody palette, the art captures perfectly the mood of Moore's script.

In many ways, this rendition of Wolverine allows for a greater exploration of the complex history of the character than the super-powered settings he normally inhabits. It reminded me a little of the Wolverine title, with Logan in Madripoor as Patch, basically without the hero costume and dealing with everyday criminals. This curious book is worth a look.

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