Who's in this issue?
Wolverine #125, #126, #127, and #128 will almost certainly require you, the reader, to reread them at least twice or three times to understand it. To me, after rereading these four issues two times, I finally realized that this story, though at first hard to understand, is actually in fact a very complex, but cleverly-crafted and written, story. This story arc definately is not, in my opinion, for those who are accustomed to reading easy to follow stories which doesn't require much thinking on your part. This one is a genuinely well-written story which will cause you to actually do some critical thinking about what's going on, along with what consequences might result from each action that Logan, Sabretooth, and Shadowcat makes. Now, I personally love complex story which makes you think rather than those no-brainer story arcs, but whether this is good for Wolverine or for any other comic books is a question that only the majority of comic fans can judge upon. Chris Claremont came to Wolverine to do a story arc in his trademark style of storytelling, and that is exactly what he did. Whether the fans like it or not is their own opinion, but for my opinion, I thought he did a great job with the story arc, and although this story arc might have chased some younger readers away from this book, it will definately help raise the interest for this title among the older, more experienced, comic reader crowds who reads comic books for the comprehensive storytelling rather than for the artwork.
Now, about the artwork: I have no idea what's been up with Marvel lately with how they treat this title, but for the second straight issue in a row, we have multiple pencilers and inkers working on it. Leinil Francis Yu seemed to have disappeared from this book (except for his pretty cool cover artwork of Wolverine in his brown/yellow costume), which makes me wonder if Marvel really is intending to move him over to a bigger X-title while bringing in a new penciler to this book. My complaint though, once again, is the useage of multiple pencillers whose style of artwork don't even resemble one another. On one side, we have Stephen Platt (whose early work I was first introduced to was in Image's Prophet a few years back, which I liked) who has a style of artwork which resembles Rob Liefield in many ways, minus the generic facial structure for men and women alike that Liefield popularized, and on the other hand Angel Unzueta, who seems to have a cleaner manga-ish flavor to his artwork. When you've got extreme art style like these in one single book, once again, it makes it quite difficult to follow the storyline as graphically, it's quite disturbing to suddenly go from a heavy, more detailed artwork to another one which focuses less on detail and more on expression. Come on, Marvel, can't we just get *one* penciler to do an issue? It's very bothersome to showcase two distinctly-different artists in one issue!
A side note: I don't like Shadowcat's newer costume which this book highlights, in particular, her facepiece. Her facepiece looks too much like DC's Nightwing's facepiece. Her "radical-new" costume which was featured in the "dream" looks too much like something that the X-Men's Psylocke would wear. I guess we've reached that point where new ideas for costumes have disappeared ...
Overall, I enjoyed this book, not because of how easily it flowed (it definately did *not* "flow" through easily in terms of readability due to the complexity of the writing and the different types of art style featured in this book), but because it was one book which made me read it more slowly, which means a better chance of grasping the meaning of each word one by one, which allows the story to become more fully-developed. I recommend this book for those advanced readers who are interested in comic books for their complex storylines, while not recommending this book for beginners who haven't read comics before or those who are in it for the artwork rather than the storyline.
Rating (from 1 dot (not recommended) to 5 dot (highly recommended)
"Green for Death"
IN THIS ISSUE:
The Hydra commander has a heated argument with Matsuo Tsurayaba, Jonin of the Hand, about what to do with the three captives: Wolverine, Sabretooth, and Shadowcat. The Hydra commander insists for their immediate death, while Tsurayaba plans to corrupt them instead. Using thirteen circles of thirteen sorcerers apiece, each burning incense and chanting, Tsurayaba's plan is to corrupt the souls of the three captives by finding the one thing that each holds dear to them, and then tempt each of them to betray it. Once that is done, Tsurayaba believes that the three captives will be theirs forever.
In another place, one of their own mental creation, Logan and Sabretooth are out in the wilderness as allies. Suddenly, the two are attacked by a bloodlustful Shadowcat, who takes out Sabretooth easily and slices Wolverine's gut open, leaving him to die. Armed with adamantium claws, which she claims can cut through souls, she declares her independence, her love for fighting and the taste of blood, tears off her cloth costume to reveal an entirely new costume underneath, and heads off to do more killing.
Back in the physical world, Shadowcat is revealed to have escape. Tsurayaba disallows his men to look for her, believing that Shadowcat's intention for disappearing is not to run away, but to hunt and kill, and with each kill, he believes it would bind Shadowcat even more tightly to the Hand as she would eventually kill her own friends, and when that happens, she would have nowhere else to go but to the Hand.
On another part of the ship, it is revealed that the Hydra commander and his men held Tiger Tyger, Jessica Drew, and Viper as unwilling captives. The Hydra's desires for these three were to reprogram their minds and brainwash them so that they would remain loyal to only Hydra.
Back in the other place of Logan's mind's own creation, he arrives at the X-Mansion to join the X-Men. Instead, the X-Men greets him with violence as all of them team up to beat up Wolverine. His natural instinct though tells him to fight back, which he does, taking down each X-Men one by one strategically, until all that was left was Jean Grey. Jean dares him to use his claws against her or else, she would kill him, but at that moment, this illusion shatters as Sabretooth, who had escaped free, kills one of the sorcerers, disrupting the spell. On another part of the ship, Shadowcat helps Viper escape, and at the same, takes out some Hydra men. Unfortunately, Viper had already had some of her memories brainwashed, and she takes down Shadowcat.
Back to where Logan and Sabretooth are, as Sabretooth and Wolverine squares it off over whether to stay behind to take down Hydra and the Hand and to save the others as they had came to the ship in honor to do, or to escape. Logan tries to talk some sense into Sabretooth, trying to explain to him how the Hand had somehow shuffled "something essential" in Sabretooth, Shadowcat, and himself around: Sabretooth getting Logan's sense of honor, Shadowcat getting Sabretooth's ferocity and bloodlust, and himself getting Shadowcat's innocence. He manages to talk Sabretooth out of fighting him and instead, join forces to fight the Hand and Hydra.
Sabretooth and Logan locates where Tsurayaba was. Sabretooth though is immediately taken down by Jessica Drew. Tyger Tiger tries to attack, but Sabretooth moves faster and takes her out. From behind though, Viper gets a hold on Sabretooth, and with a blade coated with a special venom which would kill Sabretooth, tries to kill him for Seraph, "... who was Wolverine's salvation", and for herself, but Shadowcat phases Sabretooth, saving him. Shadowcat feels that they owed Sabretooth for saving them. Viper is enraged and tries to kill the three of them, but Shadowcat phases Logan and Sabretooth away.
Epilogue, as many days later, Viper becomes Madripoor's ruling prince (since she had symbolically married Logan in Wolverine #125 and, recall, the people of Madripoor wanted the ruler to be their hero, which was Logan, but since he wasn't available, Viper, being married to Logan, would take his place), and immediately puts out wanted posters for the three's capture. Logan and Shadowcat prepares to leave Madripoor back to the states. Logan tells Shadowcat Sabretooth already left, but because Sabretooth had a taste of what Logan's sense of honor felt like (during that brief interchange of "personalities" by the Hand), he now hates Logan more than ever "because he (Sabretooth) sees in me (Logan) the man he might have been. It's me who's real, an' him the sloppy second."