Who's in this issue?
What the ...? Am I missing something here from this issue? Is this character who shows up in the very end referring to Wolverine as his "father", or is he referring to the Adminstrator? If it is indeed the former: great, just when you were finished with Wild Thing being Wolverine's daughter in an alternative world, now this character shows up claiming to be Wolverine's son. Where the heck did this come from? If it is the latter: great, another family quarrel with Wolverine stuck in the middle. Remember the last story arc about the Golems was also one about a family quarrel between two sides, and Wolverine found himself stuck in the middle. Talk about originality ... *sarcasm*
Also, I might be missing something here, but I have no idea how this book's story was laid out. As far as I can make it out, Wolverine fights Deadpool in the beginning, who sedates him with tranquilizers. Then it flashes back to the past when Wolverine was at a bar having a drink, ambushed, and finds himself confronted by the Scourge. This is where I totally got lost: did he fight the Scourge first before fighting Deadpool, or did this fight with the Scourge occur after he had been sedated by Deadpool? If the latter was the case, then something was definitely wrong because after the explosion, Wolverine is sent flying into the street where he was met by one of the Scourge members. I'm guessing what happened here is that immediately after being confronted, they missed a panel to show Deadpool appearing, them fighting, Wolverine sedated, then the Scourge attacking Wolverine after he was drugged. However, this sequence of even, as written in the book, seemed to imply something else. Even after rereading this issue twice, it still doesn't make crystal-clear sense to me what had happened.
Okay, now we talk about the penciler / plot creator for this story arc, Rob Liefield. Who hasn't heard of this famous (or infamous, to some) artist? Fans who love him thinks he is an extremely gifted comic book creator, who can write good stories and pencil very well. However, there are plenty of others who thinks that his stories are generic and his drawings of men and women are even more generic, saying that he uses the same facial appearance on all characters that he had ever created. Of course, it doesn't help that seeing this issue reminds me of a lot of his work when he was with Image: the deep, skull-like facial appearance of his characters, the "common" expressions that most of his characters seem to carry on their face, etc. (And it sure didn't help that looking at his rendition of Wolverine reminds me of the poor copycat character that Image had tried to establish a comic book for ... the character known as Troll.) Since this his first duty on Wolverine ever, here's my take on his work:
Good action sequences, something that this book had been lacking for awhile. Having Logan fight other super-powered mutants definitely helps bring more interest back to this title, which had seemed to be too focused (at times) on the plot itself rather than the action sequence. A good balance of both would be ideal. And a bombshell at the end? Always high on my "like it!" list. The action sequences between Wolverine and Deadpool were drawn quite fluidly, and that works well with this issue. Also, lots of new characters were introduced in this issue.
Lots of new characters in this issue. It's nice to have new characters, but when you start introducing too many new characters, that tends to overwhelm the seasoned readers. And, no offense to Mr. Liefield, but his very generic artwork, especially among the male characters, just doesn't work. At times, I'm not even sure whether the issue I'm reading is indeed a Wolverine issue, or whether it was one of his other earlier works on X-Force, New Mutants, or one of his numerous works for Image comics. I love his action sequences, but any "full face" shots, I could just imagine using the "copy and paste" function, copying the face of one of his other characters and pasting it in this issue, and I would swear no one could tell the difference. Please, try to make Wolverine a little bit more independant from your other characters, or just stick with the action sequences and no full-face shots. And the city block explosion? Can you say "Weak!" after seeing what had happened in the preceding issue when the castle blew up?
Overall, it was very pleasant to see some more traditional fight sequences in this book, with a very interesting bombshell in the end. What this issue will do for the concept of time continuity, however, remains to be seen, especially if the character who appears at the end is, indeed, Wolverine's son. If not, then I would have to say that I'm not really too thrilled about two straight story with Wolverine being stuck in the middle of a family quarrel. And the generic facial structure? I doubt that can be fixed because it's hard to teach an old dog new tricks (as the expression goes), so it's going to be something we'll have to live with for the time being.
Rating (from 1 dot (not recommended) to 5 dot (highly recommended)
"All Along the Watchtower"
IN THIS ISSUE:
Wolverine is in the midst of a confrontation between himself against Deadpool and a group of mercenaries known as the Scourge. Though Logan informs Deadpool that they had nothing to fight about and that the last time they met, they had left on good terms, Deadpool said he needed the money, and that Logan was the good he would have to bring in. After saying a few wise-crack jokes, Logan and Deadpool begins to battle it out. Logan seemed to have gotten the upper hand against Deadpool until Deadpool kicks him off, and unleashes a barrage of traquilizer darts, with "...enough sedative to drop a T-Rex", as disclaimed by Deadpool. Just as Logan begins to pass out, he begins to think back at how this all began that day.
Earlier that day, Logan had been having a drink alone at an empty bar. Only the bartender, Leon, and the waitress, Janine, were there. From a distance inside a van, Deadpool and the Scourge were watching Logan via cameras. Deadpool decides to attack and capture Logan after Logan was done with his drink. Logan was being seduced by the waitress to join her. After she takes off to get her stuff, Logan grabs the bartender and demands to know what was going on. He recalled that the bartender had referred to himself as Leon, but the waitress had called him Levon, which he still responded to. Janine returns, heavily armed. She unleashes a barrage of bullets in Wolverine's direction. Deadpool realizes that this probably meant that they had hired help moonlighting as bounty hunters, which meant it was time for him and his group to move. They trigger a switch on board the van, which ignites explosives located in the block where the bar was located, and the entire complex explodes.
Logan is thrown across the street into a bar, where he is met by Reckless Eric, who was there to apprehend him. Logan doesn't know how long he had been out, but he was attacked by the Scourge. Despite being heavily drugged, he was able to fight off the Scourge. He was able to notice that they all reeked of fear, and they weren't putting up much of a fight against him, considering that they were all professionals. As he takes out the Scourge, he catches a whiff of what they had been afraid of ... he catches the stench of pure evil. This new presence, known as the Administrator, was amazed that even in his drug-enduced state, Logan was able to still sense his presence. He wonders how Logan could have taken his mutant "gifts" for granted to the point where he didn't even recognize the beauty of the abilities that he had. Logan prepares to fight him, but with one slap, the administrator knocks out Logan, who was then apprehended by the Scourge.
Out in a desolated watchtower by the sea, Deadpool is seen talking with Reckless Eric near a chemical bath. Inside was Siryn, the X-Force member who had lost her vocal cords (and, thus, her mutant abilities) during a fight in the X-Force series about a year ago. Deadpool had somehow managed to take her to this facility, where he had traded their facilities' ability to "make her whole" again in exchange for his capture of Wolverine.
In another room, Logan was held captive upside down. The Administrator had drained some blood from Logan's body in order to learn more about his healing abilities. The Administrator claims that the Watchtower (his organization) was trying to heal a sick world, and Wolverine would be their greatest weapon.
From a skylight above the room, three unknown intruders were about to enter the facility to get Logan. One of the intruders, Hardwire, teleports itself and the two other intruders into the complex, where they grab Logan. Logan, in his weakened state, asks them who they were. The leader of the pack tells Logan that they were his friends, or in his own words, "...or enemies. It all depends on where you stand. Doesn't it, father?"