Who's in this issue?
I don't remember where I had saw Ian Churchill before, but what I do remember is that he has a really nice clean style of art, and in terms of his second work on Wolverine (his first being in Wolverine #80), I felt that he definitely would have long-term staying power on this title. Most of you might already know my opinion about Liefield's artwork, but I do like his storytelling, and this particular issue is a decent straightforward storytelling on his part: no hard thinking required, no need to go in-depth about who's who and what the motive is. Throw in Spiderman, and you've got yourself a story that'll get both fans of Spiderman and Wolverine interested in reading. I don't know whether this story was being used to generate more recognition towards Spiderman for Wolverine fans, but this is technically Spiderman's first apperance inside a Wolverine issue (I won't count Wolverine #148 because that was an Age of Apocalypse scenario), and Mole Man, traditionally an non-X-Universe villian, also appears in this issue. This seems to point in the direction of trying to "sell" these two non-X-characters to X-fans to get them to check out the other parts of the Marvel universe.
Only quirk about this issue for me is: why would Wolverine get involved in an investigation like this one? He never was one to care much about police investigations, especially when it hasn't been ID'd whether it was a mutant behind it or not. The killings didn't involve anyone he knew, and also, there are so many different killings that must have been going on at the time, so why be interested in this particular one?
Final point of interest: I wonder if NYPD raid uniforms are actually that tight-fitting as the ones that were donned on by Lt. Curson and her men. Gotta say, though, they look pretty nice ... :-)
Overall, I thought this was a good issue. It showcases Ian Churchill's clean artwork (which works very well for Wolverine IMHO) with a good Liefield / Stephenson storyline. The ultimate showdown against Mole Man, and the teamup of Wolverine and Spiderman, should prove that issue #157 should be one to read.
Rating (from 1 dot (not recommended) to 5 dot (highly recommended)
IN THIS ISSUE:
Joanna Chen, a newsreporter, is reporting a story in front of an abandoned subway station where policemen had discovered a sixth body in as many weeks, brutally murdered, of which no motives have been identified.
Meanwhile, inside the subway station, Logan, in his full Wolverine outfit, was doing some of his own investigation behind the murders. In the darkness, he finds a piece of evidence: a piece of cloth. Suddenly, a bright light appears from behind him. He turns around, blinded by the suddenly brightness level, and threatens to fight them unless they dimmed the lights. They identified themselves as NYPD officers, and threatened to shoot until their lead, Lt. Tara Curson, recognizes the costume and the claws as that of Wolverine, one of the X-Men, supposedly one of the good guys, and whose description didn't match that of the killer that their intelligence reports had told them to be on the lookout for.
From above, Wolverine and the group of police officers were attacked by a group of mysterious creatures, all in black, all very large, all very quick. Wolverine fights one of them, only to find himself fly right into the side of the tunnel after one of the creatures landed a punch onto him. Wolverine leaps back into the fight against the same creature he was fighting, who tries to bite his arm off, only to be met by Logan's adamantium-laced bone. In pain, the creature runs off. Wolverine finds that only Lt. Curson was left; the rest of her men had been killed by the other creatures. Logan gives chase after those creatures, only to be met by a wall of some sticky film, which he recognizes to be that of Spiderman's webbing.
Behind the webbing, Logan finds Spiderman apprehending one of those creatures with his webbing. The creature breaks free from the webbing, grabs Spiderman by one of his feet, and attempts to bite off his leg, only to be attacked from behind by Wolverine. The two team up to fight the creature, and ultimately, with Spiderman's distraction, Wolverine was able to deploy a fatal slash to the creature's midsection, killing the creature. Wolverine asks why Spiderman was doing down here, and his reply was that the action took him down to here, though he privately told himself that he was down here to take photos of the creature for the Daily Bugle. Wolverine recognizes the creature as not the same one he had fought earlier, which leads him to wonder just how many of these creatures they were facing down in the sewers. Curson appears, saying that she counted four of them, maybe five, during their encounter.
The three venture deeper into the tunnel, giving chase after the creatures, only to run into the Mole Man and his followers. Mole Man was planning to take over the surface world once again with the aid of these creatures that had attacked Wolverine, Spiderman, and Curson, and were about to make their move, whether the three were in their way or not.