Who's in this issue?
Must be an Iron Man theme this month, considering both the writer and penciler came from that title. I know I've never seen Sean Chen's work before, but from what I've heard about his talents on Iron Man, he was a great asset to that title. From this one issue, I firmly believe that he has great potential to become one of this title's best artist ever. His style of artwork works extremely well for this title (lots of graphical fight scenes ... much more than I would had expected in terms of graphical), and his rendition of the platoon squadron, in my opinion, would work extremely well in any title that involves a theme of "special missions". (If they ever made a Metal Gear Solid comic book, he would be the perfect penciller for the job in my opinion. See page 13 for an example) As for Frank Tieri, he seems to know what works well for this title: lots of action, questions to be answered later, and lots of new, interesting character. Hopefully, this creative team will be one that will stick around for awhile on this title.
About this book: some good stuff, some bad stuff. Good stuff outweighs most of the bad stuff. What's nice is that this book involves a mysterious boss figure who I assume likes to face challenges. His tip about Wolverine being a good challenge for him was from someone from Madripoor. The question is: who? First name comes to mind, for me, would be Viper, Logan's wife. Most other people in Madripoor that had a grudge against Wolverine was already gone, and only Viper, in my opinion, is the last influential figure in Madripoor. Second, the two new female characters, T and A, is intriguing. First time I saw them, I couldn't help but laugh. These two female villians not only have one of the silliest names that I've ever heard, but their appearances looked like they were something from the 80s! Those heart-shaped sunglasses, hoop earrings, and pigtails that A wears simply makes me think the 1980s. T reminds me of some young adult who hasn't grown out of her teenage phase, especially with all the freckles that she has on her face. Both are very vicious ladies, as evidence in their beating of the nightclub owner, but their appearances just makes them look very laughable.
Two things I don't like: Um ... what's the deal with that interlude? Family man gets killed after his car blows up. Okay, so what does this have to do with the story? Yes, we can assume that it's a result of that "boss" figure, but still, what's the purpose in this interlude? Just to use up space in this comic book? And second: what's up with this current trend for this comic book title to have Wolverine facing some paid goons who have a fascination for him? Check this out: this story arc involves some "big guy" who likes challenges, and pays some people to test Wolverine out before he faces off against Wolverine. Last month's issue involved some old boss guy who has a paid hand who fights against Wolverine before he comes face to face with Wolverine. The story arc written by Rob Liefield involved some guy who is fascinated in Wolverine, and pays some people to test or capture Wolverine first before he faces off against Wolverine. Seems like Wolverine keeps finding himself at odds with some big rich guy who pays someone else first to fight Wolverine, which Wolverine will beat first, and Wolverine then locates and finds their "boss" to have a confrontation with him. Personally, I'm getting this sense that there's no new idea for this title but to recycle stories that at one time were original and interesting, but now quickly loosing its luster. These stories *do* make for good reading, but man, they're becoming too predictable!
Overall, my impression towards this title was positive. It is fast paced, and it does make for some interesting reading. The entire creative team seems to work very well on this title. However, let's hope that this story won't be a repeat of the past stories, some of which I had listed above. Frankly, stories about rich guys who loves challenges isn't a new idea, especially on this title.
Rating (from 1 dot (not recommended) to 5 dot (highly recommended)
"The Best There Is: Pt. 1 of 3"
IN THIS ISSUE:
Somewhere in New York City, in the top office on a hi-rise building, a mystery man (most likely the head of the corporation that the hi-rise building encloses) is reminded by his secretary of "his four-o'clock appointment". The man is seen holding a pair of binoculars and a high-powered sniper rifle, which he uses to kill a jogger on the street. It is assumed that this jogger was this man's "four-o'clock appointment". He tells his secretary to start doing research on his next prospective client.
Thursday at the X-Mansion, where Wolverine has a nightmare where all his friends were dead because of him. He wakes up from his nightmare, surrounded by his fellow X-Men who wants to help him, but Logan would only tell them he was fine. He heads out by himself for a drink, wondering to himself whether Apocalypse's brainwashing of him becoming his first horseman known as Death was resurfacing.
A few hours later, Logan is seen exiting the bar, only to sense that he was being watched by someone on the roof of a building. The watcher, a platoon major leader, barks to his platoon to notify their boss that Logan had detected them. Their boss was the mysterious figure from the building, and he tells them to engage Wolverine. As the major starts giving the orders, Logan disappears, and a manhunt is on by the platoon for Logan's whereabouts. Logan, who had hid underneath a parked vehicle, slices the ankle of one of the soldiers and drags him under the car. The platoon opens fire on the car, which explodes. They think that Wolverine had died, but from behind, Logan attacks the platoon and begins to take down each soldier one by one. The platoon major informs his boss about Logan's elusiveness and tells him about Wolverine's capabilities. The boss tells the major he was sending in reinforcements: Blok, and two girls: A and T.
Somewhere else in New York City, the two girls, A and T, were trying to gain entrance into a nightclub. They were beating up the owner, who had tried to get fresh with them, until the boss calls, and the girls leave for their assignment. Meanwhile, in an interlude, John, a family man, leaves for work, but upon starting his car, it explodes as his wife, Nanci, looks in horror.
Back to the fight, as the platoon major tried to radio his men without success. Wolverine appears, and the major fires multiple rounds of ammunition into Wolverine. Wolverine falls over the ledge of the building. The major looks to see where Logan had fallen, only to have him dragged below onto the fire escape by Wolverine. The major pulls out a daggar to stab Wolverine in the collar bone, but Logan was unphased, his healing factor already repairing the wound. He demands to know who the major's boss was, preparing to pop his third claw through his skull. Wolverine, though, is suddenly pulled back, as he finds a lasso between his neck and in his presence three more adversaries: A, T, and Blok.