Who's in this issue?
Mark Texeira? This book was penciled by Mark Texeira? Boy, it sure doesn't look anything like his earlier works in Wolverine, when he penciled Wolverine #61 - #68 (excl. #64)! And frankly speaking, his style of artwork now, in my opinion, is much more refined and cleaner than his earlier works on this title. First impressions is important, and this issue certainly highlights the talents of Texeira very clearly. (I think in particular, I was impressed with the cover artwork: not necessarily the fact that the title headers had been redesigned by Marvel, but rather, how well the artwork and color blended in with this issue in an explosive brown-yellow color).
Although I thought the last issue was not very good in general, this particular issue, on the other hand, definitely made me more interested in the storyline. Maybe it's due in part to the mood that's established in this issue: a sense that this particular (seemingly) Weapon X storyline will be one for the history of Wolverine as it might start revealing more about Wolverine's past. (Biggest hints that this is going to be a Weapon X storyline? a.) Sabretooth from last issue, and b.) Maverick from this issue. Both were Weapon X program participants).
Hmm ... come to think of it, after looking at Wolverine #61 - #68, I just realized that those issues, which Mark Texeira had a hand in, were side stories to the Weapon X project: that is, it involved Sabretooth, Maverick, Wolverine, Silver Fox, and John Wraith: all Weapon X participants. A mere coincidence that Mark Texeira was brought back to this title to do a Weapon X story? Or was he purposely brought in? Makes you wonder, doesn't it? ...
Anyway, I actually liked this issue. I found the Shiver Man to be a fairly intriguing character with lots of mysteries behind him: what's his history? Where's he from? And is he ... or it ... even human? He proved to be a very formidable opponent to Wolverine. Also, some involvement with old Weapon X castmembers, especially Maverick, is nice to see especially when these great characters seems to be forgotten quite often in Wolverine's history. The little bit of humor with Beast using his image inducer to look like O.J. Simpson was something to grin about. My only rant are: why would Beast choose to go on the run with Wolverine, and why on Earth would Wolverine be running to hide from his captors? Logan has never been one to be running from his problems, and this issue seemed to make him ever so more vulnerable with him going "on the run". His disguise is ... well, let's just say that you'd think that with the amount of resources the X-Men have at their disposal, I would think that obtaining another image inducer that Beast was using shouldn't exactly be too hard, thus making it unnecessary that Wolverine take the "old-fashioned disguise" by shaving his hair off and letting a rough beard grow. Still, I think I'm more disturbed with Logan opting to go on the run rather than stay behind to find out the truth because that's not really like him to do that.
Oh, and one more rant: what's up with Wolverine's claws in pg. 19? His claws should be no longer than 1 foot long (that has been established as the standard a long time ago), and it appears that in this panel, his claws are nearly 2 feet long, maybe more!
Rating (from 1 dot (not recommended) to 5 dot (highly recommended)
"The Hunted: Pt. 2"
IN THIS ISSUE:
Somewhere in the South, where a late-night cashier comments to his only customer about the murder of Senator Walsh, and how he hopes that the authorities would find and "set him [mutie scum] on fire". Little did he know that the person he was telling this to was actually Logan, with his hair shaven off and the shadows of a beard coming in. Logan and Beast had taken refuge in a roadside motel, trying to lay low until the public anger blows over. (Beast became involved with this entire charade after Logan tells him of the nightmares that he had been having as he slept, which now appears as if they were not dreams but real events).
Somewhere else, at an inconspicuous deli store which was actually one of the many S.H.I.E.L.D. secret headquarters, Nick Fury barges into Director Sharon Carter's office, demanding to know why he hadn't been assigned to head S.H.I.E.L.D's effort to locate Wolverine and why a young brash agent, Brent Jackson, was being assigned instead. Director Carter tells Nick Fury that there might be a conflict of interest in regards to Nick Fury's old association with Logan, which would make him less than an ideal leader for the efforts to apprehend Logan. Nick storms out of the office, and reveals to one of his fellow agents, "Dum Dum" Dugan, that he had hired the Shiver Man to locate Logan. His belief is that if S.H.I.E.L.D. captures Logan, the government would have Logan killed, especially with the anti-mutant hysteria going on. He hires the Shiver Man, a very mysterious figure who might not be even human, but is the best tracker that Nick Fury ever knew, and for Logan's sake, he hopes that Logan is innocent because the Shiver Man had something against guilty people and the need to punish them severely.
The Shiver Man is seen entering a diner to inquire about whether the waitress there had seen Logan, and presents her with a photo of Logan's face. She says that she hadn't. A few of the patrons in the diner begins to harass the Shiver Man, and he ends up getting into a scuffle with one of them, Red, who pays the price with the loss of his hand. Red, in pain, and his friends, now spooked, tells the Shiver Man that they saw someone that resembled Logan a few towns down, and the Shiver Man leaves to find Logan.
Back down in the south, Logan makes a phone call to Maverick to find out more about the senator that he supposedly had killed. Maverick tells him that during a brief period in his life, the senator's life was sealed, and that access by Maverick to the files on the senator during that phase of his life were of denied access. Maverick also lets Logan know that S.H.I.E.L.D. was now also looking for him. Logan requests to Maverick to find out what those sealed-up files were. After the phone call, Logan and Beast are attacked by the Shiver Man. Logan finds that his claws passes through the Shiver Man without hurting him one bit. After many unsuccessful attempts to take down the Shiver Man, Logan and Beast finally decide to team up by using Beast's body as a guinea pig to get the Shiver Man to become tangible. This gives Logan the opportunity to use his claws and slice off one of the Shiver Man's gun arm. Beasts notes how that the Shiver Man bled no blood from his wound. The Shiver Man picks up his decapitated arm, and vanishes.
Logan and Beast return to their motel room, finding it ransacked except for a note from Fury to have them meet him at the deceased senator's home, where Nick would fill them in on what's happening. The scent on the note that Logan smelled verified that it was, indeed, Nick Fury. Beast and Logan goes to the senator's home, where they investigate the crime scene and with Logan still wondering whether he did do all of the damage and the killing. Nick tells them that he would fill them in on what's happening, and the three exits the mansion. However, as they were leaving, Logan decapitates Nick Fury's head. Beast grabs Logan, thinking Logan had gone mad, until Logan shows him that the head that he had just decapitated wasn't that of Nick Fury's, but rather that of an android. They had walked into a trap set by Brent Jackson and his men, who surrounds them, guns drawn.