Who's in this issue?
Anyone get the impression that Logan is turning into another Punisher? If you consider the last story arc, where he was out to avenge the death of a young girl whom he barely even know, and this story, which begins off as Logan finds himself after a "coyote" (smuggler of illegal immigrants across the US/Mexico border) because this "coyote" caused the stroke/suffication death of nineteen illegal immigrants in the back of a truck trailer. Logan seems to be finding himself in situations where the innocents are killed, and he feels it's his obligation to avenge their deaths by going after the guilty with his own brand of justice.
Frankly, although it may seem more "kiddie"-like, I did like it when Wolverine would
be duking it out against other mutant supervillians. Classics, like Wolverine vs.
Sabretooth or Wolverine vs. Magneto, always made for interesting reading. And,
although having Wolverine pit himself against "normal" villians in more human-like
situations allows for better character development versus mindless battles, having
Wolverine avenge the death of the innocents, to me, isn't very original, and we
usually should leave these stories for Punisher and other avenger-like heroes and
superheroes. Right now, the only way we can distinguish Wolverine from the Punisher
is that Wolverine will unleash his main weapons: his mutant set of claws, and have
a mutant healing factor edge against his opponent.
Rating (from 1 dot (not recommended) to 5 dot (highly recommended)
"Coyote Crossing: Part 1"
IN THIS ISSUE:
Somewhere in Texas, on a deserted highway near a "Last Chance" gas station, a motorcycle is seen pulling up to one of the pumps. Logan gets off the motorcycle, and notices no one is around the station. He looks inside, only to find no one present. His senses does catch a scent emitting from the garage area and quietly goes to investigate. His silhouette at the doorway catches the attention of two criminals inside, Merrick and Lake. The body of the service attendant laid on the floor. Merrick commands Lake to look for the keys to the truck inside as he pointed his gun at the doorway. As Lake searches for the keys, Logan's shadow disappears. Marrick hides behind the doorway, cursing, telling Lake to quickly find the keys. On the other side of the doorway, Logan unsheathes a set of his claws, and punches through the wall with them, killing Merrick on the other side. Lake reaches for the gun on the floor that Merrick had held, but looks up at Logan. Logan commands Lake to pick the gun up from the ground, but Lake couldn't do it. Logan grabs Lake's hair, and points at the body on the ground, asking whether he killed the boy. Lake denies it, saying that Merrick had killed the boy. Logan asks why, and Lake tells him the reason was outside of the gas station.
Meanwhile, back in Portland, Cassie Lathrop pulls into an army surplus store operated by Sycamore Blaine, one of Logan's old Vietnam war buddies. [Sidenote: Blaine was the guy Logan visited back in Wolverine #2.] Cassie presents Blaine with a sketched photo of Logan, asking Blaine if he had seen the man in the sketch a few months back. At first, Blaine said no, and tries to divert her attention to some of his merchandise that he was selling. She asks him to take another look at the sketch again, just to make sure. Again, he denies ever seeing the person in the sketch. Cassie promises that she wasn't out to arrest him; rather, she tells Blaine that she wanted to talk to him because she thinks Logan had saved her life.
Back at the gas station, where Lake kept trying to convince Logan that it wasn't his fault, he's not a bad guy, and that everything that happened was Merrick's idea: about ditching the truck, about killing the kid at the service station, about him trying to convince Merrick not to shoot and that Merrick was just flat-out crazy. He leads Logan over a small hill. Down below was a tractor trailer being encircled by vultures. Logan opens the doors to the trailer, and inside were nineteen dead people, presumably illegal immigrants trying to cross the U.S. border in an unventilated, hot trailer. Lake tells Logan that though these people were pounding and shouting in the trailer as they were being transported, Merrick kept telling Lake that they would be ok, that these people knew the risk that they were taking when they paid for the transportation to sneak into the U.S. Logan asks Lake who had arranged for the transport of these people. At first, Lake denies any knowledge, that he was only along for the ride while Merrick did all the business and the work. Unsheathing his right claws, Logan threatens to kill Lake if he didn't tell Logan more, and that Lake wouldn't know any less if he killed him right there, on the spot. Lake provides Logan with a single name, "Ritter", who was in El Paso. Logan resheathes his claws, and drags Lake over to the tractor trailer, where he locks Lake inside the back with the bodies. (Logan uses a chain and lock to hold the doors together on the trailer doors, which allows for air for Lake to breathe.)
Back in Portland, where Blaine tells Cassie all he knows about Logan: about how they served in Vietnam thirty years back, and shows her old photos of them serving together. She comments about how Logan doesn't look any different back then as he does now, and Blaine comments that he wouldn't look any different. He tells Cassie that he only knew Logan by that single name, and that Logan is a loner who doesn't like looking for company. Cassie asks Blaine how she could get a hold of him to "thank him personally for saving her life", but Blaine tells her that he couldn't help her get a hold of Logan. Frustrated, Cassie leaves the store, and tells herself to give up in her search for Logan.
In El Paso, after placing a call to the local law enforcement about the location of the tractor trailer and the culprit, Logan enters a local bar there seeking the help of a man named Nestor, who owned the bar. After being told by Angel, the bartender, about the man who was looking for him, Nestor meets Logan, and thanks him for saving his boy. Logan tells Nestor that he was in El Paso to look for a man named Ritter, whom he believed to be a local "coyote" in the town.
Back at her apartment, Cassie was placing an order for a pizza. In the background, the television blared the day's news. The news reported of the discovery of 19 illegal immigrants who had perished in the back of a tractor trailer, and how the law enforcement had apprehended one of the possible "coyotes". The news was able to record the arrested person (who was Lake), babbling about some guy who had claws in his hands who was the guilty one, and that he was innocent. This catches Cassie's attention, as she hears on the news that this report was being filed from El Paso, Texas.