Who's in this issue?
Two things caught my attention after my first read-through of this book. The first and foremost: the stuff that Logan found inside the Native's cave. One set of dogtags had Logan's "Wolverine" codename on there. (First rant: since when did Logan use the codename "Wolverine" when he was an unwilling participant of the Weapon X program? Wasn't he simply known as Weapon X at that time? I would think that Wolverine didn't adopt his "Wolverine" codename until his brief stint with Alpha Flight. Is there a factual error here ...?) The other set was codenamed Feral. Ok, I know I should know this question since I was an avid collector of the X-Force comic book: isn't there already an X-Men character named Feral? She was a vicious member of the X-Force, more animal than human, with nail claws as her primary weapon, but if I recall correctly, she was never a member of the Weapon X program. The Native, here, is obviously a female, but she better not turn out to be the same Feral as the one in X-Force because Feral in X-Force did not have mutant claws that popped out of her knuckles like the Native. The second: the images that the Native had carved on to her wall. (My second rant: she had drawn images of three who were captured and exposed to the Weapon X project. Correct me if I'm wrong, but there was many more than just three who were participants of the Weapon X program. Three names that comes to my mind right off the top are John Wraith, Maverick, and Silver Fox. I don't mind if you start throwing in additional, previously - unknown - or - unremembered characters as Weapon X participants, but d%(* it, get the facts right!
The second thing that caught my attention was the ease of Logan locating the Native (or, rather, the Native locating Logan). Sabretooth spent several weeks looking for the Native. Yet Logan is able to catch the attention of the Native and, in a sense, "capture" her in less than a few days? Sabretooth is arguably one of the best "predatory hunters" around, but I just can't imagine that Logan can catch the attention of the Native so easily, let alone get the Native to approach so close to him. Given into consideration the Native's savage nature from the previous issue, I find it incredibly hard to believe that the Native could initially trust Logan enough to come up to his camp, then later on fight with him, only to end up in a "make-out" session with Logan.
My impression, after reading this issue, was this: I don't know how this issue even seems related to the first issue. After reading the first issue of this story arc, I expected to see Logan having a tough time locating the Native, and when he did, would have a tough time with the Native. What I did not expect was for Logan to have such an easy time gaining the trust of the Native, and Sabretooth taking a very far backseat to what's happening. His lame excuse of saying that "Last time, I didn't know what I was looking for. This time, I've got the runt's [Logan] stink to lead the way" didn't particularly make any sense. If he's found the Native once already, and knows her smell after their encounter, then why on earth can he not find her again, instead leaving the task to Logan to do it? Yes, he almost (and unbelievably in my opinion) gets gutted by the Native, but he's never one to back down from a fight, and so he leaves it up to Logan to do it? Sheesh.
On the bright side, I did like that this story was told with as few words as possible when Logan was looking for the Native the day after their first encounter. Too many stories in the past had it where Logan would be searching for someone by himself, and he would be talking to himself throughout the search. One: it makes absolutely no realistic sense for someone to be talking to himself/herself when they are alone and looking for someone. Two: it almost says something about the artist who might have been the one having to do those panels, that the artist lacks the artistic skills to tell a story through his/her artwork, and therefore, has to use words spoken through Logan to tell what's going on. This story, on the other hand, allows the artist, Darick Robertson, full control of his artwork: using his artwork to tell the story through Logan's actions and what we see Logan seeing. Logan speaks only when he is in the presense of the Native, like a normal person would if he encounters someone that he is looking for.
Overall, I'm not giving a very high grade to this issue. My main gripes is that from my point of view, some of the facts in this issue is not correct based off of what we already know about the past (Wolverine's alias as a Weapon X participant, character names that have been used in the past, the personality traits we have come to know and expect from certain character). Second: the two pages that show Sabretooth going back to Seattle to meet with his client seemed to break from the continuity of this book because, somehow, the artwork there looks real different from the rest of the book. Third: I do not expect Logan to find the Native so easily, then find out that the Native was actually a "she" and not a "he". Fourth: I can understand two lonely souls having a mutual attraction to one another due to the need of companionship, but to see Logan and the Native sharing a passionate kiss during the midst of an extremely brutal battle is not something that makes any sense at all.
Rating (from 1 dot (not recommended) to 5 dot (highly recommended)
"Return of the Native: Part 2"
IN THIS ISSUE:
Somewhere in the Canadian wilderness, in a well-hidden den, the Native is seen sleeping. She wakes up and looks outside of her cave. Out in the distance, she sees a small stream of smoke. With a slight snarl, she heads out to investigate.
In Seattle, Sabretooth makes an unannounced visit to his clients, Mr. Murray and Mr. Willoughby. He tells them that he had found Logan, but he wasn't going to follow Logan because he knew that was what Logan would be expecting. His clients expressed concern, but Sabretooth tells the that once Logan finds the Native, he would hunt both Logan and the Native down and capture both of them.
Back in the Canadian wilderness, where Logan sits near a campfire, enjoying the warmth of the fire he heats a pot of coffee. He senses the native, and comments to the native how she "...smell right. Like the woods. Like you belong." He tells the Native that he was alone. Sensing that she was still nervous about him, he tells her that he was going to stand off to another side to wait for her to make her move. Hours pass, and the campfire slowly burns to ashes. Logan watches on, as the Native slowly makes her move, rummaging through Logan's belongings. A slight gust of wind blows across the campfire, momentarily flaring up, which frightens the Native. In a calming voice, Logan tells the Native that he wasn't going to hurt her as he slowly approached. As Logan moved closer, a brief image of Logan back in his Weapon X days flash across her mind, as the Native recognizes Logan from the Weapon X project. Infuriated, she unleashes her set of bone claws from her knuckles, leaps, and attacks Logan. She pushes Logan down, and punctures him with her set of claws before she makes her getaway into the woods, leaving Logan on the ground in pain.
The next day, with his healing factor already fixing him up, Logan follows the Native's footprints to a cave in the mountains. He shines a flashlight into the cave, and finds the Native's lair. On the rear wall, Logan sees crude sketches that the Native had made. On one scene, a woman, man, and child with a heart in the child. In another scene, the child, with claws in both hands, is captured by three men in black. In another scene, three people (presumably the Native, Logan, and Sabretooth) are inside some kind of box as someone worked outside the box. In another scene, one of the character is in pain with wires running into the character. The next scene is of one of the encapsuled characters (presumably Logan) breaking free from the box. The last scene shows two characters (presumably Logan and the Native) standing over some dead and decapitated bodies who had weapons. Logan has a feeling he knows what the Native was trying to tell in the pictures, but he could not remember the events.
Over in another corner, a box is hidden under a straw bed. Inside the box are a bunch of military trinkets. What catches Logan's attention, however, are two sets of dogtags: one set has his codename "Wolverine" engraved into them. Another set has the name "Feral" engraved in them. As he looks through the box, Logan catches a scent emitting from the cave's entrance. He looks over to see the Native, growling. The Native leaps away as Logan pursuits her into the woods. From behind him, the Native tries to attack Logan. As she continued her assault, Logan tries to tell her that she knows who he is, that they both weren't animals, and that he, too, knows the feeling of being alone. She manages to swipe her claws across Logan's back, which unleashes his feral rage. The two go at each other, both with their claws fully extended, attacking, slicing and wounding each other. The two take a fall down the mountainside, where the two stares each other down, claws extended, teeth snarling, waiting for the other to make a move. As they stare at each other, something happens between the two, as anger is quickly replaced by a sense of attraction to each other. She moves closer to Logan, and they both sheathe their claws. Their hands touch, bodies meet, and their lips lock in a passionate kiss.