I love Paul Cornell and Ryan Stegman, but the first issue of their new Wolverine series was a bit of a disappointment for me.
Admittedly, I have been out of the world of Wolverine for quite some time, but when I see a first issue, I’m assuming it’s an opportunity to jump on board. In the prologue text on the title page, I learned that Wolverine recently lost his powers and has had to relearn how to take care of himself without relying on his mutant healing factor. Sounds like a pretty good premise to me.
Unfortunately, a turn of the page results in the reader being thrown into the middle of a story, where Wolverine is acting very out of character. He seems to be working with and for some shady people, and in a flashback we see Storm trying to counsel him as he struggles to deal with his new powerless existence. When we flash back to the current mission Wolverine is on, the issue ends with what is supposed to be a shocking moment, but to me just added to the confusion I’d been feeling from the first page.
Now, I know that part of the intent with this issue is to keep the reader off-balance. We are meant to understand that this is not the Wolverine we’re used to seeing. But I think the creative team was a little too clever for their own good. When the sense of mystery descends into confusion, I end up losing interest in the story. That’s what happened here.
The bright spot in this issue for me is the artwork of Ryan Stegman (pencils), Mark Morales (inks) and David Curiel (colors). Stegman makes the action jump off the page, and I really like his take on the character.
I’ll give this series a second look, but I’m hoping the next issue takes a deep breath and then makes things clearer for readers. As a first issue, Wolverine #1 just doesn’t work for me.
2 out of 5 Say What Nows