What if DC Presents the Inevitable Return of Wolverine?

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In September 2014, comicbook readers are going to see The Death of Wolverine which follows the current Wolverine series Three Months to Die. Charles Soule will be spearheading The Death of Wolverine arc which will conclude with the Legacy of Logan. Previously, Fatal Attractions ripped adamantium from his bones, Battle of the Atom recently took away Logan’s healing factor, and Jason Aaron at one point turned Wolverine into a Marvelized Dante and sent Wolverine to Hell and Heaven. However, we’ve yet to experience Wolverine being killed off in such a way that merit a macabre six month long marketing campaign. After all, why not? What else are writers supposed to do with an invulnerable super soldier other than hack up the aforementioned plot devices? We’ve already created doppelgangers in the form of Daken, his son, and Sabertooth, his sometimes relative, just to have Wolverine kill them again and again.

So why should we care? As comicbook readers should know, ever since Superman came back to life no hero has ever stayed dead. Unless you’re a civilian or a love interest, it has become an unspoken rule that heroes will come back again and again no matter how many times we confirm the dead body. Currently, we’re looking at it taking three months for Logan to begin dying, another month before we declare him dead, then another two months of talking about Logan being dead before Logan will most likely come back from the dead.

Or, will he? There are some conspirators out there who think this is the start of canceling the X titles altogether. This is stemmed from the announcement that Marvel is currently making plans to cancel the Fantastic Four series in September. One of the possible rumors behind the cancellation is to snub the licensing agreement between Fox and Marvel. By the way, Fox is the same studio who is responsible for the X Men franchise. In addition, rumors from undisclosed sources say writers and artists are no longer allowed to make new characters for the X titles. The reason being that it will give Fox more creative properties to potentially work with in future movie installments. Despite Brian Michael Bendis dispelling these rumors with reason and logic, he doesn’t completely address all the issues. In fact, in a recent interview Bendis contributes the success of Marvel to the Ultimate Marvel titles and Sony’s Spider Man Trilogy. However, Fox’s X Men also coincided with this time frame. It is unclear what naïve deal Marvel made with Fox while going through bankruptcy, but give credit where credit is due.

What if DC Presents the Death of Wolverine: Legacy of Logan? For those of you who are out of the loop Charles Soule in recent years had done a phenomenal run on Swamp Thing and Superman/Wonder Woman and the best parts of Forever Evil’s Villain Month were usually penned by Charles Soule. Now, it isn’t unusual for us to see creators consistently bounce back and forth between the big two. However, each issue of Legacy of Logan has a different creative team which consists of Charles Soule, Ray Fawkes, James Tynion IV, Kyle Higgins,Marguerite Bennett, and Tim Seely. This may seem odd because this is the same creative team who is currently behind DC’s major crossover events, Batman Eternal and DC’s Future’s End. Currently, Marvel is backing this event with a great deal of marketing. In fact, Marvel crossovers are mainly done by their in house writers and staff. Doesn’t it seem hypocritical to pull properties because they don’t want to support their competitors; meanwhile, they’re hiring the competitors talent pool? Now, the reason I find this simply amazing isn’t because I believe that Charles Soule is a not-so-secret double agent who is currently administrating a coup against the Marvel HQ in the name of DC. Hail Hydra … err I mean rather, What If this is setting us up for another DC/Marvel crossover which will be used to bring Logan & Co. back from the dead? Previously, when creative teams jump back and forth between the big two it wasn’t long before we’d see this exact team up. Although I’ve grown tired of the industry killing off popular characters in order to make a quick buck like they were some gun for hire, I have to admit every team up needs some sort of motivational factor and maybe this is as good as any. 

Is this Marvel event the beginnings to a Big 2 Crossover Event, is this another blow to Fox, or is it simply a gimmick? Only time will tell.

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Professor Seedy’s Weekly Progress Report 5.14.2014

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Title Art Story Character Originality Format Grade
2000AD #1881 + / + + + A-
Each well drawn and written six page exploitation is cheeky SciFi spliced with 20th century history tropes.
Abe Sapien #12 The Garden + + + + / A-
Hypnotizing southern gothic narrating us through the apcalyptic end times with an art style just as foreboding.
Action Comics #31 / + + + / B
Interesting duality between Superman and Doomsday and the morality of having blind faith in Superman.
After Life with Archie #05 + + + + + A
We’ve left our life in Riverdale and there’s none better to lead us away than Francavilla & Sacasa
All New Ghost Rider #03 + / D-
Beautiful action can’t rescue the bogged down pacing from the superfluous and pointless word balloons.
All New Ultimates #02 + + + + B
Despite half the book being an action scene, Ultimates proves we can still have intrigue and character development.
All New X Men #27 + + + / / B
Although we’re attacking the base again with excessive double page spreads, it still feels fresh and captivating.
Amelia Cole & The Enemy Unleashed / / / + / C
Slap & paste plot made it difficult to follow Amelia and her comrades.
Americas Army FCBD + F
Half the comic is a debriefing the other half was a reused issue while both lacked action.
Archer Coe & 1000 Natural Shocks 10 & 11 + + + + / A-
The pacing was smooth and each plot reveal and character development enhanced the mystery
Archie 655 + + + + + A
Suspending belief is rewarded with a fun romp through 50’s culture and Sci-Fi with some dashes of modern irony
Ash & the Army of Darkness 07 + / / / C-
Plot adds some to Ash’s past but it felt just as much of a throw away as this issue.
Astro City 12 + + + + + A
Wow, this was an excellent reminder of why we love stories about villains.
Atomic Robo & Friends FCBD + / + + / B
A quirky and fun Sunday Comic Strip style story
Avengers 29 + + + + / A-
A gripping Illuminati story which divides the pious Captain and the amoral Iron Man
Avengers Undercover 04 + + + + A-
Repercussions from killing Arcade is used to unveil human natures and individual identities.
Batgirl 31 / / / / / C-
Creepy action from rag doll wasn’t able to overshadow the awful melodrama
Bloodshot & Hard Corps + + + / / B
Surprising twists turns the issue into a captivating techno thriller when Bloodshot goes rogue.
Captain America 20 + / + C-
There’s some novelty with the Dream within a Dream trope otherwise it severely lacked any development
Captain Marvel 03 + + + + B
Complex cast and a dynamic plot that wonderfully balanced human emotion with a cosmic adventure.
Clive Barker’s Next Testament 09 / + + + / B
God moves in psychopathic ways and ends up being challenged by his chosen heralds.
Constantine 14 + / / / / C
Great artwork but the story had some tonal inconsistencies
Deadly Hands of Kung Fu + / D-
Great Kung Fu action couldn kick the awfully unoriginal story and characters into shape.
Deadpool 28 + + / / + B
Because of some Pokemon drop outs and Deadpool’s extravagance, the honeymoon turns into a fun and hot pursuit
Deadpool vs Carnage 03 + + / + B-
Instead of just grinding out the death toll the creative splatter and humor keep it from being monotonous.
Deceivers 05 / / / D-
Because the pacing is too quick for the deceit to sink in, the protagonist seem to have precognition or omniscience
Uncle Scrooge & Donald Duck FCBD + + + + + A
A great FCBD double whammy which has smart and memorable laughs
Epic 0 / / F
another bored and cliché millennial using superheroics as a form of escapism
Fables 140 + / / + / B-
Plenty of metafictional humor and irony to keep flipping the pages
Les Miserables Fall of Fantine + / + / + B
Magna art style compliments Fantines emotional tragedy
Federal Bureau of Physics 10 + + + + + A
Great character development which twists around reality warping machines and spooks
Gravel combat Magician 04 + / D-
Bloody awful english stereotype offensively gets in the way of his own story.
Green Lantern Corps 31 + / / / + B-
The pacing from the breakout and riot let’s the desperation and gravity slip through its fingers
Grimm Fairy Tales Annual 2014 / / + / / C
The story and artwork were bland and lacked any fantastical elements that make this series shine.
Robyn Hood Vol 3.4 / / + + / B-
Rich with needed character development from introspection and plot twists
The Dark One + + + / B-
A god and mortal romance which twists various Fairy tales and religious mythology together.
Hellboy In Hell 06 + + + + + A
Art & writing create a world full of myths, characters, and humor which prompt to be reread multiple times
Iron Man 25 + + + / + A-
A well pace and excellent beat down which put the fear back into Malekithe
Jack Kraken / + / + / B-
Action cop with squid arms shoots ghosts and zebra people. Why not?
JailBait / / / D-
A counterproductive finale and sexist artwork finish off a story about sex trafficing.
Judge Dredd + / + C-
Campy but creative fight sequences emerge while fighting the dark judges
Justice League United 01 + / + + + A-
An alien super baby with three tentacle nipples & other unexpected surprises from this cheeky group
Krampus 05 + / + + / B
This tale has been wrapped up with a nice little bow on top. Hope to see them next fall.
Minimum Wage 05 + + + + + A
Our favorite everyday man is getting back in the saddle while facing ultra relatable insecurities & awkward situations.
Miss Fury 11 + + + + + A
A self contained time stepping and mind bending adventure of what makes Miss Fury tick
New Avengers 18 + + + + + A
Illuminati weight the moral consequences of saving their own universe by destroying other universes and fighting superheros.
Nightcrawler 02 / + / / C-
Go exploring in Kurt & Amanda’s past before tripping in some major plot holes.
Quantum & Woody 10 + + + + + A
Another clever adventure of Woody bumbling and sucker punching his way through dating, robbing, and being an awful brother.
Secret Avengers 03 + + + + + A
Ales Kot finally delivers a twisted and fun brain hemorrhage which Kot is know for.
United States of Murder Inc + / / + + B
What if the mafia won alt history with just enough character development and plot to hook us in.
Superboy 31 + + + / / B
This is an electrifying and witty fun ride.

Original Sin #0 (2014) Review

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STORY BY Mark Waid

ART BY Jim Cheung

We’re introduced to the newest member of the Nova Corps and who currently flies with the New Warriors. Unlike other spin offs or crossover events, issue zero does a nice job of catching the readers up on who Nova is. In addition, it throws in a little skirmish to fully nail down the tone and character of Nova. Nova also becomes the relatable narrator. Because Nova is new to the world of Marvel’s Cosmic Universe, new readers are learning along with Nova. This makes it easier for the readers understanding when the story transitions it’s focus on The Watcher.

Presumably, by the time issue one hits the shelves The Watcher, Uatu, will already be dead. After all, Original Sin carries the tag line of, “Who Killed the Watcher”. With that in mind, it’s nice issue zero gives the readers a chance to know the victim and understand Uatu’s purpose. Otherwise, the crossover event of the year will retain little gravity.

Furthermore, the story arc is a classic who-done-it mystery. It will be interesting to see if this mystery will have re-readability to live pass its conclusion. Often these types of mysteries lose their appeal once the ending has been spoiled. Regardless, one of the greatest parts about these types of mysteries are the skeletons hiding in various peoples closets and how those secrets will influence their motivations. Issue zero already revealed secrets behind Nova and The Watchers motivations. Meanwhile, secrets are being revealed in other tie-in issues such as Avengers and Mighty Avengers.

What’s also interesting is issue zero revealed images from other Marvel continuities or universes. We’ve already witnessed Ultimate and 2099 universe converge into the Marvel Now continuity. Perhaps there are more forgotten characters or time lines waiting to be reintroduced.

There’s a large team of great artist behind this story arc and each panel shows it. There’s so much detail crammed into the backgrounds of the panels it almost looks like each section is fighting for attention. Wandering into The Watcher’s layer and exploring what he sees was a treat for the new eyes and old fans. There’s also plenty details given to hologram technology to give every cosmic fan a sense of nostalgic wonder. The colors and shading bring every character to life and the action feels like its exploding off the page. The Marvel Now cosmic titles show how much comic book art has been able to progress since the cosmic era of Jack Kirby.

Overall, we’re sure to see surprising guest appearances emerge from the shadows while other revelations will subvert our understanding of well known characters. Whether or not Original Sin can keep up with its promises remains to be seen, but its first shot in the dark certainly grabs attention.

Wolverine: Smoke ‘Em If Ya Got ‘Em (2014) April Fool’s Review

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Writer

Garth Ennis

Artist

Gabriele Dell’Otto

The issue begins with a splash page depiction of Armageddon showing Logan in a final showdown with Legion. This is apparently the result of an X Force operation gone horribly wrong. As Legion is incinerating Logan’s flesh and mind wiping his brain, Legion says, “Freud says once you experience a trauma you’re doomed to repeat it. Why do you keep coming back to life, Logan?” Jerome Otto cleverly fades the close up of Wolverine’s corpse and Legion out to a dark monochrome. Logan wakes up in a cell with who is quickly revealed to be the red-headed Typhoid Mary. After watching a feral Logan spring back to life, Wolverine’s claws pop out and leap for Mary before we can only assume Typhoid sets Wolverine on fire, for the panel shows only a close up of her eyes sparkling with fire and a scream coming from Wolverine. Otto and Ennis do an interesting job of using parallelism by showing the same awakening scene happen again. Except this time we see the close up of Mary’s eyes before Wolverine pops his claws. Instead of leaping towards her, he asks her where they are who she is and more importantly who he is. We discover this same scenario has been happening for weeks while his body has been healing.

As the story progresses, we learn that Logan’s memory only lasts as long as he is awake, and any recollections from the past are at best fading dreams or a sense of Deja vu. After Mary makes a remark about how people can’t remember their dreams in color, it begins to make sense why Ennis and Otto chose to let most of the story remain colorless except for fire and blood. Although Logan can’t remember his past, he can remember how to do the one thing he does best and they decide to use their skills together in order to escape their prison. There’s a beautiful and violent scene which perfectly illustrates this approach. As Wolverine quickly snkts and kills many guards with trained precision, Typhoid Mary begins dancing, singing, and wrapping the screaming guards in blankets of fire. Blood drips and splashes from one panel to the next sequential panel, while Mary’s burning chaos are wide blazing panels. Even the pacing of the panels shows the dichotomy between their killing rhythm. Logan’s being three slices of panels followed by Typhoid’s stretched blazing panel interconnected with Mary’s burning lyrics singing across the tops. It isn’t until Logan smells the singed hair and sizzling fat of the guards does he pause his rage to witness Typhoid Mary’s blood lust. The following splash page is practically glowing and dripping from their fire and carnage. What is also interesting about this fight is the finesse of Wolverine’s attacks and defense. Wolverine doesn’t have the option to lay unconscious from a sentinel blast and a few seconds later jump right back into the fight. Because being knocked unconscious would erase Logan’s memory, Logan no longer has the option of running at bullets and using himself as a meat shield. Instead, we’re seeing the primal as well as the trained instincts of an immortal warrior.

Although the story doesn’t have any extra layers of plot or drama, it’s stripped down make your escape has always been the most suitable for Wolverine. Unlike many other incarnations of Wolverine, this story does not apologize for Logan’s killer instinct. With the narrative and dialogues, we learn this is a story about different aspects of killers. There’s Legion who is the Righteous Killer and always believes it’s a justified or merciful kill. Or there’s Mary. Because of her abusive and tragic past, Typhoid Mary became a sociopath for catharsis and defense. Then, there’s Logan who is a Darwinian soldier who survives by drawing first blood. It isn’t nice, but Logan’s the best at it.

Furthermore, Ennis’ Max series with Punisher and Fury, Ennis has proven that he knows what grit and grime can be found underneath the killers trigger, and that’s why this issue is the antithesis of what Wolverine had become over the last decade or two. Because of Wolverine’s popularity, he has been shoved into every corner of Marvel Universe. Now, not only does Logan have a past, but also it’s a messy one. Although it was nice House of M allowed writers to dive into unexplored aspects of Wolverine, it’s about time for the genie to be put back in the bottle. Instead of turning him into some Pseudo Xavier or Nick Fury, it would be nice for writers to remember the original Wolverine archetype, the immortal unknown soldier who is the best at what he does. Hopefully, much like what Born did for Punisher, this new Wolverine one-shot could hopefully re-calibrate Wolverine for future writers.