As much as I’m annoyed with the idea of all of Marvel’s NOW! relaunches I get it. New books mean new stories. It means potential new readers. It also means collectors are going to be stocking up on over printed #1 issues. Everybody wins! With that in mind, Marvel will be relauching ‘Wolverine’.
What I’m curious is how this ‘Wolverine’ is going to factor in with the larger Marvel Universe and Logan’s role in both The X-Men and The Avengers. Also, how exactly are they going to retcon all of the build up of Wolverine’s character, interaction with others, and the need to be responsible for the students at his school which has become the sole motivating factor for so many of his actions since mutant kind became divided? It’s hard to see him just saying “Scott won” and walk away from it all.
First let’s take a look at what the premise of the series will be about in the words of writer Paul Cornell and artist Ryan Stegman, shall we?
“The first arc is called “Payback,” and that’s where we find him: working for a crime boss called The Offer, alongside a “family” of low-rent super villains. Following the end of “Killable,” he’s decided to simplify his life and drop his responsibilities. The Offer is a minor super villain gang boss who has the power to make the best possible offer. It’s not hypnotism; you’re free to turn him down. But his offers tend to make people think twice. He’s a caring, fatherly presence to his gang, but he’s not really a good man.
His gang includes Pinch, who Logan is in a relationship with, who can pull threads from any material; Fuel, who increases powers, and thus can make Logan move at high speed; and the Lost Boy, who can make anything ignite, and who has a complicated attitude towards what heroism and villainy might be. Logan worries about him. He’s now wearing an armor which keeps the shape of his old uniform, but it has, worryingly for readers who’ve been paying attention, samurai influences, too. He’s now carrying a pair of handguns, and fighting hand-to-hand in a different way. He will indeed be using the claws less frequently.”
So the premise here is that he’s dropped all of his responsibilities to be a super villain. Okay, it’s clear by now that Marvel fans are all just about sick to death of Logan popping up in every other issue, but I find it hard to see him no longer being in at the very least an X-Men book (especially with Nightcrawler about to return) and become a villain on top of that. It just doesn’t add up and I seriously suspect that this is about to become a convoluted mess when you factor in his current actions in ‘Wolverine and the X-Men’. Unless they spin this book off as something that’s happening on the side but even that is a stretch.
That being said, there were some useful tidbits popping up that I felt were very fitting for the character that do fit with what they are trying to put together. As you can tell by the limited cover art that we have access to, there are two things that should stick out. First off, is that Wolverine is sporting new armor. That’s right it’s another new costume change where the artist really likes”the simplicity of it. It looks very Wolverine, while still being different from previous designs. It hearkens back to samurais, which is very neat and very fitting. I also like the simple combination of black and yellow. ”
This is fitting with his healing factor still gone and the fact that he will have to really start relying on some of his other training now. Samurai inspired armor means he’s going to have at least some protection now that he can no longer rely on healing through anything. Speaking of no healing factor that means his claws are going to hurt every top they are popped and no longer will the skin instantly heal so “there will be guns, and there will be claws. There will be whatever Wolverine needs to get the job done.”
While older fans of Wolverine will be happy to see Logan getting back to being the best there is at what he does, this really feels like a complete change of the character that has been developed over the past few years. This sounds like it would have been a classic Wolverine story but one that doesn’t fit with the current status quo. I’ll be interested to see them pull it off, and pull Wolverine out of every other book that he’s currently in. I just don’t see that actually happening though.
What do you think fellow Marvel fans. Are you sick of Wolverine and welcome him to be out on his own again for awhile or does this not seem to mesh up with how he currently is being portrayed?