Now as I start to write this I have the thought in my head that anyone reading will wonder why this is a new beginning. Wolverine is not a new character, it's not a new team and no one has any new powers. It doesn't even a new issue #1. And it's being released in the wrong order. So why, I envisage you asking, is this coming up now?
A while back Jeph Loeb wrote a storyline called 'Evolution', a run that every Wolverine fan will have likely cherished. The age old foe who constantly tried to break and wear him down finally met his end at Logan’s hands - Wolverine unceremoniously removed Sabretooth’s head from his shoulders.
Which in turn leads me back to this issue - Wolverine #310, the start of a new run by Loeb where Sabretooth has his new beginning, back from the dead.
The story starts with Wolverine scaling the Empire State building in a daring rescue of Cloak, a young but fairly well known and quite powerful mutant who has been chained to the spire by Romulus. In his weakened state and whilst plummeting toward the pavement Cloak reveals that not only has Dagger been kidnapped but it was used to force Cloak to release Romulus from the darkness dimension. What Loeb has done in a matter of pages is play on nearly every driver and motivator that is found within Wolverine - all of which gives the reader a strong investment in the story.
Of course the major pull throughout this issue is the thought of Sabretooth being out there somewhere and by specifically not bringing anything more than rumours and broken stories, Loeb creates an feeling of is he/isn’t he. That said, as a reader, we know the answer because of marketing and previews. What you may or may not know though is who the mysterious, yet also familiar, female character is...
There is some very clever usage of personality, location and reaction in this story meaning that it is very easy to get swept along with it whilst also taking it all in.
As with Loeb’s previous story Simone Bianchi has provided the artwork. In one respect, seeing as these are both huge moments the continuity, it provides a fantastic connection for the audience and will immediately become a comfortable continuation. For those who have not read the previous arc the artwork is full of detail and depth, always giving you something to look at. My only criticism is that in some places - where Bianchi is trying to almost be too good - faces can be distorted due to the perspective, and although probably correct this gives an odd view of it all. One specific example of this was when Wolverine was checking his prior actions and he almost looks like some sort of downtrodden hound.
Aside from that it is a great looking comic. Even the fireside fracas jumps off the page at you but is drawn in such a way that it has layers.
This is a fantastic comic and should be picked up by any Wolverine fan. For new readers it may be a bit tricky as you won’t know all the relationships (including the mystery woman) but you can still enjoy it as a comic and get involved all the same.
Matt Puddy destroyed a pair of trainers at the weekend and enjoyed every minute of it!