Friday, 2 November 2012

New Beginnings - Wolverine Max #1

After a delayed release this week we have Jason Starr’s Wolverine Max #1. Starr is more predominantly known as a crime and thriller writer; he made the transition into comics in 2009, and in 2011 won the first Anthony award for a graphic novel with The Chill.

From the very beginning the explicit content warning label is used with not only a plane crash but the use of the F word on the opening double page spread. Something I have to admit I am not used to seeing in a Marvel comic.

It’s disoriented, frantic and confusing - which is exactly what the story needs to begin with as Logan finds himself once again without memory or any clue as to where he is or why. Relying and acting purely on instinct he finds himself a celebrity, the miracle man who was the only survivor of a terrible plane accident at sea.

It’s at this point that the story splits into two separate stories. A retrospective of where he has come from  and the primal drives that he has resorted to in order to staying alive, juxtaposed with the aftermath of the crash where Logans mutant abilities are manifesting and confusing all around him as well as himself. As the only survivor he is under scrutiny and investigation. To confuse matters further he sees a girl that he thought had died in the sea.

Not knowing what to believe and who to trust Logan slips back in his mind to a time when as a monk he met a kindred soul called Victor.

The culmination of the issue is that Logan is left in a position where he can’t take anything he sees for granted and is unsure of all around him. With the sole exception of finally knowing he is not the miracle man - he is Logan.

The artwork for the issue is provided by Roland Boschi and Connor Willumsen with two very different styles being used to denote the flashbacks and current events. In addition, Jock has provided the covers which are looking minimalist and great!

I found that the flashback artwork was too indistinct for me with a very rough approach to it all. I can appreciate the idea behind it though as it does give a skewed perspective on things which is exactly how Logan’s mind must be. The present day artwork is a lot more distinct and clearer. There are still some moments when you have to accept the artist's reinterpretation of Wolverine as there is a loose depiction of him but not necessarily an easily identifyable version of him.

I can’t say I was overwhelmed by the artwork but (and I’m hoping that this was the angle that was being chased) the styles representing the current and past situations as experienced by Logan are explored. Even though I didn’t like it all I can appreciate the thought and work behind it all.

Interestingly, Connor Willumsen has since left the book, claiming there has been a ”a disrespect of agreement” with Marvel. For more details, click here.

This is a strange issue for me. The main character is possibly one of the best known in the Marvel Universe and the “Max” brand is a new way to experience his life but it has been done in such a way that new readers would be lost or left with a lot of questions. Fans of Wolverine will gravitate towards it well though and I think that there would be plenty of takers for an ongoing series.

Matt Puddy is ready for the next wave of Marvel Now!

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