Wolverine. Yes, you read that right. The latest comic issue of Wolverine is being reviewed here. Why? I could go through a variety of reasons for it being reviewed, but there is one overwhelming reason. Cullen Bunn is the new series writer for Wolverine. Still I hear you asking why that makes it eligible for review here. You obviously haven’t read anything by Cullen then. Many years ago I referred to him as a “Sick, sick man.” I stand by that nomenclature. To be fair, he has earned it time and time again.
Issue #305 launches his storytelling of the most violent hero in the Marvel Universe. This part isn’t up for debate, sure the Punisher shoots and kills people, but Wolverine does it with six razor sharp claws.The blood is flowing from the first page in this issue. Well, to be fair, the blood on page one is more congealed as it is from a crime scene several hours old or so (Hey, I am not Ducky, I can’t give an exact time of death here.) What follows is, to my memory, the first story where I really felt like Wolverine was a cold blooded violent anti-hero. Sure we have seen him being violent and know he has claws. But I did a reread and a count. Over half of the pages had blood on them.
The story itself has a fascinating idea. Wolverine seems to be under the control of someone else, going around killing people and removing their brains.This story is most assuredly a horror story. From the story and tone to the art and monsters. There are homages to horror throughout the issue. As he leaves the bar, he goes towards a sleek black muscle car which can be debated as to whether it is the Barracuda from Phantasm or the Impala from Supernatural. Either way it is awesome. When he arrives at an old decrepit building, we see that it is the Dunwich Sanitorium. There is a raven perched outside as well as the skeleton of a bird. And then there are the monstrosities waiting inside for him. And those are just the welcoming gifts. The actual bad guy of the story looks like he will be one major bad ass. But if there is one thing that I have come to expect from the mind of Cullen Bunn, it is some major bad ass crazy villains.
And we can’t forget the art. I love the artist on this. His art has a life of it’s own. And with a little (very little) digging I realized he was the artist from the CrossGen comic Negation. Ok, there was a hint with the panel where Doop is reading a Negation comic. But his art is phenomenal.There were two panels that blew me away (well, about 100 really.) On the fifth page, Wolverine is sitting at a table in a bar and the waitress brings him a beer. He is staring at the mug, and we see his face reflected in the glass. Awesome imagery. Just a few pages later he is walking through a debris strewn hallway and we see his foot crunching on a mirror (or glass.) The broken shards each reflect Wolverine’s masked face. Another awesome image as well as a wonderful insight into the fractured mental state of Wolverine.
This is a superhero book, no question about that, but it is so much more than that. This story is more firmly entrenched in horror than anything Marvel has put out in years. A few years ago they tried to make vampires a big deal. But it was a fizzled attempt. If they had Cullen on board back then, the vampires of the Marvel Universe might have been something to fear. As always, I look forward to reading what he writes, and if you love horror, you should too. Go get this book. You won’t regret it. 5 stars.