Written by Charles Soule
Art by Nick Bradshaw, Alisson Borges, FCO Plascencia
Published by Marvel Comics
Release Date: January 7, 2015
With Wolverine taking a much deserved rest, it’s high time for his protégées, nemeses, and rivals to fill the gap he left and steal the spotlight while they can in Wolverines. Together with some Weapon X newcomers, the likes of Mystique, Sabretooth, Lady Deathstrike, X-23, and Daken are forced to band together to save their own skins and while Charles Soule clearly has plans for each and every member of the book’s massive cast, his straightforward script seems unsure of what tone it wants to achieve and combined with Nick Bradshaw’s bouncy art make for a rather generic first outing.
With multiple lead-in series, The Logan Legacy, The Weapon X Program, and Death of Wolverine itself, Wolverines #1 is able to skip all proper character introductions and jump right into the action with the cast’s first mission: obtain the adamantium-soaked corpse of Wolverine from an abandoned Weapon X facility. This issue will be a seamless transition for readers who have been following the Death of Wolverine tie-ins but those who haven’t may have their heads spinning at the handful of new characters. Luckily, Charles Soule is as interested in telling the stories of Endo, Junk, and the other new Weapon X escapees as he is in telling the stories of already established characters. Putting all the characters on equal ground is a smart move in creating what is essentially a small army of killers out for revenge or to save themselves from certain doom. That’s one thing each of them has in common: they’re in it for themselves. It’s a selfish crew which makes it puzzling why this issue comes across as such standard superhero fare. Not only does Soule pit this new team against one-dimensional beat-em-up baddies, The Wrecking Crew, but the tension that should exist amongst such a cast is also completely absent. Throwaway action and a surprise villain ending and this book becomes nothing more than a conventional, by-the-numbers team book.
While Soule’s script certainly makes one curious about what type of book Wolverines is intended to be, it’s Nick Bradshaw’s artwork that will leave you dumbfounded. Bradshaw is known for his cheery, chiseled faces and muscled alpha-bodies so why on earth was he chosen to draw a book that stars a group of experiment victims and hardened killers? Sabretooth looks as threatening as a teddy bear while Lady Deathstrike looks like a dressed-up Barbie. When the action picks up and FCO Plascencia’s colors come into play, everything becomes so bright that you won’t know if you just opened up the new Wolverine series or a coloring book. Two random pages towards the end are drawn by a fill-in artist, Alisson Borges. Despite being placed haphazardly in the middle of a pivotal scene(sure signs of a rushed production schedule), these pages may be the highlight of the issue simply because the violence and emotion they convey are more along the lines of the tone the book should be aiming for.
Wolverine had an uncanny ability as a character to fit into a multitude of roles. Secret agent, samurai, superhero, teacher, you name it and the character committed to it. If the story called for Logan to undertake a covert black ops Weapon X mission, he put on his darkest demeanor, snarled, and got his claws bloody. Unfortunately, these “Wolverines” aren’t quite sure which Wolverine they’re trying to emulate, if any. If Soule can’t bring out the right tone for the book, Wolverine will be back sooner than we hope and Wolverines will have been something Wolverine himself never was: forgettable.
The Verdict: 6.0/10