Seeing Laura don the blue and gold is probably one of the moments I’ve been most looking forward to, and dreading in the entire post Secret Wars lineup. Wolverine has always been my favorite mutant and this book could be a great homage to the old runt, or a fantastic failure, and the latter would be a real shame after putting so many years into reading Wolverine comics. I think that’s been a major concern for a lot of readers, whether Marvel will pay tribute to Wolverine and carry the story on in familiar fashion while incorporating Laura’s unique story and personality.
I’m pleased to say, so far, they seem to be on the mark. Right from the cover, that is very much in the style of Wolverine comics, it feels like a passing of the torch rather than burning everything down and rebuilding. This continues inside, feeling both like a Wolverine book, and a new story about Laura.
Tom Taylor delivers a style we’ve come to know with our new Wolverine; full of action, brutality, and Laura’s determination to do what it takes to get the job done. She has all of her predecessor’s iron will and ability to take all the hits and get back up swinging. Laura is clearly following in the footsteps of her mentor, having learned many of his values and sense of honor, but also finding her own path with the shoes she’s chosen to fill. Before Secret Wars Laura was much like Logan used to be, and while we don’t see that much in this issue I expect we’ll see it in stories to come. She’s still working through the effects of her past, the aggression she feels, and the animal within. While these are similar to what Logan went through, the cause, and effects, are uniquely Laura’s. Taylor does a good job giving Laura her individuality in a comic based on an established character.
This issue jumps right into the action with Laura in Paris tracking down a masked individual. We aren’t sure why, yet but she’s protecting someone important. Fighting masked assassins, and bringing down killer drones, with a bit of help from Angel, set the stage for what looks to be a good adventure tale. We get a good mystery, enough questions to want to read the next issue, and enough story to be satisfied with the current one.
The art team of David Lopez and David Navarrot does a fair job of bringing Wolverine to life in the panels. It’s not the best art I’ve seen in Marvel’s current line, but by far not the worst. Closeups are very good, and backgrounds are detailed, but distance shots in panels are a little lacking. The colors and inks help bring out the detail and atmosphere of the pages, and overall the art is good. I’m unsure how the work in the issue was separated between the artists, but Lopez has quite a long list of credits while Navarrot is a newcomer to the scene. We’ve seen better from Lopez’s older work on X-Men and other Marvel issues so it may be the pairing of the two, or just a fluke issue that didn’t live up to past work.
So what’s the final verdict? I liked it, a lot. My worries did not come to fruition and so far my hopes for the series have been met. I think older Wolverine fans will like this book, and new fans looking to get into comics will find a great story that pays homage to a Marvel classic. New readers will be able to jump in fresh, without having to have a plethora of backstory to be able to follow along.