Comixology Sale Picks: Wolverine (2003)
Posted by James Hunt at 21:27 on 29 Aug 2014
Greg Rucka Era: #1-19
Written by Greg Rucka and drawn, more often than not, by Darick Robertson. It's a nice little run in itself but doesn't amount to much in the scheme of things. If you're a particular fan of Rucka it shouldn't disappoint, but against strong competition it's hard to recommend. #19 is a great one-off Wolverine/Nightcrawler issue, though.
Enemy of the State: #20-31
Love him or hate him, Mark Millar certainly makes an impression. Paired with John Romita Jr., this run is mostly the 12-issue "Enemy of the State" arc, which involves Wolverine being brainwashed by The Hand and gratuitously fighting every popular Marvel hero. As Wolverine stories go, it's pretty evergreen, and if you like Mark Millar stories or Wolverine stories or John Romita Jr. stories, you can't really go wrong with it.
House of M / Origins and Endings: #35-40
This is the beginning of Daniel Way's run, which would later be spun off into its own series, Wolverine Origins. If you haven't read House of M you can effectively skip the first three issues, which are set in an alternate reality. Issues #36-40 are essentially a lead-in to Wolverine Origins, and details what he does immediately after regaining all of his memories. If you're not interested in reading Wolverine Origins, you can safely skip all this. It's not very interesting outside of that context.
Civil War / Vendetta: #42-48
Spinning out of Civil War, Mark Guggenheim tells a story of Logan trying to track down Nitro, the man responsible for the Stamford Incident that saw hundreds of civilians killed in super-powered crossfire. I personally love it, although it does get a little bogged down in stuff about Atlantean sleeper agents. Art is by Humberto Ramos, too, which probably helps it because I like his style. Issue #48 is a one-issue coda in which Guggenheim tries to explain how Wolverine managed to stay alive after being completely incinerated. It's not awful, but skippable if you're saving money.
A truly infamous story, this is the point where the Jeph Loeb who wrote Long Halloween and Dark Victory was replaced by the Jeph Loeb who wrote Ultimatum, Ultimates 3, Onslaught Reborn, Ultimate X, etc. etc. etc. It's flatly dire on just about every level, and although it contains the death of a major Wolverine villain, it's not really worth your time. It probably doesn't help that Simone Bianchi's art, while very pretty, is quite hard to read. Avoid. Avoid avoid avoid.
Logan Dies: #56-61
Marc Guggenheim returns, with yet another story about how Wolverine can heal himself back from the dead even though it defies all logic. Not half as entertaining as his previous arc. It comes across as filler, to be honest. Again, while it's not awful, it's hard to recommend over the other, much better stuff in this sale.
Get Mystique: #62-65
Spins out of events seen in the X-Men crossover, Messiah Complex, but it's not particularly necessary to have read that story. Wolverine attempts to track down and kill Mystique after she betrayed the X-Men in the crossover. Written by Jason Aaron and drawn by Ron Garney, it's a fantastic arc that basically got Aaron a gig which lasted until he finally left Amazing X-Men early this year. If you buy one arc from this sale, it should probably be this one.
Old Man Logan: #66-72 / Giant Size Old Man Logan #1
Mark Millar returns to the character for a tale set in an alternate future where Wolverine has retired and the superheroes are dead, injured or otherwise out of action. Drawn by Steve McNiven, the visuals are fantastic, and the story has the feel of a post-apocalyptic western road movie, so it has a pretty compelling and enjoyable tone. The story is ultimately a bit of a slave to Millar's tendency to make things that are cool but substanceless, but what the hell. As an oversized What If story, I like it.
Wolverine #32 caps off Millar's run on the book with a strange single-issue story drawn by Kaare Andrews, set in a 1945 concentration camp. It's got an interesting premise and is a huge departure for Millar, and worth reading for that reason alone.
Wolverine #41 is an oversized one-shot by Stuart Moore and CP Smith, the team behind Wolverine Noir. I've not read it, but I've got no reason to believe it's bad. At 69p/99c, it's certainly good value!
Wolverine #49 is a one-shot by Rob Williams and Laurence Campbell, set at Christmas in a department story. It's bonkers, but there's no reason to avoid if you're feeling seasonal this August.
Wolverine #56 is a one-shot by Jason Aaron and Howard Chaykin. It's about a guy who has to machine-gun a captured Wolverine every 10 minutes to prevent him from healing enough to escape. It's great.
Wolverine #73 & 74 both contain one halves of two single-issue stories, which is very odd but fair enough. One story is by Daniel Way and Tommy Lee Edwards, and it's fine. The other is by Jason Aaron and Adam Kubert and it's easily my favourite thing in this entire sale. It's a story about how and why Wolverine manages to appear in about 15 books a month as an X-Man, Avenger and solo operator. Definitely get these two issues, if only for Aaron and Kubert's halves of them.
And that's it! You can find all of these issues in the Wolverine (2003) sale on Comixology until Sunday night.