Writer: Marc Guggenheim
Artist: Howard Chaykin
This is the debut of the Guggenheim and Chaykin creative team on this book after the abysmal Jeph Loeb run. Guggenheim is a former television writer for shows like The Practice and Law and Order. He’s turned his hand to comics, writing Blade among other books, but is most notable at this time for being the Flash writer for the recently failed Bart Allen as Flash. Chaykin is a legendary innovator and artist of such notable comics as Marvel’s Star Wars and American Flagg! This was the creative team for the failed Blade re-launch, but apparently Marvel liked their work enough to push them to something more high profile.
Not off to a particularly good start, we begin in WWI. Wolverine was clearly active through many important eras, but due to a recent over-reliance on revelations about his history, anything set in the past sets off the quality and continuity check alarm bells in my head. Luckily the alarms, this time, prove for naught as this is merely set up about how little Wolverine’s essential nature has changed during the years. It turns out that one of Marvel’s terrorist groups, Scimitar, is targeting Tony Stark and it’s up to Wolverine to save him, even though he doesn’t like him. A fair enough set up for an action story.
The action keeps moving and the majority of the text is Wolverine’s internal monologue, as usual. Scimitar is, of course, prepped for Wolverine and we have a new enemy who’s as good as the best Wolverine knows and quickly makes it personal. The cliffhanger ending works well, and as an opening to an arc, I’ve seen worse. Looks like we’re going to do a story about the way Wolverine sees the world using his healing factor and protective instincts contrasted destructive tendencies for himself and those he loves. This is a strong start and can either become a very fun action comic, manage to look at Wolverine in a light that hasn’t been shined on him in a while, or both.
The art is gorgeous. Really, it speaks for itself. Besides some occasionally awkward postures for characters, the storytelling works perfectly. One big peeve though, the narration is telling us every second counts, but in the next scene Wolverine is wearing different clothing. Attention to detail counts a lot when building tension.