Wolverine is one of those characters that always worked because his backstory was a mystery. Unfortunately writers need to do something with the character’s backstory otherwise he’d be as interesting as a vanilla wafer; the problem is the more story you add to someone so enigmatic… the more chances it has to turn out stupid.
Frank Cho takes on writing and art duties in this new Marvel NOW! series, sticking our hero in the Savage Land. We know Cho can do wonders with art, especially the female form, but as far as the book as a whole is it good?
Listen to the latest episode of our weekly comics podcast!
Savage Wolverine #1 (Marvel Comics)
Most folks who pick this comic book up are probably opening it for the art and if there’s a halfway decent story well: bonus! The problem arises of course with the premise. How many times have we seen Wolverine do his berserker thing in the Savage Land? How many times has the Savage Land had a unique story? Its entire purpose seems to be focused more on letting heroes fight dinosaurs than anything. That doesn’t bode well for the potential story Cho has cooked up for us.
Appropriate Savage Land etiquette.
Or in this case the Savage Land is utilized as a mysterious remote place and to use Shanna as a protagonist. Considering how good Cho is at drawing a curvy woman (hell the guy has a book on how to draw women this week
), I can’t help but think he pitched this story simply so he could flaunt his cavewoman-drawing skills. That’s good news if you like that sort of thing.
Breasts as big as her head? Yikes.
Tossing papers like a boss.
Clearly Cho knows what he’s doing as far as the art is concerned. The action is well paced and interesting and every panel is telling a story. In fact, the composition is reminiscent of David Aja, at least as the early pages are concerned. Pages come out very symmetrical and, while there’s obviously some wasted space, it all looks orderly and nice on the page.
Poor poor dino.
Haircut joke sighting!
So this issue has some berserker rage, lots of chopping of limbs and some nice Shanna shots. How’s the story? Well that’s where it gets dicey. Shanna was doing some kind of mission with SHIELD, got stuck on an island. Wolverine was mysteriously teleported to the island. No answers on that. They meet up. That’s about as far as it gets. I can’t help but think Lost was ripped off here as well.
You can never leave the island! WALLLT!
There’s also a very odd scene between Wolverine and a SHIELD agent. As he holds him it’s as if Wolverine was family with the man or something. He’s very upset. And then later, Shanna appears to have bonded with the SHIELD agents as well. There’s nothing to back this up besides them telling us how they feel. Which brings up another issue with this comic book. There’s way too much exposition.
Funny insight but my guess is these pouches are never used…AGAIN!
Final Score: 4
- Great art and composition.
- Little to no story.
- Poor pacing.
Unfortunately for this issue there’s a very unbalanced story unfolding. The mysterious science fiction stuff is shoehorned in to allow for some Wolverine action right at the beginning. The turn of events that lead to the final pages is also unexciting. We don’t really come away with a threat besides the Savage Land itself and aside from some halfway interesting hoodoo voodoo going on I’m not sure why this story was told at all. Wolverine is his same old grumpy berserker self and we all know many more dinos will be dying by series end.
Is It Good?
Nope. Flip through for the art, but leave your brain at home.
Like what we do here at AIPT? Consider supporting us and independent comics journalism by becoming a patron today! In addition to our sincere thanks, you can browse AIPT ad-free, gain access to our vibrant Discord community of patrons and staff members, get trade paperbacks sent to your house every month, and a lot more. Click the button below to get started!