Wolverine is kind of weird, right? I mean, think about him for a second: He’s a mysterious wandering Ronin, he’s a cowboy, he’s an X-Man, he’s an Avenger, he’s an assassin, he’s a teacher. Wolverine has this fascinating way of finding a way into any niche that a story is written for him. He fits just as well in gritty stories about Weapon X as he does in stories about being sucked into Hell or fighting invading space aliens. He’s friends with leprechauns, and he’s friends with street runaways.
This is a leprechaun story, not a street runaway story. This is Wolverine at his highest of high fantasy. Logan has been one of many champions chosen by Her Royal Whyness, the Omniversal Majestrix, Saturnyne, to fight in the tournament between Arakko and Krakoa – but he has to wield the blade Muramasa to do so.
Unfortunately, Muramasa has been destroyed. (It was destroyed back in a very fun arc of Tom Taylor’s All-New Wolverine, which if you haven’t read that already, put this review down, go read those, and then come back.)
Wolverine has only three days to find a new Muramasa Sword before the tournament between the two mutant nations begins. But, on Arakko, Apocalypse’s wayward children are readying for war, too, and War (the Horseman, not the concept) goes to free a murderous killer of their own: the oh-so-advertised Solem.
Solem is really interesting, in that he is almost an anti-Wolverine. Logan presents himself, by choice, as this murderous savage. He likes to appear as a killer and hunter, who doesn’t care about others, follows his own rules, and doesn’t care about high culture. But, of course, that isn’t true. Logan is a deeply caring individual, who is almost famous for how he serves as a mentor figure to young women: Rogue, Kate Pryde, Jubilee, Laura Kinney, Armor, and so on and so forth. He’s a peaceful man, who ‘hunts’ by simply trying to touch an animal, not kill it. And he likes to paint, write poetry, read, and has surprisingly good penmanship.
Solem, on the other hand, seems to be the exact opposite. He’s a man who feigns being cultured, who feigns being seductive, who feigns being a good person . . . but is obviously a murderous killer, who is ready to murder despite being locked alone in a hole for many hundreds of years.
But artist Viktor Bogdanovic isn’t the person for this story. Wolverine #6 is hyper-stylized, on a narrative level – it holds multiple timelines at once, multiple settings are jumped between very quickly, but the art is just an Adam Kubert pastiche. Someone more stylized, more innovative – a Mike Del Mundo, an Adam Gorham – would have vastly improved the book.