Anthology series are all the rage these days, and that includes our favorite Canadian superhero, Wolverine. Logan’s first foray in the anthology format this year came back in November with Wolverine: Black, White & Blood, and this week the second installment drops. Like the previous story, each creative team is new and in this issue, we have Chris Claremont and Salvadore Larroca, Vita Ayala and Greg Land, and Saladin Ahmed and Kev Walker delivering three very different but all very bloody stories.
The opening story is by Ayala and Land and it’ll bring fans the most nostalgia as it pits Logan vs. Sabretooth who wears his classic costume complete with fur collar. This story is striking thanks to the snowy setting maximizing the blood splatter that graces each page. The story is a solid one, capturing Logan’s heroic nature and inability to let an innocent die even if they’re involved with anti-mutant endeavors.
The second story by Ahmed and Walker pits Logan against Arcade. Expect some cool death traps. There’s a clever way of showing the passage of time via a fuse with a skull end that graces the bottom of each page. There are clever uses of red in this story, too, in a fun action scene worth a look. Most importantly, Ahmed does well to show how regular people living their lives can be affected by the superhero lifestyle Wolverine goes through day in and day out.
Closing out the book is a Patch story featuring Kate Pryde by Claremont and Larroca. This is going to make Kate Pryde fans happy as Claremont devotes as much attention to her as Wolverine. The case is made that she’s just as hardened and tough as Logan. The heavy use of captioning slows the story down, making the violence more intense. Kate and Logan fight two new villains in Madripoor. Titled “Do We Die Today”, the story certainly has an edge since both Kate and Wolverine are put to the test. Art by Larroca keeps every missed punch and slash of a claw pulse-pounding. The use of red here is used for the blood of course but also contrast as well as the night sky in Madripoor.
It was an interesting choice to have Land and Larroca on the same book, as their styles are typically a tad stiff and utilize tracing to get the job done. Familiar faces and poses are seen in both. One other gripe is how each story is really just one action scene. Two of the three stories in the previous volume also fall prey to this and while with fewer pages the stories have less time to tell a story, it does limit these into single scene chunks.
Wolverine: Black, White & Blood is an example of how the comics medium can be used to highlight action and art by limiting its color palette. Fans of Wolverine, especially his berserker violence, will dig this and the entire series.
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