Wolverine: Black, White & Blood has been an amazing anthology miniseries so far, with the first issue opening with some of the best in the business and the second issue following in spades. These books have a few themes that might appeal to a niche audience — there’s no color beyond red in the issue, and it focuses on a single fight scene. The third issue is out this Wednesday and features Donny Cates, Jed MacKay, and John Ridley teaming up with Chris Bachalo, Jorge Fornés, and Jesus Saiz.
The first story by Ridley and Fornés is called “32 Warriors and a Broken Heart” and features the Silver Samurai. Or does it? This tale is more about commitments and choices we make in life and paying for it even when you don’t see repercussions coming. The story is gorgeously rendered by Fornés and it has the perfect amount of violence and thoughtful contemplation. This is as classic as samurai stories come, and Ridley nails the general mood of Wolverine in this story. Together, the creative team has created an interesting mystery that builds towards an epic series of battles ala classic cinema. It’s excellent stuff and a reminder that some of Wolverine’s best stories are set in Japan.
Next up is “Burn” By Donny Cates and Chris Bachalo, featuring time travel, a familiar Cates creation, and Juggernaut! It’s a barroom brawl tale with some meta twists thrown in. Bachalo draws in a gritty and messy style that hammers home the ferocity of Wolverine and the battle damage he takes. It’s a cute nod to Cates’ other work too. Red is used for Juggernaut, blood, and some polarizing panels that are striking and help break up the action.
The last story is by MacKay and Saiz and is titled “Red Planet Blues.” Fans of Death’s Head, or mutants on Mars, will want to check this out. MacKay connects this story to some previous happenings on Mars in an interesting way and features a Wolverine that’s a bit more like a hunter. Or is he being hunted? Saiz’s clean style works wonderfully without color save for the red that pops up on the bad guys. The fight choreography is stunning in this tale — there’s a turn in the fight that is excellently rendered that you may not have seen before — and you’ll believe Logan is in big trouble.
This is yet another fantastic example of how shorter comics stories can reap huge benefits. All three stories do a little bit more with the story than simply showing off fight scenes, which is an improvement on previous issues. Wolverine: Black, White & Blood #3 is a instant buy if you dig clever storytelling packaged with lots of Wolverine, blood, and fight comics goodness. This is the best issue in the series yet.
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