It’s all been building to this as Wolverine faces off against Solem, but will Logan get what he wants out of him? Given how dangerous and conniving Solem is, probably not, but it’s going to be a hell of a show given Benjamin Percy is writing and Adam Kubert is drawing this issue! Wolverine #16 is out this week from Marvel and it concludes a fun pirate-centric Wolverine story arc.
If you’re expecting a huge clash between these titans you may be sorely disappointed to find Solem and Wolverine first interact over some alcoholic beverages. Percy has said Solem is Wolverine’s ultimate villain not unlike Loki to Thor and in a few ways, this issue reveals how that could be. Through Solem’s olive branch of highly rare wine to his excesses in wanting to make love to Wolverine, there’s a clear juxtaposition between the two in the finer things in life. That and the desires they exhibit. Solem is dangerous, but we also get the notion that he’s fine with relaxing while Wolverine is the opposite of that.
This issue does two things very well, the first of which is to recap Solem’s upbringing. It turns out, the pirate that gave Wolverine info in the last issue may not be trustworthy. The second lies with the trustworthiness of Solem, which plays into the action-packed climax to the issue. The creative team knows we want plenty of action in a Wolverine book and we get that via some cool layout design.
Truth is, there’s more than one ending to this issue as the story continues after the main conflict is resolved. That’s where we learn a bit more about Solem as well as a secret he’s had involving Krakoa. There are some interesting ideas afoot here as well as some worldbuilding that will likely play into Percy kicking off the next era of Krakoa in 2022. That includes Solem helping Wolverine, which takes a turn that doesn’t necessarily make sense. Why help Wolverine at all if that’s the route you’re going to go?
Kubert plays with layout design in a few double-page layouts that are quite cool. If you’ve ever liked the 2D method of showing characters moving across the page you’ll dig some of the choices here. Seeing Wolverine run, jump, kick, and slice at an enemy over four smaller panels mixed in with many more panels across two pages is quite cool. It opens things up visually, which by extension opens up your imagination.
Wolverine #16 is a good finish to the latest story arc that features a lot of new details learned about Arakko mutant Solem. The creative team is also showing us how a villain that’s similar, but also opposite of Wolverine in a few different ways acts as a way to further define our favorite Canadian superhero.
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