The big selling point of the Wolverine #17 preview is the return of Maverick, but this latest issue is really about C.I.A. Agent Jeff Bannister. A friend to Logan, he’s been a facet of Ben Percy’s Wolverine throughout the run. In this latest issue, Bannister may be running into some trouble that not even Wolverine can get him out of.
All told, there’s more mutant and Wolverine action than Bannister, but Percy beautifully wraps up the book with a data page that’s quite clever. I’ll say no more to avoid spoilers, but it makes the entire issue feel different once you reach the end. His plot involves detective work and some rather dangerous turns as far as the C.I.A.
Bannister gets far more characterization in the issue too, especially since his captions put you inside his head in his scenes. One might guess his story may end with this arc since X Lives of Wolverine is on the way, which adds a certain sense of finality. That and his life is very much in danger.
If gumshoe detective work bores you, fear not: there’s some mutant karaoke that’ll blow your mind. Clearly, Percy and Lan Medina are having the time of their lives as there are multiple mutants singing songs you’ll be familiar with. The song choices, and changes to lyrics even, add some fun elements. That fun hangs in the background as Wolverine broods and a new mission kicks off.
If you enjoy action you’ll love the covert-ops going on in the issue too. Medina draws a slick Wolverine — in the brown costume of course — who moves with a lot of power. I can’t understand how Wolverine doesn’t sink to the bottom of the ocean before boarding the boat of baddies, but we’ll ignore that. The violence is kicked up a notch, too, and Medina shows it off in all its sliced glory.
The use of shadow also helps convey how Wolverine is a killing and maiming machine. Inks by Cam Smith add a lot in that regard, as well as the harder edge and looming threat in the Bannister scenes.
Domino might come off a bit stiff at times, though, and the plainclothes scenes can feel a touch stuffy. But in general, the art captures the mood and drama in the scenes. Colors by Java Tartaglia are a bit subdued, giving the issue a more grounded feel.
Wolverine #17 mixes the hard edge of being a detective, with the bloody nature of covert-ops, and even some hilarious karaoke too. It’s a good time up and down, wrapped up in a clever way that adds a different context to the entire issue.
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