If there’s one area Marvel consistently beats DC in, it’s nostalgia comics. With X-Men Legends, Symbiote Spider-Man, and this week’s Venom: Lethal Protector it’s obvious there’s big business in telling new stories in older eras. Case in point is this week’s Wolverine: Patch, which is written by comics legend Larry Hama. The Patch era of Wolverine focused on Wolverine solving crimes and fighting gangs in Madripoor, but it was a shorter era for the character.
With the keys to the Patch era, Hama gets the adventure started quickly while supplying plenty of detail so you won’t feel lost or confused. It’s rather obvious Wolverine as Patch is a kind of vibe. He’s got the white suit, likes to hang out in bars, and hangs with his buddy Archie. Essentially there’s a James Bond look and feel to the story. After Hama introduces some shady-looking characters who want Wolverine to investigate suspicious activity in the mountains, the story quickly gets right to it.
From there Wolverine runs into Nick Fury, tumbles out of a plane, and gets himself into danger. Typical Wolverine stuff. There’s a larger mystery to solve, but this issue focuses more heavily on a big fight scene with some mysterious foes. The foes themselves are intriguing simply because we’ve never seen them before and you’ll want to know more about them. Outside of these characters, there’s nothing too remarkable here. It’s a solid fight comic.
The fight scene is quite good thanks to the choreography by Andrea Di Vito, colors by Sebastian Cheng, and inks by Le Beau Underwood. Details in environments are well done too with a world that feels well-realized and worth exploring. Wolverine’s look, which is key to pulling off this book, works splendidly. Purists will note there’s no cigar, but Wolverine ditched those long ago.
It remains to be seen if this story needed to be told, however. Aside from Wolverine wearing the suit and eyepatch, there isn’t a lot that distinguishes this as the Patch era. Nick Fury entering the tale helps, but if you redrew Wolverine in his modern costume it wouldn’t be entirely obvious this is set in an earlier era for the character. For that reason, it’s a decent Wolverine story, but it hasn’t yet made a case for why it needs to exist.
Fans of the Patch era of Wolverine will obviously love seeing Logan in the suit and tie, but there’s nothing too remarkable here. It’s a solidly crafted adventure with some intriguing mysterious foes with good action. Pick this up if you’re in the mood for good action and a Wolverine solo reading experience.
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