Savage Wolverine reboots with a beautifully rendered tale of the Dust Bowl era, written and drawn by “the master of noir” Richard Isanove. Although Mr. Isanove has contributed to such artistic feats as Wolverine Origin and Marvel 1602, there are no writing credits on his resume to date. So how does this talented young artist handle both aspects of a comic? Is it good?
Savage Wolverine #14.NOW (Marvel Comics)
There is a formula that exists throughout comics, Marvel in particular. I most recently saw this formula deployed not two issues ago in this very same series. Here’s what it’s like:
[Character] is somewhere in the world on a journey/mission of some kind. We see [character’s] friends/allies, allowing us to sympathize with [character]. About halfway through the issue something awful happens to [character]. [Character] follows up on that terrible thing, running into [bombshell that really isn’t that surprising].
You’re right Logan! The plot hasn’t changed at all since the last arc!
I don’t want to take anything away from this formula — it is used so often because it works. It just seems weak after being done over and over again so many times. It also seems like very lazy writing: the author doesn’t have to put much thought into the character’s development or psychological profile, because it’s guaranteed that we are going to sympathize with the character from the beginning.
The element of surprise and a good deal of shock is also sapped from the comic because of this formulaic writing. Did I come into this issue expecting for the character at the end to show up? No. But was I really that surprised when the issue ended on a character reveal? No. I just can’t seem to be engaged in a story that is really just fill in the blanks.
They see me rollin’, they hatin’
Writing this way also takes away a lot of emotion from the issue, unsurprisingly. It is always sad when a character dies, but has the character really ever lived if its sole purpose was to die in a shocking way? Characters are just pieces to move around, they aren’t explored and explained, so we won’t remember them in any meaningful way.
- Art is detailed and colored flawlessly
- Plot is formulaic and boring
- Characters are insipid and merely plot devices
Is It Good?
Eh, not really. It’s so predictable and such a throwaway story that I can’t excuse the poor writing. I will say that the art is beautiful and gives the story most of the emotion that was lacking from the unfortunate writing. I appreciate creators trying to branch out, but I really think this creator was brought into this world to draw, not to write.