Sabretooth, Lady Deathstrike, and Daken all want Wolverine dead, but can they find him?
Claws of a Killer has to be one of the coolest titles to any book ever written. The fact that there are three villains serving as protagonists–all of which have claws–is icing on the cake. In this story, everyone who hates Logan is on his trail and they want to take a slice.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
Where’s Wolverine? To find a hunter, you need a squad of hunters! And as word spreads that Logan may have returned from the grave, a handful of Wolverine’s greatest adversaries will come together to track him down and put him back there. But the brutal and horrific nightmare that Sabretooth, Daken and Lady Deathstrike uncover could lead to more pain and death than even these vicious killers can handle!
Why does this matter?
If you’re going to have four miniseries under the “Hunt for Wolverine” title you best have one of those books be about characters who want him dead. Just by being in existence this series serves to increase the tension since if they reach him first Logan may be dead before he can even be alive.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This collection opens with Hunt for Wolverine #1 which was an extra-sized issue with art by David Marquez and Paulo Siqueira. In fact, this issue opens each of the four Hunt for Wolverine trade paperbacks and it details the events that lead to Kitty Pryde setting in motion the hunt for Logan (at least with the heroes). This is a solid issue that ramps up the anticipation for all these searches for our main cigar-smoking man, Logan.
This is without a doubt my least favorite Hunt for Wolverine series. It opens strong, but unfortunately drags out a two issue (max!) story through four very slow and pointless issues. Tamaki opens and closes the first issue with an interesting supernatural mystery that adds a layer to the mission these villains are on to kill Wolverine. That’s a smart move as it makes these bastards actually the heroes of the story.
Tamaki has combined three rather interesting characters for this hunt due to their different reasons for wanting Logan dead. Lady Deathstrike is the most interestingly written of the bunch since she is so calm and collected here. Typically she’s been written as a maniac with a bloodlust, but it appears that has changed even though she wants Logan deceased. Sabretooth is the gruff, no-nonsense type and Daken adds the youthful flair we’ve come to expect from the character. It’s funny to think these characters would team up over the mere hint of Wolverine coming back to life, but here we are.
Butch Guice’s art is gritty with a noir feel that suits the mysterious nature of the story and the supernatural twists in the narrative. Mack Chater joins him for issues #2 through #4 and his style works wonderfully with Guice’s. They both supply ample grit and grime to the story and some nice layout work. Highlights include a pretty boss explosion, lots of gory, sharp things going into people, and some rather gross looking zombies. Color artist Dan Brown is, of course, a factor in making these images feel real and downright nasty.
It can’t be perfect can it?
This is without a doubt my least favorite Hunt for Wolverine series. It opens strong, but unfortunately drags out a two issue (max!) story through four very slow and pointless issues. Essentially this group of super healing villains wants to kill Logan. Okay, cool. Then they go to some strange dead town in America. Also interesting. In this town, Logan does something we never really understand. Okay, annoying. There are also zombies. Cool. But they don’t end up doing much. Lame. For three issues they take swipes at the main characters and do end up capturing one, but it ends up with no answers to speak of. Boring. Whoever pitched this story probably didn’t want it to run four issues, because it’s very obvious there isn’t enough to hang 80 pages of story on.
Is it good?
If you average my four reviews together I gave this series a 5.1 out of 10 and that seems fair. I enjoyed the opening, but it is maddening how bad this series drags things out. It reads like a cash grab and, unfortunately, it could have been so much better. Typical of stories that start strong you’ll grow to dislike this even more because it had a chance to be so good.