In just five issues, Marvel took the genie that is Wolverine and tried to put him back in the bottle. Sure, they did hype the fact that he was back for a good year, but in the five Return of Wolverine issues written by Charles Soule, the real Logan was back. Drawn by Steve McNiven and Declan Shalvey, the series was given the all-star treatment as we, and Logan, attempt to make sense of his return.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
Wolverine’s body has been missing. The entire Marvel Universe has been looking for him, because he’s a very important part of the Super Hero puzzle. And at long last, he will be found.
Why does this matter?
This series also offered up a new villain with very specific powers and an interesting plan for Wolverine and the world. Trust me when I say that her plan at least makes sense by the end. The first issue was excellent too.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
The art throughout this series is great. McNiven draws some of the most highly detailed and realistic looking chapters with issue #1 and #2. He opens the book getting to draw the confusion and complete chaos in which Wolverine wakes up. He then closes out the book with chaos and destruction created by Wolverine. The action is insanely good and after reading this book I’d love to read a Weapon X specific story drawn exclusively by McNiven. Shalvey also draws three great issues. His style is different, a bit more refined and honed, yet less detailed. Together the art looks fabulous.
The opening and closing make very interesting statements. The opening issue reminds us why Wolverine is such a great hero, with some interesting dialogue expressing the selfless nature of the hero. This sparks the drive for the story as he attempts to find out what has happened to him. In the closing chapter, we get the full story on Persephone and her plans. It’s a clever idea as far as world domination goes. Insane, but impressive. Seeing Wolverine break that plan is quite a sight.
It can’t be perfect, can it?
Unfortunately, this series opens and closes well, but much of the central issues are filler. He fights the X-Men, gets led along by Persephone, and doesn’t come to any real realizations. We learn nothing new about Wolverine, and his reason for being resurrected is a limp sort of explanation. He also undoes everything Persephone built using brute force, rendering her genius quite pathetic.
If this story was given a single issue, or at the very least a double-sized issue, it might have worked. Sadly it’s too long, forcing readers to trudge through three unnecessary issues to get to a half-baked truth. Wolverine ends this series confidently explaining he is the same character when he died with maybe a few memories erased. Even his new hot-claws, which only get hot two or three times in this story, are not explained. It’s as if ideas were laid out but at the last minute anything revelatory or interesting was stripped from the story.
Is it good?
Marvel and Charles Soule definitely put this superhero back into circulation as if nothing happened, but it’s unfortunate for this story because nothing much happening is its curse. I’d highly recommend reading the first and last issues since they do offer great action and some interesting ideas. The rest is easily skippable.