‘Return of Wolverine’ #1 review: A strong statement on why Wolverine is great



Delivers on a heroic return to the feral and compassionate sides of Wolverine.

The day has finally come: Wolverine is back at it and alive in the Marvel universe. This issue reveals a good deal of what state he’s in, but is he well? More importantly, how will he be integrated back into the fray? We all knew he’d be back eventually (no comic character dies forever, do they?), but the questions remains: can he brought back in a clever way or with good storytelling?

So what’s it about?

Read the preview.

Why does this matter?

Wolverine is 100% finally back. This is the start of his return to the Marvel universe after being killed off by writer Charles Soule in 2014. In comics that’s quite a long time. His return is exciting not only because we’ll figure out how Soule plans to bring him back, but also because this character will surely change the dynamic of other characters especially those in the X-Men.

Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?

Hot claws! Credit: Marvel Comics

The art by Steve McNiven is everything it needs to be and more. Inker Jay Leisten and color artist Laura Martin compliment McNiven’s blockbuster style art. The art is in your face, detailed, and captures the animalistic quality of Wolverine so very well. It’s never more apparent how brutal and gritty this character is than through the battle damage he takes. Right off the bat, we get that as his yellow and blue costume is shredded and damaged. The mask has one eyehole ripped open so we can see Logan’s eye and the other still has the white film which gives him an almost broken look. This issue also hits all the hallmark looks of Wolverine from the big hair to the brutality of the man inside the beast. Wolverine has always been best as the underdog and visually you see it throughout this issue. He’s a character who through his resolve can do great things, but it always comes at a great price.

If you’re a fan of puzzle/mystery shows like Lost I think you’re really going to enjoy this. It’s the type of read that’ll make you want to reread it once or even twice to catch little visual details or to better understand what characters really mean. As you can see in the preview Wolverine is out of sorts and doesn’t know where he is or even who he is, putting into question how we got here. As the story unfolds we meet new characters and get a sense of what may be happening, but never a conclusive answer. We see wild things that suggest a bigger plot is afoot, but not enough to understand anything for certain quite yet. That in itself makes this a fun read as we attempt to disassemble and figure out what is going on.

At its core though, this issue is very certain of what it wants to accomplish and it does this in spades; that is, Wolverine is a great hero and one of the most selfless ones since he’s willing to suffer great pain to help those in need. Even though he’s unsure of who he is or where he is in this issue he still wants to help others. Soule does a great job reminding us this is a great hero even if he does kill to get results. At Wolverine’s core is a man who will stop at nothing to stop an injustice and that makes him a superhero.

Logan doesn’t know what is going on but he still wants to help this dude. Credit: Marvel Comics

It can’t be perfect can it?

This issue is very visual relying on the art to tell much of the story. That gives it a blockbuster feel and keeps things moving nicely. That said, there really aren’t many answers here and that can be frustrating. I wonder if Soule and Marvel Comics are attempting to put Wolverine back in the box where he doesn’t know everything about his past — which is intriguing, but can leave you wanting. There are however clues, which get your imagination going and should keep you highly invested in reading the next issue.

Is it good?

Wolverine is back and you’ll never doubt it for a second. This issue does a fantastic job reminding us of why Wolverine is so heroic and at his core a hero. It also kicks off a mystery that is worth investigating and will have you pondering, and probably postulating, on where we go from here.

Return of Wolverine #1
Is it good?
A strong start that is particularly interesting if you like mysteries yet to be solved.
Excellent visuals that capture the man and the beast in Wolverine
Soule and McNiven do a great job showing the hero (and the man inside the beast)
Has a mystery/puzzle feel that is exciting if you're into figuring out these sorts of narratives
It can be frustrating due to its mystery/puzzle direction since answers are very slim so far
8.5
Great