Welcome back to another fun-filled edition of the All-New Uncanny X-Piles! Join us each week as Infinite Speech & the Comic Book Clergyman guide you away from the “Doops” and steer you towards the “Days of Future Pasts” of the current X-books. You can trust us. Really. We know what we’re talking about.
This issue represents everything that is wrong with Wolverine. First, let’s start with the issue’s cover by Declan Shalvey & Jordie Bellaire. It’s a beautiful cover. However, it has nothing to do with this issue. Logan is kneeling before a grave and the image almost looks like it would hearken to one of his Japanese adventures. However, this issue doesn’t take place there, and doesn’t really connect at all with the cover.
Strike two is that this is perhaps the most unoriginal story in recent Wolverine issues. Once again, we find Logan traipsing around the Canadian wilderness with some hunters trying to kill him. He runs into some wolves, growls at them, and becomes friends with one of them. Yep, you guessed it, the hunters attack and the wolves become Logan’s back-up. I feel like this is just lazy storytelling. How many times does this kind of thing happen to Wolverine? Why does he even go back to Canada if this is all that ever happens to him. It made me realize that this was very close to the recent Origin II mini-series, which I had almost forgotten about. Thanks for the reminder.
Lastly, the art by Jonathan Marks leaves much to be desired. It is rough and gritty, and Wolverine is drawn savagely as the title of the book might suggest. But again, there are no panels here that we haven’t seen before. Marks’ work looks like uninspired Sienkiewicz. There is nothing particularly appealing and in some panels, the figures are so muddled that you don’t know exactly what’s going on, especially in the visceral fight scenes near the end. Wolverine is chopping people’s heads off and stabbing them through the guts, but this is all very passe and unoriginal.
We don’t yet know what will happen to this book once Wolverine dies, but I hope instead of offering up these kinds of retreads, they will take a break and focus on telling some original stories of the famous X-Man. -JJ
The Wendigo infestation continues and it’s been one of the most fun arcs to come out of the X books in a while. Kyle and Yost have made this feel like one of the classic team ups between Alpha Flight and the X-Men that show how great they can be and even with the Avengers thrown in the story doesn’t feel too crowded.
The story itself has taken a really dark turn for both teams as Shaman is in a coma while Puck is feeling responsible for her condition. The group of Alpha Flight and X-Men members have located the source of the problem and it’s much more complicated than Canadians turning into flesh eating monsters. Monsters that are overwhelming the combined efforts of these three teams and threatening to expand past Canada’s border. This is yet another great twist from Kyle and Yost as they continue to up the danger level making each issue better than the next. They also balance out the huge cast better than expected with everyone written to their strengths. Aurora especially comes off as very unlikeable here as here and Northstar go about trying to save lives. But the exchanges between her and her brother are excellent and reminds us that being a hero and a likeable person are two different things.
With this issue boasting a huge character roster Carlo Barberi had his work cut out for him but he keeps everything flowing nicely. He juggles the huge cast and makes sure that your eyes get the great visuals they deserve from start to finish. The varied mythical bests are given a double page that looks great while the chaos of the Wendigo invasion just looks as never ending as the dialogue suggest. Though it was a bit distracting looking at Storm because it doesn’t look like she has a mohawk as much as it looks like she’s balding. Other than that there’s more satisfying artwork to look at especially the last page which is just scary.
Overall, this is another fun X-Men/Alpha Flight team up that you’ll be glad happened – IS
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