Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Wolverine #58

Writer: Mark Guggenheim
Artist: Howard Chaykin

Marvel Comics

It's tough to review this issue while adhering to Marvel's no-spoilers rule for advance reviews.

First of all, let's make it clear, this is not a good issue. It's quite ironic as well, since this lukewarm return of Guggenheim on the writing chair was preceded by the greatest Wolverine story in recent memory, Jason Aaron's single issue, which was used as a mere fill-in.

So Wolverine is dead again. Only, not physically dead, just brain-dead. Big change. No fret, Dr Strange is on the case! And boy does Guggenheim manage to make a mess of this guest appearance; he arguably writes the worst Dr Strange in memory, complete with cliched oneliners, bad jokes and stale dialogue, especially during the meeting with Tony Stark. I've included several examples to prove my case.

Dr Strange meets the (brain)dead Logan in the afterlife bar, and shares a few drinks while drowing their sorrows in exposition. Strange reveals why Logan is able to stay alive after so many brushes with death (the most blatant being during Guggenheim's last stint on the title), and what changed now to make him a vegetable. I found the former (main) explanation completely superfluous, relating to a random battle Wolvie won back in WW1 against a surprise opponent. The latter reason for falling in the veggie state was equally unconvincing; it more or less hangs on the thin thread of believing Atlantean whatshername chick who was introduced (and killed) last issue made such an impact on Logan (more so than, say, Jean Grey, Silver Fox or Mariko, who he had each known for years) that his grief kept him from jumping back to life again.

There is strong competition for worst issue of the week, but at least Wolverine has gorgeous Howard Chaykin art going for it, along with several scenes of gratuitous full Logan nudity.


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