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Wolverine #311 - Nightmare in Red Review

2

Logan faces off against an army of cloned Sabretooths. The mysterious red haired lady comes back to help him.

The Good

I really wanted to like this issue and this story. I was a huge fan of the story prior to this where Wolverine kills off a feral Sabretooth by cutting off his head. It was a really cool story arc, and when I saw the original creative team was coming back (Jeph Loeb writing and Simone Bianchi on art), I was super pumped, but after reading the second part of this story, I'm not digging it. More on that later. The thing is, I really like the idea of Sabretooth being alive again. He's the ying to Wolverine's yang. He's one of my favorite characters and it's great to see him in comics again.

What is fantastic about this issue is the times we get to see Bianchi's art shine. That opening two page splash of Wolverine and Sabretooth fighting is so amazing. I like Bianchi's pencils a lot, and whoever did colors on that page (I'm assuming Simone Peruzzi? More on that later) did an amazing job. The lighting is amazing and you get an incredible sense of depth here.

I found myself loving the lettering, done by Albert Deschesne, as much as the art. It has an edgy feel to it, it's a bit thinner than normal lettering, and the overall font fit the story incredibly well.

The Bad

Now, there are four different people doing colors on this issue. That's right. And while I thought all of these colorists were great on their own, it was incredibly distracting. This book is proof that you coloring can be just as important as inking and pencils. You need to have consistent colors because it can throw off the book when it's not. I don't know who is who on the color work because the front of the issue doesn't list what pages these colorists worked on. I found myself incredibly disappointed with this.

What makes me most discouraged with this book is the fact that Loeb is undoing everything he wrote for the Evolution story line. Sabretooth became feral, started murdering people, and Wolverine had to put him down. This story says that Sabretooth was away training in order to fight Wolverine again and the thing that Wolverine killed was a clone. Sometimes, a giant twist like this works. Here, it does not at all. I was hoping that this would somehow tie-in to Wolverine Goes to Hell, in which Wolverine sees a normal Sabretooth hanging out in Hell, not feral at all. The overall story feels a tad rushed.

I really disliked the reveal page of this issue. I thought the look and the idea of woman with red hair saving Wolverine was cool, but the last page ties into this character and it was a huge bummer for me, What it really comes down to is that I'm not buying this whole story. There's been a lot of great things done with this book since the end of Evolution and all of that doesn't fit in with this story, except for the Romulus stuff. If this same story happened right after Evolution ended, with nothing in between, I'd be a tad more accepting of it... I really want to like this book, and I just can't.

The Verdict

Wolverine 311 is a pretty disappointing issue with a creative I really like behind it. On the plus side, I really enjoy all the colorists separately, and Simone Bianchi's art is great. I like the idea of Sabretooth being back in comic books, and the lettering on this issue is great.

One the down side, I really didn't like the changes in colorists in this book. It was distracting. This story undoes everything we believed about the Evolution storyline in a disappointing way. Lastly, I really disliked the reveal page for this book because I feel like it sets up a too familiar story line.

It pains me to give this book a low score. Will I keep reading it? Probably, but just because I am incredibly curious to see this all play out. Overall, I do not recommend this issue.

19 Comments
Posted by RedQueen

That plot twist just seems like lazy writing. Thing is, Loeb can be a good writer, brilliant in fact. But when his writing is bad, it's absolutely awful.

Posted by Pbott

why cant marvel put marjorie liu or rick remender on this book because I cant remember the last time this book was any better than average.

Posted by Dafyd

Loeb, like AoA Wild Child, needs to be kept on a short leash. That is, when he has one of those Loebly ideas like "Wouldn't it be cool if...." someone, anyone needs to say, "Now, let's think very carefully about how we're going to do this..."

Lupines?

Rulk? (Salvaged rather well by other writers.)

Ultimatum?

Posted by inferiorego

@RedQueen said:

That plot twist just seems like lazy writing. Thing is, Loeb can be a good writer, brilliant in fact. But when his writing is bad, it's absolutely awful.

I wouldn't say lazy writing. From what I remember, this story was pushed forward months in advance. I don't think they had as much time as they wanted or needed to put this together.

@Pbott said:

why cant marvel put marjorie liu or rick remender on this book because I cant remember the last time this book was any better than average.

Remender and Liu are fantastic, but I really enjoyed Loeb's Evolution, Millar's Old Man Logan, and Aaron's Wolverine Goes To Hell.

Staff
Posted by longbowhunter

I remember buying the issues when Evolution was coming out. Really dug the story back then. Been burned too often since to take another gamble on Loeb. Glad to see I made the right call. BTW, that Lenil Yu variant is killer!

Posted by RedQueen

@inferiorego said:

@RedQueen said:

That plot twist just seems like lazy writing. Thing is, Loeb can be a good writer, brilliant in fact. But when his writing is bad, it's absolutely awful.

I wouldn't say lazy writing. From what I remember, this story was pushed forward months in advance. I don't think they had as much time as they wanted or needed to put this together.

I'll let him off them ;) Still, clones.

Posted by inferiorego

@longbowhunter said:

I remember buying the issues when Evolution was coming out. Really dug the story back then. Been burned too often since to take another gamble on Loeb. Glad to see I made the right call. BTW, that Lenil Yu variant is killer!

Yu has been one of my favorite artists since High Roads. Fantastic artist.

@RedQueen said:

@inferiorego said:

@RedQueen said:

That plot twist just seems like lazy writing. Thing is, Loeb can be a good writer, brilliant in fact. But when his writing is bad, it's absolutely awful.

I wouldn't say lazy writing. From what I remember, this story was pushed forward months in advance. I don't think they had as much time as they wanted or needed to put this together.

I'll let him off them ;) Still, clones.

yeah.... clones....

Staff
Posted by Billy Batson

2 stars to Loeb?

BB

Posted by JamDamage

As much as I hate Loeb, and his HUGE gap of greatness to some of the worst outright ideas to ever be allowed to be published in comics, I am a fan of what he's done on Wolverine. Wolverine got his memories back and still didn't know what the hell was going on in his world. Seems like a lot of people don't like the Romulus character, I for one LOVE the guy. It won't be long before he really gets adamantium and is even more of a threat. Not to sure about the Lupine idea, they haven't treaded anymore on that, but this issue was good. I liked it a lot. The only thing that didn't work was how they brought Sabretooth back.

It did, and it didn't. I didn't like how so many Sabretooth clones were so easy to pick off and kill when Wolverine had enough trouble with just one of them before be-heading it with the Murmasa Blade. That was stupid, but the Remus idea was cool. It's getting back to the 2 alphas in a pack.
Posted by Pbott

@inferiorego: Ya I agree those are some of the highlights, but overall its has been average as of late, even Jason Arron's run which started off good but really went down hill at the end IMO. What I want is not a good story here and there but a good long form story, like Bendis and Brubaker's Daredevil, Liu's X-23, Remender's UXF and Venom, Hickman's FF and secret warriors, Bendis Alias, DNA on Marvel cosmic. Just to name a few.

Posted by Queso6p4

Yeah. I didn't buy this issue because of how the first one started out and because of the ending. I read the last page at the comic shop and was like, "What? Seriously?!" and put it back on the rack. Odds are I won't even get this next week for review purposes.

Posted by fesak

Seriously, there's no way the Sabretooth in the first story wasn't a clone, i've said it all along.

Moderator Online
Posted by ahgunsillyo

So... he took a bad story and somehow managed to make it worse? That is... impressive.

Posted by hobanho

It's not that surprising that the Sabretooth Logan killed was a clone, he jumped out of one of those chambers at one point even. When the arc started, Sabretooth was sitting in the X-mansion drinking beer and watching the Spice channel... and then he just lost his mind. That to me didn't make much sense. The only real loophole is Wolverine seeing Sabretooth in Hell, which is easy enough to address I think. Wolverine thought Sabretooth was dead, so he probably expected to see Sabretooth there.. he created his own Hell.

Posted by AngeTheDude

Jeph Loeb needs to go back to DC and write some good stuff or just stop altogether.

Posted by CRTrobinson

Loeb sucks

Posted by cc1738

This read too fast. I read it in like two minutes.

Posted by PrioritySeven

Loeb has been pretty awful lately. Wolverine deserves better than this.

Posted by Crowingaboutcomics

I've never liked the idea of mutants being from a specific species, i.e. Wolverine from wolves, Sabertooth from cats, Nightcrawler from demons (or whatever they are) - Pixie from Fairies - doesn't that negate them from being actual Mutants, and make them more cross-breds? It's complete laziness on the writers: Oh look, Sabertooth is named from a cat - wouldn't it be cool if he was descended from one? Wolverine sounds like a wolf and we know how savage they are...Nightcrawler looks like a demon so...etc. etc. etc. It takes away the uniqueness of the character...(And what is up with the Bamfs in Wolverine and the X-Men?). Not to even mention the whole clone thing...Gillian is killing it (not in a good way) in Uncanny...(a whole underground world of cloned Sinisters!!!???)...LAZY WRITERS. Ptph-