I have been a huge Wolverine fan for years, with the hairy little guy being my third favourite comic book character. Unfortunately however the last few years haven't been the kindest to Logan, as although there have been good stories, there hasn't been anything spectacular since the start Jason Aaron's run. Fortunately Marvel NOW! has brought Wolverine back to the level he deserves, as both this series, and Savage Wolverine have been very enjoyable.
After the Watcher mysteriously appeared last issue, with only Wolverine seeing him, Nick Fury Jr. believes there may be something wrong with Wolverine as there's apparently nothing in the bullet according to Fury's readings. Also Wolverine gets examined, and introduces Fury to his new club.
This was still a good issue but probably the worst in the series so far, as being the penultimate issue in this opening story I was expecting a little more, and was disappointed with what I got, even if it was something different. Don't get me wrong, Paul Cornell didn't do a terrible job, and I still have faith that he'll continue to produce great work on this series, but at the same time he kind of dropped the ball this time round. I do however have to give him credit for trying something different, as although there was one point when this story hinted at possibly being a possession story (something that happens too often in Wolverine comics), the fact that Cornell is trying something different, and unique is a bold move, and although the additional new stuff in this issue didn't work in my opinion, the story has worked brilliantly as a whole, and you always expect some disappointment from opening stories, allowing for the writer to settle in, as well as give opportunity for new readers to easily join the series. Cornell also did a good job of continuing the mystery of this story, as well as adding some fun, and although overall it didn't amaze me, it was still good, and I'm sure the series will pick itself up, and be good again.
The art from Alan Davis did however continue to impress, and although the story itself fell a bit in quality, Davis' artwork didn't. I've always been a fan of Davis' art, but his art on this series, and Wolverine in particular has really amazed me, and is some of the best art I've seen from Davis. Now this may very well be due to the fact that Wolverine is one of my favourite character's, but besides that I feel that Davis' art really suits the little runt, and his rough style also really suits the more gritty feel this series appears to be showing. The detail in Davis' art is also amazing, as although there are times when his art looks a little cartoon like, it doesn't take away from the gritty tone of the story. I especially loved the details Davis put into the backgrounds, as although they weren't anything extraordinarily brilliant, they were perfectly detailed, and really gave so much more depth to the art, which was nice. The action was also handled perfectly, and Davis' style yet again suits this perfectly, with the gritty, and fierce action sequences really standing out, with a lot of excitement, and drama. Davis also did an amazing job with the character's facial expressions, especially Wolverine, and Fury Jr., as Wolverine looked his usual angry self, whilst also showing the odd bit of happiness, and Fury Jr. looked very cool, and collected like his father usually is.
The last issue ended with the appearance of the Watcher, and Wolverine questioning what's so big that it involves him, but Fury Jr. never saw the Watcher, which begs the question was the Watcher ever there. Now I personally was a little upset with this, as I was looking forward to a proper Watcher appearance, and although Cornell has handled this in a way that it could still be that, from the facts we have so far, it looks to be false hope. Now I can see why this is an interesting developing plot, and it does leave questions as to whether Wolverine's been compromised by the empty bullet, but this has to pay off big to rectify itself, as for me it's been a big disappointment so far.
This issue also saw the development of Fury Jr., and his involvement in this series. Now I've not really read a lot of issues that have featured Fury Jr., and although I have read up on him, I still don't know everything, especially about his characteristic, so it's nice that he's featured in this to allow me to see that. First off I liked how Wolverine, and Fury Jr. weren't on the same page, as although the original reason behind that was a bit disappointing like I said, the conversation between them was very fun, and interesting, and it really made the issue much more entertaining, and fun, which it really needed. The only thing I didn't like about Fury Jr.'s appearance (and there's a very small spoiler ahead) was that he used the Die Hard, "yippee ki-yay," quote, and although things like that usually appeal to me, it just felt forced, and unnecessary, which was disappointing, and took away from the joke, at least for me.
This issue also featured yet another club of Wolverine, this time featuring more normal people who have interest in the superhero community. Now I know that Wolverine's on enough teams as it is already, and although this isn't a proper team it felt like a joke, and was what really effected the quality of this issue. I did however see that this was meant as a bit of fun, and there were points when I felt that, but overall I just felt it was making fun of the fact that Wolverine's on too many teams, and although that itself is actually very clever, the way it was executed wasn't. Although I do praise Cornell for doing something unique, and different, it just didn't appeal to me. At the same time if Cornell finds a way of making this group interesting, I would love to see them return, and become a permanent feature in the series, but only if they're interesting.
Wolverine, and Fury Jr. do however get to go out for some action, and this was what made the issue decent, as Wolverine would get involved in a very exciting, and interesting fight, even if it was unorthodox for Wolverine. The thing that interested me the most in this issue was the mystery, and how when you think everything's set-up to be revealed, something new appears. To be honest the mystery's been the best thing about this storyline, and it's cause of this that I really hope the conclusion in next issue pays of, as although this issues been a little disappointing, it'd be a shame if all this brilliant mystery, and speculation lead to the story being overall disappointing, and something you wouldn't want to remember.
This is probably the worst issue in the series so far, but it did have it's moments, and was fun at times. It was however the attempt at humour that damaged the quality of this issue, and I seriously hope that this doesn't affect the story as a whole, and that it pays of. It did however continue the mystery perfectly, and still shows potential, although Cornell will seriously have to deliver in the next issue to make up for his mistakes in this one. I would recommend this issue to anyone who has already been getting the series, but to new readers I'd recommend waiting, and seeing if the conclusion in the next issue is good before getting this one.