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.
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.
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.