Review: Wolverine: Black, White, & Blood #1
I’m a fan of anthologies. You get a chance to see numerous creators all have fun in the same pool or give their spin on the same character. To see how different creators handle the same character is always interesting in that you can get such varied takes really showing how different voices and perspectives can be. Wolverine: Black, White, & Blood #1 kicks off a new anthology mini-series from Marvel focused on Wolverine from a varied group of writers, artists, and colorists.
Wolverine: Black, White, & Blood #1 features three stories each of which vary a lot in tone and style. They all have one thing in common, they’re bloody. These aren’t Wolverine comics for the kids, the stories are adult, mature, and use their limited color palette really well.
“The Beast Within Them” explores Wolverine’s time in the Weapon X program. It’s an appropriate start taking us back to the early days of the character preceding the other two stories within this first issue. Written by Gerry Duggan, with art by Adam Kubert, and color by Frank Martin, the story is interesting as it explores the ongoing struggle within the character. Still known as Experiment-X, Wolverine is sent on tests to see how he reacts and how much he can be controlled. He’s a loose beast fighting other beasts for survival, running on instinct. But, underneath there’s a man. Duggan explores why the program may have had so many issues with Logan. The art is fierce and guttural at times finely depicting the rage and brutal nature of the fights.
“I Shall Be a Wolf” is by writer Matthew Rosenberg, artist Joshua Cassara, and colors by Guru-eFX. Focused more on the spy side of Wolverine, he’s capture by Hydra who wants to use him to get to Nick Fury. It’s a brutal story with the bodies piling up and some twists and turns that are unexpected. While it at times feels like a familiar spy story we’ve seen before, where the story goes is unexpected. The end really pays off, though the entire story is a solid back and forth. I gasped with an “oh shit” towards the end as the story wraps up and the exclamation point is delivered.
Declan Shalvey handles writing and art with “Cabin Fever,” the final story. Wolverine comes across a murdered couple and crying baby in a cabin and then must deal with those who killed the couple. It’s a bloody and violent story filled with body parts launched from a simple story.
Clayton Cowles provides the lettering for each story and each has their own subtle differences. It’s interesting to see how each story varies and Cowles handles the lettering for such different stories. You can see the thought given to each, especially in “Cabin Fever”. With that story the lettering shifts to reflect Wolverine’s rage going from white to orange to red and back to orange and then white. It’s subtle but smart.
Each story is different and each creative team delivers. There’s not a stinker in the bunch. Wolverine: Black, White, & Blood #1 shows us such different sides of the same character, the beast, the patriot and soldier, and the man. Each has a common theme of someone struggling with their mission and to find peace. But, that person is driven to do what’s right. Each story is bloody and brutal though. Despite the very human person at the center of it all, there’s a level of violence that’s inhuman.
Wolverine: Black, White, & Blood #1 is a hell of a start for the series. It’s a solid read whether you like Wolverine or not. Each story is full of violent, brutal, action, but also has more than enough to have you pause and think. A solid start to the series that makes the case for more of these types of releases.
Story: Gerry Duggan, Matthew Rosenberg, Declan Shalvey
Art: Adam Kubert, Joshua Cassara, Declan Shalvey
Color: Frank Martin, Guru-eFX, Declan Shalvey
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy
Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review