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Review: Wolverine #10

Wolverine #10

Wolverine #10 starts out like an action movie with Benjamin Percy, Adam Kubert, and Frank Martin channeling that black ops Team X killing machine energy that the folks who made X-Men Origins: Wolverine tried and failed at. Maverick gets to shoot, fight, and kill his way out of being mind-controlled with Wolverine trying to get him to find healing in Krakoa. However, unlike Wolverine who basically has a whole family (Found, cloned, blood, and otherwise) waiting for him on the island, Maverick doesn’t have friends: just co-workers and employers. That’s the tragedy at the heart of the relationship between Maverick and Wolverine. Logan wants to move on while Maverick wants to continue to re-live the past glories of his Team X days and wander around with guns and a mask taking out baddies for the highest bidder even if he no longer has his mutant powers.

Adam Kubert has been drawing Wolverine for over 27 years, but his work on Wolverine #10 shows that he still enjoys drawing Logan’s berserker rage and the nobility buried underneath. (Full disclosure, he’s my favorite Wolverine artist along with John Romita Jr. You gotta love second generation comics pros.) Kubert also has some damn good storytelling chops, especially in his approach to layouts. He uses white space to simulate Maverick coming out of his mindwipe as well as gaps in his memory. At the beginning of the comic, Kubert uses close-ups and different angles on the same stand-off to show Maverick starting to fill in the details with the help of Wolverine. The next page uses more straighforward panel choices while keeping the blanks, and by the time the Merchant grazes Maverick with Frank Castle’s pistol, we’re back in double page spread mode with insets showing these former Team X members doing what they do best while colorist Frank Martin turns on the red.

Wolverine #10 features quite a few of these compositions from Kubert, namely, a double page spread freezing a moment in time while the story progresses through small grids or inset panels. This is also happening while Martin sets the general tone of the page with his color choices from sleazy neons for the port of Madripoor to *fittingly* black for the Mercs and finally light greens for Krakoa. Frank Martin uses darker greens for the inset panels to drive home that Maverick is really hostile and skeptical about Krakoa even if it means rest and the restoration of his considerable abilities. These color choices along with the insets give you the key story information about the sequence while the rest of the spread adds context and atmosphere. They also show how Maverick is still boxed into his past as a merc and is cool with taking money from the CIA (Who tried to kill him earlier) even while he chides and quips at Wolverine for being a cult leader and Kool-Aid drinker. He’s definitely the kind of guy who says “sell-out” unironically.

Wolverine #10
Dudes rock…

Between the chases, killings, and tough guy one-liners, Benjamin Percy and Adam Kubert continue to explore nostalgia in Wolverine #10. Kubert is an interesting artist choice because he worked with Larry Hama and other on the Wolverine and Weapon X comics in the 1990s that the past two or three issues have been trying to evoke with the Madripoor setting, Team X (Especially Maverick’s mask.), and even the short, yet sweet return of “Patch”. Also, the plot of the comic revolves around an auction of basically Easter Eggs from the Marvel Universe like the grave stone from “Kraven’s Last Hunt”, and Maverick, Wolverine, and the Mercs end up going on a mission to a warehouse with these items. However, Wolverine realizes the emptiness of nostalgia and doesn’t even look at what’s in the “Team X” before torching them. Percy shows where Logan is at as a character while also commenting on creators who yearn to re-tell the stories of their youth instead of breaking new ground.

Basically, there have been enough Wolverine flashback/origin stories, and it’s time to put him in new context or remix these previous stories like he and Kubert are doing with Maverick as they focus on the psychological dimensions of the relationship between them. There was that great flashback sequence in Wolverine #9, and now in this issue, Percy and Kubert show the sad reality of Logan and Maverick’s friendship as they’re perfectly in-sync when fighting CIA agents or various goons, but talk past each other once they get a quiet moment on the helicopter or overlooking Krakoa. Logan and Maverick are like (ultraviolent) work buddies, who really gel professionally, successfully complete projects together, and even throw a few brews back at the happy hour, but don’t really work out of that context. So, Maverick’s actions on the last couple pages of Wolverine #10 hurt like hell, but they do make sense. They might stand back to back on the cover, but these are men heading in polar opposite directions with Logan having both family and national responsibilities. Also, the blank panels come back hinting at Maverick resigning himself to just being a weapon again instead of trying to restart his life in Krakoa as Adam Kubert wrings emotions out of just white on the page.

Benjamin Percy, Adam Kubert, and Frank Martin balance black ops action and the complicated relationship dynamic between Logan and Maverick in Wolverine #10. It also features breathtaking layouts from Kubert and smart color choices from Martin and has nods to the 1990s era of X-comics while adding a little substance to those books’ style.

Story: Benjamin Percy Art: Adam Kubert
Colors: Frank Martin Letters: Cory Petit
Story: 7.8 Art: 8.8 Overall: 8.3 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus ComicsTFAW

Super-Articulate: Marvel Legends Deadpool/X-Force Strong Guy BAF Assortment

Greetings! We’re back, working our way through the last couple of months of stuff. Today we’re taking in the Strong Guy BAF wave, a grouping that includes some long overdue characters and some unexpected additions. Let’s get to it.

Sunspot: Sunspot has been due for a long, long time, and here’s hoping that we get a Bobby in his New Mutants costume in the near future. This outfit came from the Greg Capullo era of X-Force, and there are some great, colorful teams designs from it (Boom-Boom, for example, has already been represented). First off, Sunspot is officially on the list of “I’m just happy this exists” figures. It’s hard to believe that this is the character’s first Legends entry. Overall this is a tight sculpt. The mask detail is great and I’m glad that they chose to include a blackened version of the familiar energy crackle. Nicely done, and it’s about time.

Warpath: Warpath’s outfit is drawn from the same era as Sunspot’s, giving me some hope that we’ll see Siryn and Rictor sometime soon. Warpath is appropriately big, drawn more in line with his look in the early to mid 90s than when he was first introduced (when he first showed up as a Hellion in The New Mutants, he was downright trim). The shoulder pad details are of the time and I think that they did a nice job on the hair. He’s a fitting figure for the assortment, given its composition, and I was glad to see it make the cut. Again, nice solid job.

Maverick: A first-time Legend, Maverick was represented (like Sunspot before him) in the old 90s Toy Biz wave. It’s good to see him get an update, and it’s frankly a banger. This is a really nice-looking figure, with great detail and color applications. Maverick is an admittedly minor X-Universe character, but the figure is great and demonstrates once again that the Hasbro team puts a lot of effort into even lower-tier characters. The rifle accessories are well done, and representative of the weapons he carried when he showed up during Jim Lee’s run of X-Men. I really dig this one.

Black Tom Cassidy: Another “about time” guy, and certainly in the version that I wanted to see. Black Tom is a long-time X-Foe, and with Juggernaut getting two swings in recent years, it makes sense for his partner to get the Legend treatment. The old Toy Biz version was the character’s hybrid look, but this is his original classic depiction, and it’s great. I really like the shillelagh accessory, and the face sculpt is appropriately smarmy. He looks a bit like Bruce Campbell to me, which is just fine. I’m never going to complain about new X-foes making the cut.

Shiklah: Easily the most obscure Legend in a while, Shiklah is a Queen of the Underworld that first appeared in 2014’s Deadpool: The Gauntlet Infinite Comic #3. She was even Mrs. Deadpool for a while before leaving him for Dracula (it’s complicated). They definitely got the horror vibe of the character right, and did a fine job realizing costume details. I appreciate that the necklace is a separate piece. As a personal quirk, it’s cool to see purple show up in the palette (there just aren’t a lot of purple figures, when you think about it). I took a shot of the severe heels on the boot sculpt; they make the figure a little harder to stand, but it still looks good. Shiklah comes with Jeff the Land Shark who is, quite frankly, cute (and a fun little addition).

Deadpool (Blue X-Team Suit): Not much to say about this one. If you really wanted this version of DP, you got him. It’s a good solid figure and sculpt, but really made for the hardcore Deadpool fans or someone that wants an exacting team line-up.

Pirate Deadpool: Honestly, this is hilarious. I can’t believe that this exists. I find it fairly funny that Hasbro picked it, and I’m kind of glad it got made because it’s just so weird. Thumbs up for doing the completely unexpected.

Strong Guy: We’ve been missing Guido for years, so FINALLY, it’s great to see Strong Guy in the Legends line. This is a top-notch BAF, fully using the capability of a BAF to embrace and over-sized character. The proportions are dead-on in terms of the character’s comic book look, and that face sculpt is perfect.  This is a tremendous figure, and I’m really, really glad that he finally made it into the line. Honestly, it’s worth picking up those two Deadpools, even if you’re not a huge fan, just to fill this one out. Great work.

What do you think, readers? You dig this wave and BAF? We’ll be back soon with more recent releases. Thanks for reading!

Mad Cave Studios Goes Maverick with a New YA Imprint

Maverick logo

Mad Cave Studios has announced its all-new young adult graphic novel imprint, Maverick! The lineup, which will kick off Fall 2021, includes bi-monthly releases from industry veterans and talented newcomers, featuring titles: Nightmare in Savannah; World Class; Needle & ThreadGood Game, Well Played; Of Her Own Design.

Mad Cave’s very own Editor-in-Chief, Chris Sanchez, will be overseeing every Maverick title and working closely with the editorial staff as well as the creatives behind each title.

Check out what’s coming to comic store shelves soon!


Nightmare in Savannah

(W) Lela Gwenn (A/CO/CA) Rowan MacColl (L) Micah Myers 

Football is a religion where Adrian “The Colombian Cannon” Molina comes from, and thanks to his wicked right leg he has a clear shot at the promised land of the European Junior Leagues. But when a football scout offers him a full scholarship to an elite prep school in London, the news seems too good to be true. His enrollment hits a snag upon meeting the team’s star striker, Titan Evans. Titan is everything Adrian is not — rich, powerful, and connected. Most of all, Titan possesses a hunger to dominate the pitch no matter who or what stands in his way. The constant fighting, teasing, and bullying intensifies Adrian’s crippling anxiety as he is constantly concerned for his spot on the team. All of that changes the day Luciano DeSilva, the team’s star midfielder, takes him under his wing and gives Adrian the confidence to be himself and value not only his position on the team but in the world.

Nightmare in Savannah

World Class

(W) Jay Sandlin (A/CA) Patrick Mullholland (CO) Rebecca Nalty (L) Justin Birch

Football is a religion where Adrian Molina, aka The Colombian Cannon, comes from, and thanks to his wicked right leg, he has a clear shot at the promised land of the European Junior Leagues. But when a football scout offers him a full scholarship to an elite prep school in London, the news seems too good to be true. His enrollment hits a snag upon meeting the team’s star striker, Titan Evans. Titan is everything Adrian is not — rich, powerful, and connected. Most of all, Titan possesses a hunger to dominate the pitch no matter who or what stands in his way. The constant fighting, teasing and bullying cause Adrian to experience crippling anxiety as he is constantly concerned for his spot on the team. All of that changes the day Luciano DeSilva, the team’s star midfielder takes him under his wing and gives Adrian the confidence to be himself and value not only his position on the team but in the world.

World Class

Needle & Thread

(W) David Pinckney (A/CO/CA) Ennun Ana Lurov (L) Micah Myers

Choosing between living the life you want and living the life your “supposed to” is not always an easy choice. Noah, embracing his truest-self, wants to pursue a career in costume design, something his loving, but traditional, parents would never approve of. Azarie, the perfect, model daughter of a very stern, political family, dreams of embracing the hobbies she secretly loves, hobbies her social circle would never abide by. The two live different lives and their social statuses keep them from ever crossing paths until they have a chance encounter that exposes some common ground: the desire to live the life they’ve chosen for themselves. Together, the two set out to put it all on the line and show everyone who they really are and what they want to achieve through the unlikely medium of cosplay. Their friendship will be tested and their faith in themselves and each other will be tried, but by staying true to themselves they discover that they truly need each other.

Needle & Thread

Good Game, Well Played

(W) Rachael Smith (A/CO/CA) Katherine Lobo (L) Justin Birch

It’s 2005, and Sienna is really not looking forward to flying back into her hometown to say goodbye to one of the people she called family. Though that feels like a lifetime ago.

It’s 1999. And Sienna is looking forward to what is shaping up to be the Perfect Summer in her Perfect Life. She has a job working in the local video game store, Game Champ, with her four best friends, and that’s how it was going to be forever… At least that’s what they thought, until Jason Silver, the money-hungry landlord threatened to shut down the store. Now, the kids must work together to save Game Champ, but with Art’s huge crush on Sienna, Jo’s crippling self-doubt, Sid’s obsession with his band, and Hope’s mysterious living situation getting in the way… how likely are they to succeed?

Good Game, Well Played

Of Her Own Design

(W) Birdie Willis (A/CA) Jess Taylor (CO) Stephanie Palladino

In the small town of Holden, sixteen-year-old Brie Page has been struggling with a tremendous bout of writer’s block. And that’s a problem. One of many she has, actually. Parents that constantly fight, her former best friend/current bully Viv Kinsley, and the gorgeous new girl Kay Ardiger are causing a bit of stress. Brie used to hide from it all by creating her own fictional worlds and stories, but all of that seems so far away now.

All of that changes when an unexpected encounter with a mischievous bookseller, Ambrose Chance, leaves Brie with a magical pen. One that breaks through her writer’s block and causes her stories to flow onto the page… Too bad the whole town of Holden had to get caught up in it too when her stories come to life. Now, when the most important people in her life are stuck in fantastical tales, Brie needs to save them by diving into her worlds and facing her worries head-on. Which would be fine… if only she was better at writing endings.

Of Her Own Design

Underrated: Maverick #1-12

This is a column that focuses on something or some things from the comic book sphere of influence that may not get the credit and recognition it deserves. Whether that’s a list of comic book movies, ongoing comics, or a set of stories featuring a certain character. The columns may take the form of a bullet pointed list, or a slightly longer thinkpiece – there’s really no formula for this other than whether the things being covered are Underrated in some way. This week something a little different as we take a look at one of my favourite characters, and his twelve issue solo series from the late 90’s: Maverick.


maverick 4.jpgOne of the first non-Wolverine comics I ever picked up was Maverick #4. Of course, the reason I picked it up was because Wolverine was on the front cover, so technically, the first non-Wolverine comic I picked up was Maverick #5.  As it turns out, I’d end up reading a lot about Maverick through the years because of Wolverine; Marvel UK’s Wolverine Unleashed was reprinting the original American comics.

Maverick is a product of the 90’s; his  first appearance in 1992’s X-Men #5 had all the hallmarks of the time;  giant shoulder pads, heavy guns, and  a half face mask that allowed his hair to fly free. Maverick would end the decade with a more streamlined version of his armour; sleeker and slightly less bulky for his solo series that ran for twelve issues beginning in 1997.  Although he’s had numerous guest appearances in a few X-Men based comics, Maverick has never really reached the level of popularity of certain other characters introduced during the same time frame, but he does have a very fond place in  this comic lovers heart.

Although Maverick is almost always featured in X-Men related titles, he is most closely associated with everybody’s favourite dead Canadian mutant, having been a significant part of Wolverine’s life before his skeleton was coated in adamantium. But it wouldn’t be fair to Maverick, though, to just write him off as that  mercenary friend of Wolverine’s; Maverick’s own history is a rich bed of potential, and it’s explored within this series.

Born in East Germany to parents who were either Nazi sympathizers or full blown Nazi’s, Christoph Nord was self-described idealist, and fought against the communist regime during the height of the Cold War, joining a West German black ops unit named Cell Six. During this time Nord met and fell in love with a nurse Ginetta Barsalini, whom he fell in love with and married. Not realizing he was a spy until it was too late, Nord was forced to shoot her inn self defense (unwittingly killing his unborn child in the process). Shortly after this Nord was recruited by the CIA, changed his name to David North and ended up on a team with Victor Creed and Logan.

When the team was sent on a mission in East Germany, both Creed and Logan were badly injured. Rather than follow protocol and leave them, North dragged them to the extraction point where he was cornered by Andreas Nord, now an assassin, North saved his teammates the only way he could; killing his own brother in cold blood.

Maverick is a character rooted in tragedy; from his early years already recapped to his contracting a slow acting deadly disease that took his powers before killing him slowly (he was brought back to life moments after his death with some inventive CPR which also returned his powers), before becoming an executioner for a shady government organisation by way of brainwashing before losing his powers (again).

maverick spreadOne of the most enjoyable twelve issue series I’ve ever read was Maverick Vol. 2; this run had me from the moment the protagonist died in the opening pages to the very end. It’s a series that has never been, and probably never will be collected into a trade paperback, which means that to read it you’ll need to track down the floppies. The series deals with some suddenly relevant again issues surrounding anti mutant attitudes, Russian gangsters and the struggle of being born to Nazi sympathizing parents, as well as what it’s like for a young facing certain death at the hands of the Legacy Virus. On top of that there’s a few guest stars, some pretty fantastic enemies (some new and some old), and some really great art and writing. Honestly, I tend to read this series on an almost yearly basis.

maverick03.jpgOther than appearing in a few Wolverine stories that have been released as TPB’s and being a part of the ensemble cast of the 2002 Weapon X series that’s also been at least partly collected into TPB’s, finding Maverick comic appearances is largely a case of scouring the back issue bins at your local comic shop anyway. If you do that, and I highly recommend you do, then hunting for the Maverick #1-12 comics could be an easier (and cheaper) task than hunting for key issues of Deadpool or Wolverine because not many people are looking for them – which is a shame, but could work out to your benefit.

Do yourself a favour; find Maverick. You’ll not be disappointed.

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