In this month’s Wolverine, Logan goes to Madripoor! Again!
Adam Kubert (Artist), Frank Martin (Color Artist), Tom Muller (Design), Benjamin Percy (Writer), VC’s Cory Petit (Letterer & Production)
January 27, 2021
Wolverine #9 is an issue of a comic book. In it, the titular character goes to a place called Madripoor, dresses up in disguise as a man named Patch, and visits an illicit auction. There are references to his past as a covert operative. It’s drawn by a man named Kubert. Any one of these sentences could refer to multiple eras of Wolverine, both as a character and as a solo book. I talked last time about how very masculine this arc is, and it’s certainly still that! But it’s also kind of a love letter to the first several years of the character’s original ongoing, and I can’t really hate it for that.
Adam Kubert isn’t my favorite artist, but he’s skilled, solid, and dependable, and he knows how not to run his mouth on social media, which probably at least partly explains why we’re seeing him here and not Viktor Bogdanovic.
Kubert also makes a good fit for the reasons I stated above; this is retreading old ground. Team X, Maverick, Madripoor, all of it. These are places Wolverine has been before, if not necessarily in this volume, and so why not bring aboard someone who knows what those places look like? He also plays with the structure of the page in ways that I like; there are a few flashback sequences this issue that are uniformly depicted in sixteen-panel grids, the majority of those panels devoted to large splash images segmented by gutters, with one or two panels acting as insets for storytelling purposes. Given that we’re talking about the memories of men who’ve been repeatedly mindwiped, it’s a great visual effect; as there are holes in their recollections, so too is the depiction of that echoed in the construction of the page. Everything is a bit broken, nothing is quite a complete picture.
Truthfully, touches like this are what keep me coming back to this book. I enjoy it more when it’s more directly a mirror to what’s going on in X-Force, I think, but stories like this are solid too because they handle the details with precision and care. Certainly, when Wolverine starts a soliloquy about his past, I want to roll my eyes, but there is a difference between wanting to do so because of a character and wanting to do so because of the writing or art of the book itself. It’s fun to have characters who are insufferable sometimes! Percy and Kubert make an excellent pairing in this regard; they walk a narrow path well.
Logan should really get that earwax problem checked out, though.