I haven’t made a secret of how tired Wolverine has been making me feel since the end of X of Swords. This issue, they felt like the solution to that was…Deadpool!
Scot Eaton (Penciler), Oren Junior (Inker), Tom Muller (Design), Benjamin Percy (Writer), VC’s Cory Petit (Letterer), Matthew Wilson (Color Artist)
June 23, 2021
This issue ties into the Hellfire Gala, and thus into Percy’s sibling book, X-Force—they really should just unify these books into like Wolverine & X-Force or something. The plots interweave so heavily so constantly that there’s just not a point in them having separate identities; even the stories where Logan’s travels occur separate from X-Force end up tying back somehow, as with Omega Red and the vampires.
It’s a little easier to forgive during an event like this, at least; it makes sense because all of these books are taking place not just at the same time, but in the same room. Nonetheless, it’s jarring to watch a focal point of the action be Beast, Domino, and Deadpool (who’s not even on this iteration of X-Force, damnit) dealing with the consequences of Beast’s telefloronic usurpation of Terra Verde. Beast’s control of the Terra Verdeans is interrupted, and with even a moment of freedom, they immediately turn to the attack, because when you are seething under an oppressor, it makes sense to immediately strike when you have a chance, and during an extremely public ball is a great chance.
Sidenote: The most annoying part of this issue for me is the idea that not only were they able to neutralize this threat, but they were able to do so without alerting anyone. X-Force saves the day, and the only real consequence is Beast gets slapped by Sage. WHEN is this dude gonna get his comeuppance? Why do we have a book called TRIAL OF MAGNETO coming in the fall, when we should be anticipating the TRIAL OF HANK MCCOY?
Anyway, Wolverine is here! I guess! He fights some tree people. I think it really says a lot about the state of Wolverine and X-Force both that the man has to take second string in the spinoff book bearing his name on the cover. The art at least is fun—Scot Eaton is still on this arc, but I found his work this time much more enjoyable, and a lot of that is down to his depiction of Wolverine in a suit and the very…Alan Davis-ness of it. It’s a thing Scot should lean into, I think—someone has to carry the Davis hair torch!
The issue ends with the Hellfire Trading Company’s signature ship, the Marauder, on fire in Madripoor, as Christian Frost floats in the water nearby, because we just love seeing queer bodies undergo trauma.