Between the last X-Force and this month’s Wolverine, it’s nice to feel like these books are actually doing something again.
Adam Kubert (Artist), Frank Martin (Color Artist), Tom Muller (Design), Benjamin Percy (Writer), VC’s Cory Petit (Letterer)
July 28, 2021
First, it’s worth taking some time out for an incredible cover. Solem returns, finally, after his appearance in the leadup to X of Swords, and I love the way he’s framed between the wings of Wolverine’s mask here, the way those turn into crumbling bits of tech-infused landscape as Solem invokes whatever power he’s using. The Kuberts are, obviously, pretty famous as artists, and it’s always nice when one of them reminds people why.
Story-wise, this issue picks up from the last with Wolverine in Madripoor (again). He was just there for the Maverick story, and the Marauders were also just there recently! It’s nice to see that there are apparently some big plans for the fictional nation, but I worry that hitting this beat too many times in quick succession is going to wear out its welcome. At any rate, Percy builds the framework of the mystery, with Logan on the trail of whomever torched the Marauder and threw Christian Frost overboard. Christian’s fine, by the way — despite the dire-looking imagery of him floating in the water like a body might, he was merely concussed and hypothermic. Of course, that he survived isn’t really the point, the point is that seeing queer bodies in states of trauma is a thing that we could do with a lot less of.
One thing I noted — the scene of Logan investigating the destroyed ship felt very much like the way Percy framed the beginning of his mystery when he wrote Wolverine: The Long Night. It’s not so similar as to feel like the same thing, but it’s similar enough to be a recognizable trapping. Percy seems to love himself some spooky derelict ships! Of course, the real meat of the story is not that the Marauder was attacked, it’s that the shipment of logic diamonds that was aboard it was stolen. Logic diamonds are the thing used in Cerebro for the purpose of backing up mutant resurrection data, which means that only one organization not currently associated with Krakoa might have a specific interest in them—the folks currently in possession of the Cerebro Sword. Finally! Bring that plot thread home, Benjamin, stop teasing me!
The course of the investigation is a classic story of Logan following up on leads and interrogating people who are reticent to share information. Emma Frost joins him a bit, as she’s personally invested on account of her brother, and her appearance is perhaps the one thing Kubert falls down on. In a book where everything is rendered with this kind of gritty hyper-detail, Emma feels…unfinished. What should be a brilliant contrast, given her penchant for gleaming white, instead comes off like a rush job. She manages to entirely change shape in the two pages she appears, and in both of those she looks far too simplistic and cartoonish for the rest of the art. Fortunately, the rest of the issue is a pretty fun romp, as Wolverine goes on to have a jet ski pirate duel with an Arakki mutant named Sevyr Blackmore. It is absurd and entertaining, and it leads Wolverine right back to where we started: Solem. For once, I can’t wait for next month’s issue.