Wolverine - Claremont and Miller reveals another side to the feisty mutant.
Jul 3, 2011
When Wolverine returns after a personal mission. He finds several letters returned and unopened. These were letters he sent to his lover in Japan named Mariko Yashida. He tried calling her estate and the phone was hung up on him. Bad move. He decides to travel to Japan for an answer and learns that she has been married off to someone else by her crime lord father, Lord Shingen. Eventually, things become personal and Wolverine finds himself in battle with Shingen as well as the ninja organization called The Hand.-summary
Written By Chris Claremont with artwork by Frank Miller, Wolverine is the trade paperback of the four issue mini-series Wolverine, which debut in 1982. In addition, the book also reprints The Uncanny X-Men #'s 172-173. Claremont and Miller decided to take another approach with the most popular X-Man at the time. Claremont chose to add a bit of very much needed depth to the character, and even then, the timing couldn't have been much better.
Before the release of the series, Wolverine had become nothing more than a static character with almost no depth at all, despite a small bit of development that would take place at times. This short series attempted and succeeded in adding a bit more range to his character. The reader will learn a lot about him, and realize there's more to him besides the hot headed soloist, that he had been made out to be in the pages of the X-Men.
The book contains plenty of inner dialogue by Wolverine, in which, this begins his development and he continues to grow all the way until the end. The book well utilizes its themes of romance, honor, duty, responsibility, and vengeance. One of the standout moments had to be during Wolverine's and Lord Shingens first duel with wooden swords. This set the tone for the series, with Wolverine trying to balance himself between the man and the animal within, as well as restore his lost honor. Soon, another female character by the name of Yukio would be introduced, and strongly fill the role as a side character, because she also plays in Wolverine's development, by pretty much falling in love with his violent side. The character development isn't only limited to just Wolverine, as the reader will gain an understanding of a few characters.
The main plot of the story, which is pretty well driven by lots of action, mainly revolves around Wolverine being caught between a gang war being waged by Lord Shingen, who hopes to eliminate a rival. The plot has a decent amount of suspense filled with deceit and murder.
Frank Millers artwork is very good, with some really nice action panels that aren't too dialogue heavy. Some of them consist of detailed exchanges displaying crucial blows being delivered in battle. The fights aren't heavy on gore at all, and the small amount of dialogue that takes place, does a good enough job describing the crippling effects.
The ending was a good way to cap off the series, due to its strong feeling of closure. For the first time, it appeared that Wolverine was actually happy. The series would eventually continue in two more chapters taking place in the X-Men series.
The following two chapters features the X-Men team now lead by Storm, as they have been invited to Wolverine and Mariko's wedding. The stories don't have a tacked on feeling, and it continues the character development, which mainly involves Storm's metamorphosis and the newest member, former X-Men enemy Rogue. The series also continues the action, with the standout being Wolverine's clash with the Silver Samurai.
The artwork is also strong for the second half, with some good character designs and nice action panels. But I think the first was better. Also, the gore is almost nonexistent here as well.
The only issues that I found to be was that the story could have a few slow moments at times. To include, there are segments that take place with certain characters, as well as familiar faces that are somewhat hidden in the shadows, with only the bottom portion of their face shown, to set the stage for future stories. This will definitely have readers who aren't familiar with the earlier stories scratching their heads, because it leaves the second ending with a strange feel.
Although the second ending may leave some with questions. I still believe this is a great story for fans of Wolverine and The X-Men. Chris Claremont did a great job making Wolverine interesting again, and the character would only continue to grow from here. The book is 144 pages.
Pros: -Character development -Action and artwork
Cons: -Can be somewhat slow -Several segments take place that will lose readers
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