27 January 2005

The Woodshed: Wolverine: The End #6

[Some comics get bad reviews, but the really special ones get taken to The Woodshed.]


Despite the shipping delays that saw this SIX issue mini-series take FOURTEEN months to finish - #1 came out in Nov 03, #6 in Jan 05! And neither Joe Quesada or Kevin Smith had anything to do with it! - I was originally planning to review it as a whole. After developing some initial thoughts after reading the final issue, I always make a point to reread the entire arc to refresh the story in my mind and give it a proper review. In this case, however, I refuse.

The first page sums up the first five issues in four short paragraphs, the highlights of which are: a reclusive, centenarian Wolverine once again picks up his quest to discover the truth about the organization behind the Weapon X program, traveling to Japan, encountering his older brother who may or may not be lying to him, pushing him off a cliff, and later tracking him to Las Vegas for a final confrontation. The next 23 pages are one long, drawn-out cat-and-mouse fight scene between the equally matched brothers, lightly seasoned with choice scripting like:

Wolverine: "Well, that's the difference between you and me, Bub--while you've been busy blaming the Man, I've been working him to find me a job an' a place to live. You don't deserve liberation."
Um...what? Sounds like some ex-hippie-turned-Wall Street stock broker rationalization to me!

Later, his brother reels off a string of secrets he knows the answer to that Wolverine never will...and neither will we 'cause this is The End and he gets impaled on Wolverine's claws, his dying words: "I wish I'd had more time to tell you...about Rose... I was always so proud of you little brother...Logan..."

Dude, you just spent the last 3 issues trying to trick him into siding with you, lying about your plans, then trying to kill him by any means necessary, and then you want to try and pull off a melodramatic, Terms of Endearment death scene?

And the best part? It isn't even really The End because Wolverine lives, still not really knowing the truth about Weapon X!!!

The writer responsible for this fiasco, Paul Jenkins, is actually one of my favorites, and I understand he's fallen ill recently causing him to miss some deadlines and the cancellation of Spectacular Spider-Man, but that doesn't get him a free pass on this one. As far as I know, artist Claudio Castellini is healthy so he doesn't even have that as an excuse for his truly ugly work here that defies human anatomy while channelling some of the worst of the 70s horror comics. And even though Castellini doesn't give him much to work with, colorist Paul Mounts' muddy work gets some of the blame, too.

If comic books were like cigarettes, Marvel would be in court on a class-action lawsuit for knowingly publishing tainted crap like this!

Wolverine: The End? To the woodshed!

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