Sunday, May 13, 2012

Wolverine vs. the X-Men TPB

This is another strong outing for Jason Aaron and his continuing Wolverine story.

While I found the opening chapters of Wolvie’s current series to be a bit too metaphysical for me, that wasn’t a problem this time. In the first trade, Wolverine spends a lot of time in hell, working on his escape from a bunch of demons as he interacts with people he’s killed along the way. Aaron did his best to keep things visceral, but it was all a bit too emotional for a strong Wolverine story.

In this chapter, Wolverine is almost free. While his consciousness was trapped in hell, a crew of demons hijacked his body and have been running rampant. Daimon Hellstrom and the Ghost Riders got Wolverine back into his own skin, but they didn’t get the demons out. Now a possessed Wolverine is running around San Francisco while Cyclops mobilizes the X-Men.

It makes sense that Cyke would have a plan for putting Wolvie down. Logan has been possessed or mind-controlled a lot over the years, so I enjoyed seeing the ultimate sanction team put together. The first group is Cyke, Namor, and Magneto, a pretty powerful bunch. (They even make their try backed up by Hellstrom and the Riders.) It doesn’t quite work, though, so the B-team gets called in to make another attempt. The Dr. Nemesis and Fantomex team brings decent powers and a ton of snark; Aaron does a wonderful job with the banter between the grumpy heroes.

Meanwhile, the ladies of Wolverine’s life try to help him out mentally. Storm, Rogue, Jubilee, and White Queen join Wolvie’s current girlfriend in attempting to purge his mind of the demons. This, much like the first trade, gets pretty surreal, but it is worth it. The locked doors of Logan’s mind are worth the payoffs, including fantasies about Squirrel Girl, card-cheating tricks, and revenge.

Daniel Acuna is one of my favorite artists. Sometimes he elects to go a bit blurry on faces and details, but the mood of the panels is impeccable. When he does handle detail, the heroes and villains look wonderful; the demons look horrific while the glow of Cyke’s visor can’t help but impress. Seeing Acuna draw Nightcrawler makes me angry that the character is dead!


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