Sunday, September 9, 2012

Wolverine Annual #1 (2012)

When Alan Davis tells you he wants to write some comics featuring his pet characters wandering around Marvel’s New York City, you let him. That’s the moral of this totally random, but entertaining, three-part story. (I think Davis might even be tying into his Thor one-shot from a few years ago with those animal men. Would that make this a 4-part miniseries?)

We opened with the mysterious Vincent showing up and wreaking havoc on the Thing and Human Torch. Really, any character could have served; the important cog was Dr. Strange. Then, some of the more well-known Clandestine members teamed up with Dr. Strange and Daredevil to take on the Vincent-possessed Plastoid. Finally, we get the main Clandestine characters (along with Cuckoo and Dom from the DD Annual) alongside Wolverine. Again, just about any character could serve in Wolverine’s role, but Davis does a nice job making it seem like Wolvie is actually important to the story.

I really like the Clandestine. I have every appearance of the team, and Davis’ affection for his pet characters is clear. Dom is easily the most likable character for me, but I like the liquid-metal weaponry Sam uses too. The varied power sets and neat costumes make me long for more appearances of this weird family.

I also love the ambiguity in Vincent’s fate. Was he really a bad seed? Or did some creature from outside time really take on aspects of his personality. It’s neat that the family remains split, with no clear answer. Dr. Strange can’t help, and if the Sorcerer Supreme doesn’t know, then I don’t think anyone does.

Man, Davis is one of the top artists in the business. His Wolverine is short, but built like a tank. I wish we could have gotten the orange and brown suit; Davis always did the best version of that costume. And wow, how great is Dr. Strange. Seeing him like this in his “real” look and role, I can’t wait for that status quo to reset in more mainstream titles.


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