Wow. Talk about a story that no one demanded. I’m not trying to diss Kieron Gillen or Adam Kubert. They both have done fantastic work, and I keep an eye out for their names in the credit. But man, this continuation of Wolvie’s origin just doesn’t help anyone. Did anyone really want to see Wolverine struggle around with a different group of people while struggling with berserker rages?
To be honest, the high point of the book for me is seeing Mr. Sinister as a Victorian-era super-villain with a quaint little gang of assassin-soldiers working for him. I loved their uniforms!
Other than that, there is a fairly by-the-numbers plot with Wolverine falling in with another (mostly) beautiful girl who can recognize the inner nobility of Wolverine. There is another Sabretooth clone to keep things interesting. And there are a lot of berserker rages ripping up old-timey supporting characters. Nothing that really stood out.
(I did really enjoy the use of the polar bear as an analogue for Wolverine, though, that was a nice, sorrowful touch.)
Look at what Adam Kubert does in these books. In addition to his always-good action, he actually draws backgrounds! I know where these fights are taking place! A circus looks different than a bedroom! This is almost unheard of in modern comics, so I really appreciate the sense of location that Kubert establishes in each “shot.” It is always clear just where our heroes are fighting, which gives the drama a lot more grounded of a feel. This is great to see.
Again, I hate to admit that two great craftsmen like Gillen and Kubert made an AVERAGE comic, but to be honest, it would have been worse in other creators’ hands. This is simply a story that didn’t need to come out; it didn’t have enough to add to Wolvie’s mythos to be worthwhile.