Saturday, March 6, 2010

Chronic Review: Wolverine Weapon X # 11

Wolverine: Weapon X # 11
Marvel Comics

Script: Jason Aaron

Pencils: Ron Garney

22 pages for $3.99

If you listen to the show, you'll know that I've been itching to get my hands on this book for awhile, and the reason I haven't is a horse well dead and still beaten at this point - it costs $4. It shouldn't...but it does. But I do a show, and I rationalize it that way. I'm sure y'all rationalize it in some other way that makes equally little sense.

Before I get into the actual document itself, a few words about DC and its strange relationship with Vertigo, which seems to function as a superlative minor league system for Marvel. Karen Berger, as you all know, is a total bad ass. She scouts the talent, they produce exceptional work, and then DC has this incredibly head-scratching habit of watching them head straight to the Queen Whore of Babylon across town.

Think for a moment about all the Vertigo talent that went straight to Marvel to produce high quality mainstream, flagship-type comic books: Garth Ennis (Hellblazer), Mike Carey (Lucifer), Grant Morrison (Animal Man/Doom Patrol), Mark Millar (Swamp Thing), Peter Milligan (Shade), and I'm sure I've missed one or seven others.

And now here's Jason Aaron, fresh off the critically acclaimed Scalped. And now here's Jason Aaron kicking off a Wolverine ongoing. A memo to the new "High 5" at DC comics: next time Karen Berger shows you a talent? Offer them a goddamn high profile book so they can make YOU some money instead of Marvel. Just a thought. You might want to start with that Matthew Sturges kid who is writing the crap out of House of Mystery. Mr. Johns? Mr. Lee? Mr. Didio? Anyone?

On with the show. Wolverine Weapon X # 11 is part one of the "Tomorrow Dies Today" story arc. It is in fact, a direct lift of two previous concepts: Terminator, and the old Scourge storyline from the mid 1980s. I'm not saying that to disparage Jason Aaron. There's nothing new under the sun, and I'd rather see a quality homage then a piece of junk pretending to be "fresh". I'm just sayin'.

The Terminator in this case is played by Deathlok, or rather Deathloks. There's a whole gang of these things popping up from the future and getting rid of all the super-powered folks, who apparently are a gigantic pain in the ass down the line.
The set-up is kinda cute, actually. It begins with a new character, Slag, and we get a couple pages of his over-the-top interior monologuing regarding his vengeance origin. Things don't work out so well for him. : )

Yeah. This is a no-nonsense Deathlok, who cuts off people's heads without remorse or preamble. He kills parents so that they don't produce super-powered babies. And yeah..he kills babies, too. This is a Deathlok who does NOT discriminate. And that's awful good fun.

Somewhere in this book Wolverine does appear, and it's all character moments. You may have heard that Steve Rogers has returned from the "dead", and Wolverine wants to welcome him back by making him so drunk he can't speak.

It's a good idea, complete with Nightcrawler as designated driver. Or designated super-sonic pilot, rather. There's a pub brawl, there's a lot of drinking, and a couple of moments where Logan shows what a real softy he is underneath all of that adamantium.

And while I appreciated the concept, the moments didn't really land for me. I guess it's revealing enough that Wolverine would even do a pub crawl with Steve Rogers, or half-admit that losing Cap affected him internally. Perhaps I'm being unkind here. But I didn't really feel anything memorable happening there, and there was opportunity for it.

I'll say this about all comics I've ever read by Jason Aaron, this being no exception - they move. Stuff happens, the story moves forward, there is no wheel-spinning or "filler". When you pick up a Jason Aaron book, you are not wasting your time. There is action here, and that army of Deathloks feels like a legitimate threat because Aaron did such a good job establishing their ruthless efficacy.

There's some humor here, some human moments. "Go be crazy someplace else lady", says Logan. I laughed out loud at that. Jason Aaron is a good writer, and this is a serviceable or better title by all indications.

Is it worth $3.99? No. I reviewed a better book with four more pages for $2.99 yesterday in the form of Invincible Iron Man. Why is this 33%+ more expensive? I don't know. What are we supposed to be gaining here, that we're paying more? It boggles. The horse is dead, and I can't stop whipping it. This book should not cost me or anybody else $4. Shame on you, Queen Whore of Babylon! Watch me NOT get this comic next month.

- Ryan

1 comment:

Chronic Insomnia said...

"Go be crazy someplace else lady" sounds like something from "As Good As It Gets". It's a very copy-cat line from that movie. "Go Sell crazy someplace else, we're all sold out here!" I guess it's still funny, but that line would have sparked an instant, "Hey, I liked that line better when it was in that movie with Jack Nicholson." Just saying...great review though.