Monday, August 28, 2006

The Darkness/Wolverine #1: Old Wounds

The Darkness/Wolverine #1: Old Wounds
This isn't really a Wolverine story. He just happens to be in it. That said, it's an okay effort, although I really should expect more of Frank Tieri (but I don't). The story is told half through flashbacks to Nazi occupied France and half in a modern day bar, with Logan, in each time period, encountering the bearer of The Darkness. The art is very pretty. The story isn't much to speak of though, and there are three quibbles that I'd like to point out:
First, the following dialogue makes no sense at all: (from page two) "Canucks are born with nipples on their beer bottles". What does that even mean? Does that mean that Canadian babies are born along with beer bottles? Do their nipples grow beer bottles? Do their mothers produce beer instead of milk? I understand the intent, but the phraseology is all wrong. Excise the words "are born" and replace them with "have", and it comes closer to achieving some sort of sense. Still, it's just bad phraseology. Bad, bad, bad.
Second, on page twelve, Wolverine is shown using his claws. Problem? Yup, because, as far as I am aware, in any of his appearances set during the World War Two era, Logan has never been portrayed as having claws, or at least not as being aware of them. In fact, when Magneto stripped the Adamantium from Logan's bones, it came as a surprise to all when he was left with bone claws, thus implying that he had always had claws, and that he just hadn't been aware of them until the events of the Weapon X project - which definitely did not occur until after WWII. So how can he SNIKT a Darkness demon?
[On further reflection, considering the Origin story by Quesada et al, Wolverine was aware of his claws at an early age, and only forgot that they were organic later...when this happened is anybody's guess. However, I am not aware of any stories set in the WWII era which portray him using his claws.]
Third, on the same page, Logan is shown catching a goddamn bullet!!! WTF?? He just plucks it from the air as if it were just floating there or something. Like he's Superman, or the Flash, or some such nonsense. There's only one way this could have slipped by, and the credits confirm it: this project had no editor! Anybody with any appreciation for Wolverine's character should know that he takes more bullets than a firing range wall. Never once has he been able to catch one! Sorry, that's just really sloppy.
Still, the art is pretty enough to overcome these really terrible flaws in the writing department, and therefore I stick with my assessment that this book was okay. I actually like seeing Wolverine with a full beard, as it makes more sense than assuming that he's always had muttonchops, and hasn't changed his hairstyle since the civil war. Yup, the art is very, very pretty. The writing is nothing special, but it is mildly entertaining, and what more can you ask for in a twenty-two page one-shot with no further demands on continuity?
On second thought, I take that back. There's absolutely no reason for Jackie Estacado to fire on Logan or take a chainsaw to him. Just because The Darkness attacks Wolverine, doesn't mean that he has fact, since he is obviously so pissed by the Darkness doing what it wants, why would he go along with it? If he would merely refrain from fighting, the whole matter could be put to rest easily enough. Or, he could fight the Darkness on Wolverine's side, as he does on the final page. Jackie even personally sics a whole mess of demons on Logan, and then finally goes full-on Darkness before just stopping the fight. Yeah, he just stops. How's that for lame? And Wolverine, fallen upon by a multitude of damn demons, doesn't even go berserker!
This fight scene was completely unnecessary, idiotic, and nonsensical. It defies reason. Sure, we've come to expect these kinds of stupid fights in comics, to the point that they've become a cliche, but does that mean we should just accept it? Or should we demand that today's writing defy the conventions set in previous eras and rise to the level of good, solid, storytelling? I mean, we don't even get to see the fight between Logan and Jackie's grandfather! He dispatches The Spaniard off-panel! That fight should have been shown instead. This one...completely unwarranted.
I have to give this book an ASS rating now, because, if upon further thought a book just defies logic this much, it deserves nothing else.

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