I’ve been circling this comic for awhile, not sure what to expect from it, and feeling that Wolverine already gets a lion’s share of Marvel’s attention, did I really need to read another Wolverine book? Well, I did and will definitely be coming back for more.
Wolverine, who now goes by Logan, is living in a post-apocalyptic world with his wife and two children (I’m sorry, but you just know they’re doomed) and is a pacifist with flashbacks to some great trauma from his past. He and his family are barely scraping by on their dying farm when the Hulk family comes by to collect the past-due rent. They beat Logan down, knowing he won’t fight back, and give the family one more month to pay up. While Logan is recuperating, for he still has his power of speed healing, his old friend Hawkeye comes to visit with a proposition. Hawkeye, who is now practically blind, wants Logan to help him cross the country from the West Coast (present-day Sacramento area) to the East coast (current-day Washington DC). He is willing to pay Logan enough money to cover all his debts, so Logan gives his family a loving goodbye and sets off with Hawkeye in a former Spidey-mobile.
They run into a bit of trouble…Hawkeye’s rebellious adult daughter, Ghost Riders, mole men called Moloids, and dinosaurs imported from the Savage Land; all the while battling the flashbacks of what happened fifty years prior. We find out what happened to the X-Men, and I won’t spoil what happened, but it’s brutal. You will understand why Logan put down his persona of Wolverine that day, and why he has not stepped up to help when all of America was falling to the supervillains.
The duo makes it out East to meet with an underground group and the secret that Hawkeye was carrying is revealed- serum to make super soldiers so they could restart an Avengers team. Betrayals and deaths occur and Red Skull is revealed to be behind it all. Logan fights the villains, but without his claws being unsheathed. He is able to make it make home with his reward, but as expected his little family is no more, killed by the Banner clan in his absence.
The claws come out in his grief, and he is Wolverine once more. The large inbred Hulk family doesn’t stand a chance when confronted with Wolverine’s fury. The showdown between the original Bruce Banner and Wolverine is epic, with Wolverine persevering in an awesomely gory way.
The ending is apropos, with a nugget of hope built in. Enough plot threads and hints of other characters out there are left, to fuel future stories of how Wolverine is back and is going to reclaim the land before he rides off into the sunset.
The artwork by Steve McNiven is outstanding. The color scheme is sepia-toned and dusty, with an Old West feel to the people and terrain. The characters are drawn realistically, with a good eye for detail.
I highly recommended this graphic novel- for it has a great way to restart Wolverine’s story, with an intriguing lineup of past and future heroes and villains.