Marvel Comics released Wolverine #3 on July 22. Writer Benjamin Percy continues Wolverine’s search for the Flower Cartel and the Pale Girl, who caused him to turn on and kill his teammates. Joined by artist Adam Kubert, colorist Frank Martin, and letterer VC’s Cory Petit, Percy and company put together a very well-crafted issue, one that makes me excited for this series moving forward!
After the cliffhanger at the end of the last issue, we find out that all is not as it seems and that Wolverine’s situation isn’t as hopeless as it first appeared. We learn, via a series of flashbacks (including a humorous one involving Magneto), that Wolverine, far from having been caught off guard by the Pale Girl, has set his own trap.
With the help of Kid Omega, Iceman, Storm, Bishop, Pyro, and Magneto’s helmet (which shields the wearer from being affected by telepaths), Wolverine is able to infiltrate the Flower Cartel and confronts the Pale Girl. Oh, and Agent Bannister is actually still alive, too. That was a fake-out.
Percy does a number of interesting things in this issue, not the least of which is some not-quite-veiled criticism of Russia’s strong man tendencies in real life, reflected in this story by their opposition to mutant sovereignty and mutant freedom. Percy continues to plant seeds for the mystery of the Pale Girl’s identity, with Xavier, in one of the prose sections, describing the feeling of contacting her mind as “like Jean…but other.”
Finally, I have to admit to a bit of giddiness on seeing Wolverine step out of the ship with Magneto’s helmet on which his friends at his back. This is followed by an inner monologue by Wolverine, where he reflects on how his friends have “fixed him” in some sense. This, however, is immediately undermined by the Pale Girl’s comment to Logan that he thinks his friends are a strength, but they are in fact a weakness. Whether or not this is Percy setting up a future arc for Wolverine’s character that sees him leave Krakoa and strike out on his own, we’ll have to wait and see. Either way, it’s a very good juxtaposition, with the Pale Girl’s comments coming on the very next page after the end of Wolverine’s personal reflections
I’ve already commented about this, but I want to double down on how cool I think this panel is.
After seeing Wolverine get beat down so much over the last two issues, with issue #2 seeming to end with another defeat for Logan, it was nice to Logan have a triumphant moment, made all the more cool by him wearing Magneto’s helmet.
Speaking of Magneto, I’ve been enjoying seeing a more laid back version of the character both in his own giant-size issue and here.
It seems like a jovial Magneto would be hard to pull off, but Kubert does it well here. Everything about these panels is great, from the sentinel-shaped mugs to the laid back drunk Magneto with Wolverine in the wings waiting for him to pass out.
This is one of my favorite scenes from this issue. It’s funny. It’s clever. And Kubert communicates it well.
I also think that Kubert does a great job with Logan’s mask.
The shading, symmetry, and texture of the mask is pitch perfect. Masks and cowls can be hard to draw, but I think Kubert nails it here (although I think the cover image is a little weird in terms of the eyes).
There are a few weird character designs, specifically Juggernaut’s face in a flashback, and again, Wolverine’s face on the cover, but this book is drawn very well on the whole.
Martin’s colors are a boon to this story. In the images above, the speckled and grainy outlines and backgrounds around the characters give the comic just enough of a gritty, visceral feel (quite appropriate for a Wolverine comic!) without being over the top.
Also, in the image above with Wolverine and the X-Men, all of the characters’ colors pop, and Martin’s use of shading really makes for some beautiful character images. The characters have a very nice shine to them, which adds to the overall visual experience.
The Flower Cartel outfits are also colored very well.
These costumes are unique looking, and the blending of the red and the black, the way the colors bleed into each other, gives the impression that these outfits are coursing and swirling with energy. Again, good work by Martin.
There is an entire page in this book that makes me appreciate Petit’s lettering. Again, I return to my favorite scene from this issue.
So much of this scene works because of the various sound effects and background noises that Petit letters, from Magneto’s snoring to Wolverine cracking his knuckles.
A nice additional touch is Wolverine’s trademark “snikt” being drawn between his claws as he pops them and threatens Blob to keep quiet.
So much of the story revolves around this opening scene, and Petit’s lettering is part of what makes it work so well.
This is my favorite issue of the new Wolverine series so far. It’s nice to see this first arc resolve while setting up future mysteries and personal questions for Logan moving forward. It’ll be interesting to see how the question of the Pale Girl’s identity resolves. I’m definitely intrigued given some of the revelations in the prose sections of this issue. I am also looking forward to seeing the relationship between Logan and Agent Bannister develop in future issues.
What did you think of Wolverine #3? Tell us in the comments below!