Writer: Jason Aaron
Art: Adam Kubert & Paul Mounts [Chapters 1, 4 & 7], Ron Garney & Jason Keith [Chapters 2 & 5], Steve Sanders & Sotocolors [Chapters 3 & 6]
Wolverine #300 doesn’t just mark the return of the series to its original numbering (assuming that’s how Marvel worked this out), it also marks the beginning of Jason Aaron’s final story arc on the book — Wolverine’s return to Japan.
Last issue (Wolverine #20), the stage was set for a war between the Yakuza and the Hand as a result of the Silver Samurai’s death way back in the “Wolverine Goes to Hell” storyline that began in the first issue of this volume of Wolverine. Wolverine’s well-known for being an X-Man and an Avenger, but his history as a samurai (he’s like 200 years old, you know?) is something that some fans may not be up to speed on. This super-sized issue, and the story arc in general, seem to be a great primer on that so far. It features his Japanese love interest, his adopted Japanese daughter, the aforementioned Japanese mafia and ninjas, and the son of the Silver Samurai.
Oh, and Sabretooth is back from the dead. How this happened has yet to be explained, but if the teasers for next issue (and 2012 in general) are any indication, there will be answers soon.
Overall, this is exactly the kind of story fans of the Ol’ Canucklehead have come to know and love. It strikes the right balance of ultra-violence and pulp fun — see the in-flight fight between Wolverine and a plane full of ninjas in the opening pages, or Sabretooth with a jetpack, for example — rounded out with smart dialogue and solid writing. There are really only two or three spots in the book where the story seems to jump around inexplicably (when the Yakuza approach Sabretooth in the Japanese brothel, and when Wolverine and Sabretooth are suddenly in the Hand temple after being in an underground tunnel), but considering the amount of action condensed into this issue, it’s somewhat forgivable. Although, I did find myself checking to see if my copy was missing pages like a recent issue of Secret Avengers I purchased…
The art remains solid throughout, as well, which is surprising given the three art teams that worked on this issue. I didn’t even realize three teams of artists worked on this issue until I looked at the credits again afterwords. It’s almost that seamless, although the Steve Sanders and Sotocolors chapters are noticeably more polished than the others.
Like the main story, the back-up story — which presumably teases the upcoming “Sabretooth Reborn” story by Jeph Loeb and Simone Bianchi — also left me wanting to see what happens next.
Overall, a solid 300th issue — if it really is the actual issue 300.
[amazon_link id=”B006U41W4S” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]BUY Wolverine #300 on Amazon[/amazon_link]