Team Deathstrike on the ‘Hunt for Wolverine’ in “Claws of Killer” #1

Writer: Mariko Tamaki / Penciler: Butch Guice / Marvel Comics

Following the Reavers’ attempt to steal the body of the deceased Wolverine to sell for their cybernetic upgrades, X-Men leader Kitty Pryde dispatched investigative teams led by Iron Man and Daredevil to locate their apparently resurrected friend. Unfortunately, Kitty did not account for the information falling into the hands of Logan’s former lover/often foe Lady Deathstrike. As a former Reaver, Deathstrike uses recon from her former comrades to gather a team of her own – Sabretooth and Daken. Their plan – find Wolverine, dead or alive, and kill him for good.

THE ENEMY OF YOUR ENEMY IS YOUR ALLY

Sabretooth, Deathstrike, and Daken have a strong, antagonistic chemistry that contrasts well with the other series that focus on the heroes. With Lady Deathstrike as the most calculating and controlled member of the crew, expect at least one double crossing and betrayal to occur before series end. While the three can barely tolerate one another, they are united in their hatred of Wolverine and taste for vengeance. As many friends as Wolverine has, his greatest enemies are his former best friend, former lover, and his son. No doubt, some bridges should be burned, buried, and flooded.

WHAT IT DO

Writer Mariko Tamaki brings a refreshing, dysfunctional family dynamic to a motley crew of killers bonded by their adamantium claws and their hatred of Wolverine. The script’s dialogue is terse and rhythmic, highlighting the tension of uneasy bedfellows who vary may well kill each other before they can reach the OC (Original Canuck). With Butch Guice on board for pencils, the pacing and character designs of the book underscore a moody piece that, safe to say, will get bloodier with each subsequent issue. Guice’s renderings of the characters exude a refined classicism that gives as much attention to faces and expressions as they do to the moody locations of a zombie infested town in Arizona.

Heralded as a horror story amongst the four mini-series in the “Hunt for Wolverine” event, the initial installment issue parallels the others (“Adamantium Agenda” & “Weapon Lost,” thus far) with the motif of ‘gathering the troops.”  If this unstable and violent posse can keep from killing one another, Deathstrike’s team would seem to have the advantage in locating Logan due to their collective tracking abilities and intimate connections. Overall, the mood of the issue is consistent throughout, sprinkling enough mystery, uncertainty, and emotional vitriol to build a story arc that will hopefully rise beyond its’ by the numbers zombie plot reveal.

6 Weapons out of X

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  • Jon-Carlos Evans is a Berlin based filmmaker, audiovisual artist and writer. He holds a B.A. in Film Production from Webster University-St.Louis and a MFA in Media Arts Production from the City College of New York. Under his musical alias Klaas von Karlos, Evans is also is the founder of experimental-electronic collective ReVerse Bullets and creative director of the GLITCH performance series/music label. As Klaas von Karlos, he is also a member of music projects BIINDS, Naked Sweatshop, and Divan Rouge

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