Writer: Tom Taylor // Artist: RB Silva // Publisher: Marvel
“…do better. See people before potential” – Wolverine
The final issue in the Adamantium Agenda mini-series, one-forth of the Hunt for Wolverine non-event event, brings the reassembled New Avengers mission to end with two major revelations. When Iron Man’s team infiltrates Mr.Sinister’s no-longer clandestine warehouse of the world population’s DNA, the thematic conflict of the series is pushed to the forefront. Humanity wins, but the mutant population has some major changes on the horizon.
Power, Potential, and People
Keeping in tone with previous instalments in the series, this issue is a split narrative dealing with the present day search for Logan’s (living) remains and a past New Avengers mission. On said mission, Wolverine volunteered himself to be the triggerman (say it in the Tom Hardy Bane voice!) for a radioactive bomb configured to work only with a living body. No one lives, dies, or resurrects harder than W, so he takes the blast. Once the fallout clears, his healing factor goes to work on repairing his nuke-burnt body. In this moment, at his most vulnerable and his most thoughtful, Wolverine appeals separately to Tony Stark and then his New Avengers teammates – Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, and Spider Man. During the blast, he sees the name “Stark Industries” across the design of the bomb. In a private moment, Logan reveals this to Stark who defends himself saying that the designs were stolen. Understanding, but still not appeased, Logan gives a speech that is part wisdom and part warning.
Logan wants the heroes to be heroic again, and to turn away from the in-fighting (Avengers vs. X-Men, Civil War I, and Civil War II, for instance). While he respects Stark, he is also knows that he is a scientist and man of ambition. For insurance, Wolverine privately tells his Avengers teammates that they promise do whatever it takes to make sure Stark does the right thing if he hesitates to destroy any genetic information that could be used for ill intentions.
When the moment of truth arrives at Mr. Sinister’s base, all eyes are on Stark. For a moment, he may seen even see himself reflected in the obsessed, twisted, and beaten cries of Sinister to preserve his life’s work. Holding true to their commitment to their friend and teammate, the New Avengers use their Stark-enhanced suits to light up the lab and database like Chinese New Year.
The Aftermath (Mother’s Daughter & Dolezal X)
The mission was a success, but before destroying the Sinister’s lab, Stark noticed two important pieces of information. First, he tells Laura that she is not exactly what she believes. Initially, X-23/Laura believed herself to be the clone of Wolverine who was merely carried in the womb by scientist Sarah Kinney. Stark reveals, however, that Laura is actually a 50-50 clone of both Kinney and Wolverine. She is more human than she thought.
More shockingly, Stark reveals that according to the database, one of the X-Men is not actually a mutant. Their DNA has merely been altered to be appear to have the X-gene. An imposter walks amongst them, potentially a sleep agent. The X-Men, ladies, and gentlemen, have a Rachel Dolezal in their midsts. How this plays out is anyone’s guess, but be certain that the recently announced return of Uncanny X-Men will be impacted as the first story arc is titled “Disassembled.”
As the Hunt for Wolverine winds down, “Adamantium Agenda” like “Weapon Lost” before it, offers some fun, genre focused stories with fan-favorite lineups. The story structure of a “search” as the driving plot for these interconnected series allows for moments of character growth and sharp dialogue with plenty of room for big action panels from Silva.
Writer Tom Taylor has a great handle on Wolverine, the Wolvie extended family, and the Weapon X legacy as it applies not only to the mutant community, but the Marvel Universe as a community. When Wolverine implores Stark to prioritize people over potential, you feel the weariness of a man whose life and memories were destroyed by those who sought to weaponize, instead of empathize, with mutants.
As the former writer of the Laura focused All-New Wolverine and current writer of the best X-Men series (X-Men Red), Taylor has two interesting threads that will surely start to unravel over the coming months.
Rating: 6.9 out of 10 Fugazis