writer: Charles Soule / artist: Ariela Kristantina / Marvel Comics
And we’re back! As we ended on issue #3, our new heroine Fantomelle, engineered by Dr. Cornelius to be the best thief in the world, was attacked by Siphon. Issue #4 picks up right where we left off as our squad of Wolverines shows up to save her, kidnap her, and offer her a job.
Issue #3 was a welcome deviation from the main plot surrounding Wolverine’s dead body, and we got to know Fantomelle more than any other new character in this series. That character development trend doesn’t continue in this issue, but this issue turned out pretty well regardless as the plot progressed more in this issue than any of the ones past. And now that Fantomelle is anchoring the character load, the series is a lot more enjoyable to read.
Remember how none of the new characters were developed? Remember how there were so many that you didn’t know much about any of them? Can you recall their names? How about their powers? As it turns out, it doesn’t matter. Issue #3 was dedicated to Fantomelle and Culpepper, and #4 screen time was given to characters we already know – Mystique, X-23, etc – and the newbies are just backup dancers with the exception of Fantomelle. If you’re anything like me, you hope this trend continues as Endo, Skel, Junk, and the rest kindly fade out of sight. Charles Soule has his new star, and when you’ve found your Beyoncé you don’t spend much time on Letoya Luckett.
After Fantomelle finds herself in the Changeling with the rest of the team, they pitch her an assignment:
Neuro: Okay, so, I know we kidnapped you. I mean, I know we got off to a rocky start, and I’m really, really sorry. But we need a favor. We need you to steal something. And it’s really, really hard. Some would say it’s impossible. But we can make it worth your whi—
Fantomelle: Dude you had me at “steal” and “impossible”. Challenge accepted.
And just like that, Fantomelle is part of the team setting out to take on Sinister and his impenetrable fortress. The issue ties in some mystery – what’s going on with Mystique, and how will it lead to her bloodied and walking the halls like we saw in issue #1? – and somewhat answers the question of why Sinister wants Wolverine’s body in the first place.
Overall, Wolverines #4 was a great transition back into the main plot, and a nice, seamless integration of Fantomelle into the series. Also nice is the work of this week’s artist Ariela Kristantina, whose drawings I found pretty awesome, although somewhat hard to follow. The story jumped around in a way that didn’t quite work for me, but I liked her depictions of Fantomelle, and Mystique’s mirror scene. Sinister didn’t look as well, but his face is tricky and generally looks better enshrouded in shadow and darkness anyway.
The series is steadily getting better – catch up on previous reviews from Wolverines #1, Wolverines #2, and Wolverines #3 here.
Score: 7 out of 10