writer: Charles Soule / artist: Jonathan Marks / Marvel Comics
Before we continue our adventure let’s reiterate three themes from previous reviews of Wolverines. First, there are entirely too many characters in this series, most of which are unnecessary and distract from other characters’ awesomeness and development. Second, Fantomelle stole the show as the best new character in this comic – one of the six creations of Dr. Cornelius who are featured alongside 6 familiar faces. Every panel we have to see a character like “Junk” is a panel taken away from someone more interesting. And finally, the focus on claiming Wolverine’s dead body can only hold a series for so long until we get some real answers.
That being said, Wolverines #5 was a frustrating issue to read, until the very end when things got real. It was the rope-a-dope equivalent for comics.
We left off with Fantomelle and Culpepper joining the team of Wolverines and setting off to steal back Wolverine’s body. Why do they need Wolverine’s body? The crew from Paradise needs it or else they’ll die. Why would they die? And why are Mystique and the others helping them? You’re better off ignoring that part of the story, but you can read the plot foundation in the review of Wolverine’s #1 if you want to know. Now that they’re all together, they’re knocking on the door of the man in possession of their lifeline, who is none other than Mr. Sinister.
Now, Sinister is not a man to be trifled with. He’s a person you generally want to avoid at all costs, but to Fantomelle, his fortress is the ultimate cookie jar that just has to crack open to see what’s inside. That’s what she was born for – she was genetically engineered to be a thief.
The team arrives at Sinister’s fortress and is met by Starky Gripes, the gatekeeper who welcomes them and explains their peril:
After Starky tells them what’s up, a hologram of Sinister appears to reiterate that they are, in fact, dumb, and that he will probably kill them all after he finishes this latest episode of Scandal. Then the games begin, as the team pulls apart and warps to different sections of Sinister’s fortress.
The next ten pages of the comic are that “frustrating” part I was referring to, complete with bad cameos and wordplay of “Fing Fang Boom!” I’m not kidding, someone says that. This is the cartoon episode where the characters are trapped in a magic house and they all have to conquer their individual obstacles, except you don’t really care and want them to fail; all of them except Fantomelle, of course, who is underestimated and unaccounted for.
Fortunately, Soule knows how to wrap up to keep plots progressing, anticipation rising, and readers reading. Overall, Wolverines #5 was a small dip in a series that is keeping our attention nonetheless. The issue suffered from the same problem as issue #4 in the way it was difficult to follow, but much of it had to do with the choppy nature of the plot given so many characters in so many different places. Jonathan Marks does an amazing job capturing Sinister though, and that’s no small feat. After that ending I’m really looking forward to seeing what comes next.
Catch up on previous reviews of Wolverines here.
Score: 6 out of 10