Monday, October 27, 2008

Wolverine: Manifest Destiny

"Enter the Wolverine"
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Stephen Segovia
Letterer: Cory Petit
Colourist: John Rauch
Editor: John Barber

Wolverine: Manifest Destiny is the story that Wolverine would be running right now, if it wasn't otherwise occupied with Mark Millar and Steve McNiven's alternate reality story. Just like every other X-Man, Wolverine needs relocating to San Francisco, and this is the book to do it.

The reasons for moving to San Francisco have been dealt with ad nauseam in other titles, so in practice, writer Jason Aaron's remit here is to fill a few issues doing something that amuses him, so long as it involves moving Wolverine to San Francisco. And what we get is a story about Wolverine arriving in his new home, and trying to smooth things over with some guys in Chinatown that he annoyed fifty years ago. Yes, it's the old "Wolverine knows these people from his chequered past" routine.

But sometimes the simplest ideas are the best. Aaron is basically doing a martial arts story here, complete with guest appearances by the Sons of the Tiger. It's a romp which takes itself just seriously enough (and no more), and this is sort of story it needs: simple, but solid enough for everything to hang on. It's perfectly well put together, the characters are well written, and there's nothing wrong with it. It's not trying to be high art, but it's good fun.

Stephen Segovia's art is quite promising. Yes, there's a heavily Leinil Francis Yu influence here (with a bit of stiffness at times), and yes, there are times when he's trying too hard (you don't need five irregular panels just to show Wolverine opening a can of beer). But he's good at establishing a location, he's good with body language, and there are actually points where he eases off the flashy layouts and lets the action speak for itself. I don't think he's found his own voice here, but he's certainly got something.

True enough, Wolverine is massively overexposed these days, and he doesn't really need one more throwaway side project. But I can't deny it's an entertaining one, and I'd be happy to see these guys do more with the character.

Labels: ,