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Wolverine: X-Isle #1 By Matt Martin
Marvel Comics Ė Bruce Jones (w); Jorge Lucas (a)
Well, another day, another Marvel mini-series by Bruce Jones.
The last one was Captain America: What Price Glory? and from what I read, it was pretty lousy. On the upside, Wolverine: X-Isle isnít as bad as Jonesí Cap mini, but the downside is that itís still not very good.
The plot, once again, is very simple, straightforward fare. Logan decides to spend some quality time with his foster daughter, Amiko (a character who apparently, like most of the supporting cast of Loganís solo book, only reappears when itís convenient for the writers; case in point, I donít even remember her). After the former Weapon X demonstrates that he has no eye for art, bemusedly embarrassing his adopted child, the pair move on to a boardwalk carnival. There, Wolverine repeatedly loses his legendary temper, snapping at carnival barkers and patrons alike. Eventually, his rage turns violent and Amiko retreats from his side, mortified to be associated with him.
So while itís nice to see a Wolverine story that doesnít revolve around either his past involvement with ninjas, samurai or Weapon X, the last thing that he belongs in is a story about the nature of self-imposed isolationism; because thatís what this story boils down to, in the end (and no, Iím not over-intellectualizing the subject matter).
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Back at the museum, Logan and Amiko discuss a painting that depicts a lone sailor, ostensibly marooned on a desert island. For Amiko, the artwork represents the isolation that all true artists feel; for Logan, itís simply confirmation that he doesnít understand any art past Norman Rockwell. At the time, I wondered what possible relevance a six-page discussion of art could have to a story involving Marvelís most famous mutant hero. In retrospect, I wish I hadnít asked that question.
Because instead of another fight with Omega Red or Sabretooth, Jones has opted to overanalyze Wolverine, depicting him as a man apart from his fellows, separated from human- and mutant-kind in the general sense and his adopted family in the specific by virtue of his violent temper. And it just doesnít work, because Wolverine simply isnít a character that I feel lends itself to intellectual examination. Moreover, I would venture to guess that this sort of story was neither what the average Wolverine reader was expecting nor looking for if they picked up the book this week.
Luckily, itís only $2.50, so youíre not out too much money if you take the chance and try it out (it could be worse: you could be paying $3.50 for a bad Wolverine story like you did if you bought Origin). And thereís certainly a temptation to do so, I imagine, if youíre a fan of the character, since this week proved to be remarkably short on quality titles. All the same, I canít say that Iíd recommend the book to anyone other than the most die-hard of Wolverine fans. And to them, I reiterate my warning that itís probably not what youíre expecting.