Wolverine # 50-56
Wolverine is haunted by dreams in which he and Sabretooth appear throughout history, along with some phrase that means "What I am, you will be" (or some such). He goes and confronts Sabretooth about it (who is hanging out at the mansion) and the two tussel. Creed drags Logan to Wakanda, where Storm and T'Challa show Logan a recent find that has two animal anthros skeletons. Logan is then told about the Lupin, apparently animal-type Mutants evolving from anthros instead of humans. This apparently includes the mysteriously repowered Feral and Thornn, as well as Wolfsbane and Sasquatch. Shortly afterwards, Wild Child captures Sabretooth. Wolverine and the aforemention animal-Mutants chase after Wild Child and Creed, finding them at the old Weapon X site. Sabretooth has completely lost it and eats Feral before he runs off.
The rest of the group gets taken out by Wild Child and they all head back to the mansion, where Logan gets the Muramasa sword back from Cyclops so he can kill Creed. He confronts Creed at the cabin where he killed Silver Fox. Logan lops off Creed's head, killing him. It's then revealed by a freshly arrived Wild Child that Romulus has had Creed kill Logan's past loves to control him. It all goes back into the mythology of Romulus - blonde versus black, the whole Lupin thing. Wolverine then swears he'll kill Romulus.
I’m a bit of a Jeph Loeb fan and having read his work over the past few years, I’ve found he mainly deals with either one of two different types of stories. Stories that are romantic or sentimental, such as Fallen Son, Spider-Man: Blue, Daredevil: Yellow, and Superman For All Season. These are usually of a slower pace and deal with the characters emotions to a larger extent than his other type of stories – which would be the more blockbuster-esque, action/adventure type of stories. This would mainly include Superman/Batman, Onslaught Reborn, Hush, and the like. The only time I think he’s actually done a good job at combining the two would be with Batman: The Long Halloween and its squeal, Batman: Dark Victory.
While I re-read Evolution, I was trying to figure out what kind of story he was trying to tell here. It was obviously something he thought would be profound and interesting and offer insight into Wolverine and build upon his mythology in a creative/innovative way. Eh . . . sorry, Jeph, not quite.
The dialogue is good, the pacing is steady, and the characterization is nicely handled. The art is fantastic, but we’ll get to that soon enough. The big problem, unfortunately, is the plot itself. It’s not very good.
I talked about Romulus here and went on about all of the questions regarding Romulus that need to be answered. Even though this was originally released parallel to the later arcs of “Wolverine Origin,” it does very little to explore Romulus. Which, at the heart of the story, is the biggest flaw here. I can look past the Silver Age-like coincidences, but Romulus is one of those concepts that absolutely needs to be explored.
Romulus just doesn’t seem real to me. I mean, in addition to all the “oh yeah, he arranged the deaths of all these important women in Logan’s life,” he just seems too out of this world for me to take seriously. All that nonsense about the Lupine evolving into human-like Mutants that are fairly anthropomorphic? What? I can’t take that seriously! It’s over-complicating things. Not to mention the whole blonde-fur/dark-fur idea.
With all that tied to Romulus, I already am not fond of this character and these new developments. There’s nothing personal to make me care about Romulus. Oh, what’s that? He had ties to the Weapon X project? Well, hell, for a while it was implied that Apocalypse did. Then it was hinted that Sinister was involved. Finally, it was John Sublime. And now Romulus? Gasp!
Don’t get me wrong – I think Romulus has the potential to be a great villain. In fact, I’m hoping he does. I want to understand him more and I need to see more of his personality and motivations, but until then, he’s practically not a character. If he continues on this track, he’ll become a one-note villain the likes of Onslaught, Bastian, the Adversary, and Factor Three. All hype and no bite.
As far as Sabretooth’s death is concerned, I’m fine with it. I’m not overly-excited about it and it won’t surprise me to see him pop up again, but it’s cool. I’m fine with Feral’s death, too.
On the art-side, I have to give it up for Bianchi. This is one of those artists that you can just tell are going to be the next John Romita Jr’s or John Cassady. Everything is rendered absolutely beautifully and with a graceful style that only lends to the storytelling.
Again, there’s potential here for this story to really be something. But until it achieves that potential, it’s just nothing but flash in the pan.