Dark Wolverine #79

After a surprisingly impressive first arc, "Dark Wolverine" has sunk to being one of the worst comics I've read all year and all it did was change artists. Normally, an art change, no matter how drastic, wouldn't affect a book this much, but Stephen Segovia's utter lack of competence is so shocking in its ineptitude that I can't help but wonder how he got this gig and who could possibly think this art is anything close to quality.

The biggest problem with Segovia's art is that there is a fundamental failure in coherent serial storytelling in his images. His insistence on using odd layouts featuring tilted panels or stacked panels of varying sizes (always tilted, of course) is mystifying since he clearly hasn't mastered basic, basic, basic elements of composition like perspective as he jumps from odd angle to odd angle with little logic or understanding that you generally want readers to follow the visual flow of the story, not leave them entirely mystified at where characters are and what they are doing. As someone who's been reading comics for over two-and-a-half decades, I'm not accustomed to stopping numerous times in an issue to puzzle over a page, wondering what is going on.

Don't believe me? Check out these preview pages and try to follow the flow of action as characters randomly appear and disappear along with the backgrounds and the perspective changes so you have no idea where Daken is or where he's moved to. And these pages are some of the better ones.

The art is so horribly awful that it's difficult to judge the story, although it also seems like a step down since it's based on a fallacy: a video was leaked showing Daken as Wolverine gutting various bad guys, which is apparently bad for Norman Osborn from a PR perspective. Of course, the question that really needs answering: what do people in the Marvel universe think a guy whose main 'superpower' is retractable claws does to bad guys? Tickle them? Isn't the point of a guy with claws that he will slice and dice the criminals? So, the story starts off in a weird spot of disbelief and never improves since every subsequent action is based on that initial choice.

This issue continues the plot and, from what I could follow despite the awful art, it's not good. Daken is put up against some loser criminals, looks kind of bad as a result, and... characters do things for reasons that are never made clear. I'm sure they have specific motives, but you wouldn't know it from reading this comic.

After a very good first story arc, "Dark Wolverine" looked like this year's front runner for the 'best comic that looked like a lame cash grab but is actually rather good' award, but this arc is drawn by a terrible amateur who hasn't come close to mastering the basics and features a story that has no clear purpose or point. What happened?

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