For a character as arguably over-exposed as Wolverine, it can be a fairly large challenge to come up with stories for the solo title. After all, there are maybe four other places a month a Wolverine fan can go to get their fix. To be writing Wolverine alone, you need to do something those other books can’t.
Jason Aaron has himself an appropriate niche, telling a solo Wolverine action story that showcases the character’s brains as much as his brawn, alongside the kind of barely-plausible punishment you can only dole out to everyone’s favorite Canadian mutant. This issue features Wolverine blowing himself up in an attempt to infiltrate an army base undetected, pursuing Mystique while disguised as, well, a corpse. Alongside it is a parallel story set in the 1920s showing the first meeting of a slightly greener Logan and the already-formidable Mystique.
Wolverine’s solo title seems to work best when complementing events in other titles, fleshing out his other appearances which, while numerous, are often limited in scope. In the current storyline, entitled “Get Mystique”, Aaron takes the opportunity to tell a Wolverine story that stands alone as well as contributing to the fallout of the recent X-Crossover, “Messiah Complex.” In doing so, Aaron gives readers the best kind of crossover — one that you might not even notice, were you reading no other titles. The story works equally well in two contexts.
Artist Ron Garney is no small part of the success of this arc — after what I found to be a fairly pedestrian stint on Straczynski’s “Amazing Spider-Man,” Garney arrived on “Wolverine” and then immediately started producing some of the best work of his career. Whether it’s simply a different writer, renewed enthusiasm or the fact that he’s inking his own pencils, something has changed for the better in Garney’s artwork. Whatever his secret, fandom at large has certainly taken extra notice of this, and deservedly so — it’s always gratifying to see someone who’s been in the industry for a while get the kind of attention usually reserved for the latest hot newcomers.
While “Wolverine” is currently bouncing from creative team to creative team having essentially become a series of self-contained mini-series, it’d be a real shame if, after “Get Mystique” wraps up, Aaron and Garney didn’t return for another shot at the character like Guggenheim did following the good reaction to his “Civil War” story. For now, there’s still plenty to wonder about before the arc is over. Wolverine’s gone through a lot to get hold of Mystique, but the question remains as to what he’ll do once he captures her. The cliffhanger page, while gratuitous, at least promises that Aaron won’t pull any punches in letting these characters act as freely as possible ï¿½” and that, at least, doesn’t bode well for Mystique.