Wolverine: Manifest Destiny #1

Story by
Art by
Stephen Segovia
Colors by
John Rauch
Letters by
Cory Petit
Cover by
Marvel Comics

Jason Aaron's recent Wolverine arc, "Get Mystique," was well-received, and showed that even a character as overexposed as Logan can still carry an entertaining story arc under his own steam, without the need for status quo upheaval. Aaron clearly understands that the formula for a Wolverine story is simple: insert the character into a situation, and force him to fight his way out.

While other titles under the "Manifest Destiny" banner have dealt specifically with the characters involved moving to San Francisco, there's little reason to spend much time on that topic here -- not only was it covered in "Uncanny X-Men," it's wholly unnecessary for a character already known for his nomadic slant.

Instead, Aaron makes use of Wolverine's newfound willingness to deal with his past, and has him settle some problems with the locals now that he's going to be based in San Francisco. In this case, the locals are some guys from Chinatown that he had a run-in with 50 years ago. So, Wolverine in a kung fu movie, anyone?

It might not sound especially inspiring on paper, but the strength of Aaron's characters and pacing turns a potentially pedestrian plot into something far more enjoyable. Aaron's "Ghost Rider" work proves that he can take the ridiculous just seriously enough to make it work. That's what happens here, complete with an appearance from one of Marvel's 70s-borne martial arts properties, the Sons of the Tiger.

The art, by Stephen Segovia, is taking clear inspiration from Leinil Yu, but there are worse artists to be compared to. Segovia's action scenes are clear, and the body language depicted is both fluid and easy to read -- essential for a story involving martial arts.

While it sometimes seems as though Marvel thinks that there's always room for one more "Wolverine" story in the market, if they were all as strong as this issue there'd be far less reason to complain about that. As it is, you can at least rest assured that this is one of the better stories you can find the character in. A very promising start.

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