Many fans of Marvel’s most famous mutant would agree that the only thing better than a comic book with Wolverine in it would be a comic book with multiple Wolverines in it. Naturally, the only thing better than a comic with multiple Wolverines in it would be a weekly comic with multiple Wolverines, which is exactly what writer Charles Soule and penciler Nick Bradshaw will deliver with “Wolverines.”
While none of the characters in the comic refer to themselves as “Wolverine,” this title is no less a “Wolverine” comic book than any adventure featuring the crazy Canuck with adamantium-laced bones. In early solicitations and ads, “Wolverines” appeared to be five characters with connections to Wolverine: Mystique, Sabretooth, X-23, Daken and Lady Deathstrike. Through the tale told in “Death of Wolverine: The Weapon X Program,” the survivors of the Weapon X program are also present: Shogun (a demon ninja Ogun-infused soldier), Neuro, Endo, Skel and Junk. It may not be the most creative assembly of names, but the roster is full and the newer quintet, introduced to the mix in “The Death of Wolverine: The Logan Legacy,” has the original five on edge throughout “Wolverines” #1.
Where Salvador Larroca handled the “Weapon X” miniseries, and Peter Nguyen handled the final chapter of “The Logan Legacy” that preceded this series, “Wolverines” #1 puts Nick Bradshaw in the artist’s chair. The only way Bradshaw’s style could be any more different from Larroca’s or Nguyen’s would be if he drew this comic on corrugated cardboard with crayons, but Bradshaw’s animated, Art Adams-influenced comic book style works for this opening chapter, softening the gore factor and giving the damage inflicted a cartoonish, “it’ll-be-alright” vibe. Bradshaw is clearly having fun with the characters in this story, and the desert setting certainly allows him to focus on the cast; for example, Bradshaw borrows the rolling protrusions that bubble over Mystique’s skin as she shape-shifts from her silver screen counterparts, an effect Bradshaw makes work quite nicely in comic form.
Bradshaw gets a two-page assist from Alisson Borges, whose style is just off enough from Bradshaw’s to be noticeable. Thankfully, the story hits a shift in action to match the slight shift in art before Bradshaw reclaims the reins at the end of the issue. FCO Plascencia joins the team to color this issue, adding visual pop filled with bold, superhero colors that work well with the artwork. Likewise, Bradshaw and Plascencia’s appearance of an old X-Men foe who has commandeered their services play into the story nicely.
“Wolverines” #1 includes a healthy chunk of set-up and a cool fight, making this comic a strong, solid start. But while it is evident in this debut issue that Soule is definitely elbows-deep in the sandbox, “Wolverines” needs a little more pizzazz to merit four bucks a week.