“Savage Wolverine” has been a fairly interesting title since its inception as a spotlight for artists to take their shot at old Weapon X. This week, the reins finally handed over to Jock. Read our full review to see how he fared with his first solo book! Spoilers: it’s real durn pretty!
Written and Illustrated by Jock
• A new arc begins here as New York Times Best-Selling artist JOCK spins a tale of science fiction intrigue in a far-flung future!
• When Wolverine crash-lands on an alien planet, he’ll need more than just his healing factor to survive!
• But even if he adapts to this strange environment and its stranger denizens, will Logan be able to handle the secrets the planet hides?
• Extraterrestrial excitement hits close to home in a Wolverine tale like none you’ve seen before!
Okay, full disclosure: I have not read any issue of “Savage Wolverine” before #9. So, if it sounds like I am missing something, then I absolutely am.
That said, it is a little hard to not be lost with Jock’s inaugural issue of his “Savage” gig. Wolverine has been kidnapped by some group and taken to some planet where he has to get a thing. Jock’s definitely playing his cards close to the chest, with that previous sentence really being the most vivid description of the plot of the first 17 pages I can give. Eventually other plot threads are introduced, namely the inclusion of someone deciding to team Wolverine up with a mysterious small child whose absence in other Marvel titles certainly means that nothing bad will occur in this comic. Smooth sailings from here on out!
So while there might not be a whole lot of story in this issue, the beginnings of one certainly are. That doesn’t really matter though, as Jock uses his position as writer to allow himself plenty of pages without any needless dialogue. Jock’s always been one of my favorite artists, so seeing him get twenty pages to basically do whatever he wants is a delight, and “whatever he wants” here basically means show off, as Jock does when Wolverine has a bloody and an insanely grand fight with a gigantic caterpillar monster attached with creepy lice monsters. Jock’s sense of scale is definitely prevalent as he gives the abandoned planet Wolverine’s on feel really similar to, say, the landscape from Shadows of the Colossus. It’s vast and empty, with the exception of the scattered gigantic monsters for Wolverine to defeat.
Basically, Jock is still one of the best artists working today, and his work here only demonstrates that further.
That said, Jock still keeps so much of his script vague that it’s hard to see exactly where it’s going. Don’t get me wrong, if Jock just wants an excuse to draw Wolverine gouging disgusting space caterpillars, then by all means let him. He’s a talented man and the work here isn’t self-indulgent enough to suggest that my theoretical situation is anywhere close to true. There’s still the inkling of a plot in here, the last few pages with the little boy (Wolverine’s clone? Son? Just a generic child someone thought Wolverine would have a grand old time with?) are interesting, but don’t offer much of an explanation as to what’s going on. Wolverine and The Boy refer to THEM who sent Logan to this planet and, yes, this is only part one so we’re going to learn who THEM are later in the story, but it’s just a little annoying to not have much of an idea as to what’s going on. The vagueness isn’t storybreaking, I’m still pretty hooked to find out what’s going on for the rest of the series, but as of now not much is very clear.
So while Jock’s writing debut may not have been his best work, his art is still completely stellar and the main reason to buy “Savage Wolverine” #9. Other than that, the story is somewhat strong, but would probably face a lot harsher criticism if it came from an unknown. Right now, this story arc is riding on the promise that Jock will deliver down the line. And in all honesty, he probably will. “Savage Wolverine” #9 honestly isn’t that great of a single issue, but it’s going to be a really good first chapter in the trade.Continued below
Final Verdict: 7.0 – Browse, or Buy later with all the forthcoming issues at once.