Writer: Benjamin Percy
Art: Adam Kubert, Frank Martin, VC’s Cory Petit, Brad Anderson, Jay Bowen, and Tom Muller
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release Date: July 13th, 2022
The physical manifestation of the Danger Room, known as Danger, went rogue! In a fit of emotional rage for being left behind, Danger has begun to sell robot versions of the X-MEN to the C.I.A. for anti-mutant expeditions. Now, WOLVERINE and DEADPOOL have tracked Danger back to the old X Mansion where these two are in hopes to shut down Danger’s plans for good. Let’s dive into WOLVERINE #23 as Benjamin Percy wraps up this story arc once and for all.
Everything expected from this arc comes to fruition as WOLVERINE #23 wraps. The reasons for Cerebrax, why DEADPOOL is even involved in the first place, and the future of DEADPOOL and WOLVERINE together is ironed out and tragically foreseen. Percy attempts to hit some emotional cords with DEADPOOL but fails to hit the mark, which in his defense is extremely difficult to do with this overly sarcastic character. Furthermore, the Danger Room angle was also a bit too trite especially used as the crux behind the entire arc.
Yet even with the obvious story beat directions and corny reasoning to connect this arc to the overall X-MEN landscape, the most absurd part of WOLVERINE #23 was the literal conjoint formation of WOLVERINE and DEADPOOL in order to escape from Danger. It was way over the top, silly, and added no value whatsoever to the story other than to say “hey, remember that one-time WOLVERINE joined with DEADPOOL using their healing factors? Wasn’t that just sick?!” And the answer would be, “yes… and frankly just dumb as well.”
So, maybe this is on me or maybe it’s not BUT the panel layouts were extremely confusing. Small panels overlapping full-page spreads caused this reviewer to read parts out of order, especially on page 9. And then the sideways double-page spread of WOLVERINE and DEADPOOL merging together into a fleshy monstrosity is something I can never unsee. Not only did this add nothing essential to the story, and was just gross, but it didn’t make any sense.
To think two people with healing factors sitting together in blood and tissue mixed together would join together just doesn’t jive with the character’s abilities at all. Ultimately, this was done for a “wow” factor that Adam Kubert took way too far with the design and assumption as to how the healing factors work as if they heal in a whirlwind or tornado of flesh with limbs facing backward. Fans, it was just unnecessary.
WOLVERINE #23 finally concludes a story that’s gone two issues too long, however, appears to be bleeding into X-FORCE and beyond. If you’ve been dying for DEADPOOL, I guess you’d love this installment. Heck, if you’ve been craving a team up with WOLVERINE and DEADPOOL, then maybe this filled a void you’ve been searching for. But, if you’ve loved Percy’s early work in this WOLVERINE run that was smart, gritty, graphic, intense, and uniquely interesting, you won’t find that here.
What you will find are silly, slapstick moments mixed with attempts at emotional instants, fanfare, and panel layouts that were confusing to read. The best word to describe this issue, and frankly this arc, would be unnecessary. I do not recommend picking up WOLVERINE #23 and hope WOLVERINE can get back to its original roots when Percy began this series. We shall see next month. I, for one, have high hopes that Percy can get back on track. However, X-FORCE is an entirely different story considering it appears as though DEADPOOL is joining the book. Let’s hope that journey is short-lived. Let me know what you think, have a great week, and God Bless!