Writer: Benjamin Percy
Art: Juan José Ryp, Frank D’Armata, VC’s Cory Petit, Leinil Francis Yu, Romulo Fajardo Jr., Jay Bowen, and Tom Muller
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release Date: June 14th, 2023
Wolverine VS. Weapons of X! He’s been used. He’s been manipulated. He’s been mind-controlled. He’s even been killed. Now Wolverine takes the fight back to Beast and his Weapons of X program in this week’s Wolverine #34 by Benjamin Percy. How will one mutant fare versus an army of clones and a giant multistory, mobile fortress/ battle suit? Good thing he’s the best there is at what he does!
Wolverine #34 opens as an extremely quick read this week. From the bombardment of action to kick this story off to an immediate dinner date like an old spy movie, this comic will have you slip-sliding through in no time flat. However, the action and dinner date amount to weak plot threads causing Wolverine #34 to seem almost stale lacking suspense and cluttered with artificial thrills. Here’s what I mean. Percy opens with the U.S. attacking Wolverine and Maverick only for them to magically stop and cease fire. So, the opening act didn’t project to anything significant in the end. Moreover, the “Bond” dinner scene also didn’t amount to much at all. We get no new story beats from it other than the possibility that something is changing in the Wolverine clones.
Secondly, Bannister is brought back and then taken away AGAIN. Why? Why bring Bannister back to die again or to be captured? This idea seems silly which is why Percy eventually uses this little wrinkle as a pawn for later in the story. However, it’s not a very good pawn considering Wolverine #34 ends and we aren’t even sure if Logan was able to get Bannister back or not.
Sadly, I feel like the illustrations are slipping. The art was grainy and hard to distinguish between many of the action sequences due to the small paneling and storyboard layouts. The smaller panels caused for less detail on the characters, dark coloring, and a blurry design. Additionally, I understand what Percy wanted Ryp to portray in the dinner scene. He wanted Beast to come across as savage, almost like a mob boss in a movie. The messy dinner was meant to intimidate but Ryp’s design just made it look weird and almost funny trivializing the approach.
Wolverine #34 is part of an arch that still has a ton of promise. Overall, a Dark Beast cloning Evil versions of Wolverine and himself to take over the world for Krakoa is ripe with some insane machinations. Nevertheless, none of them shine through this week. The story was flat, the momentum stalled, and the art was not up to snuff as it normally is and can be. Pointless action and story beat leave this arch almost feeling strained. I can’t help but wonder if the great downfall of Beast will be of his own creation, which ultimately feels like the direction Percy is going but frankly makes no sense. Every step of the way, Beast has been too smart, and 8 moves ahead. How and why would he overlook this little dilemma with Wolverine and his clones? Again, it makes no sense and would be an awful way to end this arch. Let me know what you think, have a great week, and God Bless!