Writer: Benjamin Percy
Art: Joshua Cassara, Frank Martin, VC’s Cory Petit, Tom Muller, and Adam Kubert
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release Date: January 19th, 2022
WOLVERINE has gone by a variety of aliases and titles throughout the years. Some may even argue he’s lived his fair share of different lives over the century he’s walked the Earth. However, regardless of what time or name WOLVERINE has gone by, his unique set of skills, temperament, and loyal disposition have never wavered. Let’s cut deep into this opening installment of X LIVES OF WOLVERINE #1 by Benjamin Percy and Joshua Cassara as these two talented storytellers take us through the many lives of this fan-favorite, scrappy Canucklehead and see what this all has to do with the future of the X-MEN titles.
X LIVES OF WOLVERINE #1 REVIEW
The first page opens with Logan staring at a clock as Percy attempts to add some type of deep, almost meta feel to the story. After witnessing those two pages, my initial thoughts were that this story was going to evolve slowly and take too much time to develop. Yet, almost instantly, I was proven wrong with immediate action taking place long ago between WOLVERINE and one of his classic enemies. Moreover, it’s a twist to a beginning never told before that was truly fascinating. Nevertheless, I couldn’t shake the feeling as to why the story was here and what the purpose of this frosty cold open was for.
Yet, as that opening tale begins to heat up, Percy rips us out of the story and plops readers back in the present. Instantly, one would assume my frustration since the action was getting REAL good. However, even though Percy pumps the breaks on the thrilling aspects of this opening tale, he takes a moment to quickly explain who means the most to WOLVERINE and why.
Plus, he manages to do it in such a graceful way that emphasizes the diversity and construct of the human family and dynamic. It’s the part of the human spirit and character that makes our species so special and unique. Moreover, Percy uses this idea to help readers connect more with WOLVERINE. And, it’s one of the backbone elements that’s changed WOLVERINE throughout the years making him such a vital role within the X-MEN and mutant community. So, yes the breaks were pumped for a few pages but at the expense of some much-needed emotional development to the character before we dive deeper into the story.
Nevertheless, the sidestep doesn’t take long before readers are thrust back into the heated, high-octane battle. And this battle rages on adding some unusual history to a rather important X-MEN leader. Alas, as that story comes to an end, WOLVERINE is jettisoned straight into another foxhole almost as if he’s bounding through time, space, and past lives. Yet, things seem to become crystal clear as Logan arrives at his new destination with some guidance from a certain special mutant who means the world to him.
X LIVES OF WOLVERINE #1 is fast-paced, exciting, and cluttered with action. Sure, we are thrown into the deep end as the story begins AND aren’t entirely sure what’s going on by the end of the issue. However, we get a pretty good idea of what’s transpiring as the first issue of X LIVES OF WOLVERINE wraps. Nevertheless, readers oftentimes lean heavily on commending the writer for an action-packed story when in all reality it’s the artist who tells most of the tale when that occurs.
Cassara is the driving force behind the explosive nature of the story. It’s his vivid illustrations that bring the action to life. The detail alone and the sly nuisance drive this issue. At one point, there is a panel with a pregnant woman holding her newborn still connected to her in one arm and a shotgun in the other. Could there be anything more bad$&& than that? And ultimately, that word alone summarizes X LIVES OF WOLVERINE #1… bad$&&!
Please understand that what I’m about to say isn’t spoilers as much as what I think is possibly going on. For those who are reading this close to recent X-MEN continuity, you might recall that we technically have two Cerebro helmets out there, except one has been fashioned into a sword. My curious wonder is if Percy is mirroring ideas from the movie X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST and somehow Xavier is using Cerebro (instead of Kitty Pryde) to send WOLVERINE’S consciousness back through time to stop things from happening. Why? Well, I think the Cerebro Sword is somehow also being used to traverse other consciousness back through time to alter the past.
So, why WOLVERINE and not a team of people? Well, my guess is because he’s been around the block for a century or so AND his physical body is there to put his current mind into just like the movie X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST. And just like the movie, I’m sure his regenerative abilities also help him survive the journey and mental toll on his body and psyche. Granted, this is only speculation because this issue doesn’t say any of this at all. But, it helped this reviewer make more sense of the issue while I reread it.
Percy and Cassara provide a much-needed kick in the $&$ to this new X-MEN era of comics. INFERNO closed the Jonathan Hickman chapter of X-MEN while X LIVES OF WOLVERINE begins the next official phase. And just like HOXPOX offered a fresh start, my hope is X LIVES OF WOLVERINE can do the same. Why? X-MEN comics as a whole throughout the Hickman era were certainly above average but lacked direction and began diverging farther and farther from one another. Writers began telling their own stories and they lost their conductivity. My hope is writers like Percy and Duggan (who were by far the best writers of the Hickman X-MEN era) can bring this all back together as one large tapestry, which is what we all thought it was going to be when HOXPOX began.
Enter X LIVES OF WOLVERINE. We need an event that drives everything back together again unlike X OF SWORDS or the HELLFIRE GALA which never helped readers understand the big picture. Hopefully, X LIVES OF WOLVERINE will bring it all together again while providing a new direction for the X-titles as we progress through 2022. If issue one is any indication, I think we are in store for some extremely thrilling adventures as this year unfolds. I’m 100% in and I think X-MEN fans will be pleased with X LIVES OF WOLVERINE #1. Let me know what you think, have a great week, and God Bless!