Too Many Beasts In The Kitchen: Reviewing ‘Wolverine’ #33

Once upon a time, villains in various stories were depicted as cackling, mustache-twirling figures with lots of nefarious plans. While there might not be any mustache-twirling or cackling going on here, it is clear without a doubt that one Beast/Hank McCoy, formerly an original X-Men member and affable member of the Avengers, is very much a villain.

Whether we’re talking X-Force or Weapons of X, there is one constant theme: Beast is a real piece of work. As the blue furry one goes full on dark side dispatching clones of Wolverine to do his dirty work, he also ruffles feathers of his own as he treats his own clones as disposable tools, too. Someone get this man some classes on how to actually be a leader, oh and not a murderous scheming egotistical war criminal while we’re at it.

I’ve previously given this series a hard time — and I stand by those reviews still — but now that it’s finally in a place where the overall plot is being dealt with and Beast has been laid bare, it’s pretty good overall. I mean it’s hard not to be good when we’ve got a giant skull plant robot/kaiju base for Beast; a council of Beasts whispering about revolt as Beast acts superior/dictator-like over them (even Beast can’t trust Beast); Logan and Maverick going back and forth; kick-ass action; and the dangling carrot that hopefully will be the ultimate punishment for Beast on the horizon. Benjamin Percy really gets Logan, which has never been up for dispute, and when the characterization and the plot are both cooking with gas it’s on a whole other level.

While I still think there is a bit of slickness overall, visually, that is more for a series not like this one, now that there is plenty of big bold and moving things to bring to life, I’m really appreciating the work that Juan José Ryp and Frank D’Armata are putting in here. All the action flows pretty well and the choices in paneling really help with that. There is a bit of static-ness in regard to the figures and emotions, but it’s not something that pulls the story down in any way. Colorwise, it’s very heavy and dark, but here is enough other colors thrown in to contrast that.

We’re in a very dark story with murder and spies and revenge, so the shadows and darker tones are not unwelcome here. We have a bevy of verbose characters and some who are more action than words — plus many folks that are very emotive — and Cory Petit brings it all to the page through voices and other lettering. I truly love the use of sentence case in comics and wish more used it because it sets a very clear baseline ‘volume’ for dialogue and the changes done to raise or lower that volume are so much easier to put into play.

This issue we get a special backup for the celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. It features Wolverine teaming up with Sister Dagger/Deadly Dagger, the sibling of Shang-Chi, tackling a plant monster left over from a recent X-Force plotline. It’s written by Gene Luen Yang (who wrote the recent Shang-Chi books) with art from Peter Nguyen, colors by Jay David Ramos, and letters by Petit.

This is a fun story that has Dagger and Logan bouncing off each other perfectly. It falls right into the wheelhouse of Logan the mentor to sassy badass young women, as he is able to teach Dagger a lesson about not always rushing in and sometimes just pausing and listening. What I love about it is that Logan imparts wisdom and teaches a lesson in a commanding but not patronizing, sexist, or jerkish way. Instead, it’s delivered with the ease of someone who has been around a long time and has plenty to share with others and realizes that people learn in different ways and knows how to be forceful but also warm.

I would read a regular Wolverine series from Yang any time, as he really gets Logan and I’m sure he would have some interesting directions to take the character that we haven’t seen before.

Nguyen has a really fun style of art that is detailed and deep, making the plant monster they fight very imposing and large, that also has an air of exaggeration to it that plops it right into the perfect comic book space. Ramos’ colors accomplish that very much, too, as they are very toned down with some bits of vibrance here and there when it comes to some of the reds, blues, and other colors (as well as the colorful backgrounds) that give the space weight, but also an inherently fun feeling.

We have a panel where Wolverine has a big old question mark coming off of him as his eye holes within the mask turn into big old confused-looking circles. That’s what I mean by the fun and absurd angle of things; the artists make sure that we feel the jeopardy on the page, but also can chuckle because comic books are still a fun medium no matter the tone or feeling they might be going for.

Wolverine #33 is now available from Marvel Comics.

Once upon a time, villains in various stories were depicted as cackling, mustache-twirling figures with lots of nefarious plans. WhileCOMICONRead More

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