By now, it should be fairly obvious to most that I’m not much of an X-Men fan.
Like any self-respecting 20-something year old, I loved the ‘ole X-Dudes in the early 90’s, but soon after that, things just got too fucking complicated.
As mentioned previously, I genuinely enjoyed reading the X-Family’s fateful confrontation with Magneto in 1993’s Fatal Attractions story arc, but as soon as the writer’s decided to follow it up with the horrendous bucket of moose cum known as Onslaught, I dropped the X-Men like a ugly-ass fat kid on “Drop a Child On It’s Head Day.”
In the years since then, I’ve kept my eye on the X-Men, and I’ve yet to find a reason to hop back into the fray.
I’ve been told Grant Morrison’s run on the series was pretty good.
Too bad I don’t care much for Grant Morrison’s writing.
Too bad I truly stopped giving a fuck long before that series came about.
After I shot myself in the foot by foolishly purchasing the festering ass-polyp known as Messiah Complex, I came to the decision that, until a truly great, must-read story arc comes along for the X-Men, or any of their related books (X-Force, X-Factor, etc.) I’m pretty much done with the ‘muties outside of stories written in the early 90’s or earlier.
The X-Men: overpopulated with whiny-ass, juvenile characters, and cursed with a nigh impenetrable continuity…
Despite my general contempt for the X-Men, there’s one character in particular among their ranks that has always struck my fancy.
That character would be the nigh indestructible canuckle-head, Wolverine.
I admit it, I’m a Wolverine whore.
Wolverine is one of those characters that appeals to pretty much everyone with a penis.
He’s tough, he’s tenacious, he’s the best at what he does, but more importantly, he carries with him the finest and most desirable traits of the spirit of “the loner.”
Honestly, pick any example of a cowboy/Western hero archetype, and your bound to find an homage to it in most any Wolverine comic.
The point is, in a team like the X-Men, Wolverine usually serves as a highlight to the experience, but at the same time, he often comes across as being somewhat subdued.
He’s a raging berserker with fucking savage-ass claws! How can you expect him to live up to his bad-ass potential in a colorful book for tweens!?
On his own however, Wolverine is a wonderful character to both read and watch.
Provided the writer and artist are up to standard.
Simply put, this particular writer/artist duo get Wolverine.
While I genuinely enjoyed Mark Millar’s Enemy of the State and Old Man Logan stories, I’ve always found Millar’s writing to be a little bit too hammy and over-the-top, and these 2 arcs were no different.
I’m not going to lie, much of it felt almost like fan-fiction at times. Really fucking entertaining fan-fiction, but but fan-fiction nonetheless.
While undeniably entertaining, Lindelof’s story arc was impossible to take as anything more than a joke.
Jason Aaron’s Wolverine is just as enjoyable, if not moreso, than either of the authors mentioned above, but the main difference lies in the quality of the writing.
In short, it’s much better.
The first arc of Jason Aaron’s Wolverine that I ever read, was the brief, but wonderfully straightforward chase storyline, Get Mystique.
I was so impressed by Aaron’s writing, and Ron Garney’s brutal and just detailed enough art, that when I heard that the 2 had been installed as the lead writer and artist for the fairly new Weapon X book, I had to check it out.
I was not disappointed.
Aaron’s Wolverine is a character that says little, but whose thoughts truly read like a man that’s literally been in the shit for a hundred years.
While this gritty style and tone might be a bit overbearing to some, I’ve been reading Punisher-speak most of my life, and as such, I just happen to like it.
Anyway, the basic plot of Adamantium Men surrounds a PMC (Private Military Contractor) that has somehow acquired the old research files of the original Weapon X program.
The very same Weapon X program that birthed Wolverine among many other notable Marvel universe heroes and villains.
Wolverine is informed by his former Weapon X buddy, Maverick/Agent Zero, of said situation, which of course results in our hero getting pissed off and deciding to put a stop to the PMC’s plans.
Unfortunately, he discovers quite early on, that the PMC was able to crank out about a dozen or so soldiers with physical capabilities on par with his own, right down to the adamantium skeleton and healing factor.
That last sentence right there, was exactly what baited me into loving this book.
Hell, once I got to this page, I wanted to slap myself for having waited as long as I had to pick up this book:
Watching Wolverine tangle with a whole squad of guys that do what he does, just as well as he does, was truly inspiring.
While the storyline is fairly standard “man on a mission” fare in that you generally know how things are going to end before you even open the book, the real beauty of this storyline is Ron Garney’s artwork during the action sequences (of which there are many), and Jason Aaron’s interpretation of Wolverine’s thought process.
My only 2 complaints are:
The story ends well enough, but had it’s biggest climax just a little bit too early (the fight shown in the splash page above).
The Adamantium Men of the title aren’t exactly all that well defined.
Sure we’re told that they’re basically Wolverine clones with laser claws, but we never get any details as to why or how they have laser claws and green eyes.
In short, of all the Wolverine’s I’ve read and seen, I think these guys managed to put together the one that feels most right.
Anyway, this ended up turning into more of an advertisement than an actual review, but whatever.
I really liked Adamantium Men, kind of sad that Ron Garney didn’t continue for the second arc, Insane in the Brain, but you can sure as hell bet that book’s next on my reading list.
Also, in doing Wikipedia searches for this article, I learned that Jason Aaron was the author of the most recent Punisher MAX storyline, which means I’ll be back in Punisher Land a lot sooner than I thought!
Take care everyone, happy reading!