This week the Hunt for Wolverine is on, and Mulder and Scully investigate their weirdest case yet: Florida!
Hunt for Wolverine #1 (Marvel Comics)
Like all dead Marvel characters, it’s time for the original Wolverine to make his grand return to the comic racks. As the start of five (yup, FIVE) mini-series, The Hunt For Wolverine‘s one-shot special sets the stage well for the return of the feral mutant, which shouldn’t be too much of a surprise, as it’s written and drawn by Charles Soule and David Marquez, two of Marvel’s best creators. That leads to a pretty solid stand alone issue that has a surprising amount of emotion behind it.
With the man who was Weapon X dead, there’s a lot of bad guy interest in his genetic code. The latest group, The Reavers, arrive in an attempt to get at some of Logan’s genetic tissue for their own ends, causing the villainous team to have a massive fight with the X-Men at the site of Logan’s memorial. But what starts as a basic X-Men vs Bad Guys fights ends with something pretty dramatic, as Logan’s adamantium shell that served as his coffin splits open, only to reveal that the interior hosts…nothing at all.
Since Charles Soule wrote the Death of Wolverine miniseries, it’s only fitting for him to be the one to bring him back too. And yes, you do get Logan back in this special, but you won’t see him running around with the X-Men again. Logan’s resurrection is an intriguing mystery, but the real revelation is how his Adamantium “shell” ended up empty. It’s actually pretty ingenious, and something that I’m retroactively mad at myself for not figuring out sooner. Charles Soule also pulls on the heartstrings with a flashback to Logan’s death, and the impact it had on his fellow teammates. Cyclops, Kitty, and even Reed Richards come and pay their respects, and the characters reacting to Logan’s passing is surprisingly way more emotional than I thought it would be.
David Marquez is one of Marvel’s top tier artists, and Hunt for Wolverine is a great example why. Deftly switching from the insane action of the X-Men fighting the Reavers to flashbacks revealing Logan’s “funeral”, Marquez is able to give each aspect of this series the attention it deserves. Few artists would be able to give both of these scenes the care they need, but Marquez makes it look easy. Many of the wide panels aren’t even depicting the X-Men’s fight with The Reavers. Instead, they’re saved for wide, emotional panels of Logan’s teammates reacting to his death. While it’s the start of five miniseries, The Hunt for Wolverine is a pretty solid stand alone one shot. While it doesn’t answer every question we have about Wolverine’s return to the land of the living, it sets the stage for an intriguing quest for everyone’s favorite Canuck. Whether or not it’ll convince me to pick up five additional titles remains to be seen, but so far, Hunt for Wolverine means I’ll at least be checking out a few of the upcoming miniseries.
X-Files Case Files: Florida Man #1 (IDW)
Long before the show was rebooted, IDW was pumping out new stories in the X-Files universe, and while some of them have been retconned due to the new show, that doesn’t mean that IDW has lightened up on creating new adventures for Agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully. In fact, they’ve only increased their output, including the new series X-Files Case Files, which puts the two FBI agents firmly where they work best: solving weird crimes, this time involving the mysterious “Florida Man”.
Florida is known for many things: gators, humidity, Disney World. But recently it’s been known for the insane antics of it’s residents. From bath salt madmen eating faces to other insane stories, Mulder and Scully head down south to investigate the mysterious reason for one town’s series of bizarre incidents, and what they find could lead to one of their weirdest cases yet.
Writer Delilah S Dawson nails the feel and character dynamics of Mulder and Scully, which is really what would make this issue live or die. The playful banter between the two characters is on full display here, and Dawson’s premise feels exactly like the kind of case the two agents would go on during the classic run of the series. In fact, it’s so good that I wish Dawson was writing for the new episodes….
Like Dawson’s script, Elena Casagrande’s art does an excellent job of capturing the X-Files feel. Many licensed comics fall into a trap of the art suffering from trying to capture an actor’s likeness, but Casagrande’s art is able to both make Mulder and Scully recognizable, but also make sure that it works for the art she’s set up. While there’s nothing truly weird here for Casagrande to draw, she gets the mood and grimy tone of the Sunshine State necessary for this set up issue.
It’s been a weird time for me as an X-Files fan (I gave up two episodes into the second season of the reboot), but it’s nice to see that there’s some sections of the franchise that are still delivering cool, quality stories. I wasn’t expecting this issue to be as good as it was, but I’m really excited to see where it goes. Hopefully the rest of the series is just as good as this debut.