Just as much as DC Comics loves Batman, Marvel loves Wolverine. And that’s apparent given how many titles both publishers put out with respect to these two characters. Last year Marvel launched yet another Wolverine title as part of its Marvel Now initiative, Savage Wolverine and this was meant to show the rougher side of the character, something very… savage and bestial. I read the first two or three issues but they didn’t really click with me and I gave up in short order since I was generally disinterested in Marvel’s comics at the time, aside from a title like Thor: God of Thunder. And then came news that Gail Simone was going to write an issue this month.
Savage Wolverine #19 features the dynamic duo of Wolverine and Jubilee. Gail Simone, one of my favourite comics writers period, is the writing force behind this issue and she delivers a wonderful simple tale of of role reversals that delves into the relationship between these two, a relationship that has been rock-solid for several years. One of Brian Wood’s issues for X-Men last year featured the two as well and that was awesome in part because of this relationship. Gail gives her own spin, even as Neil Edwards’ art impresses.
Though Shane Davis and Morry Hollowell’s cover doesn’t really reflect the story, which is not very… savage, it still fits the title’s mission and in that it is a really good one. You can just see the character’s rage and savagery fighting to rise to the surface here as Wolverine dishes out some hell of a lot of pain on whoever it is that has ticked him off this bad. I liked it. Would have been better if it matched the story, but it is what it is and I’m not too fussy really.
The story starts off very innocently as Wolverine treks through a snowy mountain, heading towards a lodge where he is vacationing with Jean Grey. Or so he thinks. He has been abducted by some enemies, along with Jubilee and the story that Gail writes here is one of a breakout from that prison. It is a straightforward story and it doesn’t twist around in loops or anything, which is good since it allows Gail to focus on the characters and I think that she does a great job with both Wolverine and Jubilee. She seems to get what makes these characters tick, such as in the scene where Jubilee convinces Logan to take her to his wintery retreat somewhere “up north”.
The story seems to be set at a very early point in their life, much before Jubilee became a vampire, and that was confusing a bit since the Marvel timeline is very… current. And I’m not following the title, so I have no idea if the title is indeed set in Wolverine’s past or not. Still, that doesn’t really take away from the story, and I loved the playful banter between the two of them.
Plus, the twist for why the two of them were abducted is quite hilarious, given what happens, and also revelatory since it allows the reader to explore these characters’ mindsets and their feelings and their attitudes and their hopes and their dreams. The action, of which there is plenty, is written well and executed well, and I really wish that we’d gotten to see more here, because Wolverine and Jubilee make one hell of a team. And the whole role-reversal twist? Well, that too is executed well and it ties into how Gail explores the two characters. If the rest of Savage Wolverine is more like this, then I don’t see a reason not to read more of it.
Neil Edwards is the artist here with Terry Pallot as inker, Chris Sotomayor as colorrist and VC’s Cory Petit as the letterer. I liked the artwork here. Edwards’ Wolverine and Jubilee are both excellent though there can be a bit of inconsistency here and there. The action scenes are also handled well and you can really get lost in them, or at least I did. But then, I’m a sucker for Wolverine and Jubilee, so that could be it too. And as for the inks and the colours, no complaints there either, esepecially with Chris who is one of my favourite colourists in the industry.
So yes, that was Savage Wolverine #19!