Thursday, April 16, 2009

Wolverine: Prodigal Son, vol. 1

Story by Antony Johnston with Art by Wilson Tortosa
Published by Del Rey and Marvel Comics

Slugline: Sort of the Wolverine you've seen.

Logan is the best fighter at the Quiet Earth Academy, a martial arts school in the northern woods for troubled teens. But Logan was not sent there by parents tired of his antics, but was found on its doorstep without any memory of his past other than his name. Add in his strange ability to quickly heal from any wound and claws that pop out from his forearms, Logan is isolated along with having grown an attitude problem that dwarfs the other students' problems. In an attempt to give Logan some peace the school's sensei takes Logan to New York City, but it only serves to make Logan even more disappointed. Just as the sensei is about to reveal a hint to Logan that there may be others like him, they are attacked by paramilitary types lead by Lady Silence, who can speak directly into one's mind. His sensei is captured, but Logan runs back to Quiet Earth, only to find it in flames and all of the students dead except for the sensei's daughter. Defeating the former student that destroyed the school who was allied with Lady Silence, Logan gains a clue about his origin and who is responsble for hunt for him.

This is a reimagining of Wolverine's origin, who is one of the most popular mutants of Marvel Comic's X-Men. Logan is not a person inclined to deep thought, so he, and thus must of the story is involved in kicking ass. That actually works well, for whenever the story slows down to think or talk about what is going on, the emotional responses of the characters seem shallow. There is not much of that, because most of the scenes are setting up for the fights or cleaning up after the fights, but it was still a block to my enjoyment. There are some shoutouts to other versions of Wolverine's origin, but he has had so many over of the years it is hard to pick them out. The art does show off the fights and their kinetic style well, but some of the details need a little bit of work, for it took me far too long to figure out that Lady Silence was actually a woman. Still, this is a nice action story that doesn't rely on its brand name to carry it.

Wolverine: Prodigal Son, vol. 1 is also available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and manga


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