Comic Reviews: Wolverine MAX and Talon!
Wolverine MAX #1
If there was ever a character that deserved a MAX title, it’s Wolverine. Since I was aware of Marvel’s “adults only” line of titles, I wondered why Logan was never given his own series, especially when you look at the violent nature of the character. The Punisher had a MAX line, Nick Fury got one next, and even Deadpool got TWO. When would Wolverine get the chance to do what he does best in an R-rated take?
Well, now my prayers have been answered, even if the end result wasn’t exactly what I was hoping for. Crime novelist Jason Starr has Logan being the sole survivor of a plane crash near Tokyo. After a pretty cool opening (in which Wolverine slices up a SHARK), Starr gives us some fever dream flashbacks of this interpretation of the character’s life, which is a little more “R rated” than the 616’s back story, if by “R rated” you mean “some violence but really just a regular Marvel book with F bombs”.
When it comes to the art, Roland Boschi’s modern pencils are great. He has some create character work, and the one action scene in the book he draws is pretty cool. Connor Willumsen, however, handles the flashback portions of this issue, and I have to say, he’s not my cup of tea. I’m not a big fan of the grotesque, Tyrion Lannister-esqe physique he gives Logan, and his depiction of Victor Creed looks too much like an old timey hobo for my liking.
Maybe I’m just spoiled by Garth Ennis’ Punisher MAX or Robert Kirman’s Destroyer, but I found this first issue to be very disappointing. Perhaps my expectations were too high for a book called Wolverine MAX. There’s certainly a wealth of opportunity to be had with this character in this imprint, I just hope Starr hits on that soon. Unless I hear phenomenal things about future issues, I think I’m giving this guy a pass in the future.
Fresh off last month’s zero issue, Talon wastes no time with it’s first issue, giving us plenty of action and a solid hook for the series going forward. James Tynion IV scripts from a plot by Scott Snyder, and the plot moves along at a break-neck pace, barely letting you keep track of everything coming your way.
Picking up on Calvin Rose’s debut last month, this first issue finds Calvin returning to Gotham City to see if the rumors of the Court Of Owls being dismantled by Batman are true. Upon entering one of their strongholds, Calvin is attacked by one of the remaining Talons in a scene that is probably the best action scene this week. The fact that the Talons are virtually unkillable allows Snyder and Tynion IV to have Calvin defend himself in ways that Batman wouldn’t, and the way he takes down his attacker is particularly cool in this issue. Calvin is assisted by the mysterious Sebastian Clark, a man whose father was murdered for attempting to publish a book revealing the Court of Owls to the world. Knowing Calvin’s past with the Court, he offers to help him put an end to the mysterious group, who is already weakened following Batman’s battle with them. After a quick “suiting up” montage, Calvin emerges as Talon, and prepares to bring the fight to the Court head on.
If it isn’t apparent already, I really loved this book, and to be honest, I didn’t know if I would. I loved the “Court Of Owls” story in Snyder’s Batman run, but I was worried that this book would reveal too much about them. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that this wasn’t the case, and that there is still plenty of mystery to be found with the Court.
Another pleasant surprise was Guillem March’s art. Oh man, I knew he was good, but with this book, he really stepped up his game. The action scene I previously mentioned would have been nothing if he wasn’t drawing it. The panels flowed brilliantly, and I especially loved his clever and unique way of highlighting the Talons’ healing capabilities. If March keeps up with the precedent he set with this issue, this could be the defining work of his career.
Talon is a stunning debut from two of comics’ best writers, and a fantastic artist. Those feeling burnt out by the Court of Owls should not pass this up, there’s still plenty to discover about the Court. Consider me definitely interested in this series.