House of M: World of M featuring Wolverine (2006)

[ Listening to BBC Radio Scotland Currently: Listening to BBC Radio Scotland ]

Quote:
“You gave him the one thing that he could not live without: you gave him back his war.”

 

This book is a bit of an odds and sods collection of House of M related stories. The main story is from Wolverine 33 -35 and was written by Daniel Way with art from Javier Saltares and Mark Texeira. The book also contains three single issue stories from Black Panther 7, The Pulse 10 and Captain America 10.

The main story features Sebastian Shaw, the director of S.H.I.E.L.D., interviewing Mystique after Logan literally jumps ship from a helicarrier. He is concerned about Logan’s loyalty especially after a recent terrorist incident in which a sentinel was stolen by Logan’s old colleague Nick Fury and Logan himself disappeared. The story features Wolverine only in the flashbacks as the interview proceeds and examines further the mutant oppression of the human population and the spiky relationship between Fury and the mutant squad he is tasked to train.

The main story is good but only features Wolverine as a background character in his own book. It does explore, along with the other stories in the books, some of the prejudices of the formerly suppressed mutant majority. The Black Panther story expressly addresses the prejudices of the ruling regime towards other mutants – for instance the ruling classes tend to be white and human looking with the more extreme looking mutants not having a look in. The quality in the book shines through in the last two stories that were written by the great Brian Michael Bendis and Ed Brubaker. Bendis’ story again features the oppression of humans in the mutant controlled workplace and the censorship the press. It features a confrontation between journalist Kat Farrell and the anguished Hawkeye who has just had his memories of his death restored to him. The Captain America story features the sad decline of the formerly feted hero as he struggles to find his place in the increasingly mutant dominated world order. So a mixed bag but an interesting read exploring some of the background to the House of M universe.

The New Avengers: Break Out (2005)

 

Quote:
“Why wouldn’t you be wearing underwear?”
“I chafe.””I want off the team.”

Collecting the first six issues of the ongoing New Avengers series, this book was written by Marvel mainstay Brian Michael Bendis with pencils by Canadian artist David Finch. Bendis has had long runs on many of Marvel’s top books including Daredevil, The Avengers, Ultimate Spider-man and has written the lead story on a number of Marvel’s crossover events including House of M. I have come across Fincher’s art before on Volume 2 of Moon Knight.

Luke Cage and SHIELD agent Jessica Drew are accompanying Matt Murdock on a visit to Sentry on the super secure penal facility the Raft when a jail break, carried out by Electro, occurs. Captain America, Spider-man and Iron Man are attracted to the spectacle and are soon joining the others in trying to contain the prisoners as best they can. In the aftermath, Captain America suggests putting together a new Avengers team to investigate the purpose of the break out and help recapture the 40 plus prisoners who managed to escape. In the course of their investigations they are led to the Savage Land, meeting up with Wolverine along the way, and run into illegal, covert SHIELD operations there.

I liked this book a lot. It had a bit of something for everyone – epic battles between heroes and villains, comedic moments between the fledgling team, intrigue and possible institutionally approved illegal activity and conspiracy theories. The book brings the team together and ends at the conclusion of their man hunt for the villain whose escape was being concealed by the mass breakout but it left plenty of loose ends to examine in further issues. I have already placed my order for volume 2 and look forward to more of the same.

Wolverine Origins: Born in Blood (2007)

 

Quote:
I’ve got one secretary of state, fried to a crisp. I’ve got one cruise missile, origins unknown, sticking out of the White House lawn. I’ve got one robot samurai – origins also unknown – lying in two pieces in the hall outside the Oval Office. And in the center of this whole mess, I’ve got Wolverine running around, completely off the chain …

 

This book collects the first five issues of the Wolverine spin-off series, Wolverine Origins and follows on from the last book I read, Wolverine: Origins & Endings. It was again written by Daniel Way. The art this time was by the fabulous Steve Dillon – another artist who put in a shift on the British weekly 2000AD before moving to the American market most notably with his collaborations with Garth Ennis on Hellblazer, Preacher and Punisher.

Wolverine continues to try and hunt down the people responsible for making him the way he is but when he starts to get close to anyone who can help move further up the chain of responsibility, they are quickly taken out in a hasty scorched earth policy. After an attack on the White House, the President authorises the deployment of Nuke – a failed super-soldier experiment or an all too successful attempt to create the berserker temperament of Wolverine – to draw Wolverine out into the open. Flashbacks recall Wolverine’s involvement in the recruitment of Nuke as a child and later in his conditioning as a killing machine in the Vietnam War. In a battle with Captain America, broken up by Cyclops, Hellion and Emma Frost, Wolverine is told, by Emma, that his son still lives and comes to realise that the sins of the father are to be passed to the son.

A pretty good read that reveals some tragic and unsavoury events in Wolverine’s past as well as his role in the creation of Nuke. The art is terrific, as usual from Dillon – I particular like his version of a hard-nosed Captain America. The first five issues also featured some fabulous covers from Joe Quesada and Richard Isanove. This is the first volume in a continuing series so while the story can be read on its own quite satisfactorily, it does set up Wolverine’s continued quest for answers, revenge and now the redemption of his son that he did not know had lived.

White

[ Happy Mood: Happy ]
Picked up a copy of Captain America: White #0 today. This is the next project by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale in their colours series for Marvel.

I was pretty excited when I found out that they were working together again – I loved the stuff they did with Batman, Superman, Daredevil, Spiderman and the Hulk – but having read this prelude to the mini series I am now really, REALLY excited. This looks like it is going to be just as great. I can’t wait for the series to get going properly. Very Happy