Comic Book Review: Wolverine #43: Civil War

Wolverine #43 is another Civil War tie-in. New writer Marc Guggenheim still has to turn in several good issues to win me over. I can’t wait for Wolverine to get his claws on Nitro. It should be nasty. Let’s go to the review.

Creative Team
Writer: Marc Guggenheim
Penciler: Humberto Ramos
Inker: Carlos Alberto Cruz Cuevas

Art Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10.
Story Rating: 5 Night Girls out of 10.
Overall Rating: 5 Night Girls out of 10.

Synopsis: The issue starts with Wolverine beating up a bunch of locals at a bar. The only person left standing is the truck driver who gave Nitro a lift across the country. Wolverine asks the driver for Nitro’s location. We find out that it is a cabin in Big Sur.

Wolverine leaves the bar and is suddenly confronted by Iron Man. Iron Man tells Wolverine that he is to stay away from Nitro. That S.H.I.E.L.D. has a strike team assembled to take down Nitro. Iron Man asks Wolverine if he even knows why he wants to kill Nitro so badly. It won’t change what happened.

We then cut to Daytona Beach where we see some black surfer dude punch out some other surfers on the beach. We see a white conservative looking man and a rubia tell each other “I think it’s him.”

We shift to a S.H.I.E.L.D. plane transporting the strike team. Wolverine sharpens his claws with a stone during the flight. (Seriously? Adamantium claws need sharpening? I have never seen this before.)

We cut to Nitro outside his cabin as he sees the S.H.I.E.L.D. plane arrive above his cabin. The strike team deploys and Nitro responds by blowing up in a massive explosion. We see Wolverine reduced to nothing more than an adamantium laced skeleton. Nitro stands amid the destruction and calls someone on his cell phone. Nitro tells the person on the other end that the cabin they gave him has blown up. Nitro pops some pills. Nitro then tells the person on the phone that he just killed Wolverine.

We shift over to a BMW driving toward the U.S. Capital. The man in the BMW tells Nitro that he is an idiot for killing a person who is both an Avenger and an X-Man. That Nitro is too dangerous a man to be associated with and that they are cutting their ties with Nitro. We never see the face of the driver.

We then cut back to the man and woman from Daytona Beach along with the black surfer dude who is named Janus. They are at the same bar from earlier and are torturing the truck driver for information about where Wolverine went. Janus kills the truck driver because, evidently Janus hates humans.

We shift back to a pissed off Nitro about to get into his SUV to leave the battle scene. Suddenly, Nitro gets punched in the face. We see Wolverine standing over Nitro with his claws out. Wolverine is naked and almost completely healed from being reduced to nothing more than a skeleton. (Wow. That scene was so cool and yet so un-cool at the same time.) End of issue.

The Good: I thought that Wolverine #43 was a rather pedestrian issue. I liked the scene between Iron Man and Wolverine. I thought the dialogue was interesting and well done. Tony Stark does a great job slicing Logan to his core. By revealing to him that Nitro is nothing more than an excuse to let Logan surrender to the animal inside of him and slip deep into a berserker killing spree. Logan seems to enjoy looking for causes to champion not because he ever believes in any of them. But because it allows him an excuse to let loose the berserker inside of him.

The scene where Nitro explodes and reduces Wolverine to nothing but a skeleton was pretty cool. And then seeing a naked Wolverine almost fully healed ready to brawl with Nitro at the end was also pretty wicked. It definitely looked cool and had an impact on the reader.

I’m curious to find out more about this Senator who was talking to Nitro while on his way to the Capital Building. It seems that we are going to learn that Nitro is being supported by some politicians who wanted to use him in order to help pass their Super Hero Registration Act.

The Bad: The scene where Nitro explodes and reduces Wolverine to nothing but a skeleton was also pretty un-cool. You knew that he wasn’t actually dead. So the reader is left with thinking “I can’t believe they are going to have him come back from this.” And sure enough the final scene with Wolverine almost fully healed confirms the reader’s suspicion. Yeah, these two scenes had plenty of impact and have a high “bad-ass” ranking. However, it is just way too much. To have Wolverine regenerate from nothing more than a skeleton that looked blasted clean is ridiculous.

This makes Wolverine far too powerful. This is one reason why I have never really been interested in a character like Superman. When a character becomes so powerful that he is virtually indestructible it makes that character less compelling to read. It makes the stories far less entertaining and suspenseful. For example, you know that DC probably isn’t going to kill of Batman. (Well, Dan “Deathcount” Didio might think it is cool to kill Bruce Wayne and replace him with Tim Drake as the new “hip” Batman.) Even though you know Batman isn’t going to die, the fact that he can die and can be hurt makes the story more suspenseful and interesting. Plus, Batman can struggle and lose which makes the fights much more captivating.

On the other hand, when a character can’t be hurt, like Superman, then the stories are much less enthralling since you know the outcome and the reader never feels that the character is ever truly in jeopardy. That is the problem with boosting Wolverine to such an incredible level that he can recover from being hit with a small nuclear bomb like Nitro. Wolverine is basically now unbeatable and unstoppable. It makes his character less interesting and makes the stories far less suspenseful. You know now that nothing can stop Wolverine so it is just a matter of time before he lays waste to everyone.

I also thought that Guggenheim’s writing was a bit too campy at parts. The scene with Wolverine on the S.H.I.E.L.D. plane sharpening his claws with a grinding stone was just goofy and pointless. These are adamantium claws. They should never need sharpening. Plus, the dialogue in that scene between Wolverine and the S.H.I.E.L.D. agent read more like a parody of Wolverine. It was way too goofy for me.
Finally, let’s talk about the art. I like my hermano Humberto Ramos’ funky and outrageously cartoony style of art. However, I am not really digging it on this title. I don’t particularly like Ramos’ Wolverine and his style of art doesn’t work on a darker, edgier and more violent title like Wolverine.

Overall: I found Wolverine #43 to be very average. At this point, I don’t think that Ramos is the right artist for this titles. I’m also beginning to wonder if Guggenheim is the right writer for this title. However, I’m willing to give Guggenheim a couple of more issues for him to prove his ability on this title. I think die-hard Wolverine fans will enjoy with title. I’m not too sure that it will appeal to any other comic book readers.