Comic Book Review: Wolverine #44: Civil War

Wolverine #44 is another Civil War tie-in. New writer Marc Guggenheim still hasn’t impressed me. He hasn’t been awful, but he certainly hasn’t been anything more than average. I’m curious to learn more about Janus and who he is working for. It is about 100 degrees here at the Bunker and I am probably going to become incoherent during my review due to heat exhaustion. I have a nice ice cold cerveza and am ready to slog my way through this review.

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

Art Rating: 5 Night Girls out of 10.
Story Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10.
Overall Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10.

Synopsis: This issue starts with Wolverine beating the mierda out of Nitro. We see Janus and the man and woman who picked him up watching the fight from a distance. The woman calls their boss and is instructed to kill Wolverine if he interferes with their objective. Wolverine tells Nitro that he isn’t going to kill him. Instead he is going to beat him to a pulp and then start cutting him. Nitro then offers Wolverine the name of the person who he is working for. Nitro explains that he was given Mutant Growth Hormone pills to boost his power levels. (Hey, isn’t that what Barry Bonds takes in order to steal the home run record?)

Wolverine is interested and tells Nitro to start talking. But, we are interrupted by Janus attacking Wolverine. The two men engage in a fracas. The woman then tells Wolverine to stand down and that they don’t have a quarrel with him. That they are simply here to collect Nitro. Wolverine says that he can’t let them leave with Nitro since he needs information from him. Janus and Wolverine continue to tussle.

We shift to an office where two businessmen are talking. One mentions that one of their rainmakers has gone off the reservation. That he cut the idiot loose and instructed the other man to throw away his cell phone. He then assures the other man that this won’t get tracked back to them.

We cut back to Wolverine badly wounding Janus. Nitro then grabs Wolverine from behind and puts a blade to his throat. Wolverine tosses Nitro aside and faces off with Janus and the man and woman. The woman says that they are here for justice. Wolverine asks if they are from Stamford. Janus shoots himself in the neck and turns blue. He then puts on a little water mask. Janus says that they are not from Wolverine’s world. They are from Atlantis. That they are here to avenge the murder of a member of the royal family. Wolverine asks whose orders are they following. Suddenly, Namor appears and asks Wolverine if he even had to ask that question. End of issue.

The Good: Wolverine #44 was a slightly better than average. We got to see Wolverine dispensing some much deserved punishment to Nitro. We have been waiting for a while to see Nitro get the serious beating that he so richly deserves.

Guggenheim then increases my interest in this storyline by revealing that Nitro’s power level boosts were due to him taking Mutant Growth Hormone. We are then teased with the identity of the person who gave Nitro these pills. No, I don’t think it was BALCO. We do see a scene between two businessmen talking about Nitro. I would imagine that one or both of these men must be the person who gave Nitro the MGH pills.

I’m interested to find out their identities and just what is their connection to Nitro. Are they merely suppliers of the MGH or is it something more complex? Do they have any ties with the pro-registration faction. Do they have any ties with Tony Stark? I truly hope not. I ma a huge Iron Man fan. It makes me sick enough that Marvel is trying to drag Tony’s character through the mud in all of these Civil War comics and tie-ins. Especially since the Knaufs are doing such a fantastic job with Tony’s character over in his own title. Tony deserves better than this. The last thing I want to see is Marvel totally assassinating his character by having him associated with supplying MGH to Nitro and having all those children killed.

We were treated to a nice fight scene between Wolverine and Janus. You can’t go wrong with some good old fashioned violence. And then Guggenheim drops the bomb. Janus and the man and woman are from Atlantis. And then we see Marvel’s answer to Black Adam: Namor.

Oh yeah, this is going to get very interesting. I have been waiting to see Namor’s response to Namorita’s death. The last we saw of Namor was in the Illuminati special. He made it pretty clear that he could care less what the surface dwellers did as long as it did not affect Atlantis. Hmmm, I’m thinking the death of Namorita might qualify as affecting Atlantis. No doubt Namor is probably ready to destroy everyone. Pro-registration and anti-registration. And that, my friends, is exactly why I love Namor. I am very interested to see where Guggenheim goes with this plotline. It should be a fun ride.

Guggenheim does a better job writing this issue. This isn’t amazing writing and the dialogue doesn’t wow you. But, it is a nicely paced issue with some good action and an interesting plotline. Plus, it has an ending that makes the reader eager to read the next issue.

The Bad: I’m not thrilled with mi hermano’s artwork on this title. Ramos is talented, but his style is just doesn’t work with Wolverine. And some of his panels just look horrendous. Ramos’ anatomy on Wolverine looks dreadful at times. For example, 10-11. On page 10, Wolverine’s calf muscles are as big as his waist. And on page 11, his head looks tiny and his body looks like that of a super deformed gorilla. On page 12, Wolverine’s arm looks nothing like any arm I have ever seen. I enjoyed Ramos when he drew Spider-Man. I definitely am not enjoying him on Wolverine.

Overall: Wolverine #44 was a pretty good issue. We got some quality action and got teased with the identity of the person giving Nitro his drugs. And best of all we got Namor. Guggenheim is getting better and better with each issue. I think things are looking pretty good for this title.