Comic Book Review: Wolverine #50

Wolverine #50 is a monster issue since it is the debut of the new creative team of Jeph Loeb and Simone Bianchi. I know there are a lot of Jeph Loeb haters out there, but I’m not one of them. Now, I’m not saying that Jeph Loeb is up there with writers like Alan Moore. However, Jeph Loeb can flat out write entertaining comic books on a grand summer blockbuster movie scale. Bianchi’s style of art is nice and should provide for a good looking comic book. I’m looking forward to this new creative team and expect them to provide us a rather enjoyable comic book.

Creative Team
Writer: Jeph Loeb
Penciler: Simone Bianchi & Ed McGuiness
Inker: Simone Bianchi

Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10.
Story Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10.
Overall Rating: 7.5 Night Girls out of 10.

Synopsis: We begin with Wolverine recalling a strange memory. He watches a bunch of werewolf creatures called The Lupine fight each other. Wolverine knows that this memory is important; however he simply cannot remember why it is important.

We then cut back to the present with Wolverine standing outside the X-Mansion. Wolverine walks into the mansion and is greeted by Rogue. Wolverine tells Rogue to back off. That this is between him and Sabertooth. That if Rogue wants a piece of Wolverine then she can pick a different night.

Wolverine then enters the room where Sabertooth is hanging out and watching TV. Wolverine tells Sabertooth to get up so they can fight. Wolverine throws Sabertooth thru the window and out into the yard. Wolverine jumps thru the window and he and Sabertooth begin to brawl. Sabertooth says he is an X-Man now. That he is protected. Wolverine could care less.

Sabertooth asks Wolverine how many times are they going to dance this dance. Wolverine responds that it all ends tonight. Sabertooth grabs Wolverine by the throat and chokes him. Sabertooth says that now the X-Men have him why do they need Wolverine? Wolverine blacks out.

We then flashback to Wolverine living in Canada with Silver Fox. Wolverine says this is one time in his life when he was truly happy. Wolverine remembers how one day when he came back to the cabin, he found Silver Fox dead. Sabertooth had raped Silver Fox and then brutally killed her. Sabertooth wrote “Happy Birthday” on the wall with Silver Fox’s blood.

We see Wolverine tracking down Sabertooth to a bar in the nearby town. The two begin brawling in the streets of the town. Wolverine thinks how sometimes when a man has never been beaten down; he starts to believe he can’t be beaten down. That’s when a man, no matter how just his cause or how righteous his thinking, has lost. And that is what happened to Logan. During the brawl, Sabertooth says “Quod Sum Eris.”

We cut back to the brawl in the present day. Wolverine has broken free of Sabertooth’s choke hold. Wolverine then asks Sabertooth what he meant when he said “Quod Sum Eris?” Sabertooth responds that Wolverine asks him that question now after all these years? Sabertooth tells Wolverine to go to hell.

The two men continue brawling. Wolverine asks why they continue this vicious cycle. They aren’t brothers. Sabertooth isn’t his father. Sabertooth isn’t his clone. Sabertooth retorts that Wolverine has all of his memories except for the one that would explain their violent relationship.

Sabertooth says that “Quod Sum Eris” is Latin and it means “I am what you will be.” That no matter what Wolverine does that at some point he is going to become Sabertooth. Wolverine says Sabertooth is insane. Wolverine then pops his claws into Sabertooth’s head while Sabertooth rips out Wolverine’s heart. End of story.

We get treated to a back up story. It recounts the first appearance of Wolverine in the Marvel Universe when he was sent by Department H to fight the Hulk. Wolverine remembers the fight and thinks about how silly all of it was. Wolverine says he must have been insane to think he could defeat the Hulk. Wolverine remembers how stupid he thought the little whiskers on his cowl looked.

Wolverine thought his codename “The Wolverine” was goofy. That the “The” wasn’t necessary. It was as if there were a bunch of other people with the codename Wolverine and the Canadian government was trying to differentiate Logan from the rest of them.

Wolverine remembers the cheesy dialogue that he engaged in while fighting the Hulk. Logan says that the Canadians put those words into his mouth. Logan says that it doesn’t matter who he works for whether it is Canada, S.H.I.E.L.D., Weapon X or Professor X. That some jackass is always making him say things he wouldn’t normally say.

The Hulk then catches Wolverine. Wolverine then changes into his current X-Man uniform and the Hulk rips him in half. We see Wolverine wake up from his dream. Wolverine is out in what appears to be the winter Canadian landscape. Wolverine doesn’t know if it was a dream or a memory. Wolverine wonders what in the hell was that costume he was wearing. Wolverine trudges off and mutters “I hate Canada.” End of issue.

The Good: Wolverine #50 was a pretty good read. It definitely like Loeb’s Wolverine more than Guggenheim’s version of Wolverine. And it goes without saying that Loeb’s Wolverine absolutely blows away the pathetic version of Wolverine that Daniel Way gives us over in Wolverine: Origins.

Loeb clearly did his research and has an excellent grasp for Wolverine’s character. Loeb delivers well crafted dialogue. Both Logan and Creed have external voices that are consistent with their characters. Loeb understands the essence of Wolverine’s character. That he is a killer who claims to take no pleasure in killing however when he is in the heat of battle he secretly does relish the killing. Loeb delivers a classic version of Wolverine. He is a loner who is haunted by his past and conflicted about who he is.

Loeb’s Sabertooth is perfect. Sabertooth is one nasty villain that you just love to hate. But, the real key to Sabertooth is that there is something else going on underneath the surface. There is more to Sabertooth than meets the eye. Sabertooth isn’t just a simply psychopath. There is something more conflicted raging deep inside his mind.

The reader has been teased with the mysterious relationship between Sabertooth and Wolverine. I have been against giving Logan all of his memories back. However, Marvel did it anyway. Since Marvel is giving Logan all of his memories back then they might as well explore the foundation for Logan and Creed’s vicious relationship. The reader might as well finally learn why these two men seem to be locked in a never ending battle.

Loeb teases us with the Latin quote that Wolverine will become Sabertooth. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that Wolverine is just one step away from becoming just like Sabertooth. Wolverine’s tenuous grip on sanity is the only thing from him being a heartless killer like Sabertooth. This should be a pretty interesting plotline. I’m looking forward to learning more behind the relationship between these two men.

The brawl between Wolverine and Sabertooth was well done. We got plenty of quality violence which is always expected when these two characters lock horns. The pacing on Wolverine #50 was just right. Loeb wastes no time getting this story arc off to a quick start. If nothing else, you know that Loeb is going to keep this story arc moving. Loeb clearly has a purpose and direction to this story arc.

I liked the back up story. I thought Logan’s dialogue was hilarious. Loeb shows off his good sense of humor and this is important. Logan’s character is so grim and violent that it is easy to write him in a fashion that takes him too seriously and makes him more of a parody like Lobo than the serious character he is. Way is the perfect example of a writer who has fallen in this trap. Loeb wisely gives Logan a sense of humor and that makes him a more balanced character. Plus, since we have some moments of levity, it better contrasts the more serious scenes and gives those grim scenes much more weight and impact on the reader.

This back up story also provides Loeb with the opportunity to reconcile how Wolverine was portrayed in his debut in the Marvel Universe with how his personality and character has been portrayed ever since joining the X-Men. They were so different that this was Marvel’s gentle way of cleaning up any differences.

Simone Bianchi’s artwork was nice looking. Bianchi creates a dynamic looking comic book. Bianchi breathes life into Wolverine and Sabertooth’s fight. I really dig Bianchi’s detailed painted style of artwork. Bianchi is a bit inconsistent with some panels looking ordinary while others look incredible. But, overall, I dig how Bianchi draws Wolverine.

The Bad: I have no complaints with this issue.

Overall: Wolverine #50 was a strong debut issue for the new creative team of Loeb and Bianchi. Both men are very talented and I’m confident that their run on Wolverine will be very entertaining. With this new creative team and direction for Wolverine, this is the perfect time for new readers to hop onto this title.

2 thoughts on “Comic Book Review: Wolverine #50

  1. I’m not a fan of the whole “I remember everything” deal just because even if he knows, we the fans don’t really need to. For one thing, it’s taken a lot away from his mystic, and for another with so many years of build up, no answere can possible be fufilling enough.

  2. I’m not a fan of the whole “I remember everything” deal just because even if he knows, we the fans don’t really need to. For one thing, it’s taken a lot away from his mystic, and for another with so many years of build up, no answere can possible be fufilling enough.

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