Graphic Novel Review: Return of Wolverine

Return of Wolverine (Panini Books)

Return of Wolverine (Panini Books) - Credit: Archant

(Panini Books)

So he's back. Did you ever think otherwise?

Several years after his demise, Logan makes his long-awaited return to the Marvel Universe, but his resurrection has left him suffering from amnesia and desperately in need of answers.

When last we saw the clawed mutant alive, his healing factor had been dampened and his dead body had been sealed beneath a torrent of adamantium. Yet in the years following his corpse is extracted from this metal tomb by the phasing Kitty Pryde, and given a proper burial at a secret location in Canada.

But when his grave is discovered to be empty, a search begins to determine whether his body has been stolen or revived on its own. Meanwhile, an apparently resurrected Wolverine is seen wielding the Space Infinity Gem and catching up on the activities of his former colleagues, including Captain America, Spider-Man, the Avengers and of course, the X-Men.

Having established that much of recent events, what had not yet been determined was the circumstances behind Logan coming back from the dead, and it is that secret which is revealed in this mini-series. After all that build-up, it's got to be something pretty spectacular eh?

And therein lies the problem. Having taken Wolverine off the chessboard for the best part of five years, you'd expect his revival to be one of those momentous events which redefine the comics medium forever (or at least until the next one). In contrast, this storyline, while perfectly serviceable, just doesn't deliver all guns blazing.

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Logan's resurrection is apparently down to the machinations of new character Persephone, who can bring the dead back to life but under her control, a talent which transparently doesn't work in his case thanks to the reactivation of his healing factor.

After being duped into attacking and incapacitating a team of X-Men, Wolvie discovers Persephone's true masterplan is the creation of a satellite network which will enable her to kill humanity and reanimate them as her servants. It's like something out of a Roger Moore Bond movie, but without the pithy quips.

And that's about the long and short of it. A character we've never heard of before turns out to have the mutant power necessary to bring about the return of Wolverine and help fulfil a scheme which was always doomed to failure. We deserved so much more.

Charles Soule is a great writer, his recent run on Daredevil was exceptional, and did something no other scribe has succeeded in by making the Inhumans an entertaining read.

Unfortunately, like his Death before it, the long-awaited Return is just lacking in any sense of importance. It's a throwaway script which would have been fine for a standard arc of Wolverine's comics series, but any story which heralds his comeback should have been so much more. Hopefully his re-emergence into the wider Marvel Universe will give the sense of satisfaction needed.