What happens when the Wolverine can be hurt?
Paul Cornell’s Wolverine #8 continues the series’ interesting mix of “comic-booky” science fiction with the great character development the scribe is known for. Building off of the revelations from the previous arc, Wolverine #8 captures Marvel’s beloved rough-and-tough hero coming to terms with his missing healing factor. Much like many other current titles at Marvel, Wolverine is unapologetic about its tone, which results in a book that is just as fun as it is interesting.
Wolverine #8 embraces the fact that it is grounded in the fantastical world of comic book drama, as Cornell reveals that a sentient virus has been plaguing Wolverine over the course of the series. This push towards the fantastical is just as fun as it is interesting, but further fosters an atmosphere for character development amongst the entire cast. Watching Logan confront the fact that he, for all intents and purposes, is mortal is a welcome change from the regular brash attitude he exudes. That is not to say that the hero welcomes this fact and uncharacteristically opens up to his peers, but the tension that develops between the surrounding cast as they try to reach a reluctant Logan is a refreshing direction.
Jarring, however, is the bizarre story change that Cornell takes at the end of the book, as Wolverine answers his phone to see an infamous villain raiding the mutant school. Not only did this feel forced, but it interrupted the much more engrossing scene that preceded it. If readers choose to ignore this strange ending, however, most will surely find Wolverine #8 quite a great addition to Cornell’s volume.
Handling art duties for this issue is Alan Davis, whose pencils do a serviceable job for Cornell’s story. Most of Wolverine #8 focuses on the character story surrounding Logan and his current predicament, which does not give the artist much room to breathe. During the action sequences, however, Davis’ pencils rarely range beyond the fierce fighting poses fans have encountered before in countless titles. Wolverine #8’s art looks good from beginning to end, but Davis does not seem to experiment in his role.
Wolverine #8 is another fun addition to the series, where Paul Cornell places character development on the same level of importance as action. Above all else, however, is the fact that Wolverine shows that a refreshing take on Logan can be made while staying true to the character, and remaining fun. As Logan rushes to the mutant academy to protect his students, his brash attitude will be further tested by his vulnerability, which sounds too interesting not to follow.
Paul Cornell (W), Alan Davis (A) • Marvel Comics, $3.99, August 14, 2013