When an acquaintance from the past calls for help in locating his kidnapped son, Wolverine gets caught up in more than he bargained for. Captured, killed, resurrected, and brainwashed by the ninja clan the Hand, the original superweapon begins slashing his way through the superhero community. Nick Fury and his S.H.I.E.L.D. forces recruit the help of Elektra to try to stop Wolverine’s killing spree, but when it becomes clear that the Hand is trying to recruit superheroes by killing them and then resurrecting them, is anyone safe?
Wolverine was my first real love in comics and, even though I have been reading a lot more DC than Marvel lately, I am still a fan of a great Wolverine story. Unfortunately I m not convinced that this is a great Wolverine story. It is interesting, but that is no surprise with Mark Millar writing. It is pretty well illustrated by Romita, though the panel placement is sometimes awkward and the text box voice-overs seem to occasionally be colored wrong, making it more difficult to follow who is thinking what, a big problem when both voices are in one head. Overall, I liked the no-holds barred aspect to the story, but I still felt something was missing. Maybe I’ve been reading too many introspective Batman titles or maybe I’ve been spoiled by Greg Rucka’s take on Wolverine, but when the whole story was over I would have liked a little more reflection. Here is a man who has just sliced and diced his way through hordes of people, both innocent and no-so-innocent, and I would like some more insight into how he is feeling. Am I expecting too much from superhero comic? Maybe, but I think Wolverine is up to the job.
Then, having said that, I go to the last story in the book, Wolverine #32. The transition between the two stories is slightly jarring as the last tale has nothing to do with the previous storyline. A new SS officer has been assigned to the Sobibor camp, where he encounters a mysterious prisoner who does not seem to stay dead. It is a fascinating story, well anchored by Andrews art and at the end Millar’s reasons for writing it become clear, partially through his dedication and partly in the story he tells on the last page of the book. I only wish that the introspection and thoughtfulness of Wolverine #32 had permeated through the Enemy of the State storyline. That would have made it a great Wolverine title.
Wolverine: Enemy of the State, vol. 1
by Mark Millar and John Romita, jr. and Kaare Andrews
Marvel Comics, 2006