By Jason Aaron (writer), Ron Garney (artist), Jason Keith (colors)

After a very rocky debut, Jason Aaron and Ron Garney unleash their second collaborative effort with Wolverine #63. Sadly, it’s more of the same. It’s well documented that I am a big fan of both creators. Jason Aaron’s work on Scalped is superb and Ron Garney has always delivered top notch art – especially on his latest Amazing Spider-Man run. There’s a persistant problem that’s plaguing this book and it’s not one, but both creators’ fault.

Ron Garney’s is the lesser problem and could easily be rectified. Get him a damn inker! I don’t know who’s decision it was to let him pencil this book without an inker, but it was a poor choice. The pencil work is, at times, muddy, uneven, and undefined. If you had an inker on this stuff it would undoubtedly look so much sharper. It’s a shame, too, because Garney is doing some excellent storytelling and it’s all going to waste.

Jason Aaron, however, is the bigger problem. Much like Craig Kyle and Christopher Yost (the writers of X-Force), Aaron’s portrayal of Wolverine is just awful. Wolverine continues to trot around Asia and Africa on the heels of Mystique only to be fooled and foiled time and time again. There’s even a point where he actually catches up to her (again) and has a drink. He retardedly (is that a word?), like a James Bond villain explains the plans he has in store for her only to see her slip away (again). Is Wolverine really this stupid? How many times is he going to fall for this crap before he catches her? Why is Marvel’s editorial staff approving stories like this? You think just because a writer has a good resume it gives him free license to do what he wants? This is just awful work.

To be fair, there are a few moments that I liked. The flashbacks between Wolverine and Mystique are getting more interesting. Also, the scene where Wolverine’s looking for an excuse to smack down an American solider in Baghdad is pretty hilarious. But fleeting moments like these don’t make a good story. Until Aaron starts treating Wolverine with the respect he deserves, this book isn’t worth your $2.99. Sorry, this book fails, but I’ll give it a “plus” for humor and the flashbacks. (Grade: F+)

– J. Montes