by Jason Aaron (writer), Yanick Paquette (pencils), Michel Lacombe (inks), Nathan Fairbairn (colors), and Cory Petit (letters)
The Story: Dr. Rot attempts to release the animal inside Logan.
What’s Good: Last month’s issue was fantastic and this month is basically just more of a good thing. Aaron’s “Insane in the Brain” arc continues to be a fantastic horror comic; it’s twisted, creepy, and shockingly gory for a mainstream Marvel comic.
Dr. Rot continues to be an incredibly strong character. This month, his gleeful insanity is all the more enjoyable, as he has a run-in with some ordinary Mafia thugs. What ensues is a delightful collision of worlds, where contact with the more mundane criminal only makes Rot appear all the more outrageous. Also, if that female mask Rot wore last month wasn’t bad enough, this time Rot actually has it adopt its own personality, as he talks to himself in a mirror. I couldn’t figure out whether I wanted to laugh or take a shower after reading that.
I suppose that that’s really indicative of how this issue’s build upon last month’s groundwork: it just seems that little bit more outrageous. Where last month saw a bloody sack of brains, this one sees Rot running around with cleavers, a man with his hands removed, and an all-out chainsaw massacre. Where last month had more of a “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” feel, this month continues that, but adds a strong dash of grindhouse, splatter-horror into the mix. Indeed, when we enter Rot’s mad scientist lab and he goes plucking brains, it certainly feels like something out of a thirty year old horror flick. It’s sensationalist, bloody, and delightfully campy.
On art, Yanick Paquette continues to put out incredibly pleasing work. His character models remain fantastic. I also enjoyed how most of the frames featuring Rot have his eyes shaded in. The character’s only having shadowy black pits for eyes is definitely disquieting. Paquette also extends his range a bit this month, drawing Wolverine’s nightmares in a completely different style, one that’s more blurred, painted, and hellish. It’s a perfect juxtaposition to the rest of the comic and is suitably horrifying. Colorist Nathan Fairbairn also continues to have a great effect on Paquette’s work, giving Wolverine’s “treatment” scenes in particular a very well-lit, even fluorescent, clinical feel.
All told, the book hits all the same right notes it hit last month. While it shows more this month, using the suspense of the page-turn to the maximum, it still also plays up what we can’t see. Certain areas remain cordoned off, and as demonstrated by the bandaged nurse this month, that’s often the worst part.
What’s Not So Good: Admittedly, much of the ground covered plot-wise is the same stuff we went over last month. For instance, Wolverine repeats that he doesn’t know where he is or what his name is. He stated those same lines through monologue a bit last month, but when he does so a few more times this month, it does become noticeable. At one point, Wolverine’s continued restating of this existential dilemma made me wonder whether some of the internal monologue was even necessary, if it’s only there to echo what we’ve heard several times already.
The big ending this month does help, but there is a slight sense of water treading through some parts of this issue. That said, I don’t suspect it will greatly bother anyone with a decent attention span.
Conclusion: Still incredibly experimental and creative, with a cool grindhouse flavor added in, this one’s a keeper.