by Jason Aaron (writer), Daniel Acuna (artist), and Cory Petit (letterer)

The Story: Logan begins his bloodthirsty quest for revenge.  First target: Mystique.

The Review: I’ve been waiting months, and it finally happened: Wolverine’s out of hell.  And by out of hell, I mean no more demons, no more demonic possession, no more fire and brimstone.  We’ve gone back to basics:  Wolverine is out for blood and will kill anyone who gets in his way.  That’s often when Aaron’s Wolverine has been at its strongest, so this alone is good news.

Thus, unsurprisingly, we get an issue with a lot of action.  First and foremost, Wolverine himself is awesome this month.  He is a bad, bad dude.  No more regret, no more deep introspection.  Logan is a one man wrecking crew and an absolute animal.  He’s scary and he’s on the hunt.  A particular favorite of mine this month is when, on a car chase with Mystique, Logan sticks his arm out a window in an attempt to deliver a drive-by clawing.  That’s the kind of Logan you get this month, and it’s very fun.

Speaking of fun: Jason Aaron’s Lord Deathstrike.  From a design stand-point, the guy oozes cool.  Who can say no to a guy dressed in a full suit and a creepy Japanese mask who happens to pack a huge assortment of guns and tech.  The feats Aaron has this character pull of this month are completely and utterly ludicrous.  So much so, that it’s impossible not to like the character.  The scene that first introduces us to him is singularly one of the most ridiculous things I have ever seen a character do in a comic book.  It actually had me say “no freaking way” out loud.  Honestly, even if you don’t buy this book, I recommend reading just those pages (2-3) the next time you pop into your comic shop.

While Lord Deathstrike and Logan are great, there are some slight issues with the rest of the comic.  Most distracting is Mystique.  I know in a comic like this, I shouldn’t be worried about such things but really….the amount of physical punishment Mystique sustains this month while still remaining completely functional is just too much.  On top of the stab wound she’s still recovering from, she takes a sniper round to the back, has that bullet turn into a bomb and explode while embedded in her, gets stabbed again, and takes another bullet to the shoulder.  And yet she’s still driving motorcycles and firing guns.  I normally don’t complain about things like this, but this almost became a running joke through the issue that ended up taking away from the overall package.

Also, while he doesn’t do anything horribly wrong, I still don’t find that Daniel Acuna, for all his strengths, is the best choice for an action heavy comic like this one.  Things are a little too dreamy and ethereal, and I’ve always preferred action books to have a harder edge.  That said, his design for Lord Deathstrike is awesome, as I’ve noted.

Conclusion: Despite Mystique’s 10-mile long health bar, this was a back to basics issue for Wolverine that does a lot to get this book back on track.

Grade: B

-Alex Evans