By: Frank Cho (Writer/Artist), Jason Keith (Colorist)
The Story: Shanna gets resurrected as we get some explanation about the island and some of its mysteries. Meanwhile, Wolverine is angry and needs to do what he is best at, which isn’t very nice of him.
The Review: The more the series is advancing, the more it seems that Wolverine is absolutely inconsequential to this whole story about people being lost in the Savage Land. Really, from what I can see, he is pretty much only there to make the title sell, which is actually quite understandable, considering that a ‘’Shanna the She-Devil’’ or ‘’Amadeus Cho’’ title would not sell very well. Still, if adding Wolverine to the mix to get an actually interesting title is what we need, then so be it.
The interesting bits, of course, are with Amadeus Cho and Shanna, where they actually advance the plot, throwing us some concepts, jokes and some exposition down our way. Here, we get some explanation about some of the stranger things going on, as some pretty interesting things are thrown our way, like the existence of a second Man-Thing, why there is a dampening field around the island and from just where does the healing potion the village chief comes from. It’s all pretty well handled, as far as the plot goes, but much of this information is crammed in two pages, showing us a more ‘’talking-head’’ approach to exposition. While it may be a little bit much for two pages, it still gets the job done rather nicely as a setup for the eventual end of this chapter next issue.
Something else that does the job nicely would be Wolverine’s scenes, which grant us some really great action to balance out the exposition dump shown early in the issue. While the meat of the plot is with Shanna and Amadeus, the much more exciting part is actually dealt with Logan, as he is now acting much more in the spirit of the title of this book. After the ending of last issue, Wolverine is mightily angry, resulting in him doing his best ‘’snikting’’ and slashing around against a good number of foes. While this does not really advance the plot in a meaningful way, this does provide us with a fun distraction, showing us just what most super heroes’ book does best: action. Here, we are thrown not only a number of tribesmen, but huge gorillas as well, which gives us a well-paced scene with Wolverine besting them. It sounds cool, but it looks very good too.
Which is kind of obvious, of course, since Frank Cho is drawing the book after all. While he does have some thing he seems to love on drawing (Well-endowed and scantily clad women), he does wonder in other area too. The aforementioned gorillas are splendid, muscular and utterly savage, which makes for a really nice fight scene as their positions are bestial and animalistic against the berserk Wolverine. While he does draw the more unusual creature quite well, Frank Cho is also very talented at drawing human beings, as he is able to render poses and expressions to every character in a believable way, with none of them coming as stiff. His flows and panel rendition is also superb, giving us the illusion of progress and movement very easily, showing us just why he has won a great number of awards for his storytelling capability as an artist. As nice as the art is, it wouldn’t look nearly as nice without the work of Jason Keith, the colorist, who grants even more life to the art of Frank Cho. His coloring is vivid and professional, as he is able to show the light and shadows with precision in most key scenes. The spread page with the gorillas is a testament to that, as the coloring of the beast, the background and close to everything in this scene is expertly done, just like a lot of other pages and panels in this issue.
The Conclusion: While there seems to be an uneven division of action and exposition amongst the characters and throughout the book, the action, the concepts themselves and the art more than make up for it, giving us a gorgeous book to look at.
Hugo Robberts Larivière