Writer/Artist: David Mack
As Echo continues her vision quest she manages to have a chance encounter with Wolverine who she mistakes for a vision, and she attacks him out of sheer terror. However, this fight is quickly brought to an end when Echo is shocked by to her senses by the appearance of Wolverine's claws, and the two spend the next hours discussing why they have each sought refuge in the middle of the wilderness. The issue ends with Wolverine about to deliver a potentially enlightening story.
Okay this issue became the one where I finally came to the realization that this story wasn't going to go anywhere. I mean this is part four of a five part arc, and the sum total of the plot advancement is that Echo becomes depressed when she learns Matt has moved on with his life in her absence, and in an effort to find herself she goes on a vision quest where she stumbles across Wolverine whose sole prerequisite for a guest appearance in a title seems to be that the main character is moving about in the wilderness. Now I know what you're thinking, Wolverine is the instant cure for a slow moving story, as most times we'll also get the obligatory fight scene with Wolverine, and this issue is no different, as moments after Wolverine drops into the story he's going at it with Echo. However, David Mack's art doesn't exactly lend itself to a visually engaging fight sequence, and it also doesn't help that the moment Wolverine's claws make an appearance the fight is brought to an abrupt halt. The rest of the issue involves Echo telling Wolverine the story thus far, and conveniently he has a story to tell that looks like it'll explain the visions that Echo believes she's encounter during her vision quest. However this being the slowest moving story that has ever graced the pages of a comic this information revealing story isn't going to be told in this issue as the cliffhanger that is supposed to entice readers into picking up the next issue is that the issue ends with the story about to be told.
As for the art, I guess if there was one area that would earn this arc a recommendation from me it would be the artwork of David Mack, as he's a truly gifted artist with a unique design sense that continues to surprise me with how effectively it's able to convey the mood of its characters. I mean the opening battle that Echo has with Wolverine isn't exactly the most clearly rendered battle sequence, but it does a fantastic job of visually conveying the character's terror, as well as Logan's animal-like rage. The double-page reveal shot of Wolverine's face also does a nice job of selling the idea of why Echo would look upon Wolverine as a terrifying presence. There's also some visually striking shots of Echo, with the final page shot of the character being particularly impressive, as the character looks about as close to a photo as I've ever seen from a painted artist. Also one does have to love the cover if only for the simple fact that it's sure to grab the eye of pretty much every Wolverine fan.
I hesitate to use the word boring as this automatically afford David Mack the opportunity to dismiss me as the type of fan who is entertained by the less sophisticated material, such as the pointless slugfests, and the Silver Age comic plots where our square-jawed heroes wage war against the sinister villains. However, I can appreciate a story that focuses on character development, and I'm always game for a story that attempts to shed light on a culture I'm not overly familiar with. However, this story is simply too slow moving for me to recommend it to anyone, as I seriously doubt there's enough plot in these opening four chapters to fill a single issue, and it's difficult to really connect with this story's lead character when the entire focus of the story is centered upon her sad sack status. I realize that watching a character find themselves can be an enlightening experience for the readers, and hopefully when this story is done Echo will be a stronger character, but right now the plot is moving so slowly that I've effectively given up on the character's ability to entertain me.
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