Editor's Note: Wolverine #64 arrives in stores tomorrow, April 9.
Wolverine grits his teeth as he makes what some would call an "unholy pact." "Ha! It is so great to see you again, old friend!" exclaims Mordad, the Afghani leader of the Mujahadeen. "Would you like more tea," he asks, raising a steaming cup toward the clawed Canadian, "before we blast you to hell?" Jason Aaron's four-issue arc continues its campaign of shock and awe with issue #64, Part 3 of "Get Mystique." It's a vicious cat and mouse game that not only touches political poignancy, it punches it in the face!
What does that glib sentence mean? Last issue, Mystique, who is on the run from Wolverine, disguises herself as an American senator and travels through the rugged Iraqi terrain with an envoy of the American military. Meanwhile, Wolverine decides the best way to counter the sexy shape shifter's stratagem to ask the terrorists for help.
Aaron's treatment of the political situation in Iraq is realistic, plausible, and remarkably atypical. Without spoiling this issue, I'll say that Wolverine's affiliation with the Mujahadeen is not what you think. And thankfully, Aaron does not take the opportunity to stand on a political soapbox. He tells a gripping chase story with highly charged characters in a politically volatile setting without losing any of the pathos for the reality that is the Iraq War.
Moreover, Aaron's handling of Wolverine has been terrific. He plays on the hero's near immortalizing healing factor rather than relying on it. Instead of being man who can't be killed, Wolverine becomes an incredible strategist to rival his advisory. Aaron even provides Logan with a substantial, in both quantity and quality, self-evaluation of his power. It isn't the pain of the wound inflicted that's excoriating, but the mending of them. After trying remedy after remedy to ease the overwhelming ache, Logan resides in the realization, "It hurts like hell being me!"
Garney's art is equally captivating. The story is split between the present in the Middle East and the past in 1920's Kansas City. Garney illustrates both locations in time and geography with extraordinary care. Everything from the police uniforms to the buildings behind them depicts a time in American history that sought to sweep its dark, underhanded side under the rug of pristine architecture and gentlemanly attire. Similarly, the desolate and arid landscapes of the Middle East captures the futility of the political situation there as well as Wolverine's chase.
Will he nab her? Or will Wolverine skid off cliff and fall down toward a deep chasm below? It's worth finding out.
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