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Wolverine: Manifest Destiny #1

Posted: Tuesday, October 28, 2008
By: David Hodum

Jason Aaron
Stephen Segovia, John Rauch (c)
Marvel Comics
Plot: It's moving day, and the X-Men have arrived at the new digs in San Francisco. Wolverine is unpacking the few boxes he brought with him, and he stumbles across an old photograph. This isn't his first time in San Francisco, and he decides to go investigate an old memory. Logan isn't exactly welcome when he arrives in Chinatown, and he eventually gets into a street brawl with practically half of the residents.

Comments: I felt a little hesitant to pick up this issue only because Wolverine versus ninjas or some sort of martial arts-based gang has been done many times since the 1980s. One of the reasons that I feel this type of story worked previously was there was a real mystery to his situation. Logan couldn't remember his past, so when he would go back to places from his memory, the details and mystery were being presented to the reader at the same time Logan was getting them. Although I appreciate that Wolverine now remembers his past, I feel the newer approach where Wolverine already knows what he's getting into is slightly weaker than the previous style.

Misgivings aside, I've heard good things about writer Jason Aaron so I decided to take the plunge and was pleased with the results. The story premise is established quickly and (most importantly) didn't feel forced. The interaction between Logan and Nightcrawler was spot-on, and through dialogue you're given a clear picture of what was going on in the base off-camera around them. Aaron doesn't waste any space with meaningless filler, so I was completely on board and excited less than nine pages in when Logan reaches Chinatown. Logan's internal thoughts reveal he doesn't expect to be welcomed with open arms and it's validated when the local residents react very emotionally once they recognize him. As a curious audience member, I really hope the next issue will contain flashbacks to tell the backstory of what happened in greater detail. The older residents can't believe he hasn't aged a day and all the children are excited to see the legend from a story has returned.

The only iffy part of the issue would be two men we see running a dojo who visually remind me a little too much of Danny Rand and Luke Cage. This is based mostly off of their visual appearance, one even has an afro, so we'll have to wait and see what role they play. I hope these two guys have their own personalities and are not simply being used to fit into the story when two major characters Jason Aaron might have wanted were not available. There is no previous history of this by Aaron before, so I am sure my suspicions are unnecessary.

Final Word: Worth the purchase, but this is only part one of a four issue series, so it won't hold the test of time without the other three. From what I've seen of Jason Aaron's writing, it's very consistent, so try out this issue and if you enjoy it, chances are you'll enjoy the next three.



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