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I feel really out of step on this one...
on 23 April 2006
... I mean, everybody seems to love it. It's got glowing reviews from every corner, the word of mouth i got on it was non-stop raving, and the concept, well, the concept does lend itself to greatness, doesn't it? Despite all this, however, i just don't like it.
In the first place, this book was sold to me as Wolverine vs. The Marvel Universe; in it, he fights The Fantastic Four, Elektra, Daredevil and The X-men (i'm not dignifying Captain "One-Punch" America's cameo as a fight in it's own right), which even if every one of those fights had been quirky, well-choreographed and memorable in themselves (which they weren't) would hardly have constituted an exhaustive list of the MU's brightest stars. Aside from which, the story smacks of one that's been told in the MU before, far better (the fact that Elektra makes her appearance suggests to me that Millar's deliberately riffing on the fact that Elektra: Assassin dealt with a broadly similar story).
I know even as i'm saying this that it's unfair to compare this book to Elektra: Assassin, any more than it would be fair to compare the latest Bruckheimer actioner to a Coen Brothers or Gilliam film, and i really have nothing against a good, solid action story, but this book really didn't deliver for me. The Elektra fight was white-knuckle, the Fantastic Four was a great fun, nicely guaged merging of Wolvie's grittiness and the FF's light, but once those fights are out of the way, the action takes a back seat to the internal politics of Hydra and The Hand, and the ingenuity that those first clashes display is lost in a sea of "Wolvie breaks into hero's house. Wolvie fights hero. Fight stalemates. Status quo resumes."
Go read Elektra: Assassin. It's got a broadly similar story, but it's streets ahead of this. The fight scenes don't have the big names and they're fewer and farther between, but they're more ingenuitive and exciting and there's more meat on the bones than you'll get out of this.