Wolverine hunts down that jerk Nitro, Pt. 1Posted: 05/21/2013
(Ed. Note: This Friday will be my 200th article, and since it’s a bit strange to get sentimental halfway through an article, I figure I could say a few quick words now. I began this blog one year ago as a persistent way to improve my writing. Luckily for me, my passions and interests involve fictional men and women putting on brightly colored spandex and pummeling each other. I can hardly complain.
Though before we begin our article today, and because I’ve never mentioned this before, it takes me about three hours to go from nothing to a completed post (searching my collection, gathering pictures, writing the first draft, heavy editing, etc.). Doing the math, I’ve spent just about twenty five days worth of time this past year working on my blog. So many days I just stare at my blank computer screen, furiously searching my memory or pounding down twenty or thirty issues of a series I haven’t read hoping despondently that inspiration strikes. But I regret nothing — your continued support has made every moment of frustration and desperation worth it. Thank you to my dear readers, fellow bloggers, adoring commentators, friends and family, and anyone who ever linked to my website. Here’s to the next 200 articles! I love you all!)
In the comic book world of morally sound, 6’2″, young, clean cut superheroes, Wolverine’s popularity remains surprisingly unrelenting. He’s short, hairy, surly, ideologically skewed, and not even American — so why do fans eat up his eight or nine constantly ongoing series? Maybe we all have a claw fetish, or maybe it’s Wolverine’s constant feud with Cyclops, the sporty captain of the football team dating the head cheerleader wearing super cool sunglasses that nerds aspire to be and simultaneously loathe. Hopefully we’ll figure out the answer today (and Friday) in Wolverine #42-45, written by Marc Guggenheim and drawn by Humberto Ramos. Or we won’t, but either way, it’ll be fun.
Like most Wolverine stories, this one begins in a bar.
Smile at the surgeon joke. It’s morbid, but so is everything else about Wolverine.
Recognize that explosion? You might — it set off a chain of events that lasted the entire second half of the previous decade. In Stamford, Connecticut, the New Warriors badly apprehended the supervillain Nitro (who can explode himself due to his genetic mutation). Six hundred people died, including scores of young children. The Marvel Civil War event spurned from this, as well as the eventual Dark Reign and Siege events. While Wolverine can certainly contribute by lifting heavy blocks or slicing up melted apartment buildings or whatever, he has a slightly different idea of how he can help. Namely, Nitro’s still on the run.
For an organization filled to the brim with disobedient teenagers, none of them hold a candle to the tantrums of their hairiest member. But diplomacy and bureaucratic interference won’t stop a man who has literally fought in every war since World War I. If Nitro killed all those people, he needs to pay. Wolverine works very black and white.
First, Wolverine has to find the supervillain.
I’ve stated before how much I love Ramos’ art. His style’s distinctive and a bit cartoonish, but for characters like Wolverine, exaggerated art works perfectly. I’m not saying Wolverine’s a caricature or anything, but the whole feral side of his personality lends itself well to Ramos — that wicked smile in the last panel should be all the proof you need.
Nitro versus Wolverine round one. Well, Nitro versus Wolverine and a squad of SHIELD officers round one. Claws and grit alone can’t do much against a man who explodes himself for a living.
It goes badly. Real badly.
A main point of argument revolves around Wolverine’s healing factor, and truthfully, it’s usefulness gets determined by the current writer. Some have had him regenerate from a single cell, while others figure when Wolverine’s just a skeleton then tough luck for poor Logan. Guggenheim doesn’t have that problem. And thank goodness, because Nitro needs to be taught a lesson not learned in any classroom.
I totally skipped the context for Wolverine’s one-liner in the second page. Sorry. Something important to note: while Wolverine’s body and hair heals nicely, his clothes do not. Nitro certainly deserves this upcoming beating, but it’s far more impactful when you realize that Wolverine’s stark nude while doing so. A roundhouse kick hurts far more than physically when Nitro also gets a penetrating look at Wolverine’s little Logans.
I wouldn’t object to the next few issues of the arc just being Wolverine talking trash and ruining Nitro’s life, but good stories provide unforeseen plot twists. Like this one:
Of all the New Warriors caught in Nitro’s Stamford explosion, only Speedball survived. So when the superhero Namorita died at Nitro’s hand, he just triggered a backlash far beyond any pain and suffering he could possibly imagine. Y’know, because Namorita’s related to this man:
Next time, Wolverine vs. Namor vs. Nitro! What else could you possibly want in an article?