Thanks to an alien virus robbing him of his healing factor, Wolverine has been dead since 2014. For four years we've had to get our adamantium action fix from his daughter/clone (X-23), Wolverine's son from an alternate universe (Jimmy Hudson), an elderly version of Wolverine from an alternate timeline (Old Man Logan), and a Hulk/Wolverine hybrid (Weapon H).
Hold on to your hat, now the real deal is back in Return of Wolverine #1 (of 5), or is he? Without revealing spoilers, we're treated to a comic filled with our favorite X-Man getting killy with a bunch of bad guys. Fear not, there's a well written story to accompany the action.
Lastly, don't fret if you didn't read any of the summer's four Search For Wolverine titles. You can pick up this book and not be a bit lost. It kinda makes me wonder why I bought those issues of "Search." Grrrrrrrrr.........
Sometimes Darker Works:
I don't know what took me so long, but I've just begun watching Riverdale on Netflix. For those of you who don't know, the show uses characters from Archie Comics to tell adult stories. I think I was resistant for as long as I was, because I didn't like the idea of a screwball comedy comic being retooled into a darker property.
Before I was allowed read superhero based comic books, which my mother deemed to be too violent, I enjoyed the innocent adventures of Archie, Jughead, and the gang set within the Rockwell-esc town of Riverdale. I didn't want that image to be tarnished.
I figured the show would be laughed off the air after a few episodes. On October 10th, Riverdale is due to begin its third season on The CW. With this in mind, I, begrudgingly, decided to check it out.
The first, thirteen episode, season is one long murder mystery. I have to say I was surprised at the complexity of the story. TV is full of, so called, mysteries, which are completely obvious from the get go. However, this one has multiple motives and twists. I am a bit of a mystery buff, and I found myself challenged by the solution.
In addition to the overall mystery, our heroes and heroines are challenged with their own struggles. Themes of said struggles included; teen pregnancy, divorce, alcoholism, and student/teacher "relationships."
I know, I know, not long ago I did a whole blog about how I don't like light hearted characters in darker roles. However, it works here. Because we already know the characters, the show runners were able to dive right into the story without having to explain who all the characters are.
Riverdale is not alone. There seems to be a trend in comics, right now, of using traditionally comedic characters in darker stories. One good example is Scooby Doo: Apocalypse. In this comic, the world has been mutated by nanites, and Scooby, now a cyborg, and the gang have to come together to find a cure. While the concept sounds off the wall, the popular title's run earned a 7.5 out of 10 from 175 critical reviews on Comic Book Rounds Up.
Old timers, like me, will always remember Archie and the gang as carefree high school kids drinking milkshakes at Pop's and driving around in their jalopy. Yet that doesn't mean there's not room for a new generation to reinvent the characters for a new age.