REVIEW: ‘iWolverine’, Issue #2 (of 2)

Reading Time: 4 minutes

iWolverine #2

iWolverine #2 is published by Marvel Comics, and is a tie-in issue to the Iron Man 2020 event. This is the second half of a two-part story. The comic is written by Larry Hama with art by Roland Boschi. The colours are provided by Andres Mossa and the letter is VC’s Joe Sabino. The Iron Man 2020 event featured an army of robots and androids forming a rebellion led by Tony Stark, under the impression he was an artificial intelligence himself. With much of the A.I. rebellion quelled by Arno Stark, the adoptive brother of Tony Stark, determined to bring all artificial intelligence under his control, all cybernetic life is at risk of losing their control. One of the members of the A.I. army that escaped the battle was Albert, a cybernetic clone of Wolverine. 

Albert made his way to Madripoor in search of his fellow robotic friend Elsie-Dee, vulnerable due to Arno’s attacks. Upon arrival, he discovered that his creator Donald Pierce had captured her, dismembered her, and scattered her body parts. around the cartels in Madripoor. Albert carved his way through the island and rescued his partner, but angered just about every criminal in the process.

Now, in this issue, Albert and Elsie-Dee must fight their way out of the small nation, battling against every gang and mafia the city has to offer.  The pace of the plot is the same in the second half of the tie-in, but the mission has been altered. Instead of a recovery objective, iWolverine #2 is a hectic escape attempt. The reader is kept excited by the digital duo moving between the territories of their enemies. There aren’t many surprises or reveals as I don’t think the series is long enough, but the way that their predicament is resolved felt different and a nice ending to the small story. The conclusion of this issue doesn’t give much of a clue as to where this small steam is headed, but the 

The two robotic heroes aren’t given massive amounts of depth, as to do so would slow the pace down, but there were a few pages that show their friendship. The companionship both of them have is touching in one panel during a brief quiet moment of their chase. While in the cab of a truck powering towards a roadblock, they declare how devoted they are to protecting the other.  It was a small moment before they are launched into an onslaught of gunfire, but it was sweet to read. Albert has another moment in the climax that shows his sentience and ability to show compassion, which is a theme that has blanketed the event as a whole, and it makes the character more enjoyable. 

It would have been easy for Wolverine’s doppelganger to be written as just that, but so much of the two issues are about how much Albert is trying to forge his own path, and Hama’s script does that effectively.

Aside from those small moments, the two robots are an amazing combat partnership. iWolverine #2 has a lot of fighting within its pages, and for the most part it is effective. The parts where I felt it was most exciting were the vehicle chases. The action is constantly moving across Madripoor, the two robots trying to escape in a motorbike and sidecar. There are bullets, claws and RPG missiles exchanged, and Boschi is very good at portraying speed. Later they exchange the bike for a huge truck, and the artist brilliantly draws the bullets ricocheting off the metal plates. Despite the art being impressive on vehicles, the faces on the characters are disappointing. The details on the features often look warped and the thick line-weights sometimes make them unpleasant to see. 

Mossa’s colours also invoke varying reactions. The sky and lighting are really pretty, with the blue and purple used to show the city at night time are loosely blended together, mimicking a watercolour or painted style, and the objects in the foreground stand out nicely against the colours behind them thanks to lovely shading. The negative aspect of the colours are the way fire is rendered. There are is a lot of flames burning inside this comic, but it always looks poor. There is not much texture or detail within the flame, resulting in a flat orange and yellow glow inside the outline. The blame falls on both artist and colourist, but it is often very distracting.

Sabino’s placement of word balloons and SFX makes them easily readable, but what ruins that is the method Hama uses to show Elsie-Dee’s dialogue. The robot with the exterior of a small child speaks with a lisp, replacing all r’s with w’s, and it results in truly awful examples of speech. This change makes her conversations with Albert a chore to read, and it dramatically affected how much fun I had reading the whole comic.

iWolverine #2 is a disappointing end to the tie-in. While it is bursting with great action and set-pieces, the art doesn’t capture me like it did in the first issue. Elsie-Dee’s dialogue was a woeful design choice. The other downside is that not enough is done to make readers care about the most obscure characters in the event. I do not feel like the choice of plot for the duo allowed them to draw in new readers, and it makes this tie-in very missable. Despite that, I am interested to see where Albert and Elsie-Dee appear next.

iWolverine #2 is available where comics are sold.

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TL;DR

iWolverine #2 is a disappointing end to the tie-in. While it is bursting with great action and set-pieces, the art doesn’t capture me like it did in the first issue. Elsie-Dee’s dialogue was a woeful design choice. The other downside is that not enough is done to make readers care about the most obscure characters in the event. I do not feel like the choice of plot for the duo allowed them to draw in new readers, and it makes this tie-in very missable. Despite that, I am interested to see where Albert and Elsie-Dee appear next.