X-Men: Wolverine/Gambit Premiere HC Hardcover – Nov 25 2009
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I'll admit wholeheartedly that I'm really not a Wolverine fan. For me, this should have just starred Gambit (and I'm not even a big fan of him either) and maybe put in some small guest appearances from other X-Men, similar to how Loeb tossed the Fantastic Four into "Daredevil: Yellow" or how a number of Batman's villains pop in "Dark Victory" as mercenaries. Loeb did a great job on everything involving Gambit, and the beginning of the series showed promise because of it. It literally went downhill when Wolverine was introduced into the story.
So the premise here is that five women have been butchered in London by a killer whose style brings back thoughts of Jack the Ripper. Gambit, having known the last victim, flies out to London to investigate, where he discovers that the victims all had traces of bone in their stab wounds. It is not long before he finds Wolverine in a dark alley with blood on his claws... and out of respect for his friend, he is willing to give him the benefit of the doubt - no matter how small it is.
To explain exactly why I hated the story would be spoiling it, even though the pay-off is so so very small and disappointing. But suffice it to say that once Wolverine is introduced, we begin to follow two completely different perspectives, which only serve to interrupt the plot-flow, and maybe try in a halfhearted effort, to justify Wolverine's involvement. Even though we're pretty sure Wolverine isn't the one who's been killing those women, we really aren't given much evidence to explain why he has blood on his claws.
Another major gripe I have is the coloring. Gregory Wright has fun with low-contrast gradients... but we don't. When someone manages to upset the incredible drawings of Tim Sale's caliber, then it's a wonder why he was ever involved. Maybe it's a personal preference of mine to have high-contrast coloring with stark gradients to compliment Tim Sale's usage of black, but the coloring here is so bland and assuming of some of the worst art in the 90s. Wright did go on to improve (he provided the coloring for the Loeb/Sale DC works that would follow up to the end of the 90s), but this is just hard to get over.
If I were to take my own advice on this one, it would be to only buy this if you are a collector of the Loeb/Sale team like I am. Bottom line is, this creative team could have done so much better.
I still enjoyed reading it, but I just can't bring myself to give it 5 stars.
Overall I'd give this a D+ to C-.
This series came out in two previous trade paperbacks, but they were quickly off the market and hard to find. Now, Marvel has put the Wolverine/Gambit Victims series in a lovely hardcover trade paperback, and it's available again! I suggest anyone who's a fan of Wolverine or the "Ragin' Cajun" Gambit to pick up this trade, before Marvel makes it go away, again.