Comic Review – Essential Wolverine Volume 3

A bad stick of RAM gave me a lot of time to read in
these last two days. You can now reap the benefits
of my extended period spent offline.

General Information

Title: Essential Wolverine Volume 3

Credited to: Hama, Silvestri, Texeira and Co.

Original Publication Date: 2000 reprint of material
published in 1991-1993

ISBN: 0-7851-0595-6

Cover Price: $14.95 US, $21.95 Can

Issues Reprinted: Wolverine #48-69

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Wolverine spends most of this volume facing the
demons of his past.

High Point

The Weapon X project. It sets up a nice collection
of adversaries
that Wolverine can’t just kill outright as he is wont
to do.

Low Point

The last issue. It’s a bad issue with a substandard
guest artist.
Worst of all, it’s the first part in a continuing
story that isn’t
finished in this book. It’s just 20+ pages of
material that assumes
the reader is familiar with issues of X-Men that
aren’t yet packaged
in these collections. If it were comprehensible, it
would just
inspire me to look for the
Essential Wolverine Volume 4. It doesn’t
make sense without
reading those other issues, so instead, it just left
me hanging,
confused, and bored. That’s not the way you want to
end a collection
when the next collection isn’t even on the
publication schedule.

The Scores

The originality of this collection is pretty
good. There are
a lot of superheros out there, but this is the only
hero I know of who
doesn’t know his own origin. The decision to delay
that origin story
really allowed this story to do some things I haven’t
seen in comics
before. I give it 5 out of 6.

The artwork was much more consistent this
time. There were
only a couple of guest artists, and only one of them
was pretty poor.
The changes between artists were infrequent, so there
weren’t any
jarring switches. I give it 5 out of 6.

The story here was above average. With the
exception of that
last issue, it felt like one long-term story, which
is a nice break
from the series of one-shots and short arcs in the
first volume. I
give it 4 out of 6.

The characterization was competant, but
Wolverine changed
very little considering what was happening to him.
There were periods
of anguish, but they cleared up very quickly. The
other characters
came through virtually unscathed, and often
underdeveloped. I give it
3 out of 6.

The emotional response inspired by this
collection was
moderate. Some issues worked well in this respect,
but a lot of them
just coasted by with mildly interesting portions. I
give it 4 out of

The flow was good, as written.
Unfortunately, there were
some problems that resulted from inconsistent panel
placement. I have
no problems with the principal of placing panels in
positions, but when some arrangements should be read
in rows while
others should be read in columns (and not all of them
have guiding
arrows) it gets disorienting. When I’m used to
reading in rows, and
then suddenly hit a page arranged in columns, I don’t
generally spot
it until after I’ve read a couple of panels out of
order, and I’m then
forced to reread the page. It’s jarring, and pulls
me out of the
comic. That shouldn’t happen. I give it 2 out of 6.

Overall, this was a good collection. So
far, I think it’s
the best of the Essential Wolverine books, if only
because all of the
stories are actually about Wolverine. There’s a
whole lot of X-Men
out there, so if you’re going to give one of them his
own title, you
should make sure there’s a reason that particular
X-Man has to be the
one that goes on these particular adventures. That
was done in this
set of issues. I give it 5 out of 6.

In total, The Essential Wolverine Vol. 3
received 28 out of 42.