Friday, 14 September 2012

Books: Wolverine: Marvel Universe vs. Wolverine


Marvel Universe vs. Wolverine
Written by Jonathan Maberry
Art by Laurence Campbell

Available now from Islington Libraries
You can reserve this item for free here:

Pretty much the only reason I'm writing this is due to my completist's heart. I mean - this isn't exactly a great book and it's that one that I don't reckon I'd ever even really pay attention to or even read and actually take to the time to write about (well that just seems silly) - if it wasn't for the fact of Marvel Universe vs. The Punisher. You see: Marvel Universe vs. Wolverine is a sequel / prequel / next installment / (I don't know) whatever of a series [1] that began with Marvel Universe vs. The Punisher [2]: which is a little bit - well - special to me seeing how it was one of the very first times that I kinda cut loose with the stuff that I wrote down on here: so that what was ended up with was more than just "this is a book about blah stuff and you will like it if things" and instead touched (however briefly) on a few wider issues (about other comic book stuff admittedly - but still: it was early days - so give me a break [4]): which basically opened the door inside my head that I didn't have to restrain myself in a little comic-shaped-box [5] and instead could use the books on here to - well - talk about anything I wanted...

So: when I saw this baby sitting on the counter: well - it didn't feel like I had much choice. I just had to read it and - as you can see - I just had to write a little something about it too.

So yeah: it's Wolverine (that's the guy with the claws) taking on lots of other superheroes - and killing them - killing them with his claws. But it's ok that he's killing them - because - they're all zombies (sorry - not zombies: "a new breed of cannibal predator"). And - well - it's pretty much just like it sounds. I know it's kinda harsh to pick on people (and I'm not really picking on him really - so calm down) - but I was looking for some reviews to put in that link section below and the first thing that popped up was a thing [6] by a guy called Chad Allard that's basically little more than: "Oh man - my favourite characters killing other people? Wicked!" - which I'd imagine is pretty much the mindset that the writers were aiming for (Dude! Awesome! Bodacious! etc) [7].

To fill out my sequel / prequel / next installment comments above: the first book - Marvel Universe vs. The Punisher - takes place after the events of this book: but really - you could read them in order you wanted to (and because: well - there's not really that much to either of them). If you asked me which one I prefer (because yeah - people are always asking me stuff like that: "Hey Joel! Of the two Marvel Universe vs. books: which one do you prefer?") I'd tell you to go for The Punisher one. Goran Parlov's art just seems a lot more hardcore somehow (and hell - just compare those covers [8] and tell me which one seems more dangerous-looking (answer: the Punisher one: it's got nice use of dark and lovely greens and I love the red biohazard symbol (it's a good symbol) on Frank Castle's chest - the Wolverine one is just - what - Wolverine crouching on the floor and (this is never a good sign) it's not even a scene that appears in the book: it's just someone who heard the title I thought - great - I'll just draw that)).

Also: while The Punisher version knew (at least at the start) how to play it coy and dispense information gradually and with a certain degree of (in mainstream comics terms at least) finesse: version Wolverine prefers to spell out all the stuff that was left unsaid before. And so while it's nice to see something that comes along to buck the trend of setting the zombie mayhem at a point well past the initial outbreak (if you've seen as many zombie films as I have you'll know it's pretty much always 28 weeks or months later - it's very rarely   it was a beautiful day and then: zombies happened [9]! Which my best guess says is because of stuff like budgets (hey - the end of the world ain't cheap): but - yeah - I guess that's just damning with faint praise and - well - with stuff like Marvel Zombies and everything else: this superheroes/end of the world scenario kinda feels a little bit played out now especially if it's got nothing more to add: version Punisher felt a little bit different because it was one man in a world full of crazy so at least it had a sort of grounded feel to it (I mean - it's all relative but hey): well - this (at points) feels like nothing more than a kid smashing their toys together ("And then Captain America swoops in and saves the day!") but - hey - the most important thing is that at least now I can rest easy that I got some words down about it... Small victories right?

[1] But then: is it a series? How many entries does something need before it constitutes a "series"? Maybe four? Three I guess is just a trilogy.... and two parts is just - I dunno - part one and part two.

[2] And even tho I know that this of interest only to me: it kinda makes my heart feel a little sad that due to the way I've tagged things on here - if it's a book about superheroes then the superheroes name comes first and then after that comes the title of the book (ie "Superhero Name Man: The Superhero Name Man Returns Back!") that means that these two books are going to be forever separated under Wolverine: Marvel Universe vs. Wolverine and Punisher (The): Marvel Universe vs The Punisher [3]: when ideally it would have been cool to have them both lined up next to each other... But hey: what are you gonna do?

[3] And - oh boy - don't even get me started on the whole having "The" in brackets thing - otherwises we're gonna be here all day....

[4] And yes - I do realise that this blog is kinda morphing into a blog about what it's like to write this blog and I do very a little bit (very much) like Dylan Moran doing his "This next song - is all about - me!" bit: but hell - a blog about comics that was just about the comics would be boring.

[5] That's the lesser known sequel to this. Very rare. Hard to get hold of.

[6] It's called "Now available in 2D" and isn't actually all about comics: there's stuff there about Why Patents and Patent Law Sucks and Starbucks Says Bye Bye to Red Bug Dye and all sorts of stuff... But I don't got time to read that stuff Chad (sorry): this is all about the comics!

[7] And yeah yeah - that's kinda doubly harsh especially seeing how all of my early posts on here were (hell: still are a lot of them) nothing more than the same thing of thing: "Hell yeah" is a phrase that I have used on here way way too much - and I'm sure that it's probably irrevocably damaged my comic book reviewing credibility (do people have credibility on the internet?). Still - at least I've managed to mature a little bit: check it out - in the last sentence I used the word "irrevocably"! Go me!

[8] Altho I don't think (I'd have to check to make sure) that Laurence Campbell actually drew the cover to this book - but hell - nevermind: don't let the facts get in the way of a good point...

[9] Zack Snyder's Dawn of the Dead remake being a rare exception to that rule (which I guess is why I love those 15 minutes so much - it's just so much fun to watch the world go from normal to completely falling apart in the space of a day...)

Links: Tom Bad Guy Review.

Further reading: The Punisher: Marvel Universe vs. The Punisher, Wolverine: Old Man Logan, Marvel Zombies.

All comments welcome. 

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