Murderworld Wolverine #1
Wolverine is "the best he is at what he does," and what he does is hunt victims in Murderworld! Our contestants are about to feel the SNIKT! Will anyone survive Arcade's deadliest game? Arcade and his schemes have been a punchline in the past, but this game is no joke. Each issue ups the ante and will keep readers guessing right up until the end.
The body count piles up, and the gleeful murdering continues in Murderworld: Wolverine. And so far Zub and Fawkes have done a good job keeping us at least partly on Arcade’s side because of how fun he is. But going into the third Murderworld issue a question lingers more and more over the story: how much longer can Arcade keep it up?
Murderworld: Wolverine opens with 61 contestants still alive. Most of them are in the rest area they found in the mountains at the end of the previous issue. Arcade announces there are three assassins in with the group and then shuts off the lights. A group of contestants make it out and are immediately beset upon by claw brandishing Wolverine copies who keep repeating “bub”. The Bubs eviscerate and maim most of the survivors until only a handful of contestants remain. A few more obstacles thin the group further, but four contestants–working together at least temporarily–stumble upon a possible way out.
Murderworld gets its third point of view character in this issue. We follow Vincent, a criminal who is competent but nowhere near as hard edged as Eden, the point of view character from last issue. While not the character who suggests working together (it’s Alex who is trying to get a first aid kit from another contestant so he can help Eden after the Bubs’ attack), Vincent does make it work by finding a possible way out for all four of them.
It’s a surprising turn for Vincent because in the beginning of the issue Vincent’s strategy is effectively one of isolation–it emphasizes not trusting anyone. But the same tenets come in handy when it comes to forming the loose partnership at the end. Of the three point-of-view characters, Vincent is really the only one who could make this work. Paul was too easy going and willing to help others when he wasn’t busy screaming. Eden was too hard-edged and inflexible. In the end, even though Vincent leans closer to Eden than Paul in temperament, he exists enough in between that he can make working together viable, at least for a little while.
Unsurprisingly, the prospect of multiple contestants escaping and ruining his game sends Arcade into a fit. As with the previous two issues, Arcade is a gleeful murderer in Murderworld: Wolverine. He will certainly never be sympathetic, but despite being a homicidal psychopath, Zub and Fawkes have been able to make Arcade strangely charming–mostly through dark humor. By the time this issue is over, though, Arcade’s charm is gone as his anger takes over. It’s a curious but effective character arc built entirely around the comedic nature of his scenes up until now.
Nietto’s art in Murderworld: Wolverine continues a style set in the previous issue with slightly heavier shading and more liberal use of lines on characters’ faces. The result, here like in the previous issue, is very emotive characters which works especially well during the more violent sequences when the characters are being sliced apart.
Arcade goes from gleeful to angry in Murderworld: Wolverine. It had to happen eventually. And it’s easy to invest in the moment. Arcade is the only character that’s factored substantially into every issue, and I’ve found him more compelling than the point-of-view characters at several points. So when he went from fun to furious it grabbed me. I would never have expected to say this when the Murderworld series began, but the chance of Arcade’s plan getting upset is a far better cliffhanger than whether a contestant will survive. I can’t wait to find out what’s going to happen to this attention craving maniac.
Murderworld Wolverine #1: The Bubs Attack!
- Writing - 9.5/109.5/10
- Storyline - 10/1010/10
- Art - 9.5/109.5/10
- Color - 9/109/10
- Cover Art - 9/109/10
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