Everyone knows that Wolverine is an expert tracker, but what about when he's been blinded? The fighting Canadian must lead a vacationing family out of the woods, using only his four remaining senses and the help of that same family. Things get more complicated, however, with a visit from Advanced Idea Mechanics.
Wolverine: Firebreak is the type of Wolverine story that will make you fall in love with the character all over again with it’s unique combination of heartfelt brutality. Carey and company get right to the heart of Wolvie by putting him in a position to be a true hero, but also find an interesting angle to explore with a family on the verge of being no more. It’s a one-shot comic that has everything you need for a great experience.
Wolverine: Firebreak takes place amidst what is essentially a forest fire, with a struggling family trying to escape just before the flames consume them. Wolverine’s introduction to slay a violent bear is the stuff that makes him such a timeless character. He’s blind, covered in fire and completely enraged, taking out the massive bear rather quickly and getting the family on track to salvation. Sure, there are questions, like what exactly he is doing out in the woods like this, but as the story develops the situation becomes much more clear. Hydra’s involvement seems a bit haphazard but they provide plenty of opportunities to put Wolverine in dangerous positions, giving the creative team great chances to shine with spectacular visuals.
An action-packed book like this really does need to hit a certain standard for artwork, and Kolins and Baumann certainly impress with Wolverine: Firebreak. There is a sense of fluidity to each panel that helps to sell the action sequences happening and the internal conflict that is happening with Peter and his wife and kid is apparent on nearly every panel. While the background foliage can get to be a bit overbearing and some of the lettering choices confusing, every panel with Wolverine is simply a delight.
While it’s always great to see Wolverine in his element, killing baddies and saving civilians, the B-plot with Peter and his family give the issue all the heart it needs. It would have been really nice to see Wolverine’s interactions with the child more to develop that side of the character, but the relationship turmoil of Peter and his Wife support the issue with plenty of emotional depth. It shows this creative team has a solid understanding of what makes a one-shot like this work, not relying on the expansive Marvel Universe but rather a heartfelt story that will stick with you.
For any fan of the character, this is going to be a fun reading experience. There won’t be anything revolutionary that will change how you look at Wolverine or his ways, but it’s fan service packed with enough heart to keep you reading until the end. Wolverine’s place as a hero is very different than others we have become used to, and Wolverine: Firebreak puts the character in a position that allows him to shine in all the right ways. I only wish it would have built up his supportive characteristics with the family instead of just making him a bloody powerhouse, because there are some missed opportunities with their quick relationship.
We also get a fun side story at the end which is much more of a typical superhero affair beating on baddies. It helps to sell the idea that this book is purely meant to be fun fodder for fans of Wolvie, but it really isn’t something particularly special. It likely won’t be remembered as fondly or vividly as the Firebreak story simply because it doesn’t have the level of heart. It’s fun for what it is, but the main event is what will have you recommending the issue to other fans. As a one-shot comic, this is sure to satisfy any cravings you may have for a classic Wolverine story with a lot of action.
Wolverine: Firebreak (Carey, Kolins, Baumann, Peteri) is the type of Wolverine story that will make you fall in love with the character all over again with it's unique combination of heartfelt brutality.
Wolverine: Firebreak One-Shot: Something Else Came Out of the Fire
Writing - 8/108/10
Storyline - 9/109/10
Art - 8.5/108.5/10
Color - 9/109/10
Cover Art - 9.5/109.5/10
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