All Logan wanted was a little drive in the fresh mountain air. What he got was the stench of death on a little patch of road outside the town of Pottsville. Someone or something is laying down roadtraps for passing motorists. Is it the work of a serial killer? Or is the entire town in on the crime? The only way for Logan to know for sure is to offer himself as bait. It's a terrible waste of a beautiful muscle car, but hey, someone's got to do it.
Wolverine Switchback is the type of story that may not feel like a natural fit for Wolvie at first, but quickly spirals out of control into a twisted tale of bloody justice filled with some rather interesting visuals. Fans of the character will certainly want to dive into this unique story.
I’ve never read a Wolverine story quite like what we find in the Switchback one-shot. It caters towards Wolverine’s nomadic tendencies, passing through small town American and leaving only death in his path. This time, the setting is a town called Pottsville with a population of just over 4,000. There is a dangerous curve that Wolverine immediately recognizes as a place of death, but he also catches on to the fact that something foul is at work here. It doesn’t take much snooping for him to get to the bottom of the mystery, and while this takes up the bulk of the story, the ending is certainly a rewarding one.
You don’t have to have Wolvie’s senses to catch onto the fact that something creepy is going on with the Sheriff of the town of Pottsville. While the mystery unravels at a satisfying pace, the best parts of the story come in its final few pages as we see Wolverine come face to face with the Sheriff and his wretched scheme to kill passers-by on the switchback curve. We see Wolverine’s hunter characteristics come to light in a really interesting way and once the violence really starts, it’s something you most likely won’t forget anytime soon.
This story is a lot of fun just from its twists and turns, but there are some glaring issues like the cliche one liners and questionable character depictions. Wolverine looks so young in this book that without the trademark hair, you might not even recognize him. The facial expressions can get a bit skewed in some of the few pages with more dialogue as well. Although the problems aren’t enough to make you put the book down, they are noticeable and worth mentioning. It’s a highly stylized art that seems like a “love it or hate it” situation, and while I mostly enjoyed what the book offered, it does take some getting used to.
Despite these issues, Wolverine Switchback is just the type of comic I like with this character. It’s one-shot structure doesn’t allow room for needless flashbacks or diversions, instead, its focused and determined to tell a worthwhile story. It won’t be the best Wolverine story you’ve ever read, but it will be one that you remember if not just for the strange premise that spurs this story on. It’s worth exploring for any fan of the character that wants to see Wolverine in a new light within a more traditional superhero role, but it also doesn’t forget his violent roots.
We end the issue with a short story called Punching Bag that features an even more stylized approach in its visuals. It’s not quite as well developed as the main story, but it does give some insight into the neverending and sometimes futile efforts that Wolverine puts in. If the cartoon’ish artwork is something you enjoy, you will most likely find a lot to love in this short. As a side note it’s interesting to see that both artists in this book took on the colors themselves as well. That type of freedom really comes through in both stories and helps to make them stand apart!
Wolverine Switchback features a premise that may not feel like a natural fit for Wolvie at first, but it quickly spirals out of control into a twisted tale of bloody justice filled with some rather interesting visuals that any fan of the character should check out.
Wolverine Switchback: You Know What Your Problem Is?
Writing - 8.5/108.5/10
Storyline - 8/108/10
Art - 8/108/10
Color - 8/108/10
Cover Art - 8.5/108.5/10
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