Wolverine #1-5 (2003): Brotherhood

This is a really good Wolverine story.  It’s simple, but really good.  Basically, a woman is murdered and Logan avenges her death.  But it’s a noirish tale with a slow reveal of the reasons she was killed—which leads to a human trafficking ring.  The story has heart and soul mixed with harrowing violence and evil and with good and unpredictable twists and turns and fantastic art.

One aspect of the character work in particular that makes this a great read are the frequent literary references that show Logan is not just a savage brawler but is also a deep thinker (in addition to being a savage brawler).  One book in particular is Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk, a personal favorite. We also see him reading, among other things, Noam Chomsky’s “Age of Consent” and Thoreau’s “Walden.”

Another note: Author Greg Rucka seems to have a clear understanding of the difference between Punisher and Wolverine.  Punisher has his own stories with very similar villains, but Punisher’s war on crime always feels so disconnected from reality.  He’s a force of vengeance and rage, with that sense of justice arising from injustice done to him.  Wolverine is also a force for street justice, but his motivation comes much more from his compassion for the little guy (maybe because Wolverine is short!).  This makes Wolverine a character with much more possibility for interaction and character work.  Rucka understands this distinction, and it is what elevates this story from a good one to a great one.

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