1. Death of Wolverine (No. 1, Nov 2014, Marvel) – Charles Soule, Steve McNiven, Jay Leisten & Justin Ponsor
September marks Marvel’s big event title, Death of Wolverine. Surgically written by Charles Soule and beautifully drawn by Steve McNiven and Jay Leisten, the first issue of Death of Wolverine reads like a Bourne Identity sequel or a Liam Neeson action thriller. The story beats so far: After word has gotten out that our favorite diminutive Canadian supermutant has lost his all-important healing factor, countless guns-for-hire and assassins attempt to eliminate the now vulnerable Logan. Entropy readers will appreciate the insightful commentary by Steve McNiven on the interior sketches and the interview with Wolverine co-creator Len Wein. An excerpt:
MARVEL: So, starting at the beginning, what are your earliest recollections about the creation of the character? [. . .]
LEN WEIN: The earliest recollections I have of the character proper start about a year or so before Giant-Sized X-Men came out, . . . So I went home and I did what I always do when I create a new character, I did research. I looked in the encyclopedia . . . And wolverines, I discovered very quickly, are short, hairy, vicious creatures with razor-sharp claws who are fearless and will take on absolutely anything – animals ten to twelve times their size. And I went, “DONE!”
MARVEL: So the name came first?
LEN WEIN: Yes, Roy [Thomas] gave me the name. And I came up with all the rest of it.
MARVEL: It’s amazing that at this point not only is Wolverine such a popular comic character, but he’s gone beyond that and become a huge part of pop culture as a whole.
LEN WEIN: Oh, absolutely! I realized that about five or six years ago when I was looking at a bunch of Marvel products in the outside market – Marvel toys or Marvel clothes or whatever . . . And the two foremost characters on every piece of that stuff were Wolverine and Spider-Man. And I went – oh, my God, he’s up there! In all probability he’s probably superseded Spider-Man as the iconic image of Marvel.
2. Ms. Marvel (No. 7, Oct 2014, Marvel) – G. Willow Wilson, Jacob Wyatt & Ian Herring
One can’t help but admire the foresight and planning with which Marvel is integrating its various superhero properties. The last issue of Death of Wolverine hasn’t even hit the stands yet and one can already sense the melancholy that will undoubtedly follow with Logan’s untimely exit. Take for instance, the teacher-student relationship between Wolverine and Kamala Khan. One can only imagine how devastated Kamala will be upon learning of her mentor’s sudden passing. An excerpt from their most recent heart-to-heart exchange: KAMALA: “I don’t like hurting stuff. [. . .] I mean is it possible to help people without hurting other people?” / WOLVERINE: “No. It ain’t. It all circles around. The hurt I mean. Sometimes you can avoid hurting other people, but it usually means you get hurt pretty bad instead. The pain has gotta go somewhere.” / KAMALA: “I don’t want to believe that.” / WOLVERINE: “You’re young.”
3. Figment (No. 4, Nov 2014, Marvel) – Jim Zub, Filipe Andrade & Jean-Francois Beaulieu
If Quincy Rhoads’ parent-centric comic book reviews have whet your family’s appetite for child friendly titles, you may want to try Jim Zub’s whimsically menacing venture into the most hazardous corners of the human imagination. Rated E for Everyone, Figment follows the undertakings of the young inventor Blarion as he navigates himself and his childhood dragon friend through a dream world made toxic by self-doubt and anxiety. Ideal for anyone who needs to be reminded of the intrinsic power of imagination.
4. Hawkeye vs. Deadpool (No. 0, Nov 2014, Marvel) – Gerry Duggan, Matteo Lolli & Cristiane Peter
A peculiarity of the industry that September also announces the arrival of the Halloween-themed comic book. An ideal introduction to Hawkeye and Deadpool, Duggan’s trick-or-treat fueled romp through Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn will warm your heart, make you grin, and if nothing else – get you jacked for October. September can’t go fast enough.
5. Lumberjanes (No. 5, Aug 2014, Boom! Box) – Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, Brooke Allen & Maarta Laiho
Issue 5 of our favorite camp title begs the question: What will happen to our budding heroines when summer camp finally comes to a close and they return to the normalcy that is Mundania? Will they disband? Keep in touch indefinitely? Whatever the writers decide on, we can cherish the fleeting last moments of summer as camp counselor Jen attempts yet again to keep her Lumberjanes safe from the dangerous, mythical creatures of the dark. Particularly endearing in last month’s issue are the step-by-step instructions on how to make a friendship bracelet.