Earlier today I talked a little about one of this week’s big comic book releases – Batman: Damned. Should you want to know more about my thoughts on that particular comic, then check out my post.

But Batman: Damned wasn’t the only big release this week, while DC was busy launching a new Bat-book (and a new imprint in DC’s Black Label), Marvel has been reviving an icon in the shape of Wolverine. The mighty mutant has been missing from the Marvel Universe for four years – following his death in the appropriately titled Death of Wolverine – but now he’s back and ready to kick-ass.

Written by Charles Soule, with artwork by Steve McNiven, Return of Wolverine is a five-part tale looking to reintroduce Wolverine. As such, this first issue leaves various things up in the air, including the reason why he’s back, but offers enough intrigue and action for the cover price.

Wolverine

Image: Marvel Comics

If one of your favourite aspects of Wolverine lore is his Swiss cheese brain, then you’ll be pleased to know it’s back! Wolverine is struggling to remember things and as such he’s not quite up to speed.

For now he’s pretty much working off instincts and his instincts are telling him he needs to help people. So that’s pretty much what he does in this issue, while looking pretty pissed off and confused in the process.

Classic Wolverine then?

For this first issue we also get to see Wolverine being all X-Man-like, saving people and trying to do the right thing. I’ve no doubt we’ll see a more savage Wolverine in future issues, but for now this is the Wolverine we’ve got and this is the one that is perhaps the best to focus on as part of this re-introduction.

Reconciling all of Wolverine’s different personality facets, memories and back stories isn’t an easy task, but I like the way this issue addresses this situation. I won’t go into full details – I don’t want to spoil everything – but the path that Soule takes works well.

With regards to the artwork, it’s decent stuff and in keeping with the tone of the book. It’s also good to see McNiven and Soule working together on this project – they killed Wolverine, so they really should be the ones to bring him back.

So, good stuff then?

Yeah, pretty much. While not perfect, this is a solid start.

Over the past four years the Marvel Universe has had it’s fair share of Wolverine-lite characters (X-23, Old Man Logan etc) but none have matched up to the original Wolverine. It’s great to see him back where he belongs.

Return of Wolverine issue #1 is available to buy now.