WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD
This one-shot is part of Marvel’s Monsters Unleashed crossover event. When Leviathons (giant monsters) start raining from the sky, the world is in disarray. But these beasts are more than the X-Men, Avengers, Champions, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Inhumans can handle. These are hopeless times.
The original X-Men (Cyclops, Beast, Iceman, and Angel) are trapped in a time when mutants are both hated and feared. They are determined, though, to make their own destiny—so they team up with Idie Okonkwo and Kid Apocalypse. Laura Kinney was created as a weapon, but escaped and eventually adopted the mantle of her mentor, Logan. She is the WOLVERINE!
The group heads to New Orleans for Mardi Gras, but Wolverine dips out early when she smells something funky—and familiar. She ends up in a swamp with Gambit, and the two come face to face with a monster, then another, bigger, meaner, weirder monster that ate the first one. Elsewhere, the rest of the X-Men are hanging out around the city, watching the parade, going to parties—the usual Mardi Gras stuff. Things get hairy, though, when the monster makes its way towards the city and civilians. The X-Men band together to stop the attack before anyone is hurt and, for the first time, the X-Men are celebrated as heroes.
Jeremy Whitely’s characterization in this issue is on point. We can tell that Laura is all of comfortable as Wolverine, conflicted about her personality vs Logan’s personality, uncomfortable as team leader, but effective as such, too. Laura isn’t too complicated a character and possesses a lot of the same character traits that Logan had. She’s stubborn, which is rather bittersweet, since it means she won’t give up on a fight, no matter its size. She’s isolated, as we can see by her disappearing with Gambit to a rooftop when the celebration of the X-Men is going on. Gambit does, however, show her that she is leading a really solid team. So, she’s a team player after all.
The story progresses at a great pace with simple and understandable language. However, a lot of it is really predictable. Some transitions are awkward, which causes a few pauses in the script, but overall doesn’t take much away from the storyline.
Barberi and Lim’s artwork is very simplistic. The line work is clean for the most part, but the characters lack detail like frown lines and emotion overall. Once Wolverine and Gambit meet together in the swamp, the artwork gets really good. The costumed characters look a lot better than the “humans” or mutants that are trying to blend in. Chris Peter’s colors are realistic, which helps bring a certain dramatic tone or sense of urgency to the issue. It makes us feel more empathetic towards the characters. The illustrations perfectly tell the story, but have a few inconsistencies that can be a little distracting at times.
Nonetheless, this is a good issue that adds a great deal of wonder to Monsters Unleashed. It is also a great way to see how the X-Men are doing in the fight against the Leviathons. We’ve got a strong team here with a smart, determined, and kind leader. Logan’s legacy lives on!
Written by: Jeremy Whitely
Illustrated by: Carlo Barberi & Ron Lim