Wolverine races against time to save Agent Bannister and his daughter in Wolverine #18, by writer Benjamin Percy, artist Paco Diaz, colorists Java Tartaglia and Dijjo Lima, and letterer Cory Petit. Percy builds upon his past stories in this one and presents an entertaining ride.
At the motel, Wolverine shows up to help Bannister and his daughter. The mutant and the CIA agent work together and escape to Krakoa, where they learn the bug is one of the Forges. Bannister meets with the boss of the X-Desk at the diner to confront her, but she’s shot by a sniper. Wolverine goes after the sniper, and Bannister stays with her when Maverick shows up and threatens him, getting the bug back. The sniper tells Wolverine that the Merchant, the man in charge of Legacy House, is looking for revenge against Wolverine. Maverick takes the bug to the Merchant and learns it was all a ruse, which doesn’t bode well for Maverick’s relationship with the Merchant.
Percy has proven to be an expert plotter on Wolverine and X-Force. While some fans decry his style on the books for not giving them “closure”, it’s a classic approach to comic storytelling that borrows heavily from greats like Claremont and Hama. Both of these writers told short stories that held plotlines that would flourish over time. This issue represents several doing so at once. It’s a different way of doing things that pay off better than most readers realize.
This book starts off with an action scene and then goes from there. It drops just the right amount of exposition before putting readers into a tense situation that pays off several plotlines from earlier in the series. The issue is paced nicely, going from balls to the wall action to exposition to tension to a wonderful little ending that sets even more up for the future. This book is the answer for any young fan wondering how comics were in the salad days of the ‘80s. That’s what makes it work so well. It keeps things exciting, pays off some plotlines, and introduces new ones.
Diaz is one of the better fill-in artists this book has gotten so far. The beginning action scene is exciting, his figure work is good, the character acting works, and all in all, the book looks pretty good. While some of the linework isn’t perfect, it’s still a good-looking comic that gets the job done.
Wolverine #18 is yet another great chapter in Percy’s run. He plays off past storylines, closing some out while opening up new ones. This issue has it all, and the art is pretty good too. Wolverine is a perfect example of classic comic storytelling, and it’s a lot of fun.