Wolverine: Weapon X - Barry Windsor-Smith
Free of classes and a lot of work, I've been reading a lot more recently than I usually do. At the rate I'm going, I might actually reach my reading goal by the end of the summer; which makes my extensive, and, by the large, unread library seem slightly less daunting than it did back when I had little time to read. "Little time to read" - perhaps I should have stayed up later every night, or woke up earlier every day, to read as much as I should have been reading!

I have been in a comic book reading mood recently, and out of the stack I picked up from the library was this book. I mention that I picked it up from the library, because, just like the copy of The Sandman that I had borrowed last winter, I find that some inconsiderate jack-ass has ripped out pages from it. Random pages that were once in the book have been replaced with ripped scraps that stick in the spine like the remaining teeth in a mouth full of rotting stumps. By my count, around five pages in the least are unaccounted for, and now I'll have to turn the damn defaced thing into the library.

I believe that I was in luck that the pages that were torn out in this instance seem as though they would not have given much of a difference to the story - I did not lose track of what was happening, with the exception of a page in which Logan was tearing through guards like tissue paper on a rampage.

The comic is Wolverine's origin story, the seminal moment in which Logan ceased to be just a mutant and became a military experiment - Weapon X.

The beginning of the piece is the least interesting - Logan is bitter, drunk and babbling a bit. Reading his inner dialogue is rough going - as I remember having read Stephen King mention in the introduction to [b:American Vampire, Vol. 1|7619398|American Vampire, Vol. 1|Scott Snyder|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1320414137s/7619398.jpg|10091604], nowadays thought bubbles are passe. After reading the beginning of the book, I can understand why it is that comic books have, by the large, shunned the tiresome model of character introspection in graphic literature. As a medium, graphic literature has its very intense strong points - showing and not telling is the biggest one I know of, and tossing that away in lieu of what is dopishly treated as internal dialogue creates a very ingratiating and downright confusing beginning to a rather straight-forward story. Hey, you're writing a Marvel backstory, not Ulysses, dammit - stick to the skeleton of the story and TRY to make me like Logan!

Aside from that, we get to the actual experimentation and surgery process of Weapon X, and we get to the stream-of-consciousness dialogue that gives the impression of drifting in and out of wakefulness. This was the main trait of the collection that was focused on in Weapon X's entry in [b:1001 Comics You Must Read Before You Die: The Ultimate Guide to Comic Books, Graphic Novels, and Manga|10469840|1001 Comics You Must Read Before You Die The Ultimate Guide to Comic Books, Graphic Novels, and Manga|Paul Gravett|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1321473924s/10469840.jpg|15374970], and it certainly was just as the entry had said that it was - disorientating and gritty, Logan's POV is something that is rarely seen even in modern works. And effective it is; both good and irritating at how ineffectually the POV of the scientists who are speaking when this is ocurring.

The color-coded dialogue bubbles help very little as well, and you may often lose track of just who is saying what, but I would not focus on this fact, since much of the dialogue is woefully unimportant as it is.

The disorientation does not last forever, though - as things spiral out of control and Logan is used to rip up both dangerous animals as well as the most dangerous game, the book escalates into a

*SPOILER*

false ending that I was not fond of before suddenly ripping into the correct ending that really does not change much in the way of what eventually occurs but does muddle the probability that what happened to Logan actually could have happened, even in the loosest sense of comic book scientific capabilities.

At points cuckoo crazy and silly, this bloody comic is a good piece of the better work being produced in the early to mid 90's by Marvel, when they weren't too busy producing crap. I'd recommend reading it once, especially if you are an X-Men fan. And please don't be a scum bag and deface library property - we're all paying into the damn place to keep a decent collection, and you don't need to be a selfish dickface and ruin any part of it for your own stupid reasons.