By Spencer Irwin
This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!
There’s a joke amongst fans that if a team exists in the Marvel Universe, Wolverine has been a part of it. This is an exaggeration — it’d be funny to see him joining up with the Champions or Young Avengers, but it hasn’t happened yet — but only slightly. Logan’s prolific stature in the Marvel Universe is what allows for an event like Hunt for Wolverine, which rounds up as many characters with connections to Logan as possible, no matter how tangential, from every corner of Marvel’s vast universe. It’s a bit of a bait-and-switch, as bringing in all these characters has so far (in the two issues of Hunt for Wolverine thus released) led to stories that are rather light on Wolverine himself. Tom Taylor and R.B. Silva lean into that idea in Hunt for Wolverine: Adamantium Agenda 1, pulling a bait-and-switch on their cast as well as their readers. Logan’s former New Avengers teammates think they’re rescuing Wolverine(‘s genetic code), but it turns out they’ve stumbled into a very different, much more personal scenario.
The issue opens with a flashback to Logan’s time on Brian Michael Bendis’ New Avengers, with Logan, Spider-Man, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, and Iron Man attempting to defuse a bomb specifically designed to be a “hero killer.” Wolverine eventually puts himself in front of the blast, leading to a result that Taylor and Silva leave ambiguous — something unexpected happened, but readers don’t know exactly what, nor why it led to a pact of loyalty between Wolverine and each of his teammates involved in the incident. In the present, their pact leads the foursome to an
underground underwater black market auction where they think Wolverine’s genetic code is up for sale. They couldn’t be more wrong.
This is such a swerve. Up to this point we have three different mysteries involving Wolverine driving the story — the general whereabouts of his body, the possible connection between him and the auction, and whatever happened with him and the bomb — and all of a sudden, with two words, this becomes a Luke Cage/Jessica Jones story. I imagine that mileage on this twist may vary for each reader, but I love it, partially just because it was so unexpected, but also because it grounds the story further in the characters who are actually present. I look forward to seeing them take more of a spotlight just because Taylor writes each of them so well, tapping into their unique personalities and making each fun to be around in their own right.
Plus, there’s no way the story can drop the Wolverine connections completely — the bomb flashback is still a factor, and Taylor himself introduced that, promising that it must be resolved within his own story. In the meantime, though, Taylor and Silva have made sure that their story will be character-based in the best ways, and they’re giving other characters a chance to shine even when caught within the orbit of Logan, Marvel’s greatest spotlight-stealer. I’m down for that.
The conversation doesn’t stop there. What do you wanna talk about from this issue?