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Aug 5

Hunt for Wolverine: Weapon Lost

Posted on Sunday, August 5, 2018 by Paul in x-axis

Marvel haven’t exactly done themselves any favours in the way they’ve gone about the death and return of Wolverine.  Old Man Logan is so similar to the original that there’s been little scope for absence to make the heart grow fonder.  The Marvel Legacy one-shot where he returned was nearly a year a go, and it took months to have any follow-up.  And now we have… a series of four miniseries, leading into another miniseries in which he actually returns?  I suppose it’s helping to belatedly build anticipation, but sixteen issues of prologue is patience-testing stuff.

So we have four miniseries, each with different creators, and each featuring a different cast of characters who more or less knew Wolverine.  Adamantium Agenda is basically a New Avengers miniseries; Claws of a Killer is pretty much a Weapon X mini; Mystery in Madripoor has the X-Men themselves; and… um.

If you just looked at those three, you might think that the idea is to define Wolverine by his absence, with each series playing up a different aspect of him, through a different group of associates and a different milieu.  But if that’s the idea, what the heck is going on with Weapon Lost, which features the seemingly random grouping of Daredevil, Frank McGee, Misty Knight and Cypher?  It’s a downright odd premise for a miniseries, and the thinking behind it doesn’t get all that much clearer by the final issue – yet it’s also the lead-in mini written by Charles Soule, the writer responsible for the main return miniseries.

The first issue cover is by Greg Land, but fear not, because the internal art is by Matteo Buffagni and colourist Jim Caralampidis, which means it’s a lot more atmospheric.  Buffagni likes his angles and shadows, so he’s a good choice for this Daredevil-y take on a nocturnal mystery procedural.

Having already been enlisted to help find Wolverine back in the lead-in one-shot, Daredevil decides to haul in some suitable investigators.  In that sense, Frank McGee is a sensible choice.  His whole concept is that he’s an ex police officer who reluctantly trudged off to join the Inhumans after getting his new photographic memory powers, but refuses to play along with the silly names and costumes; he works very well as a counterpoint in Inhumans, but he’s also quite effective in the wider Marvel Universe as someone with a foot in both worlds.  Plus, he was clearly one of Soule’s favourite characters when he was writing Inhumans.

Misty Knight is… a detective who was in the Official Handbook?  From the look of this series, she’s actually here mainly because Soule figured she’d bond well with McGee; and fair enough, since they’re both career detectives who were never quite willing to become superheroes but can’t just go back to their old careers either.  In fact, he’s setting them up for a romantic subplot, though heaven knows where, given that the Inhumans experiment seems to be decisively over by now.

And Misty rounds out the team by bringing in Cypher (who… she knows…?) on the perfectly sensible grounds that they might need a translator.  Cypher gets a radical overhaul here, as he tends to do whenever he shows up these days.  Last time round, we had the idea that his translation powers extent to interpreting pretty much anything – body language, general pattern recognition, whatever – which is a logical enough extrapolation from his powers.  Soule’s take is that Cypher has become obsessed with trying to interpret the Internet and, from the look of it, has encountered something so vast and paradoxical that it’s beyond him, or at least leaving him obsessed with the task until he’s finished it.

I’m not sure about this.  It feels like an unrelated concept that’s been bolted on to Cypher.  If you want to be nitpicky, Cypher’s powers have never worked by actually analysing data – he can understand languages from tiny fragments of text, which is plainly impossible – so much as by some sort of magical instinct that leads him to the right answer.  So it doesn’t feel like the internet should be presenting him with that much of a problem.  More broadly, if this is how his powers work, why isn’t he paralysed by any large set of information, such as a library, or just the world in general?

Anyway, Cypher helpfully trawls the internet for Wolverine sightings – of which the numbers are vast – and the group start chasing down the leads.  After a bit, this takes them to Saskatchewan, where Wolverine is possibly attacking some park rangers.  But it isn’t.  It’s Albert, the robot copy from the Larry Hama and Marc Silvestri run back in the 1990s.  Again, I’m not sold on this book’s take on Albert.  In the original stories, he worked rather well as the loyal muscle for the absurd Elsie Dee, a robot shaped as a stereotypically cute little girl.  This story plays him straight, hunting for his “daughter” Elsie (which really isn’t how I see the relationship).  But at any rate, this whole thing seems to be a red herring.

Or then again, maybe not, since Soule gives Frank and Misty a whole scene to talk about whether the story they’ve just been in had anything at all to do with finding Wolverine.  It seems unlikely that Soule would lampshade it like this if he really had just spent most of the miniseries filling the pages by going on a wild goose chase; he’s a better writer than that.  Yet at the same time it’s hard to see the connection.  This is one of those cases where the writer’s previously earned goodwill leads me to give him some benefit of the doubt.  But then again, he did write Wolverines, and in retrospect, what the heck was that all about?

The more direct plot connection comes in the final part, when it turns out that somebody else has gone after one of their previous leads.  This leads them to a company called Soteira (it’s Greek for “saviour”), which naturally turns out to be one of those Marvel Universe companies that keeps “level four killteams” on call.  I quite appreciate the fact that otherwise, it’s a standard cubicle-based office, though.  There’s a brief skirmish and presumably Soteira are being generally established as the baddies for the main story.  Oh, and they recover a scary video of Logan apparently saying that he’ll do whatever they want.  So it seems we’re doing Logan mind-controlled by bad guys again, or at least that’s the suggestion.  But hopefully there’s more to it than that, because “Enemy of the State” has been done before.

Judged as a four-issue miniseries in its own right, this is a weird and rather unsatisfying affair.  It doesn’t tell a complete story, and even as a lead-in to the main event, it spends much of its time on a lengthy detour to Saskatchewan that doesn’t seem to contribute to the plot at all.  But I’m keeping an open mind about whether the next phase of the story will tie back to this book in a more satisfying way, and explain… well, why the heck Hunt for Wolverine has Daredevil chasing after a cyborg in Canada.  As it stands, I’m confused.

Bring on the comments

  1. JD says:

    Even more puzzling : the solicitations for next week’s Daredevil #606, “spinning out of the events of THE HUNT FOR WOLVERINE: WEAPON LOST”, announce the bizarre return of a forgotten Silver Age character… which plainly didn’t happen in Weapon Lost. What gives ?

  2. Living Tribunal says:

    Hmm. Wasn’t going to read or follow this drivel anyway. Just another example of Marvel’s unfocused storytelling, or even worse it’s creative bankruptcy. Same old, same old under Cebulski.

  3. I am very tempted to pick this up for the mention of my home province, which I haven’t seen in a Marvel comic since Hulk did a jump-by years and years ago.

  4. Si says:

    Short shrift. Misty Knight is a solid B lister, nudging the A’s. She’s a central character in the Luke Cage TV show too, if that counts for anything. Or is this a reference to her not having anything at all to do with X-Men or Wolverine? I think she knows Storm, because … well you know.

    Anyway, Albert’s back eh? So not counting the original, thats
    1) Albert
    2) Old Man Logan
    3) Laura
    4) Sabretooth
    5) Wildchild
    6) Jimmy Hudson
    7) Lady Deathstrike for some reason
    8) Daken
    9) Blue Wolverine/Mystique from the future
    * plus Lil Wolvie, who almost certainly doesn’t count, and Honey Badger (and fam), who is distinct enough to arguably be considered not a Wolverine.

    Honestly, this is why the Hunt for Logan is taking so long, it’s like a Where’s Wally crowd scene.

  5. Ben says:

    Wasn’t Misty roommates with Jean Grey at one point?

  6. Brian says:

    I imagine that there’s some implicit callback to Misty being Jean Grey’s roommate back in the pre-Dark Phoenix days and keeping up with the X-Men since those early team-ups (as Si noted above, with recent Storm stories). She and Colleen Wing were in and out of Uncanny (Claremont making use of his old Iron Fist characters, including Sabretooth) during the early days of New Mutants as well, so Cypher wouldn’t be a total stranger to her.

    As for Frank McGee, I wonder if — with Death of the Inhumans going on — if this is a case of Soule trying to get one more shot at writing a favorite character before Marvel gets rid of him or if this book (and Soule’s Daredevil) is an avenue of moving him to the general MU as a “powered normal” support character (along the lines of Misty Knight herself) who can appear in different books.

    BTW, I’m still betting that Wolverine somehow dies again at the end of all this Return Of minis and we do it all again in two profitable years!

  7. Luis Dantas says:

    Back in the day (late 1990s) I thought that it was excessive to have a whole miniseries just for the return of the Heroes Reborn teams.

    I had no idea of what was to come.

  8. Chris says:

    Colleen Wing was Jean’s roommate

  9. wwk5d says:

    No, Misty was Jean’s roomate. Colleen did date Scott for a few issues, though.

  10. Voord 99 says:

    I think that pointing to Misty’s former roommateship with Jean is a better argument for having Misty appear in Phoenix: Resurrection than in this.

    And even then I’d have reservations. It’s one of those things that people who remember that era will know. But that was more than thirty-five years ago, and it’s not one of the things about Misty that’s been kept refreshed by recurrent reference since then (or at least I don’t think so). So I think it’s faded into the the “sort of didn’t happen” limbo in which quite a lot of the published (as distinct from remembered) history of the Marvel universe necessarily resides.

    Which is not to say that it can’t be reactivated by referencing it. Old bits of continuity like that get dredged up from time to time. But I think in that case you actually have to reference it. It doesn’t sound from our host’s review like this comic does, and it wouldn’t really make sense to. One comes back to the problem that Misty having appeared in the X-books back in the day in connection with Jean and to some extent Scott gives her a tenuous indirect connection to Logan at best.

    I mean, among detective characters you could make a stronger case for Jessica Drew based on a more recent but still very old position as a member of Wolverine’s supporting cast in his solo book. But even then, I’d probably think that it would be a good idea to reference that period of her character history explicitly, because it’s been functionally dead as part of Spider-Woman’s backstory for quite a while.

  11. Thom H. says:

    Or Jessica Jones. Wasn’t she basically in the New Avengers with Luke and Logan? And she’s also friends with Matt Murdock, which means she would fit into this series just as well as Misty.

    There do seem to be a fair number of underused female detectives in Marvel comics.

  12. Moo says:

    Yeah like what’s her name… Carolina South or Virginia West or something.

  13. Krzysiek Ceran says:

    @Tom H Jessica Jones would make sense based on the recent-ish association with Wolverine in the ‘New Avengers’, which is probably why the sorting hat put her in the ‘Adamantium Agenda’ miniseries.

  14. Luis Dantas says:

    @Moo: I think you mean Dakota North.

  15. Luis Dantas says:

    @Krzysiek Ceran: Is Jessica’s past as a private investigator even canon? I would assume it to be gently unmentioned at this point in time, since she is now Spider-Woman again and probably being presented in a completely different light.

    Carol Danvers used to be a magazine editor, and Dazzler was briefly a movie star. Jessica being a private investigator was just as true and, I reckon, just as relevant these days.

  16. Voord 99 says:

    That was me, not Krzysiek, in fact. Krzysiek was talking about Jessica Jones, not Drew.

    But yes – Jessica Drew’s past as a detective was used by Dennis Hopeless in the recent Spider-Woman solo series, and was quite important in how he moved her into a new status quo and announced the central theme of the new version.

    But that’s an illustration of the sort of thing that I’m talking about: the comic actually referenced the fact that Jessica used to be a private detective very clearly and explicitly in the story, to signal “This is important to what we’re doing with the character here.” If you want to use the fact that Misty Knight was Jean’s roommate, I think it’s advisable to do something like that.

  17. Luis Dantas says:

    Sorry. And good points.

  18. Mikey says:

    FYI – this is all continuing over in this week’s Daredevil, with Cypher and McGee joining Daredevil’s team to take down Kingpin (no sign of Misty, though).

  19. Thomas says:

    I hate to sound like a broken record but I just can’t get into Soule’s Marvel work. He jettisons concepts and character to a Bendis level but I don’t get the same payoff (it took me longer to tire of Bendis). Now this mini looks to have been a backroom pilot or lost chapter of Daredevil, I’m more annoyed lol

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