Written by Jason Aaron
Art by Ron Garney
After being blown away by the second issue of Wolverine: Weapon X, I probably had unreasonably high expectations going into this third outing. Despite not reaching those lofty expectations, the fact that this issue still managed to impress me speaks volumes for just how good this opening arc is shaping up.
Last issue was all about Wolverine finding and confronting Strikeforce X only to find out they were highly trained and could give as well as they could take and were easily on par with, if not better than, Wolverine in a straight up fight. Logan ended that issue by exercising the better part of valour and fleeing into the jungles of Columbia with the hopes of picking off his enemies one by one.
While we did get to see some of this cat and mouse play followed up in this issue, the bulk of it was actually devoted to fleshing out the backstory behind Strikeforce X, why they exist and who's funding them, which was mostly expressed through the investigative journalism of the new female supporting character introduced in this arc, Ms Garner. It all seems to be a corporate powerplay by a contracting firm called Blackguard to create elite mercenary squads and bribe congress to pass a bill to use them and mass produce more of their kind for dropping into war zones and what have you and seems to be a likely parallel for Blackwater and the US military with the comic book twist, of course.
This was all juxtaposed with Strikeforce X tracking Wolverine. The catch was where I expected Wolverine to systematically take down the entire platoon, Aaron opted to ignore the cliches and have the Strikeforce team be somewhat competent compared to most groups that just get taken apart one by one. While, yes, Logan does manage to capture one and critically injure another, the team actually holds up quite well and even outwits him at the very end when their captive escapes and even removes his own eye, which had a tracking chip Wolverine had planted in it. I was honestly shocked at how well they made this Strikeforce X, which could easily be a joke of a group in any other writer's hands, into a legitimate threat to Wolverine and I'm looking forward to seeing what happens when they clash again next time.
Verdict - Must Read. I can't recall the last time a Wolverine comic was this good, but even the most staunch detractors of Wolverine will have to step up and take notice of this book if it continues to put out quality issues like these first three.