Wolverine: The Long Night #3 // Review
Two government agents continue to investigate a string of murders in a small town in Alaska amidst nightmarish visions of a hairy guy with claws attacking people. Benjamin Percy’s comic book adaptation of dramatic podcast Wolverine: The Long Night continues with art by Marcio Takara and colors by Matt Milla. The moodiness continues into a third issue, but the tense police procedural begins to feel a bit visually repetitive as the mini-series edges closer to its inevitable conclusion. The pacing and drama of the original full-cast audio drama are preserved while the beautiful wilderness of Alaska continues to serve as a unique backdrop for the action.
Agents Pierce and Marshall interview a few witnesses. There’s a hunter who spotted a shirtless Logan hunting deer alongside a pack of wolves. Elsewhere he evidently saved a bartender in an altercation that turned into a brawl. Ab encounter with a man in a car ends graphically. As the two investigate, we learn more about them. Certain idiosyncrasies. Certain stranger elements of personality that begin to creep into the story and add a peculiar edginess about things. The residents of rural Alaska continue to give the tale firm grounding in reality.
It takes one hell of a lot of patience to render a script so sternly focussed on everyone in the cast BUT the title character. Percy’s story has a great deal of heart as it centers itself around the concerns of so many tangential citizens. At the center of it, all are a couple of federal agents who are given plenty of room for subtle characterization, but it’s kind of a long, slow, moody read of a story that works much better in the intimacy of a pair of headphones with voice actors delivering the drama. A few action scenes and some beautiful scenery aside, the series is really beginning to feel like it’s given all that it can offer.
Takara DOES give the series a great deal of charm. The rural wilderness atmosphere of the mini-series is appealing as ever, even if it feels kind of repetitious. As he shows-u in flashbacks, Wolverine is seen in iconic action poses with just the right amount of detail. The image of him literally running with wolves is pretty cool in and of itself. So much of the drama is rendered on a blank background as characters gaze around with intense looks cast across their faces. There’s the occasional bit of humor around the edges of the action. At one point the two investigators interview a hunter in his home. He’s got a few dogs and a whole bunch of taxidermy. There’s a moment of a standoff between a stern-looking Agent Pierce and a cheerful dog that adds comic depth to all the seriousness in the foreground. Milla’s colors continue to cast light around the edges of so many shadows and earth tones in the wilderness.
The five-part series reaches its mid-way part in a charming style that makes up for some of its repetition. There are ways to make this sort of investigative drama live a bit more dynamically on the page, but they would require a far less straightforward rendering of the action that might get in the way of the story.