Moody and intriguing, Wolverine: The Long Night #1 gets the adaptation of Marvel’s first scripted podcast off to a fine start.
It seems strange for a Marvel story based on an iconic comic-book character to have not debuted in a comic – and yet here we are. Wolverine: The Long Night has finally found its way from the scripted serial podcast format to a fitting home on the pages of Marvel’s bread and butter, and the opening issue makes the transition about as smoothly as you could hope for.
Welcome to Burns, Alaska, a fictional coastal town rife with corruption where several people have been hacked to pieces. The local police department insist that hungry bears are to blame, but clues pieced together in Wolverine: The Long Night #1 suggest a different, but equally-clawed culprit – an itinerant deckhand known as Logan.
Written by Benjamin Percy, the story foregrounds two Feds, Sally Pierce and Tad Marshall, who arrive in Burns as fish out of water and discover the town to be almost as inhospitable as the climate. Women have been killed in the wilderness and nine fishermen have been found slaughtered on a commercial vessel. It’s a classic small-town murder-mystery setup, from the tight-lipped locals to the overeager rookie escort the Fibbies are assigned as a guide. But the difference is that the perpetrator is a superpowered mutant with Adamantium claws.
Is Logan the perpetrator? I suppose that’s the point. But with a local cult broadcasting cryptic messages that override the police radios, you can be assured that things in Burns aren’t as cut and dry as they seem.
In the meantime, Marcio Takara and Matt Milla provide Wolverine: The Long Night #1 with evocative art, and well-structured panels keep the storytelling clear while making room for scenic vistas that help to establish a sense of place. Think Wind River, or Hold the Dark, and add in Marvel’s mutton-chopped mascot, and you have a pretty good sense of what this story feels like. I’m looking forward to the next instalment.