Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Wolverine: Weapon X- Insane in the Brain by Jason Aaron, Yanick Paquette and C.P. Smith

Wolverine has had plenty of times where he's forgotten who he is and what he was doing, but when he wakes up in an insane asylum, being asked questions about what he remembers of his past, he doesn't really know who he is or why he is there.

And sometimes he surprises himself with how much he knows about the place. Things about the other inmates. What day is meatloaf day. But something seems wrong about this particular asylum- the "medication" he is given looks like candy, buttons and pencil erasers, and the doctor in charge likes to throw costume parties for the inmates, where the male doctor dresses in a dress with a mask that looks an awful lot like Emma Frost.

And when he releases patients, telling them they are cured, they don't want to go, and come back lugging sacks of human brains. No, something is definitely not right with the Asylum, and Dr. Rotwell, the psychiatrist who is supposedly in charge, seems to be at the heart of the rot, no pun intended.

What goes on in the basement? And what use does Dr. Rot do with all those brains in the bssement? Why does he want to turn Wolverine into a killer again, and will Wolverine give into his demands, or will he be able to fight the brainwashing that Dr. Rotwell is forcing on him? And for that matter, can he escape from Dr. Rot on his own, or will his time in the Sanitarium be too much for him to overcome?

Next, Wolverine has a new girlfriend who is a cop, but she's just a normal human, and compared to someone like Wolverine, she's rather... squishy. Can she ever convince Wolverine that she can survive in the world that he's forced to live in, and defend herself from the people who have made themselves his enemies?

Another really good graphic novel, one which relies on literal psychological thrills and chills for its effect. And the effect is amazing. For once, I was actually scared for Wolverine, and wondered if he'd be able to get out of this one with sanity and soul intact. It was *that* horrific.

There is quite a difference in art between the main story, and the secondary story in this graphic novel, this being the difference of the artist. Neither one is better or worse, but the difference between them is stark. Artist C.P. Smith's art reminded me a lot of Art Deco art, but with deep, heavy shadows, while Yanick Paquette's was more realistic and less stylized.

With a tremendously effective story, and art that makes you take note of every drop of blood and bit of viscera, I'd definitely recommend this book, especially for fans of the X-men or of Wolverine. It's an intense, scary tale that is sure to wring every drop of emotion out of you.

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