Saturday, April 16, 2005

Bin Diving - What If...#7

What If Wolverine Was an Agent of Shield?
What If… #7 Volume 2
Marvel Comics
December 1989

Penciller/Story: Rob Liefeld
Script/Layouts: Jim Valentino
Inker: Scott Williams
Colorist: Tom Vincent
Letterer: Ken Lopes
Editor: Craig Anderson
Editor in Chief: Tom DeFalco

Purchased for: 25 cents

Background –

Looking back the What If titles were very well done. There was generally a good story accompanied by quality art. A lot of artists usually got their first assignment on What If. Each issue asks the reader what would happen had certain events in Marvel history were different.

In this case, it asks what would happen if Wolverine joined S.H.I.E.L.D (Supreme Headquarters International Espionage Law-Enforcement Division) after his fight with the Incredible Hulk and the Wendigo.

Providing the layouts and script is Jim Valentino. He is one of the founding members of Image Comics. There he created Shadowhawk and the Pact. He later became the Publisher of Image Comics. He recently put out a new Shadowhawk #1.

On penciling duties is Rob Liefeld, at this time he was still a teenager but had already perfected his style. I can see a lot of Art Adams and George Perez in this issue. After this he would move onto New Mutants at Marvel, which he would relaunch as X-Force. X-Force #1 at its debut was the highest selling comic ever (nearly 3.5 million issues). He founded Image Comics. He came up with the name of the company and designed the logo. It was here where he created Youngblood, Prophet and Supreme. Of course those are only three out of the hundreds of character he created there. After a few years he started up another company called Maximum Press. He then moved on to Awesome Comics where he hired Alan Moore to do a revamp of his universe. This resulted in some excellent comics to say the least. He has recently resurfaced under the banner of Arcade Comics. Here he did the art on Youngblood: Bloodsport #1 which was written by Mark Millar. He also did a six issue X-Force mini series for Marvel with Fabian Nicieza. He and Nicieza are most famous for creating Cable and Deadpool. He is currently working on multiple projects for Arcade and other publishers.

Inking over Rob Liefeld’s pencils is Scott Williams. Scott Williams is now known for being Jim Lee’s partner. His recent work includes inking Batman: HUSH, Superman: For Tomorrow, and the upcoming All-Star Batman & Robin w/Jim Lee and Frank Miller.

Review –

The Good:

The artwork on this issue is probably one of Liefeld’s best as far as storytelling goes. It lacks the colorful and kinetic look of his Image stuff, but considering that the coloring technology wouldn’t be invented for a few more years this is damn good. For those who are biased against Liefeld due to his anatomically incorrect style or his panel inconsistencies this will be the issue you will enjoy.

Scott Williams does a great job inking this. Pairing him with someone like Liefeld, Lee or McFarlane is guaranteed good results in my book.

Valentino did a good job on the script. I’m not sure who came up with the actual storyline, but I love how this affects the entire Marvel and mutant universes in a big way.

The Bad:

I think the ending was a bit rushed. Instead of getting text explanations on Logan’s accomplishments in this reality I would have liked to have seen individual panels showing him in action while going through them. A small nitpick though.

The Ugly:

Certainly not the Black Widow, that’s for sure.

Ratings out of 5 -

Artwork: 5
Story: 4
Cover: 5
Fun: 5
Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5

I should also note that the current arc in Wolverine is called Agent of Shield. More than likely this issue was the inspiration for it. I highly reccomend reading Wolverine #21 + of the current series. Mark Millar, John Romita Jr. and Klaus Janson are really doing a great job.


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