While James Hudson is the biological son of the famous X-Man, Wolverine, he knows little to nothing about the man who died. He and Black Box find a secret message and leave the reservation to find out what the message means, even though mutants aren't allowed in the real world anymore.
Honestly, I wasn't looking forward to this. I'm a bit Wolverine'd out, currently, but what ULTIMATE COMICS WOLVERINE #1 offers is a very cool story as James tries to learn more about his father. I love the fact that this ties into ULTIMATE COMICS X-MEN heavily (which isn't good for new readers) and it's something Ult X-Men fans should pick up because it's great development for this character, who has been a bit more in the background in recent X-Men issues.
Cullen Bunn does a great job with this first issue. It has solid pacing and really sets the world up for the reader well. I like the layout here with the first half being a story about Wolverine and the second half being about James. The stories tie together well, both dealing with something called "Mothervine." I like that we get to see the journey of both these characters, an I hope this format continues throughout the mini-series.
This issue has a very solid art team: David Messina (pencils), Gary Erskine (inks), and Javier Tertaglia (colors). It's a style that really fits in with the rest of the Ultimate Universe (which is really starting to feel like it has its own consistent art style, much like Vertigo kind of has its own). I really like the heavier ink outlines around the characters, and the panel compositions are stay fresh and unique, so every page feels like something completely new.
The average comic book reader, who is not an Ultimate aficionado, will get a bit lost during this. Jimmy's side of the story starts at the reservation, and if you're not reading ULTIMATE COMICS X-MEN, then you might get lost. If you've never read an Ultimate book before, this is not the place to start. Talk to me after class so I can assign you some reading to work up to this issue.
Overall, I wasn't expecting much from this book and wasn't excited for it, but after reading it, I was pleasantly surprised. ULTIMATE COMICS WOLVERINE #1 is a great start to a new mini-series featuring what seems to be a great, stand-alone story. If you've been reading ULTIMATE COMICS X-MEN, then you really should pick this book up. If you haven't been reading that book, then ULT WOLVERINE may be a tougher sell, since so much has happened in X-MEN in the past year.
Overall, I recommend this issue.