When this title was first announced, it seemed like an odd choice. Wolverine in the Savage Land will definitely cause some problems in trying to maintain his duties to the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning and the Avengers. But it could do is allow for Wolverine to get a little more violent when necessary. This isn't to say we need a violent Wolverine comic but if you're going to have a guy running around with six super-sharp claws, you expect him to actually use them. We can set aside concerns of continuity for the sake of getting some nice action, right?
The premise of the story involves Shanna and a S.H.I.E.L.D. team investigating an unknown island off the coast of the Savage Land. It's a cursed place and you can imagine what that means - nothing but trouble. Some months go by and Wolverine finds himself somehow transported to the island.
The explanation as to how Wolverine arrives may be a mystery right now but as the action kicks in, you're willing to set aside the reason for now. Upon his arrival, he immediately realizes this isn't going to be a vacation.
The idea of Wolverine and Shanna teaming up to get to the bottom of this mystery is intriguing. They do know each other as shown. You never really realize that the Savage Land can be a big place. Pulling Wolverine into a different territory with the ability to cut loose on dinosaurs or savage neanderthals could be a fun thing. And then there's the couple mysteries weaving in and out of the story in terms of what is going on at the island and why and how Wolverine arrived.
Frank Cho's art is absolutely what you would expect. Whether it's Shanna, dinosaurs, savages or just the jungle environment, Cho puts in plenty of detail and it all looks good.
Wolverine needs to get out of his yellow and blue costume as soon as possible. I'm not saying I want to see all of Wolverine but that costume is clearly not the right one for this location.
Then there's Wolverine's height. It's not so much on Cho as he's been depicted as taller than he should be for years now. Wolverine should be 5'3" and his body looks a little too long at times. I would at least expect Shanna to be taller than he is.
The characters and immediate backgrounds look great but there were some empty parts far off in the panels.
I wasn't quite sure what to expect about a Wolverine series set in the Savage Land but Frank Cho shows us there is potential for the idea. We and Wolverine have no idea why he arrives in the Savage Land but the idea of Wolverine being able to use his claws and earn the Parental Advisory warning on the cover is a nice change of pace. Wolverine is supposed to be the best there is at what he does so we should be able to see him cut loose from time to time. Frank Cho delivers a good introduction to the series in terms of script and art. It's interesting to think that he will be determining exactly what he draws for each part of the story. The question remains whether this current mystery will be the continued focus of the series or if we'll eventually see Wolverine return home and show his savage side elsewhere. For now, as we await those answers and some others, we can enjoy the art and story that Cho is setting up for us.