Marvel Sketch Cover Madness: Wolverine No. 1! (Vol. 3)

A chore, but worth it.

A chore, but worth it.

There’s a whole lot going on, of no real consequence, to have come together in the cover that we see above. It directly references the artwork to Marvel’s Wolverine No. 8, Vol. 2, in his first ongoing monthly series. It’s a pretty famous cover that I once again saw because of reading through Essential Wolverine Vol. 1, and playing “Marvel Puzzle Quest” on my Kindle Fire.

Written by Chris Claremont, Wolverine’s comic book was kind of…random. That’s because Chris Claremont’s method had a whole lot to do with asking himself, “What do I think is cool and/or really like RIGHT NOW?” and then trying to build that thing into the books. This actually worked really well for the X-Men for some time, and similarly well for “Wolverine” as an ongoing series. At the time (in comics), the world thought the X-Men were dead, and it paid to keep it that way. As a result, Wolverine is on his own in the fictitious country of Madripoor.

As settings go, Madripoor had a lot going for it. Madripoor is an island apparently modeled on Singapore, because, well…the name is kind of on the nose. They are both Southeast Asian island port nations with a single major city. Its capital and single large city is also called Madripoor, which is divided between Hightown and Lowtown. This serves to represent the extreme social inequality in Madripoor, described as “a place for the very rich and the very poor”.

Madripoor was once a haven for pirates, and that tradition is pretty much on point, as Wolverine fights pirates right out of the gate. Also the principality does not allow other nations to extradite criminals…making it a haven for the kinds of crooks that Wolverine tends to go to town on. The whole thing has a very “exotic locale/film noir” quality to it.

Which is how eventually, in the plotline, Wolverine winds up dressed like Humphrey Bogart in “Casablanca”. Pretty straightforward, kind of.

So…why do I care right now?

I’ve been playing “Marvel Puzzle Quest” on my Kindle Fire. I mentioned that.

Wait, what’s that you ask? “Marvel Puzzle Quest” is a video game (obviously) released on October 3, 2013…so I am a late adopter. It’s the fourth installment in the Puzzle Quest series, which I did not know had three earlier games to it. It is one of the legion of free-to-play, match-three Bejeweled-style puzzle game set in the Marvel universe, featuring loads of Marvel characters.

You see, you have the characters go on missions with respect to various plotlines, and match the colored tiles to get them to do super hero style stuff. I was just playing the “Hearts of Darkness” event, which at one point requires you to have the “Wolverine/Patch” character in order to do many of its missions. The Wolverine/Patch character is him in the Bogart suit…so you can now see where the whole convergence of events here is. “Patch” was my A-list team member for most of the event, bringing the hurt down hard and looking classy while doing it.

A screen shot of Patch leaping into action, from game play.  Thank you, Internet.

A screen shot of Patch leaping into action, from game play. Thank you, Internet.

I actually placed 5 out of 1000 players for the event, so that tells you that Patch and his fancy suit were on their game. The “Hearts of Darkness” plot was so bizarrely stupid it became fun. The idea is that the Hood (a C-List bad guy from Dark Reign) has united the Maggia (which is Marvel’s mafia) and the Hand (who are ninjas) for his own “nefarious purposes!” So, you need to team up Wolverine, Daredevil, The Punisher and Ghost Rider to defeat the unholy crime lord, stop the Hand and get revenge.

So…Wolverine in a suit, and the Ghost Rider, fighting Mafia Men and Ninjas? And eventually going to hell to fight Satan, who has Ninjas and Mafia Men?

They had me at “hello.”

The art separated from the cover treatment.  I almost like it better this way.

The art separated from the cover treatment. I almost like it better this way.

I also like this Casablanca Suit better than the Disney Style Formal Wear that the protagonist has been wearing since the Edu-Mountain setting became a thing. It was fun to draw the Casablanca Suit, and I’m still playing Puzzle Quest, so we may see more of it.

I’m also enjoying the postures of doing ordinary things, and making characters expressive. The gig Grey Hulk, “Mr. Fixit” clearly seems put out by the white dinner jacket and bow tie, despite our hero’s mild amusement.

Anyway, I’m off! Since we didn’t get a Wednesday post, we got a Sunday one! Yay for little things!

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