Holy Shit.. that was violent.
I know, I should have expected that from the man who brought us Kick-Ass but I guess I just wasn't prepared for it. I even read Stephen's excellent review
which doesn't play down or ignore the violence either. So, still.. why did this shock me? Maybe it has something to do with the fact that it's a Marvel release and while Marvel does have a lot of darker, more extreme stuff out there, nothing I've read even comes close to this.
The violence, while insanely over the top, doesn't distract from the story. Basically, we're being thrown 50 years into the future following a genocide of the superheroes. All the bad guys finally figured out that there were way more of them then their adversaries, teamed up and wiped everyone out. Well, everyone with the exception of what appears to be Hawkeye and our main character, Wolverine.
Only this Wolverine is not the Wolverine we're used to. No. Something horrific happened to him during that epic battle a half century earlier that transformed him into a passive farmer who resides in California with his wife and two kids.
When Hawkeye comes to Wolverine and asks him to be his guide on a mission to deliver an unspecified item from one coast to another (for a large fee, of course) Wolverine reluctantly accepts. Being behind on your rent doesn't exactly leave you with a lot of choices. Especially when your landlords are mutated offspring of The Hulk.
Millar presents us with a very dark vision of a world without superheroes. It's basically what you'd expect in that you have all these powerful super villains fighting over what remains of a destroyed and conquered land. The landscape is bleak and whole cities are destroyed. Very little hope remains for what's left of America.
While there were parts of this novel that were downright ridiculous and certain things weren't quite explained properly, I did manage to have a lot of fun with this one. Like Kick-Ass, the violence, while incredibly brutal, is entertaining and stylish. Wolverine is given some typically awesome one-liners and an insane plot twist is thrown in around the middle that had me reeling.
If your thing is violent, darker comics then this is right up your ally. However, I can see a few traditionalist Marvel fans kind of disgusted with what we're given here.