Week Opinions: Rot (Wolverine)
Writer: Cullen Bunn & Ivan Brandon
Artist: Rafael Albuquerque & Paul Pelletier
Cullen Bunn is no stranger to Wolverine. Between his work on Deadpool and Uncanny X-men, he seems to have a pretty good handle on how to write him, and Rot is as dark, gritty, and gory as we have come to expect a Wolverine tale to be. FBI agents are pursuing Wolverine for a grizzly series of murders across the country while Wolverine simultaneously pursues the deranged Dr. Rottwell. Wolverine and Rottwell have met before when Wolverine was locked in Dunwich Sanatorium and a test subject for Dr. Rottwell. Rottwell lived through their last encounter and Wolverine is looking to finish what was started. The cast of characters is nothing short of disturbing: monsters made of amorphous flesh, the murderous and possibly inbred Rottwell family, the numerous living humans with an organ OUTSIDE of their body. This story is not for the young or squeamish. The art showcases the gruesome details in all their gory glory. There’s no shortage of bloody, savage, and skin crawling moments that make the story so easy and so hard to turn the next page.
Unfortunately, the story comes across as a little unimagined. The FBI agents are tracking Wolverine for crimes he didn’t commit. Wolverine is on a personal mission of vengeance. Both are tropes we’ve seen in plenty of fictional tales, including previous Wolverine stories. The Rottwells are dangerously close to the Sawyer Family from Texas Chainsaw Massacre or the Firefly Family from The Devil’s Rejects. They come off as just another family of crazed, inbred Southerners with an irrational bloodlust. Furthermore, while action-packed, the story is relatively shallow. There are very few surprises that are hard to see coming. If you like slasher films, you’ll enjoy this story. If you like your comics with more nuance and layers, you should probably skip over this one.