Posted May 24, 2012 by Earl Maghirang in Comics

KILLAR MILLAR STORIES: Wolverine Enemy of the State

This series produced by the Flipgeeks Crew picks one Mark Millar story and dissect, nitpick it for all the comic book geeks in preparation for the arrival of the Scottish writer — the KILLAR MILLAR STORIES.

This entry focuses on another glorious Wolverine story written by the Scottish scribe years before “Old Man Logan” and its called “Enemy of the State“.

In this story arc we get to see a completely different Wolverine. It’s a Wolverine that is in control yet as feral as can be. A Wolverine that kills and takes down superheroes like they were all just a bunch of amateurs. Oh and its also a Wolverine mind-controlled and brainwashed by the combined might of Hydra, AIM and the Hand.

Just like Millar’s other works, this had a Michael Bay/ John Woo vibe to it. Its the equivalent to a summer blockbuster only that the hero is actually the villain for the most parts of the book. Oh and yes there’s bloodshed and destruction and ninjas and stealth sequences.

Unlike his other Marvel Knights work (like MK Spider-Man: Shush) this Wolverine story arc had massive ramifications for the character. He killed soldiers and SHIELD agents and even gunned down a few superheroes including his teammate Northstar. This made him look bad and even made mutants even more feared and hated more than ever.

Logan also stole various technologies…

and was ultimately responsible for endangering the life of the President of the United States.

Millar’s take on the book together with John Romita Jr. also introduced new players in the field including Gorgon who would later make life hard for Nick Fury and the Secret Warriors during Jonathan Hickman’s run on the acclaimed series.

In a way this book is a must-have for Wolverine fans because it definitely shows readers and comic book fanboys how dangerous Wolverine is when he becomes a bad guy. Thanks to Millar’s steady writing we are also reminded that Wolverine’s classic motto “I’m the best there is at what I do, and what I do ain’t pretty” was more than just a figure of speech.

Yes, in this book Wolverine even takes on Great White Sharks

Massive props should be given to Mark Millar for crafting such an ingenious story where you really had to root for the bad guy. He makes it possible to clearly like and admire the main character despite the said character having dubious motives or acting out of character.

Millar has also made it possible to enjoy a storytelling style that harkens back to the age of classic comics and skewer them with bits and pieces of new world ideologies and some classic James Bond flair. To nail the point Romita even drew a cover for the second half of the story which pays homage to a classic Nick Fury comic book cover (i.e. Nick Fury Agent of SHIELD # 4).

Come to think about it, without this book, the now-classic teamup of Millar and JRJR for Kick-Ass would never have seen the day. And without the book, these certainly wouldn’t even be any movie of the same title which would lead to Matthew Vaughn directing X-Men First Class.

There were four trade paper backs released for this title but I have to recommend you get the complete edition as it will feature a lot of “extras” like black and white covers and even a few concept designs drawn by John Romita Jr.


Earl Maghirang