This latest volume is basically two separate arcs threaded together by illness. It’s an alien illness brought from the stars because this is the Marvel Universe after all. When an alien crash-lands on Roosevelt Island and people start dropping dead from a mysterious pathogen, Wolverine is sent in to find out what’s going on because her healing factor will help her survive the experience. Said healing factor turns out to be even more critical to stopping the outbreak than you’d think and leads to the rare kind of “Wolverine” story that’s more about self-sacrifice than slashing the bad guys. Writer Tom Taylor doesn’t skimp on the drama or action, however, and artist Leonard Kirk gives the story some crackling energy with its frantic chases and fights through the city.
Kirk ably demonstrates his sci-fi action chops in the volume’s second half as Laura and Gabby (with Jonathan the Wolverine in tow) team up with the Guardians of the Galaxy to track the plague back to its source. This turns out to be a research base on a desolate moon that happens to be overrun by the Brood. What follows is a bit more conventional compared to the first half because… well, we’ve all seen “Aliens” at this point, haven’t we? Taylor and Kirk make it into an effective riff on the formula, but it’s still a riff nonetheless. We do get an appealingly cheesy development to Jonathan’s character out of all this which is another plus as well.
If there’s one thing working against this volume, it’s the sheer amount of guest stars it contains. While I’m all for having Wolverine interact with other characters in the other Marvel Universe, the first half alone has appearances from Ironheart, Captain Marvel, Nick Fury, Beast, Peter Parker, Daken, Deadpool, and Old Man Logan. The Guardians’ presence in the second half just about turns the story into an ensemble piece. At least the next arc is set to just feature Daken in a primary guest role, which is promising at the least.