Wolverine: Enemy of the State is a graphic novel in which Wolverine is brainwashed by Hydra and is sent to attack his former friends and allies. It’s written by Mark Millar and the artwork is by John Romita Jr. and Kaare Andrews, with Klaus Janson providing the inks.
Firstly I have to say that this is a really hefty book. It’s very thick and heavy and sometimes I’m a little disappointed by the lengths of graphic novels, but here you get a lot of bang for your buck. The concept did intrigue me but I was still a bit wary because sometimes brainwashing isn’t handled well, but here everything made sense and there was a lot of inner dialogue between the ‘real’ Wolverine and the brainwashed persona. It’s strange really because although this is a Wolverine collection it’s almost as much of an Elektra story, and this was pleasing because I’ve never read much of Elektra so it was nice to see her get the spotlight in such an epic storyline.
Obviously the main hook and what most people will be interested in is the promise of Wolverine going up against the other heroes. There are a lot of fight scenes but honestly I was a little let down. I almost wish this was an alternate universe story so we could have really been shocked but as it is many of the fights are left inconclusive and I was hoping for more of a gauntlet style story. For the most part it’s Wolverine vs S.H.I.E.L.D cannon fodder, but it’s still high-octane stuff and there are plenty of references to the wider Marvel universe and loads of other heroes appear.
This book also introduces a new villain – Gorgon, who is chilling and terrifying. The story is interesting with a few unexpected twists. There are epic action scenes aplenty and the artwork is phenomenal. The grandeur of some of the set-pieces is depicted beautifully, but there are also grisly, gruesome violent scenes that do not shy away from the results of the bloodshed. The resolution is obvious, yet surprising and it lived up to the epic scope of what came before.
There’s also another issue collected at the end which isn’t related to the main story, and it’s just a little thing about when Logan was held in a concentration camp. The artwork here is phenomenal and Wolverine is drawn almost like a ghoul. It has a cute reference to Watchmen as well and it’s a nice bonus bookend.
The collection as a whole is great and I enjoyed it immensely. This should be a definite must-buy for fans of Wolverine.