By Archie Goodwin & Howard Chaykin (Marvel)
I can’t recall the last time Marvel published an all-original graphic novel as opposed to a collection, but not so very long ago they were a market leader in the field with an entire range of “big stories” told on larger than normal pages (285 x 220 mm rather than the now customary 258 x 168 mm) featuring not only proprietary characters but also licensed assets like Conan and even creator-owned properties like Jim Starlin’s Dreadstar.
The Scorpio Connection should have been one of their very best productions, scripted by the supremely talented Archie Goodwin and painted by the versatile Howard Chaykin, it featured arguably their most popular character, Wolverine, and the immortal super-spy Nick Fury in a twisty espionage/revenge thriller, full of action set-pieces and even a plot maguffin straight out of Greek Tragedy, but this is sadly one of those times when the whole is less than the sum of its parts.
It is still an immensely readable adventure as aging warrior Fury hunts down the assassin Scorpio who may or may not be his brother Jake, long presumed dead, encountering and joining the revenge-driven Wolverine who wants the Zodiac killer who butchered his oldest friend. There is glamour, intrigue, exotic locales and enough action to satisfy the most devoted Bond-fan, but somehow it all seems forced and never seems to gel.
Pretty, engaging but tragically insubstantial, this won’t appeal to much more than the already converted.
© 1989 Marvel Entertainment Group/Marvel Characters, Inc. All Rights Reserved.