cover image WOLVERINE: Weapon X


Marc A. Cerasini, . . Marvel, $24.95 (416pp) ISBN 978-0-7851-1605-9

Wolverine, the popular mutant comic book hero, makes a successful fiction debut in Marvel's first tie-in novel aimed at adults. Cerasini (O.J. Simpson: American Hero, American Tragedy ) delivers three stories in one, each liberally supplied with flashbacks, dream sequences and expository lumps about high-tech hardware. The main story focuses on the imprisonment of Logan, as the future X-Man is called, at the Weapon X laboratory, where he's treated as an experimental animal. Attacks by wolves and a bear are just part of his transformation into Wolverine (aka Weapon X). Logan's principal tormentors—the Professor, Dr. Abraham Cornelius and technician Carol Hines—all have their own past traumas to explain what they're doing to him, but nothing excuses their behavior. Later, the Canadian Intelligence Service sends Logan on a covert mission to North Korea. In the third and final section, Logan/Wolverine runs amok in a virtual reality sequence, then returns to the Weapon X laboratory's reality to fight his way free. Novelizing a visual medium is bound to involve compromises, but this admirable effort works well enough as action-adventure fiction to lure readers who don't know an X-Man from an X-chromosome. (Dec.)

Forecast: X-Men fans should ensure this "limited edition" is a sellout.