Thursday, August 11, 2011

Wisdom: Rudiments of Wisdom Review

Wisdom: Rudiments of Wisdom
Marvel Comics
Softcover Trade Paperback
144 pages
$21.99 (2007)
ISBN 9780785121237

Contributors: Paul Cornell, Trevor Hairsine, Manuel Garcia, Mark Farmer, Paul Neary, Joe Caramagna, and Guru eFX

Reprints: Wisdom #1-6 (of 6)

Synopsis: Pete Wisdom (foul-mouthed mutant and former member of Excalibur ) leads a team of misfits for MI-13 dealing with any weird happenings in England.  He is a busy man because things get very weird.  The team includes:
  • Tink - a fairy dissident
  • John the Skrull - a Skrull who likes to impersonate John Lennon of the Beatles
  • Captain Midlands - an English version of Captain America
  • Maureen Raven - a clairsentient
They must deal with a faerie invasion from Avalon, sleeping giants, an ancient dragon in the guise of a petty thug, a plague of Jack-the-Rippers, and an extra-dimensional Martian invasion.  Guest stars Shang-Chi, Master of Kung Fu along with Captain Britain. 

Wisdom is the greatest architect of self-inflicted misery and his adventures must always end in tragedy.  Building a home at MI-13 and pulling together a team against considerable odds can he possibly break the cycle? 

Pros: Action-packed roller coaster ride, some good dialogue, decent art, Marvel MAX - its got mature themes (swearing, sexual situations), Cornell brings Killraven into main Marvel continuity

Cons: Apparently MAX means more swearing and violence, but no nudity!  No backstory given for any of the characters and events happen so quickly its easy to get lost, art switch from Hairsine to Garcia after two issues is noticeable (especially Wisdom - he's not consistently portrayed), Cornell needs a good editor to reign in his plots a bit

Mike Tells It Straight: Paul Cornell is known for his writing on BBC's Doctor Who television series.  His comic book writing is rough, playing fast-and-loose with plot details to emphasize widescreen action (a la Warren Ellis' The Authority) and shock moments. Marvel did two things right here - got a British writer to write British characters (although this causes some mild confusion for American readers) and put Pete Wisdom in a MAX format book.  Although Wisdom is not compelling or deep enough to carry a solo title he works well on a team, which this book essentially is.  This mini-series was a precursor to Captain Britain and MI-13 (after New Excalibur ended) continuing with writing by Paul Cornell.  Overall a slightly mediocre read due to the writing and art switch, but must-have for CB&MI-13 fans and still entertaining.

TO BUY and Recommendations: