For being called the X-Men, the all-mutant superhero team sure does have a lot of badass ladies. Although HUNT FOR WOLVERINE: MYSTERY IN MADRIPOOR #1 is technically about Wolverine, this first issue is all about girl power — both in its choices of superheroes and villains. Writer Jim Zub and artists Thony Silas and Felipe Sobreiro bring together some of the most well-known female X-Men for an especially personal mission: find Wolverine’s missing body. As simple as that sounds, the girls quickly learn that nothing — and no one — is at it seems in Madripoor. To win this game, they’ll have to think a bit more creatively.

If you haven’t read HUNT FOR WOLVERINE: MYSTERY IN MADRIPOOR #1, I highly recommend checking it out first. This review contains a ton of spoilers so make sure to pick up a copy of MYSTERY IN MADRIPOOR #1 at your local comic book store before reading.

mystery in madripoor #1
Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

Welcome to Madripoor

HUNT FOR WOLVERINE: MYSTERY IN MADRIPOOR #1 introduces Kitty’s dream-team, which includes: herself, Psylocke, Storm, Jubilee, Rogue, and (sort of) Domino. Their mission is to find Wolverine’s body. According to Kitty, Magneto might be the thief, which is why they’re headed to Madripoor. Once they arrive, Magneto sets up a meeting later that night to talk about the situation. They agree and head over to Wolverine’s secret room in Madripoor (which is conveniently located in a bar) to take a look at some of his things. They find a surprising amount of nostalgic evidence that Wolverine, though sometimes rough, did truly care about them.

When night falls, the team reconvenes with Magneto. But, much to their surprise, it’s not Magneto at all. A modern version of the classic villainess team, the Femme Fatales, is out for blood and the X-Men are at the top of their list.

Nostalgia Hurts in MYSTERY IN MADRIPOOR #1

Out of all of the other HUNT FOR WOLVERINE titles to come out so far, MYSTERY IN MADRIPOOR #1 is easily my favorite. I think that’s because unlike in ADAMANTIUM AGENDA, the team in MYSTERY IN MADRIPOOR is made up of X-Men. At the end of the day, Logan was an X-Man. It makes sense for the X-Men to be heavily invested in Logan’s whereabouts.

Because of the close connection between the X-Men in MYSTERY IN MADRIPOOR #1 and Wolverine, the scene where Rogue, Storm, and Psylocke go through some of Logan’s personal belongings is especially heartwarming. They all have an extensive past with Wolverine and the few panels Zub gives to each of them really exemplifies that.

Zub’s best scene in the issue is Storm’s memory of Logan, which shows Storm and Wolverine’s close relationship without being romantic. They were a couple for a while, but the memory and the object — a small carved panther head — stresses the importance of family over romantic love. The X-Men are a family and the loss of Logan is like the loss of a family member. To see them mourning and remembering him is a reminder of how close they all came to be. It also makes their mission that much more important. Someone has messed with their family, which is a really good way to piss off an X-Man.

mystery in madripoor #1
Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

The Girl Gang’s All Here

Bringing together an all-female X-Men team is genius, and I applaud Zub for doing this. I’m also happy to see the Femme Fatales. Their last appearance as a group was in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #343, way back in 1991. Frequently, superhero teams with a lot of female characters will face masculine enemies as a way to “balance” the genders. It’s nice to see Zub not caring about that balance and making the whole issue female-powered. It almost makes up for the 4 to 1 ratio of boys to girls in the first issue of X-MEN.

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I think Zub did a great job recreating the Femme Fatales. He modernized their costumes, added some new members, and gave them a much edgier vibe. By adding Wolverine’s evil seductress Sapphire Styx (first seen in MARVEL COMICS PRESENTS #1) Zub also brings the villains closer to Wolverine. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing more of these dangerous Madripoor vixens in the future.

As for the X-Men in MYSTERY IN MADRIPOOR #1, it’s surprising that Zub didn’t include Jean on the team. All of the X-Men in the issue have history with Wolverine, but Jean — the older Jean — might just have the most. People like to focus on their romantic relationship a lot, but they were also just really close friends. With Jean’s recent resurrection, it would make sense to add her to the team. If the events in HUNT FOR WOLVERINE are supposed to happen before PHOENIX RESURRECTION, the writers should’ve changed the timeline to include Jean. Her connection to Wolverine is too important for writers to ignore.

Technicolor Tropics

I’ve seen penciller Thony Silas’ work before in X-MEN GOLD #23, but it’s never amazed me as much as it does in MYSTERY IN MADRIPOOR #1. Silas really brings his best artwork to date in this issue and his unique, angular style shines like never before. One of my favorite instances of Silas’ superior skills is when the X-Men change into civilian clothes for their meeting with Magneto. The clothing designs are super stylish and the girls are all wearing their best bitch faces. In my opinion, this scene alone makes this issue a worthwhile read. It’s, in one word, goregous.

mystery in madripoor #1
Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

Of course, what helps to make that scene so gorgeous is the coloring. Colorist Felipe Sobreiro uses a Madripoor-inspired palette, bathing the entire issue in saturated pinks, oranges, and reds. This emphasizes the setting of the comic, which is a pretty vital part of MYSTERY IN MADRIPOOR. These warm colors make it feel like a different, more tropical place. In some scenes, these saturated colors almost make the setting look alien, which I think is a wise choice on Sobreiro’s part. Just from the first issue, I think a large part of this series will be about the X-Men navigating in a crime-filled world that is completely foreign to them. While it is a beautiful place, it’s also quite dangerous.

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Final Thoughts

If you’re going to read any part of the HUNT FOR WOLVERINE event, I recommend reading MYSTERY IN MADRIPOOR #1. This issue has a stellar cast, amazing artwork, and a writer who really understands the X-Men and their relationship with Wolverine.

The second part of the four-part miniseries comes out on June 27th!

HUNT FOR WOLVERINE: MYSTERY IN MADRIPOOR #1 by Jim Zub, Thony Silas, and Felipe Sobreiro
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Summary
X-Men fans rejoice! HUNT FOR WOLVERINE: MYSTERY IN MADRIPOOR #1 is the perfect testament to the mutant team and their connection to Wolverine. Zub, Silas, and Sobreiro are a creative dream-team that can easily make MYSTERY IN MADRIPOOR the best HUNT FOR WOLVERINE miniseries on the shelves.
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