Images like the one above are why Barry Windsor-Smith will always be a god to me. Seriously, his interpretation of characters gives them a look that is something more than just “realistic” or “contemporary.” There’s a flourish to his lines but his subjects are always grounded. There’s a sense of raw humanity infused with powerful emotions. His work simply resonates. I don’t know how else to put it. So, if you already know about Barry Windsor-Smith, then you might be aware of his ground-breaking run on Weapon X, which purported to the tell the origins of Wolverine before he came to the X-Men. I definitely recommend it if you haven’t read it before. All of the images from today’s post are images from that run and can be seen larger if you click on them.
Savage ferocity doesn’t begin to explain the violence exploding on the pages of Weapon X! Both beautiful and horrific, this story gave Logan an amazing spotlight in a story that still affects the character today.
Regular readers of this blog know how giddy I get about seeing linework from behind the scenes of comics and this piece is no different. Compare it to the final cover below and see if the mastery of linework blows your mind, too! I almost prefer the pencils to the finished piece!
I said almost. This double cover conveys Wolverine at his best and worst. Bloodied and abused, he appears to be going within himself for a moment of silence, perhaps clarity. Claws halfway drawn, it seems the moment of violence is over. Or has it just begun and this is the calm before the storm? Either way, this is a great moment depicting the conflicted qualities that make Wolverine such a popular character. He could use a little of that these days (Though Goddess knows, Jason Aaron is doing his best!).