I didn’t know that I needed to see Laura “Wolverine” Kinney team up with Squirrel Girl. Or, to take on one of Marvel’s more noteworthy giant monsters. That’s what makes the first half of this latest volume a ton of fun. To start things off, it turns out that Wolverine’s plan to ditch her pursuers at one point in the last volume by attaching the tracker they were following to a squirrel was not without repercussions. She finds this out when Squirrel Girl shows up at her apartment to let her know that the squirrel had a family who would love to see him back. Yes, it’s a silly premise and all the more effective in how writer Tom Taylor has Laura play it completely straight. As well as how it eventually ties into officially making Laura’s young clone ward Gabby a part of the cast. This is followed up by an even more ridiculous and action-packed story that has Wolverine being recruited by S.H.I.E.L.D. to find out what the substance in a mysterious box is and how it’s connected to the disappearance of Old Man Logan. A helicarrier, a giant monster, Iron Man, Captain Marvel, digestive juices, pheromones, and jetpacks all play significant roles in this story. Maybe this isn’t what you’re expecting from a “Wolverine” story, but that’s a good thing in this case.
The second half of this volume, the “Civil War II” tie-in arc, is a bit more typical in that regard. Ulysses — the precognitive Inhuman whose abilities are at the heart of the crossover — gets a vision which implies that Old Man Logan is going to kill Gabby. So S.H.I.E.L.D. sends Captain America and a bunch of agents over to make sure that doesn’t happen. While the story falls into the trap of the self-fulfilling prophecy, Taylor does some decent work with the fallout to move the narrative away from that cliche. It’s also just a little bit tragic as it was fun seeing Old Man Logan interact with Laura and Gabby in the first half of this arc, and we’re likely not going to get any more scenes like that given how this story ends. Ig Guara’s art for this arc is decent enough, though it feels overly busy and detailed in ways that don’t add much to the story. Comparatively, Marcio Takara’s art on the first half of the volume is clean and straightforward, though I still miss David Lopez’s confident work from the first volume. Overall, it’s very entertaining work which has me looking forward to Taylor’s take on “Enemy of the State” in the next volume.