Wolverine Annual #2: Roar
Wolverine Annual #2 is written by Duane Swierczynski and drawn by Mike Deodato Jr. It starts with Wolverine walking through the New Mexico desert looking for a drink. He ends up in the town Roamer, thanks to a kid in a diner and Google Earth, but finds the town deserted. After investigation he realizes that the entire town is in hiding from the Navajo Coyote, a werewolf with an ear splitting roar that breaks Logan's ear drums and throws him off balance. Even with his healing factor giving him his hearing back, he can't regain balance quickly enough to fight.
The art is dark and detailed, as we've come to expect from Deodato, who has been drawing Wolverine for a while now in Wolverine: Origins. The double sized comic is worth the 3.99 price point that has been pushing me away from a lot of Marvel one-shots lately, and is the kind of story that makes Wolverine awesome and not the annoying guy I thought he was when I was a kid. Other heroes spend a lot of time in their suits, even if they are just sitting around waiting for the next crisis. Wolverine is this dude who wears a wife beater and jeans with a ruck sack on his back and a cowboy hat pulled down low. He just wants to drink a few beers and be left alone but has no problem throwing down if he sees somebody being a jerk.
He's essentially an every man with claws and a healing factor, but when he puts on his suit, it's like Hawk in Over the Top and Wolverine has flipped a switch from Ol' Uncle Logan to the leader of X-Force and killer of thousands. Wolverine comics stand alone because no other super hero does the things he does, and I don't mean killing and having weird hair. He works on his own a lot, hearing a rumor of a group in need or mutants who have been attacked, and travels on his own, outside of the X-Men, outside of the Avengers, and does what has to be done, what other heroes are afraid to do.
These sad little one shots give Wolverine so much more character than even the Origins story line and help the character grow without you realizing it. You just feel bad for him because he's constantly left doing something no one else wants to because everyone just assumes he's so fucked up nothing even gets to him anymore. His healing factor leaves him with no scars but he feels every time he gets stabbed or shot and even though he's seen everyone he loves die, he still gets bummed when he has to kill another misunderstood monster.