Wolverine: Worst Day Ever
written by Barry Lyga
Don’t let the title mislead you: Wolverine isn’t actually the star of Wolverine: Worst Day Ever. Instead, he’s the focus of attention for the narrator, a lead character who blogs frequently about Logan and his exploits, his life, and what he considers to be his pretty lame superpower. The narrator is Eric Mattias and his mutant ability is akin to invisibility. But that would be too easy—and too cool. Eric’s actual power allows him to go unnoticed. That’s a power that most teenagers often feel they already have.
Lyga is a young-adult author with the right sensibilities for a young audience. He’s honed his craft in other prose books, and Wolverine: Worst Day Ever is close to being a prose work itself. It uses the blog format to advance its story, combined with archive images of Wolverine that have appeared in comics throughout the years. So while not technically a graphic novel per se, it has several of the elements (not least of which is one of the most popular characters to ever appear in comics).
Wolverine: Worst Day Ever is ideal for middle-school-age children, although younger ones would probably enjoy it as well. Violence is present, but it’s minimal (and it’s centered around Wolverine’s annual battle with his archnemesis, Sabretooth). Traditional YA themes of acceptance, fitting in, and learning to express yourself are dealt with, and in a very nice way. Lyga has a nice touch with Eric, and he gives him plenty of room to breathe in the novel.
Older readers will enjoy this new take on Wolverine as well. It’s innocent, in a way, but it still keeps Wolverine cool. He is one of the coolest comics characters around, after all. But in this case, he might not be the most interesting character in the book. Eric is fascinating.
Lyga often touches on dark themes in his works (like The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl), but this isn’t like that. It’s a lot of fun from start to finish, a nice, refreshing take on Wolverine and the whole school for gifted youngsters that Professor Xavier founded.