With

Wolverine

at possibly the apex of his popularity this summer, and a plethora of comics starring the feral fighting machine selling big numbers, Comics Guy continues to be amazed that one of his most entertaining titles continues to struggle, sales-wise.

"Wolverine: First Class" has all the ingredients of a hit. It stars Wolverine - which is usually all that's needed for a book to sell - and is written by talented fan-favorite scribe Peter David.

However, as of this writing, "Wolverine: First Class" not only doesn't make the Top Ten list, it struggles to crack the Top One Hundred.

That's a shame, since this look at Wolverine's early days with the X-Men is fun and solid on every level. One of the main reasons for that is that David's unique skill at writing dialogue is on full display here. The last few issues also featured old-fashioned team-ups with Elektra, Daredevil and Thor.

The best reason to pick up the book, however, is the presence of a barely-13 Kitty Pryde and her relationship with Logan. As David writes her, she is Robin to Wolverine's Batman. He's the wise, veteran mentor and she helps balance his dark, brooding, violent, loner nature with her innocence, morality and optimism.

Seeing as how Kitty Pryde is "dead" in current Marvel continuity, it is especially nice to see these stories when their relationship was fresh and she molded him as much as he molded her.

In the end, Wolverine not getting his claws literally bloody, and David taking a lighter tone with him, may be what dooms the book - even more so than it being out of continuity and not tying into present-day stories. The three other Wolverine solo titles are bloody, complicated and dark enough to get a "Parental Advisory." "Wolverine: First Class" is graded an All-Ages "A," which means many readers likely look at it as kids' stuff.

So for those new to comics (or looking for something fresh) and searching for a smart, witty, fun, action-packed book with a strong teen heroine and starring Marvel's most popular character, this title is "First Class" entertainment.

'Wolverine' movie sequel

Variety has reported that Fox and Hugh Jackman's Seed Productions are in development on a sequel to the still-playing "X-Men Origins: Wolverine." The early plan is to have it focus on a samurai storyline - originated in the comics - which was teased after the film's final credits and which Jackman is reportedly fond of after reading the source material.

Of course, as "Origins" made clear, Jackman ages faster than Wolverine, something that will likely become more evident if more sequels take place in the future. His solution?

"Get better lighting," he joked to Wizard magazine. "It helped to be a producer [on "Origins"]. There's certainly no employing of 'Benjamin Button'-style makeup or anything like that, although if I get to 'Wolverine 7,' I think we're going to have to do something."

Why not 'Y', Shia?

Despite claiming that it's his favorite comic book, and the fact that he would team up again with D. J. Caruso (his director on "Eagle Eye" and "Disturbia"), Shia LaBeouf recently told Wizard that it is increasingly unlikely that he will play lead character Yorick Brown in the much anticipated film adaptation of "Y: The Last Man," which tells the story about the lone survivor of a plague that wipes out all males on the planet.

Why? He feels that Brown is too close to his "Transformers" character, Sam Witwicky.

"I don't know if it's that big of a differential," he said. "It seems like he's the ordinary guy in an extraordinary situation again. . . . I'm not willing to make that movie currently and may be too old to play the role by the time it does come around."

Deadpool lives?

Though Variety and the Hollywood Reporter both reported over a month ago that Fox has begun development on a Deadpool spinoff, to star Ryan Reynolds and be produced by Lauren Shuler Donner and Marvel, one question is being asked by many: How is Deadpool alive?

It's a valid question, seeing as he was decapitated in "Wolverine" and that's usually a sign that death - even in a comic-book movie - is permanent.

However, it was established in the film that Deadpool's healing power is greater than Wolverine's, and it has been established in the comics that his healing power is so great that he grows his head back. That would not only explain him being alive but also allow him to recover enough from his disfigurement for the producers to showcase Reynolds' handsome mug in the sequel and also have the character regain his ability to mouth off at a mile a minute. *