Marvel’s The Death of Wolverine is its current big event of the year and though it isn’t exactly on the same scale as Original Sin or Inhumanity or the like, it is still a pretty big deal. But then, the deaths of superheroes, or their closest friends and family members in some cases, are always big events. They are big emotional milestones, both for the characters and for the readers alike, and they should definitely get the attention they deserve. Especially when the character dying off soon is Wolverine, Marvel’s biggest success of late, whether we talk movies or comics.
Charles Soule is the writer entrusted with killing off Wolverine for the modern audience and it is quite possibly his biggest gig in comics to date. While some of his other work has failed to resonate for me, with Death of Wolverine at least he has won me over. The first two issues have seen him fighting off a bunch of assassin mercs and then going off to Madripoor for a showdown with Viper and Lady Deathstrike, all without his healing factor. In the latest issue, we see him face off against yet another personal foe, someone he has a lot of history with, and Charles definitely brings his A-game here, as does artist Steve McNiven and his fellows.
Last issue, we saw Wolverine infiltrate Viper’s headquarters in Madripoor by presenting himself as a seller of a rare Iron Man Mk IX helmet. It was a standout issue, especially in its first half, and it also ended on a great note, by bringing Shadowcat aka Kitty Pryde into the mix. Viper managed to get out of the confrontation, but not before giving Logan some info, and by the end of the issue, we also saw Sabretooth fight off against him, and the hero turning the tide with the help of Lady Deathstrike, aka Yuriko, and then Kitty stepped on to the scene to help out Logan once Yuriko saw that she had an opportunity on her hands.
That’s the setup going into the new issue from this past week, and this time Charles tells a much more close-hitting story than he has done before since Lord Ogun has become involved in the event entire and is taking a close interest in Logan’s fate. This issue we also get to see just who exactly has ordered the hit on Wolverine, and for what reasons. It is kind of a convoluted story, but Charles paces it well so that it doesn’t become overbearing in any way.
There’s also lots more action this week, particularly in terms of Logan’s relationship with both Yuriko and Kitty, and that was an angle that I really enjoyed since it just went to show that Logan is someone who has forged connections with heroes and villains everywhere. We’ve seen that before as well, but this one really hits home in that respect.
More than all that, here Charles really seems to get Wolverine as a character, whether we talk about the character’s ruthlessness and callousness, or his love and respect for his friends. That’s the Wolverine that Charles presents in this issue. And it isn’t that Wolverine is in the crosshairs for all of this issue, we also get to see him and Kitty chill out and figure out their plan of action for dealing with Ogun and whoever else is behind him (we do learn the identity of said person and it is a big one).
Unless I’m mistaken, this mini event series is going to end in another issue and Charles has set up a big showdown so far, so I really can’t wait to see where he goes from here.
As before, Steve is on the pencils here with Jay Leisten on inks, Justin Ponsor on colours and Chris Eliopoulos on the letters. The visual action in this issue is as intense as it was in the last one. The fight between Yuriko and Kitty gets really messy for one, and the big fight in the second half is also impressive, involving as it does samurai body armour and samurai swords. Steve & Co. are on fire in this issue, and there are lots of little touches here and there that you can miss at first, but then you go back and the connections are all there. The art in this issue is one of the biggest reasons why I liked it.
Just one more to go!