Death Of Wolverine Review By Deffinition
Wolverine is a staple of Marvel comics. Since his introduction in the 70’s, the character has gone from strength to strength. Whether he’s headlining the X-Men, kicking ass in Video Games or selling out movie theatres, it can’t be denied that Logan has a huge following.
Now for better or worse, Marvel have decided to kill off one of their flagship characters. This ‘Death Of…’ motif has been a staple of the industry ever since Superman met his demise in the 90s and it always seems (at least to me) like a cash grab. That’s why I’m skeptical as to whether Wolverine will receive the full treatment that he deserves. A lot of this seems like a publicity stunt to me and with the right’s war that is going on between Marvel and Fox at the time of its release, I hope that this isn’t just corporate espionage in order to ruin some finances. The character is one of my favorites and I’m desperate that this book can provide an send off for comic’s deadliest character.
It has so much potential but also so much room to disappoint….and that has me slightly worried.
Throughout this review, I will be discussing the graphic novel as a whole and be letting you know whether this is a fitting swan song or one that deserves to be dead and buried. There will be full spoilers here so it may be best giving this review a miss until you check out the book if you want to go in with fresh eyes.
With that out the way let’s dive into Death Of Wolverine!
Opening on an ominous title screen that simply says ‘The End,’ it seems like Logan’s days are numbered from the off. We are quickly informed that his healing factor is now defunct and that the suffering his body has endured over the years is slowly killing him. Walking around with that much metal in your body isn’t good and this is the most vulnerable that I’ve ever seen the character in any medium.
Word of his disadvantage travels fast and when Viper puts a bounty on his head, several of the Canadian’s foes race to take him down. The opening chapter is a brilliant, low-key Battle between Wolverine and Nuke out in the wilderness and this midwestern setting really engaged me in the conflict that played out on screen. Logan is at his best when his animalistic side comes to the forefront and this rural setting was inspired. Of course, it isn’t long before he has to race to the city to stop his enemy before she stops him and this opener is brilliantly paced and executed.
Deathstrike in Madripoor
Upon entering the city, Logan is greeted by a whole host of characters from the X-men universe. It’s breathtaking to watch him fight his way through the ringer against the likes of Sabertooth, Lady Deathstrike and more.
I loved how frantic the work felt and this feral ferocity translates beautifully from the page. Logan really feels like he is at his wit’s end and fans will gravitate towards him even more.
Contrasting this is the beauty that we witness when Wolverine travels to Japan. Awash with blossom gardens, the work truly feels astounding, serene and wondrous. I’ve always been a huge fan of Japanese iconography and I adored watching the landscapes that we find ourselves in come alive through their vibrant use of colour and contrast.
This book is a beauty to behold and McNiven manages to perfectly capture the ambiance of every setting that he places the characters in.
‘Tell him I’m coming’
What I love about the storyline is that it keeps you guessing throughout. Packed with twists and turns the story throws a curveball at you every couple of pages that will keep you on your feet. Whether it’s the reveal of a new villain or the betrayal of an ally, the book is packed with neck jerking moments all in service of providing intrigue to go along with the breathtaking action that plays out.
It’s expertly balanced and as I went into the last chapter I was gripped as to how the showdown between Logan’s final foe would play out.
‘What did you ever do?’
The finale doesn’t disappoint and it’s a poetic conclusion that beautifully ties in with Wolverines origin. Bringing his legendary life full circle in more ways than one it’s a finale that captures the imagination. Ending on a haunting final image I was overwhelmed by just how much the book had managed to reinvigorate the Ronin before sending him off on his final farewell.
Of course, we know that comic book deaths are only temporary even at the best of times but as far as fitting finales, this one is a brilliant send off to one of comic’s best.
Death Of Wolverine doesn’t disappoint. It’s fast, fun and fierce from start to finish and the graphic novel does a lot across its four-issue run. There is something for everyone here and Marvel maniacs will love the goodbye that we are given. It may not have the spectacular set pieces that one would expect but it’s subtly and nuances still pack a punch that you definitely won’t heal from any time soon.