This Wednesday saw the release of one of the biggest event books from Marvel Comics, and possibly one of the most buzzed about story arcs this whole year. For those of you who haven’t been following the chatter on your favorite comic news site (hopefully it’s What’cha Reading) or visiting your local comic store (Forest Hills’ Royal Collectibles perhaps?) today marks the start of the four-part series, “Death of Wolverine.” I was able to read it early this morning and after letting the whole story sink in, like Wolverine sinking his adamantium claws into some putz standing in his way, I will now share my thoughts on this essential read.
Most comic books fans, and lately casual readers, have become no strangers to the fact that publishers love to kill off their bread and butter. Sometimes because it is naturally born out of the story (Death of Elektra for example), and other times possibly to stir up a little controversy (Death of Archie). When “Death of Wolverine” was first solicited, the general consensus was that it was just another ploy on Marvel’s behalf to generate interest in a character most notably associated with Hugh Jackman. After following writer Paul Cornell’s run on “Wolverine” and reading the countdown to the Death Of mini series entitled “Three Months To Live”, “Two Months To Live”, and “One Month To Live”, we have now reached the moment everyone has waited for – the “Death of Wolverine.” Written by Charles Soule, penciled by Steve McNiven, inked by Jay Leisten, and colored by Justin Ponsor. With a creative team such as those four gentlemen, James Howlett a.k.a Logan a.k.a The Wolverine has never been in better hands!
Charles Soule, a native of Brooklyn, and a practicing attorney to boot, has been consistently one of the best writers to grace mainstream publisher titles such as “Superman/Wonder Woman”, “Swamp Thing”, and “She-Hulk”. He has constantly delivered terrific narratives that take us all a little further down the superhero rabbit hole. “Death of Wolverine” is a standout for those looking for a promising ‘Ol Canucklehead story or those looking for a well-written tale concerning the end game for a beloved character. After a steady build up of Wolverine in the various stages of denial during “3,2,1 Months To Live” story line by Paul Cornell; Charles Soule has now set the stage for a “I’m coming for blood; no law, no code of conduct” story that finds Wolverine resolved to accept his fate while waiting in Canada for the sharks to come. And let me tell you, the blood is in the water!
Along the way for this double sized issue, we are treated to a few guest appearances by Reed Richards (trying to find a “miracle”) and villain, Nuke, looking to make good on the Logan bounty that he puts it as “one big score and I’m knee-deep in candy and kitty ‘til my dying day.” It’s a hell of a read and the artwork services the story just as well. Admittedly, I am not too familiar with Steve McNiven’s work, other than a terrific variant cover he did for the final issue of “Kick-Ass”. His line work is reminiscent of the unmistakable quality of Leinil Yu and gets down to the gritty, no holds barred feel a Wolverine book of this scope should have. The beach confrontation between Wolverine and Nuke is violent and blunt and may soon be considered one of the greatest moments in Weapon X’s well storied career.
Truthfully, I don’t remember gushing over a Wolverine title like this in a long time. I feel like an anxious Hugh Jackman fan eagerly anticipating a shirtless scene in an X-Men movie. And issue two of “Death of Wolverine” could not come fast enough. Or another shirtless scene in another X-Men movie by Hugh Jackman. You know you agree!
A Five out of Five debut for this mega event!
Death of Wolverine #1
(W) Charles Soule
(A) Steve McNiven, Steve McNiven
Format: FC, 56pg.
On Sale: September 03, 2014
Product ID: JUN140590