With the mini-series of Wolverine’s death half-way through, things are bound to get intense. The first issue, while well-written, was mostly setup. It captured the hopeless feel very well but otherwise didn’t do too much on the story front. This issue changes that, introducing what could be a very large story that spans not only the rest of this mini-series, but beyond.
The last issue ended with Nuke informing Wolverine that Viper sent out a contract to take Wolverine alive. This issue kicks off with Wolverine, now partly disguised, heading to Madripoor to meet Viper. What follows is a fun sequence of events that feels straight out of a gangster movie at first, but soon enters Wolverine’s dark reality when both Sabertooth and Lady Deathstrike appear. After a couple brutal fight scenes, we learn that Viper isn’t truly the one with a contract out for Wolverine, and he’s not the only target. And of course the comic ends with the not so surprising appearance of one of Wolverine’s best friends in the X-Men universe.
As with Death of Wolverine 1, the writing in this issue is fantastic. Wolverine’s characterization is spot-on, and the same goes for the other characters involved. Wolverine’s combat skill and sense of honour are both on full display. I had to google the name mentioned as the one sending out contracts through Viper (which I won’t spoil), but it sounds pretty serious. The caption boxes describing Wolverine’s senses really help add depth to what’s going on, especially his pain senses in one particularly brutal moment.
The art by Steve McNiven is so good it might as well be called the best part of this issue. The opening pages showcasing the Madripoor cityscape are breathtaking with all the lights and detailed buildings. The internal panels of the bar are full of varied patrons and a nice building with private booths. Wolverine’s wearing more facial hair than usual as a disguise, yet he’s still recognizable. The green carpet in Viper’s layer is a nice touch without being overbearing or cartoonish. Sabertooth appears appropriately animalistic and when the combat begins, McNiven doesn’t shy on the blood.
As with the last issue, this one also features some behind the scenes pages including rough sketches and script pages, along with being a few pages longer than most Marvel comics. It’s not as extensive as the last issue (no interview with well-known Wolverine creators), but it does help raise this issue’s value along with the very nice cover.
Whether you’re a Wolverine fan or you’re simply excited for his death, Death of Wolverine is very much worth reading so far. It’s very well written, very well drawn and the story is really starting to pick up. With a number of major Wolverine characters already making their appearance, one has to wonder who else will show up in the next issue (Comicbookresourses has already released preview images for issue 3, featuring Kitty Pryde). I might not be a fan of Wolverine, and I might be looking forward to having a break from him, but this comic is more than good enough to enjoy.