So Wolverine is dead, and as promised, I’m doing something special for this review. I’m including a bit of a soundtrack. Below are two YouTube links to play some music while you read the review, both by Queen. The proper review will be after the break.
This first song, The Show Must Go On, is for those of you who are saddened by Wolverine’s passing.
This second song is the total opposite; for those who are happy that Wolverine won’t be showing up for a while. Don’t Stop Me Now.
I’ll also be reviewing Logan Legacy 1 in the same post because it felt appropriate. They’re both written by Charles Soule. It’s essentially the same storyline between them, even if they each feature a completely different cast and location. Also, check this out for my personal favourite Wolverine moments and my thoughts on the character as a whole.
Death of Wolverine 4 kicks off where the third issue’s story left off, with Logan heading to Paradise Valley in Nevada. Dr. Abraham Cornelius has somehow come back to life and has resumed his sadistic experimentations on people, both human and super powered. It doesn’t take long for the two of them to come face to face in the lab, with several people tied onto tables with automated surgical equipment hanging above them.
Cornelius spends most of his dialogue explaining what’s going on, claiming that he’s doing good work and is only lacking Wolverine’s healing abilities. It explains much of what’s been happening in previous Death of Wolverine issues, while still building up on the story that is continued in today’s Logan Legacy 1 and will likely get much bigger in the future. Wolverine’s actual death is brutal, and even in the comic world it will take quite the imagination to bring him back. It also feels appropriate, not only the sacrifice he made, but that he died in a similar setting to where he was made into “The Wolverine”.
Steve McNivin’s art is once again fantastic. The opening spread of the desert is full of environmental detail, from the mountains in the background to the rocks and scattered foliage in the foreground. The lab itself looks just as disturbing as you’d hope, with people in tanks and tubes attached to them and storage tanks full of adamantium that actually looks like liquid metal. Wolverine’s grin when he reveals to the sadistic doctor that he no longer heals is priceless. When the equipment starts cutting into the lab victims, you can almost feel the anguish through their faces. The montage at the end shows six panels that somehow sum up the bulk of Wolverine’s life and some of his most memorable moments.
This mini-series as a whole was very well handled. It did a great job at exploring Wolverine’s newfound venerability, had some great fight scenes and told a compelling story that is likely just beginning. Whether you’re a fan of Logan or not, one has to admit he’s had a major effect on the Marvel Universe since his creation. He’s among Marvel’s most successful solo characters, has appeared on pretty much every major team in existence and Hugh Jackman’s portrayal of him in the movies helped bring Superhero movies back from the brink of extinction.
This comic should be read by anyone with strong feelings toward Wolverine, whether you like or hate him. If you like him, this series is a great tribute to the X-Men’s most popular character. It shows the most prominent sides of his personality, some of his greatest friends and enemies, and ends with his roots. If you hate him, then you get to see him die in a brutal way, and you watch him show a rare venerable side and get injured and scarred along the way. Everyone wins. And while he’s officially dead, there’s always re-reading his older material, or watching the movies, or checking out some of the aftermath issues.
The Logan Legacy 1 starts sometime after Wolverine’s death. X-23 is in some sort of high-tech bondage and is brought to some sort of force field cage where three others are already waiting. Daken and Sabertooth are fighting while the third cowards in the corner. Right away, the dialogue is solid. Laura points out how being captured usually ends poorly for her captors, and considering how pretty much all of them end up dead, that’s a great reference.
The tension between each character is readily apparent, with Sabertooth seeming to make enemies with everyone off the bat. It’s said that he started the fight with Daken, and seems to actively try to anger Laura and creep her out. Even Deathstrike shows more hate toward Sabertooth than she does the others, and X-23 killed her in Messiah Complex. The tension keeps the story and narration interesting, especially once more people are shoved into the cage – people you likely won’t expect.
The story itself is mostly a framing device, teasing the rest of this mini-series. X-23’s yellow and blue highlights are teased to have an explanation in her issue. Daken’s actions to protect his father’s legacy are teased. Mystique’s knowledge of what’s happening and Sabertooth’s potentially important intel are referenced. Even Lady Deathstrike’s honour sword is mentioned. What helps the story remain interesting is both the previously mentioned tension and all the twists and reveals spread throughout. If this is any indication, the Wolverines weekly ongoing has a lot of potential. The fact that it’s co-written by Charles Soule and Ray Fawkes (one of the Batman Eternal writers) is also a good sign.
The art by Oliver Nome is, well … by far the weakest aspect of the comic. It’s not bad, but it holds back the issue a bit. Daken’s face seems to keep changing shape, from a slightly cartoonish look in one panel to a more realistic shape in the next. There’s one particular character with an overly round head, and when Mystique is revealed, well … it might take a few views to understand exactly what happened. On the upside though, Sabertooth looks appropriately menacing, the force field has a neat blue appearance with lighting moving through it, and it’s interesting how people can easily see into the field but not out of it. The fight scene between Sabertooth and Daken is easy to follow, and facial expressions do a decent job at expressing characters’ emotions. Again the art isn’t bad, but it’s not good either.
Apart from the art, this is a great comic. The story is compelling and the conflicts are intense. The characterization feels right, at least for the characters I know. For the rest of the series, I’ll be picking up the X-23, Sabertooth and Mystique issues for sure. I probably won’t pick up Daken’s since I don’t care much for him, and I’m undecided about Lady Deathstrike’s issue. As for this, it’s worth checking out if you enjoyed the Death of Wolverine story or are a fan of any of the characters involved in The Logan Legacy.