The Death of Wolverine. It’s not something I’d thought I’d say out loud, let alone read as the title of a 4-part story arc in the Marvel Universe. I mean, how do you kill someone who has an adamantium skeleton, and the ability to heal himself? The answer is quite simple really. Take away his healing factor.
Of course, this isn’t the first time that Marvel has done something like this. The Death of Spider-Man was a rather tragic story arc for the end of Peter Parker in the Ultimate universe, and just like that we all know it’s coming for Wolverine too. The first page simply saying ‘THE END” in big bold white letters on a black background is a great way to remind us of this.
This first issue does exactly what it should do. It sets the scene. Even if you haven’t read the previous Wolverine stories beforehand it gives you all you need to know straight away. The fact that Wolverine seems to have accepted that he is no longer invincible so readily is just one of the reasons he seems more of a hero than ever. That and the fact that he is willing to take on anyone who comes after him, despite knowing that it would most likely – and seemingly will – end in his death.
After the bad news delivered to him by Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four, Logan decides to live in solitude with a bounty on his head. But we know that’s just not how is last days are going to go down. Initially there’s only one villain after the bounty, but there’s promise of plenty more to come.
Charles Soule writes Logan as an almost broken man with whom we grow to sympathise, yet we still hold such high respect for in the way he wants to go out. For anyone who’s seen the most recent Wolverine film, there may be a couple of elements here that seem familiar. The obvious being that Logan has lost his powers, but the other is something that will probably click when you read the final page.
The constant reminders of the pain that Wolverine goes through on each page are never repetitive, they’re a nice little touch to keep you emotionally engaged. You see pain through his hands whenever his claws burst violently through the flesh, in his head when he’s repeatedly smashing it against his opponent, and through his body when he’s receiving a beating himself.
It sure doesn’t seem that it’s going to be easy for Logan in coming issues if this is anything to go by, and the detailed penciling, inking, and coloring combine well to show-off the gritty, bloody and sombre look of things to come. Seeing the retracting blades, the wounds that won’t heal, and the bandages wrapped around his hands; it’s not something you’re likely to forget anytime soon. It might seem like a money-making ploy for Marvel with the title itself, but this first issue is proof that it’s more than just that.
If you’re seriously thinking about picking this up for a read, stop thinking and start doing. You’ll find it for $4.99/£2.99 on the free app Comixology.