After spending a lot of time on a 5000-word Wonder Woman article that didn’t pan out, I thought I should post something short and snappy!
So… Wolverine (surely Marvel’s most popular character) had gotten to a point where he was appearing in every issue of every book Marvel published.
Marvel, possibly correctly, felt he was a little overexposed and decided to kill him off to give us a break. Crazily though, they seem to have kept him dead.
The actual story, a four-part series, is written by Charles Soule and drawn by Steve McNiven. I’m not really too aware of Soule’s work, but he did work on a rather lengthy Spider-Man run. McNiven is one of Marvel’s big guns, wheeled out for high profile stories like this. He’s good, but almost too good, if you catch my drift. The strip looks good, but it’s almost over produced – being too polished means it loses a little something – Wolverine is one character who benefits from looking a bit grittier. In the bonus material we see McNiven’s original pencils, which have a lot more character.
Now, the story itself. Thankfully this ignores most of the (then) current, messy Marvel continuity we are told the only thing we need to know; Wolverine has lost his healing factor and now his enemies are coming for him. What follows is ‘Wolverine: The Greatest Hits’.
Wolverine’s rogues gallery? Yup. Most relevant locations from his past? Indeedy.
As Wolverine moves, based on conviently revealed info dropped by monolouging villains from Canada to Madripor, Japan and the Weapon-X facility, it starts to feel like an old band’s farewell tour of their favourite venues. This feeling continues with the supporting acts, as we tick off Sabertooth, Ogun, Viper, and Lady Death Strike, as well as friends like Kitty Pride. To mix metaphors the comic feels a bit like a computer game, with Wolverine fighting a villain before moving onto the next stage.
All-in-all though, despite its generic plot, it is a pretty good read and it does looks quite good. In the end, Wolverine sacrifices himself for a group of strangers, not the world or universe, which makes a nice change. I imagine giving a hero a worthy farewell is almost as hard as creating them in the first place and this may not be Wolverine’s finest moment, it ain’t half bad.