Comic Review – Death of Wolverine #4 (Finale)

Adam reads as many comics as he can afford. Every week he is going to attempt a mini review of his favourite one, with potential minor spoilers.

After what seems like one of the longest death scenes in history, fictional or otherwise, we have finally arrived a the finale of Death of Wolverine. Spoiler alert – Logan dies. That’s been teased for months, and given that there are a slew of comics coming up dealing with the aftermath of his death it seemed like there really was no way out for Wolvie. A fake out would have been a mistake, and while there is absolutely no chance that Wolverine will actually stay dead in the long term (this is superhero comic books we are talking about, and one of Marvel’s most popular and enduring characters), if the story is compelling then it is still worth telling.

Death of Wolverine follows on from various arcs that led to Logan losing his healing factor, making him question both his mortality after being rendered killable, and his place in the world as a hero. This four-part series involves Abraham Cornelius, one of the leads on the Weapon X program that was responsible for lacing Wolverine’s skeleton with the adamantium metal alloy. Seeking to leave a legacy, and seeing Wolverine as a failure of the program, Cornelius seeks out more adamantium to infuse and graft onto new subjects. He also needs Logan’s healing factor to succeed, and seeks him out not knowing that Wolverine no longer possesses the ability. This final issue is all about the confrontation. Logan arrives at Cornelius’s facility in Nevada, lays waste to all the guards, and finds a scene shockingly similar to his experiences in Weapon X. After Cornelius discovers that he is no longer of any use to him, and Logan defeats his super-powered muscle, he flees and starts the infusion of molten adamantium into his remaining subjects. We hear the ‘SNIKT’ of claws extending for the last time before Logan goes into action. By the end of the issue we arrive where we expected, with Wolverine dead. It is worth reading for yourself though, so I won’t go into detail on how.

Charles Soule crafts a strong, tight story around the demise of Wolverine. His dialogue is pitch perfect, and this issue is an exhilarating ride. I think my favourite element that they have brought in to this story is every time Logan sustains a new injury, the affected area is highlighted in a single small red text box. When he draws his claws for the last time, it simply says ‘HANDS’. Steve McNiven’s art is superbly detailed and dynamic, and the inks from Jay Leisten and colours from Justin Ponsor finish up the art to make a really strong overall direction. The double splash of Paradise Valley, Nevada is breathtaking and does a great job of setting up the start of the issue, the calm before the storm.

This was a great end to a strong mini series, and while it was a long time coming and may only be temporary, the story was worth telling and will hopefully set off a few more compelling arcs in the aftermath of Logan’s death. My only complaint is the price point of $4.99 for 24 pages of story, the same cover price for all 4 issues. That is fairly steep, and while it has a nice quality shiny cover and contains a free digital copy, there should be an element of choice in that, perhaps knocking a dollar off the price for a standard cover. Nevertheless, this is still a series very much worth reading. There were copies of all four issues available at my LCS so you can still get the whole story physically, or pick it up digitally (where I actually believe it is a bit cheaper!).

8 SNIKTs out of 10

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