Topic Review: Death in Comics(Death of Wolverine)
By: Christopher Johnson
DISCLAIMER: All images do not belong to me but to “Marvel Comics”. Also beware of SPOILERS!!!
Death in comics is very controversial. Not because people will have to stop reading about whoever died but because death can easily be reversed in comics. Usually how long a death lasts depends on both the writer and how popular a character is. I am in the group of people who is okay with comic book death long as the story is good. From my point of view what makes a good death story is three things. The narrative(Story and dialogue), the legacy/aftermath and lastly does the death properly reflect the character. First off we will look at the “Death of Wolverine” with a review then I will see if I agree with how it handles the death of Wolverine.
First off, this book was written by Charles Soule and the art was drawn by Steve McNiven. Both did a fantastic job. The story was just four issues but it went right to the point. Instead of telling the story out front, I will simply tell the parts that I thought were positive and give a basic outline of the story. I will save how he died for the next segment. One thing I like was how realistic they were with him losing his healing factor. The two things that struck me was that just simply using his claws causes him pain and since he was present at Nagasaki he is a prime candidate for metal related leukemia. This show you just how vital Logan’s healing factor is to him. I also really like how clear they make it that death is destined for a Wolverine who can not heal. The progression of the story is just so refreshing to see, Soule does not slow anything down and each issue has its own main villain. This is good because having one villain master minding everything from the shadows is so much better then having him appear in each issue and just drag down the story. So, what is the story? Well, the guy who originally bonded Wolverine’s adamantium to his skeleton (Abraham Cornelius) placed a bounty on Logan’s head for him to be brought in alive. That way he could pass Wolverine’s healing factor along to new test subjects and create a “perfect” new Wolverine who would obey him as Logan does not. I will go more in detail later but as a normal story this book is excellent and I highly recommend it!
So, it works well as a story but how does it work as a death story? Well…it hits all the nails on the head and it portrays everything I would expect out of a death story. I already complimented most the story, but now I wanna add in my second point into the story…Legacy. I liked how each issue has a main villain from Logan’s past. Being Nuke, Viper(and Sabertooth), Ogun and of course Abraham Cornelius. I felt this and the use of the adamantium chamber really reflects Logan’s character and made a lot of sense for him to be in. also the locations that were present in each issue really reflected Wolverine’s history such as a bar, Madripoor, Japan and Canada/Adamantium chamber. Next up, does the death properly reflect the character? YES! Sure it wasn’t a big heavy action scene but it was not only him being a hero but it involved adamantium and him killing the man that made him who he is. At the end of the book Wolverine goes hog wild on the tanks and causes the adamantium to cover his body completely, killing him. This was a great sacrificial maneuver and would make it logical if he is brought back to life, but I doubt that will happen with the main universe about to collide with out universes.
In conclusion the story was excellent, the art was excellent, the death properly reflected the character. Soule did a great job and made this an excellent book to read while McNiven made this an excellent book to look at.