Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Death of Wolverine #3 Review (Charles Soule, Steve McNiven)

Charles Soule and Steve McNiven riff on the classic Marvel book, Chris Claremont and Al Milgrom’s Kitty Pryde and Wolverine, in Death of Wolverine #3. Kitty and Logan team-up as the trail to the mysterious person who wants Logan dead takes them to Japan and the villain Ogun. 

There’s a lot of references to the Claremont/Milgrom book: Kitty, Shadowcat, Japan, the black jacket/red hood outfit that I’m sure was what Kitty wore at some point in that story, Kitty forced against her will to fight Logan, but most memorably the terrifying red oni mask makes a reappearance. 

I really liked the issue for those references alone as that particular story was the first Marvel comic I ever read when I was a wee boy. But looking at this 21 page(!) comic a bit more critically? It’s so very, very ordinary. 

Wolverine fights a bad guy, there’s menacing dialogue between him and a baddie, he discovers a bit more about what’s going on behind all of this, and that’s about it. That’s not to say this is a bad comic but for such a heavily promoted event story you’d expect something a bit more epic than what is a very generic Wolverine plotline. 

Steve McNiven’s artwork is about the only thing that lends this comic any oomph. Ever since Old Man Logan I’ve enjoyed his work on the character and he doesn’t disappoint in this issue. Like the really good double-splash page where the panels are arranged around a rising sun with Logan in the middle, wearing samurai armour, which was very cool. 

Len Wein, Wolverine’s co-creator, stated the obvious recently, saying that Death of Wolverine was a cash grab by Marvel, and who could argue with that? At $4.99, you’re only getting 21 pages of comic, hardly value for money! There’s the pointless glossy cover (wonderfully drawn by McNiven though) and the even more pointless “Director’s Cut” pages that show McNiven’s sketches and pulls from Soule’s script, but, once again, my refrain about the price point is that its way marked up for what the reader’s getting. 

Death of Wolverine #3 is, like the previous two issues, very decent but, also like the previous two issues, nothing much about this storyline stands out as particularly momentous or exciting. It’s an ok Wolverine issue where the only shock is that in the next issue Wolverine dies even though it doesn’t feel like the past three issues have been building up to that. Alright… so, with zero anticipation, we push on to Wolverine’s final comic (until he’s brought back sometime next year)!

Death of Wolverine #3

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