Tuesday, November 18, 2014

REVIEW: Death of Wolverine

Writer: Charles Soule
Penciller: Steve McNiven
Inker: Jay Leisten
Colorist: Justin Ponsor
Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos
Review by: Alexander J. Diaz

Wolverine, Weapon X. Logan, or any of the other names he has been called over the years, is one of Marvel’s top characters. Almost everybody loves him, or at least loves the action in his books. It's weird that such an amoral character has become such a guiding force in Marvel Comics, but he has and many thought he would always be there.

That fact has brought about this comic. The Big Two know that the only thing that sells more comics than a war or a crisis is killing a character, and killing a character that cannot die makes a good story. That is what put Marvel on the path to this comic, and (not-such-a-spoiler alert!) Wolverine does die. The problem is that if you’re taking the time to read this review then you know that comic characters come back to life all the time, so it loses its edge after a while.

We all know that Wolverine is coming back, especially since he has a new movie coming out in a few years. That means that the character will probably be brought back right before the movie premiers. The thing I take from this is that Wolverine will be out of the Marvel universe for a few years. That’s a long period of time to kill a top name character, so it is interesting move. I definitely went into this comic wondering how they would pull it off in a way that respected the character, and left you with the feeling of how are they going to get him out of this death. Oddly enough I think they did pull it off.

I loved the detail in the story, and the fact that they stayed true to the character. Logan went to his end alone, and that is how it should be. Wolverine is the loner of any team he is a part of, so making him face death alone was very necessary and believable. The other thing I liked was they didn’t show the antagonist’s eyes until Wolverine had the edge and that was only to show the fear he put in them. Before that moment it made the villain seem soulless, and I like little nuances that a reader only notices if he is looking for them, but play on your emotions even if you don’t notice. My biggest problem here is explaining how well they killed off Wolverine without ruining the book for the reader, so I won’t explain it. I’ll just say it was symbolically great, respectful of the character, and left the reader feeling, “how the hell are they going to bring him back from that?”

The coloring in this book was also great. The artist set the book right before sunset making the beginning very colorful and bright, not the dark tone you expect from a book that is going to be killing a character, but that's the point. This book isn’t about mourning Logan’s death, but celebrating the great life of the character. Even when Logan enters the baddies lair the colors don’t get dark, just cooler. It lets the reader know that Logan is ready to face his end if he must, and he does. The end of the book brings the colors back to their original palette of reds and oranges as the reader sees the sunset. It is great symbolism. We know it is Logan’s end, but we also know, thanks to the sun analogy that the artist throws your way, that the sun will rise again because it always does.

The lettering was great, but the awesome thing about this book was that it had more panels without the need for lettering than most. Logan is a character that lets his actions do the talking, and so it was for most of the panels for the book. It was more about the visuals, and as a comic reader, the pictures are what I am here to see. If the panels can do their jobs without words then I applaud the artists and writers of that book.

In the end, this book was great and actually very fitting for the character. I’m actually going to be sad when they bring him back because I don’t think they will ever be able to top this death for him. I like what the writer and artists did with this book and wish that all titles for the Big Two took this kind of care and detail into each story. I know this review is short, but without being able to go into detail for risk of ruining the story for those yet to read it I think it covers every aspect it can about this great story, so read this book if you can.

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