Death of Wolverine #1

Written by: Charles Soule

Art by: Steve McNiven

Publisher: Marvel

Well, Marvel’s really been hyping this one, eh?

The Death of Wolverine #1 comes from the creative team of Charles Soule and Steve McNiven, serving as a coda for Paul Cornell’s previously ongoing run in the solo Wolverine title. One of the best things to be said about this book is it’s accessibility in terms of it’s character and place in the canon in the current Marvel universe. Most everything that has been previously established that is pertinent to the story (i.e. that Wolverine has lost his mutant healing factor) is shared fairly natural through dialogue to bring new readers up to speed.

Soule is an author who is certainly making a name for himself, both in the quality and quantity of his books. It’s seems fitting that this book is released right around the advent of the news that he has signed an exclusive deal with Marvel comics. One of his most creative flourishes on the title is that Soule depicts the new bodily harm that inflicts Wolverine body by displaying it in stark, red, captions stating things like “Hand” , “Head”, and “Everything”. The introduction of Nuke (a creation of the Weapon X program) as the first assassin to try and kill Wolverine is a little jarring, but Soule uses the character well enough. One thing that was a little jarring was (what seemed like) blatant references the “The Wolverine” film, such as the inclusion of the villain Viper in the last page reveal, or the references to Nagasaki from Reed Richards, but this serve to make this a cumulative Wolverine, rather than one devoted to stringent, current, continuity.

McNiven’s pencils are always a gift, giving a real visceral feel to this story. The fight between Nuke and Wolverine is beautifully rendered in it’s gory glory, making you feel every hit the two dole out to each other. His pencil’s shine in almost every page, making one want to go back and read his previous work on the character in the Mark Millar story Old Man Logan. He’s simply the best one to be delivering this tale.

All in all, while the price tag may be a little steep ($5 for artificially padded special features?!), this is a wholly worthwhile entry into the canon of Wolverine and seems to set up the endgame for the emotional gut punch it’s being touted as. I just pray this isn’t Soule’s last chance to write Wolverine for it is too good of an opportunity for him to only get one outing.