Wolverine: The End #3 Review

Reviewer: Iain Burnside
Story Title: N/A

Written by: Paul Jenkins
Penciled by: Claudio Castellini
Inked by: Claudio Castellini
Colored by: Paul Mounts
Lettered by: Dave Sharpe
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Publisher: Dan Buckley

Ah, good ol’ Wolverine. He has done many a crap comic in his time, hasn’t he? Unanimously heralded as the greatest Wolverine story ever, Paul Jenkins’ Origin was also the most vital in understanding the character. By placing things in a brand new context and being totally free from influences by Weapon X, Charles Xavier, Jean Grey, Sabretooth or any of the other usual suspects, we saw Logan in an entirely new light. For many readers, including yours truly, it was the first time they could really get their teeth into the character and feel anything for him. Up until that point it had mainly been the rubes that had cared greatly for him, favouring endless Berserker Attacks and Fastball Specials over any reasonable explanations for being such a complete prick. While that kind of mentality may have washed in the past (and gave us a mighty fine gag in Mallrats), the “ultimisation” of modern super-heroes left us craving something more substantial. So such seminal work as Origin, coupled with Greg Rucka’s Wolverine run, Grant Morrison’s New X-Men, and Hugh Jackman’s magnificent work on the X-Men movies, introduced people to a more tolerable Logan. Spurred on by the warm reception from the critics and the fans, Marvel announced a couple more snickety series for Jenkins. Origin 2 is on the horizon, but for now we concern ourselves with the other end of the timeline as Logan undergoes the same treatment as Hulk, Punisher and Thanos by getting his very own The End mini-series. The last Wolverine story ever, written by Paul Jenkins? Expectations were ever so slightly raised going into this one.

Then the first two issues came out and everyone went… huh.

Then the third issue didn’t come out.

And then it still didn’t come out…

And then it did.

And everyone went… huh… once more.

You see, it would be very easy to pretend to love or hate this series. I could quite easily cite the brilliance of Jenkins other titles and use that as evidence of how this will all come together in the end, how it will read brilliantly as a trade, how the artwork is top-notch and how at least it isn’t as horrid as Marvel: The End was. On the flipside, I could quite easily launch into a tirade against Jenkins for half-assing his way through this and how nothing so far makes one bloody iota of sense and how this is meant to tie into anything that we have seen in the timeline so far. And that would make for a livelier review than this one, I’m sure. Thing is however, I really just do not give a crap about this book. I cannot even bring myself to lean slightly to one side and go thumbs-up or thumbs-down. It just isn’t worthy of my thumbs. Besides, I have a brand spanking new computer chair and a shiny new keyboard to go along with my ace new CDs – Nelly Furtado’s Folklore and No Doubt’s The Singles (Nice choice of tunes – Dave). Whoops. You see that? I’m so uninterested that I’ve turned this review into a shopping trip summary. Must the vodka talking. Mmm…. Vodka….

Yes kids, do not write reviews whilst drinking. It only works if you are writing fiction. If you don’t believe me then ask Mark Millar or Grant Morrison or any other Scottish writer alive or dead. Yes, you can still ask them when they are dead. It’s just a smidge trickier, that’s all.

Ahem.

Anyway, the issue sees Wolverine still lying in the snow-covered mountains where he was knocked unconscious last issue by the mysterious Old Man, who has the ability to turn into a ghost-like being and has a secret connection to Wolverine. If you can’t remember any of this happening, don’t worry, neither could I. There is a handy summary page that helps join the dots between this issue and #2, which I believe came out at some point during Ronald Reagen’s election campaign. The one thing I could remember was some old geezer that hung out with Logan in his fishing village in Canada, who was last seen flicking through some old magazine’s in Logan’s cabin, looking for a hidden message. Quite what that was all about I don’t know. I would go and re-read the first two issues to see if there is any reason for it but hey, guess what, I don’t give a shit. Re-reading something like JLA/Avengers to refresh yourself before diving into the latest delayed issue is one thing. Doing the same before getting back into something as utterly non-interesting as this is quite another. Unless Daron wanted to start paying me, that is? Huh? Daron, mate? Hello?

Ah, bugger it. So, after being rescued from his snowy grave by some mysterious military-looking types he wakes up rather peeved and in a strange building that is a crossover between a scientific research centre and the Old Man’s homely abode. Quite the mixture and one worthy of some shitty daytime TV home makeover show, I feel. So Logan talks to the Old Man and they wind up fighting because, hey, this is Wolverine after all. Put him on the Jerry Springer show and he’d be right at home. He could wind up with Dr. Evil… Sorry, my mind keeps wandering because this is so damn boring. Then, eventually, we get to the last page SHOCKING REVELATION OF DOOM that is really not worth the wait. I can just imagine Jenkins trying to think what to put in the notoriously difficult third-issue-of-six slot and thinking this one tidbit of information would suffice. Sorry Paul, but this time even I can’t back you up. This issue and the series it represents are going downhill fast. I can only hope that Origin 2 will see you find Logan’s voice once again and win back all of the interest I have once again lost in the character due to this series.