DEATH of WOLVERINE #3 (of 4) Spoilers and Review
“Seppuku” (21 pages) bonus material (7 pages)
Story by: Charles Soule
Art by: Steve McNiven and Jay Leisten
Colors by: Justin Ponsor
Letters by: Chris Eliopoulos
Cover by: Steve McNiven, Jay Leisten and Justin Ponsor
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $4.99
The hits just keep on coming!!! Despite a two-week unplanned hiatus *groan* this book is back on the shelves!!
This was one of the fastest reads I’ve ever experienced regarding a comic book! I couldn’t believe I was done reading it when I came to the last page. Fast and furious doesn’t begin to describe it! Somehow, Charles Soule manages to expertly advance the action and incorporate the main elements of Logan’s history into the bare essentials.
Picking up exactly where things left off last issue, Kitty Pryde has her hand phased through Lady Deathstrike’s chest. Being the ruthless fighter that she is, Yuriko calls Kitty’s bluff in terms of killing her and attempts to take down Kitty with a back flip. Little does she know that this Kitty is well into her adult years and isn’t some meek, mousy mutant. Although she doesn’t deliver the killing blow, Kitty phases her hand through Yuriko’s hand causing enough damage that she easily commands the crazed killer to depart.
Kitty not only served as a deus ex machina with her abrupt appearance at the end of issue #2, she has another ace up her sleeve (or in this case, back pocket) — regeneration serum for Logan. Our main man is more than flabbergasted when he wonders about the acquiring of this remedy but Kitty is determined to save her mentor/good friend. As alluded to the title of the story, Kitty thinks Logan is suicidal. He corrects her by saying that in fact the situation is quite the opposite: he wants to live and live long along to stop the bounty on his head body. Kitty respectfully and rightfully reminds Logan that she’s no push-over and that she has a shared history with Ogun (once again, from way back in the Kitty Pryde & Wolverine mini-series, published in 1984-1985).
Fast forward to Koishikawa Korakuen Gardens in Tokyo. Logan and Kitty find themselves sitting on the edge of a pond trying to figure out the mastermind of the whole plot. Viper, Deathstrike, and Ogun were just morsels in a bigger food chain. Logan instinctively knows there’s a bigger mind at work tugging at all the strings. Logan has an existential epiphany — he knows that the cycle of violence is endless. There’ll always be someone else to get him, healing factor or not. He sees all of these bloody pursuits in slow-motion. It’s realistic that he embraces the inevitable and comes to grips with the fact that the best minds on the planet (Beast, Mr. Fantastic, Iron Man, even Kitty Pryde) cannot provide the magical solution to the on-going problem. Death comes for all, as the saying goes. This is the very heart of the matter!!! Page 7, panel 5: it seems that Logan would gladly commit suicide by impaling his head through his chin with his fist closed and even saying “SNIKT”. Kitty dismisses him immediately. Logan truly knows who he is down to every single fiber of his being. He welcomes old age since it’s a sure sign that he can’t erase past mistakes and has to advance like the rest of us mortals. By ageing, he will have to atone for all the horrible things he has done. I really like this take on things by Charles Soule — regeneration = redemption. Once Logan gets on in years, there’s no going back.
Maybe I’m too ‘relaxed’ in my reading and I don’t overanalyze enough, but boy was I shocked when I saw Kitty kiss Logan and profess her love to him =-0 Of course in the back of my mind I thought “there’s no frickin’ way that this has ever been touched upon!” In the end, I was right. Turns out Ogun took over Kitty’s body. What was the tell? When s/he mentioned Logan’s past dead loves who could never measure up to the young Kitty Pryde. Logan has always been a gentleman through and through despite his feral, savage nature. He never saw Kitty in that light and rightly so.
History repeats itself with Ogun having easily possessed Kitty’s body. Ogun is the one who offered the cure to Logan’s affliction. He has no altruistic motives. He’s an opportunist through and through. *sigh* As it has always been for a man of Logan’s station, there’s only one outcome to the situation: a fight to the death. NERDGASM!!! Logan suits up in samurai armor when knocked into some random home. Steel and sword pale in comparison to the fact that Kitty is fighting Ogun to regain control of her body. I like how Kitty emerges as the ultimate victor despite Logan’s valiant attempt at fending off one of his oldest enemies. The way Logan touched Kitty/Ogun’s face reminds me of the Vulcan mind-meld. Is that all that was needed to interrupt the incursion? A touch to the face?
Kitty ends up okay (of course). The mastermind is revealed!! MAJOR SPOILER!!! It’s none other than Abraham Cornelius, overseer of the Weapon X Program! (strong suggestion: read Barry Windsor Smith’s story “Weapon X” from Marvel Comics Presents #72-84, printed various times in trade paperback.) She urges Logan to pursue Ogun who obviously has taken over another body. Logan manages to follow him to some warehouse in an unidentified part of
Tokyo. When he peers inside, there’s another tie to his past — another experiment/escapee of the Weapon X Program: Cyber. He’s deader than dead despite having Adamantium enhancements. Ogun tells Logan that Cornelius has become an eclectic collector and that Logan is the ultimate achievement. Mr. Soule, showing his versatility as a writer with widespread knowledge, uses the term “seller’s market” meaning that Logan is the crème de la crème in terms of product a.k.a. he’s literally one-of-a-kind at an exorbitant rate.
The sinister scheme is elaborated upon. Cornelius wants to have Logan go to his secret facility in the Nevada desert in a place mockingly/sarcastically/appropriately(?) named Paradise Valley. Ogun offers Logan an ultimatum — if Logan leaves Japan to pursue Cornelius, Ogun will take on another body since he was weakened in his fight with Kitty and not hunt him. If Logan refuses, the man whose body is possessed will die in a vat of acid. Ogun brings out more vials of regeneration serum. Logan refuses them but makes one thing clear: he’s coming after Cornelius.
Final page: Dr. Cornelius is gritting his teeth and looking at some snapped wires reflected in his glasses.
WWOOEE!! What a handful (or should I say clawful?) to absorb! The pacing is quick but necessary given that this is only a four-part mini-series with a definite ending in place.
Steve McNiven’s pencils are a vast improvement despite the two-week delay. I find that he does faces best especially on the titular character. Kitty Pryde looks a lot better. She no longer has that Medusa-like hair. Logan looks the part of his name: somewhat bestial but still recognizable as a human. Ogun’s oni mask is terrifying and rightly so since he’s an ancient evil.
Jay Leisten continues to put a fine touch to McNiven’s sketches. I especially like the blurred effects, Logan’s full head of hair, Ogun’s mask, and both the samurai and Cyber armours.
Red is the main colour of this book although it isn’t as obvious aside from the backdrop pages and the title of the story. Justin Ponsor highlights this best with Yuriko’s garb, the leaves on the trees, the hood that Kitty sports, the red circle around Logan on pages 11-12 (exactly like the sun in Japan’s flag), the red border of panels 3-4 on page 14, and Ogun’s mask.
What a wild ride!! A solid 3-for-3. This book gets IX out of X (9/10) in honour of the Weapon X Program.
Tags: Death of Wolverine, Marvel, Marvel NOW! (All-New Marvel Now!), Wolverine, X-Men