See all reviews of Death of Wolverine (1)

Wolverine dies today and we get to find out how!

Is it worth reading? Hell, does it even matter considering he will come back to life eventually? (And coincidentally around the time Marvel needs a quick sales boost?)

Death of Wolverine #4 (Marvel Comics)

At face value, yes, yes it is good. The art by Steve McNiven is top notch as always, which is important because there isn’t a ton of dialogue to be read in this issue. The issue isn’t that complicated and could probably be skimmed through, but then again you’d miss the interesting dialogue from Dr. Cornelius AKA the dude who put the adamantium into Wolverine. What we do get is the final period on their relationship, but of course it costs Wolverine his life.

He has a point. Bring back the brown costume!

Writer Charles Soule delivers what is basically an unsurprising and tepid farewell to our hairy friend. Wolverine is once again told that he is an animal, and that his killing nature is a mistake. Why is it a mistake? It’s not very clear, as he starts to ramble about AK-47s and the desire for a scientist to make something perfect become immortal. Cheeky, considering Wolverine used to be immortal, but how does it tie into a “glutton for death” being the mistake? It doesn’t make much sense, especially considering once again trying to make killing machines like Wolverine anyway. That isn’t to say the sentiment is interesting, but it gets lost as far as why it matters to Wolverine.

The new Wolverine.

Unfortunately the issue reaches its climax in the most cliched way imaginable. Cornelius flees when Wolverine is a threat and hits a button to destroy all of his work. I mean… he couldn’t have attacked him or something? This makes his exit from the comic all the more melodramatic. And what about Wolverine’s death? Interesting in some sense, implausible in another, but heck it’s a comic so who can judge. Implausible because there’s no way he could have lived long enough to follow Cornelius. The meaning of his death falls on deaf ears for me. Is he some kind of symbolic proof Ozymandias was right? I suppose it’s fitting considering all of his memory issues and strife over the last two decades has been due to adamantium, but the emotional impact is lost.

As I said above, McNiven does a great job and a lesser artist would have ruined this comic. The man does great detailed work. He doesn’t have a lot to play with in this issue largely because it’s all taking place in tight quarters, but it flows nicely to say the least. The final shot of Wolverine, while not as emotionally impactful as I would have liked, still looks great.

Interesting comments even it it’s from a madman!

Is It Good?

There’s going to be plenty of talk after this issue hits about what it all means, symbolically and for the character, but for this critic I couldn’t find enough meaning on the page. That said, it’s still a good comic, but it misses the mark.

  • TonySnark

    When does he come back as four different Wolverines, all claiming to be the real one? My favorite one’ll be Cyborg Logan with the glowing red Terminator eye!

    • bruslee

      I don’t get the “four different Wolverines” reference ?
      Care to explain ? @_@

  • RR

    What I’m seein’ is that he gets to look at the sunset as he’d said he wanted to do in previous issues. The shots remembering all of his story were about making a comeback to that Cornelious comment about Wolverine just being a killing machine.

    • David Brooke

      That’s definitely accurate. Just wasn’t sure on the symbolic nature of the adamantium covering his body….hmmmm…I wonder…

  • Softballguy

    The death-by-adamantium symbolism is two-fold:

    1. Wolverine was defined in large part by the claws and the metal skeleton. The writer was reaching for some sort of profundity by having this defining characteristic also be the vehicle of his death.

    2. In being encased in adamantium, the statue of Wolverine will, in theory, last forever, giving Wolverine the immortality he assumed was lost when he lost his healing factor.

    It’s all delivered with a heavy hand, but I still enjoyed it. 7/10 sounds about right.

    • David Brooke

      I like those points, but aren’t they chopping him up into bits and using that as the driving force for the story continued?

  • Gulo Gulo

    Crom, it was a load of crap, The whole quartet simply designed to milk money from loyal fans.
    If I was going to write a story of Logan dying I would have made it some epic one year long story, With Logan and the Avengers and the X-Men fighting some alien menace to save the Earth/Galaxy. Maybe have him destroy some threat that takes him with it, blasting his body into a million scattered atoms across the spaceways.
    Instead fans get a weak story and a lame ending, obviously left open to bring Logan back from within his adamantium shell at some future date, this after Marvel claimed that Logan would be dead for good.
    Crap. Rip-off. Lame. Lazy.
    Marvel just lost another reader here.

    • David Brooke

      I think it is crappy, but it’s also the first chapter in a larger story. I suspect it’s too early to critique this just yet.

  • FatAssJinks

    Kind of lame that some bespectacled, bald-headed professor is the one who finally does Wolverine in and not Sabretooth or someone even remotely bad-ass/a good nemesis for the character.

    • David Brooke

      Hell it wasn’t even the professor (or Marie Anne) it was Wolverine’s own doing. Kind of a suicide.

      • FatAssJinks

        Yeah, but that’s who he goes down fighting?

        I think Joe Kelly handled the monster vs. creation storyline with Deadpool vs. Dr. Killebrew back in the first ongoing series for Deadpool.

  • Zartan The Destroyer

    It was allright, seems a little uninspired

  • littlewolvie

    [ WARNING! Might contain spoilers! ]

    I just read this story now, as I only get my comics like every two months (still a 100+ pile, mind you). After 25+ years of reading and collecting, I’m not as fanatical as I used to be and as such, don’t need to read every comic the day it comes out anymore. I mention this, as it probably plays a part in how I view this story or at least partially explains it.

    Let me just say that 7/10 seems like a waaaaaaaaaaaay too kind score to me. I know that in these digital days of social media, it’s kind of a trend to let negative critizism fly. But let’s be honest, this was just a very poor story. Is this how you kill off one of the biggest characters in comics history???

    I’ve to admit I was very sceptic about this book from the start. I already wasn’t too fond of how they handled the character the last year and the taking away the whole healing factor bit felt forced to me from the start. The problem is they have built Wolverine into this unkillable killing machine over the years (he’s worse than the Terminator). The guy simply could not be killed. I remember that comic where he’s burnt to the bone and still comes back. He’s went to hell, literally, and came back. I didn’t agree with this direction. It was simply too much. In Days Of Future Past he got killed by a sentinel that simply burnt off his flesh. Back then, Wolverine was still human and killable, and as such way more realistic (as far comic books go of course) and at least still felt human. But they moved away from that. But then all of a sudden he becomes mortal, just like that (the virus story didn’t convince me)? Nope, doesn’t feel natural to me at all.

    Now, when you buy a comic with the name The Death Of Wolverine you more or less know what to expect by the end. But still, it could have been handled differently. The tone was immediately set with the first issue as far as I’m concerned. There comes Nuke. Euh, hello, didn’t this guy just blow up in Captain America? To be honest, Nuke’s death was way more impressive than Logan’s, which already gives you a hint about how I feel. But I just read on the internet that he supposedly survived and was brainwashed by Hydra. You’re kidding me, right? Next comes Cyber, well actually is laying dead in an acid bath. Now, I know he supposedly resurfaced too, be it in a different form. But couldn’t they come up with anything better than “are they dead or not” characters? In issue 2 we get the to be expected fight with Sabretooth. Yawn… I’ll keep Wolverine #90 in memory. That was at least one to be remembered, unlike this one. And then there’s the fact that the main Wolverine badass villain from the last two years is now barely more than a little puppy (Viper’s b*tch if you want). My Maltezer looks more ferocious (and he’s not, trust me, he’ll lick you to death).

    Finally we get to the big bad guy, the evil mastermind, the guy who’ll kill Wolverine, the meanest, baddest there ever was… Doctor Cornelius. That’s it, another guy who has mysteriously returned from the dead? I’m sorry, but this is simply pathetic. I had long lost my appetite for the comic by that time. I know continuity (something which made me love the Marvel Universe in the first place, all those years ago. It’s what made it a universe in the first place!) means nothing in this new day and age, but they could at least try to be a little consistent.

    Oh yeah, and then Wolverine dies, probably in the most anti-climax way possible. I know, I know, there’s the adamantium factor and the sunset scene, but it all feels soooooooo empty and predictable.

    I know I sound negative. And I really tried to read this story with an open mind and give it a fair chance. But as I feared, it was a major disappointment to me (I guess it was worked out by the same masterminds that came up with One More Day?). I’m not all in favor of killing major characters, as it usually doesn’t last and you can only do it so many times before it looses it’s impact. But if you’re going to do it, do it in a major way without any limits. Do it the right way and give the characters the credit they deserve. Make them go out with a blast or come up with a really touching story that moves you as a reader, or both. I was moved when Captain Marvel died waaaaaaaaay back. I cried when they killed Jean for the first time. And Superman at least died after an epic storyline and battle. More recently, Dan Abnett showed how you can do it when he left Nova and Star-Lord behind in the Cancerverse. Admitted, they didn’t really die and Bendis already messed up that whole story. But Abnett showed how even today you can do it right. I’m sorry, but Wolverine, one of my all time favorite characters deserved way better than this. The only positive thing is that they will probably bring him back in 6 months, which will give this whole flop even less meaning.

    My personal score would be 2/10, 1 for Steve McNiven’s excellent art and 1 for the beautiful covers. But the story, I felt, was written by a fanboy who didn’t put any feeling in it and didn’t even bother checking some simple facts.

    • David Brooke

      Thanks for your comments! I think you make a lot of valid points. For me, I try to review the book for what it’s trying to do and how it did it. That means not thinking about how it could have been better, or how it could have played out differently, but just how it was as is and what it was doing. I think in that light it did alright, but not great. Also note this is a review of this single issue not the entire run.

      I do agree bringing back dead characters is pretty stupid when you’re writing a story about the death of a character. If a character can come back with no explanation, or just come back at all, in a story about a character dying you’re basically shooting yourself in the foot.