Wednesday, October 1, 2014

I Reads You Review: DEATH OF WOLVERINE #1


WRITER:  Charles Soule
PENCILS:  Steve McNiven
INKS:  Jay Leisten
COLORS:  Justin Ponsor
LETTERS: Chris Eliopoulos
COVER:  Steve McNiven and Jay Leisten with Justin Ponsor
56pp, Color, $4.99 U.S. (November 2014)

Rated T+

Part One: “The End”

Marvel Comics is killing Wolverine.  How long will he remain dead?  I guess that is not really the point.  I'm just supposed to enjoy the event miniseries in which Wolverine dies.  Entitled Death of Wolverine, it is written by Charles Soule, pencilled by Steve McNiven, inked by Jay Leisten, colored by Justin Ponsor, and lettered by Chris Eliopoulos.

Death of Wolverine #1 (“The End”) opens in the backwoods of British Columbia; the time is now.  Logan/Wolverine is dying because he has lost his healing factor.  Now, he cannot heal supernaturally fast after being injured in his frequent battles, fights, duels, etc., so it has taken a toll on his body.  Mr. Fantastic (Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four, of course) has told Logan that he can find a way to reactivate his healing factor, but it will take time.

Logan does not have that time.  People are coming after Wolverine to kill him.  In fact, here come some guys now.

I wanted to be cynical.  Killing Wolverine?  Ha!  He'll be back real soon.  Still, one look at that card stock cover for Death of Wolverine #1, with its snazzy graphic design and beautiful (of course) Steve McNiven art, and I was sold on this miniseries.  The story, by the impressive Charles Soule, is downbeat and downright depressing.  The wonderfully detailed line work and texture by McNiven, the precise and artful inking by Leisten, and the glorious hues of colorist Justice Ponsor make the story even more heartbreaking.  There is a real sense of finality to this tale... thus far.

Hey, the extras are cool!  I love the generous helping of McNiven sketchbook material.  Len Wein uses his interview to give props to the late Dave Cockrum.  Gotta love that.  Yeah... I didn't think that I would end up looking forward to the Death of Wolverine miniseries, but I am, even as I (surprisingly) dread the death of Wolverine.


Death of Wolverine includes bonus material:
  • sketches and other preliminary art for the series by Steve McNiven
  • commentary by McNiven
  • an interview with Wolverine co-creator Len Wein that includes art from The Incredible Hulk #181 (Wolverine's first full appearance)
  • Death of Wolverine #1 – Director's Cut, which includes pages from the script for issue #1 with pencil, ink, and color versions of art from the first issue
Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux

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