Charles Soule and Steve McNiven bring readers the Death of Wolverine, an event kicked off by a very well crafted first issue that sets the events in motion that will lead to the death of one of the most iconic characters in comics.
Charles Soule has an immense task on his hands with the Death of Wolverine. Not only does he have to kill off one of the most popular characters in comics, he has to do it in a believable way that will convince readers that this super hero death actually matters. He appears to be attacking this Herculean task head on with the first issue of this event, delivering one of the strongest Wolverine comics I have read in a very long time. He does a great job in this issue of catching readers up on the events in Wolverine’s life if they haven’t been reading the Paul Cornell run but are curious about how this event is going to go down. He explains the situation regarding Logan’s healing factor in a very natural and organic way, never having any characters deliver dialogue that is too heavy handed or unnatural. That said, Soule also doesn’t linger in the past for too long, giving readers only what they need to know before diving into the event at hand: the death of Wolverine. Soule does a great job in this comic of letting readers infer some pieces of information without hitting them over the head with it and it makes for a very strong story when told this way, especially when you take into account the artist Soule is working with. There are points where the artwork by Steve McNiven can tell the story better than any narration can, and Soule works very well with McNiven in that regard. I’m not going to spoil any plot points of this issue, but I will say Soule is building the foundation for one heck of an exit for Logan, and readers looking for a gritty, tough as nails Wolverine who is still the most dangerous bastard in comics will find him in these pages.
Within the pages of this issue readers will also find some of the best artwork Steve McNiven has ever penciled. I say this as a reader who is well versed in the works of McNiven and I will say it again: he’s as good as he has ever been in Death of Wolverine #1. Fans of Old Man Logan will feel right at home with his take on Wolverine, and there is no artist in comics better suited to handle the visuals for this tale than McNiven. Even without a healing factor and obviously shaken by what has been happening in his life, there is nobody more dangerous than Wolverine in the Marvel Universe, and McNiven makes sure readers don’t forget that. The amount of detail he puts into this issue is amazing, with background elements of some phenomenal splash pages telling so much story without ever being specifically addressed. McNiven and Soule are truly telling this tale together, with the artists visuals adding so much depth to the narrative that drives this story forward. McNiven’s artwork is worth the price of admission regardless of the strong writing, but the two combine to deliver an exciting, gritty read that is filled with a sense of dread and doom from the first page to the last.
The title says it all, Wolverine isn’t getting out of this tussle alive, but Soule and McNiven make it very clear in Death of Wolverine #1 that the most prevalent mutant in comics is not just going to fade away. Logan is going out swinging, and this creative team has launched this issue on one hell of a high note. Soule and McNiven are bringing their best to this send off, and readers looking for a classic Wolverine story are going to be very happy with this comic. This is a brilliantly paced issue that will get lapsed readers caught up to speed while also satisfying long time Wolverine readers, and I can’t wait to get my hands on #2.
The Verdict: 9.0/10