It’s one-two punch of Marvel as Wolverine meets his maker, and Original Sin wraps up!
The Death of Wolverine #1 (of 4) (Marvel Comics)
Marvel’s definitely pulling out all the stops for The Death of Wolverine; The first issue of the weekly event features an impressive chrome cover, Steve McNiven as the artist, and a ton of “bonus features”. Unfortunately those bonus features make up more than the actual story within the issue, and don’t really justify the $4.99 cover price.
What is there for a story is actually pretty decent. She-Hulk, Swamp Thing, and recent Marvel exclusive deal-signer Charles Soule presents the last days of Logan in a very somber, introspective way. Much of the story is intercut with dialogue boxes that represent Wolverine’s animal side, and while it’s a little jarring at first, I found it to be kind of cool by the issue’s end. While the reasoning behind Wolverine being able to move with his adamantium skeleton is a little wonky (it’s because of his “speed and strength”) Soule has a pretty good, very real world cause for Wolverine’s death: after years and years of being exposed to lethal radiation and gasses because he could heal from them, Wolverine’s body still absorbed the radiation, and he’s now developed a form of leukemia. Right away this makes Death of Wolverine stand out from other “Death” comic events because of the way our hero is going out.
Soule does a really fantastic job of getting inside Wolverine’s head. He does such a good job, in fact, that’s it’s a shame that he’s writing this story. I want more Soule written Wolverine, which I’ll hopefully get whenever Logan eventually returns to the land of the living.
Also doing a fantastic job is Steve McNiven. Returning to the character after his phenomenal “Old Man Logan” story with Mark Millar, McNiven puts it all on the page. From the opening pages of Logan sitting in the woods, to the brutal first fight that he engages in, McNiven does an awesome job on showing how the massive injuries that Logan has incurred have taken a toll on him. Seeing Wolvie pop his claws this time doesn’t make you excited, it makes you wince.
As well done as this first issue is, the $4.99 price point really hurts it. There’s not a whole lot of story for your 499 pennies, and the bonus materials I mentioned earlier, which include multiple sketches by McNiven and an interview with Charles Soule, don’t sweeten the deal. This event will be wrapped up by the end of the month, so you’re better off waiting until then and plunking down the cash on the whole thing….or waiting a few months for the collection.
Original Sin #8 (of 8) (Marvel Comics)
Jason Aaron and Mike Deodato’s final issue of Original Sin, aka Marvel’s summer event, does everything you’d expect it to do: wrap up the event, but not without creating a new status quo (and series) for the Marvel Universe.
But…..not all of these changes really matter. Outside of two characters, nothing else has really changed in the Marvel universe, and in the end, it seems like Original Sin was a pretty big excuse for Marvel to have an event for the summer. It’s not as bad as Fear Itself or Age of Ultron, but it’s pretty damn close.
Much of the story follows Nick Fury and his fight with Dr. Midas, a fight that apparently was more important that we all thought it was. We finally learn who murdered the Watcher and why, and guess what, it’s exactly who we thought it was. This reveal is so unsurprising that I was expecting some crazy last page twist, but it never came. So much of the issue is focused on Fury that the heroes that were a part of this story literally come in to help fight, then stand around and watch Nick Fury take on Dr. Midas. They serve no real purpose, and it’s almost like editorial told Aaron that he had to put them in the book.
Mike Deodato’s art is just as good as it’s been since issue one, but there’s no big “wow” moment for him in this issue. Deodato’s always been a pretty consistent artist, and I feel kind of bad for him that this was the event that he was picked to do. There wasn’t a whole lot of action in it, and what little action there was barely involved any of the main Marvel heroes.
In a way, it almost seems like Marvel forgot about Original Sin. Much of the talk lately from the House of Ideas has been on AXIS, the NEXT big Marvel event, and we knew about that one when Original Sin #1 was barely on the stands. With a writer as talented as Jason Aaron, I won’t lie and say that I wasn’t expecting much from him for this. This is the same guy who writes Thor: God of Thunder, Southern Bastards, Wolverine & The X-Men, and the upcoming Men of Wrath., so it should’ve been great Was his heart just not in it? Or does he just love Nick Fury, The Orb, Dr. Midas, and Exterminatrix more than the rest of us?
Regardless, Original Sin is in the books, and we’ve got a new status quo that unfortunately takes an awesome character off the board for a while. While it lost steam pretty quickly, you can’t knock Marvel, Aaron, and Deodato for trying something new.
But now, onto AXIS.