On the Panel – Death of Wolverine
This event was announced quite some time ago and it has taken a while to build to this point. To my mind it was fairly obvious once I learned that Wolverine had lost his healing factor. It’s no bad thing to take some time to celebrate the character and remind readers of why he’ll be missed before killing him off. Some of the buildup has been better handled than others but generally it’s been a good exploration of who Logan is and what he stands for.
I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised how simple his final story was, the Death of Wolverine 4 part series has been an effective way of hitting the main points of who this character is and work towards his death organically. This final issue actually couldn’t be simpler in terms of execution and that’s part of what makes it so great.
Logan finds himself faced with the scientist who grafted the adamantium to his skeleton so this makes him in many ways responsible for much of what followed. He is attempting to recreate the experiment with as many unwilling volunteers as he is supplied which is something that horrifies Logan massively. He knows first hand how invasive this procedure is and doesn’t want anyone else to suffer the same way he did. It’s clear that the victims are unwilling and Logan can’t stand to see history repeat itself.
What this issue basically boils down to is Logan sees something that he needs to stop and without even thinking about it, goes on the offensive. This is completely in character for him as he’s always had a very singular view of what needs to be done no matter how morally dubious it might be. Not having his healing factor hasn’t slowed him down when making decisions like this, Logan acts on instinct and always has. He has a defined idea of what is right and wrong to him and he sticks to it. In this case he’s definitely on the side of the angels in trying to prevent more invincible soldiers being created as well as stopping this scientist from committing more atrocities in the name of science.
The artwork in this issue is phenomenal with some really vibrant colours and visceral looking action sequences. Logan is absolutely going out on a stylish high note. I really liked how the fight sequeces were drawn with every blow delivered looking powerful and painful while the comic continued to show single panels of the people being operated on. It does a really nice job of reminding the reader why Logan is here and the reasons he’s doing what he’s doing.
Wolverine’s final moments are really well done; his death is brought on by him saving
the life of someone seconds away from being infused with adamantium which leads Logan to be covered in the molten version of the alloy. As it cools and solidifies he hunts the scientist down to ensure that the job is finished before the adamantium becomes completely solid and death claims him. There’s a nice symmetry to Logan’s death given that adamantium is where it all really started for him so it’s only fitting that it would play a part in his end. The fact that he is an adamantium statue is a really cool image and the final panel showing him finally at his end is really poignant. There’s a definite sense that Logan is at peace given how sedate and peaceful that final image is. It’s also worth noting that he dies alone, something that is especially fitting for him.
This short series has been running with giving his heightened senses a voice and telling us what they are experiencing as if they are a character in the story. There are reminders in the opening pages like the red box telling us that there’s pain in his right leg as well as periodic reminders throughout the issue. Immediately prior to his death the senses simply say “enough” telling the reader that what is being experiences is unimaginable and certainly can’t be described. It also shows the moment where life finally leaves Logan’s body.
As with most deaths we see Logan’s life flash before his eyes but all of his memories are positive ones like marrying Mariko or teaching a class of mutants. It’s an interesting choice for a man who has seen so much pain and death in his life to focus on the positive before his death. It shows that Logan is aware of the positive aspects to his life and is eternally grateful for them. It’s almost as if he feels he can die having done some good in the world.
A surprisingly simple story where Logan finds the scientist responsible for infusing his skeleton with adamantium. Logan’s death is handled respectfully and the gravity of the event is not ignored. His death is given real meaning and there’s some really poignant imagery throughout. It feels like a fitting end for such an iconic character.