Review: Death of Wolverine (3 of 4) by Soule, McNiven, Leisten & Ponsor | Fanboys Anonymous

Review: Death of Wolverine (3 of 4) by Soule, McNiven, Leisten & Ponsor

Posted by Sean Hamilton Thursday, October 2, 2014
Review of Death of Wolverine 3 by Charles Soule, Steve McNiven, Justin Ponsor and Jay Leisten.
Death of Wolverine #3 Cover
by McNiven, Leisten and Ponsor

The Japanese ritual suicide by disembowelment.

Seppuku was originally reserved only for Samurai, which Wolverine was once. Does he now head to his own suicide willing?

When last we saw Wolverine, he was bloody, bruised and on his last legs.

Having just faced his nemesis Sabretooth in a deadly fight to satisfy the whim of the equally deadly Viper, Wolverine was saved by the unlikely intervention of Deathstrike. As she next turned on the failing hero, a surprise twist from writer Charles Soule brought Kitty Pride quickly into the fold to stop Deathstrike from ending this event an issue too soon.

Soule has shown a very suitable way to continue to tell this story. It starts by easily linking back to the previous issue, but crucially we are given so much of the history of Wolverine as we enter into his final acts. By doing this, there are some obvious turns in the plot which are convenient, such as the use of a healing serum in Death of Wolverine #3, which shouldn't be bemoaned. These literary devices allow us to continue the story that we are paying to see through to the end, within an enriched sense of characterization.

For the story itself, Death of Wolverine #3 shows one of the best scenes so far in the series. We are witnessing the matured character Wolverine has become as a result of the loss of his healing factor. After Kitty and Wolverine have arrived in Japan, following their flight from Madripoor, they are enjoying the scenery in the Koishikawa Korakuen Gardens. It is here, amongst the beautiful artwork from Steve McNiven, Jay Keisten and Justin Ponsor, that Wolverine has a very sentimental moment about how he would like to end. We seldom associate this level of emotionality with this character, which makes it such a great contrast to presumed expectations. It also foreshadows the next issue which will reveal Wolverine's death in detail, but points to the notion of the prospect within the story of accepting the inevitability of death.

Review of Death of Wolverine part 3 of 4 by Charles Soule, Steve McNiven, Justin Ponsor and Jay Leisten.
The beautiful colors of Justin Ponsor bring to life
the work of pencils of McNiven and inking of Leisten.
Soule uses the same tried and true basic plot outline in Death of Wolverine #3. The main focus is centered on Wolverine in conflict with a main protagonist—in this case, Ogun. Supporting characters such as Kitty Pryde provided some balance to the conflict, but foremost the attention remains with Wolverine journey, allowing the transition from each conflict to build to the next, which will be next time the ultimate one.

This issue certainly feels a little longer due to the pacing. The action is secondary to the plot development and this means we see more dialogue as a result. This is quite necessary to tease out the hidden Ogun but adds so much more weight to the narrative. Veteran letterer Chris Eliopoulos incorporates the continued novelty of the Wolverine's senses, but shows a lot more work in this issue due to the added dialogue. Despite what seems like more caption boxes or speech bubbles, the art by McNiven is of the highest quality.

Review of Death of Wolverine part 3 of 4 by Charles Soule, Steve McNiven, Justin Ponsor and Jay Leisten.
Wolverine wonders at his ultimate ending.
A standout feature of the entire series, McNiven's pencils, Leisten's inking and Ponsor's colors tell as much with the dialogue, as they could without it. The setting in a Japanese Garden allows McNiven to indulge a soft background sense which is contrasted by Madripoor and urban Japan. Ponsor's colors a vividly gorgeous. Through these artists we get to see the beauty and savagery that have surrounded Wolverine since we have known the character. This artistic team is as good as it gets and the delivery is utmost quality.

We are treated again to the 'directors cut' at the end of Death of Wolverine #3. I continue to appreciate this extra content. Despite comments I have seen about the cost of the series, per issue, the quality that has been put into it and the insight we are given into the creative process I feel is worth the extra. It makes the final result feel more worthwhile as we infer the pains that have gone into getting the story to the audience. This is a special event series and we should treat it as such as readers and buyers, not just from the creators and publisher.

While there has been a delay in the original scheduled release of the final two installments of the series, the wait seems easier to bear the issues are finally in your hands. As sad as it will be to finish the Death of Wolverine, there is still one more issue to delight fans. Before that arrives be sure to retread the earlier issues, savor it and let us know what you have thought so far. Make sure you leave a comment below.

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