Review: Death of Wolverine #4 by Soule, McNiven, Leisten and Ponsor | Fanboys Anonymous

Review: Death of Wolverine #4 by Soule, McNiven, Leisten and Ponsor

Posted by Sean Hamilton Saturday, October 18, 2014
Marvels Death of Wolverine 4 standard cover by Steve McNiven
Death of Wolverine 4 cover
by McNiven, Leisten and Ponsor

Wolverine has died as he always wanted to live.

He let his actions speak for themselves and acted with honor.

Now that it has happened, the suspense has burst, the climax reached, and upon reflection, it leaves me at least a little hollow-feeling with Wolverine's passing.

As Charles Soule has broken down each chapter in this series, he has aptly named the finale "History." It is left up to the reader to decide how to interpret this, though. Is it history in the making, or perhaps the history of Wolverine as told throughout the Death of Wolverine series? Ultimately it is the history of the end of an epoch for the titular character and the opening of a new wave of post-Wolverine opportunities for Marvel. The range of titles announced, coming out as a result of Wolverine's death, is quite staggering.

The Death of Wolverine 4 brings to a close a beautifully written and wonderfully drawn piece of art.

As we left issue 3 it was revealed that Wolverine would have to travel from Japan to Paradise Valley, Nevada, to face a man of renown from his past, Abraham Cornelius. This is the mastermind behind the assassination attempts against Wolverine. Cornelius was also one of the principle men responsible for Wolverine receiving his Adamantium skeleton those many years ago. Now he is trying to perfect his craft and correct the mistakes he sees in Wolverine.

Marvels Death of Wolverine 4 interior art by Steve McNiven
Wolverine ties the pieces together
In issue 4 of Death of Wolverine, Soule does a great job of letting the art speak for itself. This issue is not dialogue heavy, and as a result, veteran letterer Chris Eliopoulos makes his mark, only when necessary and to dramatic effect.

Soule paces the story at a necessarily high tempo, to ensure that we are carried along on the momentum of suspense felt in the narrative. We know that Wolverine is going to die as the book is first picked up, but we don't know how, and this drives the reader onward.

The art by Steven McNiven throughout this series has been of the highest quality. When enhanced by the ink work of Jay Leisten and the awe inspiring colors of Justin Ponsor, it can only be read over and over again to appreciate what a great comic event we have witnessed. A stand-out moment is the final three pages of the story.

There is almost no dialogue, the most minimal of lettering, and we are able to see so much emotion from the story through the art as it stands by itself.

Marvels Death of Wolverine 4 interior art by Steve McNiven
Wolverine's lacking healing factor remains paramount.
Wolverine has gone in a fitting, but humble manner. He has already accomplished the epic and heroic deeds befitting his character, so to go in this fashion was a nice touch from Soule. Even if it was a little uncharacteristic, it still seemed to fit the recent trajectory of how Marvel has built Wolverine's character over the last few years. I do not envy the task Soule had here. To kill off any character courts dangerous grounds from fans, yet to achieve this in a dignified and fitting way was incredibly difficult. Contrast Death of Wolverine with the death of Charles Xavier. There was no build up, no miniseries, just a sudden burst from his first student Cyclops, and then that was his end. While both Chuck and Logan's demise will be fruitfully exploited in the stories and comics for time to come, they were completed in very different ways.

Despite the difficulty faced by the artists involved, Death of Wolverine has been pulled off with typical Marvel style.

Marvels Death of Wolverine 4 interior art by Steve McNiven
Cornelius' plans change in an instant
At the end, how has the experience of Death of Wolverine left audiences? Given that the story outcome has been well known before it happened, the result doesn't provide any major surprises. The main aspect to consider is: are you happy with how it was completed?

I am satisfied, despite what preconceived ideas I may have had about the demise of such an iconic character. I don't feel regret at what I have read and experienced in the Death of Wolverine. I feel at peace with the end and feel I can move on to the interesting ramifications of Wolverine's demise in other Marvel series with an air of ease.

At the end of it all, we want to hear what you thought about this latest issue, but also the entire Death of Wolverine series. Did you like how things played out? Would you have picked a different ending?

Make sure you leave your thoughts and comments below.

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