Written by Charles Soule
Illustrated by Steve McNiven
We left on 3rd and long, with only 2 issues left to speed up the story plot explaining the who’s and why’s of the Death of Wolverine. Part 3 did just that. Wolverine finds out the boss of the contractor of the subcontractors who were hired to kill him, and the stage is set for the final showdown as Logan hunts the person trying to end his life.
But that is how the issue ends. Let’s talk about how we got there.
Issue 2 ended with a cameo from Kitty Pride, another important character of Logan’s past reappearing during his finals days. She saves Wolverine in awesome fashion, phasing her hand through Deathstrike like she will literally rip out her organs. Issue 3 picks up exactly where they left off, with Kitty elbow-deep in Deathstrike’s torso, and Wolverine losing blood and unable to heal. Enter: magic serum. Kitty injects Logan with a chemical that works the same way as a 1UP on Super Mario Bros, giving him temporary healing ability. I find it unfortunate the story added such a painfully contrived plot tool, but I’ll survive.
The story continues in Tokyo, where Logan and Kitty sit atop a scenic bridge during blossom season in Japan. The Tokyo skyline can be seen over the trees as our two characters begin what we can assume to be their last conversation. Charles Soule continues to do a fantastic job with artwork highlighting several different places in a world tour of Wolverine’s long past. We’ve seen Canada, Madripoor, and now Japan, which makes me wonder where the final chapter will end.
In an earlier review I mentioned how Wolverine’s character has grown from the merciless lone wolf to someone with strong human connections and conscience, and I like to think of this conversation as the destination of that journey. Wolverine shares the thoughts we could only assume he was thinking at the start of the miniseries when he sat alone and dying on the porch in Canada – the fear of mortality, and the beauty in it.
Not only does he embrace mortality, he explains how it will make him a better person as well, as a life with no second chances is one whose decisions are taken more seriously. The theme of atonement is so heavy it feels as if Kitty were his priest, or, rather, his last confidant to whom he might ever be able to spill his guts. He’s exhausted of fighting. He’s exhausted of loss. Have you ever read of an immortal who didn’t consider suicide? Call it a joke, but for an immortal, Dracula’s Lament is the realist thing ever written.
For the action junkie, be not dismayed, because the rest of the issue is just that. Wolverine mixes it up with someone else on his path to finding answers. In a moment of spotty pacing there’s also one of the fastest wardrobe changes since Superman in a phone booth, which can either be frustrating or hilarious depending on the reader. The plot speeds along as the series needs finds its end, which feels rather rushed, but understandably so.
Overall, issue 3 has fantastic dialogue, amazing art, and understandably expedited storytelling. And now, the final curtain.