Death of Wolverine #4

by Tori B. on October 16, 2014

So it finally happened. It was inevitable, and we knew about it, but that doesn’t make it any less poignant. ( WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS )
Writer: Charles Soule
Artists: Steve McNiven, Jay Leisten, & Justin Ponsor
Cover: McNiven, Leisten, & Ponsor
Publisher: Marvel
It shouldn’t be surprising that we’ve come full circle with Wolverine and his journey. He’s been all over by now, on the run from everyone out to kill him, only to finally stop running when he’s back within arms reach of the man that started it all, Abraham Cornelius. The man who gave Wolverine his admantium skeleton, gave him an ability suitable to a name such a Weapon X. Logan had always been impressive even prior to the adamantium, but thanks to Cornelius, Logan was unstoppable. His adamantium skeleton, the reason so many sought after him in one way or another, would prove to be his end eventually.
Except it isn’t the adamantium that Cornelius is after, it’s Logan’s healing factor. Only he’s too late to cash in on that. Cornelius is a scientist after all and has figured out how to create better weapons out of people and how to keep the adamantium stable enough, but he’s missing one thing that his science can’t quite replicate.
There’s very little fanfare with the way Logan goes out, yet the story of it is very natural and in essence to Logan, to Wolverine. He refuses to let anyone else live like he did. As a weapon, an animal, a puppet, immortal. In the process of saving the others from his fate, he essentially drowns himself in adamantium (always the hero, bub). But this is Logan after all so right before the metal finally cools completely he manages to have just enough resilience to see it to the end, that Cornelius doesn’t get away with this ever again.
Naturally the trail leads him onto a roof so that in his final moments of introspection of his life, which is where the issue hits the hardest as we get panels of who Logan was: The Wolverine, Patch, Lover, Soldier, Teacher, and Samurai, but as his life flashes before him, he’s graced with the sun setting on his adamantium form. ( I’m both intrigued and creeped out by the idea that if they can manage, they can lug this adamantium frame around to make an extremely literal monument. )
In terms of the actual story, I think it’s fitting. It’s certainly less fanfare than I was originally expecting—Wolverine surely was going to go down all teeth and blood, but it was surprisingly simpler. But he managed to go out in heroic action against the one thing that truly changed who he was and while I’m a little sad that this final issue didn’t involve more of characters that have somehow made an impact in his life (it’s just him and Cornelius essentially throughout), it makes the hit that much harder. The loner he always claimed to be, his final heroic action goes unnoticed (Cornelius dead, and those he saved unconscious), but then as we have the flashback panels we see that he wasn’t a loner. And with Cornelius yelling at him asking him what he ever did, we as the readers who have been with Wolverine for so long, we already know the answer.
Wolverine has touched lives, for better or for worse, but he will never be forgotten, and most will have mostly fond memories of him and even though this is the death for Wolverine, his spirit remains with his friends, his student, and even his enemies. He’s clearly made an impact on the world and he will be missed.
Recommended reading: Wolverine and the X-Men #10 for some great memories from the rest of X-Men in mourning.

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