Warning: Minor spoilers if you haven’t read the previous issue
Writer: Charles Soule
Artist: Steve McNiven
The last issue started with THE END. Issue #2 of Death of Wolverine begins with POISON. Wolverine travels to Madripoor in order to get an audience with Viper, the person who’s put a price on his head. He’s brought a current generation Iron Man helmet with him that he’s supposedly trying to sell; a high end item to get Viper’s attention. After showing the goods to a lackey, he gets to meet the lady herself. Of course she immediately sends a cadre of thugs at Logan, who he easily dispatches without even having to pop his claws. Once they are out of the way, a chained and poisoned Sabretooth is brought out to make a go at Logan. They tussel until Lady Deathstrike randomly shows up and jams her long adamantium talons into Sabretooth’s back a few times, putting him down and then letting him walk away. It turns out that Viper was just another third party that was trying to capture Wolverine on behalf of an unknown client. This other unseen baddie is actually after a whole list of targets which includes Logan and Lady Deathstrike. Just as Deathstrike decides she may be able to exchange a weakened Logan for her own life, an X-Man makes an unexpected appearance and saves his bacon.
Once again, Charles Soule wastes no time getting to the point of things. We catch up with Logan who’s already been in Madripoor for “weeks” trying to meet up with Viper. This jumps us from a nifty scene where Viper’s underling verifies the legitimacy of the Iron Man helmet directly to the meeting between Logan and his would-be captor. Some exposition leads tot he mandatory fight scenes. A little more exposition, another brief fight, and then a sudden surprise at the end. This series is starting to feel formulaic very fast. Fortunately there’s only two more issues to go, so it won’t have too much of a chance to go stale. I also realize that Soule is trying to build suspense as best as possible, but at this point, I have to wonder why we need to get through several layers of bad guys before we find out what’s really going on. Wolverine can’t heal and he’s too proud to ask for help. Aside from the appearance of a helmet, the Avengers are nowhere near this story. So why not just get him alone and throw ALL the high power baddies at him at once and just end the whole farce. Perhaps I’m selling Soule short though. He’s shown a knack for inventiveness and creative situations over in She-Hulk and Inhumans so maybe he still has a trick or two up his sleeve. Guess we’ll just have to wait and see.
Wolverine is the best there is at what he does. The same could be said of Steve McNiven. Whether it’s a spread of the Madripoor skyline at night, or a flashback to previous battles between Wolverine and Sabretooth, his work is gorgeous. I particularly liked the two page spread of 24 equal sized boxes depicting the speed and calmness with which Wolverine disposes of a sextet of Viper’s goons. One of them is out of the match before Logan’s bag even hits the ground, and another gets taken down immediately after. Once again he aptly depicts the gruesome nature of the violent fights Wolverine gets into, and the damage it does now that he’s without a healing factor. Bloodied, bruised, and battered; it ain’t pretty but it sure looks good.
As with the first issue of Death of Wolverine you get more behind the scenes goodness for your five dollars. Some more art-in-progress type stuff from McNiven with excerpts from Soule’s script. On a side note, despite this being toted as weekly title, issue #3 won’t be out until October 1st. I’m not sure what the delay is, but thought everyone might like to know about it.