Return Of Wolverine #4 // Review
Wolverine gets a glimpse of the big picture in Return Of Wolverine #4, by writer Charles Soule, artist Declan Shalvey, colorist Laura Martin, and letterer Joe Sabino. This issue answer some questions, poses a new one, and sets up the final confrontation, but still feels extremely unsatisfying.
Logan awakens in a hospital room with no memory of how he got there. Ana tells him about his fight with the X-Men and how he was able to drive them off. As an added bonus, she reveals that she found her son. However, things aren’t at all what they seem, as Soteira’s leader, Persephone, has been pulling all the strings the whole time, setting up Logan for a confrontation with her that could mean life or death for the world.
Readers finally get to learn a little something about Persephone and while it’s interesting, her motivation seems flimsy at best. Basically, she has limited resurrection powers and believes that the dead she resurrects are better than the living. What this has to do with leading an evil super science organization is never really made clear and while her monologue is rather well written, she’s still extremely generic. Charles Soule biggest strength in his work with Wolverine has been how well he’s able to reference past stories and fit Logan’s history into his present. It’s really the only strength in his work with the character. For this story, he’s used those tropes to an extent (a memory wiped Logan fighting evil science people), but has failed in creating his own characters and an organization that are interesting or memorable. There were four 4 issue mini series and two one shots leading up to this book; those could have been used to establish Soteira as something more than it is, but they didn’t. As it is, this series doesn’t have enough issues to do it and it sort of kills the whole thing. The threat just isn’t very interesting and Soule hasn’t really given readers anything special at all.
Soule adds something to the idea of the hot claws- that when Logan uses them, they burn out his system and slow his healing factor. The hot claws are already a pretty bad idea and adding this to them makes them even worse. Wolverine’s claws could already cut through anything; them heating up just seems superfluous. Soule is trying to add something to the Wolverine mythos and it’s pretty much a failure.
Declan Shalvey’s art is just not right for this book. There are few cool panels, the best one being a shot of Wolverine cutting through Iceman in a berserker rage, but other than that the detail in a lot of his panels is lacking and his facial work just doesn’t look very good most of the time. It probably has a lot to do with him being a last minute replacement artist, but the series is suffering for it.
Return of Wolverine #4 is yet another lackluster issue of a series that should have been a much bigger deal and better executed. The villain and her organization is still pretty one dimensional and the reasoning behind Persephone’s motivations is interesting, but doesn’t really explain anything about why she’s really doing anything. Declan Shalvey’s art is a bad fit for the book in most panels. This series has been a minor disaster with pretty much every issue. Logan deserves better than this muddled, lackluster effort.