Thoughts On Spoilers and the Death of Wolverine...
We have been hearing about the Death of Wolverine title for some time it seems. Before I get to that, I want to talk about the issue first. This is part one of four. I believe there are many other tie-ins that will come along, but I think I am going to just stick with the one. The only other Wolverine title I have read was Claremont/Millers’s Wolverine in the early 80’s. I do enjoy Wolverine so I was excited to get into this one. He has been in every other Marvel comic I have read it seems so it is nice to have one that is focused on the man himself.
The issue, written by Charles Soule and drawn by Steve McNiven, opens up with black and the words “The End.” Way to bury the lead. But seriously, I thought that was a pretty cool opening. Wolverine is a broken man. Reed Richards lays it out, saying that he was dying. He went thru a litany of problem Logan is having. It reminded me of Dark Knight Rises when he goes to the doctor. The biggest problem is that he is not able to heal any longer. The metal inside is killing him. His bones are radioactive and Logan is at high risk for leukemia. Ive never even thought about these things, and to hear it all laid out made it more real to me. Reed says he think she can figure it out, but he just needs time (oh Reed, you always need just a little more time.) Logan say that now he cannot heal, everyone is going to be coming after him.
Wolverine goes into a bar and he is seen drinking some alcohol called Wein’s Canadian Whiskey (clever). He leaves, and soon after another mans show up looking for Logan. It turns out there is quite a bounty on his head. This fella named Nuke has an American flag on his face because ‘merica! He goes in with a few men to the place Logan said he would be. Logan quickly dispatches everyone and confronts Nuke. Nuke takes him out with a strike and Logan does not get up. It is rather comical as Nuke tells him to get up! He cannot be dead after just one punch! He actually seems a bit concerned! The reason, of course, is because he needs Logan to be alive to get the bounty. Logan strikes Nuke and then just keeps going and going! He head butts this poor soul for nearly ten panels. It is striking, gruesome and awesome. Nuke’s flesh is torn away and reveals metal underneath. He asks who the put out the contract and is reveled it is…Viper!
I enjoyed this issue very much. It was simple, built upon the past stories and gave hints of things to come. The art here is just magnificent and what shines the most. It is drawn very cleanly, if that makes sense. The blood that we see coming off Logan looks really great. The set pieces were spot on. The colors were vibrant and at the same time moody. Bright brights and dark darks. I would definitely suggest this issue to anyone. I’m just jumping in on this larger story, and I feel right at home. This isn’t Jonathan Hickman. Also, I'm not sure if this is on the physical version of the issue, but the digital version has some extras from McNiven that were wonderful and an interview with Lee Wien.
The larger point I want to make is about spoilers. Why did we have to know Wolverine is going to die months ago? I know the answer. It builds the hype. This has gone on in comics and other media for ages. We knew Superman was going to die it seems for an eternity before he finally died. Recently we learned of a new Thor and Captain America. The death of Damian actually seemed to be a secret for awhile which was some fresh air. Still, don’t we enjoy being surprised? I know I do, but I still like to read about spoilers. I’m conflicted. I want to read every piece of Superman v Batman news I can, yet I want to go into the movie knowing nothing. That makes no sense. Maybe people like me have sent mixed messages and the studios do not know quite what to do. Look at Star Trek. They tried to hide the fact that Khan was in the new Trek. Didn’t work out so well. Even Abrams said he wishes he would have just said it was Khan. How about Harry Potter? Rowling really kept all that stuff a secret and it paid off in spades (for me at least). There were no spoilers to be found, and it made me enjoy the books even more. Then we have things like Spider-Man. There must have been a million trailers for that movie which made me exhausted before I even saw it, and it seemed to give everything away.
I don’t know what the answer is. I don’t know where the happy medium lies. I want to be surprised but I want to be hyped too. There are smarter people than I that can figure this stuff out for sure. I know what I don’t like, and that is being told someone is going to die months ahead of time. For crying out loud, the title of the series is The Death of Wolverine! So if you weren’t spoiled before, you are now! That is a problem, in my humble opinion. I don’t think it is going to hurt this book in particular, but I do feel that with leaks and trailers and spoilers, it does sometimes take away the magic!