Comic Book Review: Wolverine #70

The Revolution has thoroughly enjoyed Millar’s Old Man Logan story arc. Yes, it has been a slow paced read. But, for me it is not getting to the destination that matters, but the journey along the way. And Millar has created such an engrossing and textured setting for this story that I am simply enjoying travelling through it.

Wolverine #70 should be a big issue since we are going to finally learn what the villains did to Logan to cause him to never pop his claws again. Millar has really built up this moment as well as the reader’s expectations. It is going to be tough for Millar to deliver a compelling enough reason that makes sense and is not anti-climactic after this long wait. Let’s go ahead and hit this review for Wolverine #70.

Creative Team

Writer: Mark Millar
Pencils: Steve McNiven
Inks: Dexter Vines

Art Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10.
Story Rating: 10 Night Girls out of 10.
Overall Rating: 9.5 Night Girls out of 10.

Synopsis: We begin with Logan telling Hawkeye about what happened the night the villains broke Wolverine. We flashback to the X-Mansion with Jubilee informing Wolverine that they are getting incoming distress calls from the Avengers, Fantastic Four, SHIELD and Wakanda. Jubilee adds that she gets only a high pitch noise when she tries to respond to the calls.

Wolverine tells Jubilee that they need to evacuate the X-Mansion immediately. Suddenly, the wall explodes and in walks Styfe, Hyde, Klaw, Doc Octopus and the Shocker. They immediately attack Wolverine. Stryfe comments that it was only a matter of time before someone organized all of the super-villains.

We then see Absorbing Man, Silver Samurai, Blob, Bullseye, Green Goblin and Mr. Sinister break into the X-Mansion and attack the students. Stryfe tells Wolverine that the villains have it all worked out and that this is the end of the heroes. Wolverine growls “Not on my watch, Bub.” Wolverine plows his way through the villains. Wolverine kills Doctor Octopus, Klaw, Hyde, Stryfe and Green Goblin.

During the battle, Wolverine calls out for his fellow X-Men. Wolverine yells “Where the hell is everybody?” Wolverine then tells the students to run and to not look back no matter what they hear. Wolverine continues the killing as he slaughters Blob, Mr. Sinister, Lady Deathstrike, Sabertooth, Scorpion and Omega Red.

Finally, it comes down to just Wolverine and Bullseye. The two engage in a massive battle that lasts for ninety minutes. Wolverine finally guts Bullseye. Bullseye then looks at Wolverine and says “Logan, stop. Please. Why are you doing this? You’re supposed to be our friend…” Bullseye then dies.

Suddenly, Mysterio appears on the scene and says “Oh dear.” Bullseye then turns into Jubilee. Mysterio snidely asks if Wolverine really thought he could kill all of those villains by himself. Mysterio continues that, on the other hand, friends who would hesitate are an entirely different matter.

We then see the room full of dead villains turn into a room full of dead X-Men. Wolverine has killed all of the X-Men. Mysterio then says “My thanks on behalf of the criminal community.” Mysterio then teleports away from the scene.

We cut back to the present with Hawkeye stunned that Logan killed the X-Men. Logan is crying. Logan says that Mysterio made the X-Men look, feel and even smell differently. Logan says “I swear to God. I had no idea.” Hawkeye asks what happened next.

Logan says that he walked through the countryside for days or weeks. He doesn’t know which. All he could taste was blood. Logan said that all the animals that crossed his path were scared of him. Logan says that the Battle of Vegas, the final showdown between the heroes and the villains, did not even register with Logan. That they had broken him so badly he was not even thinking.

All Wolverine wanted to do was to hurt himself. To pay a price for what he had done. So, Wolverine stood by some railroad tracks and waited for a freight train to come. When a freight train approached, Wolverine laid his head across the rail.

Logan tells Hawkeye that he killed the Wolverine dead that moment. Hawkeye interjects that Logan’s healing factor would not have let him die. Logan answered “No, but it hurt…An sometimes that’s enough.” We then see the freight train cutting Wolverine’s head off on the rail.

Logan continues to cry and says for Hawkeye to now try and say that Logan has been a fool to hide his claws for fifty years. Hawkeye replies “I wouldn’t dare.” Logan says that he is a farmer now and his hands do not do anything other than tend to the land. Logan asks Hawkeye to not even think about asking Logan to fight again. Logan says that he will never hurt another living soul again. Hawkeye responds “Your call, brother.”

We shift to Hawkeye and Logan in the Spider-Buggy and arriving at Dwight’s Toll. Dwight is a small kid or midget wearing Ant-Man’s helmet. Dwight says that they have to pay 80 cents or else he will call a million ants to come and attack them. Hawkeye pays the toll and tells Dwight to have a good day. Dwight thanks Hawkeye.

Our heroes drive on and Logan asks Hawkeye if Dwight was a joke. Hawkeye responds that Dwight is always serious. We then see the skeletons of people who refuse to pay the toll.

We see our heroes passing through Doom’s Head, Illinois where we see a bunch of dinosaurs roaming about. Hawkeye says that he is sorry for making Logan do this. Hawkeye says that if he had known what happened to Logan back at the X-Mansion then he would have never asked Logan to come with him on this adventure.

Logan responds “Forget about it, Bub. The past only hurts if we let it catch up to us.” We then see a dinosaur possessed by the Venom symbiote rampaging toward the Spider-buggy. End of issue.

Comments

The Good: Wolverine #70 was absolutely fantastic. Old Man Logan has been a slower paced story as Millar proceeded to build up reader’s expectations extraordinarily high. This is a risky move for an author to take as it makes it difficult for the writer to deliver the moment in a fashion that lives up the all the hype.

Millar has teased the hell out of the reader during this story arc about how the villains broke Wolverine. I had my doubts that Millar would be able to match the build-up to this moment. Well, Millar lived up to the hype and delivered the moment in style. I know that some readers may have seen this coming, but even if they did this still was a powerful and incredible moment when the reader learns that Wolverine killed all of the X-Men. This was a well done scene that had my jaw on the ground.

The stunning scene where Logan brawls with all the villains was well done. Millar treats the reader to some sick bloody action. This brawl fight scene between Wolverine and the villains was insane. I loved it. And even though everyone knows that Wolverine is one tough hombre in a fight, even the most rampant Wolverine fan was scratching their head half-way through this fight and wondering how in the world Wolverine could slaughter off all of these big-named villains all by himself.

And then it happens. Millar lifts the veil from the reader’s eyes when Logan realizes exactly what he has done. And what a powerful and amazing scene it is when Logan stands there in stunned disbelief while looking at the corpses of his teammates. This scene hits the reader square in the chest. Millar delivers this dramatic scene with minimal dialogue and minimal narration. Millar let’s McNiven’s well crafted artwork carry the moment and that makes this revelation have even more impact on the reader.

I loved the brilliant twist of having the entire brawl being nothing more than an illusion created by Mysterio. I definitely did not see this coming. Of all the villains that I expected Millar to reveal to be behind this deception, Mysterio was not at all on my list of possible suspects. This was a great use of Mysterio’s character and a nice way to utilize a villain that readers are not going to immediately think about while reading a Wolverine comic book.

Millar handles Mysterio well and delivers an icy and cruel version of the long-time Spider-Man nemesis. It was a chilling moment when Mysterio thanks Wolverine for his help. This caused the reader to get the same sick sinking feeling inside of their stomach just like Logan had during this moment.

This climactic scene lived up to all the hype that Millar has been generating over the course of this story arc. This devious plan by the villains was pure genius by Millar. And this was a rather logical and sensible approach for the villains to utilize Wolverine to their advantage and then remove him from the playing field.

A straight up attack against Wolverine would be far too costly and bloody of an approach to remove Wolverine from the battle. And Wolverine is definitely one of the first heroes that the villains would want to take off the table early into their attack on the super hero population.

Therefore, the villains attack the most vulnerable part of a man who has an unbreakable skeleton and an amazing healing factor: his mind. Logan’s only weaknesses are his mind and his fear of losing control over himself and become an animalistic killer. The overwhelming guilt of killing his friends and teammates is the inevitable result of a plan like this and would easily serve to break Wolverine. This was the perfect blueprint on how to break Wolverine.

I loved the scene where Logan lays down in front of the oncoming freight train and kills Wolverine. Even though Logan knows it will not technically kill him he reasons that the incredible amount of pain and the symbolic death will be enough. And from that moment only Logan is reborn and not Wolverine. This scene was emotional and quite moving. Millar manages to tap into the intense sorrow and empty feeling of deadness that is inside Logan’s soul during this scene.

Hawkeye’s reaction to Logan’s story was well done. It Hawkeye is setting up Logan and that the “package” is indeed Logan then I can see where Clint would truly be sorry for bringing Logan along for this mission. Even though Clint may be a shady character, he is not without feelings.

Millar delivers some excellent dialogue in this issue. Millar continues to employ short and blunt sentences. And this is pure genius. I appreciate it when a writer is able to adapt his style of dialogue in order to fit the character he is writing rather than bend the character to fit the writer’s preferred style of dialogue. The short and direct dialogue has the literary effect of hitting the reader like multiple punches and is the perfect style of dialogue for a character like Logan.

The character work with Hawkeye and Logan continues to be well done. However, Logan is the character that receives most of the character work in this issue as Millar gives the reader a raw and unfiltered look into Logan’s mind. And in the process of revealing the source of Logan’s pain and sorrow, Millar is able to accomplish his task of getting the reader to truly feel Logan’s pain. Millar is able to craft quite an emotional read that captivates the reader and gets the reader to empathize with Logan.

The setting for this story continues to be the strength of this title. Millar has created a fascinating and textured world that has a real sense of history. In this issue, we get to see Dwight’s Toll which was a pretty cool. I found this to be a neat use of the Ant-Man helmet. Dwight’s Toll is in keeping with the generally bleak and bizarre setting of this future world.

Millar ends Wolverine #70 with a nice hook ending. I mean, it is pretty hard to get any cooler than a Venom dinosaur! Next issue should certainly supply us with plenty of action.

McNiven and Vines deliver plenty of gorgeous artwork. McNiven pours so much emotion into this issue. McNiven is able to effectively convey the pain and sadness in Logan’s soul. The artwork made this issue quite a moving read. I did have one odd observation. Even though Millar is writing Logan as an Eastwood type character, there were several panels in this issue where McNiven draws Logan just like Mel Gibson.

The Bad: I have no complaints with this issue.

Overall: I found this to be a wonderfully written issue. The scenes where we see how Wolverine was broken and then killed himself were actually quite beautiful. The Old Man Logan story arc has been well worth the cover price. If you still have not given this Old Man Logan story arc a try then you should definitely pick this story arc up when it is released in trade paperback format.

14 Comments

  1. I have to seriously disagree with you. I liked the issue when I read it, but then I remembered that I’ve been reading about Wolverine for about 20 years now.

    That is not a plausible scenario in any way.

    1) Mysterio is a cheap illusionist. Unless someone has upped his powers, there’s no way he fools Wolverines senses, other than sight. See as reference the 50 times, shapeshifters have tried this only to get 3 blades in the gut.

    2) Even though the X-men are friends, if Wolverine started going nuts, sure the team would try to restrain him without hurting him. Until he killed 1,2,3,4,10 of them. Then believe me, the team would have gone no holds barred to stop him. Cyclops has been nothing if not ruthless of late. Or Emma. Or Storm, etc…

    3) Ok, lets pretend Mysterio made it happen. Afterwards, Logan would grieve, he’d be pissed, he may even try a faux suicide attempt to feel some serious pain. But then. Honor kicks back in. He would have known that he didn’t mean to or want to do it. So he would have tracked down Mysterio and killed him. And everyone who was working with him. And he wouldn’t have rested until he did. And then afterward, he pick up the X-men mantle as a tribute to his friends. He’s no coward or masochist.

    I liked the issue and thought it was powerful and all. But it just wasn’t Wolverine. It felt like what would happen if Spider-man were Mysterios victim. Spidey would have reacted the way Wolverine did….

  2. I have to disagree with you Anonymous

    1) It is plausible for Mysterio to be able to able to employ even a fooling of Wolverine’s senses. How he went about it is not mentioned, but it isn’t beyond the realm of possibility.

    2) Mysterio mentions why he was able to kill them, because they were hesitating due to him being their friend. For all we know, the way they were actually fighting was not revealed. There could have been optic blasts, frost blasts, bamfs, and all sorts of powers going on. However, we are viewing the battle from Wolverine’s point of view. The one battle which is mentioned to have gone on for some time was that of Wolverine and Bullseye, who turned out to be Jubilee. And, we all know that Jubilee is not in the same caliber as Bullseye when it comes to being a fighter. Yet, the fact that she held out against Wolverine for so long is a testament to how hard she must have been fighting to avoid getting killed.

    3) This final point of yours is just so wrong. Wolverine was broken. As Rokk mentioned, Wolverine was broken. His greatest fear was brought to life. His wild side killed his friends. All of them. Even though he was manipulated, it’s exactly as if he had lost control. When he goes feral he cannot see anything but red, hence why he strives so hard to control that nature. The scene of him holding Jubilee in his arms after having killed her. And her asking why he had done it was just powerful. This was someone whom he mentored, and I’m sure many of the others were the same, but she held a special place in his heart.

    Absolutely great issue, and I usually skip over most Wolverine stories.

  3. I have to disagree with Amalgham and agree with Anonymous.

    I think Mysterio was the wrong choice there- a well organized criminal team wouldnt have sent him- they might have sent him + a telepath or someone else, but he’s too low rent to have achieved this alone or unaugmented- at least hint to him having new powers- then maybe.

    But at the end of it- Wolvie doesn’t act like that. He’s seen so many colleagues and comrades killed over the years, even by his own hand or feral reactions.

    There’s no way he wouldn’t have first hunted down the criminals. He would have been upset and angry first. Maybe after he killed EVERYONE he would have secluded himself and given up being a “hero”. But not until after he got serious payback and justice for his friends.

  4. No way Jubilee lasts 90 mins against Wolverine.

  5. ..

    A very good, yet THIN comic. (Could this not have been sold as a HC?) Let’s be serious: this comic is full of HUGE panels and little dialogue. Amazing art, but…like Chinese food, an hour’s gone by and I’m already hungry again. (Much like the last three issues.)

    I agree that Mysterio (based on his last appearance) couldn’t fool Wolvie’s sense of smell. That’s NEVER been one of Mysterios powers. His power is OPTICAL ILLUSION. Not sensory illusion. OPTICAL. That’s how he’s beaten by Spider-Man everytime. His illusions are NEVER COMPLETE. That’s the “hook” with Mysterio.

    (Reference the Hellfire Club story where Mastermind tries the same trick. He gets stabbed as I recall.)

    I can accept the plot point of Wolvie giving up and returning to his “Origin”, as it were. That’s the hook of this series: Wolvie as pacifist. But the “crushed-head-by-train” on-camera was a bit over the top. I would have bee happy to stop with the train bearing down on him with IMPLIED injuries and him limping away after.

    But Jubliee, having been trained to fight by Wolvie still wouldn’t last five seconds against him. To depict her “lasting” is to make her a much stronger character than she has EVER been.

    Oh, yeah…Dwight needs his own mini-series NOW!!!

    ..

  6. Wow! Is what happened in this issue pretty cool? Yeah. Great fight scene! Cool plot twist !

    Do i believe any of it is possible? Hell no! How many villains with how many different plans tried to take out the X-men over the years only to fail? Time after time. Plan after plan. I’ve seen them all. And i’m talking some hard-core villains here ladies and gentleman.

    So I’m supposed to believe that Mysterio was the guy that finally gets the job done? Really? MYSTERIO??? The second rate jobber villain who would be lucky to steal a chocolate bar from a variety store?

    For this plot line to have any credibility, Mysterio would need help or have had his powers amplified somehow, but by not giving the reader any indication of this happening makes the idea of Mysterio doing it himself insulting. Especially with the way he’s been portrayed over the years. You may as well have sent Dog the Bounty Hunter out to take the X-men out because that would have been just as believable.

    And we’re talking about the X-men here whom i’m sure have trained for any possiblitly of manipulation. Especially knowing how volitile Wolverine is. They never had a plan to take him out if he lost it? It’s not like Wolverine killed them in their sleep. And I agree, he might have taken one or two of them out, but the whole team?? For as long as that fight seemed to have gone? No chance!

    I know this is the world of comic books but Mysterio???? I would bet you a case of beer that Millar chose Mysterio not because he actually believed he could take the X-men out, but because he wanted a guy the comic geek community wouldn’t suspect.

    Also, if Wolverine wanted to kill himself he could have. He’s not immortal…. don’t give me that…

    Like I said, I thought it was a good read with good action, but don’t expect me to believe that this is possible….even in a comic book world…..

    Mysterio?!?!!?!!? Pfffffft I may go lay down in front of a train myself after reading that.

    Oh! A Venom Dinasaur does nothing for me…. sounds like a plot filler to me….

    7.5 out of 10 for me.

  7. when it comes down to it, mysterio was kind of a lame choice but millar was looking for someone whose skill set was illusion and readers would instantly recognise, can you think of anyone else who fits that bill? mastermind is really the only one, and he is not recognisable enough to make that big splashpage cause you to go “oh shit.” And when it comes down to it, Mysterio was dead last time I checked, from a self-administered shotgun to the mouth, if he was back, who is do say he doesnt have a new power set? When it comes to wolverine taking out all of the x-men, there are only two x-men who i feel wolverine would not be able to kill; Iceman and Cannonball. Everyone else is well within his realm of capability.
    -hobosk8er

  8. Like Rokk, this issue floored me.

    There are a lot of people criticizing the choice of Mysterio here and elsewhere. Another option for Mysterio is that he got his powers upgraded. Dr. Doom, Wizard, Mad Thinker…There are many villains that could have worked together to make Mysterio’s illusions completely realistic to Wolverine (at least until he got all beastal and then it wouldn’t have mattered).

    The only criticism I agree with is the poor choice of Bullseye lasting 90 minutes. Should have picked Sabretooth or someone else.

    And while Venom-dinosaur does appeal to me, it was done so so well in Deadpool and Cable #50 that I have low expectations (really, I dislike Deadpool, never collected it, but that issue was fanatastic!)

  9. Well ok, if mysterio got ungraded powers, would it be too much to ask for someone to somehow mention it? Maybe his costume has some tech thing on it, or he mentions that so and so upgarded him. Otherwise, it just isnt believable.

    I don’t think Wolverine responds that way anyway. He’s all about payback.

  10. ..

    Here’s another point:

    Wolvie, having fought Omega Red MANY times, would INSTANTLY realize it wasn’t really him when Omegas “death-tentacles” (oh, how I hate Omega Red) weren’t sucking out his life force. (An apt metaphor for a character that sucks out MY life force every time he appears.)

    Also, aren’t those tentacles are made of adamantium, and therefore could not be cut by Wovies claws.

    I find this series entertaining but…the choices of villians are hurting my suspension of disbelief.

    AND…

    Doesn’t Strye wear adamantium armor? I forget. But, according to Marvel physics A-metal can’t cut A-metal. Isn’t that why Wolvies toughest foes have various A-metal hooks?

    But in saying all this I still like it. Hawkeye-as-blind-samurai is a perfect Elseworlds take on him.

    Oh, yeah:
    DWIGHT MUST HAVE A MINI-SERIES!!!!

    And if, I haven’t included this in a post before now…I love this blog. Great stuff EVERY week whether I agree or not.

    A must-read destination for me.

    ..

  11. Haven’t you guys figured it out yet? Hawkeye is actually Mysterio !!! He’s essentially protecting the cargo (Wolverine) until they get to their destination!!!!

    How else can you explain their EASY cross-country journey through a USA controlled by villains!?

    Mysterio has come from out of nowhere and is now THE Heavy-weight of the Marvel universe! Mysterio takes out Galactus NEXT !!!! Mark my words!

  12. What I really want to know is how Wolverine was able to kill Iceman so easily. I mean, Iceman has survived being poisoned, shot, blown up, decapitated and teleported into the middle of a wall, so being stabbed shouldn’t be a problem.

  13. Add me to the list of this being a ridiculous contrivance. For this work we have to believe that The X-Men A-list who have fought everyone from Avengers to alien armies were wipes out by Wolverine because they “hesitiated.” That might get you Storm or Nightcrawler, but Gambit’s not hesitating when he see’s someone’s head come off and the last I heard, Polaris had powers of magnetism, so unless he got her first, there is no fight at all. And given that Wolverine has suffered a hundred years of pain an loss, no way he just gives up not without first seeking revenge. This is typical hole-ridden Millar writing. Great idea, no support.

  14. Although I find this whole scenario implausible, it would be possible for Mysterio to have gained enhanced technology from another villain, especially if he teleported out.
    More likely, I feel, is that this is Francis Klum using his mind control powers, especially since he teleported away.
    It could also be possible that Quenton Beck has new powers following his resurrection (he was still missing half of his head)

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