Review: Wolverine #4

Wolverine #4 cover
Wolverine #4

Wolverine #4
Published and © by Marvel, December 1982

Title: “Honor”
Synopsis: After tearing his way through the Japanese underworld, Wolverine heads for an ultimate showdown with the criminal overlord Shingen.

Writer: Chris Claremont
Penciler: Frank Miller
Finisher: Joe Rubinstein

Review: With this excellent final chapter (see reviews of earlier issues), Chris Claremont and Frank Miller conclude their master class in action-packed, character-driven storytelling. Collectively, this miniseries is near perfect: it works as a crime drama, character piece and, ultimately, romance. On the art side, Miller continues to build on already-strong work he did on Daredevil; his design mastery serves both the nonstop action and character moments. This powerful conclusion leaves our protagonist truly changed – a rarity in comics. This issue earns the rare A+, as does the series as a whole.

Grade: A+

Second opinion: “A triumph of sequential storytelling … The miniseries remains, decades after its publication, the definitive Wolverine story.” – Jason Powell, “The Best There Is at What He Does: Examining Chris Claremont’s X-Men,” 2016 …“The time has come for the Marvelization of Wolverine. The beginning of this process is this miniseries and the end is nowhere in sight.” – Tom Joyner, Comic Informer #7, January-February 1983 … No. 37 on Marvel’s “Greatest Marvels of All Time” list. … Recommended by The Slings & Arrows Comic Guide (second edition), 2003.

Cool factor: Other than the fact it’s over? Nothing. This one is as cool as it comes.

Collector’s note: According to the MyComicShop.com, there is a 75¢ Canadian variant of this issue.

Character quotable: “Hey Elf – don’t forget the BEER!” – Wolverine, classing up that wedding invite
A word from the writer: “This became what all of us in comics strive for – that special moment where writer’s vision merges with penciler’s, the two complementing each other, strength building on strength, counterbalancing weakness, to create a whole which is much, much greater than the sum of the parts.” – Chris Claremont, on his collaboration with penciler Frank Miller, from the introduction to the Wolverine trade paperback, January 1987

Editor’s note: This review was originally published by Sequential Reaction (Vol. 1) on Feb. 10, 2016.

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