Itâ€™s been coming for ages — and we all knew it.
This unnatural and unnerving, pacifist side of this alternate future world Wolverine was something that was crying out to be changed. Even though every faithful reader who has been following this very entertaining story over the past several issues understood the very valid reason that Logan had for being the way he is, we felt totally unsatisfied with the status quo.
Large amounts of mayhem were surely going to erupt at some time in the immediate future — and we all knew it.
It was obvious that even after everything that Wolverine had been through on his road trip across the Disunited States, the sight of the Red Skull wearing the uniform of one of the few men who had ever fully commanded Loganâ€™s respect was really going to piss the legendary bad tempered Canadian off, big time. The ensuing battle, extremely well rendered by Steve McNiven, is a master class of comic combat choreography which is well worth the price of admission alone and even as we were reading through these wonderful pages we had a growing instinct about how the villain would be finally and fatally dispatched.
Our sore put-upon hero would finally have to use his built in sushi kit to assassinate this putrid, pretend President — and we all knew it.
But Mark Millar was cleverer than that. Why meet those particular expectations when you can take both your main character plus a fully gripped readership and then pull everyone through an unexpected emotional wringer. The envisioned ending that was in our clearly signposted in the script just didnâ€™t materialise and instead this clever writer gave us a moment that eerily evokes the spirit of the classic wartime Jack Kirby Captain America. The bad guy still gets whatâ€™s coming to him but the inventive emotional trick that Millar pulls off allows us to better identify with the definitive moment.
None of us has an adamantium skeleton but every comic fan has thrown a Frisbee and just for a few seconds imagined that they were Cap when he finally defeated his old enemy — and we all knew it.
So our hero, with his prize in hand, very quickly hightails it back home and the manner in which this was done was perhaps as clever as how Hitchcock handled the scene of the Thornhillâ€™s moving from Mount Rushmore to their honeymoon train, in a few screen seconds. Wolverine arrives at his dwelling to find the horror that he had been dreading all through his long journey and had apparently miraculously avoided at the last minute was now fully wrought on his family not through revenge or necessity but through boredom instead. This was now the moment when we our long expected visceral bodily response from Wolverine and the final full page spread is wonderful.
We are all going to really love the Giant-Size conclusion to this tremendous tale — and we all know it.
Four stars out of five.