Writer: Benjamin Percy
Art: Federico Vicentini, Dijjo Lima, Frank Martin, VC’s Cory Petit, Tom Muller, and Adam Kubert
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release Date: January 26th, 2022
What’s the next phase look like for mutants? Where do the X-MEN go from here? What’s the fallout from Mystique, Destiny, and Moira? Well, Benjamin Percy leads the charge this week as X DEATHS OF WOLVERINE #1 focuses more on the future and less on the past while the preliminary stage in this new epic Chapter begins to take shape.
Let me start this review with an extremely mild spoiler and recap from events that cascaded right out of INFERNO #4. Why? Well, it will help to paint a better picture for fans this week. X DEATHS OF WOLVERINE is absolutely nothing like X LIVES OF WOLVERINE. Now, it doesn’t mean that they aren’t in conjunction (because they most certainly are) but X DEATHS OF WOLVERINE and X LIVES OF WOLVERINE are the new HOXPOX for this era.
Where HOUSE OF X focused more on the past and current issues until the end of the series, POWERS OF X focused more on the future until the two merged. Picture LIVES/ DEATHS the same way. DEATHS focuses more on the current development and where this next phase is going while LIVES is showcasing WOLVERINE somehow using Cerebro to travel into his past lives. For what exact purpose… that’s still to be determined.
Now, would the new recruits like a summary of the Hickman era as well as a quick recap of the ending? Here goes: HOXPOX created a Mutant Country on a living island that was ultimately built through a series of failed lives by Moira MacTaggert (she had the mutant power of repeating past lives with her memories intact). Furthermore, this Mutant Nation also created a means by which mutants would essentially never die through Cerebro and five special mutants combining their abilities to resurrect mutants upon proof of death.
However, as the Hickman era continued to unfold, a looming secret was always in the background. Granted, to be fair, it was never really touched on by anyone or any writer. But alas, a secret nonetheless. Moira not only hid from all mutants (except Erik and Charles) but demanded that precogs never be resurrected. She said it was to help ensure mutants’ survival against the humans and machines. Yet, we learn it’s because they would foresee her “evil plan”.
Long story short, Mystique wanted her wife alive and forcefully resurrected Destiny (a precog). This then led to a knowledge of a plan that showcased Mystique and Destiny plotting to get Moira alone to kill her (revenge and all that). You see, Destiny knew exactly what Moira’s plan was since she could see into the future and knew it’s bad for mutant business. And thus, she wants Moira dead! Well, what was Moira’s real plan? I’m so glad you asked. Drum roll…. To get rid of mutants forever. To make a permanent cure for mutants. Ultimately, to give it to mutants before they ever manifested their abilities.
My problem with this concept was again that this idea was never referenced before and had no signs, hints, or clues to garner that this was ever a possible angle. Seems… kind of like we’ve been to this rodeo before. Nevertheless, COVID, Diamond Distributor publishing, and just people wanting to hold on to their jobs tightly during this awkward time in X-MEN history have led to this becoming our new ending to the Hickman era. That said, it might not be the initial story planned but it’s the story that was now told. So, where are we now? I’m glad you asked
X DEATHS OF WOLVERINE #1 REVIEW
Readers, X DEATHS OF WOLVERINE #1 is totally different from X LIVES OF WOLVERINE #1 in a good way. Now, I rather quite enjoyed LIVES, however, DEATHS focuses on what’s happening with Moira right now after the events of INFERNO. It’s more of a story focusing on the question, “where do we go from here?”. And, what do we find? Well, Moira is in a heap of trouble with a relentless mutant on her tail. Plus, with the Krakoan gate system set up all over the world, this would make it rather difficult for anyone to truly hide.
The other B Plot built within X DEATHS OF WOLVERINE #1 is that the island of Krakoa (in so many words) birthed something that appears to also be laced with the same material Doug used to give Moira back her arm. And can I tell you, this newly birth creation doesn’t look happy. Nevertheless, without spoiling too much more, that’s basically the story.
My genuine appreciation comes more from the aspect that we see what’s next with Moira. I was under the impression that this plot thread would just be left dangling for months until someone picked it up again. However, I was dead wrong. Readers almost instantly see a heavy focus on Moira MacTaggert, the brand new antagonist to mutant-kind.
Nevertheless, there are a few plot threads that seem a bit rushed to move the story forward much faster, as well as a guest star or two that make it seem like they’ve always been a part of the overarching Hickman campaign. Yet, they haven’t been. But rest assured, by the end of X DEATHS OF WOLVERINE #1, we realize that LIVES and DEATHS are happening at the same time just telling two different perspectives that I’m sure will join together as the series concludes.
Federico Vicentini’s style has a very unique look towards the character’s eyes. They’re drawn incredibly large with this almost anime feel to them causing the main character (Moira) to look a bit different than she’s been drawn recently. Granted, it wasn’t just her. Black Tom’s eyes looked the same as well as a few other characters making them come across as less realistic and more cartoony. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, however, it’s just not what I’ve been used to seeing from X-MEN comics recently which is what was so jarring. On a more positive note, Vicentini, along with the colorist, does a masterful job invoking movement, speed, tension, and the sense of a chase throughout the entire issue.
While X LIVES OF WOLVERINE #1 focused on the past lives of WOLVERINE, the X DEATHS OF WOLVERINE #1 focuses more on the current landscape and possible future direction of the Kieron Gillen era… the Destiny of X if you will. Readers discover some major hiccups for Moira but ultimately realize she’s still a huge part of this adventure like it or not. X DEATHS OF WOLVERINE #1 was just as fast-paced and exciting as X LIVES OF WOLVERINE #1 was making this feel almost like the HOXPOX for the Gillen Era to come, even though it’s Percy writing this opening installment.
If you’re interested in finally hopping on the X-MEN bandwagon, I recommend reading HOXPOX, INFERNO (by Hickman), X LIVES OF WOLVERINE #1, and then X DEATHS OF WOLVERINE #1. This should be enough information to give you a pretty solid background of what’s going on. Plus, each story mentioned above is truly outstanding and worth every penny. Now is a great time to dive in. It’s almost as if it’s your Destiny… Let me know what you think, have a great week, and God Bless.