Writer: Benjamin Percy
Art: Federico Vicentini, Dijjo Lima, Frank Martin, VC’s Cory Petit, Tom Muller, and Adam Kubert
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release Date: February 23rd, 2022
Deported from her private residence in Krakoa, Moira MacTaggert was sheared of her mutant powers, her resurrection capabilities, and left to run for her life. However, as long suspected dead, Moira became a target for the C.I.A. and the X-Desk who, along with Mystique, is persisting to pursue her across the nation. Nonetheless, if things couldn’t get any worse, not only was the C.I.A. and Mystique tracking her down but she’s also been diagnosed with Stage Four Cancer. Plus, this mysterious WOLVERINE figure mixed with what appears to be a Phalanx could very well also be tracking her too. Could things get any worse for Moira MacTaggert? Let’s dive into X DEATHS OF WOLVERINE #3 by Benjamin Percy to see what Moira’s next move is. And, it just might impact the future of mutantkind ever.
Oh boy readers, this one is good! This is the first issue that truly felt like HOXPOX in quite some time. This issue of X DEATHS OF WOLVERINE had all the feels of POWERS OF X mixed with some elements of TERMINATOR and beyond. Plus, the gray areas are so dang gray. Is Moira now the villain or are the mutants the truly devious ones? And after this issue of X DEATHS OF WOLVERINE, I half wonder if Moira is responsible for the Future we witnessed in POWERS OF X.
Additionally, X-MEN fans discover even more about the Phalanx WOLVERINE making this aspect of Percy’s kick-off series to DESTINY OF X completely on point. X DEATHS OF WOLVERINE #3 is fascinating and totally worth heading to your shop over lunch to read immediately. Without spoiling too much, readers discover that Omega Red isn’t the only one traveling backward in time in an attempt to kill someone before they can amass a future that destroys mutantkind forever.
I can’t help but wonder what set Moira over the edge to make her the “villain” of this tale. Somehow, she deemed the only means for survival after all her lives were to genetically change all mutants back to humans as children and inadvertently wipe them out. But why? And was this idea of blending humans and machines indirectly brought on by Cypher forging her a new arm back at the end of INFERNO? Indirectly, Moira became part machine along with her humanity. Maybe it’s in that moment that she realizes it’s the machines that are also getting overlooked?
Think about it: both Humanity and Mutantkind have always tried to destroy and diminish machines. Whether using them as mere tools or terminating them out of fear, machines have always been the low man on the Totem Pole and the common denominator for both “species” or “kinds”. However, as INFERNO comes to a close, this is the first time we see machines takedown Omega-Level Mutants with ease. All this time, mutants and humans thought the war was between them. However, lurking in the shadows has been the machines they’ve both cultivated for their own gain. And the minute they’ve ever risen to the top, either humans or mutants became quick to crush them. Well, not anymore.
X DEATHS OF WOLVERINE SETS THE STAGE
X DEATHS OF WOLVERINE #3 seals the deal and almost completely unmasks Moira’s plan. Now, whether this was always the plan from the beginning is yet to be seen. However, readers discover that Moira has chosen aside and it’s not either that you’d expect and that extra wrinkle and dynamic drama that truly hooked this reviewer. Truthfully, I’ve felt myself slipping away from the Hickman X-MEN era for quite some time. Sure, here and there a good issue would arise or something like INFERNO would come along to provide a spark. But overall, the main object was flatlining.
My point: X LIVES/ DEATHS OF WOLVERINE has been a nice treat, however, I couldn’t help but wonder why I’d want to continue to buy in on the current status quo of X-MEN. As silly as it is to say, resurrection became yesterday’s news and frankly took the weight out of death. However, Percy’s new development with Moira raises the stakes, chooses sides, inadvertently creates the bigger, bolder villain of the tale, and levels the resurrection playing field all in one swoop. Ultimately readers, X DEATHS OF WOLVERINE #3 is the narrative hook we needed to not only understand where the X-MEN are going but also why.
Federico Vicentini and Dijjo Lima provide some rather busy illustrations this week making X DEATHS OF WOLVERINE #3 a bit hard to follow as the issue takes off. Adding to that busyness are some extra word balloons and lettering that seem almost jammed into some of the panels. Luckily, after about a third of the way through, Vicentini and Lima space out their design and slow the pacing down to a steady reveal that makes the issue much easier to digest. Furthermore, some of the best aspects of the issue were the showdown with this Phalanx-infused WOLVERINE, Laura, Daken, and Scout. It was a semi-family reunion that I feel we never get anymore making these scenes outstanding to see. Moreover, the futuristic colors mimicked the style of POWERS OF X quite well and provided that crisp, clean, and clear appearance that I can’t help but gravitate towards.
X DEATHS OF WOLVERINE #3 is exciting, fresh, and new even though it felt a bit borrowed from other pop culture narrative beats from the past. Plus, the plot twists were enough to pique my interest towards this next phase that seemed trivial and without direction until this point. Additionally, I absolutely loved the similar dueling plot threads and the cerebral layers they introduce. Moreover, tasking Moira as the possible future mutants have been trying to detour adds the clever dramatic wrinkle that lures this fan deeper into these X-MEN titles giving this reviewer more assurance that the X-MEN franchise of comics is in good hands. Let me know what you think, have a great week, and God Bless!