Writer: Benjamin Percy
Art: Joshua Cassara, Frank Martin, VC’s Cory Petit, Tom Muller, and Adam Kubert
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release Date: February 23rd, 2022
With Omega Red plummeting through time and jeopardizing the life of Professor Xavier, WOLVERINE finds himself reexamining his past lives in order to stop Omega Red from killing Xavier and ending Krakoa before it even starts. Somehow using Cerebro, shepherded by Jean Grey and Charles himself, WOLVERINE awakens in different versions of himself throughout his long life tasked to stop Omega Red’s devious plan. However, as WOLVERINE reasserts himself back into his old bodies, he begins to remember and realize all the injustices he committed and simultaneously wishes to right his wrongs. Let’s dive into X LIVES OF WOLVERINE #3 by Benjamin Percy and Joshua Cassara as WOLVERINE finds himself in a sticky wicket where he needs to uncover a way to protect his pregnant wife or save Charles and the future Nation of Krakoa in the process. Can WOLVERINE do both? Let’s find out!
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If you like time travel, wonky, mumbo-jumbo narratives that could have lasting effects, X LIVES OF WOLVERINE #3 is totally for you. Additionally, if you love stories with alternative diverting futures as well as possibilities, Percy puts this issue right smack in the middle of your moon pie and fires that bad boy right up. And it’s quite a sticky pickle WOLVERINE finds himself in with Itsu that only gets worse as the story unfolds.
Moreover, readers get further background on Russia’s plan, how it was formulated, and is shown “kind of” how it works throughout the issue. Well, at least how it was completed with some funky comic book science. But, it “kind of” works within the confines and landscape of X LIVES OF WOLVERINE.
However, there are still aspects of the issue that left this reviewer scratching his head. Why doesn’t Omega Red jump into Xavier’s body or relatives and directly “kill himself” while attached as their host? It obviously doesn’t harm Omega Red if he dies in the body since that’s already happened numerous times now. So, wouldn’t that be more efficient, especially since we discover in this week’s X LIVES OF WOLVERINE that Omega Red can mind jump into $&@$ whales! Better yet, why not jump into a past WOLVERINE before the present WOLVERINE does? I guess you’ll have to read X LIVES OF WOLVERINE #3 to find out!
Additionally, for the flow of the story as well as to keep things a bit more emotional, somehow Omega Red randomly jumps out of Itsu without any reason. Again, this aspect of the narrative leaves way too many plot holes. Prior to Omega Red vacating her body, he threatens to take control of her body and basically have her kill herself. So, why did he leave prior to doing just that? Readers, don’t get me wrong, Percy set up a killer narrative. The story beats are riveting and the action is intense. Yet, it seems like Percy just backed himself into a few corners that he couldn’t logically weave himself out of without just skimming over their real purpose, consequences, or conclusion.
And lastly, Percy attempts to periodically sprinkle in some inner monologuing from WOLVERINE throughout the issue that comes across as a bit too deep and muddled. Realistically, Percy could have summarizes the entire concept of X LIVES OF WOLVERINE #3 with this one simple, yet powerful, sentence stated at the beginning, “The shorter the stay the more you treasure what you got”. This line stuck with me the rest of the day after reading this issue and really left a profound mark. How true is that statement especially with the next day always being unknown? Yet everyone, including myself, lives a life like you have at least 50 more years to go. Maybe Percy uses WOLVERINE to help realign all of our compasses, especially in this modern, social media-driven, self-centered, COVID era?
Percy may write the plot but it’s Joshua Cassara who truly brings the issue to life. This week’s X LIVES OF WOLVERINE is absolutely cluttered with one fight after another cascading across different timeframes and lives of WOLVERINE. Each version is a bit different with each fight sequence finding its own strength within that era of WOLVERINE’S past. Cassara has done his homework for sure having WOLVERINE closely resemble his stature and prowess from each impactful moment of Logan’s past.
Not to mention each time Omega Red overtakes a body it looks almost like some type of Satanic possession. Furthermore, readers should be prepared for a graphic onslaught as this issue unravels. The fights are intense and the images will smack you right in the face adding to the excitement of the story. One moment that sticks out the most to this reviewer is with SABRETOOTH and the bees in the jungle. It was almost as if I could feel the pain raging off the page. Just some outstanding work from Cassara and this creative team.
X LIVES OF WOLVERINE #3 delivers some killer moments and is absolutely littered with dynamic action and powerful moments that will keep readers all in. Yet, I couldn’t help but take a step back and scratch my head with a few glaring plot holes that would ultimately wrap this story up post haste. However, in Percy’s defense, he saw one of my theories mentioned above and finds a path to weave it right smack dab into the middle of X LIVES OF WOLVERINE giving this reviewer more confidence in the story. Moreover, any issue that provides a statement that makes me question more than just the comic itself, but life in general, definitely hits the mark.
So, even with multiple questions as this reviewer tried to iron out the narrative, I couldn’t help but find myself reinvested and locked in. Furthermore, out of the two halves of this series, X LIVES OF WOLVERINE continues to deliver so much more than X DEATHS OF WOLVERINE. Readers, if you’re an X-MEN fan, you have no choice but to grab them both as this series ushers fans into the DESTINY OF X. I highly recommend picking this issue up, as well as the entire X LIVES/ DEATHS OF WOLVERINE so you’re totally up to date with what’s going on as the new era of X-MEN unfolds. Let me know what you think, have a great week, and God Bless!