Jason Aaron spent the first 14 issues of his new Wolverine series tearing Wolverine's soul apart, and after the events of last issue, Wolverine is in unfamiliar territory. However, things have to move forward. Can Aaron bring this story to a reasonable close in just one issue?
Why yes, yes he can.
I won't spoil the events of the previous issues exactly, but suffice it to say that Logan basically feels that he is not worthy of even being considered a human being right now. He has always suffered from animalistic tendencies, but now he feels like he has gone all the way to that side. Not only that, but he also does not trust himself to use his claws, because the last time he used them...well, it led to the trauma that brought him here.
So what Aaron does is break him all the way down so that he can be brought back up. Part of it is really amping up the absurdity of the notion of Wolverine actually joining a pack of wolves up in the wilderness. Goran Sudzuka helps out beautifully. He does not just draw a "feral" Wolverine, he draws a pathetic Wolverine...
I mean, look at the scenes. It is ridiculous to see Logan try to lose himself in such a silly fashion. And yet Aaron's point here is that THAT is how bad things are for Wolverine. He can't even think clearly enough to see how stupid this whole thing is.
Wolverine's experiences is mixed with his girlfriend, the reporter Melita Garner, interviewing all the people who know Wolverine best. Seeing what they say about Wolverine is fascinating, because it can be a sort of fun game determining whether you feel Aaron's view of what Character X thinks about Wolverine matches what you think (Aaron and I are pretty much on the same page throughout, although a few seemed off to me, like Iceman talking about what a born leader Wolverine is - when you take into consideration that Iceman is going to be on Wolverine's team of X-Men, in a book written by Aaron, it makes sense for Aaron to have him say it in a "laying groundwork" type of way, but it still seemed off to me). The best part of the scenes I think was seeing Sudzuka, who is not a guy you often see drawing superheroes, now suddenly drawing TONS of them (Matthew Wilson did a great job on colors, as he always does).
Eventually, Wolverine realizes that his situation is a sort of "damned if you, damned if you don't" deal. If he cuts off from humanity, he can't hurt others, but if he cuts off from humanity, he can't HELP others. If he doesn't use his claws, he can't kill people, but if he doesn't use his claws, people who are killing OTHERS will get away with it. You can see how it would drag on Wolverine's soul.
When Wolverine is confronted with all the people who care about him, it's a great scene by Aaron and Sudzuka where it is almost like a light switch goes off in Wolverine's head. "Yeah, that was dumb of me, back to work."
Really well-handled issue by Aaron and Sudzuka (and Wilson). I hope to see more of Sudzuka on the title. Heck, I like to see more of his art PERIOD! Wherever I can get it.