Wolverine #317

Cullen Bunn and Paul Pelletier wrap up this volume of Logan's adventures in "Wolverine" #317 by giving the clawed Canuck and a team of Logan's former girlfriends a chance to settle things with the Covenant. An alliance of individuals with mysterious motivation, the Covenant hired Wolverine once upon a time to end the threat of the Dreaming Maiden.

Mixing Indiana Jones-flavored adventure with revised Marvel history, Bunn does a nice job contributing depth to the Marvel Universe, adding a collection of strong female leads every bit as good at what they do as their common former flame is at what he does. Bunn keeps the adventure lively and exciting, avoiding "Charlie's Angels" overtures or cliches. Bunn's Wolverine is a determined character that is confident in his abilities, unapologetic of his history and entertaining to read. While not completely identical in personality to the Wolverine Jason Aaron has established as the headmaster of the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning, there is no doubt this could very well be the same character.

The Dreaming Maiden storyline is just a little too conveniently wrapped up for me, but Bunn seems to acknowledge that, leaving the end of "Wolverine" #317 open enough where I found myself uncertain that this issue was truly the end of the series. Make no mistake, it is the finale, but it simply doesn't feel final.

Paul Pelletier delivers his very best work on this series in this issue. Full of detail and gorgeous design work, "Wolverine" #317 is an intricately bizarre world unto itself, adding as much to the Marvel Universe visually as Bunn's writing contributes. Pelletier's Wolverine is bulky and squat, visibly powerful and exceptional compared to other artists' interpretations of the character of late. Less Hugh Jackman and more along the lines of John Byrne's interpretation of the character, Pelletier's Wolverine is depicted in his original uniform, a nice touch that enhances the historical influence Bunn pours into this comic book. Showing a significant amount of versatility in his artwork, which is wonderfully enhanced by Wil Quintana's coloring, Pelletier's interpretation of the Dreaming Maiden's dream sequence conversations with Logan are delicate and beautiful, dynamic counterpoints to the violence and grotesquerie that fills this issue as Wolverine takes on the Covenant.

"Wolverine" #317 wraps up the story of the Dreaming Maiden and closes down this volume of Logan's solo adventures, but as with almost every story in comic books, there's more story left to be told. With a pair of new series on the NOW! horizon, Wolverine's story with the Covenant is sure to continue elsewhere, but how remains to be seen. However, I would have liked to see a bit more finality to the adventures of Wolverine considering this is the series' conclusion.

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