It has all come down to this, a two-month-long event featuring Wolverine that aims to redirect the X-Men line for their new Destiny of X era. Over the course of X Lives of Wolverine and X Deaths of Wolverine, we’ve witnessed Omega Red attempt to kill Xavier while Moira tries to stay alive with a futuristic Wolverine hunting her down. She’s now on Krakoa and not looking so hot. Meanwhile, Wolverine’s family fights future Wolverine, who has gone haywire. Thankfully, Wolverine is the best there is at what he does!
X Deaths of Wolverine #5 has very much been Moira’s comic series, although Wolverine has taken over our interest since the future version was able to connect with his kids. This series has been compelling in surprising ways, opening with Moira as a victim, but over the course of the last four issues we’ve seen her fleeing, and surviving has only made her angrier at Xavier’s dream and Krakoa. That’s evident from the start of this issue where we see Moira confront Xavier on that angelic bench that kicked off the Krakoa era.
Writer Ben Percy quickly establishes the sad nature of this scene as we’re given info on Moira’s state in the now. She’s bloody and dying, and in her final moments, she can’t rest because she only wants revenge. It’s tragic. For however much we might hate her, Percy humanizes her well here.
Much of this issue, however, isn’t about Moira, but about Omega Wolverine, a Terminator-style killing machine who needs to be taken down. Wolverine has made it back to Krakoa but must rush to help his kiddos beat this monstrous version of himself. Enter Sage, who also plays a key part. One can see Percy is playing with a lot of toys he’s built up over the X-Force and Wolverine series which includes Beast.
These scenes are largely great because of the exceptional work Federico Vicentini is doing with line art with Dijjo Lima coloring. The Omega Wolverine is unreal looking and it’s quite clear you couldn’t get this effect in a non-digital way. It suits the character too since he’s digital himself. The action is bloody, intense, and well-choreographed, especially considering there are multiple fighters involved.
With much of the meat of this issue devoted to slashing and fighting, there isn’t a lot of character or plot development. Percy calls back to a key item, but does this series really direct us into Destiny of X? It’s rather unclear how much it does, but more than anything this series and X Lives of Wolverine feels like a stopgap to give creators more time with the new series launching soon. That doesn’t make this issue or the event series bad, but it does make it feel a bit disingenuous since promises were made.
Data pages continue to be interesting and informative. Percy delivers one that has a little fun with what could have if the future played out with Nimrod killing all mutants. There’s also a nice long quote from Wolverine which helps convey perspective.
Closing out the issue is an epilogue of sorts and finally a big cliffhanger. How soon we might see the cliffhanger play out remains to be seen, but it does honor Jonathan Hickman’s Powers of X, so maybe his vision continues. Or maybe not — it’s a bit tricky to gauge the future of the line. Either way, Percy ends on a rollercoaster moment that’ll complicate your feelings for Moira.
A feast for the eyes of action aficionados and a wrap-up of a mega-Wolverine event amounts to a satisfying conclusion. It may not hold answers or major developments for the X-Men comics line, but it was an enjoyable action-focused series.
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