ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘X Lives of Wolverine,’ Issue #4

Reading Time: 2 minutes

X Lives of Wolverine #4

X Lives of Wolverine #4 is written by Benjamin Percy, illustrated by Joshua Cassara and Federico Vicentini, colored by Frank Martin, and lettered by VC’s Cory Petit. It’s published by Marvel Comics. Wolverine’s attempts to protect the lineage of Charles Xavier hit a significant snag when Omega Red’s possessed his body and attacked Xavier in Colombia. The Russian mutant also possessed Dr. Cornelius, head of the Weapon X program, and attempts to kill Logan before he undergoes the process that bonds Adamantium to his skeleton. But as it turns out, something deadlier lurks within Logan’s body. And finally, Logan attempts to stop Omega from assassinating one of Xavier’s ancestors during World War II, which leads to an intense dogfight.

With this series traveling through various points in Wolverine’s life, it only makes sense that at some point, he’d return to his origin. Percy’s script weaves between three different time periods easily, connecting them all via Logan’s narration. The clawed X-Man ruminates on his life and how he’s found a home and purpose with the X-Men. “I can’t take back all the wounds and mistakes,” he says as the issue approaches its final moments. “And even though I’ve fought on the wrong side of wars…I’ve found my flag and anthem in Krakoa.” Percy continues to stand out as one of the few writers who sees Wolverine as more than a bundle of claws and anger; what makes him an interesting character is how he actively works to be a better person.

In line with the series’ chronal crossing narrative, Cassara illustrates the Columbia and Weapon X sequences while Vicentini handles the WWII sequence. Considering Vicentini’s high octane artwork on X Lives‘ sister series X Deaths of Wolverine, it’s no surprise that he tackled the WWII sequence. It literally features Logan hijacking a plane, then diving out of the cockpit and using his claws to shear through a Japanese warplane. However, Cassara doesn’t slack on the action either. He draws the hell out of a brutal battle between the Omega Red-possessed Wolverine and Sabretooth in Columbia, complete with a Mortal Kombat-style fatality, and adds a horror-tinged element to the Weapon X sequences by playing on Logan’s connection to another Marvel antihero.

Topping it all off is Martin’s sepia-toned colors, which shifts to a cooler palette when the comic returns to the present with Jean Grey and Professor X. A page transcribing their conversation about the nature of time is illuminating—considering the nature of their mission and Wolverine’s “hands-on” or should I say “claws-on” method of problem-solving—and reads like a one-act play thanks to Petit structuring the conversation like a screenplay. Petit also shifts between literal cloud-shaped word balloons when Jean and Xavier use their telepathy and parentheses when characters shift into Japanese.

X Lives of Wolverine #4 serves as a meditation on the clawed Canadian’s long history while also setting the stage for a final battle between him and Omega Red. With both X Lives and X Deaths hurtling to their finales, I’m looking forward to seeing where Wolverine and the rest of the X-Men go from here.

X Lives of Wolverine #4 will be available wherever comics are sold on March 9, 2022.


X Lives of Wolverine #4
4.5

TL;DR

X Lives of Wolverine #4 serves as a meditation on the clawed Canadian’s long history while also setting the stage for a final battle between him and Omega Red. With both X Lives and X Deaths hurtling to their finales, I’m looking forward to seeing where Wolverine and the rest of the X-Men go from here.