A strong coda for an overall strong run
I'm extremely glad to have this issue here to cap off Jason Aaron's overall great run on Wolverine. While the run has been kinda "blah" for most of its final year, it started off so VERY strong in Wolverine: Weapon X and continuing into the first 12 or so issues of "Wolverine" that I'd still call the run as a whole mostly successful. This endcap for Jason Aaron's run is a very strong send-off (and look forward as it sets some seeds for incoming writer Cullen Bunn). The previous storyline left me cold for the most part, and I'm very glad that its final issue was not the final issue of Jason Aaron's run.
While this issue isn't essential in the sense of resolving any ongoing plot threads or answering long-brewing questions, is is quite satisfying, and on multiple levels. Primarily, it is a strong homage to Aaron's whole run as it touches base, however briefly, with pretty much everybody Wolverine encountered during the run, friend or foe, alive or dead (a single panel with the Mongrels is much appreciated). It is also a very strong showcase for our title character as Wolverine gets to really show off the "best there is at what he does" side of his character one last time (in this writer's care).
Finally, the issue is a FANTASTIC artistic showcase. While the shifts in art style as the issue progresses are a bit jarring from one artist to the next, each of the issue's artists (incoming series penciler Paul Pelletier among them) contribute very strong work. Steve Dillon's framing sequence is perhaps most noteworthy, but it is also very nice having some work from most of the other artists who had worked on this run at any point (Daniel Acuna, Steven Sanders, Renato Guedes, Ron Garney).
This issue isn't exactly essential for people who haven't read Jason Aaron's whole run, but for those of us who have it is surprisingly rewarding. Also, for planting seeds of what's coming next (a few new plot threads, a few pages from our incoming regular artist), it functions as something of a .1 issue for those planning to pick up the title starting with the new creative team next issue.
It's not the most amazing issue ever, not by any means, but it's still a triumph nonetheless and it sends of Aaron's run in a way that leaves me for one with very fond memories, even though the rest of the past year on this title had been a bit weak.