Wolverine Goes to a Hell-Themed Spa And Beats Up an Attendant
Wolverine is still in Hell, and a seriously hard to ignore flaw in the story gets exposed in this issue that makes it hard to enjoy the many good parts.
In a time when Wolverine is serving as an Avenger and feels more domesticated that ever, it's really nice to have a writer like Jason Aaron, who seems to be embracing the premise that Logan is not that great of a good guy. Both the main and back-up features of this book are telling stories based on the idea that Wolverine has done many unforgivable things and pretty much actually deserves what he is getting. That is the Wolverine I want to read. This is the Wolverine who is not all talk when it comes to being a dark and dangerous man.
But this issue is less focused on the character stuff and more on action. We have a duel main event here. Colossus versus Wolverine's possessed body, and Wolverine versus the Devil. Both are so awful that they seriously kind of break this whole story.
Starting with the less offensive of the two fights, I have to ask why Colossus and Wolverine's possessed body is even a fight. It's Colossus. He outmatches Wolverine so much it is ridiculous. So how does this issue compensate for this? How does it come up with a way whoever is possessing Wolverine can put up a real physical threat to Colossus? It doesn't. Colossus just inexplicably doesn't stop the fight. I know some people would argue he didn't want to hurt his friend. But no. That excuse doesn't fly. He never had to hurt Wolverine. All he had to do was the most obvious and sensible thing. Restrain the dangerous maniac. Just hold his arms. Fight done. This whole fight takes place simply because the writing has Colossus act too foolishly to prevent it.
That is not the real crime of this issue, though. The true crime here is that Wolverine goes to Hell, and man, is Hell freaking lame. Obviously, what we are supposed to take from all this is that Wolverine is simply so hardcore that he can take it. He's just that tough. But what we actually take away from all this is that Hell is lame and no worse than the usual beatings Wolverine takes. Wolverine actually ends up fighting the Devil. As in, physically. A fight. He fights the Devil. Has no one in the history of Hell tried that before? Because... it is apparently not so hard.
And speaking of the Devil... just stop it, Marvel. Use Mephisto. I am so sick of how seemingly every Hell story has its own generic take on Hell and the Devil and how they never really fit together. Seriously, what is the point of even having Mephisto exist?
There are still some good points to this issue. It is good to see Hellstorm and the Ghost Riders. The same can be said of Puck and Sabretooth, who I hope will be returned to life after all this. The main feature's cliffhanger is a strong moment that could definitely lead to some interesting things next issue. The back-up story of a revenge squad going after everything Wolverine cares about is an interesting one too.
But in the end, Wolverine Goes to Hell takes a crippling blow as Jason Aaron painfully undersells the idea of Hell and the Devil. The ease with which Wolverine handles everything this supposed Hell has to throw at him undermines the story and wastes what is actually a really strong idea for a story.