Page 45 Review by Stephen
Certainly one of the best Wolverine stories out there, even if Millar struggles to invest the regular Marvel universe's Nick Fury with quite as much charisma as his ULTIMATES' version. And this is a vast-cast military battle. Lured into contact with a nefarious arm of The Hand by the kidnapping of an old friend's son, Wolverine is taken down and out. They actually manage to kill him! Thing is, he's not their target, he's their weapon for they resurrect him (oh, see Elektra in Frank Miller's DAREDEVIL VOL 3) and send him out to find and kill their second weapon of choice, Elektra (really - see Elektra in Miller's DAREDEVIL VOL 3). And then the real slaughter begins: hundreds and hundreds of b-list heroes and baddies, all zombified and under control of The Gorgon, throwing the Marvel mainstays into a nervous bunker mentality. Next stop? S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters.
Romita rises to the task - there are some huge battle scenes on offer - whilst Millar throws in the odd sweet reference to previous X-Men storylines, like Northstar's crush on an oblivious Iceman.
Also included, Millar's self-contained change of pace which I read before the afterword that explained it all. And the funny thing is, the exact two elements that I picked out that made this so special weren't Millar's at all: they both came from Will Eisner. The issue is dedicated to Will, and what makes it so special is that the silhouette that is Wolverine says not a word, thereby turning him into something of a phantom and a witness. Set in a Nazi Death Camp during World War II, it really does feel like an EC ghost story with a new commandant, arriving to replace a predecessor who has committed suicide, haughtily sneering at the ineffectiveness of the camp and seeking to make an example of the man who just stares at him through the fence. Of course that man will prove decidedly more difficult to exterminate than the thousands of Jews who perish alongside him, and that way may lie madness... Superb, blizzard colouring by Villarrubia and, unlike its original printing, there are no cheap and gaudy adverts to break the atmosphere.