Comics : Wolverine (Vol. 3) #31

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This story is part of an Arc: "Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D."
     Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4 / Part 5 / Part 6

This review was first published on: 2005.

Background...

They turned him into a pawn. They forced him to betray the only people he's ever trusted. Now, it's time to get even. Everything you've seen 'til now has just been a warm-up. With the help of an unlikely ally, Wolverine will make sure The Hand, the Dawn of the White Light, and Hydra are never the same again. This is the explosive climax you've been waiting for! This battle royale will not only raise the bar on action... after this, there will be NO BAR.

Other than this (Marvel-generated, promo) paragraph, I have to honestly say that I'm not entirely certain what has gone on prior to this, sixth and final, issue in this Limited Series other than Wolverine has either become an Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. or is simply become their stalking horse in a battle with the more vicious elements of The Hand and Hydra. Needless to say, as this is the final issue there is a load of slashing and killing Wolverine-style (oh yea, and issue that has a Spidey appearance), so off we go.

In Detail...

Wolverine (Vol. 3) #31
Oct 2005 : SM Guest
Summary: Spider-Man Appears
Arc: Part 6 of "Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D."
Editor:  Jennifer Lee
Writer:  Mark Millar
Pencils:  John Romita, Jr.
Inker:  Klaus Janson
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Review

As this issue opens up Wolverine is pinned to a wall with a Samurai sword jammed through his throat and a couple of S.H.I.E.L.D. Agents attempting to pull it out (man is typing S.H.I.E.L.D. out all initial caps throughout the rest of this review going to be a pain, thank Bill Gates for cut-and-paste, eh?). As soon as he is free, Wolverine barks orders to the Agents (his vocal chords apparently healing very fast) and heads towards the Infirmary where Nick Fury is being treated because (apparently) whoever stuck Wolverine is headed there to kill Fury.

Wolverine then jumps into some teleporting device and is (presumably) going to appear in the Infirmary. Meanwhile at S.H.I.E.L.D.'s "Secret New York City Headquarters (hey, that's what the caption said) Electra is beaten, on her knees and being held by the throat by someone named the Gorgon (who is apparently the one who handed her such a severe beating). Electra gasps out to the gaggle of S.H.I.E.L.D. Agents in the background to shoot and kill the Gorgon (I'm guessing that somehow Electra also has authority over the S.H.I.E.L.D. Agents).

They shoot, as ordered, but Gorgon manages to deflect all of their bullets back at them with his Samurai sword, and kills them all. Wolverine appears, but not at the infirmary and begins cursing out the teleporter. He 'ports again, as Gorgon begins to methodically slay all of the S.H.I.E.L.D. Agents. Agent Dugan (from wherever he is) is screaming for Wolverine who now appears five blocks away. Wolverine 'ports again as Gorgon moves closer to Fury, killing Agents along the way.

Once in Fury's room, Gorgon turns the last two agents into stone (something he can apparently do) and prepares to kill Furry who is in bed hooked up to a bunch of machines keeping him alive. Wolverine has switched his mode of transportation to the jet pack he has been wearing and blasts through the window of Fury's room plowing Gorgon through the building and blasting out the other side of the building. The Pack apparently runs out of fuel and the pair falls through the skylight of the building next door.

Gaining their feet, the two protagonists go at each other, slashing and hacking the bejesus out of each other for a couple of pages, each giving as good as they are getting (with Gorgon having a slight edge), and whaling the daylights out of Wolverine. Finally Gorgon manages to beat Wolverine back and pins him to the wall. Slowly, Gorgon removes his shades and informs Wolverine that he is going to turn the X-Man into stone, only Wolverine pops his claws and holds them up in front of his face, reflecting Gorgon's stony stare back at the villain himself, turning Gorgon himself into stone.

Wolvie's next punch is through Gorgon's Solar Plexus, shattering him into a million pieces. Exhausted, Wolverine collapses to the floor, and this, dear reader, is when our webbed hero makes his entrance. Spider-Man drops down from the ceiling and inquires after Logan's health, and then asks what is going on as the place is crawling with S.H.I.E.L.D. Agents. Wolverine blows Spidey off, and asks his fellow Avenger to tell Fury that he is sorry, but there is still more work for Wolverine to do, and then shuffles off as his body's healing factor works it's healing magic.

The story wraps up as Fury dictates his report to the X-Men's Kitty Pride about the disposition of the case. He tells her that Electra survives (to re- team with Wolverine over in the Imperfects); Hydra is still active (to pop up again in Amazing Spider-Man #519); that S.H.I.E.L.D. never recovered the body of Northstar (a lie as we see him detained (and alive) in a S.H.I.E.L.D. facility); and that Wolverine is still in the wind (and stacking up corpses like cordwood, 1,800 so far). Fury winds up his verbal missive by expressing confusion as to what the X-Man is looking for, along with the feeling that Wolverine - who never was very stable in the first place - has gone completely 'round the twist.

The last couple of pages have wolverine standing on a wind-swept hill next to an unmarked grave with a Japanese couple next to them. Wolverine, full of sorrow and regret apologizes to the couple that he wasn't able to prevent the tragedy of their child's death.

In General...

Well Spidey didn't really play an integral part in the story, at all, but his appearance merely demonstrates a cohesiveness of the Marvel Universe (a full- on brawl happening in New York between one of his Avenger companions, and a bunch of thugs, so it is highly likely that he might know about it and appear, albeit briefly in the story). So, this is merely a cameo and Spidey plays no real action in the story itself. Still it was nice to see him here and the very real concern he expressed for Wolverine, even though the two display surface animosity in the pages of Amazing and New Avengers.

Overall Rating...

Not really a Spidey story, but it was truly fun to read a Wolverine all-out brawl, replete with multiple killings and the like, so it sort of makes me want to pick up the trade paperback when it appears.