Before Wolverine lands in Hell, he’s got an awful lot of falling to do first. But on the way he still manages to make the time to chat to a severed head. It’s Wolverine: The Road to Hell!
Ahead of “Wolverine Goes to Hell”, Marvel published a one-shot called ‘The Road to Hell’ which featured short stories about the current status of Wolverine, X-Force, X-23 and Daken: Dark Wolverine. For the sake of completeness, let’s just take a quick look through the Wolverine section, which acts as a direct prologue for the main story and sees the character’s fall into Hell.
Things begin off-kilter, with a falling Logan realising that he’s naked and back with his bone-claws rather than the adamantium which was coated on by the Weapon X project. Wolverine has woken up naked and without any memories so many times by now that you’d think this would just be a regular Tuesday afternoon for him, but he seems pretty worried this time round. Rather than finding himself lying underneath the local sandpit at the X-Men’s crèche (or, as I suspect happens more often, lying in the corridor outside Jean Grey’s old bedroom), he’s falling through some kind of hell…
That realisation causes him to flash back to several scenes through his life, touching on the parts of “Wolverine Origins” which Marvel are still willing to accept actually got written. The back of the trade which collects this story actually recaps “Origins” at great lengths, which must’ve killed the compiler. If people are wondering when Shelfdust will start recapping THAT series? When you tie me to a spinning wheel of fire and force me to, that’s when.
In his memories he kills his father, fights through the World Wars and back to modern times before we get a proper look at him as he falls downwards into the pit.
He tries to grab hold of the walls, but they’re thick with warm blood, which reminds him of the time he escaped from Weapon X with his shiny new claws. Renato Guedes draws an intensely hairy Wolverine, which is perfect, and makes him look way more scary and violent than he does when he’s all clean-shaven and smooth. More hairy heroes please, Marvel! Please stop trying to pretend like Hercules spends days at a time waxing his chest. I also don’t buy that Valkyrie and Sif spend time on their armpits when there’s trolls to beat up.
A voice calls out to Wolverine and tells him that all his victims are waiting at the bottom of the pit. At the same time we get to see said victims, who are largely faceless goons – although there are a few surprises in there. Unexpectedly, we see Wolverine cutting off Xorn’s head from way back in the “New X-Men” days, which was another storyline I never thought we’d see Marvel reference again. Jason Aaron is a huge Grant Morrison fan though, so perhaps we could expect to see even more of Xorn once Wolverine hits the bottom. Maybe a Jean or two will show up too.
Wolverine claws his way back to the wall, only to find his young brother John sat there, waiting for him. I don’t think we’ve ever actually seen John appear before in a Marvel comic – he was mentioned in the first issue of “Wolverine: Origins” but all we saw of him there was a gravestone. So this is his grand introduction. He had the same powers as Wolverine, but died as a kid – and now he’s in Hell, which seems a bit harsh, and he’s holding onto the still-severed head of Sabretooth.
Which, delightfully, bites Wolverine’s hand and sends him tumbling back into the darkness. And that’s where we leave Wolverine. Don’t fall, Logan! It just gets you down! Too soon?
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artists: Renato Guedes, Jose Wilson Magalhaes, Oclair Albert
Colours: Matthew Wilson
Letters: Cory Petit
Published by Marvel Comics