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Death of Wolverine & Star Wars: Lando

Death of Wolverine

By Charles Soule (Author), Steve McNiven (Illustrator) Marvel Comics (Publisher)

After reading the title of this Marvel masterpiece, you may find yourself asking, as I did: How can this be? Wolverine is immortal and he simply cannot die. As a precursor to reading Death of Wolverine, I found out that an intelligent Microverse virus had infected Logan and is able to turn off his accelerated healing factor. Wolverine becomes mortal and is now able to be killed. Being a man of action, Wolverine seeks out the help of Tony Stark (Iron Man) and Reed Richards (Mister Fantastic) to restore his precious healing factor. After Reed suggests a lengthy rest period while he works on a cure, Logan declines. Instead, he decides to do what he does best. He tackles the horde of enemies and army of assassins that are after him, dealing with them on his own terms. After brutally beating Daredevil’s old foe, Nuke, within an inch of his life, Wolverine learns who has put the hit out on him. He decides to pay a visit to the Viper, who wants him brought to her alive. Logan cooks up a plan to use one of Iron Man’s helmets as a decoy to gain entry into the deadly Viper’s lair. After a violent battle with the Viper’s slave, Sabretooth, concludes with Wolverine suffering a mortal wound, fellow X-Man Kitty Pryde and longtime enemy Lady Deathstrike come to Wolverine’s rescue. A final showdown between Wolverine and his creator results in Logan sacrificing himself so that no one else suffers the same fate as he has. BONUS: Death of Wolverine also includes a revealing inside look at Wolverine from Len Wein, who helped create the Adamantium-laced mutant in 1974.

Star Wars: Lando

By Charles Soule (Author), Alex Maleev (Illustrator) Marvel Comics (Publisher)

When Billy Dee Williams hit the big screen as Lando Calrissian in 1980, African Americans around the nation rejoiced. A person of color had been added to the “Star Wars” mythos. And while the character didn’t make a comeback in the most recent “Star Wars” film, Marvel Comics has your back. Star Wars: Lando collects the limited series that explores the lovable rogue’s history prior to his debut in “Star Wars, Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back.” The book shows Lando to be a man of contradictions. He says, “Blasters are for suckers, people with no imagination,” yet he’s revealed to be an expert shot. He loves women, but he leaves them. The one constant of his existence is his love of gambling. Alex Maleev’s pencils give the book a darker style than Marvel’s other “Star Wars” titles, the liberally shadowed art perfectly evocative of the dangers of gambling, of fighting to get ahead while being drawn deeper into the darkness of desperation. The inveterate gambler’s love of constantly running on disaster’s edge will catch up to him, extracting a price so high it will ultimately change Lando’s life. That event, the self-sacrifice of a trusted friend, is revealed as the impetus for why Lando ultimately ends up joining the Rebellion against the Empire. In the friend’s final moments, Lando is urged to work toward a higher ideal, rather than merely continuing to merely exist in the constant pursuit of the art of the deal. It might not look like it has an impact at the time, but you’ll see the result in “Empire Strikes Back,” when he finally acts on his friend’s final wish.

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