Who's in this issue?
No offense to the writer, but in my opinion, this was an extremely weak story to begin with, and an even weaker ending to it. First, Dogma ... is he man, or is he just some type of entity? Logan refers to the suit as a "containment suit", so what exactly did it contain? Then the confrontation between Logan and Cardinal Panzer. Weak ... totally weak! I'm surprised that Logan was even able to contain his rage long enough to allow Cardinal Parente to intercede after Panzer had put a bullet through Father Braun's brain. So how does this story end? Cardinal Panzer gets a slap on the wrist by Cardinal Parente just because the two are in on the same plan. And now they have Wolverine to worry about instead of Father Braun? Please, look at some of the other more noteworthy villians that Logan had to face off in the past ... this "High Council" ordeal with the church, is never going to ever reappear in any future Wolverine issues! Then go back to the very beginning on how Wolverine escapes. Come on, with two ... count them ... 1 ... 2 ... guards with guns pointed at Logan's head, not one was able to stop Logan from throwing a line in (or three), break free from his restraints, and pop a claw into one of the apprehender's foot? Not a single person attempted to even try to stop Wolverine with his weapon. Not one! How much more unrealistic can you get?
As you can tell, I'm not particularly proud of this issue. This story went absolutely nowhere, and it's a story that features "villians" who will never reappear in the issue. Granted, my rating will give credit for the artwork which is decent and a decent attempt at making a good storyline, but still, unless you're amassing a Wolverine collection, don't bother with this 2-parter story arc.
Rating (from 1 dot (not recommended) to 5 dot (highly recommended)
"The Shadow Pulpit, Book 2 of 2"
IN THIS ISSUE:
In Vatican City, Rome, Wolverine is seen chained to the floor of a van as two of his captors, with guns aimed at Logan's head, are talking about how Logan had survived his encounter against Dogma, and wondered why they didn't just do away with Logan at that moment. As they talk, Logan somehow manages to unleash his claws to slice through his restraints and gouges one of his captors in his lower leg. The driver of the van loses control of the van and flees on foot after the van is stopped. Logan breaks out of the van and follows him to see the man fleeing into a building. With his scent still fresh in his mind, Logan made plans to come back later to allow for the situation to cool down for a bit.
Inside the Vatican, the lone captor who had fleed makes his way into Cardinal Panzer's office, where he tells him that "[Father Braun's] mysterious benefactor" had escaped. The captor thinks that Logan would never dare to go after him into the Vatican, but Panzar furiously dismisses that thought, especially since Logan had been seeing very little resistance along the way. And somewhere below the Vatican, in a locked chamber, a half-naked Father Braun is seen being beaten by a woman who was interrogating him to find out the identity of the "stranger" that Braun had been associating with and what Braun had told him.
Later that night, Wolverine, in full costume, returns back to the corridor where one of his captors had fleed into. As he descended into the depth, he encounters a group of costumed soldiers, and with his claws drawn, proceeds to battle against these enemies, who were trying to slow him down by attempting to drive Logan to the surface. Logan finishes off these soldiers, only to have Dogma suddenly appear to fight Logan again. However, Logan this time had his heightened senses back (since they were wrecking havoc on Logan in the last issue because they were trying to purge the "E.L.V.E.S." waves out of Logan's memories to try to prevent brainwashing him), so Logan was more than prepared to fight against Dogma. Though stabbed again by Dogma, Logan quickly defeats Dogma with a slash of his claws through Dogma's mid-section. However, what Logan sees underneath is nothing and that the suit was nothing more than some kind of containment suit. Logan continues on to find Father Braun.
Back in the dungeon, where Cardinal Panzer pays a "visit" to Father Braun to find out who this "acquaintenance" was that Father Braun was associating with. Again, Father Braun refuses to answer the question, and Cardinal Panzer begins to unlesh his fist towards Braun to find out who his acquaintance was. From behind, Logan appears and unleashes an uppercut to Cardinal Panzer, knocking him to the floor. At the same time, the woman interrogator rushes in with the news of Logan's identity, referring to Logan as a "mutant terrorist". Hearing this and realizing that no one would ever believe a word Logan would say about the church (since Logan was an "outlaw" in the face of humanity), Cardinal Panzer pulls out a pistol from his undercoat and kills Father Braun, the only person left that would have had credibility had this information about this society gotten out to the public. In a fit of range, Logan slaps aside the woman interrogator, and with claws unleashed, was about to kill Cardinal Panzer, only to be stopped behind by Cardinal Parente. Cardinal Parente has three church guards capture and take Cardinal Panzer away to face trial for the murder of Father Braun. Logan sensed something fishy about Cardinal Parente, but he couldn't tell whether Cardinal Parente was telling the truth or not. Logan leaves with Braun's limp body, but before he exits, he threatens Cardinal Parente that he didn't want to hear about this secret Vatican society anymore, or else, he would come back and kill every member of this society in their sleep, one by one.
Much later, Cardinal Panzer is seen talking with Cardinal Parente. Cardinal Parente is furious that Cardinal Panzer had basically picked a fight with the X-Men from his actions, that Logan was going to be a bigger thorn in their sides than Father Braun had ever been, and that somehow, they had to rid themselves of Logan permanently.