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Original Tumblr Post: Trimax Vol 10 Ch 5-8
Trimax Vol 10 Ch 5-8
All I can say is that it’s somehow worse the second time around and I have lots of feelings about it.
- It’s a final battle in more ways than one, if you think about it. Which I’m trying not to, but failing very hard at.
- Something about Wolfwood using the Punisher as a shield just gets me. Using a weapon meant to harm and kill to protect instead. It’s a metaphor for who he is.
- Whoa! Wolfwood’s trick with the magazine is just so clever and out there. He’s such a smart and calculated fighter when he has a goal and isn’t just mindlessly fulfilling his mission.
- As we watch Wolfwood fight Razlo, we get a glimpse of Vash watching. We’re reminded that he’s been told to stand back and let Wolfwood handle this alone. And we also see how he’s raging at it.
- It honestly reminds me of how much earlier Zazie called Vash a bystander to humanity’s destruction. And here he is, doing that again, on a much more personal level. But it’s not because he refuses to interfere. It’s because he’s respecting his friend’s choice to do something important alone, and he’s raging at it. Vash doesn’t actually like being the bystander, being on the outside, he wants to be part of it and he wants to help.
- Wolfwood is pulling out all the stops for this fight. He’s sword fighting with the Punisher, using his ammo as a weapon, and apparently getting faster and faster. He’s decided he’s going to die, but if he is, he’s gonna do it in a blaze of glory.
- There is definitely some symbolism in Razlo’s mask being blown off. There’s no more hiding between one personality or another, because they’re the same.
- Oh wow, that’s really gory. I’m actually wondering if that thing I saw go flying earlier wasn’t a mask but literally part of his face.
- It’s telling that in the end, Wolfwood throws aside the Punisher. He finishes off Razlo with his own fists rather than with a weapon of punishment. Because he might be hurting him, but he’s not trying to destroy him. He’s trying to save his brother and he’ll do that with his own hands.
- In between, we get these glimpses again of Vash watching and at first, he’s blank-faced, we can’t read his expression.
- But then we see him scream, tears running down his face. He’s suffering, watching Wolfwood do this alone and knowing he’s dying all the while. And there’s nothing he can do to stop it. He wants to save his friend, but he can’t, and it breaks something in him. It’s heart-wrenching.
- Oh…right after Vash cries out Wolfwood starts coughing up a fountain of blood. Someone mentioned that with Vash’s superhuman abilities he could probably feel and hear as Wolfwood’s body shut down. He’s screaming because he can literally feel Wolfwood getting closer and closer to death.
- The only time Vash interferes is to stop Razlo’s goons from attacking Wolfwood. That’s all he can do. Allow Wolfwood to save his brother himself and let nothing stop him from doing that. He takes to that mission whole-heartedly. And oh, is he angry while he does it. I can hear the gravel in his voice when he says, “Don’t interfere.” He’s got his guns pressed to their throats. Would he fire if they moved? We don’t know, but with the rage in his eyes, I say maybe. Vash has finally found what he’s willing to kill for.
- Livio comes back for a moment! He stops Razlo from killing Wolfwood because he still cares about his brother. This isn’t someone Razlo has to protect him from and he’s finally fighting back.
- HOW. HOW IS CHAPEL NOT DEAD?
- Razlo finally sees Chapel for what he is. Not the caring mentor, but the obsessive, conniving old man he is. He would shoot one of his own disciples if they were getting the way of what he wanted. Poor Razlo, alone for so long and having given all of his twisted love and devotion to his man, suddenly realizes Chapel didn’t care about him as anything other than a tool and extension of himself. And as always, Razlo’s volatility and impulsivity come into play. That is finally what gets Chapel permanently killed. I think there’s something poetic about that.
- Livio is giving me a lot of feelings I can barely articulate right now. But I’m going to try anyway.
- He’s been trapped inside Razlo for this whole fight, watching him destroy his brother, the one person who had ever cared about him and showed him kindness. Livio watches how Wolfwood fights back against Chapel and everything he’s been taught to be a better man, a protector, the person he’s always wanted to be. We know Livio has been lost for a long time, and that once he wanted to be a protector, because he thought it was the only way he could be loved. Watching Wolfwood fight for him again reminds him of that, and when he sees that now he might kill that man, he finds the strength to stop Razlo.
- Not only that, he apologizes to Razlo! Livio used him to escape his abuse and put Razlo through living hell, to the point that he didn’t know anything else. He’s acknowledging that neither of them deserved that. But still, it’s time for Livio to take responsibility for his actions and find a new path forward. He wants to be like Wolfwood. He wants to try, he wants to change.
- How would it make Vash feel knowing that Wolfwood caused that kind of massive shift in someone else? I think, once he gets past the anger of what Livio did to Wolfwood, he’d be really proud of him.
- Wolfwood will take any opportunity to smoke, huh? He’s nearly dead, but he’s celebrating his success.
- Oh my god, not little Wolfwood again. And on the day he leaves the orphanage. My heart can’t take this.
- The orphanage was his home, the only place he ever knew happiness, and for all the years that Wolfwood was in the Eye, he kept it in his heart as the place where he was loved. They never managed to rip that away from him, even if he believed they’d destroyed his humanity. He was once part of something beautiful, and he would protect it with everything he had, even if he was no good anymore. Because he still wanted to be welcomed home.
- Listen, Nightow, your timelines are so wonky because if it’d only been six years, Wolfwood is max nineteen. I get his body has been aged past his years but in no way is that man a teenager. In my head, I’m just pretending that says, “Its been many years since then.”
- Oh no, not the kids screaming when they see him. It just reaffirms his beliefs about himself, that all he is is a monster. And Vash tries to explain things, but Wolfwood won’t let him!
- He hates himself so much, but God, his face here. Many others have pointed it out but when Wolfwood tells Vash to leave it, he looks so soft, young, and vulnerable. For the first time since we’ve met him. He doesn’t want to be a monster, he just wants to be loved and recognized by his old family, but he hates himself too much to even take the risk of letting them know him as both Nico and the man he is now.
- Wolfwood has already made his decision. Vash might’ve once said that Wolfwood isn’t lost, but he’s decided that it’s going to end here. He tells Melanie to not tell the kids the truth about him and he tells Vash that he’s not getting on the shuttle. But worst of all, he pulls out those coins and tells him that’s who he really is. He’s Vash’s friend, he’s a killer, one of the Gung Ho Guns. He doesn’t deserve to go back to his family. He doesn’t deserve the chance, the hope, of living.
- Vash even says to him, “You’re running out of time.” He means it in more ways than one. The shuttle is leaving soon, but also, Wolfwood’s life is running out. Does Vash hope that if Wolfwood gets on the shuttle, they’ll be able to save him? There’s no way to know that, but there’s hope, and Vash has always had hope.
- And then they bicker like everything’s fine and it’s just like old times. Because what else can you do in the worst of times but fall back on what’s comfortable and familiar?
- There’s that drink Wolfwood promised him for surviving the fight…
- Even in his last moments, Wolfwood is trying to soften the blow of his own death. Telling Vash to smile, that he looks good when he does, that he was wrong to ever tell him that he looks sad when he does it. He just wants to see his friend smile and know he’ll be okay.
- Despite all the things Vash would do for him, this one thing he can’t. Because then that smile would be fake and he can’t do that to either of them.
- And Vash, who has never relied on anyone but himself, to whom a higher power is likely a bit of a joke because for so long, he was the highest power—he begs God to let his friend live.
- The grief here is so palpable, I’m crying as I write this.
- The confetti…they all still love him, even as he is. They are welcoming him home in his last moments.
- This page brings me to tears. We’ve never, not once, seen Wolfwood cry, not now, not until he’s dying. Is this scream a final defiant cry against the universe? Is it him realizing he doesn’t want to die because he’s finally realized that he’s loved, that he was always loved? I don’t know. We’ll never know. That’s why it hits so hard.
- The past few pages have been so atmospheric that I can hear all of it in my head. The bell finally tolls, the one Wolfwood has been ignoring this whole time. The sound the bottle makes as it falls from his fingers. Each one distinct in the silence surrounding his death.
- Vash is left alone. The man he realized he wanted to live for is gone. We can’t see his eyes, just the reflection of his glasses and he’s clutching at the sleeve of his jacket.
- These panels did something to me the first time I read them. Vash’s words have been echoing in my head for months. They’re so blunt. “He’s dead. I buried him.” Have we ever known him to be so harsh and direct? Is he angry at Livio for indirectly causing Wolfwood’s death? Because Wolfwood died saving him when he could have killed him? But he’s also deathly calm. His eyes are blank. He’s locked everything down rather than feel it.
- You know what else haunts me? We never see Vash bury him. Their final moments together. How he dug the hole, how he picked up Wolfwood and placed him in his grave, arranged his body, and filled it back in, dragging the tombstone over the top. Was he this calm when he did that? Was he raging? Was he screaming and crying? We don’t know and I don’t think Vash is ever going to tell. It’s possible he’s blocked it out entirely because it’s too much to handle.
- I personally think all of his feelings came out while he was burying him. Now, he’s pushed them away in favor of the mission he has to accomplish. Because he can’t let Wolfwood’s sacrifice go to waste.
- When Vash answers Livio’s question, he’s pretty harsh too. “You of all people should know why.” He’s definitely angry and as much as he has the rest of his feelings tightly under control, that isn’t. On some level, he does blame Livio and he can’t hold himself back from letting it be known.
- The moment when Vash uses his powers is so interesting. So far, we’ve seen him use the Angel Arm to protect himself and Wolfwood. But in this instance, we can argue that he used it to attack. Sure, Knives was going to destroy the orphanage while Vash and Livio were still in there and Vash protected against it. He did more than that though. He attacked. The way I read this is he blasted that power back with his own attached to it, and he cuts Knives. This is the first time we’ve seen him actually hurt him, despite how often Vash claims he’s out to kill him. This was a deliberate use of his power to hurt and destroy, and it’s the first time we see his philosophy shift, just a little.
- Now though, he’s eating his feelings. Which is interesting, because the last time Vash experienced a traumatic monumental event like this, he couldn’t eat. But as we see, both Livio’s and Vash’s best memories of Wolfwood are tied up with food. They’re eating to get their strength back, but also to honor his memory. He was always trying to take care of them and now they’re taking care of themselves.
- It sucks that the only things they have left of Wolfwood are his weapons. He was a protector, but what he has left behind are implements of death and destruction. Especially the Punisher. The only thing Vash has left of his friend is his burden. It’s bittersweet that he uses it as his gravemarker, specifically as a cross rather than a weapon. Wolfwood may have been made into a weapon, but he’ll be remembered for his mercy.
Also, I’m taking recommendations for fix-it fics where Wolfwood lives, is resurrected, reincarnated, etc. My heart could use some healing, pls and thank you.