The Small Lebowski:
Characters Appearing: Sidney Joern, Typhoid Mary, Wolverine
Marvel Comics Presents #109-116 (Wolverine)
Issue(s): Marvel Comics Presents #109, Marvel Comics Presents #110, Marvel Comics Presents #111, Marvel Comics Presents #112, Marvel Comics Presents #113, Marvel Comics Presents #114, Marvel Comics Presents #115, Marvel Comics Presents #116 (Wolverine/Typhoid Mary story only)
One housekeeping note: the title that i use for these entries is just meant to distinguish them from other Marvel Comics Presents stories from the same issue. I try to not let them get too long because they break funny depending on the screen size. So i list this as just a Wolverine story, and i don't list Ghost Rider's Team-Up partners for the Ghost Rider features. I don't mean this as a slight to Typhoid Mary or anyone else. So Typhoid Mary doesn't need to come to my house and murder me.
Right from the start, even before Typhoid Mary shows up and brings her perception altering powers with her, you can tell that this is going to be a very Nocenti story. I've come to the realization that all Nocenti stories are very Nocenti stories. But i like to see Nocenti here. She may drive me crazy, but at least she elevates the writing on this book from the usual flat plot driven stuff.
Wolverine has isolated himself in some random small town, but he's located by a former government agent named Roberts. Wolverine doesn't know Roberts, but Roberts says that he's been through similar trials to Logan; the government messed with his mind. And now Roberts is tracking down and killing government spies.
He half-heartedly tries to kill Wolverine, too, but he knows that he can't. He really wants Wolverine to help find evidence that will bury the people that messed with his head. The only information that he can give Wolverine is that someone named Mary Walker went through the same program as him ("She has a codename, Typhoon or Tornado -- I forget what"), and they've been working together.
Wolverine locates Mary.
Mary tells Wolverine that she has memory blocks and nightmares. Mary and Wolverine both assume that the memory blocks are an indication that she's been taken for brainwashings, which may be true but the audience knows that Mary is a split personality, so the memory blocks may just be Mary going into her Typhoid persona. Mary then takes Wolverine up to her hotel room to show him the clues they're going to investigate, and before you know it Wolverine's shirt is off and they're making out.
They then investigate a lab on Mary's list, and find evidence of "The Project". We also learn that Wolverine apparently has some opinions about animal rights activists.
Mary nonetheless takes all the bunnies home and plays with them while Wolverine watches the video tape, complaining that it's boring like it's the movie they rented for the night.
Then Mary becomes Typhoid.
Typhoid leaves. We next see Wolverine back at the apartment where he'd tied up Roberts. Roberts managed to badly injure a delivery guy that came to the door, but he restrained himself from killing him before escaping. So Wolverine says that he now has two wacko renegades to hunt down. He keeps working through the list that Mary gave him. But Mary got to a place on the list first and tied down the wife of someone who worked on the Project and made her watch videos of the things he did to his subjects. The wife says that she doesn't want her husband back. Later, Wolverine busts in on Typhoid making a scientist named Trevor perform Project experiments on the husband, Sid. Typhoid tries to get Wolverine to push the button that will kill the scientist, but he refuses, and tries to get Mary to come back out. She burns him instead.
Burnt to a crisp, Wolverine tries to fight Typhoid.
Typhoid retreats back to her Mary persona. Wolverine says that even her scent has changed.
Wolverine tells Mary that they can't be together anymore because of her other persona. Then he notices that Trevor is missing, and he goes to catch him, telling Mary to look after the other scientist. Which isn't the best idea, since Mary transforms back into Typhoid form, ready to torture him again. She sets the whole room on fire. So Wolverine leaves with the scientist he's captured, who explains that he was part of the MK-Ultra program. Trevor tells him he eventually quit the program on moral grounds. The head of the program was Sid (Dr. Sidney Joern). Trevor leads Wolverine to Roberts' house, which is being approached by mercenary killers.
Never before has watching Wolverine slice up bad guys been described like "looking through soup".
Despite stopping the mercenaries (a point is made to note that Wolverine didn't actually kill any, although some died from friendly fire), Roberts is already dead, having committed suicide. So Wolverine has Trevor take him to Sid's house. Meanwhile, Mary is telling Sid that she wants him to perform psychic surgery to remove the Typhoid persona.
When Wolverine gets there, he hears that Sid intends to just kill Mary, to make sure that she can't blackmail him. But Wolverine makes him complete the surgery. Sid agrees, but Trevor realizes that Sid is lying and that the process he's using would still kill Mary. Trevor speaks out, and Sid shoots him. Wolverine jumps over to kill (?) Sid, but Mary reverts to her Typhoid persona.
Typhoid tries to kill Sid's two assistants, "Lee" and "Harvey", but Wolverine jumps in to stop her. He tries to bring Mary back, and is temporarily successful, but when he again tells her that he can't be with her, she reverts back to Typhoid and flees. Wolverine turns to kill Sid, but Sid says that Wolverine won't do it. The story ends before we know for sure, but Sid will appear again in Nocenti and Lightle's Marvel Comics Presents stories.
My usual comments about Nocenti's writing style apply. One thing i'll note is that she's had at least three separate stories about government agencies creating super-soldiers, and if she had actually tied them together it would have a little bit of lasting continuity to add to her legacy. Instead it feels like there are just tons of conspiracies going on. I'm also not so sure about making Typhoid Mary the result of one of these projects. Maybe i missed where Nocenti already revealed that in Daredevil, but the idea that she has multiple-personality disorder seemed straightforward enough. It seems like with the popularity of the Weapon X storyline everybody needs to come from a black ops government program now. This does allow for the parallels between Wolverine and Typhoid and Roberts in this story.
In issue #113 it's re-affirmed that Mary's personality split has been evident since birth.
As Morgan notes in the comments, that was said in Daredevil #254 as well. I believe it's also been said that Mary's turn to Typhoid is because Daredevil accidentally bumped into her during the Man Without Fear mini-series (the main reason why it's semi-canon). Either way, it seems her problems started earlier than the project.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: The MCP place this after Wolverine #65.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Well, your entry on Daredevil #254 says "she had a dual personality that was 'first discovered in infancy'"... http://www.supermegamonkey.net/chronocomic/entries/daredevil_254.shtml
Posted by: Morgan Wick | April 5, 2017 7:46 PM
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