Marvel Comics Presents #51-53 (Wolverine)
Issue(s): Marvel Comics Presents #51, Marvel Comics Presents #52, Marvel Comics Presents #53 (Wolverine story only)
Wolverine has gone back to Ottowa, Canada for a night of heavy drinking when he's attacked by someone that looks vaguely like Wild Child.
Wild Child then runs off. The next day, there's a report of a serial killer in the newspaper. Heather Hudson thinks it's Wild Child.
We then get a flashback to Wolverine in the days when he was responsible for training the Flights.
Is he really that tall?
While investigating, Wolverine and Heather cross paths. Heather is clawed by Wild Child and her costume's circuitry is damaged.
Wolverine jumps in to help.
Wild Child is talking crazy.
Wolverine gets Heather to a doctor and then vows to hunt down Wild Child. Then issue #53 opens up with this mess.
And then Wolverine and Wild Child fight for a few pages (which, with Liefeld art works out to be nearly an equal number of panels) and then they fall off a cliff and Wild Child gets washed away and i swear to god that's the end of the story. There's no resolution, no explanation for why Wild Child is now a complete psycho, nothing. It's just whoops, it's over. I don't know, maybe this was originally going to be longer but Liefeld had completely run out of steam. The more generous interpretation is that this is a set-up or preview for the 4 part Building Blocks story that runs in Alpha Flight #87-90 (Aug-Nov 90). I'm more inclined to say that Nicieza figured that he had better wrap up the nonsense that was introduced here with that story, but i'm probably being unfair.
Quality Rating: D
Chronological Placement Considerations: This story takes place across at least eleven days as Wolverine hunts for Wild Child. This story is followed up on in the "Building Blocks" arc in Alpha Flight #87-90. That story says this one takes place a "year" earlier, and that story takes place after Wolverine's injuries by the Reavers in Uncanny X-Men #251. Pushing this back in publication time a year is complicated due to what was going on in Alpha Flight. The team was away in other dimensions and otherwise dealing with pressing threats with no breaks for a long time. By the time they get out in Alpha Flight #76, a fully functional Wild Child is introduced as a member of Gamma Flight, and of course there's no mention of this or a sign that Heather was recently injured enough to need a doctor. So i'm pushing this further back, into 1988 and circa Alpha Flight #63 which was a standalone fill-in and therefore a good break for Alpha. That puts it between Uncanny X-Men #234-235 for Wolverine. Wolverine does mention at the beginning of this story that going to Ottowa is a break from being in Madripoor, so it does have to take place after Marvel Comics Presents #1-10 (which is between Uncanny X-Men #231-232). I should also acknowledge that in Alpha Flight #61 that now that the X-Men are thought dead he's not able to go and help Alpha Flight, but that doesn't preclude him from bumping into Heather after getting attacked by Wild Child.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (3): showVindicator (Heather Hudson), Wild Child, Wolverine
"It does kind of feel like Liefeld thought maybe he could do a whole story by himself and it became increasingly clear that he couldn't."
You pretty much just summed up Liefeld's whole career with that sentence.
Posted by: Robert | March 4, 2015 7:04 PM
One of the main reasons why the MCP pushes these issues back so far is that Building Blocks takes place before Uncanny X-Men 260 and Wolverine is said to be still weakened from the Reavers' torture in Building Blocks. Wolverine doesn't seem to be weakened in this story, so it's best to place this story before Uncanny X-Men 251. The problem is that there's no good spot in Alpha Flight to place this after Diamond Lil got out of jail.
Posted by: Michael | March 4, 2015 10:34 PM
Michael, is there a reason it has to take place after Lil gets out of jail? I was thinking the "lower bound" on the story is Marvel Comics Presents #1-10 since Wolverine mentions Madripoor in this story, and i was therefore considering putting this circa Alpha Flight #63 since that's a standalone fill-in.
Posted by: fnord12 | March 5, 2015 9:52 AM
This is probably one of the funniest reviews I've seen from you in a while with this. This is probably the first real entry in the chronology that is pure Liefeld with no one holding him down (until Nicieza appears at the end) and you really summed it up beautifully with the craziness and the "this mess" near the end.
Posted by: Ataru320 | March 5, 2015 11:02 AM
You're right- you can probably squeeze it in before Lil gets out of jail.
Posted by: Michael | March 5, 2015 8:56 PM
Thanks, Michael. I have pushed it back to circa AF #63. I may still adjust when i get to Building blocks.
Posted by: fnord12 | March 6, 2015 8:05 AM
That last page looks like something I literally can draw. It's awful. I do feel the Liefeld could have been a far better artist than he is if he practiced and study anatomy more instead of resting on his laurels. I'm sooo looking forward to the 90s in an admittedly schadenfreude type of way.
Posted by: JSfan | March 6, 2015 8:49 AM
Liefeld has said in interviews, explaining that he didn't lobby to get Louise Simonson fired from New Mutants, that he expected to take over the Wolverine book, not New Mutants/X-Force. I believe him: it explains why X-Force introduces a slew of concepts, like the new Weapon X and the immortal X-Ternals, that seem more like Wolverine concepts than New Mutants or even Cable ones.
I wonder if this was a try-out of sorts for Liefeld's Wolverine, and maybe the results seemed so bad that Marvel scotched the idea of giving Wolvie's book to Liefeld.
Posted by: Walter Lawson | March 6, 2015 11:36 PM
I dislike Wild Child having a costume in the flashback. When Byrne introduced the various Flights, only Puck, Marinna, Box, and Flashback had costumes in Beta Flight while all of Gamma Flight were still in training suits without a costume. They didn't get their costumes until Delphine Courtney formed Omega Flight.
Getting details like correct that is what makes flashback scenes more interesting.
Posted by: Chris | March 22, 2015 2:36 PM
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