Characters Appearing: Archie Corrigan, Bloodscream, Geist, General Nguyen Coy, O'Donnell (Princess Bar), Prince Baran, Roughouse, Sister Salvation, Spore, Tai (Madripoor police), Tyger Tiger, Wolverine
Issue(s): Wolverine #17, Wolverine #18
The more explosive part of Goodwin's plot doesn't happen until the next set of issues that i'll cover in a separate entry. These two are mostly set-up. But they're fun and (like the next set of issues) make use of a lot of Marvel continuity.
We begin with a flashback: Wolverine releasing his feral side to hunt a wild boar.
Storm shows up, and he's embarrassed for her to see his animal side.
And based on what he's been doing, he decides that the best thing to do is to go away and get his feral side out of his system.
That translates to a bar fight with Roughouse.
Wolverine wins the fight...
...and afterwards, General Coy sells Roughouse to a mysterious man that is really into shaving similes.
One thing about this arc, including the next set of entries, that i don't like is the treatment of Roughouse and Bloodsport. Roughouse is turned into something of a generic strong guy, with feelings, and Bloodsport just stands there and says nothing while his buddy is sold off. Most of my good feelings towards these two is because of stories i've made up in my own head, but Goodwin completely drops the "By Ymir!" parts of Roughouse's dialect. He only used those phrases sporadically, so it's hard to know for sure that i should be registering a complaint about that, but i know i can complain about Bloodsport's lack of objections right now. In my mind, at least, the two are an inseparable pair.
We next see the same mystery man making a deal with Prince Baran, ruler of Madripoor, over some confiscated drugs. He also puts into Baran's head the idea that "Patch" needs to be dealt with.
The next morning it seems that Wolverine has slept with Tyger Tiger.
Wolverine is then lured to the docks by the shipment of cocaine that he helped police lieutenant Tai confiscate. While he's chasing the shipment, there's a flashback to Daredevil of all people, who a while ago ran into a former boxer who was super-powered by a mystery drug.
It turns out that story is being told by our mystery man, named Geist, to a captive Roughouse.
Geist was behind the drug that the guy that fought Daredevil took, and he is now looking for someone strong enough to not die after taking the drug. It turns out that Roughouse already has a drug addiction problem.
Geist has an adjustment to make before he begins testing of Roughouse...
...and we cut away to Wolverine sneaking onto Geist's ship while we "hear" Roughouse scream.
It turns out that all that was happening was Geist was shaving Roughouse.
Now that is in character for my interpretation of Roughouse. Any self-respecting Asgardian frost giant would be totally appalled to have their beard shaved off.
On the other hand, the scars found beneath his beard will turn out to be part of a touchy-feelie origin for Roughouse that i'm not at all interested in.
For now, it turns out Geist works for the dictator of the fictional country of Tierra Verde. It's a country where Nuke was once deployed, since the dictator, Felix Guillermo Caridad, is an anti-communist friend of the United States (and a drug producer on the side, and happy to let the US government use Nuke to destroy his rivals).
Caridad was inspired by Nuke, and his purer version Captain America, to create a super-hero for Tierra Verde.
He doesn't want to just hire a foreign super-hero. We'll see as this story goes on that while Caridad may be an evil man, he does legitimately want to leave a legacy for himself and his country in the form of a native super-hero. To do that, he has his scientists and Geist researching the strength-enhancing effects of the cocaine variant that they grow.
Despite his exo-skeleton, Geist is not super-powered himself, so when Wolverine shows up to reclaim his fighting buddy Roughouse, Geist does not resist. But the drugs that Geist put into Roughouse take effect, and Wolverine is forced to fight him.
During the fight, Geist pumps Wolverine full of tranquilizer darts.
The drug-enhanced Roughouse then takes Wolverine out...
...before getting pumped with darts himself.
Then General Coy shows up and buys a sample of the drugs with the money he previously got from selling Roughouse to Geist. After Coy leaves, Prince Baran arrives, and pays Geist to take Wolverine, basically giving back the money that Geist earlier paid to Baran to get the confiscated drugs released. So Geist comes out revenue neutral in all his exchanges.
After claiming Wolverine, Baran immediately drops him out of the plane.
Luckily (or was it something else?), Wolverine's friends show up to rescue him. No that's not USAgent; it's O'Donnell.
I wonder about the luck because you can see the pilot Archie Corrigan saying that someone told them to show up here. And earlier we had Geist release a series of messages.
At a minimum that was one to General Coy and one to Prince Baron. Not sure if for some reason Geist would have contacted Corrigan as well.
And that's where we leave things for now. Wolverine will have to spend some time recovering from the drugs, beating, and the long fall from the plane before the beginning of issue #19, and during that time he does some research on Geist as well.
Also in this issue we meet Sister Salvation (but not Juke-Joint Jezebel), the ex-wife of Caridad. She's now a nun, and she appears to have a healing ability that helps Caridad's migraines.
Caridad has a use for her that we'll learn in the next part of this story, so he destroys the local village where she's been working, and takes her prisoner.
Quality Rating: B
Chronological Placement Considerations: The scene with the boar and Storm at the beginning of issue #17 takes place in "the not so distant past". See the Considerations for Uncanny X-Men #246-247. I am placing this after those issues, with some caveats and alternatives discussed there. After these issues, Wolverine is injured enough that he needs to take a little break in Madripoor, and he uses that as an opportunity to do some research on Geist. The MCP have Wolverine's cameo in Captain America #363 taking place during that recovery period, which means he really was a wussy, a weenie and a wimp. The MCP give Spore a behind-the-scenes appearance for this issues since he technically is in the drugs that are being passed around in this story (more on him in the next arc).
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
I always assumed it was Wolverine who had Corrigan track the ship, just in case he ran into trouble.
Posted by: Michael | November 7, 2014 9:11 PM
Liked this run a lot. The cover to #17 is simple but awesome.
Posted by: Robert | November 7, 2014 9:39 PM
Some of you may find interesting that Al Williamson was originally supposed to be the finisher instead of Klaus Janson, but left the project after inking only one panel - the one of Wolverine feasting on the boar he just killed.
Posted by: Vincent Valenti | November 9, 2014 12:29 AM
Am I the only person that thinks Wolverine sleeping with Tyger Tiger raises troublesome ethical issues? Tyger Tiger's real personality is that of a banker, not a crimelord. Wolverine has never made much of an effort to restore her to normal- he never went to Reed Richards or Hank Pym or asked Betsy or Rachel if they could restore her mind to "normal". I guess he figured "If she goes back to being a banker, she might not want to have sex with me."
Posted by: Michael | November 13, 2014 9:19 PM
One of my personal least favorite arcs of Wolverine. None of the humor and sense of adventure the series had up until this point.
Posted by: MindlessOne | June 1, 2017 10:18 PM
These issues were a major letdown for me at the time because I was stoked for Byrne's and expected it to be more like the cover to 17 but Janson's finishes seemed to swamp Byrne. Never have liked Janson. These were still decent issues but man was I disappointed.
Posted by: Mizark | June 2, 2017 8:18 AM
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