Issue(s): Wolverine #45, Wolverine #46
As for Larry Hama's stories, it's taken me some time to come around. His first arc, featuring Wolverine fighting the Yakuza, was fine but it was a pretty typical Wolverine story and nothing that left an impression. The second story, the Hunter In Darkness story, was a little weird; it felt kind of like a fill-in. And i maintain that the time travel story with Puck was unintelligible and bad. I expected to dislike the Elsie Dee story (or set of stories) that comprised the last arc, but that's actually where i really started turning around. It was actually surprisingly good. And this arc, well, it justifies the existence of the first Hunter In Darkness story, and it gives us a four+ way fight between the Hunter, Wolverine, Sabretooth, and Lady Deathstrike (the + indicating that Jubilee and someone else are involved too). It does continue to tease things about Wolverine's past, as the last arc did, and i remain wary of that. But these issues give us a well executed monster mash, and it's a lot of fun.
We saw in the last arc that a Ronald Parvenue has been advertising the display of the creature that we know as Hunter In Darkness. His plan is to have an exhibit in Atlantic City, but he's first going to show the creature off in Times Square. We also saw last arc that Lady Deathstrike planned to use Parvenue to attract the attention of Wolverine, and in this issue she's, erm, partnered herself with Parvenue and telling him, "Once you go cyborg you never go back".
Wolverine is upset about the Hunter being a captive of Parvenue, even though he knows that Parvenue is within his legal rights. But he's sticking around to see what happens.
Sabretooth has also recovered from the fights of last issue, and he seems to recognize Lady Deathstrike by scent.
And we also see someone waiting in an apartment with a sniper rifle, waiting to shoot the Hunter.
Wolverine gets involved after that, and Sabretooth sees Wolverine and jumps in as well. And to add to the chaos, the robot Albert is under the city with the Morlocks, trying to build a new body for Elsie Dee, and he decides he needs more power.
He winds up blacking out the whole area around Times Square.
So like i said, monster mash.
Jubilee occasionally lighting up the fight with fireworks causes the pilot of the helicopter that is carrying the Hunter to crash, and the Hunter gets free. The Hunter recognizes Wolverine and joins the fight on his side.
The sniper moves in to get closer to the fight too, but winds up shooting Sabretooth instead of the Hunter.
The sniper turns out to be Emily Doolin, the daughter of the Mountie from the original Hunter story. She's got a mixed up version of events from that issue, and she blames the Hunter, and to a lesser degree Wolverine, for the disgrace and death of her father. Jubilee's fireworks eventually scare off the Hunter, leaving Doolin free to shoot mercury tipped bullets into Wolverine and Sabretooth (Doolin has already shot Lady Deathstrike off a building at this point). And now we get into the teases into Wolverine's past, because the mercury causes both Wolverine and Sabretooth to hallucinate, and indeed have the same hallucination. They picture Doolin as a "Wrangler".
And they envision a "visual analog of [a] suffusion-chelation bath", which i assume is meant to be a reference to Wolverine's Weapon X experience.
You'll notice Sabretooth uncharacteristically telling Wolverine to run to save himself, and Wolverine almost spitting out the word "partner", which Sabretooth does say on the next page.
At this point, seeing Jubilee in danger has snapped Wolverine out of the hallucination, though, so he rushes to stop Doolin, and Sabretooth is gone when he turns around.
As for the Hunter, he's taken up residence in the Morlock tunnels. The place is really starting to get repopulated.
It's said in the lettercol that Sabretooth can't be Wolverine's dad because then Wolverine wouldn't be a mutant (since he would have the same attributes as his father), which isn't something i really agree with. In the Marvel universe, a mutant is someone born with their powers. If you really want to bring actual biology into the conversation, you have a lot bigger issues to deal with than a child having the same powers as their parent.
Another letter asks if Marvel actually has a plan for Wolverine's origin. This is after Barry Windsor-Smith apparently gave an interview saying that he didn't care much about a character's past continuity:
My question is whether all of these revelations are coordinated or the various creators are making it up as they go along, hoping to patch up inconsistencies afterwards?
The response is "we can assure you that we here in the Bullpen do know Wolverine's origin and that the events of Weapon X are a part of that origin".
I don't believe that it's true that Marvel had a definitive origin for Wolverine already figured out. Although to be fair it may be that they did have an origin but then decided not to stick with it. In any event we'll see what Hama had in mind with the story leading up to issue #50 (although next issue is an art fill-in with a standalone story from Hama). For now, though, the build up to the revelations are definitely intriguing and done well even if i'm sort of inherently skeptical of them. And even more short term, a fun fight story in these issues.
Quality Rating: B+
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (1): showAlbert, Elsie Dee, Emily Doolin, Hunter In Darkness, Jubilee, Lady Deathstrike, Masque, Ronald Parvenue, Sabretooth, Wolverine
One of the last appearances of classic costume Sabretooth, before he gets saddled with Jim Lee's 90 EXTREME!!! look that he's still stuck with to this day
Posted by: Bob | October 29, 2015 9:53 PM
If you say so. I think Sabretooth's Jim Lee costume is much more distinctive than the original.
Posted by: Red Comet | October 29, 2015 10:49 PM
Reading that letter I'm not sure where this guy heard that Barry Windsor-Smith didn't consult with Chris Claremont before doing Weapon X.
I read somewhere that he and Claremont talked briefly about the story and about Apocalypse being made the guy behind the Weapon X program. Apparently this idea made it to Walt Simonson as well since he puts some plot threads in that direction in Wolverine: The Jungle Adventure.
Posted by: Red Comet | October 29, 2015 10:53 PM
Seeing this kind of reevaluative-appreciation makes me hopeful for some more actually (as opposed to ironically or masochistically) good-but-overlooked material in the coming months...
(I already said i was looking forward to you "taking the bullet" on the 90s stuff i missed, months ago, on the forum :) )
Posted by: cullen | October 30, 2015 1:34 AM
For a moment there I thought Wolverine was going to say Sabertooth was his "Pa" or "Papa" or something.
Posted by: Berend | October 30, 2015 2:15 PM
@Berend: So if Wolvie wasn't going to say "Papa" we should have start an alternative guess going what HE WAS alternatively going to say;) Any takers?
Posted by: Nathan Adler | October 30, 2015 11:34 PM
Comments are now closed.
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