Issue(s): Wolverine #51, Wolverine #52, Wolverine #53
This arc begins with Wolverine in the Danger Room, getting tested by Professor X and Forge now that (some of) his memory blocks have been removed.
As was implied last arc, it's confirmed that he's become wilder.
Wolverine becomes increasingly violent (but also successful) as the tests continue. Cyclops and Storm eventually decide they can't watch anymore, and Jubilee also gets nervous. But there don't seem to be any long term effects from Wolverine going berserker. After the session he goes out to a bar and meets a lady.
A jealous Jubilee follows Wolverine, and finds what seems to be Jean Grey coming out of the motel room for a soda.
It's really Mystique.
I believe i've seen a similar scene in a future issue somewhere, but if i'm remembering correctly, the difference is that in that story it's more definite that Mystique transforms into Jean while having sex with Wolverine, while here Wolvie seems annoyed when Mystique does it. Mystique also changes into Silverfox.
Mystique has come to Wolverine because she's afraid of Spiral, who has gone crazy.
We also check in on Albert and Elsie Dee, still in the Morlock sewers.
Elsie has tamed the Hunter in Darkness.
And Albert has repaired the stealth bomber that he stole in his previous appearance.
Note that Elsie is detecting a flux in the continuum. That relates to the main Spiral plot.
Spiral shows up at Mystique's motel room, talking crazy.
She's pursued by this thing.
Wolverine and Spiral are able to slice it up, and its energy is then sucked into a painting in the wall. Spiral then continues her ranting, stabbing the television to show images of versions of herself. One of them looks like Ricochet Rita; this issue was published prior to the Shattershot annual event that revealed that Spiral is a future version of Rita.
Spiral says that other time shifters and trans-dimensional travelers (an image of Gateway is shown) are experiencing convergences similar to hers. She says that the universe began with a big bang, and now the reversal, a big crunch, is happening. She says it's being caused by an Uncertainty Nullifier, which sounds like something out of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
Mystique, Woverine, and Spiral then fall into a vortex. It's all a little above my paygrade, and i became less inclined to try to sort it once i found out Mojo was involved.
But Hitchhiker's continues to be a good point of reference.
While Mystique, Woverine, and Spiral fight another one of those gimpy things, Elsie, Albert, and Hunter find themselves drawn to the Weapon X facility that Wolverine investigated last issue. They find an adamantium skeleton with claws.
If we weren't in the middle of a time-travel type story, that might have been an intriguing hint that Wolverine wasn't the only participant in the Weapon X program to get the adamantium treatment, but since it is a time-travel story, it was a safe bet that that's just a future Wolverine, and that is the case.
The rest of this story is just kind of random fighting in a dimension where everyone floats around.
A slightly different gimpy thing turns out to be a future version of Jubilee that has been enslaved by Mojo.
Mystique and Spiral fly through Gateway's mouth and wind up with Elsie Dee and her companions and then send a missile back to Wolverine. They then lose their memories of what's been going on, which i think is happening to me to since i'm having trouble caring about the plot. Wolverine then rides the missile into Mojo, and then Jubilee, riding Wolvie's motorcycle, grabs him, and they fly back through the vortex.
The next thing we know, Wolverie is playing cards with some heroes at Four Freedoms Plaza.
He gets a call from Jubilee, who is in Japan.
Mojo is getting used a lot this year. I don't really like seeing him used as a straight villain. He's meant to be used for satire. More on this when we get to Shattershot, but his use here definitely affects my opinion of this issue. I will admit that Hama is good with the scripting. The gimpy things have funny dialogue, and there are other fun moments. But it's a Mojo plot and also some kind of alternate dimension time travel thing. Most of Hama's run is pretty grounded with some jokes moved in, but this (after the Puck time travel story) is the second time where Hama goes in a different direction that doesn't seem at all right for Wolverine, and i can barely get through it.
Statement of Ownership Total Paid Circulation: Average of Past 12 months = 242,792. Single issue closest to filing date = 320,600.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: Next issue (#54) is a fill-in that i pushed back in publication time. Issue #55 begins soon after the end of this one, with Wolverine arriving in Japan to pick up Jubilee. This takes place before Masque is killed in X-Force #6-10. Ignoring the fill-in in issue #54, and another fill-in two-parter in issue #58-59, this arc kicks off a run where Wolverine and Jubilee are basically unavailable to other books until Wolverine #65, and since Wolverine meets Maverick during this arc and already knows him, it has to take place after X-Men #4-7. The MCP place all of Wolverine #51-65 (including #58-59, which comes after #65) between X-Men #7-8.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (4): showAlbert, Beast, Cyclops, Elsie Dee, Forge, Gambit, Gateway, Hunter In Darkness, Jean Grey, Jubilee, Masque, Mojo, Mr. Fantastic, Mystique, Nick Fury, Professor X, Spiral, Storm, Thing, Wolverine
So...Sleepwalker was outselling Wolverine? That makes the kind of sense that doesn't.
Posted by: Robert | February 12, 2016 12:12 PM
The Sleepwalker numbers posted included the first issue. During the speculator market of the early 90s a first issue would sell crazy numbers almost regardless of subject matter. That probably skewed the overall average.
Note that the numbers were comparable (~320k) on the sales of the latest single issue.
Posted by: Red Comet | February 12, 2016 12:46 PM
Presumably Wolverine's milestone 50th issue is the one that did 320k. The average is over 100k lower, whereas Sleepwalker's most recent issue was only 30k or so below its average. Both of Sleepwalker's numbers are higher than Wolverine's. It's just odd to me since Wolverine was Mr. Popular, guest-starring everywhere, matched only by Punisher and Ghost Rider. Then you have Sleepwalker, a largely forgotten character whose book lasted, what, two years?
Posted by: Robert | February 12, 2016 12:56 PM
Correction, it's 80k lower but still...
Posted by: Robert | February 12, 2016 1:01 PM
For the record I'm not suggesting any conspiracy theories about doctored numbers or anything. Obviously Sleepwalker was more popular than I realized at the time. They gave him a holiday special, which I assume means something. Anyway I just find it curious one of the most mega-popular characters of the 80s & 90s was not selling as well as I would have thought.
Posted by: Robert | February 12, 2016 1:14 PM
The question is what the ordinary title of the time sold. There's a lot of comics sales information at John Jackson Miller's site, www.comichron.com . He doesn't have sales numbers for 1991 and 1992, but he does have Diamond's and Capital City's top sellers for each month, and Diamond's top 100 for 1991 and top 300 for 1992. Diamond and Capital City were leading distributors.
No issue of SLEEPWALKER or WOLVERINE topped the month for either distributor. No issue of SLEEPWALKER made Diamond's 1991 top 100 or its 1992 top 300, but issues of WOLVERINE did. Is it possible the Statement of Ownership in SLEEPWALKER #10-11 was for some other title and run in SLEEPWALKER by in mistake?
Posted by: Luke Blanchard | February 12, 2016 5:26 PM
I'm wondering if the numbers that were given were the copies PRINTED and not the copies SOLD. Maybe there was some sort of mixup and the numbers got printed and sold got switched- fnord, did you check to see if the numbers sold were larger than the numbers printed?
Posted by: Michael | February 12, 2016 7:41 PM
I always liked this story. Couldn't really explain why, but I did. I don't dislike Mojo (or time travel stories) as much as fnord, but it looks to me in hindsight like Hama was trying to keep true to Claremont's overall intentions, as with the upcoming Mariko storyline, whose origins went back to Byrne's run. Not saying Mojo had a lot of great stories in him, but I did like this one.
Posted by: ChrisW | February 12, 2016 9:13 PM
Fnord, there's no scene like that in the 1993 Sabretooth series- Wolverine agrees to go on a date with Mystique, she gets attacked by Sabretooth and Logan decides not to date her after finding out she abandoned her son.
Posted by: Michael | February 12, 2016 9:44 PM
These issues are bringing back a lot of memories. I also think because the X-Universe uses time travel and the Siege Perilous so much they aren't as beholden to continuity issues as others within the Marvel U. I had these in real time and thought the adamantium skeleton they discovered was suggesting that Wolverine died years ago and we possibly were getting another "Clone Saga" LOL!!! I know I am in the minority here but I liked the Clone Saga and can't wait for fnord to dive into it!!!
Posted by: Brimstone | February 12, 2016 10:05 PM
Regarding Sleepwalker numbers, what i quoted on that entry was from line 10C, which is what i always quote. The total numbers printed from line 10A are 357,300 average and 324,700 most recent. So they are higher than the 10C numbers. I did note on that entry that it was odd to see the SOO numbers so soon, since so far i've only seen them starting the second year. So the idea that they are really the numbers for a different book isn't implausible. I think Red Comet makes the right point, though. We're in the speculator era and the SOO included the numbers for the first issue.
Posted by: fnord12 | February 13, 2016 11:31 AM
The panel that shows Spiral as Rita also seems to imply she later becomes Destiny. If that's what they had in mind I'm glad it was abandoned - it's something that initially seems clever but gets dumber the longer you think about it.
Posted by: Greg T | October 5, 2016 5:21 PM
Does it really imply that? I haven't read the actual comic, but all I see in that panel is an old woman with the same white eyes Spiral has, i.e. an older version Spiral. Nothing in it seems to suggest it's Destiny, except that it's an elderly woman.
Posted by: Tuomas | October 6, 2016 6:14 AM
Tuomas - It strongly reminded me of *someone's* version of Destiny, but apparently not Marc Silvestri's because she looks quite different in her death in UXM #255, which was also Silvestri, although not his best work. I guess if he'd intended it to be same character he was mor than capble of drawing her consistently. So, fair point, I suppose.
Posted by: Greg T | October 7, 2016 12:26 AM
Actually if I'm just going to speculate that old women look the same as other old women it's far more amusing to decide they're implying that Spiral eventually becomes Aunt May. Now *that's* a twist!
Posted by: Greg T | October 7, 2016 12:30 AM
Can't help but loving this, but maybe the stories were just really bad before this. Jubilee spying on Wolverine & "Jean Grey" in some motel, a physical place "at the end of time" and Spiral going insane. It is all hilarious. It is about the end of the universe, but it is all so deliciously lighthearted because of the characters. Too bad this didn't result in Wolverine forming the W-Men, with Wolverine himself in the lead, and his team;
Posted by: Spikey | January 11, 2017 8:32 AM
Wolvie would never be on a team with a guy more handsome than he is. Why do you think he had such a problem with Scott?
Posted by: ChrisW | January 12, 2017 3:20 AM
Well that story was insane.
The thing about Spiral and Mystique having their memories of the future fade away because, as Spiral says, "you can't retain memories of the future," was a real head-scratcher to me. You can't remember the future? Since when? How do you explain Cable or Bishop or any number of other characters?
Everything about parts two and three of this story is weird.
Posted by: Ghost | June 25, 2018 1:58 AM
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