Issue(s): Wolverine: Bloodlust
It's a weird one. Transcendental Space Bigfoots.
It starts off with Wolverine feeling the telepathic experience of a bigfoot attacking a man in the woods while he's in a dive bar in Canada. Some of the locals then pick a fight with him, and he gets super-violent, as if the bigfoot is still influencing him. He's helped out of the bar by a woman named Saskia before the police show up. Then the bigfoots attack...
...and Saskia is (seemingly) kidnapped by them. Wolverine was again experiencing unusual bloodlust during the fight, so he meditates before putting his costume on.
He then experiences another shared memory, this time of the bigfoots killing a family, including two small children. So he's primed to fight when more show up.
But instead of fighting back, they do something mystical to him.
It's almost like a kind of spiritual awakening.
It turns out that these bigfoots are the good guys. He's brought to an astral plane, which is called Alshra.
They explain that they are called the Neuri. They are actually natives of Earth, but they kept hidden as humans evolved, due to humans' violent nature. While they were hidden, they formed the equivalent of a Uni-Mind, and went out to explore space.
But human pollution began killing them. And some of the Neuri became violent and have gone out to kill humans. They want Wolverine's help in stopping them. Wolverine is chosen because of his "empathy with this geolographical area". It's even said that he might have achieved harmony like the Neuri; only his metal skeleton is preventing him.
Funny thing about Wolverine. He's one of Marvel's most violent characters. Chris Claremont did a fair amount of work showing him struggle to get off that path, but he's still pretty violent, with some variance depending on who's writing him. In this story, Alan Davis is depicting him as almost zenlike with the meditation and the revelation that only his adamantium is holding him back from spiritual enlightenment.
Anyway, Wolverine goes with one of the good Neuri to hunt down the rogues.
He winds up helping out some humans that were actually out hunting him after the bar fight, but now that he's in costume they think of him as a super-hero, possibly a member of Alpha Flight.
The good Neuri helps heal one of the injured humans, but they are still too freaked out by everything that's going on. Note again the description of Wolverine.
One of the bad Neuri also has access to the spiritual plane, and uses it to "free" Wolverine from "the restrictions of civilized discipline".
So the good Neuri has to battle that bad one. I bet you never thought you'd see a mystic battle between bigfoots.
Wolverine manages to resist and fight off the bad Neuri, but the good one is killed. Wolverine tracks the bad one down, and finds Saskia in a cave. Except she's really the bad Neuri.
Wolverine tears it apart. He's not that zen.
The rest of the Neuri then decide to go back to their homeland and accept their death from pollution rather then get into a confrontation with humanity. Wolverine decides not to argue with them. The end has him again contemplating his spirituality, and concluding he'd rather have a beer.
The plot is weird, and works as a Wolverine story only if you accept that Wolverine has already completed his quest for control of his animal side (which isn't necessarily wrong). But it's a fun bizarre adventure with a spiritual and ecological message. The scripting is good too; Davis overdoes the "Zut alors!" stuff from the French-Canadians, but that's a common comic book problem. And if nothing else, the various elements of the plot give Davis and Neary a lot to have fun with.
Quality Rating: B
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Never heard of this one before, but that is some of the best Alan Davis art I've seen! And he's pretty fantastic even on his off days!
At times during the 90's and 00's we'll see some serious inconsistencies in whether Wolverine is depicted as the violent killer he was introduced as, or as the zen master teaching a younger generations of heroes to contain their violent urges. Personally I like it when writers tackle this dichotomy head-on, by portraying him as fascinated by zen meditation and the like, and trying his hardest to adhere to live by those rules, but who will never truly shake his animalistic rage. That's why I think his characterization in Schism and Death of Wolverine works. Although he'll never give up trying, part of him thinks of himself as a lost cause. His greatest goal should be preventing others from becoming like him.
Posted by: Berend | June 1, 2015 5:47 PM
Alan Davis got a writer credit or co-credit on some of the UK Captain Britain work he did, but i'm not sure how much of that, if any, really included scripting. He also got a co-plotting credit with Claremont on two issues of Excalibur. But with those caveats noted, this seems to be Alan Davis' first full writing effort on a Marvel universe title.
I don't quite get this comment...? Davis was credited as the sole writer for the last couple of Captain Britain stories Marvel UK published. (And those were actually quite well-written stories, Davis did a nice little finale for the series when it was cancelled.) Since no one else was credited for those stories, he must've done the scripting as well. So this Wolverine story is not his first full writing job for Marvel.
Posted by: Tuomas | June 11, 2015 3:49 PM
Just change it to 'first full writing effort on a US Marvel universe title' and it would be correct... ;)
Posted by: Harry | June 11, 2015 5:00 PM
That's kind of what i was going for but i've clarified it. Thanks guys.
Posted by: fnord12 | June 11, 2015 7:52 PM
When this book was previewed in Amazing Heroes #184, the Yeti were called "Siberian lycanthropes".
Posted by: Mark Drummond | June 16, 2015 10:26 AM
The attack on the human camp by the renegade Neuri may be Davis' take on the mystery known as Dyatlov Pass incident, where nine hikers were found dead by "unknown comnpelling force" in 1959 in northern Ural Mountains.
Posted by: Teemu | August 17, 2015 5:47 PM
these bigfoot guys come back in Excalibur, when Meggan's true origin is revealed during the Alan Davis run.
Posted by: joshua corum | September 17, 2016 8:37 PM
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