Characters Appearing: Boom Boom, Cable (Adult), Cannonball, Queen Rain, Rictor, Sunspot, Wolfsbane, Wolverine
Wolverine: Rahne of Terra
Issue(s): Wolverine: Rahne of Terra
Now, maybe Cable wasn't yet meant to be a time traveler and he was just a gritty soldier or whatever, without much experience with the supernatural. But the New Mutants have seen their teammates possessed by Asgardian demons and Shadow Kings and they surely know about Kitty Pryde being taken over by an alternate future older version of herself. So the idea that Rahne really did get mindswapped with another person ought to at least be considered. But that's not really examined. The closest we get is a muttered comment by Sunspot that he wished Professor X was around, and Cable ultimately agreeing with him.
But they don't try to get help from any number of people that one might consider contacting in such circumstances (X-Factor? Forge? Rahne's surrogate mother and super-scientist Moira MacTaggert? Mr. Fantastic - who Cable met recently during Days of Future present?), nor do they seem to have any solution themselves. They just stand around looking worried waiting for the story to finish up.
Meanwhile, Rahne's mind is moved into the body of a counterpart in the steam-punk fantasy setting of Geshem, where's she's a queen. There are a lot of counterparts. We've got Doug Ramsey, still alive, as a peasant with a crush on the queen, Cable as a good wizard, with a Warlock staff...
...and various members of the New Mutants serving as handmaidens (Boom Boom) or guards (Sunspot, Cannonball, and Rictor) to Rahne. The guards don't seem to have mutant powers so much as magic equipment that provides the equivalent.
And Magneto is a bad wizard. He's summoned Wolverine to Geshem to assassinate "Queen Raine", using a magic potion to turn Wolverine feral and under his control.
I'm not a fan of alternate universe stuff to begin with, but this is a really bad one, especially considering the talent that's involved. The muddy coloring makes everything dull and Andy Kubert doesn't really do anything visually interesting despite the freedom of the fantasy setting. And i can't believe how dull Peter David's writing is. As far as i can see there's no attempt at using the alternate universe counterparts to do any character insights (aside from "Hey, what if Doug were still alive!"). It's an absolutely lifeless story. David can usually at least be counted on to pepper things up with humor, but there's very little of that, and what there is falls flat (one exception to both complains about nothing being "visually interesting" or funny is Warlock popping up as a wizard's staff, which i did like). You'll notice that the title of the issue is a terrible pun. It's completely forced and at odds with the story (Rahne is never acknowledged by the other Geshemians as being from Earth, and she's not responsible for any reign of terror). Another such pun in the story is even worse (and comes out of nowhere since the rest of the story is not a whimsical comedy).
Another pun is actually what the plot hinges on. Magneto's potion makes Wolverine keep saying that he's "the beast". But after saying it a few times, he eventually realizes that no wait, he's not the beast. He's the best. The best he is at what he does. So then he turns on Magneto and the story is over. *groan!*
There's also a weird bit suggesting that Wolverine is unique across alternate realities.
Cable and the New Mutants are still convinced at the end that Wolfsbane was just having a psychotic episode, but Wolverine shows up at the end to confirm that it was real.
A poorly done and pointless contribution to the glut of Wolverine books. Seeing Peter David focus on Wolfsbane, who he'll be writing in X-Factor, might have been nice, but the truth is that she barely figures into this story as a character. She's just wandering around confused about the alternate reality and her memories of the real world the whole time.
Quality Rating: D
Chronological Placement Considerations: This was published in 1991, but takes place while Wolfsbane is still with the New Mutants, so before X-Tinction Agenda and then her joining the new X-Factor. We'll return to Geshem for 1995's Knight of Terra. Looking at the MCP, it seems only Wolfsbane's analog (Queen Rain) appears in both this story and that one (and no other characters appear in other books).
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
There seems to be a weird amount of X-Men characters implied to be unique across all realities at some point or another. Rachael Summers, Mojo (and by extension other members of the Mojoverse), Fantomex... Merlin and Roma, I think? I remember dreading whenever these are statements are announced at times, thinking its only a matter of time before someone contradicts it.
Posted by: Max_Spider | May 31, 2015 1:31 PM
That sequel was hot garbage, IIRC.
Posted by: Vin the Comics Guy | May 31, 2015 7:13 PM
I liked it, at least at the time. Simply giving the New Mutants a semblance of their old personalities and not being drawn by Liefeld makes up for an awful lot.
Posted by: ChrisW | June 1, 2015 11:08 AM
Wolverine is unique in the multiverse? I guess I imagined all those What If...? stories he's been in.
Posted by: Bill | June 1, 2015 12:08 PM
In all fairness, that comment could be interpreted to imply that all versions of Wolverine are more or less identical, although I'm not sure that holds up either.
Posted by: Max_Spider | June 1, 2015 12:31 PM
Havoc at one point is considered to be a "nexus being" unique across realities, I think. It's a plot point in an Exiles story.
Posted by: Andrew | September 20, 2017 10:37 PM
Comments are now closed.
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