Wolverine: The Jungle Adventure
Issue(s): Wolverine: The Jungle Adventure
The story has Wolverine getting lured to the Savage Land, in part thanks to an attack by a robot that is "like me"...
...and for the first two thirds of the book he basically just hangs around with a tribe of cavemen.
Things get interesting when he helps fight off a big T-Rex that had been tormenting them, and it turns out to be a cyborg.
He goes to investigate the volcano that it came from, and finds himself facing a very corny version of Apocalypse.
Apocalypse is doing bad stuff with cyborgs.
So Wolverine kills him.
And Apocalypse turns out to be a robot too.
Then, among dust that has seemingly been there for eons, he finds an adamantium skull.
And that's when the real Apocalypse shows up. It turns out Apocalypse didn't like what the robot was doing and that's why he lured Wolverine there.
Wolverine then blows up Apocalypse's lab and leaves.
The implication is very much that Apocalypse was behind Wolverine's adamantium skeleton. This story was written before Barry Windsor-Smith's Weapon X story in Marvel Comics Presents #72-84, but Secrets Behind the X-Men has this quote from Smith:
After I created several Weapon X stories, I had a conversation with Chris Claremont in which he told me that he had always intended for Apocalypse to be the villain behind the adamantium experiment. For no reason other than courtesy to Chris, I devised the situation where the professor in the story was taking his orders from a higher-up. Despite this hindrance to my plot, I felt it best to give Chris the chance to eventually fulfill his wish to have Apocalypse be the real villain behind the adamantium experiment. Chris never got the chance to do his ultimate origin for Wolverine, but know that whenever the professor is being belittled by the guy at the other end of the phone in Weapon X, it's Apocalypse.
That seems to contradict a quote from Claremont on that same page that Wolverine shouldn't have an official origin, and in any event the implications of this trade seem to have been ignored.
The cavemen refer to the dinosaurs as "honkers", a tribute to the Turok, Son of Stone comic. It's also said that Wolverine really likes the Savage Land and hasn't felt this in shape or at peace with himself in a long time. It's also implied that he has a baby with the leader of the tribe, Gahck. The child is later named Erista in a handbook somewhere.
Despite the revelations turning out to not be important in the long run, it's a cool little story with nice art from Mike Mignola.
Quality Rating: B
Chronological Placement Considerations: The MCP have this between Uncanny X-Men #245-246 along with a number of other random Wolverine appearances. The reason for the earlier placement (this was published in 1990) is that Wolverine is partially lured to the Savage Land with a lighter that he got from Nick Fury, and he says that "the old SHIELD" is gone and he won't be able to replace it. I suppose that doesn't necessarily mean that the new SHIELD couldn't be around, but this placement also gets it in before the Siege Perilous X-Men phase beings.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
In your page for Fantastic Four #293-295, I noted the following:
"Having read some of Uncanny X-Force, Fantomex comments that some technology the Celestials use operate similar enough to devices found in the World that he is able to operate them.
This would imply that either technology within the hyper-evolution atmosphere of the world advances into a state that could rival the Celestials or that Celestial technology was used in the World's creation. The principle behind the place IS pretty high-end.
BUT, this might actually somewhat validate the hints seen through the chronology project that Apocalypse had an involvement with Weapon Plus (as per the original writer's intentions), considering that Apocalypse is an agent of sorts to the Celestials. Heck, his successor in Uncanny X-Force even attempts to use the World to further evolution!"
Makes me wonder if Rick Remender had a similar intention to Barry Winsor-Smith, what with Rick's ongoing useage of Weapon Plus and Apocalypse.
Posted by: Max_Spider | October 7, 2014 9:09 PM
My thought process while reading this: "A corny Apocalypse? Relax just call it an Apoca-bo...oh."
I agree with Claremont, I prefer Wolverine having no clear past or at least revealed past.
Posted by: david banes | October 7, 2014 9:26 PM
The reason the MCP placed this issue so early wasn't the lighter but Wolverine 23. This story is mentioned in Wolverine 23, and Wolverine 23 leads into X-Men 251. So this story has to take place before X-Men 251.
Posted by: Michael | October 7, 2014 9:31 PM
Claremont can be unreliable about things like whether or not Wolvie should have a real origin, and the era this book was published is unreliable anyway. A note in a letter column during Larry Hama's run of "Wolverine" noted that everybody important during this period had gotten together for a meeting to hammer out Wolverine's true origin, and I'm pretty sure it was while Claremont was still there. He might have been feeling the heat at the time, and there's no telling what he actively set forth as a good company guy versus what he actually thought about the character.
From what I've learned on sites like this, I believe him that he intended things like Apocalypse to be behind the adamantium implantation. Briefly, before Bob Harras used his authority, other writers knew about this and were willing to work within established continuity as they knew it. Walt Simonson and BWS understood how continuity worked. They were still serving the Marvel Universe as they had always understood it, a generally-collaborative shared experience, with undefined rules giving making certain people more equal [Miller on "Daredevil," Claremont on "X-Men," Roy Thomas on whatever.]
With the introduction of Sabretooth as a long-time tormenter of Wolverine on his birthday in "Wolverine" #10, the Madripoor tintypes [which is a great name for a series] and other elements of fairly recent vintage, I'm pretty sure Claremont had been working out Wolverine's origin. Maybe he changed his mind in places, maybe he was overridden by editorial, maybe he never knew what he was trying to do and thought 'I'll figure it out later,' maybe he had stuff in mind that would always remain vague.
I don't think Claremont is lying, just that his statements are unreliable, as are everyone else's. We're nearing the edge of the cliff in the darkest era in Marvel's history, and [your mileage may vary] I see no indication it's ever changed.
Posted by: ChrisW | October 7, 2014 9:34 PM
Interestingly, Marvel Age 76 described this as the 1989 Wolverine Annual.
Posted by: Michael | October 16, 2014 11:28 PM
Claremont always intending for Apocalypse to be the villain behind the adamantium experiment seems incorrect given the villain was only created in 1986.
I'd suggest that as the villain was introduced under Harras' editorship of X-Factor he was forcing Claremont to make him behind it. We see this when Claremont had the Shadow King hinted as behind the Hounds, while in X-Factor Apocalypse creates Caliban to be the "First Hound". Perhaps Claremont's comment was more an implication that he had started accepting defeat from Harras's editorial decisions.
Posted by: Nathan Adler | March 2, 2015 2:46 PM
@Nathan - You might be right that Harras forced Apocalypse on Claremont, but I'd never thought of it that way myself. Claremont had made Apocalypse the power behind Moses Magnum (against what had been hinted at the time, though admittedly Claremont and Harras would have forgotten by the time of the reprint), and also has two separate references to Apocalypse in X-Men 242, neither of which seemed particularly necessary (Wolverine "smells" something familiar to him on Angel, and Rogue finds Apocalypse's personality underneath Angel's when she kisses him).
It's definitely possible Harras might have asked for all of these, but they don't strike me as relevant enough to be editorial demands. (In fact, Harras was supposedly against Claremont's tampering with/extra pages inserted into the Classic X-Men stories, and eventually stopped them, so I'm not 100% convinced he would have ordered a particular addition.)
My personal suspicion is that as Claremont gets on well with Louise Simonson, he was more happy to at least make use of a villain she invented than he would be with another person's additions to the X-Men universe. So I don't think he ever wanted any Wolverine origin published, but I think he was on board enough with Apocalypse to drop some hints of a connection, even though he'd never want it fully explained.
Posted by: Jonathan | February 27, 2016 5:05 PM
@Jonathan: The question though becomes why did Apocalypse want to bond adamantium to Logan's skeleton, and then have him continue to serve as an agent of Canadian intelligence? Why leave his experiment unclaimed for so long when he put to use Warren Worthington, Caliban, etc. immediately after experimenting on them?
Posted by: Nathan Adler | February 27, 2016 8:00 PM
I've no idea, but I'm sure you'll think of something! :-)
I also don't know why Apocalypse designed the robot in this story that acts like a cackling supervillain, why he couldn't just get rid of the robot himself somehow, or why this other adamantium skull was lying unused gathering dust... Clearly Apocalypse, like the gods he was once mistaken for, works in mysterious ways.
Posted by: Jonathan | February 27, 2016 8:40 PM
@Jonathan: His being in the Savage Land experimenting with adamantium suggests that the alloy might be derived from Anti-Metal. But again why coat bones in it?
The Apocalypse in this story reminds me of the one in Endgame.
Posted by: Nathan Adler | February 27, 2016 9:54 PM
I thought up an explanation as to why Apocalypse would have experimented on Wolverine and then let him go! Knowing of both of their long life spans, Apocalypse was in no hurry to put Wolverine to immediate use. He could simply "recall" (otherwise known as kidnap and brainwash) his would be weapon at a later date and put him to work then.
Where is my No-Prize? :)
Posted by: Bill | February 27, 2016 10:58 PM
It is worth noting that Apocalypse DOES end up covertly turning Wolverine into one of his horsemen after this. Heck, Apocalypse even goes through the trouble of putting adamantium back onto his bones after Wolverine lost it to Magneto.
You could perhaps interpret this as Apocalypse returning things to how he intended them...
Posted by: Max_Spider | February 28, 2016 5:19 AM
Where did the Erista name come from? I remember it was tossed around a lot on the old X-Fan board before the OHOTMU made it canon. Just seems like a weird name to pull out of the blue...
Posted by: bigvis497 | October 30, 2017 9:44 PM
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