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Jul 23

Wolverine #3 annotations

Posted on Thursday, July 23, 2020 by Paul in Annotations

As always, this post contains spoilers, and page numbers go by the digital edition.

COVER / PAGE 1. Wolverine charges headlong towards people shooting at him. Generic image, basically.

PAGES 2-3. Wolverine drinks Magneto under the table and steals his helmet.

The Green Lagoon was previously established in X-Force as Krakoa’s main nightspot, as was the Blob‘s role as barman.

Magneto’s helmet has long been established as containing circuitry that shields him from telepathic attack (though this issue never actually spells that out in terms, and it’s not obvious what the point is of taking one helmet when his plan involves a whole team). It’s really not very in character for Magneto to get this drunk, and it’s not as if other books are showing him as particularly complacent on Krakoa – though he’s certainly right that he has plenty in common with Wolverine. Wolverine hasn’t really been a villain since debuting in 1975, aside from brief periods of mind control, but it’s fair to say that he was effectively a villain for stints of his back story when he was under the control of Romulus.

“In Dante’s Inferno, adamantine was the name of the metal forged into the gates of hell” “Adamantine” or “adamant” used to be a classical term for a substance of surpassing hardness (which is where “adamantium” came from). As best as I can tell, Magneto is getting his classical references mixed up here. It’s Milton’s Paradise Lost that describes the gates of hell as made of adamantine.

Dante does refer to adamant, but he mentions it when he’s describing the threshold of Purgatory. It has three steps, one of marble, one of scarred rock, and the third of adamant. Apparently this is an allegory for the three stages of sacramental penance, with the adamantine rock representing atonement under the Church. If that’s intentional, it’s very subtle – but I doubt it is.

PAGES 4-5. Recap and credits. This is “You Didn’t See Nothing” by Benjamin Percy and Adam Kubert. Note that in issue #2, the Pale Girl’s message left at one of her murder scenes was “Look away and live another day.”

PAGES 6-7. “Wolverine” steers the ship towards a Russian artificial island.

We’ll see later that the “Wolverine” on page here is an impostor, but the narration is doubtless genuine.

The three flashback panels are:

  • A generic panel of Logan in what looks to be World War II. Victor Creed can be seen behind him. This seems to be new – there are no established scenes of Logan and Creed together in either World War I or II.
  • Logan covered in control devices during Barry Windsor-Smith’s “Weapon X” arc.
  • A generic fight between Wolverine and Juggernaut – from the look of it, from the period when Wolverine didn’t have adamantium.

PAGES 8-9. Flashback. Wolverine ropes in Kid Omega to help.

Kid Omega is apparently very susceptible to the Stepford Cuckoos’ flirting. (Presumably he didn’t resume his relationship with Gwenpool after she showed up on the island in Gwenpool Strikes Back #5.) He was trying to impress the Cuckoos back in his earliest appearances too – see New X-Men vol 1 #137. (“I started up my own movement and everything, so you’d look up to me.”)

The Stepford Cuckoos are, for some reason, more interested in Cable – which feels like a story to play out in his own book. Why they need to be specially introduced to him is difficult to see, so perhaps setting them up with him involves a little more than that.

For whatever reason, the Cuckoos are all wearing white today. Normally in the Krakoan era, one of them has worn black.

PAGE 10. An extract from Beaast’s diary. Cerebro is detecting no mutants in Russia. So either they’ve killed all their mutants, or they’ve found a way of shielding it.

PAGE 11. A CIA phone transcript.

Dolores Ramirez says she’s from “the X-Desk”, which is the source of all those memos that keep appearing on the data pages of Marauders. Apparently Dolores is the author. It seems odd to give her a name here when she’s been anonymous in Marauders, but it also goes some way to explaining why the Marauders are in this story (which otherwise seems a bit random).

Both of these characters have been established as basically decent CIA agents who are broadly sympathetic to the mutants and distrustful of their superiors. Ramirez is clearly reaching out to Bannister for that reason, but doesn’t seem to be getting very far here. Presumably this story comes before Marauders #9, where she wrote a memo reporting the useful conversation she’s had with Bannister about the pollen issue.

PAGES 12-13. The real Wolverine and the Marauders make their move.

PAGE 14. Flashback. Wolverine briefs his group.

“You’ve all been wronged…” Wolverine was manipulated into killing Kid Omega in issue #1. The Marauders encountered the Pale Girl in issue #2.

PAGES 15-20. Wolverine rescues Jeff Bannister.

A fairly standard set-up where the villain can’t attack the hero directly, so goes for an innocent instead. The Pale Girl simply wanders off with no particular urgency while Wolverine is dealing with Jeff – and doesn’t exactly hurry him along to shooting himself – so it seems as if she was mainly just buying time to leave in her escape capsule.

PAGE 21. Another page from the Beast.

Colossus’s mission to Russia was mentioned in X-Force #1. It went badly wrong and we still haven’t seen the full story there. The Russians have also been a factor in Marauders.

The suggestion is that the Russians have set up a rival mutant society, though why they’d want to do that is less clear. Beast claims that the Russian ship we just saw had a “Soviet emblem with its traditional sickle and hammer now offset by an X instead of a star”. Leaving aside that Russia hasn’t used that flag since 2002, I’m struggling to see where that symbol was in the previous scene. The art seems to show a geometric pattern (with a cross, I guess) next to a red star.

“Recently a branch of the Order of X … died as a result of a bda batch of pollen…” In issue #1.

“It is now widely believed this was intentionally meant to inspire fearfulness and distrust of the Krakoan source material.” Also part of Homines Verendi’s agenda in Marauders, which the X-Desk has picked up on.

Omega Red arrived on Krakoa in the back-up strip of issue #1.

PAGES 22-24. Logan visits Jeff Bannister at home.

The flashback on page 23 is to issue #1, where Logan was manipulated into killing X-Force.

Bannister’s scars come from being caught in the crossfire of some mutant fighting.

PAGE 25. Trailer page. The Krakoan reads NEXT: BLOODSUCKER.

Bring on the comments

  1. Jim says:

    One of those concluding issues to an arc where so little is resolved it makes all of the preceding comics worse. Percy’s Wolverine continues to read like a secondhand version of Aaron’s.

  2. Krzysiek Ceran says:

    I like that this is more of an X-Force spin-off than a regular Wolverine solo book – while Logan is still in more places than other characters, at least it’s still Logan doing things firmly set in the current status quo, and not Logan fighting a Midwest gang or going to the moon or whatever nonsense he usually gets up to. Makes it more coherent. Especially with the Russian enemies tying this story arc into the larger geopolitical sitation of Krakoa.

    Other than that… well, it’s still Logan doing Logan things. It’s a Wolverine book. It’s… well, it’s… it’s pretty bog standard generic, isn’t it? Looks good, reads like a thousand other Wolverine stories but with magic flowers.

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