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Jan 1

Wolverine #8 annotations

Posted on Friday, January 1, 2021 by Paul in Annotations

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

WOLVERINE vol 7 #8
“War Stories” by Benjamin Percy, Viktor Bogdanovic & Matthew Wilson
“The Past Ain’t Dead” by Benjamin Percy, Adam Kubert & Antonio Fabela

COVER / PAGE 1: Wolverine face to face with Maverick, which doesn’t actually happen in this issue.

PAGES 2-3. Wolverine arrives to visit Jeff Bannister.

We last saw Bannister (and his back garden) in issue #3, when the gate was planted. Evidently it’s become fully grown since then.

PAGES 4-5. Bannister tells his story.

Needless to say, there’s no established continuity involved here. Bannister is basically telling us that he became disillusioned as a CIA agent when he found that he’d been sent to kill other Americans in order to stop them from brokering a peace deal. It’s a fairly standard trope about the secret services having their own agenda. Bannister claims to be sticking around to do what he can from within.

PAGES 6-7. Wolverine begins his reply.

“I got rotten spots in the memory bank.” Wolverine was supposed to have recovered all of his memories at the end of House of M, but evidently we’re back to the idea that there are gaps in his memory. That’s plausible enough, since one of the reasons given over the years for his memory problems (particularly in Origin) is that his healing factor tends to obscure traumatic memories for his own protection. There’s no obvious reason why his recovered memories couldn’t be re-suppressed in the same way.

The flashbacks here are generic scenes of elements from Wolverine’s past in deliberately random ways; the final one, showing Wolverine in his Weapon X gear next to a group of Sentinels, is clearly not showing anything in line with established history.

PAGES 8-9. Wolverine’s Team X story.

Team X was a US government black ops squad in which Wolverine served for a time before getting his adamantium skeleton. They were introduced in X-Men vol 2 #5-7 back in 1991/2. There were various members, but the three seen here are the most prominent: Wolverine himself, Sabretooth and Maverick (of whom more in a bit).

Wolverine’s story is of Team X being sent to destroy an oil platform, causing great destruction for no apparent good reason. Like Bannister, he seems to take the CIA’s private agenda as being not ideological, but financial; presumably we’re looking at corruption and bribery.

PAGES 10-11. Bannister offers his support.

Bannister’s daughter had cancer in issues #1-3, which was put into remission (apparently not outright cured) by Krakoan drugs.

The XDesk is the CIA mutant intelligence division mentioned repeatedly in data pages in Marauders. The woman in the wheelchair, watching this conversation from a drone camera, is Delores Ramirez. She’s the author of the various memos shown in Marauders, but Wolverine #3 also has a transcript of Ramirez calling Bannister and asking to talk about Wolverine. We’ve only seen her on panel once before, in Marauders #11.

Bannister has formed the impression that the X-Desk is a threat, and that’s certainly how this scene presents Delores. All she actually told Bannister in issue #3 was that the X-Desk was “a special unit tasked with keeping an eye on the mutants”, which in itself seems like the sort of thing you might expect an intelligence department to be doing. Over in Marauders, Delores has been a much more sympathetic figure. She intervened to tip off Krakoa about Homines Verendi’s plan to poison Krakoan drugs, and she apparently has a relative who has been saved by Krakoan drugs (just like Bannister).

Read in that light, Bannister’s interpretation of her starts to look a bit paranoid. There’s nothing in this specific story to undercut him, but assuming there hasn’t been a massive communications breakdown between the two books, there’s more going on here than meets the eye.

PAGE 12. Recap and credits. The small print in the bottom centre of the page reads “Celebrate 350 solo missions”; on “legacy numbering”, this is Wolverine #350. Just to be clear, that’s the number we’d be on if the first Wolverine ongoing series had continued its numbering without relaunching – thus, it doesn’t include any of the Wolverine minis (even the first one), or Wolverine: Origins. The issues that count towards the 350 are:

  • 189 issues of Wolverine vol 2.
  • 74 issues of Wolverine vol 3
  • 16 issues of Wolverine: Weapon X.
  • 20 issues of Wolverine vol 4
  • Wolverine #300-317, which were published with legacy numbering in the first place.
  • 13 issues of Wolverine vol 5
  • 12 issues of Wolverine vol 6
  • Eight issues (and counting) of the current series.

PAGES 13-16. A black ops squad break into a US Government black site.

We’re not told at this stage who these guys work for. Given the two stories that were told in the prologue, the mere fact that they’re attacking a US government site doesn’t prove that they aren’t connected with other factions in the US government themselves. They’re apparently going in to retrieve something to do with Wolverine, but again, we don’t know what yet.

The bleeding attacker is identified later on as a mutant, and we’re invited to assume that he’s Maverick. More of that later. (Let’s assume the blood sample isn’t of high enough quality to check his DNA against Sinister’s records.)

PAGES 17-21. Wolverine and his allies confront Omega Red.

Omega Red. Over in X-Force, Beast has had Omega Red killed and restored without memory of what happened to him, in order to use him as an unwitting double agent against the Vampire Nation. The “talk about enlisting you in the fight against Russia” also refers to Beast’s plans for Omega Red in X-Force.

As in previous issues, Omega Red complains that the amnesty isn’t being honoured in his case. He has a point. Plenty of other murderous characters are wandering around Krakoa, or indeed running it.

Omega Red flatly denies that he attacked Wolverine in issue #4. He’s wrong – we saw it clearly and on panel. More to the point, it wasn’t a scene presented from Wolverine’s point of view – we see Omega Red watching several pages before Wolverine registers his presence. On the other hand, Wolverine seems to have some doubt about whether this really happened as he remembers it, and given that Omega Red’s memories have also been tampered with, it’s possible that he genuinely believes what he’s saying here.

Krakoan wildlife. Benjamin Percy is the only writer who consistently shows the wildlife on Krakoa as a bit weird and threatening. The bird in the second panel of page 17 appears to have sharp jagged teeth. I… suppose the bleeding creature that Omega Red follows here is a bleeding wolverine, being used as a lure? It’s not very clear.

Scout and Daken. Scout is a clone of Laura Kinney – also known as X-23 or Wolverine – who is in turn Wolverine’s genetic daughter. Laura herself is absent because she’s tied up with the Children of the Vault in X-Men. Daken is Wolverine’s actual son, normally an antagonist, but currently serving as an apparently legitimate member of X-Factor.

“You’re the one who’s been vulnerable to mesmerism lately. You’re the one who hurts mutants.” Referring to the Pale Girl in issues #1-3, who got Wolverine to kill the rest of X-Force. (They were all promptly resurrected, of course.) Omega Red is suggesting that Wolverine is projecting his self-doubt as much as he’s pursuing a valid complaints.

PAGE 22. Data page with extracts of transcripts from Krakoa’s bugging devices – Krakoan stones, which can be disguised as anything that would normally be made of stone. These were previously mentioned in a data page in X-Force #7.

The senator is pretty routine stuff. The next one is obviously based on Amazon, though Amazon doesn’t make phones. The third guy seems to have figured out the fact that something doesn’t make sense about the Krakoan population numbers; the mutants still haven’t made explicit the fact that they have resurrection, and evidently the news hasn’t leaked. Finally, the Pope is apparently worried about a “new religion” – this could be the proposed mutant religion that Nightcrawler has suggested over in X-Men, or it could be a reference to the various cultists who have appeared in books such as X-Force and Cable.

PAGES 23-24. X-Force in the Shadow Room.

The William Faulkner quote is from Requiem for a Nun (1951).

Sage claims that other than Wolverine, there are only two other mutants who might have an interest in Team X – Sabretooth and Maverick. There were other members of Team X, but presumably we’re being told that John Wraith, Mastodon and Silver Fox are not mutants. Wraith in particular had teleportation powers, but perhaps they’re not mutant powers.

Maverick is the other one from Team X. His birth name is Christoph Nord, though he changed it to David North. He had a short lived series of his own in the 90s. Broadly speaking, Maverick tends to be portrayed as one of the more reputable members of Team X, or at least the most likely to try and go about the job in a professional way. He’s also referred to here by the name “Agent Zero”, which was a new identity given to him as an agent of the Weapon X project in Frank Tieri’s Weapon X run.

Maverick lost his powers on M-Day – he’s on the long list of depowered mutants shown in New Avengers #18, but his depowering is also mentioned more prominently in Wolverine: Origins #7-8. He appears never to have got them back. He was last seen in Doctor Doom #1-2, working as a mercenary in his Agent Zero guise.

PAGE 25. A data page about the mercenaries working for Xeno. Beast’s account broadly accords with the history of Xeno’s formation given in X-Force. Trevor Crosby is the soldier who X-Force captured and brought back to Krakoa in X-Force #5, and his dog Rufus was seen with Domino in X-Force #15. That issue implied that Crosby had been killed, but this page establishes that the Beast sent him back as a double agent.

PAGES 26-30. Wolverine takes down the mercenaries.

The mercenaries are attacking Dazzler‘s home in Los Angeles, presumably to get memorabilia for their employers in Legacy House.

Crosby’s account of the formation of the mercenary unit again mirrors what’s been said in X-Force. The timescale for military cutbacks – or indeed the fact that they happened at all – makes no sense to me, but that’s the established story.

PAGE 31. Wolverine is sent off on his mission.

Wolverine wore this sort of gear all the time in his Madripoor “Patch” phase, so it’s not obvious why he’s complaining about it.

Picasso did indeed wear tailored clothes, though I’m not sure that was particularly driven by his body shape.

PAGES 32-33. Patch enters the auction.

The currency of Madripoor is meant to be the Madripoor dollar, but for some reason the deposit is being paid in Thai baht.

PAGE 34. Trailers. The Krakoan reads NEXT: HIGHEST BID.

Bring on the comments

  1. Ryan T says:

    Given Origins ran 50 issues, why not count it? If we’re being arbitrary anyway, surely 400 is better than 350?

    Is it because it was publishing in parallel with another Wolverine comic?

  2. Paul Fr says:

    I could not recall what Maverick’s mutant powers actually were, other than some vague idea they were something passive. “Kinetic absorption and redistribution” says Wikipedia

    Mentioning Dazzler’s LA house, it’s not actually House is it — Lila’s sentient/magical home last seen in X-Treme X-Men?

  3. Col_Fury says:

    re: Ryan T
    Yes, it’s because Origins was being published at the same time as the main Wolverine book.

  4. MasterMahan says:

    He did get some extra powers such as acid blasts from Weapon X.

    Then he got Decimated and lost his powers.

    He may have gotten them restored, but who can tell? It’s not like many people care about Maverick.

  5. MasterMahan says:

    How did I skip over the section where Paul explained all that? >_<

    Just ignore these.

  6. SanityOrMadness says:

    Wasn’t there a Jason Aaron thing that gave Wolverine gaps in his memory all over again after HoM?

    And if we’re adding up the numbers, shouldn’t the X-23-as-Wolverine series (and possibly even Wolverines) count? Sure, there’s technically a different lead character, but the Jim Rhodes-as-Iron Man and John Walker-as-Cap issues still get counted in their “legacy numbering”. It’s an artifact of the times that those weren’t just Wolverine #xxx issues.

  7. Uncanny X-Ben says:

    Wolverine has had his memory explicitly messed up again at least once since House of M, during Aaron’s run.

    Maverick’s powers in his solo series were basically presented like Bishop’s, except limited to kinetic energy. Also he could generate heat. It’s fairly muddled.

  8. Chris V says:

    The Jim Rhodes as IM and John Walker Cap stories were part of the original titles of the series, before renumbering of their books started.
    I can understand why they’d count those issues.

    Marvel continues to add up the pre-Thor Journey into Mystery issues as part of the Thor legacy numbering, even though it was before Thor was even introduced in the series.
    It was counted as part of the original numbering when JiM first became Thor.

    Meanwhile, the Iron Man legacy numbering doesn’t count the pre-Marvel Tales of Suspense issues for that character. Because when IM got his own series in 1968, Marvel launched Iron Man from issue #1, while Cap got to carry over the Tales of Suspense numbering. Even though Iron Man was in TOS prior to Cap.
    So, Captain America gets the legacy numbering dating back to ToS #1, even though he debuted in that book after Iron Man was already in the series.

    I can understand Marvel’s reasoning for counting the Jim Rhodes and John Walker replacement stories while not counting the replacement Wolverine stories.

  9. Luke says:

    COVER / PAGE 1: Wolverine face to face with Maverick, which doesn’t actually happen in this issue.

    I assumed this was an homage to Adam Kubert’s own cover for Wolverine 90, which itself was a selfconsciously “big issue” for no real reason.

  10. Krzysiek Ceran says:

    The guy talking about mutant population in his French ski villa – given the mention of Patsy, I think it’s meant to be Tony Stark. Patsy Walker is co-starring in the current Iron Man series.

    Regarding Wolverine’s memory – apart from the Jason Aaron run (was that the doctor Rot story? Or the cannibals’ shooting teeth-guns? Or the trapped in hell thing? Why do I even remember those?), there’s the much more recent resurrection by Persephone – Logan initially has complete amnesia and only gets back some partial fragments of his memories in the ‘Return of Wolverine’ mini.

    Except the return was botched (in many ways, like putting him in ‘Where’s Wolverine’ teasers at the end of random issues, only to later reveal this was, in fact, future-Phoenix-Wolverine-pretending-to-be-Wolverine because of reasons…) and there was virtually no follow-up – not on his memory, not on those ridiculous ‘hot claws’. If I recall correctly, next thing we know, Wolverine showed up in Rosenberg’s Uncanny X-Men, apparently fully back to his usual self. Not a single hot claw in sight.

  11. Joseph S. says:

    Given the current storyline in Aaron’s Avengers is Enter the Phoenix, I have a feeling we may not have seen the last of hot claws.

  12. Si says:

    Wolverine having no memories was a great plot device when he was a mystery wild man, it meant any story could veer wildly in unexpected ways. But now? We know all about him. At best you could do a gag like how Mr Burns never remembers Homer. I mean seriously, at this point, what’s stopping Wolverine just sitting down and reading his history on the House to Astonish blog?

  13. Thom H. says:

    I like the idea of a single hot claw. And the rest are all different, like a cold claw and a stinky claw, etc. But he can never remember which one is which?

  14. Uncanny X-Ben says:

    Hot Claw
    Cold Claw
    Slime Claw
    Candy Claw
    Electric Claw
    Ranch Claw

    The six true elements.

  15. ASV says:

    Dial H for HOT CLAWS

  16. Bob B says:

    Thom H – hilarious mate!

  17. Adam Farrar says:

    I’m in the extreme minority in that I really like Maverick. Because of his appearances, this is the first issue of this series I bought and I didn’t care for it. Obviously there are subplots that aren’t for me but the Maverick story was confusing. Beast, Sage and Wolverine say that Maverick is mind-controlled without evidence. If that is indeed him leading that first mission, he seems to be in control of himself.
    Also, “The Mercs” is a tremendously lazy name.
    And why did the issue treat Logan dressing like and using in his old Patch disguise like a shocking or exciting last-page reveal? If Wolverine goes to Madripoor, he’s Patch. It’s been that way since 1988.

    To the discussions: Maverick’s original mutant power was simply absorbing kinetic energy, it let him play on roughly the same level as Wolverine and Sabretooth with their healing factors. In his own on-going series, his Legacy Virus went into remission and gave him the ability to return the absorbed energy in blasts (like Bishop). Then he lost them and it hasn’t been a big deal because powers were never critical to him anyway.

    I’m excited to see him in this era because since being a mutant was never that key to his identity, being a depowered mutant wasn’t either. I don’t see him as someone who would move to Krakoa or be interested in the Crucible process. I think Maverick would be content to do his own spy thing in the rest of the world. But he would want his friend/mentee/successor Chris Bradley to be resurrected on Krakoa.

  18. Uncanny X-Ben says:

    For the record (which I’m sure everyone cares about) I also think Maverick is cool.

    I like the mutants that aren’t entirely wrapped up in the X-men.

    Plus his armor is neat.

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