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Aug 1

The Incomplete Wolverine – 1991

Posted on Sunday, August 1, 2021 by Paul in Wolverine

Part 1: Origin to Origin II | Part 2: 1907 to 1914
Part 3: 1914 to 1939 | Part 4: World War II
Part 5: The postwar era | Part 6: Team X
Part 7: Post Team X | Part 8: Weapon X
Part 9: Department H | Part 10: The Silver Age
1974-1975 | 1976 | 1977 | 1978 | 1979 
1980 | 1981 | 1982
 | 1983 | 1984 1985
1986 | 1987 | 1988 | 1989 | 1990

We’re now firmly into the 90s, and the Larry Hama run is just getting underway. For those who skipped the previous chapter, the tail end of Chris Claremont’s Uncanny X-Men run is in there (even though it came out in 1991), because the reading order makes more sense that way. All of that is going on alongside the comics we’re about to look at. Does skipping Uncanny X-Men leave us with a quiet 1991? No, of course it doesn’t…

WOLVERINE vol 2 #35-37
“Blood & Claws”
by Larry Hama, Marc Silvestri, Dan Green, Glynis Oliver & Mark Chiarello
January to March 1991

Lady Deathstrike is back on her revenge kick. Figuring that Gateway is always trying to frustrate the Reavers by looking for loopholes in their instructions, she tells him to send her to “the place that Wolverine gazes upon this very moment.” Of course, this instruction contains a loophole: Logan and Puck are reminiscing over photographs of Puck’s time fighting in the Spanish Civil War. And so Gateway sends all three of them back to 1937, where Logan and Puck hook up with the partisans that Puck fought alongside back in the day. Hama continues to set the tone for his take on Wolverine by having the group include Ernest Hemingway and “Ricky Blair” (i.e. George Orwell) – this Logan is hyper-masculine, but smarter than he first seems, even if he plays that side of himself down. Hama even has him observe that in war, everyone misses everyone else when humanly possible – in reality, a quotation from Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia (1938).

Meanwhile, Deathstrike hooks up with Nazis to pursue our heroes, and mulls over trying to change her father’s history, so that she never ends up with a duty to avenge him. When she finally catches up, Hama restates Claremont’s take on her: she’s given up her humanity because of an obsession over his adamantium, when Wolverine would much prefer to be rid of the whole thing. The fight ends inconclusively when Deathstrike kills a German soldier who was meant to survive the war, creating a time vortex that sends everyone home. In a subplot, this alteration of history causes a distraction that leads to Donald Pierce’s new robot, Elsie-Dee, accidentally getting genius level intelligence. But we’ll get to that.

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Jul 4

The Incomplete Wolverine – 1990

Posted on Sunday, July 4, 2021 by Paul in Wolverine

Part 1: Origin to Origin II | Part 2: 1907 to 1914
Part 3: 1914 to 1939 | Part 4: World War II
Part 5: The postwar era | Part 6: Team X
Part 7: Post Team X | Part 8: Weapon X
Part 9: Department H | Part 10: The Silver Age
1974-1975 | 1976 | 1977 | 1978 | 1979 
1980 | 1981 | 1982
 | 1983 | 1984 1985
1986 | 1987 | 1988
 | 1989

Welcome to the nineties. But we haven’t reached Jim Lee quite yet – as we start off, the X-Men are still in Australia, and Wolverine has just taken a leave of absence to try and rescue Roughouse from captivity in Tierra Verde.

WOLVERINE vol 2 #19-23
“Heroes & Villains” / “Miracles” / “Battleground” / “Outburst!” / “Endings”
by Archie Goodwin, John Byrne, Klaus Janson, Michael Rockwitz & Glynis Oliver
December 1989 to April 1990

In Tierra Verde, Wolverine meets the local freedom-fighter and superhero La Bandera, and helps her fend off an assassination attempt by Tiger Shark (Todd Arliss). La Bandera’s mutant power is to inspire followers; she’s completely well intentioned, but Wolverine suspects that she’s too naive to get anywhere with her revolution. Meanwhile, further experiments have left the captive Roughouse covered in sores, and he is being cared for by Sister Salvation, a nun and healer who is also President Caridad’s ex-wife. Wolverine and La Bandera escape with Roughouse and Salvation, but Wolverine gets drugged with Tierra Verde’s weird tainted cocaine in the process. The cocaine turns out to be a vehicle for Spore, an ancient creation of the Deviants who was trapped in the ground after being destroyed by the Celestials, until someone started growing cocaine there. Since normal humans don’t survive very long, Spore wants a superhuman host, but Wolverine and Roughouse both manage to fight it off.

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Jun 6

The Incomplete Wolverine – 1989

Posted on Sunday, June 6, 2021 by Paul in Wolverine

Part 1: Origin to Origin II | Part 2: 1907 to 1914
Part 3: 1914 to 1939 | Part 4: World War II
Part 5: The postwar era | Part 6: Team X
Part 7: Post Team X | Part 8: Weapon X
Part 9: Department H | Part 10: The Silver Age
1974-1975 | 1976 | 1977 | 1978 | 1979 
1980 | 1981 | 1982
 | 1983 | 1984 1985
1986 | 1987 | 1988

We’re deep in the Australia period, and we left off on the eve of…

UNCANNY X-MEN vol 1 #239-243 & X-FACTOR vol 1 #37-39
“Inferno”
Uncanny X-Men by Chris Claremont, Marc Silvestri, Hilary Barta & Glynis Oliver
X-Factor by Louise Simonson, Walt Simonson, Al Milgrom & various colourists
December 1988 to April 1989

Wolverine isn’t particularly central to “Inferno”, which mainly focusses on Madelyne Pryor, the Summers family, and Magik (over in New Mutants). The X-Men return to New York in pursuit of the Marauders, only to get caught up in an invasion of demons from Limbo. This force is led by N’Astirh and S’ym, who have deposed Magik and formed an alliance with Madelyne Pryor, who now calls herself the Goblin Queen. Manhattan is demonically warped by the invasion, and the X-Men themselves become distorted, demonic and aggressive. They team up with X-Factor, after the usual misunderstandings, and defeat the invasion – specifically, Jean reclaims the part of her soul that animates Madelyne, Madelyne dies, and New York returns to normal. The X-Men’s costumes remain weirdly transformed.

The final two issues are a coda – still billed as “Inferno” – in which the X-Men and X-Factor team up to battle Madelyne’s creator Mister Sinister. This is the first time the X-Men actually encounter Sinister, who is seemingly destroyed by Cyclops’ optic beam. Of course, it eventually turns out that he was faking.

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May 9

The Incomplete Wolverine – 1988

Posted on Sunday, May 9, 2021 by Paul in Wolverine

Part 1: Origin to Origin II | Part 2: 1907 to 1914
Part 3: 1914 to 1939 | Part 4: World War II
Part 5: The postwar era | Part 6: Team X
Part 7: Post Team X | Part 8: Weapon X
Part 9: Department H | Part 10: The Silver Age
1974-1975 | 1976 | 1977 | 1978 | 1979 | 1980
 1981 | 1982
 | 1983 | 1984 1985 | 1986 | 1987 

At the end of last year, the X-Men set off for Dallas, to appear in “Fall of the Mutants”. After that story, the X-Men will be off limits for guest appearances for a while – but there’s time to shoehorn one in first!

INCREDIBLE HULK vol 2 #340
“Vicious Circle”
by Peter David, Todd McFarlane & Petra Scotese
February 1988

On their way to Dallas, the X-Men stumble upon the Hulk on a rampage. At first, Wolverine  resists the temptation to go after his old rival, he but changes his mind when he sees the scale of the damage. He tries to keep his composure when facing the Hulk, but finally flies into a berserker rage which does indeed bring the Hulk down – briefly. The fight ends when Rick Jones and Clay Quartermain break it up. Dutifully following Uncanny X-Men, this story lays heavy stress on Wolverine’s discomfort with the unaccustomed role of team leader. Rather harshly, Wolverine feels that after all the progress he’s made, he let himself down by backsliding into berserker mode when confronted with the Hulk. The Hulk simply leaves without appearing to learn anything at all.

The Marvel Index lists a flashback in Wolverine vol 4 #12 as taking place during this story. It shows Wolverine fighting the grey Hulk and being treated as the hero who saves the day. But the disruption caused by the fight means that a man called Roger fails to get his pregnant wife to hospital in time to save her life. Roger goes on to join the Red Right Hand. The rationale for placing this flashback here is a bit wonky – the weather’s all wrong, for one thing – but you can treat it as an inaccurate recollection and it avoids the need for a second Wolverine/Hulk encounter during this period.

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Apr 25

The Incomplete Wolverine – 1987

Posted on Sunday, April 25, 2021 by Paul in Wolverine

Part 1: Origin to Origin II | Part 2: 1907 to 1914
Part 3: 1914 to 1939 | Part 4: World War II
Part 5: The postwar era | Part 6: Team X
Part 7: Post Team X | Part 8: Weapon X
Part 9: Department H | Part 10: The Silver Age
1974-1975 | 1976 | 1977 | 1978 | 1979 
1980 | 1981 | 1982
 | 1983 | 1984 1985
1986

We left off just after the Mutant Massacre crossover, which ran through to January. That leads us to a string of aftermath issues as the X-Men roster rebuilds.

UNCANNY X-MEN vol 1 #214
“With Malice Toward All!”
by Chris Claremont, Barry Windsor-Smith & Glynis Oliver
February 1987

The X-Men investigate Dazzler’s unusually aggressive behaviour, and wind up freeing her from possession by the disembodied psychic Malice (Alice McAllister). Malice then hops between the X-Men until Storm defeats her by sheer force of will. With her reputation wrecked by Malice’s antics, Dazzler reluctantly joins the X-Men.

In a surprising coda, Wolverine wrongly concludes that Storm is still under Malice’s control and attacks, realising at the last moment that he’s got it wrong – the idea is that Malice screws with Wolverine’s usual ability to rely on his senses, inverting the usual trope where he’s the one who can sense the truth.

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Apr 11

The Incomplete Wolverine – 1986

Posted on Sunday, April 11, 2021 by Paul in Wolverine

Part 1: Origin to Origin II | Part 2: 1907 to 1914
Part 3: 1914 to 1939 | Part 4: World War II
Part 5: The postwar era | Part 6: Team X
Part 7: Post Team X | Part 8: Weapon X
Part 9: Department H | Part 10: The Silver Age
1974-1975 | 1976 | 1977 | 1978 | 1979 
1980 | 1981 | 1982
 | 1983 | 1984 1985

When we left off, Professor X had just handed the school over to Magneto and disappeared off to space. Oh, and we’re still in the middle of Secret Wars II.

UNCANNY X-MEN vol 1 #201
“Duel”
by Chris Claremont, Rick Leonardi, Whilce Portacio & Glynis Oliver
January 1986

On returning home from Paris, the X-Men meet the newborn Nathan Summers (the future Cable). Magneto takes up his role as the New Mutants’ mentor. And Storm beats Cyclops in a duel, to become the X-Men’s leader again. Wolverine blatantly supports Storm in that argument, arguing that Cyclops’ heart is no longer in it – presumably because of Cyclops’ conflicted feelings about his duty to his family. Wolverine thinks of Scott’s non-combatant family as a liability.

MARVEL FANFARE vol 1 #33
“Shadows on the Soul!”
by Chris Claremont, June Brigman, Terry Austin & Glynis Oliver
February 1987

The X-Men, Magneto and Lee Forrester are holidaying on Island M (despite everyone finding the place a bit creepy) when the statues come to life and attack. This turns out to be the work of the Chief Examiner, who wants to copy Magneto’s powers and use them to save his alien race. Magneto agrees to be scanned. As for Wolverine, he gets turned to stone for most of the issue.

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Mar 28

The Incomplete Wolverine – 1985

Posted on Sunday, March 28, 2021 by Paul in Wolverine

Part 1: Origin to Origin II | Part 2: 1907 to 1914
Part 3: 1914 to 1939 | Part 4: World War II
Part 5: The postwar era | Part 6: Team X
Part 7: Post Team X | Part 8: Weapon X
Part 9: Department H | Part 10: The Silver Age
1974-1975 1976 | 1977 | 1978 | 1979 
1980 | 1981 | 1982
 | 1983 | 1984

When we left off, Wolverine had disappeared from the pages of Uncanny X-Men for a few months to be in another miniseries. And here it is…

KITTY PRYDE & WOLVERINE #1-6
6-issue miniseries
by Chris Claremont, Al Milgrom & Glynis Oliver
November 1984 to April 1985

There’s a lot of plot here, so deep breath…

The Pryde family’s bank is in trouble because it’s just too generous in lending to local businesses. Kitty’s father Carmen sells out to new Japanese owner Heiji Shigematsu, actually a Yakuza obayun who intends to use the business as a money-laundering front. Kitty tails her father to Japan to learn all this, and gets captured by Shigematsu’s supposed “intermediary”, Ogun. Ogun brainwashes her and trains her as a ninja. But before she was captured, Kitty phoned Logan, and he duly shows up in Japan looking for her. Logan and Yukio fight a masked ninja who, you guessed it, turns out to be Kitty. Yukio drugs Kitty and the heroes regroup at a Clan Yashida stronghold, where Kitty seems to return to normal.

Wolverine explains that Ogun was his sensei, that he may or may not be a legendary samurai, and that he has imprinted his psyche onto hers, either through magic or psi-powers. Eventually this Ogun personality will overwhelm her entirely. The suggestion is that Ogun is basically a psychic parasite / ghost that moves from host to host. Conveniently for the plot, Logan believes that Kitty can only defeat Ogun’s influence by beating it herself. Logan mentors and trains her, and puts her through the same drills as Ogun, but gives her more choice, so that she has to make the decision to press on.

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Mar 14

The Incomplete Wolverine – 1984

Posted on Sunday, March 14, 2021 by Paul in Wolverine, x-axis

Part 1: Origin to Origin II | Part 2: 1907 to 1914
Part 3: 1914 to 1939 | Part 4: World War II
Part 5: The postwar era | Part 6: Team X
Part 7: Post Team X | Part 8: Weapon X
Part 9: Department H | Part 10: The Silver Age
1974-1975 1976 | 1977 | 1978 | 1979 
1980 | 1981 | 1982
 | 1983

Welcome to the era of event comics.

UNCANNY X-MEN vol 1 #178
“Hell Hath No Fury…”
by Chris Claremont, John Romita Jr, Bob Wiacek, Brett Breeding & Glynis Wein
February 1984

Wolverine doesn’t appear in the January issue, in which Lilandra and Binary leave with the Starjammers, and the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants attack Kitty and Colossus.

In this issue, the X-Men come to the rescue. It turns out to be a diversion to draw the X-Men away from the Mansion, so that Mystique can kill Professor X as revenge for taking Rogue away from her. Rogue talks Mystique down, and Mystique spares Professor X in exchange for safe passage for the Brotherhood.

So not a Wolverine story, then. He does note that Storm is taking on some of Yukio’s traits, and suggests that he doesn’t think this is a great idea – understandably, since Yukio’s role in the Wolverine miniseries was to offer the temptation of succumbing to his instincts.

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Feb 28

The Incomplete Wolverine – 1983

Posted on Sunday, February 28, 2021 by Paul in Wolverine, x-axis

Part 1: Origin to Origin II | Part 2: 1907 to 1914
Part 3: 1914 to 1939 | Part 4: World War II
Part 5: The postwar era | Part 6: Team X
Part 7: Post Team X | Part 8: Weapon X
Part 9: Department H | Part 10: The Silver Age 1974-1975 
 1976 | 1977 | 1978 | 1979 | 1980 | 1981 | 1982

 

We left off with the Brood arc, which extends into early 1983. The X-Men and the Starjammers had just figured out that Professor X was infected by the Brood, and were racing back home to sort it out. Along the way, they stop for a flashback in Excalibur vol 1 #116, in which Kitty and Kurt insist on doing what they can to help a Sidri starship in trouble. Wolverine’s there, but he doesn’t contribute much.

UNCANNY X-MEN vol 1 #167
“The Goldilocks Syndrome!”
by Chris Claremont, Paul Smith, Bob Wiacek & various
March 1983

The X-Men storm the Mansion in pursuit of the Brood-infected Professor X, only to encounter his latest recruits the New MutantsCannonball (Sam Guthrie), Psyche (Dani Moonstar), Wolfsbane (Rahne Sinclair), Karma (Xi’an Coy Manh) and Sunspot (Roberto Da Costa) – who try to defend their home. After the usual fight, both teams join forces to defeat the Brood Queen, and Sikorsky clones Xavier a new body. This body can walk, but Xavier still has psychosomatic issues for a little while. Since Deathbird has seized control of the Shi’ar Empire, Lilandra also stays on Earth for now. And the Professor infuriates everyone by demoting Sprite to the New Mutants.

As you might expect, Wolverine’s not the focus here. He completely outclasses the New Mutants that try to deal with him – he even shrugs off Karma’s possession powers – but dutifully notes that they’ll be more dangerous once they’ve had time to train. He supports killing the Professor, but only because he’s unaware of the cloning option.

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Feb 14

The Incomplete Wolverine: 1982

Posted on Sunday, February 14, 2021 by Paul in Wolverine

Part 1: Origin to Origin II | Part 2: 1907 to 1914
Part 3: 1914 to 1939 | Part 4: World War II
Part 5: The postwar era | Part 6: Team X
Part 7: Post Team X | Part 8: Weapon X
Part 9: Department H | Part 10: The Silver Age
1974-1975 | 1976 | 1977 | 1978 | 1979 | 1980 |
1981

1982 is the year when Wolverine comes to the foreground as a lead character. I’m taking Uncanny X-Men as the cut-off points, and so we won’t reach the first Wolverine miniseries until 1983 (which is when it fits into continuity, despite having cover dates from the end of 1982). But he gets his moment in the sun in the main title, and he gets to tour some more of the Marvel Universe in guest appearances.

UNCANNY X-MEN vol 1 #153
“Kitty’s Fairy Tale”
by Chris Claremont, Dave Cockrum, Josef Rubinstein & Glynis Wein
January 1982

Kitty tells Illyana a bedtime story in which all the characters are obvious stand-ins for the X-Men. Wolverine, in Claremont’s self-parody, is an animalistic “fiend with no name”, who says “I’m mean” and eats cans of beer – all of which pretty much nails the tropes of the mysterious antihero role that he’s now drifted into. But now Logan finds all this just as charming as the rest of the team do – a few years ago, he would have gone ballistic about somebody making fun of him. (Oddly, the plot of Kitty’s story involves Logan and Scott’s rivalry over Jean, which happened before she joined the team.)

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