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Apr 14

Wolverine #11 annotations

Posted on Wednesday, April 14, 2021 by Paul in Annotations

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

WOLVERINE vol 7 #11
“A Confusion of Monsters”
by Benjamin Percy, Scot Eaton, JP Mayer & Matthew Wilson

COVER / PAGE 1. Wolverine and Louise fighting vampires in, well, a pool of blood or something. Omega Red and Dracula loom behind. Or Omega Red’s attacking and he’s just very big. One or the other.

PAGES 2-5. Wolverine destroys a nest of vampires.

This issue returns to the Vampire Nation storyline, last seen in issue #5. Logan’s narration here is basically a summary of what the vampires were up to in that issue. We did see a group of vampires in that issue who had resisted the group control and were surviving on animal blood; however, those three didn’t ask Wolverine to kill them, and seemed really quite keen that he shouldn’t. On the whole, though, Marvel have tended to present vampires who reject their transformation as being quite keen to be put out of their misery.

PAGE 6. Data page. Sage has been identifying likely vampire nests for Wolverine from circumstantial evidence – much of which actually seems to involve vampires who are subsisting on other blood sources. He’s been destroying them all, and his “reports” back to Sage are characteristically blunt. Though really, what more is he going to report?

Brightmoor is indeed a blighted area of Detroit, and has been for some years.

PAGE 7. Recap and credits.

PAGES 8-9. Omega Red shouts at some kids and goes through a gate.

As shown in issues #1 and #5, Omega Red is working for the vampires, who have a hold over him because they supplied him with the Carbonadium Synthesizer that keeps his powers under control; the version they supplied contains a detonator. In X-Force #15-16, X-Force discovered all this in the course of interrogating Omega Red for unrelated reasons. The Beast came up with a convoluted plan to kill Omega Red and have him resurrected with a new, bugged C-synth, in the hope of making him an unknowing double agent.

Omega Red obviously regards Dracula as a monster, but it’s a little odder that he doesn’t regard himself as such – it’s not something he’s particularly shied away from in the past.

PAGES 10-14. Omega Red arrives in Chernobyl.

Omega Red has planted a seed so that a gate will appear in a plane while it’s passing over the Ukraine, which he can then jump out of. He doesn’t know that X-Force are tracking him by the C-synth, but presumably he does know that they can monitor his movements through Krakoan gates.

There’s a degree of confusion in the geography here. X-Force say that Omega Red is “in the airspace above Ukraine” and “over Chernobyl” (which is indeed in the Ukraine). They also say that he’s over Yel’sk, Ridni and the Palieski Radioecological Reserve; those are all in neighbouring Belarus. They are indeed areas which remain affected by radiation from the Chernobyl disaster, but the area immediately around Chernobyl itself is known as the Zone of Alienation or the Exclusion Zone.

Despite what the issue says, these areas are not “an irradiated wilderness no one dares step foot in”. In fact, a small number of permanent residents in the Exclusion Zone simply refused to leave. And while you wouldn’t want to live there for the long term, you can visit as a tourist, and even stay overnight. The Palieski Radioecological Reserve used to be stricter about excluding the public, but it’s been open to tourists since 2018.  So the premise here is, um, a bit out of date.

Dracula draws a parallel between himself and Professor X: “an understanding that true power is exclusionary”. It’s not entirely clear whether he’s thinking of Professor X’s personal power or of the power of Krakoa as a whole, but clearly this Vampire Nation community is being set up as a parallel for Krakoa’s self-isolating community. But there are obvious practical problems here for the vampires – they need humans around to eat, at least by preference. They could live on the wildlife, of which there is plenty, but that hardly seems like a vampire paradise.

Dracula is wrong to believe that the C-synth remains untouched. Presumably his belief is based on reading Omega Red’s memories, rather than on any sort of examination of the C-synth itself.

Omega Red seems uncharacteristically beleaguered with his role on Krakoa. It’s not really like him to care what the other mutants think of him. But then he’s been placed in a situation where he’s required to interact with them instead of just going off on mercenary jobs or killing sprees, which may make a difference.

Dracula’s suggestion is that Omega Red earn the mutants’ trust by offering them information about Russia. Russia has been set up as an enemy of Krakoa over in X-Force in particular. In fact, X-Force already tried interrogating Omega Red about Russia, and he knew nothing of any relevance. So it’s not obvious how useful a suggestion this is, unless he knows something which X-Force failed to spot the significance of.

PAGE 15. Data page. Sage’s record of a conversation between Wolverine and the Beast.

KP4 is indeed a real fungal toxin, and there is indeed a strain of genetically modified corn that makes use of it. The Beast’s idea, reading between the lines, is to take advantage of the Vampire Nation’s plan to use Wolverine’s blood to make an elixir – presumably he plans to poison the blood in some way that will wipe out the vampires. By his recent standards, this actually doesn’t sound like too bad a plan. But Wolverine instead wants to go for the hack and slash approach, with the help of Louise, the religious anti-vampire crusader he met in issue #1.

PAGES 16-17. Wolverine meets Louise.

Again, we’re reminded of possible parallels between the vampires and the mutants. Wolverine’s reference to mutants claiming the moon is about the Summer House setting up home on the Blue Area of the Moon, seen mainly over in X-Men.

PAGES 18-20. Louise turns out to be a vampire.

At the start of this issue, Wolverine was telling us that the vampires who resisted their transformation all wanted to be killed. He’s rather more sympathetic to Louise’s position here, acknowledging the parallels with his own struggle for control.

The three lines of French dialogue simply translate as “Thank you very much”, “You’re very kind” and “I’m sorry!”

PAGES 21-23. Dracula visits his scientist Dr Boggs.

Dracula isn’t impressed with the results of experiments using samples of Wolverine’s blood and insists, for no apparent reason, that the problem must be the poor quality of test subjects. This does make you wonder how far this whole scheme of his is based on an unfounded belief that Wolverine’s blood provides an answer to vampires’ vulnerability to sunlight. At any rate, the upshot is that they need to capture Wolverine himself in order to make progress.

PAGE 24. Closing montage.

Omega Red tries to follow Dracula’s suggestion.

Logan is letting Louise drink his blood, which is safer than letting her near anyone else, but still seems risky. The guy watching them in the last panel seems to be Father Cole, the “guiding priest” who betrayed the Nightguard in Louise’s flashback.

PAGE 25. Trailers. The Krakoan reads NEXT: BLOOD IN THE BANK.

Bring on the comments

  1. Si says:

    Having Dracula in your story is like having Long John Silver in your story. There’s nothing wrong with Long John Silver, but he’s not really a superhero trope. I really don’t get the attraction.

  2. Chris V says:

    I don’t like how prevalent Dracula has become in recent times. I don’t like that Dracula is associated with the X-franchise after that stupid cross-over.

    I do like that Dracula is part of the Marvel Universe though. His making an occasional appearance in certain comics (yes, including the two Claremont stories).
    The 1970s Tomb of Dracula series was a classic.

    I love that the Marvel Universe is a place where just about any aspect of genre fiction/pulp fiction can collide.
    Mutants, vampires, Frankenstein’s monster, aliens, a lost world full of surviving dinosaurs…it’s all part of the Marvel Universe.

    Having said that, I have no interest in this story, and am glad I am not reading Wolverine.

  3. Uncanny X-Ben says:

    I’ve always thought one of the fun things about superhero comics is that everything and the kitchen sink can be a part of the story.

    Dracula vs Conan the Barbarian vs Wolverine vs Super-Skrull?

    Yes please.

  4. Omar Karindu says:

    I just hate the redesign Marvel’s Dracula has been saddled with since “Curse of the Mutants.”

  5. Malena Mordekai says:

    I like how Wolverine has increasingly been a watcher of Hank McCoy’s amoral tendencies. Logan is a good vehicle of indignation.

    Hope they clash more and more soon.

  6. Joseph S. says:

    Meh. I’m pretty bored by Percy.

  7. Krzysiek Ceran says:

    I think he’s much better over at X-Force. This series is… it’s just Logan doing Logan stuff he’s done before in countless issues of Logan books.

  8. MasterMahan says:

    The old crossover story about Dracula wanting to making Storm his bride* was just a fun bit of fluff. Mutants fighting vampires is fun every once in a while, but in terms of X-Men’s usual themes even the periodic forays into Shi’ar space opera fit better. The attempts to make the vampire nation parallel Utopia or Krakoa just don’t work.

    And yes, Dracula’s generic armored guy look is terrible.

    *Storm is basically catnip to anyone with a nation or a noble title.

  9. Si says:

    The vampire nation thing was started in Avengers though, right? It does all seem to be building to something bigger than just Wolverine or even Krakoa. I think there might be a big event in the next few years where vampires have conquered the world.

  10. Chris V says:

    True, it was in Jason Aaron’s Avengers where Dracula formed a vampire nation in Chernobyl.

    The upcoming Marvel/Mike Mignola’s Baltimore crossover.

  11. Omar Karindu says:

    There’s also the earlier “Vampire State” arc from Captain Britain and MI-13, which played Dracula as a sort of reactionary ethnonationalist seeking a vampire homeland and spouting a thinly veiled analogue to Little Englander rhetoric.

  12. Karl_H says:

    Not that there isn’t room for vampires in the genre mash-up that is the MU, but the sorts of things mentioned in the opening of this issue — vampires “decimating” entire small towns — only work in stories where that sort of thing happening without getting major attention is simply part of the ground rules. It’s a huge stretch that it could happen in the MU without a dozen do-gooders and hero teams descending upon it.

    And “fix the sunlight weakness” is a super tired trope for vampire stories.

  13. Omar, I would be very surprised if anyone involved with this story remembered the MI13 Dracula story, but I hope so, because it was great fun.

  14. neutrino says:

    That’s what I’ve been wondering. Where’s Doctor Strange? Where’s Blade? This is their job.

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