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May 19

Wolverine #12 annotations

Posted on Wednesday, May 19, 2021 by Paul in Annotations

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

WOLVERINE vol 7 #12
“Penumbra”
by Benjamin Percy, Scot Eaton, JP Mayer & Matthew Wilson

COVER / PAGE 1. Dracula and the Vampire Nation hook themselves up to a captive Wolverine in order to get his blood. The image is upside down, so that the vampires look like bats.

PAGES 2-4. Logan and Louise in Paris.

All fairly straightforward in terms of plot. Louise wonders if fighting on against her vampirism is heroic or just hypocritical; Logan tells her to fight on. We have been here before with Wolverine, in X-Men Annual vol 1 #6, with Rachel van Helsing. She was a former vampire hunter turned into a vampire, and she asked Logan to kill her. That time, he did.

Penumbra. A more mundane definition would simply be that it’s an area of partial shadow. The bit at the edge of a shadow where it fades out instead of ending abruptly. But the point works as well.

“Those vampire kids…” Wolverine is referring to the vampire kids he met in issue #5, who were indeed successfully resisting Dracula’s control. Perhaps they’ve had an impact on his thinking, but in the next scene his main point is that all his own losses of control have only made him more determined to do the right thing – not simply take himself off the board.

Father Cole was the “guiding priest” of the Nightguard until he got turned into a vampire and betrayed the group, all as seen in the previous issue. He seems to still have a version of a crucifix on his costume, which sounds unwise. But Marvel Universe rules are that symbols of religious faith only hurt vampires if wielded by true believers; maybe he doesn’t believe any more.

PAGE 5. Recap / credits.

PAGE 6. Data page. This is described as an X-Force “evidence log”, but it appears to be intended as an extract from the notebook of Dr James Boggs. It doesn’t really read like notebook text – maybe a transcript of dictated notes?

We saw Boggs in the previous issue, when he was being forced by Dracula to develop something based on Wolverine’s blood. As this series has repeatedly told us, Wolverine’s blood has properties that let vampires do things like resist daylight. Nothing Boggs tells us about the blood itself is particularly new.

Timothy is Boggs’ innocent assistant from the previous issue, who got turned into a vampire by Dracula after he stumbled into their meeting.

PAGES 7-9. Logan and Louise fight Cole.

Self-explanatory.

PAGES 10-12. Omega Red visits Boggs.

Omega Red is meant to be a double agent on Krakoa for the vampire nation (and has been since issue #1). He’s been increasingly depressed about not fitting in in either group; he’s being coerced by the vampires, and the other mutants won’t accept him. Which is pretty harsh considering they put Mister Sinister on the ruling council. Unknown to Omega Red, he’s been rumbled by X-Force and bugged by them.

Last issue, Dracula told Omega Red to earn the mutants’ trust by offering them something – “like Russia.” It’s not clear whether Omega Red is following Dracula’s plan in this story or genuinely turning against Dracula in an attempt to free himself. That’s doubtless intentional. It’s out of character for Omega Red to be as constructive as he is in this issue, but he does have a motivation. And he doesn’t give up Russia in this story – he gives up the Vampire Nation, which is in Ukraine.

PAGES 13-14. Forge gives Louise a new costume.

Completely straightforward. The diving suits hanging in the background of the first panel are the ones that were worn for the undersea mission in X-Force #16.

PAGES 15-16. Omega Red pitches his idea to X-Force.

As we’ll see, Omega Red actually has a perfectly sensible plan: knock up a clone, sabotage it so it’s poisonous. As already noted, he may well genuinely want to get rid of Dracula in this way. But his spiel about wanting to give something back to Krakoa is ridiculously implausible. You have to wonder why he’s bothering with it when more plausible motivations are available.

PAGES 17-21. The Vampire Nation try to use the fake Wolverine.

This is a Wolverine clone created by the Five, and modified so that its cells produce … well, something that counts as sunlight for the purposes of the rules of vampirism, I guess. Beast is very keen on this idea. Wolverine is rather less keen, perhaps because it’s another copy Wolverine running around, however non-sentient. We saw a duplicate Wolverine hand in issue #9, which hasn’t been explained yet. More generally, having Wolverine show up to say “Are you sure this is a good idea?” is normally a pretty good indication that there’s something here we shouldn’t be trusting – Dracula does get defeated awfully easily here, so maybe this is indeed all part of the plan.

PAGE 22. Data page, with just a quote from Wolverine of the sort we normally get as an epigraph. Obviously, the joke is giving such a grandiose presentation to that line of dialogue.

PAGES 23-24. Wolverine takes Louise to Sevalith.

This is the vampire realm from “X of Swords”. From what we’ve seen of it, both in that crossover and subsequently in New Mutants #17, the vampires of Sevalith are indeed a pretty reasonable, non-homicidal bunch. Wolverine suggests here that they’re the parent race, and the vampires of Earth are mad and desperate because they’re separated from the main group and have become desperately inbred. From the look of it, they also have access to more than enough “blood” to keep their hunger sated. If so, it’s reasonable enough to think they might be able to help Louise – quite aside from any willingness to help get rid of Dracula.

The suggestion seems to be that the vampires of Sevalith have not previously been aware of Dracula. This seems odd considering that they have ties to places like Avalon. But I suppose we haven’t encountered them until relatively recently, so maybe they just don’t take a great deal of interest in foreign news.

Death has been in Sevalith since being defeated by Storm in X-Force #14. In X of Swords: Destruction he was said to have been captured, but from the look of this scene, he’s improved his station somewhat.

PAGE 25. Trailers. The Krakoan reads (as you’d expect) NEXT: HELLFIRE GALA.

Bring on the comments

  1. The Other Michael says:

    Is Wolverine still fighting vampires?
    Zzzzzzz.
    Look, despite the X-Men’s history with the Weird Shit ™ of the Marvel Universe, and Dracula’s brief thing for Storm, I’ve never really bought into the idea that mutants vs vampires is all that compelling a storyline. I hated it back when they turned Jubilee of all people into a vampire (Victor Gischler, wasn’t it?)

    So yeah. Putting this behind us for a while would be nice.

    And when we predictably get a mindless vampire Wolverine clone as you know we will–or worse, a vampire Wolverine inhabited by some evil vampire spirit, who will take on some ridiculous name like BLOODCLAWS, I’ll die a little inside.

  2. Rob London says:

    “Knock up” means something very different in North America, so I was really wondering about what Omega Red’s plan entailed…

  3. wwk5d says:

    “Is Wolverine still fighting vampires?
    Zzzzzzz.”

    I feel the same. This should have been over a few issues ago.

  4. MasterMahan says:

    Omega Red: I have a plan. I would like to knock up a clone of Wolverine.

    Laura: Not if you were the last mutant in existence.

  5. Luis Dantas says:

    That was funny, @MasterMahan.

  6. Adam Farrar says:

    Is Vampire Storm from Mutant X still hanging around in the 616?

  7. Allan M says:

    Vampire Storm (Bloodstorm) was killed by Ahab during Extermination and turned to dust. Quite dead, and probably not resurrectable given duplicate rules.

  8. Joseph S. says:

    The problem with Gischler’s Curse of the Mutants (well, one of the problems) was that it seemed to want to be a campy, tongue in cheek story, but played it too straight. Maybe it was the art, maybe they just didn’t lean into it enough. It also wasn’t a great concept to hang a new adjectiveless X-Men book on.

    So I agree, Vampires aren’t particularly compelling. Wolverine slaughtering Vampires, maybe interesting for a two part story, but this is really starting to feel like a slog. (There was that What If? story, maybe this is some kind of call back?)

    As for the Sevalith twist, I’m ambivalent. I suppose it’s a good idea to tie back to X of Swords, but I’m not particularly interested in Vampire World. Then again, it makes for another counterpoint to Dracula, certainly better than the comparison they’ve been trying to force with Krakoa. Will have to see how it pans out, but hopefully Percy doesn’t continue to drag this story out for too much longer.

    [btw I’ve been having trouble with the blog in my browser, works fine on iOS but in Firefox it’s only allowing me to view comments, and I’m getting a “connection not secure” warning. Anyone else?]

  9. Col_Fury says:

    I only use Firefox and have no problems.

  10. Mark Coale says:

    I think you can still do interesting things with vampires (see Ultraviolet) without overkill, like zombies in current pop culture.

  11. Uncanny X-Ben says:

    I’ve been getting a “connection not secure” message on my Android phone for a while now.

  12. Luis Dantas says:

    Those connection warnings are usually site-specific and may often be solved by switching to a different browser or updating the one in use.

    But in this case it looks like the site is not using HTTPS at the moment. The connection is indeed not secure, in the sense that what we see and post can technically be intercepted.

    Odds are high that this will not be a lasting situation.

  13. Chris V says:

    Orchis may be listening!

  14. neutrino says:

    “This is the vampire realm from “X of Swords”. From what we’ve seen of it, both in that crossover and subsequently in New Mutants #17, the vampires of Sevalith are indeed a pretty reasonable, non-homicidal bunch. Wolverine suggests here that they’re the parent race, and the vampires of Earth are mad and desperate because they’re separated from the main group and have become desperately inbred. From the look of it, they also have access to more than enough “blood” to keep their hunger sated. If so, it’s reasonable enough to think they might be able to help Louise – quite aside from any willingness to help get rid of Dracula.”

    Vampires already had an origin in Doctor Strange, where Atlantean sorcerers used the Darkhold to bring their fallen enemies back as undead slaves. They didn’t seem to be very reasonable when storm fought Death there, going into a feeding frenzy at the sight of Death’s blood. Inbreeding doesn’t make sense, since they don’t breed at all and turn humans into vampires.

  15. Krzysiek Ceran says:

    The term ‘inbreeding’ is used incorrectly, but the idea is, I guess, that since all vampires come from Dracula, the vampiric blood is very diluted. And that’s bad, apparently.

    Also explained that way it sounds a bit like World of Darkness.

  16. Asteele says:

    I will confess my problem is if Vampires can be killed en mass by a guy with knives on his hands, they can’t be that big a deal.

  17. neutrino says:

    @Krzysiek Ceran
    Dracula absorbed Varnae’s power, so his descendants should still be powerful.

    @Asteele
    Decapitation works.

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