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Nov 7

The Incomplete Wolverine – 1994

Posted on Sunday, November 7, 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 | 1991
1992 | 1993

Following a frantic couple of years, with Wolverine making guest appearances all over the place, 1994 is a remarkable change of pace. There are a few reasons for that. One is that the early 90s speculator bubble has burst, and Marvel’s line is shrinking. In particular, Marvel UK and its firehose of guest stars is now behind us. But also, Wolverine has lost his adamantium, and he’s going to respond to that by spending most of the year going off to find himself. And, for the most part, the rest of the Marvel Universe leaves him to get on with it.

WOLVERINE vol 2 #77
“The Lady Strikes”
by Larry Hama, Adam Kubert, Mark Farmer, Mike Sellers, Mark Pennington & Steve Buccellato
January 1994

When we left off, Wolverine was visiting Heather Hudson, and learning that he was going to die without his adamantium because his immune system didn’t work without it. Then, Lady Deathstrike showed up to attack. So this is a fight issue, with the payoff coming when he uses his bone claws and she find out that he doesn’t have his adamantium any more.

Lady Deathstrike’s whole motivation as a Wolverine villain is that she believes his adamantium skeleton was given to him with technology stolen from her father, and she feels obliged to avenge that theft even though she knows Wolverine had no say in it. The loss of his adamantium, in a story that she wasn’t even involved with, makes her whole agenda futile, and means that she gave up her humanity for nothing. But at the same time, she’s  freed from her perceived duty, albeit in the least satisfactory way she can imagine – so she just leaves in order to figure out what she’s going to do with her life instead. There are murmurings about giri and honour.

We won’t see her again until issue #114, but when she shows up she’ll be back to obsessing about revenge on Wolverine, which rather undermines this issue.

WOLVERINE vol 2 #78
by Larry Hama, Adam Kubert, Mark Farmer, Mike Sellers & Steve Buccellato
February 1994

Cylla Markham and Bloodscream are also tailing Wolverine, so he keeps them away from civilians by leading them on a wild goose chase into the freezing mountains. For weeks. We also get a flashback to the origin of the Clan Yashida Honour Sword, which Wolverine has brought with him. According to legend, it’s made of meteorite iron, and was re-forged from a sword originally made by demons. It’s magnetic, so Wolverine can use it as an improvised compass to give him direction, which is a clever little metaphor. As they finally reach civilisation, the exhausted Bloodscream kills Cylla to replenish his power, and then squares off against Wolverine, confident as ever in his prophecy that he cannot be killed by any sword forged of man. Of course, we’ve just been hearing that the Honor Sword isn’t forged of man, so Wolverine summarily decapitates him and heads on his way.

This shouldn’t work – it undercuts Bloodscream’s whole schtick by revealing that Wolverine always had a weapon that gave him a way around the prophecy, and always knew about it too. But it’s done with great bravado, and poor Cylla turning out to be a mobile food supply is nicely done. What really causes problems for this issue is that Bloodscream returns from the dead without explanation two issues later, so apparently the Honor Sword doesn’t get round the prophecy after all. Which is cheating, really. To be fair, the issue is setting up a storyline that begins in issue #80, but not very satisfyingly.

X-MEN vol 2 #30
“The Ties That Bind”
by Fabian Nicieza, Andy Kubert, Matt Ryan & Joe Rosas
March 1994

The wedding of Scott Summers and Jean Grey. Logan no-shows, but he does lurk around the fringes of the Mansion grounds, and stops Sabretooth from making trouble. (Sabretooth, at this point, is a muzzled prisoner.) Strictly speaking this issue only implies that it’s Wolverine that steps in, but it’s not exactly a mystery. It’s put beyond doubt in What If…? vol 2 #60, published the following month, which has a framing sequence showing the actual wedding – that version simply shows Wolverine directly.

“Bloody Mary: A Battle of the Sexes”
#150 by Ann Nocenti, Steve Lightle & Marianne Lightle
#151 by Ann Nocenti, Fred Harper & Joe Andreani
Late March & Early April 1994

This is the final payoff of Ann Nocenti’s MCP Typhoid stories; it’s two full-length issues, albeit with a lot of guest stars. Professor X sends Wolverine to check out a girl who is a “powerful new psionic presence”. The idea is that he takes the mission as an excuse to avoid the wedding, but that doesn’t fit with X-Men #30. Anyway, the girl is reportedly an empath with an instinctive genius for psychic surgery, so Wolverine is vaguely hoping she might be able to help with his own memory problems.

She’s being held in the Fortress, a facility with a highly plot-convenient security system that Typhoid is uniquely well placed to get past – supposedly because her brain waves, scent and so forth change with each of her personalities, but honestly, don’t think about it too closely, it makes no sense. So Logan retrieves Mary/Typhoid from her psychiatric ward, where creepy, sexually obsessed psychiatrist Dr Hunt is secretly plotting to eliminate the Mary persona so that he can be with sexy, sexy Typhoid forever. Typhoid duly rescues the girl, Jessie Drake. Since this is an anniversary team-up story, Daredevil and Vengeance (Michael Badilino) also start investigating; Vengeance, in particular, yells at Wolverine for doing something as stupid as releasing Typhoid, which is quite a reasonable point of view for a burning spiky skeleton.

Typhoid starts a series of revenge attacks on abusive men, replicating the injuries they inflicted on their partners. Feeling responsible for releasing her in the first place, Wolverine goes after her, despite his lack of sympathy for her victims. By the time he finds her, she’s developed a third persona, Bloody Mary, who wants to “exterminate the entire male race” as “the patriarch deserves nothing less than genocide.” This is an Ann Nocenti story, so philosophical debate ensues, as Wolverine argues that the world is divided not by gender, but by class and perhaps strength. What’s more, Wolverine argues that Typhoid (who does nothing but use men) and Bloody Mary (who does nothing but hate them) are merely personalities that Mary uses to get what she wants without having to admit it to herself. The real villain is Hunt, who has done even more damage to Mary through his tinkerings. At this point Steel Raven (Aranda Charboneau) intervenes, Mary escapes, and Wolverine has no further part in the plot.

The story isn’t helped by the change of artist on part 2, or by the need to involve three guest stars (who barely interact with one another). But it’s extraordinarily dense – that’s just Wolverine’s strand of the plot summarised above – and it’s remarkably far from anything that people associate with mid-90s Marvel. The pay-off is that Mary, Typhoid and Bloody are all defined by their attitudes to men, and a fourth persona, Walker, emerges who claims to be the more balanced version. She then sets about a career of avenging the victims of abusive men, starting with Hunt.

In 2021, this story is remembered mainly for Jessie Drake, who is often cited as Marvel’s first published trans character. In fact, the story is slightly murky on that point – generally it seems to be the intention, but Jessie also says at one point “I didn’t mean to lie, but I’m an empath, y’know, around you I really do feel like a girl!” At any rate, Jessie isn’t a developed character, so much as a vehicle to advance Nocenti’s arguments about the nature of femininity. The man-hating Bloody Mary has a tantrum when she finds out. Jessie wasn’t touched again until the recent Marvel Voices: Pride one-shot, which was naturally keen to reclaim her as a landmark in trans visibility. But this weird, awkward, abstract story isn’t especially well suited to that role.

Oh, and for some reason Wolverine is wearing a black and purple version of his costume in this story.

WOLVERINE vol 2 #79-81
“Cyber! Cyber! Burning Bright!” / “In the Forest of the Night” / “Storm Warning!”
#79 by Larry Hama, Adam Kubert, Mark Farmer, Mike Sellers & Steve Buccellato
#80 by Larry Hama, Ian Churchill, Al Milgrom & Kevin Somers
#81 by Larry Hama, Adam Kubert, Mike Sellers, Mark Farmer & Marie Javins
March to May 1994

I know Marvel liked vertically stretching the logo in the 90s, but come on.

In Edinburgh, Wolverine meets Zoe Culloden, a highly enigmatic agent of Landau, Luckman & Lake who’ll be a major character for the next year or so. Zoe thinks Logan killed her mentor Chang, but that all gets sorted out surprisingly quickly. The actual killer was Bloodscream, and Wolverine already avenged Chang’s death in issue #78, so Zoe comes round to him quickly – though Wolverine plainly doesn’t trust her an inch.

That clears the way for our main event: another fight with Cyber. Cyber is still completely out of his mind from the time he fell into a vat of hallucinogens in Marvel Comics Presents vol 1 #92. That story came out in 1991, so it must have been strong stuff. Even so, Cyber does have a broadly coherent plan: like a lot of villains this year, he doesn’t know Wolverine lost his adamantium  skeleton, and he plans to retrieve it and sell it. Wolverine exposes his bone claws to prove that Cyber is wasting his time, and naturally does very badly in the ensuing fight. Cyber gets to be the first of several villains who simply shatter the bone claws. Zoe and a very dispirited Logan then flee north towards Muir Isle, with Cyber in pursuit.

During the drive, Logan tells Zoe that he is thinking about trying to rejoin normal life, unless she knows some way of reattaching adamantium. She tells him about Dr Jaime Munoz, a molecular biologist who did a presentation on the subject. Munoz somehow came upon government records from the Weapon X project and learned that adamantium can only be bonded to bone if a rare mutation is present, which transforms the metal into “adamantium beta”. He has appealed for the test subjects (whom he believes to be “volunteers”) to get in touch, partly so that he can investigate the use of adamantium to treat osteoporosis, but also so he can warn them about a “defect” in their DNA.

By the time they reach Muir Isle, Wolverine is hallucinating wildly from a recent skirmish with Cyber (who has hallucinogenic-tipped claws), and has to spend issue #82 in detox while Excalibur lure Cyber into a cell. Wolverine only comes to his senses when he’s about to kill Kitty.

Clearly, a lot of this is intended to set up subplots for the coming year. Zoe is a major character and sticks around for a while. Munoz, set up with great fanfare, goes absolutely nowhere and is never mentioned again. But Hama’s basic idea makes sense: he’s playing off the loss of adamantium by doing a tour of Wolverine villains who are defined by it in one way or another, and hammering the point that without it, Wolverine really isn’t much of a threat. Cyber isn’t that interesting as a character, but Kubert has a great time with him visually. His Edinburgh isn’t at all bad, either.

I’m not sure it’s ever made entirely clear why Wolverine comes to Edinburgh in the first place. Most likely, he’s just planning to drop in and see Excalibur as part of his world farewell tour.

WOLVERINE vol 2 #82
“Omnia Mutantur”
by Larry Hama, Adam Kubert, Bob McLeod, Mark Farmer, Joe Kubert & Steve Buccellato
June 1994

Logan returns to Japan for the anniversary of Mariko’s death, and to put his affairs in order. (The official timelines dutifully place another flashback from issue #175 here, as Wolverine drops by to cut another bit off Matsuo Tsurayaba.) The Hand attack, but Yukio persuades them that since the real Wolverine has metal claws and actually heals, this “Logan” must be a decoy.

Amiko’s new foster parents turn out to be a callously unloving couple who are pocketing Logan’s money, while her classmates mock her absurd stories of being rescued by a superhero samurai. She remains convinced that her “samurai” will one day come for her, and that he must be busy far away – but such is Logan’s parenting skill that she doesn’t even recognise him out of costume. (This is surely a bit of a stretch even for the Logan / Amiko relationship. He’s a distinctive fellow and she’s seen photographs.)  Logan finally does something useful for Amiko by making an appropriately dashing “rescue” dressed as a ninja, and then setting her up with Yukio as a new foster mother.

It’s clearly an attempt to tie up the loose end of Amiko and kick her into touch, but the bottom line is that Wolverine still doesn’t even try to honour his promise to raise her. Okay, he believes he’s dying at this point, so maybe he thinks the moment has passed. But still. There’s no way of looking at his treatment of Amiko where he comes out well.

Meanwhile over on Muir Isle, Zoe Culloden is still discussing Wolverine’s health with Excalibur. This is where Moira starts explaining that not only is Logan dying, but “there seems to be a physical regression to some ancient gene-memory”, whatever that means. This at least seems to be a sign of long-term planning – it’s the first build towards Wolverine regressing into an animal state, which we won’t reach until 1996.

WOLVERINE vol 2 #83-84
“Cold Comfort” / “Things that Go Bump in the Night!”
#83 by Larry Hama, John Nadeau, Bud LaRosa, Keith Champagne & Digital Chameleon
#84 by Larry Hama, Ron Wagner, various finishers & Steve Buccellato
July & August 1994

Two issues of fill-in art mark this as a second-tier story.

Wolverine, Guardian and Vindicator visit an Arctic research station which is under attack by a long frozen creature. It’s shaped like the Hunter in Darkness, and it was cryogenically frozen in the ice until it was released by… climate change? No, hold on, it’s only 1994. It’s the hole in the ozone layer.

Before the horror tribute proper begins, Logan gets in some heart-to-hearts with James and Heather. He makes it very obvious that he expects to die, he claims that his animal instincts let him “know when it’s time to go home for the last time”, and he asks James to be his executor. You can probably guess where the story itself goes: most of the scientists, who are varying degrees of annoying, get picked off. Less obviously, the pack turns out to be the descendents of the original Hunter, still present as their geriatric leader, who went back in time to the far past thanks to a complicated time travel subplot involving Elsie-Dee and Albert that continues into this issue but never actually involves Wolverine himself. When the original Hunter recognises Logan, it backs down and leads the pack away.

In an epilogue, Logan also drops in at Silver Fox’s cabin one last time to complete his farewells. We don’t see it here, but James also asks Logan to head down to San Francisco and check up on the new Weapon X (Garrison Kane). He’ll do that in issue #88.

After this point, there are distinct signs of Marvel having second thoughts about the whole direction of Logan dying from the loss of his adamantium, and the plot thread seems to be discreetly dropped – as discreetly as you can when you’re abandoning a central storyline, anyway.

WOLVERINE vol 2 #85 & CABLE vol 1 #16
“The Phalanx Covenant: Final Sanction”
Wolverine by Larry Hama, Adam Kubert, Mark Farmer, Joe Rubinstein, Lovern Kindzierski & Joe Andreani
Cable by Larry Hama, Steve Skroce, Mike Sellers, Batt & Marie Javins
September & October 1994

“Phalanx Covenant” was an oddly structured crossover with three separate strands. Its main purpose was to introduce the cast of Generation X, but Wolverine has nothing to do with that bit. Instead, he shows up for the final two chapters to help Cable, Cyclops and Jean Grey – now calling herself Phoenix – rescue the X-Men from the Phalanx. Wolverine does at least take the opportunity to apologise for not attending the wedding – Jean tells him that “your heart was there, and that’s what’s important”.

At this point, Scott and Jean have only just returned from spending several years in the future raising the young Cable in Adventures of Cyclops and Phoenix, so for her, the wedding is not a recent event. There’s a callback to the Cable / Wolverine feud from Cable’s early appearances, but this time Wolverine recognises how strongly Jean now feels about Cable (since she now knows he’s her son), and backs off, declaring the slate clean. The X-Men win, the Phalanx are defeated, and it’s all got very little to do with Wolverine’s ongoing storylines.

Wolverine doesn’t appear in Wolverine vol 2 #86, which is a flashback story that ties up the subplot about Albert and Elsie-Dee. They travel back to the distant past and meet an alternate-future Wolverine and Forge. Apparently, if they hadn’t been there, this alternate Wolverine would have become the duplicate Wolverine skeleton from the “Crunch Conundrum” back in issues #51-53. Alt-Forge explains that this all definitely makes sense because, as a result of being at the Crunch in issue #52, Wolverine is now “permanently affected by a temporal paradox field.” So if you want a last-ditch explanation for anything in Wolverine’s history that makes no sense, there you go.

In Generation X vol 1 #6, Jubilee writes to Logan to tell him that she’s leaving the Mansion to join the newly-formed Generation X. He’s appropriately proud of her. Jubilee’s relocation to the new book puts an end to their hero-and-sidekick relationship, though it’ll continue to be referenced whenever they’re in the same room for some time to come.

GHOST RIDER vol 3 #57
“Where to Life?”
by Howard Mackie, Salvador Larroca, Sergio Melia & Digital Chameleon
January 1995

Ghost Rider is wanted by the police, and Wolverine helps him hide. They also team up against the Next Wave and their rivals the Posse. There’s no good reason for Wolverine to be in this at all. It’s the sort of random guest shot that had largely stopped by this point.

by Howard Mackie, Ron Garney, Al Milgrom & Paul Mounts
December 1994

A sequel to the Hearts of Darkness one-shot, which starred the same three anti-heroes. Lucy Crumm, from that story, psychically draws the three back to the town of Christ’s Crown, which is now controlled by Blackheart. Thanks to a curse from Mephisto, Blackheart risks madness every time he uses his powers, so he plans to kill Mephisto using his followers the Corrupt instead. As in the earlier story, only antiheroes can deal with this sort of problem because they can handle the darkness without losing their essential heroism… or something like that. It winds up just being a stock “Wolverine does bad things so you don’t have to” take, and it doesn’t need three antiheroes to make that point. Ghost Rider alone would have done just fine. On the plus side, there’s something quite likeable about this take on Blackheart, a mad demon who genuinely believes he’s the good guy because he plans to rule in a kinder, gentler hell. Anyway, Lucy is rescued and Blackheart seemingly succeeds in killing Mephisto. It won’t stick, of course.

by Tom DeFalco, Paul Ryan, Danny Bulanadi and various colourists
December 1994

Wolverine finally meets up with the Thing to apologise for slicing his face open (having phoned ahead in Fantastic Four vol 1 #394). Thing’s temporary teammate Ant-Man (Scott Lang) calms the inevitable argument, and they all team up against the Mad Thinker and his Super Android. Basically an attempt to draw a line under a story that never made any sense, and it does at least tie up the loose end.

(The official timelines have this between issues #88-89, but that doesn’t fit with the status of Wolverine’s healing factor. There’s probably some reason involving Fantastic Four continuity why it was placed there, but I’m going to stick it here, which makes more sense for Wolverine.)

WOLVERINE vol 2 #87
“Showtown in Lowtown”
by Larry Hama, Adam Kubert, various inkers & Marie Javins
November 1994

Logan’s farewell tour reaches Madripoor. Gambit drops by to discuss Sabretooth’s continued presence as a prisoner at the Mansion. Logan advises Gambit to kill him. But later he gives a slightly more favourable story about Sabretooth, in a flashback to the Team X days, the moral being that Sabretooth has the “sheer guts and total lack of fear to try some nigh impossible things and pull them off”. He did save the whole team several times when they were all in Team X; he does have his uses. Still, Wolverine insists that bringing him into the mansion is mad and that the man is an irredeemable psycho. By this point, even Gambit has picked up on the obvious point that the same could have been said about Wolverine when he joined the X-Men, but the conversation gets cut off before he can push the point.

A surprise “Welcome Back” party for Logan is interrupted by two Hand ninja, who get shot dead by Maverick before they can do anything. Maverick has the Legacy Virus, and wants Wolverine to kill him so he can have a warrior’s death. It’s another parallel with Wolverine’s reaction to his own mortality over the course of the year. Wolverine refuses, and tells Maverick that dying like a man means facing the long walk into darkness head on; Maverick responds that Logan has been dodging his own responsibilities by dropping out of the X-Men and following his own life.

This… isn’t very convincing, since the whole point of the last year was that Wolverine was squaring things off and putting his affairs in order before he died. But Marvel now seem to be backing off from this direction, and this story seems intended to end the world tour and steer Wolverine back towards the other X-books. He won’t actually get there for another couple of issues, though.

“Pure Sacrifice”
by Dwight Zimmerman, Nel Yomtov, Paul Ryan, Phil Hugh Felix, Rey Garcia & Joe Andreani
April to May 1994

This is a sequel to Zimmerman’s story from issue #62, where Wolverine encountered henchmen of Abdul Alhazred, the HP Lovecraft villain. This time, Alhazred himself shows up and kidnaps Tyger Tiger. Wolverine rescues her, and overcomes Alhazred’s attempts to drive him mad in the process. The art is decent, but it’s a completely forgettable story that aims for an air of disturbance it never achieves.

(The official timelines have this right after MCP #150-151, but that doesn’t seem to fit with the “Welcome Back” party in Wolverine #87.)

WOLVERINE vol 2 #88
“It’s D-D-Deadpool Folks!”
by Larry Hama, Adam Kubert, Fabio Laguna, Mark Farmer, Tim Townsend & Marie Javins
December 1994

As promised, Wolverine heads to San Francisco to check on Garrison Kane, only to find Deadpool (Wade Wilson) is looking for him too. Deadpool’s been around for a few years now, but he’s only just starting to spread beyond X-Force at this point. He’s had two minis by this point; his ongoing series won’t start until 1997.

Deadpool is upset that his ex-girlfriend Copycat (Vanessa Carlysle) is now with Kane. Thanks to his fully working healing powers, Deadpool defeats Wolverine, leaves him for dead, and heads off after his ex. For absolutely no apparent reason, this somehow triggers Wolverine’s healing factor to start working properly again, and Wolverine beats Deadpool in a rematch. He encourages Garrison and Vanessa to stay together.

So… yes. That’s how 1994 ends – with the whole plot about Wolverine’s healing powers failing and his body dying just being dropped out of the blue. It’s a bad omen for years to come.

Bring on the comments

  1. […] Next time, in 1994, it’s Wolverine without his adamantium, away from the X-Men, and with the early-90s glut behind him too. It’s… different. […]

  2. Nu-D says:

    Wait, the whole thing with his nose falling off doesn’t happen until 1996?

    It’s no wonder the only one of these issues I’ve read is the wedding story from X-Men. I can’t believe this whole arc deconstructing the character lasted that long.

  3. Daibhid C says:

    ’m not sure it’s ever made entirely clear why Wolverine comes to Edinburgh in the first place.

    Why does anyone go to Edinburgh between March and May? Clearly, he’s hoping there’ll be someone who can help him at the Science Festival.

  4. Daniel D says:

    Ah, my first year of X-Men. I never could make sense of that Bloodscream/Elsie Dee storyline.

    I think it’s worth noting that this is the beginning of the “Marvelution” era. It seems like the partitioning of editorial departments probably had a major role in ending the flood of gratuitous Wolverine guest appearances.

  5. Uncanny X-Ben says:

    Wouldn’t you think the whole Bloodscream prophecy thing would have something to do with Wolverine’s fancy new organic bone claws and not a sword?

    Also I only just now realized it’s a pun on bloodstream. So that only took 30 years.

    Having never seen it before, that purple and black costume jumps up to like a top five Wolverine outfit for me.

  6. Si says:

    What was it about the lack of adamantium that was killing him? I have this idea that it was sort of like coeliac disease, his own immune system was attacking his body? I think this was the time where comics weren’t sold in newsagents any more and I wasn’t interested enough at the time to go to specialty stores.

    On a different note, that Punisher/Ghost Rider cover hurts my eyes. A lot of artists seem to forget that fire makes light. How is Ghost Rider’s squinty-eyesocket face in shadow like that? Why is Wolverine’s face shadowed in the wrong direction? Punisher’s face is shadowed right, which just makes the whole image worse. You can see the colourist tried, at least.

  7. Uncanny X-Ben says:

    Yeah Ghost Rider art usually makes my eye twitch.

    He should have a fiery mane behind his head if you want the white skull.

    But I prefer the artists who actually draw him as a burning skeleton.

  8. Mathias X says:

    I always felt like this area was wasted potential. Removing Wolverine’s adamantium was a shocking move, and seeing him weak made his victories more interesting. Of course they would have to return it eventually, but I think there was the opportunity here to have the unkillable, savage Wolverine nerfed into someone a bit more vulnerable and who needed to be more savvy than reckless.

    So instead they just started treating him as invincible but without adamantium instead.

  9. Chris V says:

    Si-I think it was that having his adamantium ripped from his body required his healing factor to work overtime to save his life, which led to his healing factor burning out (temporarily).
    Due to that, the usual factors from which his healing factor helped him stay alive were killing him.

  10. Ben says:

    It might be worth asking what exactly a “healing factor” is since it seems to vary so much from writer to writer. I guess my take is that there’s a fair amount of wiggle room until you get to Ultimate Wolverine vs Hulk where he gets torn in half and somehow survives. That was kind of my breaking point where it went from a quasi-realistic mutant power to magic bullshit that nullifies any potential of danger or conflict.

    At least the 606 version has those sick flaming claws now

  11. Krzysiek Ceran says:

    It’s hilarious how fast those went from ‘check out this mysterious new development’ to ‘we’ll never speak of it again’. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a subplot introduced and dropped faster than that.

    As for Logan’s HF, I miss the days when somebody with a rifle was something he had to be careful about. He’s much more interesting when he has to be at least a little bit smart.

  12. the new kid says:

    Starting reading X-Men not long after this. My first Wolverine, outside the animated show, was adamantium free and I largely ignored his solo title. So I kinda didn’t see the big deal about him getting it back or not at the time

  13. wwk5d says:

    “with the whole plot about Wolverine’s healing powers failing and his body dying just being dropped out of the blue. It’s a bad omen for years to come.”

    I wonder if this was done knowing that after AOA (which was around the corner) the status quo would be Wolverine’s regression of sorts to being a bit more feral?

  14. Dave says:

    Not seeing too much of a problem with that Dark Design cover. Ghost Rider IS providing all the light. Wolverine is slightly right of him, so it’s his left that’s lit (yes, exaggerated too much because they’re fitting them in portrait).

  15. Matthew Murray says:

    I think the description of Generation X #6 is slightly off. Gen X visit the Xavier Mansion and Jubilee goes out to the woods to talk to Wolverine. He mentions receiving her letter and the rest of the conversation goes the same. It came out the same month as Wolverine #92, so also seems like it’s out of order somewhat since I don’t think Generation X #1 was even out at the time you’ve placed it. Maybe there’s some reference I’m missing that requires it to be there.

  16. Chris V says:

    Matthew-This is solely referencing the flashback scene in the comic, not the remainder of the Generation X story.
    He is treating the flashback scene as a continuity implant and then placing solely that scene here in the chronology.

  17. Daniel D says:

    I thought that read confusingly as well. The scene in Generation X #6 isn’t a flashback, but I think Paul’s intention was that Jubilee writing the letter and Wolverine reading it happens here.

  18. The Punisher on that Dark Design cover looks like JRJR’s Morlun. I can’t unsee it.

  19. Matthew Murray says:

    Chris & Daniel: Aha, yes, okay, that makes sense now. The letter writing/sending can definitely fit in this slot, but it also never actually appears on the page and is just referenced in that issue.

  20. […] • 1994. The Direct Market is doomed. And Wolverine is getting existential. […]

  21. Walter Lawson says:

    This is the second time a “Wolverine is dying” plot has been aborted midway through without a proper explanation. Same thing happened with Claremont’s version a few years before. Did readers respond badly? Both sets of stories are some of the better Wolverine arcs of their time, to my mind. I share Paul’s appreciation of that Bloodscream/Cylla story.

    Hama has said he never tried to plot for the long term, and even his G.I. Joe sagas show the signs of too many improvisations building up over too long a period. But I’d be surprised if Harras and marvel editorial/marketing wasn’t to blame for a lot of the directionlessness here, too. Harras constantly seemed to want a more savage Wolverine but never fleshed out what that would mean—in issue 50, Logan was supposed to regress to the condition in which he first met the X-Men, but that didn’t last. Then in issue 100 we get no-nose Wolverine, and that doesn’t last either. Neither attempt at making him savage results in all that much different characterization from regular Wolverine.

    Hama’s a good writer with some weaknesses, and Harras was a meddlesome editor who was inconsistent about thinking through and following through with his gimmicks. The result is what we see.

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