RSS Feed
Dec 23

Wolverine #19 annotations

Posted on Thursday, December 23, 2021 by Paul in Annotations

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

WOLVERINE vol 7 #19
“The Old Mutant and the Sea”
by Benjamin Percy, Javi Fernandez & Matthew Wilson

COVER / PAGE 1. Well, it’s Wolverine on the surface with a monstrous sea creature below the surface.When I started doing these posts, I figured there would be plenty of X-books that weren’t that heavy on continuity and where the annotations would be pretty short. As it turns out, there weren’t. This one is getting there, though, so we might not be terribly long here.

PAGES 2-3. Wolverine hunts Krakoan wildlife while a corpse washes up on the beach.

Percy seems to be the only writer interested (however tenuously) in the idea that Krakoa has distinctive animals on it. Anyway, Wolverine is hunting this thing so that he can use it as bait in his hunt for the Leviathan later in the issue. This is the final issue of this volume of Wolverine and, perhaps rather tellingly, it opens with a callback to Wolverine’s first scene in X-Force #1. In that scene, he was also hunting Krakoan wildlife and arguing that the paradise of Krakoa would lead to people dropping their guard and becoming soft. (Intriguingly, with hindsight, the character he lectures about this theme is the Beast, who starts off X-Force much less paranoid than he eventually becomes.)

PAGE 4. Recap and credits. The “recent mission” where Wolverine encountered the Leviathan was back in X-Force #16 (ten issues ago). He was shaken by it at the time, and that issue ends with a data page in which he claims to have felt meaningless by comparison its scale.

The title references Ernest Hemingway’s 1952 novella The Old Man and the Sea, in which an ageing fisherman struggles with a giant marlin at sea. I’ve never read it, so if there’s any more substantial parallel, you’ll need to tell me.

PAGE 5. Data page.

“No-Places” are basically as described here – areas within Krakoa that Krakoa’s consciousness can’t access, allowing secrets to be kept in them. We established in Inferno #3 that Cypher and Warlock can in fact monitor the No-Places, but nobody else knows this yet.

Tumours. The first tumour appeared in X-Force #15, and consumed a whale in that issue – presumably the source of the creature we see here. The zombified crew of the USS Siege attacked Krakoa at the end of that issue. The encounter with Namor was in X-Force #16, and Wolverine’s closing quote comes from the data page at the end of that issue.

PAGES 6-9. Wolverine sets out to sea.

The only reference in here is already footnoted. The narration picks up on the idea of Wolverine pitting himself against a force of nature which makes him feel insignificant by comparison. The sea, he says, is the only place you can go where you can still confront that sort of scale.

PAGES 10-16. Wolverine fights the Leviathan.

Lovely art in this issue. There’s a great sense of scale and movement to it all.

PAGE 17. Wolverine readies himself to follow the Leviathan underwater.

He recounts a story about being trapped after a mission “off the Jutland Peninsula”, and dying and coming back to life repeatedly due to drowning from the tide until he was rescued. Bit of a stretch, but there are stories which have Wolverine returning from the dead through healing by this point, thanks to his encounter with Lazaer in World War I. If this is meant to be the Battle of Jutland, it’s mid-1916, and this incident takes place between the flashbacks in “Logan Dies” (Wolverine vol 3 #57-60) and the 1918 story in Savage Wolverine #21-22.

PAGES 18-22. Wolverine defeats the Leviathan.

The key idea here is that Wolverine appreciates Krakoa but doesn’t really believe in utopias; he feels alive in conflict, he has something of a death wish (or at least a tendency towards indirect self-harming), and he sees his role as being to shield the regular Krakoans from all this.

PAGE 23. Data page, with a self-explanatory closing quote.

PAGE 24. Trailers for Wolverine vol 8, coming in April. Apparently we’re getting a Deadpool story. The small print reads “Weapon X”, “Krakoa” and “Staten” (because that’s where Deadpool is currently based).

Bring on the comments

  1. Uncanny X-Ben says:

    Seeing Wolverine swim with his claws out is deeply funny to me for some reason, but I that’s a nice cover.

    The one thing I really like about Percy’s take on Krakoa (before I dropped both his books) is that it’s an alien environment that the mutants are using without understanding.

  2. Joseph S. says:

    I enjoyed this on the whole. Feeling humbled and small in the middle of the sea, I get that. But if we think to hard about it, this is a character who has, on more than one occasion, been lost/died in deep space. Human cognitive dissonance, I guess. And the art does sell the scale and magnitude. Somehow Logan killing the Leviathan doesn’t feel right to me, but I guess it had been drowning mutants (who could be resurrected)….

  3. Ben Johnston says:

    Nice art, slight story. I enjoyed the espionage stuff in this run with Maverick and the CIA. The rest was pretty forgettable.

    Your comments above on pages 6-9 basically sum up the themes of “The Old Man and the Sea”. It’s from the very end of Hemingway’s career and he’s very much in “the only true test of masculinity is pitting yourself against nature” mode.

    Not a particularly memorable book, but to be fair I’ve never been much of a Hemingway fan.

  4. ASV says:

    Wonderful cover – would’ve been interesting to have the leviathan actually disguising itself as an island. Story was perfectly OK, but had the feeling of a Hama-era inventory story.

  5. neutrino says:

    Wolverine should have killed it with a giant plastic bag.
    Will Nature Girl come after Krakoa for mutating innocent wildlife?

  6. Krzysiek Ceran says:

    Great art. Stunning in places. The story… I wouldn’t mind if not for the narration. If Wolverine just did the things he does here, then alright. But the self-conscious narration turns it up to 11 in a way I can’t read as anything but performative machismo that somehow rings false for the character.

    I don’t know, maybe it’s because I’ve read very little of Hama Wolverine. But for me Logan should be the rough guy who’s in tune with nature, not ‘guy who thinks constantly how incredibly rough he is’.

  7. GN says:

    Paul> Trailers for Wolverine vol 8, coming in April. Apparently we’re getting a Deadpool story.

    You would think we are getting Wolverine Vol 8 1 in April, but apparently not. On Twitter, Marvel has announced that Wolverine Vol 7 will resume with Wolverine 20 in April next year with the same creative team: Benjamin Percy and Adam Kubert.

    So no renumbering for X-Men, New Mutants and Wolverine in the Destiny of X relaunch. But Immortal X-Men, Marauders, Knights of X, Legion of X, X-Force and X-Men Red will launch with new number 1s.

Leave a Reply