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Jun 5

The Incomplete Wolverine – 2001

Posted on Sunday, June 5, 2022 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 | 1994 | 1995 | 1996 | 1997
1998 | 1999 | 2000

Bill Jemas and Joe Quesada took over at Marvel in 2000, but it’s in 2001 that their direction for the company really becomes apparent. And there’s a point I should flag at the outset: a hallmark of this era is that Marvel weren’t really paying much attention to how various titles would fit together, and were also doing some quite lengthy storylines with no obvious gaps in them. This means that getting everything to fit into a coherent timeline can involve quite a bit of stretching, and series can often be miles out of synch with one another. So when I say “2001”, I’m using Wolverine’s solo title as the yardstick. There are other books that came out in 2001 – like Grant Morrison’s New X-Men – which we won’t reach until the 2002 instalment, because that’s just how it winds up fitting together.

Also, I’m going by shipping date, as best as I can establish it, rather than the notional cover dates listed on for these issues (which don’t even appear on the covers by this point).

WOLVERINE vol 2 #159-161
“The Best There Is”
by Frank Tieri, Sean Chen, Norm Rapmund and various colourists
December 2000 to February 2001

Testing Wolverine to see if he’s worthy of being an ally, deranged mercenary serial killer Mr X sends a bunch of soldiers after him, led by the Major, and including Blok and the Ladykillers. The Ladykillers are a female duo who go by the names and, deep sigh, A. Welcome to the Frank Tieri run, which continues (with some interruptions) through to issue #186 in 2003.

Logan fights off all the thugs, but loses to Mr X in single combat. Mr X takes Logan to his private island, where he explains his back story: as a child, he encountered a dying woman, could feel her passing, and became obsessed with recapturing that feeling. He’s also trained under the world’s greatest masters so that he can face ever greater opponents. Mr X gives Wolverine a choice between “accept[ing] my superiority and join[ing] me in my new murder avant-garde”, or dying because he now knows too much. Outraged that Mr X treats murder as a game, Logan flies into a berserker rage, escapes his restraints, and attacks Mr X. He does rather better this time, and Blok is forced to intervene – which Mr X regards as cheating.  He dumps Logan in a raft, and leaves a message that Mr X will get back to him in due course. So apparently Wolverine didn’t know too much after all – or maybe Mr X’s weird sense of the rules overrides that. Wolverine is troubled by the way he had to succumb to his berserker instincts to defeat Mr X, and is determined to be ready when Mr X comes back.

A subplot has Wolverine plagued by dreams in which he’s murdered the X-Men. As in his story for the 2000 annual, Tieri has Wolverine attribute this to the aftereffects of his time as a Horseman of Apocalypse, but it’ll eventually be revealed to be a side effect of the missions that Weapon X are sending him on without his knowledge. Tieri never really does anything with the Apocalypse storyline, but at least by acknowledging it in this way he smoothed it over a bit.

Tieri’s run is a mixed bag. It has genuine strengths – he gets the voice of the character well, and his long-term plotting is pretty solid, something that becomes more apparent when you re-read the whole run. Mr X is eventually revealed to be a low level telepath, who can normally beat Wolverine because he can anticipate his moves, and that’s quite well foreshadowed here. The basic concept of Mr X is solid too; he’s another anti-Wolverine who embraces his murderous urges, but this time with a superficial classiness.

The two main problems with the Tieri run are an overreliance on casual sadist villains, and a lot of dodgy comedy that doesn’t land. Like having characters called T and A. Mr X is casually killing people all over the place without even being mildly inconvenienced as a result, which all feels a bit much. There’s a tone problem here, where Mr X is so extreme that you feel he belongs in something more comedic like a Deadpool story. It’s drawn by Sean Chen but the plot seems to cry out for Simon Bisley. To be fair, though, there are other stories later in the run that strike a better balance.

For completeness: strictly speaking, the villain of this arc is never named. “Mr X” is what Wolverine calls him, but strictly speaking he’s anonymous throughout.

X-MEN vol 2 #109
by Chris Claremont, Thomas Derenick, Rick Ketcham, Norm Rapmund & Liquid!
December 2000

Logan visits Mariko’s grave. Viper shows up to return the broken bone claw that Kitty kept during Wolverine vol 2 #125-128; Logan takes that as a message that the missing Kitty is okay. Viper expresses her hope that one day their marriage will be more than purely symbolic; he tells her to get lost.

Later, the X-Men celebrate Christmas. Storm, Bishop, Rogue, Gambit, Psylocke, the Beast and Thunderbird all agree to leave and search for Destiny’s diaries, while keeping their activities secret from the main team. Wolverine is asked to stay behind at the Mansion and act as their liaison, on the somewhat bizarre grounds that his mind is “almost impossible for a telepath to scan”. Since when? That’s Rogue’s schtick, surely. Anyway, Wolverine accepts the role. Oh, and Storm introduces Sage (formerly Tessa) as a member of the splinter team.

This is the set-up for X-Treme X-Men, the series created to continue Chris Claremont’s stories when Grant Morrison and Joe Casey took over the two core books. Despite the premise that Wolverine will serve as a liaison between the two teams, he won’t actually show up in X-Treme X-Men until issue #18.

The Marvel Chronology Project lists 2002’s X-Men Unlimited vol 1 #37 here. It’s a very weird issue by Kaare Andrews which involves Mephisto tricking a man into believing that his son was killed by mutants. The man allies with Mephisto and an alternate-universe Magik in a scheme to bring all versions of the X-Men together in one place to be destroyed; a horde of Wolverines appear, but it’s not obvious that any of them are the “real” one. Decide for yourself if it counts as a Wolverine appearance. It’s probably placed here because none of the Wolverines are wearing Morrison-era costumes.

by Karl Bollers, Pascual Ferry, Andy Owens, Rick Ketcham & Hi-Fi Design
October 2000

Wolverine, Gambit and Shadowcat (who’s back with the team by now) break into an old Operation: Zero Tolerance base and retrieve Bastion’s files on them. It’s the framing sequence for a profile book, the twist being that Bastion’s files also contain new details that might be true or might be disinformation. In Wolverine’s case, it tries to revive the suggestion that Apocalypse had a hand in his adamantium skeleton.

UNCANNY X-MEN vol 1 #390
“The Cure”
by Scott Lobdell, Salvador Larroca, various inkers & Hi-Fi Design
January 2001

Thanks to Moira MacTaggert’s dying insights, the Beast finally develops a cure for the Legacy Virus. For some unfathomable but highly plot convenient reason, one person must inject the cure and kill themselves in order to cure everyone else worldwide. Colossus duly steals the cure, injects it and dies. Wolverine appears alongside the rest of the team to receive the news, but he doesn’t do anything. A flashback in Wolverine vol 2 #176 shows Colossus’ funeral. Wolverine doesn’t go; he watches from a distance and grumbles that Colossus should have found a better way.

by J Michael Straczynski, John Romita Jr, Scott Hanna & Dan Kemp
November 2001

This is the 9/11 commemorative issue. Wolverine has a brief cameo among the many heroes shown assisting in the emergency operation.

X-MEN UNLIMITED vol 1 #30 (fourth story)
“Seeds of War”
by Joe Pruett, J Czop, C Michaels & Kevin Tinsley
January 2001

A brief trailer for the “Eve of Destruction” arc. Quicksilver visits the X-Men to offer his condolences over the death of Colossus, and to warn that with the Legacy Virus out of the way, Magneto’s Genoshan government is turning its thoughts towards war on humanity.

by Howard Mackie, Ron Lim, Walden Wong & Sotocolor
April 2001

Wolverine is among a group of heroes who stop Blastaar from invading Canada. This was a Canadian-exclusive Doritos-sponsored freebie and it’s not available anywhere (at least, not at any price that I’m willing to pay for it), but it’s in the Wolverine Index, so it’s officially canon. By all accounts it’s mediocre.

WOLVERINE vol 2 #162-166
“The Hunted”
by Frank Tieri, Sean Chen, Mark Texeira, Norm Rapmund & Raymund Lee
March to July 2001

And now we dive in to a lengthy storyline.

Logan has a nightmare in which he brutally murders Senator Drexel Walsh – only for the news to report that Walsh is actually dead, and security footage to show Logan as the killer. It eventually turns out that Logan was sent to kill Walsh by the new Weapon X Program, because he was going to expose them. Sending Wolverine to kill someone pushed the limits of their control too far, breaking their mind control, and leaving him too confused to destroy the security footage as he was meant to.

On the run, Logan sets out to find out what happened, with the Beast in tow for some reason. Obnoxious S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Brent Jackson is assigned to bring Logan in; suspecting that Jackson will just kill Logan, Nick Fury hires the supernatural bounty hunter Shiver Man (Caleb Jackson) to catch Logan first. But the heroes do get captured by Jackson, and they’re thrown into the Cage, a prison for superhumans where power suppressors remove everyone’s powers. The Cage is run by corrupt warden Montgomery Battle and violent, anti-mutant warder Caleb Tillis. The prisoners include Peepers (Peter Quinn), once of the Mutant Force, who is  delighted to have some fellow mutants in prison to shelter behind. Other prisoners include the Kangaroo (Brian Hibbs), the Red Ghost (Ivan Kragoff) and his Super-Apes Igor, Mikhlo and PeatorHammerhead and Silvermane (Silvio Manfredi).  While in prison, Logan also gets notes from a mystery informant with not-especially-useful hints about the Weapon X conspiracy. These eventually turn out to be from Mr X, but we’ll come back to that.

Hoping to be rid of their troublesome prisoner, Battle and Tillis drug Logan and hand him over to Mauvais (Jean-Pierre Baubier), a sorcerer who was imprisoned in the old French prison that once stood on the same site, and who has been magically confined in the basement. Mauvais’s magical powers are fuelled by eating human flesh, so he takes the opportunity to replenish himself by eating chunks of Wolverine. Then he magically teleports himself to freedom. Again, we’ll get back to that.

After this odd diversion, Logan, Hank and Peepers are rescued by Weapon X, and Logan meets the new Weapon X Director, Malcolm Colcord. Colcord was a rookie soldier whose face was mutilated by Logan during his initial escape; he insists that he was just an ordinary soldier who didn’t deserve this fate. Colcord then explains the plot, including the use of Logan’s old memory implants to control him. Brent Jackson is revealed as a Weapon X agent; and for some reason they had to send the prisoners to the Cage first – Tieri doesn’t really explain why, but I suppose the idea is that Jackson needed to maintain his cover within SHIELD, which is fair enough.

At the same time, Colcord insists that his new Weapon X will adopt a carrot-and-stick approach to its mutant agents. He offers to fully restore Logan’s memories and give him control of his rages, if he joins up. (A brief flashback to Origin appears here – that story was due out shortly, and this is its first mention in wider continuity.) When Logan predictably refuses, Colcord tries to reactivate his memory implants, but the Shiver Man rescues Logan before the process can be completed. Afterwards, Logan and Nick Fury discuss how to bring down Weapon X, while Colcord wonders whether any of his programming took root before Logan was broken out.

There’s an awful lot going on here, and to be honest it’s better than I remember. It does suffer from Tieri’s overuse of sadism, but Logan is still providing a heroic anchor to the proceedings, and Colcord – Tieri’s signature villain – has a bit more going on than just the cruelty.

This is the last arc to feature the Comics Code seal of approval; the cover box also switches to showing Logan in his Morrison-era costume with effect from issue #164, though he never wears a costume in the story itself.

WOLVERINE vol 2 #167-169
by Frank Tieri, Dan Fraga, Norm Rapmund & Raymund Lee
August to October 2001

The mystery informant from the previous arc invites Logan to repay the favour by entering Madripoor’s annual Bloodsport fighting tournament; he also reveals that he’s the reigning champion, so that Logan can discover his identity by showing up. (Or indeed just by asking around, you’d have thought, but okay.) Logan doesn’t particularly feel that he owes this guy a favour – the information he provided wasn’t especially useful – but he’s intrigued enough to show up.

The tournament is overseen by Viper. Logan meets his assigned assistant Jae Lo, and a bunch of expendables: Headhunter, Oddball (Elton Healey), Puma (Thomas Fireheart), Taskmaster (Tony Masters), Anaconda (Blanche Sitznski), Forearm (Michael McCain), the Eel (Edward Lavell) and Speed Demon (James Sanders) are all in the tournament. Some of them seemingly get killed, which is pointless, and later writers just politely ignore it. The mystery informant turns out to be Mr X, who was genuinely trying to help Logan against Weapon X, albeit for his own reasons: he objects to Logan taking “credit” for a murder that he only committed under mind control, and he still wants Logan as an ally. In the tournament final, Logan figures out that Mr X is actually a low-level telepath who can anticipate his opponents’ moves, and deliberately enters a berserker rage in order to thwart him (which is indeed how he beat Mr X the last time round). Unable to read Logan’s mind when he’s acting purely on instinct, Mr X is defeated, but Blok spirits him away.

Issue #169 is billed as part 3, but it’s really a separate story. Ogun has been hopping from body to body among Viper’s henchmen, and sowing dissension. Logan helps her to hunt down Ogun, and stops her from killing possessed innocents. It turns out that Ogun was using Blok as a host. Ogun tries to possess Logan, but finds his mind unbearably damaged, and retreats into Viper. Ogun figures that, as the hero, Logan won’t be willing to hurt Viper in order to defeat him. Ogun is completely wrong. After Ogun is driven away, Viper grudgingly accepts that Logan has fulfilled his promise to her. She agrees to a divorce, and swears revenge on him.

The tournament stuff suffers badly from misfiring comedy, but the Ogun story’s not bad. Tying Logan to Viper didn’t work, and Tieri can hardly be faulted for getting rid of it at the first convenient opportunity. At least he does his best to draw a proper line under it.

UNCANNY X-MEN vol 1 #392-393 and X-MEN vol 2 #112-113
“Eve of Destruction”
UX #392 by Scott Lobdell, Salvador Larroca, Scott Hanna, Tim Townsend & HiFi Design
UX #393 by Scott Lobdell, Tom Raney, Scott Hanna & Hi-Fi Design
X #112 by Scott Lobdell, Leinil Francis Yu, Dexter Vines & Liquid!
X #113 by Scott Lobdell, Leinil Francis Yu, Dexter Vines, Edgar Tadeo, Gerry Alonquin & Liquid!
March & April 2001

Magneto is preparing the Genoshan army for war, and has kidnapped Professor X. With most of the X-Men otherwise engaged, Cyclops and Wolverine sneak into Genosha, while Phoenix recruits a makeshift team comprising Joanna Cargill, Northstar, Dazzler, Wraith (Hector Rendoza), Paulie Provenzano (who was meant to be codenamed Omerta, but the name never gets used) and the new Sunfire (Leyu Yoshida). Cyclops has just returned from his possession by Apocalypse, and much of the Cyclops and Wolverine strand involves Wolverine worrying about how the experience has changed Cyclops. Cyclops seems more in touch with his emotions than before, but to Wolverine this might actually be a bad thing – it was Cyclops’ coldness that made him so trustworthy in the field.

While they’re discussing that, the duo help a bunch of human refugees to escape, fight the Blob and Random (Marshall Stone III), and despatch some bozos from the Homo Sapiens Liberation Army. They finally make it to Magneto’s rally at Magda Square in time to help against Magneto. Professor X is freed, Wolverine finally gets to gut Magneto just like he wanted for the last few years, and the Genoshans stand down. The novices all decide not to stay.

This is a really weird arc. It’s a wrap-up for stray plot threads before the Morrison/Casey relaunch, but it reads like an abortive relaunch in its own right. Some of the material with Cyclops and Wolverine is unexpectedly interesting.

WOLVERINE: BLACK, WHITE & BLOOD #3 (second story)
by Donny Cates & Chris Bachalo
February 2021

Logan bumps into Cosmic Ghost Rider (a time travelling alt-future Frank Castle) in a bar, and they get into a fight with the Juggernaut. Barely a story, really. I’ve placed it here because it’s the latest place where Wolverine is in his yellow costume and the Juggernaut is still a villain.

We now enter the Morrison era – kind of. As I said, we won’t reach any actual Morrison issues for a while. But from this point on, the X-Men are in their Morrison/Quitely uniforms, and Wolverine dumps his traditional costume for a while in favour of a nice jacket.

In a flashback in Weapon X vol 2 #21, Logan visits Chris Bradley to tell him about the death of Maverick. Maverick isn’t actually dead, of course, but Logan doesn’t know that.

X-FORCE vol 1 #116
“Exit Wounds”
by Peter Milligan, Michael Allred & Laura Allred
July 2001

Just a two-panel easter egg cameo, as a customer in the new fame-chasing, brand-building X-Force‘s gift shop.

X-FORCE vol 1 #120
by Peter Milligan, Michael Allred & Laura Allred
November 2001

Wolverine records a vox pop for Doop‘s documentary Doop’s-Eye Video of the New X-Force’s First Year. He says that when he first heard about the new X-Force, he wasn’t sure about them. But now that he’s seen what they’re about, and has a better understanding of their motivations, he’s even less sure. In fact, Doop is Wolverine’s old friend, and he’s playing along for the video – but in private, he does ask why Doop is wasting his time with this bunch of losers.

Nonetheless, at Doop’s request, Wolverine intervenes to save the team’s more well-meaning members, the Orphan (Guy Smith) and U-Go Girl (Edie Sawyer), from being murdered by the treacherous Coach and his henchmen Smoke and Succubus (who plan to hype up the new X-Force by killing its members off). Wolverine also gives Orphan evidence that his team’s original members were murdered.

“Storm Clouds Gathering”
by Fabian Nicieza, Patrick Zircher, Al Vey & Hi-Fi
December 2001

If you look really closely, Wolverine is among a horde of superheroes held prisoner by Graviton (Franklin Hall). Really. He’s just below Reed Richards’ head.

Also shown on panel, and meeting Wolverine for the first time, are the new Captain Marvel (Genis-Vell), Aegis (Trey Rollins), the Steel Guardian (Josef Petkus) and the Rangers – the Texas Twister (Drew Daniels), Shooting Star (Victoria Star) and Red Wolf (William Talltrees). And, making a rare appearance outside their own book, there’s the rest of X-Force: the Anarchist (Tike Alicar), Vivisector (Myles Alfred) and Phat (William Reilly).

Presumably Wolverine is also off panel in issue #58 when the prisoners are freed. He doesn’t meet the Thunderbolts in this arc, and in fact, he still hasn’t met them at all.

Wolverine doesn’t appear in Spider-Man: Sweet Charity #1, but according to that issue, he and Rogue agreed to spend the day with the winners of a charity auction, who turned out to be Al Pacino and Beverly D’Angelo. The two actors report that the heroes were unbelievably depressing. Because the X-Men are angsty, you see. It’s one of those awful “comedians write superhero one-shots” comics that Marvel used to commission around this time, but it is drawn by Darick Robertson, so that’s something.

CAPTAIN AMERICA vol 3 #50 (sixth story)
“Stars & Stripes Forever”
by Evan Dorkin, Kevin Maguire & Avalon Studios
December 2001

Captain America has apparently died in action, and Wolverine is among the many heroes at his funeral.

One for the seriously completist: X-Men Unlimited vol 1 #47 sees present-day Wolverine narrating a story that Psylocke once told him, as he reflects on her life in the wake of her apparent death in X-Treme X-Men vol 1 #2. If you think the time frame of a narrative caption counts as an appearance, it takes place here.

CYCLOPS vol 1 #1 and #4
4-issue miniseries
August to November 2001
by Brian K Vaughan, Mark Texeira, Jimmy Palmiotti & Transparency Digital

Two cameos. Wolverine appears in a Danger Room training session at the start of issue #1, and he “greets” Scott, in typically surly fashion, on his return home in issue #4.

UNCANNY X-MEN vol 1 #394
“Playing God”
by Joe Casey, Ian Churchill, Mark Morales & Avalon Studios
April 2001

The X-Men fight the reality-warping mutant Warp Savant when he attacks Cape Citadel on his 18th birthday in imitation of Magneto. (He’s a budget Kid Omega who’s never seen again.)

During the fight, Wolverine and Phoenix are trapped in a psychic pocket dimension within Warp Savant’s mind. When Warp is about to die, Wolverine and Jean believe that they’ll die too, and he kisses her as his final act. But then they’re restored to the real world after all. Wolverine makes clear that he remembers what happened; Jean claims not to be sure. She leaves with Scott, as Logan watches.

This strange little one-off story is an odd way to start the Joe Casey run, but it’s not bad. Wolverine points out that all is not well between Scott and Jean; it’s played here as if he’s needling Scott, but in fact this is foreshadowing for New X-Men.

DEADPOOL vol 3 #60
“Deadpool: Agent of Weapon X, part 4”
by Frank Tieri, Georges Jeanty, Jon Holdredge, Walden Wong & Color Dojo
November 2001

Deadpool is killed by the Weapon X Project after refusing to join up. Wolverine only appears in the epilogue, where he receives Deadpool’s severed hand together with a threatening letter. (“Still don’t want to join?”)

DEADPOOL vol 3 #61
“Funeral for a Freak, part 1”
by Frank Tieri, Jim Calafiore, John Holdredge & Color Dojo
December 2001

Logan attends Deadpool’s funeral, having presumably arranged it himself. The Weapon X team watch mockingly from nearby, and a fight naturally breaks out among the erratic collection of mourners.

As you might imagine, although a bunch of mainstream characters do attend, Logan ticks a bunch of obscure Deadpool supporting characters off his list here: Patch (Bob Stirrat), C.F. (Steele Fitzpatrick), Fenway (Homer Un – I know, I know), Montgomery (the precog from Landau Luckman & Lake), and Kid Deadpool (Chris Cassera). He also has the inestimable joy of meeting the Lightning Rods – Flatman (Val Ventura), Dinah Soar, Mr Immortal (Craig Hollis), Big Bertha (Ashley Crawford) and Doorman (DeMarr Davis).

“The Watch”
by Frank Tieri, Matthew Marsilia, various inkers and Raymund Lee
November 2001

Wolverine fights Bloodscream, who is preying on the homeless and has magically placed Vermin (Edward Whelan) under his control. Bloodscream is working for Mauvais, but nothing really turns on that, and Wolverine doesn’t learn about it. The title refers to a sentimental bit about Logan retrieving a victim’s beloved pocket watch and delivering it to his ungrateful estranged son.

The MCP has this story earlier, but I’m not sure what the point is of separating it so far from its backup strip (which, in turn, is referenced as a recent event in Wolverine #170).

WOLVERINE: BLACK, WHITE & BLOOD #1 (third story)
“Cabin Fever”
by Declan Shalvey
November 2020

A state trooper on the take is persuaded by his partner to quit the arrangement. After killing the trooper and his family, hitmen wait for the partner to show up at their cabin so that they can kill him too, but a passing Wolverine stumbles upon them first and kills them all.

I’ve placed it here because Wolverine’s wearing his Morrison-era costume and the opening caption indicates that he’s “near the Canadian border”.

WOLVERINE ANNUAL 2001 (second story)
“Red Snow”
by Matt Nixon, Killian Plunkett & Raymund Lee
November 2001

Another of Logan’s previously unmentioned old friends, Gus, runs a bed and breakfast in a small town outside Medicine Hat. When he goes missing, Logan investigates and finds that the townsfolk have been slaughtered by a captured alien Plodex which they had chained up and worshipped as a demon for forty years. It was released by a priest, Father Braun, after he failed to get them to change their ways. It’s a rather half-formed horror story.

The MCP lists the 2002 miniseries Elektra & Wolverine: The Redeemer here, but the Wolverine Index seems to treat it as non-canon, and I agree – it’s an illustrated novella rather than a comic and it’s an alternate version of their first meeting. Even if it is canon, I don’t really understand why it would be placed here.

WOLVERINE vol 2 #170-172
“Stay Alive”
by Frank Tieri, Sean Chen, Norm Rapmund & Raymund Lee
November 2001 to January 2002

Arctic-based reality show Stay Alive – a parody of Survivor – goes badly wrong when one of the candidates turns out to be a disguised Mauvais, who bites a chunk out of another contestant on the live feed, then takes everyone hostage. Wolverine, who is still in Canada, races to investigate, and feels somehow drawn to the right location. Mauvais plans to reconquer Canada for France – meaning him – and powers himself up by eating the Wendigo’s heart, deliberately turning himself into the new Wendigo. Wolverine and Alpha Flight disrupt Mauvais’s ritual, allowing the local gods – the Inua, specifically Nelvanna, Hodiak and Turoq – to intervene. The gods open a portal, and the heroes drive Mauvais through it. As he disappears, Mauvais claims that he doesn’t need to take revenge on Wolverine, given all the terrible things that are about to happen for him.

This is one of those Tieri stories that’s better in synopsis than in execution; the TV parody is painfully heavyhanded and has nothing to do with the A-plot, so it gets forgotten about early on. And he’s got an TV executive openly killing employees for their creative decisions, which is not only stupid, it’s a spot he already did with Mr X just a few issues ago.

Next time, most of the rest of the Tieri run… and we finally get to Grant Morrison.

Bring on the comments

  1. […] With that, we arrive at the first Frank Tieri arc – but it’s a multipart story that runs into 2001. So we’ll cover it next time, as the Quesada/Jemas era really starts to take hold at Marvel. […]

  2. Andrew says:

    Another great recap Paul, Thank you so much!
    This is finally in the period that I was able to collect and read large chunks of the line for the first time, plus was heavily involved in the online fandom at the time so we’re entering the era that I’ve got very fond memories of.

    Some notes/thoughts:
    • It’s really interesting that you’ve enjoy the Tieri run more this time than you did back then. It’s one which has some highs, plus some huge lows. One of the interesting things about the Origin Flashback panel in Wolverine 166 is that it’s based just on the cover of Origin 1 and of course highlights the character of Dog, rather than the young Wolverine (who is relegated to the back of the panel. If I recall correctly, Tieri admitted on the X-Fan forums around the time that he hadn’t been brought into the loop about the plot twist, nor had Sean Chen, hence why the panel looks so odd in retrospect.
    • The Hunted (as well as Wolverine 167, Uncanny 395, and New X-men 115) all feature either artwork or covers by Barry Windsor-Smith which marked his last work for Marvel and (I think) more or less his last major mainstream work. His art revisiting the escape from Weapon X is pretty good.
    • Eve of Destruction is really weird. Obviously Lobdell came back to wrap up the various plotlines from his era before Morrison/Casey but it reads really odd in retrospect, especially given his characterisation of Cyclops in those issues are the almost polar opposite of how Morrison dealt with the character. Lenil Francis Yu’s art in X-men 112 is quite good as I recall.
    • The Captain America death storyline is totally weird in hindsight given it doesn’t go anywhere – the relaunch got heavily altered because of 9/11 so the Rieber/Cassaday run starts with him alive and well at Ground Zero.
    • Uncanny X-Men 394 is a favourite of mine. Paul is right in saying it’s a weird issue given it doesn’t really tie in with anything else Casey did with his run. But I’ve got a huge fondness of how “cool” it read to me at the time – the new costumes, the new logo, the artwork, Ian Churchill’s art which felt like a step up from what we had been getting (even though he only lasted three issues unfortunately).

  3. Bengt says:

    It was easy to find a scan of Wolverine – Son of Canada, so now I’ve done the impossible, read a Wolverine comic that Paul hasn’t! The laughs on me though as it is indeed pretty bad…

  4. Skippy says:

    It is blowing my mind that Wolverine still hasn’t met the Thunderbolts.

    What about at the conclusion of Secret Invasion, when Osborn stole his kill? Was Songbird really not present?

  5. Krzysiek Ceran says:

    I think the T-Bolts fight Skrulls in Washington D.C. and Osborn’s alone in New York.

    Man, that reminds me how disappointed I was when they didn’t use Songbird at all in Siege. She should’ve had at least some little part in Osborn’s downfall.

  6. Paul says:

    I meant, Wolverine still hasn’t met them at this point on our timeline.

  7. Ben Johnston says:

    Excellent work as always. I’m looking forward to reading how you think the Morrison run holds up 20 years later — I was in high school when it came out, and I remember not quite getting it at the time. I later came back to it and loved it, but I haven’t read it in ages.

  8. Dave says:

    I liked the Tieri run, but I was always aware that the tone was weird.
    Buying these issues without having internet I wasn’t aware ’til years later that the lead-in to Weapon X was also going on in Deadpool.

  9. Dave says:

    Also, why was Shiver Man never used anywhere ever again?

  10. Matthew says:

    Wolverine: Black, White & Blood #1: Cabin Fever

    Canada doesn’t have state troopers (or states). The first panel says it’s set in “Upstate New York.” : )

  11. Rob says:

    Is 2001 Wolverine getting an assistant named J. Lo meant to be another comedy bit?

  12. Col_Fury says:

    I have fond memories of that Captain America death discussion at the Chronology Project, and the resolution being blaming it all on the GODDAMN KANG WAR. He was just injured and found alive later, you see…

  13. Andrew says:


    The Shiver Man made a huge, huge impression with online fans at the time. Tieri got a lot of questions about whether he would use the character again. I don’t recall what his answer was but evidently he never got around to it.

    We’re in that period of Wolverine as well where Matt Nixon was doing a lot of fill-ins and back-ups in Wolverine at the time. I have a feeling that Tieri was a mentor of sorts to him.

    He does a 4-5 issue fill-in run (which had one of Ethan Van Sciver’s last issues at Marvel before he moved to DC) while Tieri took a break to focus on the Weapon X launch before coming back for the mafia storyline and that awful final issue where Wolverine fights the Punisher (The Dodsons were absolutely the wrong choices to draw that issue)

  14. Krzysiek Ceran says:

    I started googling, because I wanted to see what the Shiver Man looks like, and apparently he got a one-shot in 2009? Astonishing Tales: Shiver Man #1.

    [one minute later]

    Oh, nevermind, it’s a 10 page long digital exclusive. It’s on Unlimited if anyone cares.

    …I’m mostly surprised Marvel was doing digital exclusives back in 2009.

  15. Paul says:

    Matthew’s right, of course – the opening caption says he’s near the Canadian border, and therefore presumably on his way to or from Canada, but he’s not actually IN Canada. I’ve fixed that.

  16. Chris V says:

    Ceran-It wasn’t a digital exclusive or a one-shot. It was the 2009 Astonishing Tales series, issue #5. This was the AT series featuring a Cannonball/Sunspot/Mojo serial by Hickman. The Shiver Man story in #5 is a short story though. It tells a possible origin for the character and was written by Tieri*.

    *Not a plus in my book, but your mileage may vary.

  17. Allan M says:

    Matt Nixon wrote the 2002 two-parter with Cardinal Panzer, which is a contender for the worst Wolverine story of all time. I do not envy Paul having to re-read that.

    Eve of Destruction is a very odd story in a lot of ways, including that it’s the debut of Northstar and Frenzy as X-Men. Frenzy’s heading back to Acolytes for a few years after this, but both ended up being recurring X-Men.

    Funny in retrospect: the Bloodsport arc kills off a bunch of D-list villains for empty shock value, all to build up Tieri’s Mr. X… who ultimately has turned out to be a forgotten D-lister himself. Among those evidently killed off is Razorfist, who made his film debut in the Shang-Chi film in 2021. What a difference 20 years makes.

  18. Josie says:

    Not sure how I feel about Sean Chen these days. I thought he was perfect for the Iron Man relaunch in 1997, but his style seemed way too clean for something like Wolverine. Over the past two decades, his style has . . . largely remained exactly the same? Which seems to have not landed him particularly high profile work anymore. There’s definitely something to be said for artists whose styles remain consistent, but I always thought he had the potential to develop and grow, and was a bit disappointed that he never did.

  19. Krzysiek Ceran says:

    @Chris V
    Well, I don’t know what to tell you – it now exists on Marvel Unlimited as a separate entitity with big ‘digital exclusive’ scrawled on the cover. Ot at least on the thumbnail.

    Maybe that’s how it debuted and was later published in print as part of the series you mention?

  20. Dave says:

    Before I posted about Shiver Man I googled to see if he had ever appeared again, and went to a result ON, which only mentioned these Wolverine issues. Not very helpful, though it doesn’t really change the point that he disappeared.

  21. Col_Fury says:

    If I remember right, that Astonishing Tales volume was all digital exclusives first, then printed at the six-issue mini.

  22. Ben says:

    Is there any difference between Wolverine the character and Wolverine the grabbag of tropes at this point in the timeliness?

    “Logan, why are you leaving the X-Mansion in November?”

    “I bring this wedding ring to a pub in Edinburgh once a year in honor of an old friend I’ve never mentioned before, but if I happen to run into the yakuza gangsters that blew up his fishing ship I’ll have a little something to say to them before I avenge Seamus.”

    You could make an annual every year out of this scenario

  23. The Other Michael says:

    By this point, Wolverine has to keep his appts on a Google calendar so he doesn’t get them mixed up. One day it’s “visit an old friend’s grave” and the next it’s “cut another body part off of Matsu’o” and then after that it’s “poker night with Hercules and the Thing” and then “Weapon X reunion…”

  24. Andrew says:

    Allan M – I’m so delighted you mentioned the Cardinal Panzer two-parter, hilariously titled “The Shadow Pulpit”.

    God that was bad. And one of two super insane Catholic-related X-books in the space of a year. Just a year later in mid-2003 we got the exploding communion wafer storyline!

  25. Jon R says:

    The Other Michael — Yeah, after that fiasco last year where he showed up to cut a body part off of Matsu’o, who was totally confused because it was supposed to be the 21st and not the 12th…

  26. wwk5d says:

    Well, this was an interesting year for Wolverine and the X-line (and Marvel as a whole). Granted, we could say 2000 was also an interesting run, but for different reasons.

    Strange to see Wolverine appearing in so many stories that take place before the Morrison run, even though that run is being published at the same time.

    As for the Tieir run…it wasn’t great, but this batch of issues is much better than the Wolverine stuff we get later, and better than Weapon X, at any rate.

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