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Sep 9

Wolverine #24 annotations

Posted on Friday, September 9, 2022 by Paul in Annotations

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

WOLVERINE vol 7 #24
“Hell to Pay”
Writer: Benjamin Percy
Artist: Federico Vicentini
Colourist: Frank D’Armata
Letterer: Cory Petit
Design: Tom Muller with Jay Bowen
Editor: Mark Basso

COVER / PAGE 1. Wolverine fights a pack of hellhound things with glowing eyes. The Hellbride has one of them later in the issue.

PAGES 2-4. The Progenitor challenges Wolverine to prove that his value is greater than the value of the people he killed.

The Progenitor. This is an A.X.E. tie-in, and the Progenitor is busily judging everyone on the planet. Like most people, Wolverine is confronted by the Progenitor in the form of people to whom he feels the need to justify himself. In Wolverine’s case, that’s obviously going to be all the people he’s killed over the years, since it’s practically a trope of the character anyway. The novel point is about him having to positively justify himself.

Despite the Progenitor’s implication that Wolverine’s life has to be judged against the lives that he’s extinguished, many of the people here were not permanently killed by Wolverine, because they’re mutants and they’ve since been resurrected. In a few cases, Wolverine even knew that at the time. Apparently, in terms of his feelings of guilt, that doesn’t make much difference.

Some of the crowd are just shadows or generics, but recognisable among them are…

  •  Moira X, as she appeared in X Deaths of Wolverine. Her inclusion here is a little odd, since she was killed by the alternate-future Omega Wolverine in X Deaths #4, not by the mainstream Wolverine. But again, maybe he doesn’t see a difference.
  • Omega Wolverine (the skeleton with the Phalanx effect), as he appeared in X Deaths #5 – Wolverine did indeed kill him.
  • Omega Red.
  • Sabretooth, decapitated. Wolverine did cut his head off in Wolverine vol 3 #55, though he showed up alive and well later on – that story was part of the notoriously incoherent “Evolution” arc that introduced Romulus, one of those stories that later writers seem to view as Not Even Worth Retconning.
  • Jean Grey, Kid Omega and Domino, all of whom were killed by Wolverine while under the Pale Girl’s influence in issue #1 of this series.
  • Daken, who was killed by Wolverine in Return of Wolverine #2 (and presumably resurrected on Krakoa).
  • What seems to be another Logan in a checked shirt.
  • I should probably recognise the guy in the middle of page 4 panel 1 (who’s standing right next to an identically dressed man in the next panel) but I don’t.
  • To the left of page 4 panel 2 are four of the Mongrels – illegitimate children of Wolverine’s, who he was manipulated into killing over the first year of Wolverine vol 4 (2010-11). The masked woman on the far left is Fire Knives; the bit hooded guy is Cannon Foot; the woman in purple with maces swinging from her head is Shadowstalker; and the guy with the hat and the yellow scarf around his face is Gunhawk.
  • To the far right of that panel is one of the Knights of Hellfire, the generic Hellfire Club footsoldiers, probably representing one who got killed by Wolverine in the Dark Phoenix Saga.
  • The Silver Samurai is next to him, though I’m drawing a blank on when Wolverine killed him.

PAGE 5. Recap and credits

PAGES 6-7. The Hellbride tells the Beast that she’s coming to Earth.

The Beast is the demon worshipped by the ninjas of the Hand. The Hellbride appears to be one of his chief followers; the wedding ceremony, the death of her husband, and the theft by Wolverine and Solem of the two magic swords forged by Muramasa in Hell, all took place during the “X of Swords” crossover – specifically, in issue #6 and X-Force #13.

PAGES 8-11. The Hellbride attacks Solem.

Rather than helping deal with the Progenitor, Solem is just enjoying himself in San Francisco, with some apparently psychologically resilient partygoers.

PAGE 12. The Progenitor judges the Hellbride.

Naturally, Solem escapes. As a visitor to Earth during Judgment Day, the Hellbride attracts the Progenitor’s attention. The continuing theme seems to be that the Progenitor wants people to prove that they are worthy by their own standards; therefore, the Hellbride’s task is to take her revenge. Which she was going to do anyway, of course, but see below.

PAGES 13-18. Solem and Wolverine in the Summer House.

Wolverine’s attitude to his judgment is that the Progenitor is probably right, but it’s his duty to keep fighting. The basic question, I suppose, is whether he passes because he lives up to his sense of duty or fails because of his self-loathing tendencies.

The Summer House. This is the first time we’ve seen the Summer House since the moon was blown up at the start of the Fantastic Four storyline “Reckoning War”. Apparently Uatu did a really thorough job when he restored the moon at the end of that arc (and in fairness, that issue did specifically show the Blue Area of the Moon to be reinstated).

Solem tried to steal the two Muramasa Blades in “X of Swords” and following issues; Wolverine retrieved them and brought them to the Summer House in issue #16.

Muramasa. I’m not sure what the basis is for the claim here that Muramasa was Wolverine’s “teacher”. The real Muramasa was a famous swordmaker in the 16th century; there’s a long tradition of stories depicting his blades as cursed. But his role in Wolverine’s back story is simply that he accepted Logan’s request to make the (different) Muramasa Blade that was a plot point in Wolverine: Origins.

PAGE 19. The Hellbride changes plans.

The penny seems to have dropped for the Hellbride that, as a death cultist, she would actually quite welcome the end of the world. So she doesn’t especially want to pass the test.

PAGE 20. Data page – Logan’s nihilistic views on the religious urge. There are parallels here with his attitude to the ocean and the leviathan creature in issue #19.

PAGES 21-24. The Hellbride’s crew approach the Progenitor and become his henchmen.

Since they’re now wandering around the frozen wastelands, I suspect they might show up over in X-Force.

PAGE 25. Trailers.

Bring on the comments

  1. Si says:

    So it’s Wolverine’s duty to not improve his own shoddy standards? I suppose that also explains why he’s a smelly bachelor whose most enduring relationship is being a married woman’s bit on the side. He has to live like that so more worthy people have enough soap.

  2. Thomas says:

    If Paul doesn’t know when Wolverine killed somebody, does anybody? At this point, does Paul know more about Wolverine minutiae than any other living human?

  3. Rob says:

    Wolverine also killed Daken in the final arc of Uncanny X-Force, though he was resurrected by the Apocalypse Twins in Uncanny Avengers.

  4. Bengt says:

    Are Percy and Duggan competing to write the worst Progenitor? What’s the price?

  5. Mike Loughlin says:

    $3.99 an issue, plus the brain cells we aren’t getting back.

    (I know you meant “prize,” but I like “price” better)

  6. Daibhid C says:

    So it’s Wolverine’s duty to not improve his own shoddy standards?

    I think someone here referred to it previously as “Red Dwarf Inquisitor” rules, which sounds about right. In that story, Lister and Kryten failed because “they could have been so much more”, while Rimmer and Cat passed because Rimmer didn’t believe he could improve himself, and Cat couldn’t imagine he needed to. It’s not a great system.

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