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Nov 6

The Incomplete Wolverine – 2006

Posted on Sunday, November 6, 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 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003
2004 |2005

We left off in the aftermath of House of M. Almost all mutants have been depowered by the Scarlet Witch – though by a happy coincidence, almost all the main characters happen to be exceptions, including Wolverine. On top of that, Wolverine has regained all of his memories. That took us through to the “Origins and Endings” arc from Wolverine vol 3 #36-40, where Daniel Way kicked off his Wolverine: Origins storyline. That arc already took us through to March 2006, but it continues into Origins itself. And that arc runs for a good long while before allowing a break in the action. So…

“Born in Blood”
by Daniel Way, Steve Dillon & Dan Kemp
April to August 2006

Origins is Wolverine’s second ongoing monthly series, running for 50 issues and attempting to tie his back story into a coherent whole. On that score, it was a failure. It ties everything into a byzantine conspiracy arc involving Romulus, which has barely been mentioned since, presumably because nobody finds Romulus very inspiring. But it would be unfair to say that nothing in Origins matters. It also introduced Daken, and he’s still appearing prominently today.

In the opening arc, Wolverine starts hunting down people who were part of the conspiracy that exploited him in the past. He feels that he’s done terrible things in his life, that it’s no excuse that he wasn’t in control of his mind, and that he’s beyond redemption – but that’s not going to stop him from taking revenge. We establish that Logan started as a thug for the conspiracy, but went on to become a handler who treated other people the same way in a cycle of abuse. One of his victims, Nuke, resurfaces to lure Wolverine out. Wolverine defeats Nuke, but Captain America shows up to stop Wolverine from killing him. Wolverine beats up Cap, then gives the Muramasa Blade (which he retrieved in the previous arc) to the X-Men for safe keeping. Finally, he heads off in search of his long lost son Daken, believing that the conspirators are planning to engineer a fight between them.

This really isn’t good. Steve Dillon, a legendary artist, was appallingly miscast on this book; the script simply doesn’t have the sort of humour and subtlety that he’s good at bringing out, and he’s left drawing fight scenes that don’t play to his strengths. Frankly, much of this arc feels like a bunch of people wandering around a field. Perversely, the book is actually improved when, some way down the line, Dillon’s successors just draw the damn thing to look as cool as possible.

by Daniel Way, Steve Dillon & Dan Kemp
September 2006 to January 2007

Wolverine decides that carbonadium might be the key to saving Daken from the conspiracy’s control (presumably because it eventually turns out to have played a part in clearing his own mind). So he decides to retrieve the carbonadium synthesizer (“C-synth”) that he gave Maverick years ago. He tracks Maverick down at a makeshift clinic for depowered mutants, run by Jubilee. By apparent coincidence, Omega Red also shows up looking for the C-synth, which he needs to control his powers. He takes Jubilee hostage, reminding Wolverine of his failures as a father figure. Maverick no longer has the C-synth, but directs Wolverine to Berlin. There, Wolverine teams up with the Black Widow (presented as an ersatz daughter, with flashbacks to their past). She tells him that the real C-synth is now in a safety deposit box in Brussels. They use a fake C-synth to lure out Omega Red and rescue Jubilee. She’s badly injured, and Wolverine surrenders to SHIELD in order to get her treated. Daken then makes his debut by breaking Logan out, slashing him, and mocking him as weak. He promises that they’ll meet again. This is better than the first arc, in that the espionage plots work well enough, but the emotional beats still don’t land.

“Swift & Terrible”
by Daniel Way, Steve Dillon & Matt Milla
February to June 2007

Wolverine concludes that Daken blames him for the death of his mother and wants revenge, in a parallel of his own quest for revenge on the conspiracy. In Brussels, the two fight again. Daken insists that Wolverine is just his biological father, and derides him for wearing a mask. At this point, Daken is also obsessed with retaining his self-control, so that he can  prove himself better than his father. Daken defeats Wolverine, only for Cyber to show up. (Cyber returned from the dead by possessing the body of super-strong Milo Gunderson, and got the Tinkerer to attach his adamantium plating to the new body.) Cyber is another former agent of the conspiracy, also out for revenge, and he wants Daken to give up the location of his employer. Wolverine offers to team with Daken against Cyber, but Daken just leaves. Cyber’s new heart gives out, and Wolverine grudgingly takes him to an underworld scientist for treatment. Cyber gives up various information about the conspiracy, including the implication that James Hudson was part of it. The scientist fits Cyber with a carbonadium pacemaker, unaware that this will be lethally radioactive; Wolverine disposes of the C-synth by throwing it into a river.

This is the point where Origins stops being about a generic spy conspiracy, and starts building up the role of Romulus – who, at the same time, is being introduced over in Wolverine. It’s certainly possible that Origins gets derailed by the need to incorporate the ludicrous Romulus into Wolverine’s history somewhere. But more of that in due course.

After 15 issues, Origins finally has a break in the action – so we won’t be returning to it for quite some time.

THE PULSE #12-13
“Fear, parts 2-3”
by Brian Michael Bendis, Michael Gaydos & Matt Hollingsworth
November 2005 to January 2006

The Avengers rush Jessica Jones to Dr Strange in time for the birth of Danielle Cage.

MARVEL HOLIDAY SPECIAL 2005 (Avengers story)
“Yes, Virginia, There is a Santron”
by Jeff Parker, Reilly Brown, Pat Davidson, Dave Lanphear & Christina Strain
November 2005

Mad scientist Virgie Hanlon rebuilds Ultron as Santa Claus, and it attacks the Avengers Christmas Party. The Avengers defeat it, then capture Virgie. If you’ve ever wanted a panel of Wolverine brutally attacking Santa Claus, this comic has you covered. Among the otherwise familiar party guests is rookie hero Gravity (Greg Willis).

Amazing Spider-Man vol 1 #525 by Peter David, Mike Deodato Jr, Joe Pimental & Matt Milla
Marvel Knights Spider-Man #20 by Reginald Hudlin, Pat Lee & Dream Engine
Marvel Knights Spider-Man #21 by J Michael Straczynski, Pat Lee & Dream Engine
Amazing Spider-Man vol 1 #527 by J Michael Straczynski, Mike Deodato Jr, Joe Pimental & Matt Milla
Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man vol 1 #4 by Peter David, Mike Wieringo, Karl Kesel & Paul Mounts
Marvel Knights Spider-Man #22 by Reginald Hudlin, Pat Lee & Dream Engine
October 2005 to January 2006

A sprawling Spider-Man event crossover, in which the Avengers appear because Spider-Man is living with them at the time. It’s a 12-part story, but Wolverine is only in half of the issues, and most of those are cameos. He has a chat about Spider-Man’s obsessive pursuit of Morlun, and (in a very Straczynski take on the character) deliberately winds up Mary Jane to distract her from her concern for Peter. That’s about it, really. We’ll have a lot of this sort of thing now that Wolverine is in the Avengers.

UNCANNY X-MEN vol 1 #470-471
“Wand’ring Star, parts 2 and 3”
by Chris Claremont, Billy Tan, Jon Sibal & Brian Haberlin
March 2006

In a sub-plot, Storm and Wolverine investigate Sudanese guerrillas who are enslaving depowered mutants. This leads into…

“Bride of the Panther, part 1”
by Reginald Hudlin, Scot Eaton & Klaus Janson
March 2006

After Storm and Wolverine defeat the slavers, the Black Panther shows up to propose to Storm. There are editorial crossed wires here, since the plot details don’t match up with Claremont’s story. At any rate, Wolverine seems to be here in order to tacitly bury the romance with Storm that Claremont had been trying to set up. In a sense, he’s symbolically giving her away at the altar on behalf of the X-books (though we won’t reach the actual marriage for a bit).

WOLVERINE vol 3 #41
“The Package”
by Stuart Moore & CP Smith
April 2006

At the Black Panther’s request, Wolverine rescues the baby daughter of assassinated President Mayamba from the wartorn African nation of Zwartheid. She symbolises the country’s hope of a peaceful future. This is a curious issue, since it’s a double-sized fill-in; the fact that it can slot neatly after Black Panther #14 appears to be just a coincidence. It’s mainly a showcase for Smith’s wonderful art, and a monologue for Wolverine, with the other characters being just generics.

“Masks, part 1”
by Peter David, Roger Cruz, Oclair Albrt, Victor Olazaba & Chris Sotomayor
March 2006

Another cameo. Wolverine and Mary Jane watch on TV as Spider-Man fights El Muerto (Juan-Carlos Sanchez).

A flashback in Bullseye: Perfect Game #2 has been placed here for some reason – it’s just a single panel cameo of the Avengers watching a baseball game.

“Bride of the Panther, part 3”
by Reginald Hudlin, Scot Eaton, Klaus Janson & Dean White
May 2006

The X-Men react to the announcement of Storm’s engagement to the Black Panther. Mostly, they’re disappointed to be losing her as a teammate. Kitty isn’t much impressed by that reaction; Wolverine insists that “I gave her my blessing, for what it’s worth.”

X-MEN vol 2 #189 (Masked Marvel story)
by Karl Kesel, David Hahn & Pete Pantazis
September 2006

Hesitant rookie superhero the Masked Marvel (Adam Austin) comes to Avengers Tower hoping to speak to Spider-Man. He gets Wolverine instead, who advises him that the superhero life isn’t for everyone, but that he won’t know what he can do until he tries. This was one of two “Masked Marvel” back-up strips which appeared in Marvel books in 2006. For some reason, it’s missing from the Marvel Unlimited edition of X-Men #189, but can be found instead under Masked Marvel Digital Comic #2.

X-MEN vol 2 #186
“The Blood of Apocalypse, part 5”
by Peter Milligan, Salvador Larroca & Jason Keith
May 2006

Wolverine appears briefly with the Avengers (sic), dealing with Apocalypse’s attack on New York. He gets to see Polaris as Pestilence, but otherwise has no involvement in the main plot.

by Brian K Vaughan & Skottie Young
May 2006

This was a Free Comic Book Day giveaway. The Runaways – Molly Hayes, Victor Mancha, Nico Minoru, Chase Stein and Gertrude Yorke – are hunting for Gertrude’s missing dinosaur Old Lace when the X-Men show up to recruit Molly, as one of the world’s few remaining fully-powered mutants. The Runaways want nothing to do with the X-Men who are, after all, a bunch of losers. The X-Men are absolute Silver Age dicks in this story, and eventually Emma Frost (!) has to tell them to leave Molly alone.

MARVEL TEAM-UP vol 3 #21
“Freedom Ring, part 2 of 5”
by Robert Kirkman, Andy Kuhn & Marte Gracia
June 2006

The X-Men defeat the Abomination, mainly off panel.

6-issue miniseries
by Ed Brubaker, Trevor Hairsine, Kris Justice & Val Staples
November 2005 to April 2006

Cyclops’s previously unknown brother Vulcan (Gabriel Summers) returns, and the X-Men learn that he was part of a secret team of X-Men who died on Krakoa – including Sway (Suzanne Chan), Petra and Darwin (Armando Munoz). Professor X turns out to have wiped this from memory and tricked the X-Men into thinking that Krakoa was a sentient being rather than just a monster. This retcon no longer makes sense in the Krakoan era, but as of yet, nobody has tried to explain it away. Wolverine’s around as part of the group, but he doesn’t do much.

A week or so later, Wolverine is among the mourners at the funerals of Sway, Banshee and Petra.

NEW AVENGERS vol 1 #17-20
“The Collective”
by Brian Michael Bendis, Mike Deodato Jr, Joe Pimentel & Dave Stewart
March to June 2006

The Avengers are called in by S.H.I.E.L.D. director Maria Hill to fight the Collective (Michael Pointer), a massively powerful new villain who is empowered by the energies of many of the depowered mutants, and has been driven mad as a result. Alpha Flight seemingly get killed along the way, but Wolverine makes very little contribution beyond yelling a bit once Pointer has been brought back to his senses. It’s a feeble story anyway; Pointer is a non-character.

by Brian Michael Bendis, Olivier Coipel, seven inkers and three colourists
April 2006

The Avengers defeat the new Adaptoid (Yelena Belova, probably the Skrull imposter version), then attend the wedding of Luke Cage and Jessica Jones. Once again, Wolverine’s contribution is minimal.

MARVEL TEAM-UP vol 3 #23-25
“Freedom Ring, parts 4-5” / “Titannus Lives!, part 2”
by Robert Kirkman, Roger Cruz, Andy Kuhn, Victor Olazaba & Marte Gracia
August & September 2006

Wolverine and Spider-Man fight Iron Maniac (an alternate Tony Stark), get knocked out, and show up at the finale just in time to see the other Avengers dealing with the corpse of Freedom Ring (Curtis Doyle) in the aftermath of Iron Maniac’s defeat. Then, Wolverine is among an array of random heroes who help the Crusader (Z’Reg) to defeat Titannus. (“Titannus Lives!, part 1” was the back-up strip in issue #24, if you’re wondering how this numbering works.) Not remotely important to Wolverine, but “Iron Maniac” is a great name, isn’t it?

THING vol 2 #8
“Last Hand”
by Dan Slott, Kieron Dwyer & Laura Villari
July 2006

Wolverine has a one-panel cameo as one of many, many superheroes attending Ben Grimm’s belated bar mitzvah. He meets Wundarr the Aquarian there. Later, he shows up as one of the guests at Ben’s superhero poker tournament. This is his first on-panel meeting with Alicia MastersGoliath (Bill Foster), Squirrel Girl (Doreen Green) with her squirrel Tippy-Toe, and Great Lakes Avengers members Big Bertha (Ashley Crawford), Mr Immortal (Craig Hollis) and Flatman (Val Ventura), who somehow wins the tournament. New Avengers will eventually retcon in an unseen history between Wolverine and Squirrel Girl, which may or may not come before this point.

IRON MAN vol 4 #8 and #10-12
“Execute Program, parts 2 & 4-6”
by Daniel Knauf, Charles Knauf, Patrick Zircher, Scott Hanna & Antonio Fabela
May to September 2006

In issue #8, Wolverine yells at Iron Man for showing up late to a fight (which is due to blackouts that Iron Man doesn’t realise he’s having). In issue #11, the Avengers serve as bodyguards during the speech of Karim Mahwash Najeeb, “director of the Muslim Peace Authority”; they protect him from Iron Man, who is being controlled by the son of Ho Yinsen. Aside from that, it’s just cameos with the Avengers.

3-issue miniseries
by Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray, Joe Linsner & Jason Keith
August to October 2006

A blatantly fake Kraven the Hunter – who turns out to be one of Arcade’s robots – kidnaps Wolverine and Black Cat to a desert island and challenges them to reach a boat before a volcano erupts. Amid much odd-couple squabbling and sexual tension, they escape, capture Arcade and his sidekick White Rabbit (Lorina Dodson), and dump them in the Savage Land. It’s meant to be funny, and it’s nowhere near as cute as it thinks it is. Issue #3 has a bit where Wolverine throws Black Cat far enough into the sky for her to catch a flying helicopter, which is, er, interesting.

Anyway, at the end of that they go for a meal together, which leads directly into…

3-issue miniseries
by Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray, Joe Linsner, Dan Brown & Nick Filardi
July to September 2011

Yes, a sequel five years later that picks up directly from the original. Arcade and White Rabbit escape the Savage Land almost immediately by stealing a teleporter from Civa. They trick Black Cat into grabbing the device; it transports her and Wolverine to an alternate timeline where they meet Killraven (Jonathan Killraven), his allies M’ShullaCarmillaMint Julep and Volcana Ash, and the invading alien Martians. They get back home by rescuing Civa from a different point in her personal timeline, and create a time loop so that the whole story gets cancelled out and Arcade and White Rabbit wind up back in the Savage Land. You either find this stuff charmingly freewheeling or irritatingly pointless, and you can guess which camp I’m in.

WOLVERINE vol 3 #42-47
by Mark Guggenheim, Humberto Ramos, Carlos Cuevas & Edgar Delgado
May to October 2006

This is basically the first half of the Guggenheim/Ramos run, which has a whole other story arc spliced into the middle. It’s also a tie-in to Civil War, though it doesn’t really need to be. There’s an awful lot going on in this arc, so buckle up.

When the Crusader (Artie Blackwood) and his men hijack a Federal Treasury plane, Wolverine fights them. The plane crashes, and Wolverine is seemingly the sole survivor. This is set-up for the next arc – a flashback in issue #48 expands on this scene, showing Logan’s experiences while dead, and another encounter with Lazaer. Wolverine finally comes round just in time to learn about the New Warriors’ catastrophic battle with Nitro in Stamford, Connecticut (from Civil War #1). He joins the other Avengers and X-Men in the rescue effort.

Days later, the heroes gather at Avengers Tower to discuss the situation. Wolverine is angry that nobody is pursuing Nitro, and compares the Superhero Registration Act to Nazism – which is so over the top that even Luke Cage doesn’t agree. That said, Wolverine does follow it up by arguing that the same government has already parked Sentinels on his lawn, which he sees as a hate crime. Specifically, he compares it to cross-burning, which is questionable territory, but at least makes sense in-universe. Despite all this, Wolverine isn’t a fugitive in Civil War, because the X-Men are already in a state of uneasy co-operation with O*N*E, so they’re treated as having already registered.

Iron Man tries to persuade Wolverine to leave Nitro to the authorities, but Wolverine points out that Iron Man hired him for the Avengers in the first place so that he could kill people when it was needed. Eventually they compromise on having Wolverine tag along with the S.H.I.E.L.D. task force. Naturally, Nitro blows himself up and kills everyone. Again, a flashback in issue #48 expands on this – he has a vision of Jean Grey, and then confronts Lazaer again. The art goes ludicrously overboard here, showing Wolverine regenerating from an adamantium skeleton, which I suspect may have been more than Guggenheim actually intended. Wolverine recovers remarkably quickly in the circumstances, and catches up with Nitro (whose explosions don’t affect things right next to him, and therefore can’t use his powers to defend himself once Wolverine has caught him).

Wolverine really just wants to torture Nitro, who tries to buy him off: he explains that he was powered up with Mutant Growth Hormone as part of a wider conspiracy, and offers information in exchange for his life. Wolverine agrees, but before Nitro can give up the name, he’s captured by Atlantean agents Janus, Politus and Aamir, who have been sent to avenge the death of Namorita (in Civil War #1). Wolverine follows them to Atlantis (using armour borrowed from Iron Man) only to find that the Atlanteans have already extracted the information themselves: Nitro was working with Walter Declun, the new owner-CEO of Damage Control. Nitro escapes and kills Politus; Wolverine quickly recaptures him, but decides to honour his previous bargain and let Nitro live.

Wolverine then goes after Declun, who has been engineering disasters for Damage Control to repair. Previous owner Anne-Marie Hoag, who is still company President, is shocked to learn this. Wolverine starts a vendetta against Damage Control, to the increasing irritation of Scott and Emma, who really, really want to keep out of all non-mutant affairs right now. Maria Hill also warns Wolverine away from Declun, who is a friend of the President. But Wolverine escapes the SHIELD Helicarrier and – according to another flashback in issue #48 – gets himself killed in the process, having yet another fight with Lazaer. A flashback in issue #59 is also placed here, presumably one of the generic images of Wolverine dying. Finally, Wolverine confronts Declun in person and publicly kills him in front of a crowd onlookers. Later, he tells Registration Act campaigner Miriam Sharp that he doesn’t regret doing so at all.

This is a much better arc than I remember, if you’re willing to overlook the ridiculous excesses of the death scenes and the fact that there’s a very protracted fight in the middle. It really is trying to do something with the question of how far Wolverine is a man of principle and how far he’s just a very angry man who’s able to rationalise his behaviour by mostly fighting baddies. The Civil War tie-in gets decidedly tenuous by the end, but that’s no bad thing.

A bunch of other appearances fit in here:

  • The rescue effort at Stamford, and the meeting at Avengers Tower, also appear in Civil War #1.
  • Somewhere before he sets off after Nitro, Wolverine attends the Black Panther’s stag night (!) in Black Panther vol 4 #17 (and meets T’Shan).
  • Wolverine can be seen reacting to Spider-Man’s unmasking press conference in a cameo in Civil War #2 and (if you’re feeling generous) in a symbolic montage in Amazing Spider-Man vol 1 #533.
  • Wolverine’s escape from the Helicarrier is also shown in flashback in Blade vol 5 #5.

X-FACTOR vol 3 #9
by Peter David, Dennis Calero & Jose Villarrubia
June 2006

Another Civil War tie-in. The X-Men show up in Mutant Town to try and persuade X-Factor Investigations (Madrox, Rictor, Siryn, Wolfsbane and M) to keep quiet about the Mutant Registration Act and the true cause of M-Day. X-Factor tell them to get lost.

NEW X-MEN vol 2 #26
“Crusade, part 3”
by Craig Kyle, Chris Yost, Paco Medina & Juan Vlasco
May 2006

Just a cameo. Wolverine tries to restrain Elixir when he flies into a rage after Wallflower is shot dead. The X-Men head off to investigate, but only so that the plot can get them out of the way.

NEW X-MEN vol 2 #29
“Nimrod, part 2 of 4”
by Craig Kyle, Chris Yost, Duncan Rouleau & Brian Reber
August 2006

Prodigy tells the X-Men about his theory that Reverend Stryker has got information about the future from Nimrod, but Cyclops doesn’t believe him. Then the X-Men head off for Storm’s wedding.

“Bride of the Panther, part 5”
by Reginald Hudlin, Scot Eaton, Klaus Janson, Dean White & Kaare Andrews
July 2006

The X-Men attend the wedding of Storm and the Black Panther – a tense affair, since many of the guests are superheroes on opposite sides of the Civil War. As neutrals, the X-Men just act like regular guests. During the reception, Luke Cage spots Isaiah Bradley and tells Wolverine about him; Wolverine presumably also sees the Dora Milaje and Shuri at this event, and he’s bound to spot the Man-Ape (M’Baku) having a fight with Spider-Man.

This may be the only Marvel comic to contain a “special thanks” credit for Procter & Gamble and CBS Daytime, both of whom are on a list of people who somehow contributed to “the design of Storm’s wedding gown”.

The X-Men’s plane can be seen returning from Wakanda in New X-Men vol 2 #31; presumably Wolverine is aboard, though we don’t see him.

by David Lapham, David Aja & Jose Villarrubia
October 2006

After fighting HYDRA, a badly burned Logan falls out of the sky into the garden of young Leelee Buchman, who nurses him back to health. Logan picks up on her bruising and draw the obvious conclusion, but it turns out that her father is actually possessed by a giant tumour monster which used to be her mother. When HYDRA show up looking for Wolverine, the creature defends its home before escaping into a water main, but Leelee is convinced the monster will die without her. A weird but intriguing little horror story.

WOLVERINE vol 3 #48
“Vendetta – Epilogue”
by Marc Guggenheim, Humberto Ramos, Carlos Cuevas & Edgar Delgado
November 2006

Wolverine is now sleeping with Amir the Atlantean spy – despite the fact that her husband has only just been killed by Nitro, which makes it seem wholly unnecessary. This issue largely consists of Logan telling her about his recent string of resurrections; the flashbacks were already covered in the main “Vendetta” entry above.

WOLVERINE vol 3 #49
“Better to Give…”
by Rob Williams, Laurence Campbell, Kris Justice & Paul Mounts
December 2006

Double-sized Christmas fill-in story. Irritating heiress Toulouse Lexington is kidnapped by Black Christmess, a group of villains posing as Santa and his elves. They claim to be religious extremists and threaten to blow up Lacy’s department store to send a message about the commercialisation of Christmas, but in fact they just want to hold her to ransom and prove that normal crooks can still pull off such an audacious stunt in Marvel New York. Most of her bodyguards abandon her, but she’s rescued by Wolverine and the one guard who took his job seriously. The bad guys set off their bomb but Wolverine takes the blast. Surprisingly good.

NEW X-MEN vol 2 #32
“Whatever Happened to Wither?”
by Craig Kyle, Chris Yost, Mike Norton, Dave Meikis & Brian Reber
November 2006

A cameo as a mourner at Icarus’s funeral.

X-MEN vol 2 #189-191 and #193
“Supernovas, parts 2-4 and 6”
by Mike Carey, Chris Bachalo, Clay Henry, Tim Townsend, Mark Morales, Antonio Fabela & Christina Strain
July to November 2006

This is the debut of the Children of the Vault. After they wipe out the city of Nogales, Sabretooth shows up at the Mansion looking for sanctuary. Rogue takes him in, and when Wolverine finds out, he naturally has a good yell at her. Karima Shapandar is also brought to the Mansion after being found partly dismantled. Wolverine isn’t a main character in this title, but he does get to help deal with Serafina when she infiltrates the Mansion, and he’s among the force that’s mobilised at the end to deal with the Children’s attack; he’ll encounter Sangre, Cadena, Aguja, Fuego and Perro here. The Children are defeated thanks to the efforts of Rogue’s team.

Next time, the end of Civil War and the debut of Romulus…

Bring on the comments

  1. Josie says:

    Someone earlier in the thread levied a criticism of Johns bringing characters back, and I don’t get that either. In this day and age, I think it’s ridiculous for any writer of these franchise characters to attempt to kill anyone off, not merely because the return of those characters is inevitable, but that this inevitability robs the deaths of any impact.

    Therefore, not only must writers find different ways to create drama, but they might as well draw from the entire back catalogue of characters, since there’s no reason for any character not to be in play in some fashion.

    That’s not to say all characters MUST be brought back and must star in new stories, only that the potential is there and I don’t see a point in denying it.

  2. Mike Loughlin says:

    Alan Moore didn’t create a ton of original characters, true. Instead, he brought storytelling techniques unusual or unused to comics (including deconstruction, “Alan Moore transitions,” metafiction) and wrote at a higher literary level than most of his peers. Geoff Johns, on the other hand, is best at synthesizing characters and other elements of the DCU and plotting stories that affect and drive the DCU. Many readers like his scripting better than I do, but I’d be surprised if anyone is marveling at his prose.

    I might be wrong, but I don’t recall Moore taking old plot points from other writers’ specific stories and making them the focus for his work. He used Mongul and elements from older Superman stories in “For the Man Who Has Everything,” for example, but didn’t make the story a sequel to Starlin’s DC Presents material or a 1950s Superman comic.

    “Pax Americana” and Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt are comics that are about Watchmen. The critiques are about Watchmen’s influence on comic book storytelling and structure. Doomsday Clock, from what I gather, is about how Watchmen interacts with the structure of the DCU. I haven’t read it, but I have yet to read a good review of the series. In pages I’ve seen, Johns apes Moore’s dialogue for Rorschach and Dr, Manhattan very poorly.

    I agree that any character can be brought back. Johns brought back Hal Jordan & Barry Allen, two characters who had been replaced by fan-favorite GLs & Flashes. I don’t know if it was his idea or Didio’s, but either way little was gained and at least one character (Wally West) was lost for years.

    On the other hand, Johns’s work has sold very well over the years, so what do I know? I’m glad his comics have brought enjoyment to so many people. Ultimately, it’s just not for me.

  3. Thom H. says:

    “Johns brought back Hal Jordan & Barry Allen, two characters who had been replaced by fan-favorite GLs & Flashes.”

    That’s one of my big gripes with Johns, too. I was never a huge GL fan, but I liked Kyle Rayner well enough. Wally West, on the other hand, I’d followed from Teen Titans to Crisis to his own Flash title to Morrison’s JLA. He’d been training for the role since the Silver Age, and it was cool to see him succeed in it.

    I never understood what Barry Allen brought to the Flash that Wally didn’t, unless it was a sense of gravitas. I think he was much better deployed as a role model, mentor, and occasional cover for villains. I know that no one stays dead in comics for long, but certainly some characters are better off retired or relegated to supporting roles.

  4. Mark Coale says:

    The interesting thing about Silver Age Barry is that he was a “police scientist,” as I think it was called in the comics then.

    Of course, since then, this has become a popular genre of crime drama (the CSI phenomenon).

    Having read few modern Barry stories (and forgotten most of them), this could have been a way to utilize Barry’s non speedster skills without (pardon the pun) cutting out Wally’s legs as The Flash.

  5. Andrew says:

    I think there’s a difference between the Green Lantern revival and the Flash revival.

    Beyond how they were widely received (Green Lantern was widely hailed a success while the Flash one was lukewarm to say the least), the big difference was the level of interest in the characters themselves.

    With Green Lantern, DC had already been walking back Kyle’s status-quo as the last Green Lantern for several years. In the 4-5 years before Rebirth, we’d seen John Stewart regain his ring, Alan Scott reclaimed the title of Green Lantern and his ring, the Guardians and Kilowog had returned in various forms. There was certainly a lot of interest in that on the DC forums of that era and Kyle’s run as the lead on the book had been going nowhere for a few years.

    Plsu, there was great enthusiasm for Hal Jordan returning, not just from lunatics like HEAT but from general comics fans.

    Rebirth and the subsequent run reinvigorated the book and concept and remains hugely influential in it today.

    Flash was very different. By and large, there was no particular enthusiasm from fans to see Barry Allen come back.

    DC had been successful in passing the torch to Wally who had been starring in the book for more than 20 years, had a strong and well-established supporting cast.

    I haven’t re-read Flash Rebirth since probably 2010 but my memory of it was that it lacked any particularly idea of why Barry was interesting and how it was going to revamp the Flash for the modern era.

    Hell, a year after it finished they casually wiped Wally West out of existence for six years.

  6. Omar Karindu says:

    Andrew said: With Green Lantern, DC had already been walking back Kyle’s status-quo as the last Green Lantern for several years. In the 4-5 years before Rebirth, we’d seen John Stewart regain his ring, Alan Scott reclaimed the title of Green Lantern and his ring, the Guardians and Kilowog had returned in various forms. There was certainly a lot of interest in that on the DC forums of that era and Kyle’s run as the lead on the book had been going nowhere for a few years.

    And a lot of that was because the way Kyle was introduced involved burnind down basically everything about the Green Lantern book: it wasn’t just a new guy replacing Hal, but the Corps losing powers, many GLs including Kilowog being killed off, all but one of the Guardians being wiped out.

    That’s a lot of usable mythos stuff just being torched, without much to replace it, and it’s hardly surprising that writers started bringing it all back bit by bit.

    But The Flash? Arguably, Wally West inherited pretty much everything earlier volumes had going for them, and he was a more dynamic character — in terms of how he developed — than Barry ever was. There wasn’t really anything to bring back except Barry, so bringing back Barry didn’t really feel like it was restoring anything.

    Indeed, the method Johns used contrasts with the method used in Green Lantern: Rebirth. In hi Flash reboot, Johns went out of his way to drag Johnny Quick back just to turn his heroic sacrifice in the Mark Waid era into an ignominious death, and he reduced the Flash mythos to “Barry Allen ran so fast it went back in time to empower Jay Garrick.”

    Green Lantern: Rebirth retconned Hal’s fall from grace, true, but it did so by adding a new character — Parallax-as-Fear-Entity — that Johns was later able to build on. Green Lantern: Rebirth was also a lot less insistent on saying that Hal Jordan was the one, true Green Lantern, and took the tome to say that Kyle, Guy, and John had their own distinct strengths and roles.

    It also helped that the Green Lantern concept allows for a spinoff book featuring the rest of the Corps in a way the Flash concept really doesn’t.

  7. Josie says:

    “either way little was gained”

    This is ridiculous on two levels.

    1. Green Lantern went from a single book struggling for sales to a best-selling title that spawned as many as five spinoffs at one point, sustained one and a half line-wide crossovers (if one charitably wants to call Brightest Day a crossover), and arguably jumpstarted WB’s current film output (you can say the GL film was garbage, and it was, but that wasn’t up to Johns).

    2. We don’t know if the Barry Allen stuff would’ve “gained” anything because it all got cut short by Flashpoint. Flashpoint was intended to be a single story arc that Didio rejiggered to reboot the entire company. We know from interviews that Johns had planned at least one spinoff title from his 2010 Flash run, apparently some kind of Flash family book.

  8. Josie says:

    I also don’t get the arguments that Barry Allen is uninteresting but Hal Jordan . . . isn’t? Hal Jordan is arguably the worst thing about Johns’s run. He is never interesting, never likable, never a worthwhile protagonist, yet the stories get by on the extended cast and the intrigue going on around and in spite of Hal Jordan.

    People like to compare the Barry Allen return unfavorably because we only got 12 or so issues, but if you compare them with the first year of 2005’s Green Lantern, that first year was also a snoozefest.

  9. Mike Loughlin says:

    I should have clarified- little was gained from returning Hal Jordan the character. Johns could have introduced the other Lantern corps and written the Sinestro War and Blackest Night with Kyle Rayner or John Stewart as the lead character. I’m sure the books would have had the same buzz. He could have introduced Parallax without bringing back Hal – “I was responsible for corrupting Jordan, now I’ll corrupt you current Green Lantern!” I read a few issues of that first year- including a story with Green Arrow, one of my favorite characters- and wondered why they bothered bringing Hal back if he was just going to continue to be so boring.

  10. Luis Dantas says:

    The problem with Hal is that he was sacrificed in order to make Kyle Rayner appear kewl by comparison. That made him fair game for stupid writing, which persists to this day.

    A strong case can be made that Hal as a character concept has worn his welcome. He probably has, as have the Guardians. It is almost impossible to reconcile the back and forth on who and what they are now. I figure DC has decided not to care.

  11. Taibak says:

    I’ve always felt that Green Lanterns were like peanut butter.

    You like whichever one you grew up with.

  12. Josie says:

    “Johns could have introduced the other Lantern corps and written the Sinestro War and Blackest Night with Kyle Rayner or John Stewart”

    I don’t know what the point of claiming this is. It would be like if I said you could have said that Hal Jordan returning was a massive gain, and you could be taking the complete opposite you’re currently taking.

    It’s an alternate reality that doesn’t exist and can’t be tested.

    Geoff Johns couldn’t have written those stories with Kyle, because he didn’t write those stories with Kyle. This didn’t happen.

  13. Mike Loughlin says:

    I remember the excitement of the rainbow Lantern stories being about the fact that there were all these new corps and plastic rings being given away and Larfleeze and a cat who vomited blood…

    … not Hal Jordan.

    Same with Blackest Night (resurrected heroes, but they’re evil! Black Lanterns!) and Sinestro Corps War (huge stakes!) – I don’t remember the buzz having anything to do with the character Hal Jordan. I’m not saying no one liked or cared about him, but he wasn’t the source or focus of the hype.

    Similar to Flashpoint- the interest didn’t stem from Barry, but from the new timeline and then the New52. No reason it couldn’t be Wally trying to change history for whatever reason.

  14. Josie says:

    “either way little was gained” “he wasn’t the source or focus of the hype.”

    This is called moving the goalposts.

  15. Josie says:

    Like I can’t actually engage with your point because you keep changing your point.

    I already said Hal Jordan was the worst thing about Geoff Johns’s run. I don’t know what you’re trying to argue here.

  16. Andrew says:

    Omar Karindu

    Yes absolutely. The Green Lantern reboot had some smart writing and the recognition that you can do a hell of a lot more when you have more characters and concepts to work with

    It’s something which worked well with the Kraoka-era X-men books – The writers now essentially have access to pretty much every mutant ever created and that opens up a lot of possibilities for the future.

    Personally I thought Hal worked really well as Johns’ protagonist and particularly well with the storylines where he was paired with John Stewart, Kyle or even Guy.

    Grant Morrison’s take on the character was really fun too.

  17. Mark Coale says:

    YYMV, but I thought the rainbow lanterns was the worst kind of 8-year old writing fanfic in their bedroom on notebook paper. Thought it was stupid then and stupid now. Yes, it was successful, but that doesn’t make it a good idea (to me).

  18. Mike Loughlin says:

    @Mark Coale: agreed, but the multi-colored Lantern Corps sure were popular.

    @Josie: Here’s what I’m trying to say:

    Little was gained by the character Hal Jordan returning because he was, as you noted, not a good character. Johns could have written the same overarching plots with a different main Lantern. I think the stories- not to my taste, but very popular- could have achieved the same popularity without the presence of Hal Jordan. The other stories were popular because of the plot elements and sense of scale Johns introduced.

    Hal not being the focus of the hype is a point I am making in service of my own argument that little was gained by Hal’s return, not a new argument or moving goalposts. I may be right or wrong, but I’m not arguing in bad faith.

  19. Josie says:

    “Little was gained by the character Hal Jordan returning”

    A bestselling title, half a dozen spinoffs, one and a half company-wide events, a movie and the start of a film initiative. We already covered this. You are still wrong.

    “Johns could have written the same overarching plots with a different main Lantern”

    No he couldn’t have, because he didn’t. Only one thing could have happened because only one thing happened. This is how reality works.

  20. Krzysiek Ceran says:

    So when I toss a coin and it lands on heads, it could have only ever landed on heads, because it landed on heads?

  21. Krzysiek Ceran says:

    Flip. Flip a coin. Damn witcher song.

  22. Nu-D says:

    Counterfactual conditionals are always true, because the premise is false. But I was there that day, so now I am where I am.

    — Umberto Eco

    According to Eco, Josie has it exactly backwards. Any conditional premised on a counter-factual will be true. If Johns had used a different GL, the same overarching plots could have been written.

    But, of course, the metaphysical argument Josie is making (and which Eco’s quote refutes), is the wrong mode altogether. Mike’s not proposing an argument about what reality might have been. The issue presented is aesthetic, not metaphysical. So we’re in the realm of semantics.

    Mike’s making an aesthetic argument that the stories could be told equally well or better with a different character. Mike’s point is that the essential qualities of the story didn’t revolve around Hal Jordan, and so the stories could have been told equally well and been received just as well if the protagonist had been different.

    The opposing view would be that there’s some essential quality Hal Jordan brought to the story which would have been missing without him, and the story would have been fundamentally different or worse. But Josie hasn’t argued that (in the last several posts; I didn’t go all the way back to the beginning).

  23. Josie says:

    “Mike’s point is that the essential qualities of the story didn’t revolve around Hal Jordan”

    Well no, this isn’t what he’s saying. This would be a much interesting discussion to have instead of whining about alternate realities that don’t exist.

    “the stories could have been told equally well and been received just as well”

    They couldn’t have, because no such stories ever existed. You’re doing it too. What is with people crying about the quality of things that never existed?

    “The opposing view would be that there’s some essential quality Hal Jordan brought to the story”

    This isn’t my position at all. I don’t know how many times I can emphasize that Hal Jordan was the worst part of Geoff Johns’s very much existing run of comics about Hal Jordan as the lead character.

    Why do people make arguments on behalf of nonexistent fiction? Like every time we find out a writer’s proposal was rejected or a series was canceled before the second arc, there’s an obnoxious contingent of fans ready to declare these nonexistent comics to be the best thing that companies ever would have produced. It’s so ridiculous.

  24. Nu-D says:


    You can’t imagine a different fiction? It’s easy enough to re-write the story with a different protagonist. The first story didn’t exist until Johns imagined it. We are equally capable of imagining the story differently.

    You keep making a metaphysical argument which is entirely irrelevant, and obviously so. It feels rather bad faith, to be honest.

  25. Mike Loughlin says:

    I had my say, Josie had Josie’s say. I saw no point to returning to the argument, but saw a bunch of new comments. I wasn’t going to comment further, but:

    1. “The essential qualities of the story don’t revolve around Hal Jordan” is, in fact, what I was saying.

    2. “… whining about alternate realities that don’t exist.“
    “… crying about the quality of things that never existed.”

    As someone who both has kids and is a teacher, let me assure you that absolutely nobody was “whining” or “crying.” I stated an opinions/ theories (Hal adds little to the DCU because he’s a boring character, Johns could have used any Lantern in his place and the stories I mentioned probably would work as well) but never stated anything in a manner that justifies those particular terms.

  26. Josie says:

    “You can’t imagine a different fiction?”

    I can imagine plenty of things. Sometimes I imagine things I CAN write, and then I DO write them. I don’t imagine things I COULD HAVE written, because I didn’t write them. If I want to write them, then I’ll write them. No alternate realities are necessary.

    “It’s easy enough to re-write the story”

    Yes, future actions are possible. Go ahead and rewrite it if this is your heart’s desire.

  27. Josie says:

    “1. “The essential qualities of the story don’t revolve around Hal Jordan” is, in fact, what I was saying.”

    Well, you didn’t say it, and you also couldn’t have said it. Oh well.

    “let me assure you that absolutely nobody was “whining” or “crying.””

    Oh okay, now I believe you.

  28. Daniel T says:

    I just got around to this today, didn’t realize the newest comments showed first and was super-confused about why all the comments were about Geoff Johns.

  29. I’m grateful for the Rainbow Lanterns because I am certain that if he hadn’t been tempted back to DC, John’s was gearing up for Rainbow Hulks, each triggered by a different emotion.

    My gosh, his Avengers was dire.

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