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Jan 1

The Incomplete Wolverine – 2008

Posted on Sunday, January 1, 2023 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 | 2006 | 2007

For once, the start of this year makes a nice break point for Wolverine. Last time we went up to the January 2008 issue of his solo book, which completes the Marc Guggenheim run. His new regular writer is going to stick with him for several years and several books.

At this point, Wolverine is a regular character in WolverineWolverine: OriginsUncanny X-MenAstonishing X-Men and New Avengers. So clearly something’s going to give… right?

NEW AVENGERS vol 1 #38
“The Breakup”
by Brian Michael Bendis, Michael Gaydos & Jose Villarrubia
February 2008

Danny Rand gives the New Avengers one of his apartments as a new base. Wolverine shows up for that bit, in what’s otherwise a Luke and Jessica story.

NEW AVENGERS vol 1 #39
by Brian Michael Bendis, David Mack & Jose Villarrubia
March 2008

This is an Echo spotlight story, but Wolverine is in it prominently. She thinks the Skrull conspiracy theory is just a way for the New Avengers to justify to themselves the disastrous state of their lives, but Logan points out that this theory doesn’t explain why he’s there, as “my life’s about the same level of disaster it always was”. Later, he saves her from a Skrull who tries to replace her, proving the conspiracy theory right. There’s a suggestion in here that Logan and Echo have slept together at some point, which is probably best forgotten about.

“The Mutant Hunter”
by Christos Gage & Mario Alberti
March 2009

The X-Men and Spider-Man team up against Xraven, a clone of Kraven the Hunter who was created by Mr Sinister to hunt down surviving mutants and collect their DNA.

ASTONISHING X-MEN vol 3 #14-18
“Torn, parts 2-6”
by Joss Whedon, John Cassaday & Laura Martin
April to November 2006

Bizarrely, we now jump back to Joss Whedon’s Astonishing X-Men from two years previously. This is partly due to ludicrous delays, but also because of a lack of break points in the run, and a number of 2008 stories in other books that reference Whedon’s finale.

The X-Men are seemingly attacked by a new Hellfire Club – a treacherous Emma Frost, Sebastian Shaw, Cassandra Nova, Negasonic Teenage Warhead and Perfection – whose psychic attack leaves Logan as a frightened child. The idea is meant to be that he’s reset to his little Victorian rich kid persona from Origin. Even in this state, Logan tries to help Kitty Pryde fight the bad guys, on the grounds that it would be wrong to hide behind a girl – but he’s not much use to her. It turns out that the Hellfire Club are all just illusions projected by Emma, who is acting under a psychic suggestion once placed in her by Cassandra Nova, and is trying to create a distraction so that Cassandra can escape. Supposedly Emma is confronting the X-Men with their worst fears, though Logan’s regression to childhood is a weird take on that idea. Anyway, before any of this can be fully tied up, Abigail Brand shows up and drags everyone off to the Breakworld.

ASTONISHING X-MEN vol 3 #19-24
by Joss Whedon, John Cassaday & Laura Martin
December 2006 to January 2008

This is where the delays really set in – a six-issue arc in a “monthly” comic that somehow took over a year.

Brand and S.W.O.R.D. (including Agent Deems and Sydren) take the X-Men to the Breakworld, where Powerlord Kruun plans to fire a planet-destroying weapon at the Earth. The team get scattered around the Breakworld, and Logan winds up with Hisako – still being written as a schoolgirl rookie, but she takes the name Armor during this arc. Whedon is obviously setting her up for a reprise of Logan’s relationships with Kitty Pryde and Jubilee, and some later writers try to follow through on that, but it kind of peters out.

Despite taking the usual tough love stance with Armor, Wolverine is clearly impressed by her, and unilaterally declares her to be a new X-Man. Finally, the X-Men, Danger and rebel leader Aghanne battle Kruun’s forces. The prophecy that one of the X-Men will destroy the Breakworld turns out to have been engineered by Aghanne, who is so dispirited by Breakworld’s brutality that she’s trying to engineer a conflict to destroy the place. Kitty phases into the planet-destroyer weapon as it launches, planning to disarm it, only to find that there’s nothing to disarm, because it’s just a giant bullet.

by Joss Whedon, John Cassady & Laura Martin
May 2008

Again, yes, that really is the date.

Ord defeats Aghanne and saves the Breakworld. When Kruun confirms that there’s no way of saving Kitty, Wolverine cuts off his arm. Colossus takes advantage of his reputation from the prophecy, and declares himself ruler of the planet. (As usual when X-Men make this sort of decision, he won’t stick around to actually do it.)

For reasons that elude me, the bullet somehow crosses the interstellar distance to Earth in a remarkably short timescale. Kitty saves Earth by phasing the giant bullet through the planet, but remains stuck inside as the bullet flies off into space. Back at the Mansion, the X-Men lament her loss, but – continuing Whedon’s  attempt to position Armor as his next sidekick – Logan is snapped out of his funk when she challenges him to spar.

And that was the Joss Whedon run. Very pretty, but really quite slow even when read in one sitting.

X-Men: Messiah Complex by Ed Brubaker, Marc Silvestri, Joe Weems & Frank D’Armata
Uncanny X-Men vol 1 #492-494 by Ed Brubaker, Billy Tan, Danny Miki & Frank D’Armata
X-Factor vol 3 #25-27 by Peter David, Scot Eaton, John Dell & Frank D’Armata
New X-Men vol 2 #44-46 by Craig Kyle, Chris Yost, Humberto Ramos, Carlos Cuevas & Edgar Delgado
X-Men vol 2 #205-207 by Mike Carey, Chris Bachalo, Tim Townsend & Brian Reber
October 2007 to January 2008

For the first time since M-Day, Cerebro detects a powerful new mutant signal in Alaska – a newborn who will eventually be named Hope Summers. By the time the X-Men arrive, Hope is gone, and the town has been wrecked by a battle between the Marauders and the Purifiers (both of whom also know about Hope). The X-Men conclude that the Marauders have abducted Hope and must have brought her Mr Sinister. They turn out to be wrong, but this is a 13-part crossover and busy work is needed, so Wolverine’s squad of X-Men spend several issues tracking down former Acolytes (including Gargouille (Lavinia Lablance)) and confronting Sinister before discovering that Cable had the baby all along.

Sentinel Squad O*N*E get turned into human-Sentinel hybrids by nanotech and destroy the X-Men Mansion. This later turns out to be part of Bishop’s scheme to kill Hope, but it’s the end of the Mansion for a few years, and the last we’ll hear of Sentinel Squad O*N*E, who never really did anything other than loom.

Despite the devastation, Cyclops decides that recovering Hope is the top priority, and sends the new X-Force to get her back: Wolverine, Hepzibah, X-23, Warpath, Wolfsbane and Caliban. Wolverine is surprised that Cyclops is sending a bunch of killers after his own son, which is a bit odd since at this stage X-Force is just a bunch of characters with tracking skills. Wolverine is team leader from the outset, a role that he’s always avoided up to this point; maybe he’s  more willing to take the job when it doesn’t involve holding himself out as a hero. He doesn’t trust Warpath to fight his former team leader Cable, which is fair enough, but for some reason he thinks Wolfsbane is a good choice to keep an eye on Warpath for him.

X-Force track down Cable but wind up fighting the Marauders again. During the fight, Wolverine warns Warpath and Wolfsbane – the two nicest members of the new X-Force – that they will die if they aren’t prepared to use lethal force against the Marauders. A distorted version of this fight also appears in flashback in Deadpool vs Gambit #4, which conflates it with the Mutant Massacre; and another version the fight is in flashback in X-Men Legacy vol 1 #208. Complicating matters further, the New X-Men kids show up, on the run from a mutant-hunting Predator X  creature. Since it has indestructible skin, Wolverine lets it eat him and then destroys it from the inside.

Cyclops agrees that Cable should take Hope into the future and raise her there. Bishop, who believes that the baby is guaranteed to cause disaster, tries to shoot her, but winds up shooting Professor X instead; the Marauders spirit the Professor’s body away, as seen in flashback in X-Men Legacy #208. The X-Men are shocked, and Cyclops announces that without the Professor, there are no X-Men. As we’ll see, this doesn’t last long.

This juggernaut 13-part crossover is surprisingly coherent, though it does feature quite a bit of padding. It introduces the new X-Force, who’ll get their own series shortly. It’s also the turning point where things start looking up for the X-Men, at least in plot terms – in tone, Astonishing was already lighter. In fact, “Messiah Complex” is bleak and rainy in comparison, except in the New X-Men issues, which are drawn by Humberto Ramos in a style wildly at odds with the rest of the arc.

WOLVERINE vol 3 #62-65
“Get Mystique!”
by Jason Aaron, Ron Garney & Jason Keith
February to May 2008

Welcome to the Jason Aaron run, which will take us into the 2010s. There’s actually a lengthy interruption after this first arc, but the Aaron run basically starts here.

Immediately after “Messiah Complex.” Cyclops sends Wolverine to kill Mystique, who has slipped away in the confusion. (A version of this scene also appears in flashback in Cable vol 2 #6.) Wolverine chases her through Iran and Afghanistan, while she impersonates him in order to turn the locals against him in advance. Intercut with this are extended flashbacks to Logan and Mystique’s first meeting back in 1921. He finally catches up to her in a bar in the Baghdad Green Zone, where she claims to have no regrets and questions why Wolverine suddenly cares so much about her betraying the X-Men for the umpteenth time. Naturally, she escapes again.

While Mystique kills off the visiting Senator Miles Brickman and takes his place, Logan hooks up with Mordad, a guerrilla fighter who helped him against the Russians in 1986. Logan blows himself up in a car bomb in order to get taken into the high security part of Baghdad, fights Mystique again, and winds up chasing her into the Syrian desert for a final battle. During that fight – where Mystique seems to be fighting naked for no terribly clear reason – Mystique argues that Logan resents her because she never settled down and “bec[a]me a reservation Indian, like you”. She argues that he sees the X-Men as his last shot of redemption, that he can’t deal with the fact that she walked away from that opportunity, and that in reality it’s in both of their natures to betray the X-Men. (That ties in with Logan betraying Mystique in the flashbacks.) They fight to a standstill, but Wolverine naturally recovers first. He insists that he’s nothing like her, and spends every waking hour atoning for his mistakes – then abandons her in the desert to bleed to death, in order to make a point that nobody will come for her. Thoughtfully, he does leave her a gun to shoot herself with.

Obviously, as an interpretation of Mystique, this is highly questionable. Mystique’s relationships with Destiny and to Rogue are defining traits, albeit that both were severed at this point in time. And she’s spent much of her career working in teams. But that aside, it’s a strong start to the Aaron/Garney run, harking back to the tongue-in-cheek machismo of Larry Hama’s stories.

The rest of the 2008 Wolverine issues are part of the “Old Man Logan” storyline by Mark Millar and Steve McNiven, which runs through to issue #72. That takes place in an alternate future timeline, and the “real” Wolverine doesn’t appear at all.

“Sometimes it Snows in April”
by Zeb Wells, Chris Bachalo, Tim Townsend & Antonio Fabela
April 2008

When the DB (as the Daily Bugle is currently called) accuses Spider-Man of a string of killings, Logan tells him that it obviously isn’t true, since “You don’t have it in you.” When Spider-Man comments that Logan says that like it’s a bad thing, Logan kind of shrugs. He helps Spider-Man fight a bunch of mysterious ninja types and has to be talked out of killing one of them. There’s a clever bit when Logan points out how much damage he took in the fight, and Spider-Man basically accuses him of deliberately taking damage so that he’ll have an excuse to retaliate. Logan just smirks, then drops out of the plot.

“Lights Out”
by Mike Carey, Scot Eaton, Andrew Hennessy & Frank D’Armata
May 2008

A cameo, giving the Beast a lift to the ruins of the Xavier Institute.

“The Animal Man”
by David Lapham, Stefano Gaudiano & Matt Milla
May 2008

Logan saves a Bronx bus driver from a stabbing, unknowingly inspiring the mentally unstable man to become a local vigilante – who gets himself killed on his first night.

“Coney Island Baby”
by David Lapham, Stefano Gaudiano & Matt Milla
May 2008

Logan hunts down a vigilante who has been gunning down gangsters, as well as innocent bystanders caught in the crossfire. As tends to be the case in Lapham stories, there’s a horror twist on the seemingly familiar premise, as the gunman turns out to be a series of people all possessed by a tiny mutant child parasite. Even though he fears it’ll grow into a monster, Logan lets it go.

FANTASTIC FOUR vol 1 #556-557
“World’s Greatest, parts 3-4”
by Mark Millar & Bryan Hitch
April & May 2008

Wolverine is among the many superheroes who help the Fantastic Four battle the out-of-control robot C.A.P.

by Mark Millar, Bryan Hitch, Cam Smith, Andrew Currie & Paul Mounts
December 2008

Wolverine attends the funeral of an alternate future Invisible Woman. Specifically, she’s from the timeline of Millar’s “Old Man Logan” arc.

Mourners that Wolverine hasn’t met before include Valeria RichardsGauntlet (Joseph Green) and the deceased’s team the New Defenders – Hulk Jr (Robert Banner), Natalie X, Alex Ultron, Lightwave, Psionics and the Hooded Man. The Hooded Man is the alternate Wolverine from the original “Old Man Logan” timeline, and Wolverine does realise who he is, but the Hooded Man simply replies “Don’t even ask.”

Just to be clear, there are two “Old Man Logan” timelines. The first is Mark Millar’s original story, and his own later stories expressly picking up on the same characters. The other is the one seen in the Old Man Logan series of the mid 2010s. The events of the original “Old Man Logan” arc are basically canon to both. It’s all needlessly confusing.

X-FORCE vol 3 #1-6
“Angels and Demons”
by Craig Kyle, Chris Yost & Clayton Crain
February to July 2008

Just what Wolverine needs – another ongoing series!

Cyclops asks Wolverine to reassemble X-Force and take down the Purifiers. Wolverine is willing to work with Wolfsbane and Warpath (who wants revenge on the Purifiers anyway, for killing Caliban during “Messiah Complex”). But he objects strongly to including X-23, arguing that she doesn’t have the ability to make her own decisions yet, and that he brought her to the X-Men in order to be deprogrammed and learn to be a real person. Unfortunately, Cyclops has already sent her on the Purifiers’ trail, so Wolverine doesn’t get a say.

The Purifiers quickly capture Wolfsbane, and drug her with heroin because it’s that sort of book. The Purifiers are notionally led by Matthew Risman, but they’re also getting conflicting orders from Stryker and Bastion. On top of that, they’re working with Rahne’s loathsome father Reverend Craig, despite the fact that he was previously just a small-time civilian bigot. Wolverine, Warpath and X-23 go after the Purifiers, despite Wolverine’s incessant warnings to them both to walk away before they kill anyone and cross a line. Neither of them takes the hint, and Warpath does indeed kill people (to protect X-23), which is basically his arc in this series. X-23, meanwhile, is blithely setting off incendiary bombs without warning her teammates, on the grounds that they can take it.

After Wolfsbane is rescued, Elixir is brought in to heal her, dragging another innocent into this supposed black ops group. Wolfsbane has been brainwashed to attack Angel on sight, and she cuts off his wings and takes them to the Purifiers. Again, it’s that sort of book. Cloned wings are grafted onto assorted  Purifiers, who become the Choir; meanwhile, Warren turns into Archangel. In a rather bizarre finale, X-Force discover that Bastion has used the techno-organic virus to resurrect assorted villains, including Graydon Creed, Stephen Lang and Bolivar Trask. And Wolfsbane kills Reverend Craig when he stands in front of a picture of some wings and accidentally triggers her hypnotic prompt by looking vaguely angelic.

Oh, and somewhere in here, there’s a Purifer called Eli Bard, who is secretly trying to trick all his teammates into sacrificing their souls to Death. Wolverine does meet him, but he probably doesn’t stand out from the crowd.

There’s an awful lot going on in this arc, and some of it is quite good. The basic angle for Wolverine is that he’s always defined himself as the guy who protects the other X-Men from having to do this sort of thing, and now finds himself forced by circumstances into a role where he’s dragging them into it instead. That’s quite a strong idea. Some of the internal manoeuvring of the Purifiers works too. But the grimdark elements drag it down, and Clayton Crain’s murky art has never appealed to me.

X-FORCE: AIN’T NO DOG (second story)
“Hunters & Killers”
by Jason Aaron, Werther Dell’edera, Antonio Fuso & Andrew Crossley
June 2008

Wolverine talks to Warpath about the handful of opponents he’s killed thus far; Warpath is determined not to forget them, and Wolverine replies that “you won’t.”

3-issue miniseries
by Brian K Vaughan, Eduardo Risso & Dean White
March to May 2008

Following House of M, Logan has regained his memory of fighting Ethan Warren at the site of the Hiroshima bomb. Logan returns to Hiroshima to confront Ethan, who has been stuck haunting the area ever since. During the fight, Ethan tears out Wolverine’s heart and eats it, which somehow restores him to human form; Wolverine promptly beheads Warren to kill him for real. While he heals, he has a vision of Atsuko, the woman he met in Hiroshima first time around, offering to remove his traumatic memories again. Presumably he turns down the offer, but we’re not directly told.

by Rick Remender, Jerome Opeña & Michelle Madsen
June 2008

Logan spends some time in Bangkok, helping a monk called Klahan to curb drug gangs and traffickers, without resorting to violence. Still, Logan thinks the crime syndicates are out of control and there’s a limit to what he can do without force. When an apparent victim, Dao, turns out to be the crimelord herself, and her thugs have Klahan killed, Logan rejects Klahan’s dying pleas for him to keep to the moral high ground, and kills Dao instead.

UNCANNY X-MEN vol 1 #495-499
“X-Men: Divided”
by Ed Brubaker, Mike Choi & Sonia Oback
February to June 2008

With Professor X gone, the X-Men have disbanded at least for the moment. Logan and Kurt join Peter on a trip home to Russia, where they fight the Red Room and Omega Red in what amounts to a subplot. At the end, they get a call from Scott inviting them to join him in San Francisco for the X-Men’s new direction.

4-issue miniseries
by Jason Aaron, Stephen Segovia & John Rauch
October 2008 to February 2009

The X-Men move in to their new home in San Francisco. Logan only has three boxes, and claims that by his standards, it’s quite a lot.

Thanks to House of M, Logan now remembers the mess he created in Chinatown 50 years ago when he turned down the role of Black Dragon (again, covered in extensive flashbacks in this mini). In his absence, Lin has become the new Black Dragon and still runs Chinatown as its top crimelord. As soon as he shows up, she sets the Black Dragon Death Squad on him: the Rock of the Buddha, the First of Fire, Storm Sword and Soulstriker. Wolverine retreats into the sewers where Master Po trains him in Chinese martial arts – Po claims that his healing factor has made him complacent and that his fighting has been getting worse. Despite the X-Men’s working relationship with the San Francisco authorities, Logan wants to deal with Chinatown himself. Even though everyone there hates him for spurning his responsibilities, the Sons of the Tiger (Lin Sun, Abraham Brown and Bob Diamond) lead the local tongs in an uprising while Logan defeats Li. Logan then belatedly takes up the role of Black Dragon after all.

I’m not wild about this series; it probably requires you to have more affection for martial arts films, and it feels a string of Chinese clichés to me. The Black Dragon thing is clearly intended as a regular set-up for Wolverine stories, but it hardly ever gets mentioned again, and winds up as Wolverine’s equivalent of Storm leading the Morlocks; Aaron will at least quietly tie it up before Wolverine leaves San Francisco.

“Pixies & Demons”
by Mike Carey, Greg Land, Jay Leisten & Justin Ponsor
April 2008

Pixie has returned home to Abergylid in Wales, which is lucky, because the N’Garai are stalking the town and only her magical abilities can detect them. The X-Men help her defeat them, and then bring her back to San Francisco with them.

by Charlie Huston, Jefte Palo & Lee Loughridge
June 2008

Despite the title, this is a Wolverine solo story. Wolverine tracks down and kills a man who has created a computer chip implant that is designed to trick Cerebro into thinking someone is a mutant. The title refers to the phrase “lying like a dog” – the idea is that Wolverine, for all his faults, is honest about the sort of man he is.

by Simon Spurrier, Ben Oliver & Nestor Pereyra
June 2008

Logan fights mad fox hunter Sir Damien Spencer, who has relocated to New Orleans following the prohibition of fox hunting in England. Desperately unsubtle and not especially timely even when it came out – the hunting ban had been in force for four years by this point.

by Christopher Yost, Koi Turnbull, Sal Regla & Beth Sotelo
August 2008

Wolverine rescues Trance (Hope Abbott) from Nanny (Eleanor Murch) and the Orphan-Maker. The core of the story is Trance thinking that Wolverine is unkillable, and Wolverine giving her some examples of how he can die, which isn’t really enough of a premise to hang an issue on. Uniquely, Orphan-Maker removes his mask in this issue, but we’ll all pretend that didn’t happen.

“Disturbing Consequences”
by Todd DeZago, Steve Kurth, Swerge LaPointe & Joel Seguin
August 2008

An Antarctic research facility is wiped out by a virus, and Wolverine goes in to clear it up, since his healing factor can kill the virus before he returns home. That’s about it, really. Quite weak.

by Marc Guggenheim, Ben Oliver & Jose Villarrubia
September 2008

Wolverine takes Donald Pierce away after his defeat at the hands of the Young X-Men – Rockslide, Blindfold, Dust, Ink (Eric Gitter) and Graymalkin (Jonas Graymalkin). Later, Wolverine also shows up for the meeting where Dani Moonstar and Roberto Da Costa are put in chargeof instructing the youngsters.

by Duane Swierczynski, Mike Deodato Jr & Val Staples
September 2008

Wolverine fights a massive coyote-like creature with a deafening scream, recently unearthed in New Mexico, and apparently animated by the spirit of a Navajo child who has been screaming since a colonist massacre. A rather odd story that feels more interested in the novelty of Wolverine being deaf than it is in the moral.

For reasons best known to Marvel, this issue is listed on Unlimited as Wolverine: Roar #2. (Yes, #2.) Why it was singled out to be called an annual at a time when Marvel was spewing Wolverine one-shots is anyone’s guess.

12-issue miniseries
by Alex Ross, Jim Krueger, Steve Sadowski & inLight Studios
June 2008 to June 2009

The demon D’Spayre uses a Cosmic Cube to feed on humanity’s misery resulting from the death of Captain America. As a side effect, the Cube brings the Invaders – Captain America, Bucky, Namor, the Golden Age Human Torch (Jim Hammond) and Toro (Thomas Raymond) – to the present from 1943, along with soldier Paul Anselm. The two Avengers teams fight over what to do with the Invaders. The New Avengers defeat D’Spayre and recover the Cosmic Cube. Anselm grabs the Cube and tries to return to 1943 to defeat the Nazis with it, but gets shot almost immediately, leading the Cube to fall into Nazi hands. Avengers from both teams (including Wolverine) travel back in time to sort it out, impersonating local superheroes for cover – Wolverine is Captain Terror. They get to meet the 1940s Black Panther (T’Chaka), and fight the Red Skull (Johann Schmidt) and Super-Axis – U-Man (Meranno), Baron Blood (John Falsworth), Thor, Master Man (Wilhelm Lohmer), Warrior Woman (Frieda Ratsel) and Iron Cross (Helmut Gruler). The villains are defeated, the Cube is retrieved, and everything goes back to normal.

Obviously there’s a lot more to it than that – it’s 12 issues long – but it’s barely relevant to Wolverine, who’s only here because he was in the cast of New Avengers at the time. Issue #7 even does the schtick where D’Spayre goes through all the heroes telling them about their fears, and skips Wolverine entirely.

ASTONISHING X-MEN vol 3 #25-30
“Ghost Box”
by Warren Ellis, Simone Bianchi & Simone Peruzzi
July 2008 to June 2009

This is the high point of Marvel being completely indifferent to scheduling, because genius takes time and all that, and Astonishing X-Men under Warren Ellis is especially bad for it.

The X-Men are now living in a San Francisco hotel while building their new base on the Californian mainland. (They won’t be there long.) At this stage the X-Men are being funded by Mutantes Sans Frontières, which in turn is funded by the Black Panther, and they’re “official consultants to the San Francisco Police Department”. That doesn’t fit at all with New Avengers, where the whole team are supposed to be outlaws, and nobody ever really tries to explain it. At a push, you can rationalise it on the basis that all of the X-Men are in fact registered superheroes, so that Logan is not in fact on the run in the same way as the other New Avengers are – but it doesn’t really hold up to scrutiny.

Anyway. The X-Men discover two factions of mutants from alternate realities who are using something called a Ghost Box to travel from world to world, and who seem to be planning an invasion. An insane Forge is planning a pre-emptive strike, and when the X-Men are reluctant to help, he opens the portal to force their hands. A Sentinel starts to come through, but Abigail Brand annihilates everything with a particle beam. Painfully decompressed even when you read it in one sitting. Wolverine does get paired up with Armor, so Ellis at least follows through on that.

UNCANNY X-MEN vol 1 #500
“SFX, part 1”
by Ed Brubaker, Matt Fraction, Greg Land, Terry Dodson, Jay Leisten, Rachel Dodson & Justin Ponsor
July 2008

Artist Guy DeMondue uses three decommissioned Sentinels in an art installation; San Francisco mayor Sadie Sinclair disapproves, but defends his freedom of speech. The X-Men show up at the opening night, only for Magneto to attack, using a battlesuit to simulate his lost powers. It’s actually a distraction, while the High Evolutionary and the Eternal Kingo Sunen carry out experiments on the Dreaming Celestial – which has been standing in Golden Gate Park since Neil Gaiman’s Eternals series. Logan tracks down De Mondue, intending to find out where he got the Sentinels from, but finds him already dead. Meanwhile, the X-Men declare San Francisco to be a sanctuary for all remaining mutants.

X-MEN: MANIFEST DESTINY #2 (third story)
by Chris Yost, Paco Diaz & Matt Milla
October 2008

This is an Emma Frost story. Wolverine gives her a pep talk about the need to forgive herself for her past crimes.

X-MEN: MANIFEST DESTINY #5 (second story)
by Frank Tieri, Ben Oliver & Frank D’Armata
January 2009

Avalanche is now running a bar in San Francisco. The X-Men tell him that his recent good behaviour doesn’t excuse his past crimes, but since they’re so short of mutants, they’ll turn a blind eye to him as long as he stays out of trouble.

by Craig Kyle, Christopher Yost, Kalman Andrasofszky, Cam Smith & J Roberts
December 2009

This story was published in late 2009 but expressly takes place “circa the mutant migration to San Francisco”. Wolverine appears in one panel, being interviewed alongside the other X-Men about the event.

“The Deep End”
by Daniel Way, Steve Dillon & Matt Mila
January to May 2008

Time for another lengthy block of Origins issues, since it’s another series that lacks natural break points.

Deadpool captures Wolverine after an extended slapstick fight scene that drones on for three painful, abysmal, laughter-free issues. Apparently Deadpool is bitter about the thought that he might be just a failed attempt to re-create Wolverine, but also resents the fact that the X-Men accepted Wolverine’s attempts to redeem himself while rejecting him. Wolverine dismisses Deadpool’s whole schtick as an act.

It turns out that Wolverine hired Deadpool to attack him in the hope that it would draw Daken out. Which makes no sense at all, because Wolverine gets into fights all the time without Daken showing up. But this time he does show up, and as per Wolverine’s plan, Winter Soldier shoots Daken in the head with a carbonadium bullet, interfering with his healing factor and allowing Wolverine to capture him. Wolverine tells Deadpool that he won’t be getting paid, and that nobody should care who would have won the three issue fight. Well, don’t write it, then.

This is terrible. It serves mainly as a trailer for Way’s Deadpool series. It’s also Steve Dillon’s final arc, and once again utterly fails to play to his strengths.

“Son of X”
by Daniel Way, Stephen Segovia & Matt Milla
June & July 2008

Wolverine takes Daken to a hidden base near Newell where he killed some Japanese internees in 1943. He tries to leave Daken there in suspended animation, but instead they come under attack from internees who have survived as cyborgs. Wolverine and Daken escape, but Daken is now amnesiac.

X-Men: Original Sin by Daniel Way, Mike Carey, Mike Deodato, Scot Eaton, Andrew Hennessy, Rain Beredo & Jason Keith
Wolverine: Origins #28-30 by Daniel Way, Mike Deodato & Rain Beredo
X-Men: Legacy #217-218 by Mike Carey, Scot Eaton, Andrew Hennessy & Jason Keith
September to November 2008

Daken remains homicidally violent when faced with any possible threat, but at least he’ll back down when ordered, which Wolverine takes  as a hopeful sign that he can be deprogrammed. He drops Daken off with his Tibetan monk friend Tso Ren Wu, then approaches Professor X (who has just turned up alive and well after all). Logan argues that, based on his recovered memories, Professor X was responsible for creating his current personality – and asks him to do it again for Daken. After some persuasion, Professor X agrees to try.

Meanwhile, Daken has apparently been kidnapped by the Hellfire Club. Wolverine and Professor X fight the ultra-obscure new Inner Circle – Castlemere, Leonine (Peter Scholl) and Tithe (Sandra Morgan). But Daken turns out to be in the hands of the rival faction of Sebastian Shaw and Miss Sinister (Claudine Renko), who are planning to recapture control of the Club.

Professor X’s attempts to enter Daken’s mind simply result in his memories returning, and Daken attacks Wolverine yet again. Daken appears to have false memories of Wolverine killing his mother, and Wolverine seems willing to play along with that to give Daken the closure he needs. But Professor X spells out to Daken what actually happened to her. Daken turns on Shaw, then declares his intention to seek revenge on Romulus. Wolverine offers to team up so that they can kill Romulus together – he claims that while Professor X made him into a proper hero, both he and Daken are now reverting to their true personalities.

“Family Business”
by Daniel Way, Yanick Paquette, Michel Lacombe & Nathan Fairbairn
December 2008 & January 2009

Daken claims that the best way to find Romulus is to follow the trail of blood to the most pointlessly brutal conflict they can find. So they head to the wartorn African nation of Halwan, where a peace agreement has just broken down. Daken makes it abundantly clear that he sees this as purely an alliance of convenience.

Cyber shows up with child soldiers in tow, claiming that he too wants revenge on Romulus. Wolverine and Daken team up against Cyber, but Daken switches sides. He’s meant to be faking, but he changes his mind. Instead, he kills Cyber, and decides to overthrow Romulus and seize control of his organisation, abandoning the whole idea of teaming with Wolverine.

There’s an epilogue which comes much later. We’ll get back to that.

by Marc Sumerak, Sanford Green, Victor Olazaba & Chris Garcia
September 2009

Another story expressly set a year or so before it was published. The X-Men investigate a powerful mutant who has shown up in San Francisco, and deal with an earthquake. Mainly an Iceman and Archangel story, so far as the X-Men’s contribution is concerned.

UNCANNY X-MEN vol 1 #501-503
“SFX, parts 2-4”
by Matt Fraction, Ed Brubaker, Greg Land, Jay Leisten & Justin Ponsor
August to October 2008

The X-Men fight the Hellfire Cult, street level anti-mutant thugs. Wolverine is now playing the mentor role with Pixie, who is living with a bunch of art students in Oakland rather than staying with the other X-Men, and trying to live a normal life.

The Cult’s leader turns out to be Empath, who is defeated with Pixie’s help. Wolverine’s role in the finale is marginal. The whole thing is heavy-handedly sex-positive and Greg Land’s art doesn’t help. Still, there’s a definite tone shift to sunny optimism, which is a welcome change after recent years.

CABLE vol 2 #7 and #9-10
“Waiting for the End of the World”
by Duane Swierczynski & Ariel Olivetti
October 2008 to January 2009

Wolverine also appears in a flashback in issue #6 which leads in to this story. Bishop shows up in the present day again, and X-Force capture him. Naturally, he escapes.

The MCP has a flashback in All-New Wolverine #1 around here. While on an X-Force mission, X-23 is knocked out when a drug runner shoots her with a bazooka. When she comes round, she apologises for not killing the guy when she had the chance. Wolverine tells her that for them, the hard bit is fighting the hate that was programmed into them, and resisting the urge to kill. He says he’s impressed that she’s still not as mean as he is, even after everything that has been done to her. He tells her that he’s sorry for all the character traits that she inherited from him, but she replies “I’m not.” It’s a nice little father-daughter scene.

X-MEN: MANIFEST DESTINY #3 (Colossus story)
by Chris Yost, Humberto Ramos, Carlos Cuevas & Edgar Delgado
November 2008

Wolverine and Nightcrawler try to cheer up Colossus, who can’t get over the loss of Kitty.

by Robert Kirkman, Jason Pearson & Dave Stewart
December 2009

X-Force abduct HYDRA general Tod Kaufman so that he can provide a sample to save the life of his mutant daughter. Kaufman lets Wolverine cut off his hand to provide the “sample”, and Wolverine is duly impressed. I’m not quite sure why the MCP has this here, but it certainly can’t go in publication order, since this version of X-Force had split by the time the story came out.

SECRET INVASION #1-2 and #4-8
8-issue miniseries
by Brian Michael Bendis, Leinil Yu, 
April to November 2008

Tipped off by “Spider-Woman”, both groups of Avengers investigate a Skrull ship which has crashed in the Savage Land. The inhabitants are purportedly real superheroes who have been abducted and replaced by Skrulls over the years. Wolverine is unable to tell which are real, and a massive fight breaks out. Most of the newcomers are in fact Skrull impostors, but have been brainwashed to believe that they are real.

All this is just a distraction to sideline the Avengers while the Skrull army attacks New York. The Avengers make it back in time to join the big fight, which also includes the new Captain America (Bucky Barnes), Norman Osborn (in his role as leader of the Thunderbolts), the Secret Warriors – Nick Fury, Slingshot (YoYo Rodriguez), Quake (Daisy Johnson), Phobos (Alexander Aaron), Hellfire (JT James), Stonewall (Jerry Sledge) and Druid (Sebastian Druid) – and Marvel Boy (Noh-Varr), as well as a rare in-costume appearance by Jessica Jones as Jewel. “Spider-Woman” is finally exposed as a Skrull impostor and the leader of the Skrull forces.

During the fight, Wasp is killed, and Norman Osborn gets the credit for killing the Skrull leader. That leads to him being put in charge of the Fifty State Initiative, which is the premise of “Dark Reign”. Everyone who was replaced by a Skrull is now rescued, including the real Spider-Woman, Invisible Woman, Dum Dum Dugan, Yellowjacket, Mockingbird, Elektra and Edwin Jarvis.

As usual for an Avengers story, Wolverine contributes very little to any of this. There are alternate versions of some of these scenes, all of which are just cameos as far as Wolverine’s concerned, are as follows. The New Avengers’ theft of the Quinjet can be seen from street level in Secret Invasion: Front Line #1. The fight in the Savage Land is shown in the third story in Secret Invasion: Who Do You Trust? and in New Avengers vol 1 #41. And the battle in New York is shown in Secret Invasion: Front Line #4-5Avengers: The Initiative #19Thunderbolts vol 1 #125 and the “History of the Marvel Apes Universe” story in Marvel Apes #4 (where the Marvel Apes Watcher has it on a video screen).

NEW AVENGERS vol 1 #48
by Brian Michael Bendis, Billy Tan, Matt Banning & Justin Ponsor
December 2008

In the aftermath of Secret Invasion, the New Avengers gather at the new Captain America’s safehouse; Wolverine is able to verify that it’s the Winter Soldier. Wolverine also invites the real Spider-Woman into the team. Baby Danielle Cage has been abducted by the Skrulls and the Avengers try to track her down without success, which leads to Luke Cage asking Norman Osborn for help.

X-FORCE vol 3 #7-10
“Old Ghosts”
by Craig Kyle, Christopher Yost, Mike Choi & Sonia Oback
September to December 2008

Wolfsbane and Archangel are still addled from the previous arc, and programmed to attack each other on sight. Wolverine wants to bring in Emma Frost to sort them out, but Cyclops won’t let her have anything to do with X-Force, so they settle for the Stepford Cuckoos instead.

X-Force (now including Domino and Elixir) hunt down the Vanisher, who has stolen a sample of the Legacy Virus. He explains that the Virus has already been stolen back from him by Mr Sinister. Because this is a grimdark book, Elixir gives him a brain tumour in order to force him to help the team. X-23 gets the sample and tries to destroy it by heroically hurling herself into a vat of molten metal, but Elixir stops her, and they destroy it in a more sensible way instead.

The new cast members and the change of art style do lighten the mood a lot.

Next time, in 2009, Wolverine gets relaunched, and the Utopia era begins.

Bring on the comments

  1. Mark Coale says:

    IIRC, Morrison was one of the people most excited to meet John Broome the year Broome came to SDCC.

    I joked at the time the best way to break into comics was to throw a bomb into this room that had Morrison, Waid, Busiek and more all in attendance for Broome’s panel.

  2. Drew says:

    “Squirrel Girl idolised Speedball, but they didn’t have a relationship. I think the first time they actually met was when Speedball was being Penance, and Squirrel Girl broke in to call him a big dumb emo loser.”

    Yeah, that’s my memory too. After the “remember how dumb Penance was?” piss-take, I think there was one of those Marvel Romance one-shots or minis where Speedball told Doreen he was a big fan of hers as well and gave her a kiss (she might even have called it her first kiss, I don’t recall), but I think that was it. I don’t think they ever actually dated.

  3. Chris V says:

    Mark Coale-I definitely believe that to be true. John Broome was like a proto-Grant Morrison. Broome’s Green Lantern was laying a template for many things Morrison would do with superhero comics; almost as much as Jack Kirby, I’d argue. Then, Morrison finally got the chance to write their homage to Broome when Morrison recently wrote the GL series.
    Broome is probably one of the most underrecognized comic writers.

  4. Andrew says:

    Broome was great. Those early Green Lantern issues are among the only Silver Age DC that I actually like.

    I absolutely cannot stand 60s Superman comics. I love the character, it’s part of why I became a newspaper journalist(Particularly as a result of the post-Crisis era), but 50s-60s Superman comics drive me absolutely up the wall.

    Actually speaking of Wolverine having various casual relationships, I remember him having one with Domino during the Man from Room X New X-men Annual Grant Morrison did with Lenil Yu back in 2001.

  5. Mike Loughlin says:

    To each his own, Andrew- I like to Weisenger-era Superman on some level, despite the editor being an awful person. Meanwhile, I think the early GL stories were a waste of Gil Kane’s talents. Silver Age DC was loaded with talented artists- Kane, Infantino, Kubert, Fradon, Cardy, etc.- but I find most of the comics they drew pedestrian. Stan Lee’s scripting hasn’t aged well, but most Kirby & Ditko Marvels were brimming with energy.

    Still, John Broome & Gardner Fox deserve an enormous amount of credit for setting up and defining the Silver Age DCU (the two of them wrote almost every non-Superman/Batman/WW DC super-hero comic from the mid-‘50s to the late ‘60s) and influencing generations of creators.

  6. Andrew says:

    Oh for sure,I know a lot of people love them and appreciate the silliness and wackiness of them, they’re just not my flavour of Superman.

    Weirdly I quite like the early Golden Age Superman, Batman and JSA-linked comics. There’s a lot of really interesting stuff there which is largely forgotten now (often with good reason) but they’re interesting to read.

    It’s interesting you mention Julius Schwartz, I had absolutely no idea about any of that stuff until very recently. That’s just awful stuff.

    I agree, regarding the 60s Marvel stuff. Kirby isn’t one of my favourite artists and as you said, Lee’s writing hasn’t aged all that well, but yes those comics are head and shoulders above the DC stuff of the same era.

    Of the early 60s Marvel that I’ve read over the past few decades, I tend to think Amazing Spider-Man and Fantastic Four have aged the best. Ditko’s art is great on the former and the latter is Lee and Kirby at their peaks on a book that best-serves their strengths.

    X-men is not a great book until Roy Thomas comes back near the end of the 60s with Neil Adams (and Jim Sterenko) while similarly, Avengers isn’t a particularly strong book either.

    They’re both books that would do better under later creators.

  7. Taibak says:

    Morrison had a falling out with Marvel? When was this?

  8. Andrew says:



    As I recall they had a big blow up with Bill Jemas and quit to go exclusive with DC, something which came as a shock to Marvel.

    This all went down at San Diego Comicon 2003 where DC effectively did a huge raid on Marvel’s talent, taking Morrison, Judd Winick and a few others whose names I can’t remember off the top of my head right now.

    In the case of Morrison and Winick the former was already at the point of beginning to wrap up his X-Men run while the latter had written enough Exiles scripts that he was still technically on the book a year later.

    There was a massive amount of drama around it at the time and it was seen as a huge blow to Marvel, which was already coming off the Jemas-run manga-themed Tsunami line which failed to take off and Jemas sacking Mark Waid from Fantastic Four.

    Jemas was gone within a few months but 2003 was a weird time to be following Marvel. 2004 saw them return to a far more conservative direction.

    But back to Morrison, I gather they remained on relatively good terms with Joe Quesada and in 2014 they revealed that there was an unpublished Miracleman script written in the late 1980s or early 1990s which would tie in with the Olympus arc.

    Morrison agreed to hand over the script and let Marvel publish it on the basis that Quesada be the artist.

  9. YLu says:

    Ah, yes. The way Morrison relates the falling out, he was pitching something to Marvel and Jemas interrupted him to object, “People can’t fly.” Morrison pointed out that this was the Marvel universe, to which Jemas responded by shouting and ranting at him.

    I always wonder how Jemas managed the climb the corporate ladder as he did, when by all appearances he seemed to have not even the most basic people skills. Tom Brevoort recently told the story of how Jemas told Geoff Johns he didn’t know how to write, at their first meeting, and then was later genuinely puzzled as to why Johns would quit Avengers to go DC exclusive.

  10. Andrew says:


    Jemas is a weird one in that his first two years at Marvel and his partnership with Quesada were largely very successful.

    The way I remember it was that it began to fall apart in late 2002/early 2003 when Tsunami became his pet project, Marville was embarrassing, The return of Epic was a disaster and then the various things with Morrison, Johns (thank you, he was one of the names I couldn’t think of this afternoon), and especially Mark Waid.

    It went ugly in a hurry and he was gone by late 2003.

  11. Thom H. says:

    Just want to throw Curt Swan into the mix of great DC artists of the ’60s. He’s one of the main reasons I love that era of Superman and related titles (Jimmy Olsen, Lois Lane, Legion of SH). It’s insane how tight his layouts are.

    And as long as I’m here: I love all the bonkers “imaginary stories” in ’60s Superman comics. Can you imagine being a young Superman fan at the time, when he’s meditating on his own death like twice a year?

  12. CalvinPitt says:

    The Marvel romance one-shot where Speedball kisses Squirrel Girl came out in May 2006 according to the info at the bottom of the first page. Squirrel’s Girl intro mentions Speedball currently being on a reality TV show, so I think it was meant to be taking place before Civil War (which I think started around the same time.)

    The one-shot where she finds him being Penance and basically says, “What the heck happened to you?” came out September 2007 (the Deadpool/Great Lakes Initiative Summer Fun Spectacular).

  13. Allan M says:

    Spider-Man and FF are the consensus best Silver Age Marvel books, I think that’s fair to say. Ditko Strange and Steranko SHIELD look astounding. But I’d peg Thor as the #3 Marvel book of the Silver Age. Techno-fantasy god stuff is perfect for Kirby and the inherently bombastic material is perfect for Stan.

    I’m not a big 50s/60s DC fan, and so the stuff that works for me is the Bob Haney stories, the absolutely fully ridiculous ones that read like fever dreams where I’m not expecting anything resembling human behaviour or drama. There’s some crazy Weisinger-era Superman stuff, but Haney is on another level. Naturally, Morrison’s a big Haney fan and the Sandman-guesting JLA story is about a Haney stand-in who loves superheroes so much that his dreams save the world.

  14. Josie says:

    “Perhaps I should revisit that run again. Maybe I’ll enjoy it more third time around.”

    I find that most Morrison works improve with rereads, and to be fair I tend to hate/drop all of them as they come out, only to buy them all up when they’re done.

    “I’ve always been curious why Morrison has stuck with DC”

    Morrison seems to be done with DC now.

  15. Josie says:

    Speaking of Morrison falling out at Marvel, I got my hands on the Marvel Boy trade recently and just read it. I think I’d read the issues before, but in any case, it had been 20 years.

    It’s . . . fun and pretty, but not great, but it very much feels like setup for more, and Morrison excels when seeds planted in early issues germinate into more complex plots. And the series (even the trade) ends with the tag that there will be more Marvel Boy in 2001 (it’s even styled Marvel Boy 2:001).

    Now, I read/reread this at the same time I’d bought Marvel Knights collections of the complete Black Widow (the three 3-issue miniseries) and Ennis’s Welcome Back Frank, and all three series share this proto-Jemas vibe of scaling back on continuity references and focusing on the immediacy of the story being told. So if Marvel Boy feels a bit slight, I think this is by design, and probably something Morrison didn’t necessarily intend. After all, there are a number of references snuck in to the Fantastic Four and parallel realities.

  16. Josie says:

    For the record, Morrison stuck around at DC for such a long time post-2003 because of promises made I think exclusively by Didio.

    First there was the promise to mastermind a modular maxiseries which turned into Seven Soldiers, and also a promise to tell a massive New Gods story that became Final Crisis. Then there were promises that Morrison could mastermind a Final Crisis follow-up about the multiverse, which became Multiversity, and a promise to rejigger the origin of Wonder Woman, which became the Earth One books.

    The last one broke an earlier promise Didio made to Greg Rucka, which caused HIM to swear off DC for a few years.

  17. Mark Coale says:

    Was Didio in charge when the Morrison/Millar/Waid/Peyer Superman pitch happened?

  18. Omar Karindu says:

    Mark Coale said: Was Didio in charge when the Morrison/Millar/Waid/Peyer Superman pitch happened?

    No; that was a previous editorial regime, back when Jeanette Kahn was still publisher.

    More specifically, Mike Carlin rejected it. But he did so after the four had put the pitch together, unsolicited, and gotten it accepted by Carlin’s soon-to-be successor as editor, Eddie Berganza, while higher-up Carlin was out.

    Carlin returned from a vacation to find that Berganza had made promises without getting higher approval for such a thoroughgoing revamp and without notifying the creative teams who would have been given the boot for this revamp. (Bear in mind that Berganza wasn’t actually the editor for the Superman books yet, though he was going to be.)

    Carlin and others apparently saw the proposal not just as unsolicited or unapproved material, but as bid to oust the existing creators on the books and revamp a flagship character without running it by anyone higher up.

    This is part of why the proposal wasn’t merely rejected, but was rejected to vehemently that Carlin (or someone else) told Waid, Morrison, Millar, and Peyer that they would never get near the Superman books. Berganza then went ahead with his reboot plans, with approval, bringing in the team of Jeph Loeb, Joe Casey, and Joe Kelly, supplemented later on with J.M. DeMatteis, and Mark Schultz.

    It still could be read a shortsighted editorial policy and high-handed corporate hierarchy, but it does seem that no one was asking for a revamp pitch at the time. One wonders what would have happened if the four had waited until Berganza was officially in the editorial chair and soliciting revamp proposals.

    More information here: “Revisiting What Never Was with the ‘Superman 2000’ Proposal”

  19. Josie says:

    No, wikipedia says he came on board in 2002 as vice president editorial . . . and writer of Superboy, of all things. I really don’t know where he came from.

  20. Omar Karindu says:

    Before he joined DC, Didio was TV creative type, including a stint as a writer and story editor for Mainframe Enertainment working on shows like the CGI series ReBoot.

  21. Mike Loughlin says:

    Josie: I like Marvel Boy a lot – it gave us the great concept Hexus the Living Corporation, after all- but it feels incomplete. I don’t know if it takes place of Earth 616, even if a “Noh Varr” appears in later Avengers comics. I’ve seen it referred to as an Ultimate comic (released pre-Ultimate line or retroactively taking place on Ultimate Marvel’s Earth), but I’ve never seen that confirmed.

    Re Silver Age Marvels: even non-Kirby & non-Ditko Marvels read better than most DCs. I think it’s because the artists were doing much of the plotting. If artists want to put fantasy/ sword & sorcery concepts in the story (Buscema), include attractive women (Romita), or use unconventional layouts (Colan) and no one says “no” (most of the time; Stan had his edicts that most artists had to follow), they’ll probably do better work. Not all artists (see: early Image), but I’m sure they’d rather not be following a boring script to the letter.

    There were artists who didn’t like the Marvel method, not the least of which is because they weren’t being paid for the plotting. Given proper compensation, I would like to see more artist-driven Big 2 comics.

  22. Taibak says:

    So tl;dr:

    Like everyone else in the industry, Morrison got pissed off with Jemas?

    That about cover it?

  23. Josie says:

    “Before he joined DC, Didio was TV creative type, including a stint as a writer and story editor for Mainframe Enertainment working on shows like the CGI series ReBoot.”

    Yeah, I saw that, but I don’t see the through-line from TV writer or obscure shows to EIC of DC. Apparently he worked with Len Wein on one of the shows. I wonder if that was his in.

  24. Josie says:

    “Like everyone else in the industry, Morrison got pissed off with Jemas?”

    No. The TLDR is DC offered him an exclusive in 2003, when his stint on X-Men was wrapping up. Jemas sabotaged any chance of a Marvel Boy sequel, but that was back in 2001.

  25. Josie says:

    “I like Marvel Boy a lot – it gave us the great concept Hexus the Living Corporation, after all- but it feels incomplete.”

    If there’s one thing that feels especially lacking, it’s enduring praise for JG Jones. The guy hasn’t done a lot of work, but he’s done some really great work.

  26. Mike Loughlin says:

    JG Jones is indeed an excellent artist. No idea what he’s up to now, but MB, Top 10, Black Widow, Final Crisis, and all those covers are gorgeous.

  27. Josie says:

    JG Jones has semi-retired (or completely?) from comics because of being diagnosed with some rare form of blood cancer. I don’t know what toll it takes on him or how difficult it makes it for him to work, but it’s sad either way.

    He didn’t do Top 10 (that was Gene Ha), but he also did Wanted, Wonder Woman: The Hiketeia, and the 52 covers, which were such a huge component of the series.

  28. Josie says:

    Oh geez, his blood cancer diagnosis was the reason Jones didn’t finish Final Crisis.

  29. Andrew says:

    Morrison also had a pitch for Ultimate Fantastic Four but for whatever reason it didn’t proceed.

    Though I think some of the conceptual stuff ended up in the final product.

  30. Mike Loughlin says:

    Man, that’s terrible news about JG Jones. I hope whatever he’s doing to live with the disease is helping.

    Yeah, I misremembered that Gene Ha did Top 10, not Jones. I haven’t thought about Wanted in years, but it’s the last Mark Millar comic I remember paying money for. Jones’s art made it worth the purchase. He did a b&w Shi series that knocked me out at the time.

  31. Mark Coale says:

    Given the connection indirectly to Morrison conversation, Mark Evanier had a post on his blog about the alleged connections between the creation of the X-Men and Doom patrol. With added comments from Kurt Busiek.

  32. ASV says:

    Jones has some upcoming covers posted on his Instagram (including one for Junkyard Joe, so it’s definitely new art), so hopefully he’s now in good enough health to work regularly again. The bibliography on his Wikipedia page, which includes covers, is nearly empty for the last decade.

  33. Mike Loughlin it’s not clear if the original Marvel Boy is set in 616 or another universe, but it seems that it’s supposed to be in 616.

    Then Quesada popped up in interviews and said it wasn’t set in 616 and was in fact retroactively the first Ultimate Universe comic, although people pointed out that couldn’t be the case because the Fantastic Four were in it, and the Ultimate Fantastic Four hadn’t been introduced yet.

    Then the character disappeared and years later turned up in 616 after all, so (shrugs).

  34. Mike Loughlin says:

    @ASV: That’s great news! I hope Jones is able to get back to art at least occasionally.

    @thekevingreen: Thanks for the context. I knew I’d read the MB-Ultimate U connection somewhere. I don’t think it makes sense, but maybe Quesada didn’t get the content of the Morrison/Jones series and tried to sell more trades by tying it to the Ultimate line.

  35. Josie says:

    I don’t think slapping a universe on Marvel Boy makes sense either way, since nobody followed up on it in any meaningful way. Bendis botched the character, and then Jason Aaron made Midas the villain in Original Sin for god knows why. Gillen’s Young Avengers made decent use of Marvel Boy, but it still didn’t really have much of anything to do with what Morrison had established.

    That said, all the early Marvel Knights books were incredibly continuity-light, such that they seemed to operate in their own little universes, which was fine because it set a precedent for creators being able to tell complete stories within the confines of their own series. But what that means is we have a nice little arc for Yelena Belova which goes nowhere because no one followed up on it. We have some great Inhumans redesigns that were promptly ditched the moment they left the Marvel Knights line. We have Mysterio’s death which was immediately contradicted in the Spider-man books, because there wasn’t editorial coordination. We have Punisher humiliating superheroes with very little reciprocation. And we have Black Panther functioning as an Avengers satellite book that’s never reflected in Avengers proper.

    These aren’t criticisms. Again, I think it’s a good thing the writers were able to write self-contained stories. The shame is that stories and characters that were set up were never followed through.

  36. Mike Loughlin says:

    The first year or two of Marvel Knights were mostly great. Black Panther and Inhumans were my favorites. Turns out putting good creative teams on moribund characters, then advertising the comics, was a viable strategy. Who knew?

    I was lucky enough to attend the Marvel Knights launch signing & afterparty at the (now defunct) Words & Pictures Museum in Northampton, MA in 1998. The creative teams of all 4 books attended, minus Bernie Wrightson, as well as Joe Jusko & Amanda Conner. I got to talk and/or listen to the various writers & artists for a while, as well as see the original pages for the first issues of the launch titles. I had a great time!

    @Josie: “And we have Black Panther functioning as an Avengers satellite book that’s never reflected in Avengers proper.”

    Busiek & Perez included some story elements from the Priest series when BP popped up during “Ultron Unlimited,” mostly the idea that the Avengers no longer trust T’Challa because he joined the team to spy on it. It wasn’t a major part of the story, but at least the Marvel Knights book wasn’t completely ignored.

  37. Andrew says:

    I’ve always been hugely fond of the early years of Marvel Knights.

    The first go at The Punisher didn’t work but Ennis got it right the second go.

    And Original Sin has to be up there as one of the worst crossovers in recent decades. I remember absolutely hating that one.

  38. Josie says:

    I say without much exaggeration that you can probably trace the “modern” approach to comics storytelling back to Marvel Knights. They weren’t the only ones doing “relatively sophisticated” comics (sophisticated relative to, say, any X-book of that era) of course; there was Vertigo and Robison’s Starman, among others. But Marvel Knights coincided with Marvel’s modern trade collection initiative, which had a profound influence over how individual issues were paced and structured for the next decade.

    One could probably argue that it was a confluence of factors, but I don’t think you can really trace things back prior to Marvel Knights. Heroes Reborn was the forerunner for Marvel Knights in some respects, but it had no effect on the wider industry beyond spiking sales numbers on those four books.

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