This week, Wolverine finally makes his long-awaited (by someone, presumably) return from his “death” in the Return of Wolverine mini-series. But this isn’t the first time Wolvie has returned from the dead, and if we know comics, it won’t be the last. And no matter how hard Steve McNiven is trying to draw like Barry Windsor Smith (for the two issues of the mini he’s actually drawing), we have to say it will be hard for this return of Wolverine to top our favorite time Logan rose from the grave… way back in 1990’s Wolverine #33.
Back then, Wolverine didn’t have the power of “hot claws,” but he did have the incredibly hot creative team of writer Larry Hama, penciler Marc Silvestri, inker Dan Green, letterer Pat Brosseau, and the always-amazing colors of Glynis Oliver, whose eerie, iconic colors for Uncanny X-Men #165 helped make the post-Secret Wars conversation between Kitty Pryde and Colossus one of the most visually memorable scenes in comics history.
In Wolverine #33, titled Grave Undertakings, Tyger Tiger and Archie Corrigan help to smuggle Wolverine into Japan so he can seek revenge against Yakuza boss Dai Kumo, who had killed all the endangered spider-monkeys on Madripoor in order to harvest a chemical from their brains used to make an incredibly addictive drug called Zap, as well as a refined version that turns users into unstoppable warriors (and kills them shortly after), Thunderbolt. He also wrecked the Princess Bar, so he had a lot to answer for.
In the previous issue, Wolverine had been stabbed through the chest with a sword by Dai Kumo’s lieutenant, Goro, and his reluctant partner, Reiko. But after receiving a dream visit from Jean Grey, Logan pulled out of it. So why did he arrive in Japan in a coffin at the beginning of Wolverine #33? Well, he wasn’t technically “dead” dead, though one could say the same thing of the encased-in-adamantium Wolverine returning tomorrow. Instead, Tyger had given Wolverine a drug to make him appear dead, under the pretense that they wanted to bury him in Japan after he was “killed” by Goro last issue.
Unfortunately, they’re stopped at the airport by Dai Kumo, who controls the police, and who takes possession of Wolverine’s coffin. Since Logan was a worthy foe, Dia Kumo has him buried on his family burial grounds. Later, Reiko is hanging around the cemetary, depressed that Wolverine didn’t kill Goro and set her free. What follows is a fine a 5-page sequence as any other in comics, and again, Glynis Oliver’s colors takes the whole thing to the next level… though Silvestri’s pencils aren’t bad either. But what about the master, Larry Hama?! You know what, the entire creative team kicked ass here. Check it out:
@#$% yeah! When comics are great, there’s nothing better in the world, is there? Good luck topping that one tomorrow, Marvel. We’re rooting for you though.
Sadly, Wolverine #31-40 (and #42-47) are missing from Marvel Unlimited, which is unfortunate since these issues begin Larry Hama’s epic run on the title. Luckily, you can pick up Wolverine #33 and the surrounding issues at MyComicShop, or wherever fine back issues are sold.
And yeah, we’ve still got a very long column to get through, so let’s get things started. Play our intro…
Sworn to sell comics for Marvel executives who feared and hated the fact that Fox owned their movie rights, The Uncanny X-Men suffered great indignities, but with a corporate merger on the way, the X-Men can finally get back to doing what they do best: being objectively the best franchise in all of comics.
Sorry about the late column this week! We had a family emergency to deal with that severely inhibited our ability to write 3000 words about last week’s X-Men comics. If you’re new to the column, here’s how it works: we tell you what happened in the X-books last week. That’s about it. Not a review, no critical analysis. All we care about is what happened in the ongoing saga of the best franchise in the history of literature.
You’ve waited long enough. Let’s get started.
X-Men Blue #35
(W) Cullen Bunn (A) Marcus To (CA) R. B. Silva
• Knowing that their time is limited, the original X-Men must face uncomfortable realities about their future…
In Shops: Sep 12, 2018
It’s the penultimate issue of X-Men Blue, and Cullen Bunn and Marcus To have decided to spend it… treading water? Well, okay, we’ll call it “characterization.” The issue sees each of the five time-displaced X-Men meeting with their older counterparts. Jean and Jean sit at a cafe and talk about Generations: Phoenix and Jean Grey #1 (read it on Marvel Unlimited). Jean is upset because going back to the past and forgetting everything she’s learned is basically sacrificing herself. A flash forward to the future shows Jean facing off against Galactus, who wants revenge for getting punched in Generations.
Beast and Beast hang out in adult Beast’s lab. Teen Beast swears he’s done with dark magic, but his flash-forward shows him locked in battle with Magik in his evil Beast form, still being controlled by the Goblin Queen. Beast is concerned about Bobby, who will need to go back in the closet when he returns to the past. Speaking of which, the Bobbies spend some quality time laughing at each others’ bad ice puns while adult Bobby assures teen Bobby that, even if he has to go back to pretending to be straight, he’ll still know who he is on the inside. Plus, Jean psychically outing him was messed up. Bobby’s flash-forward isn’t set as far in the future as the others, presumably because he dies in the future (as he wasn’t present when the future time-displaced teen X-Men confronted Magneto in the previous issue. The flash-forward shows Bobby on a date making out with a cute boy.
Angel and Archangel take a trip to Tibet, where Archangel tells Angel that he’s going to have to take care of The Sleepers, who Archangel inherited from Xorn (see Uncanny X-Men vol. 4 for more on The Sleepers). Angel’s flash-forward sees him killing Archangel, becoming Apocalypse’s new horseman of Death. Finally, Bloodstorm and Scott visit adult Scott’s grave on Muir Island, and Scott laments accepting a future without a Cyclops.
Bro, we know how you feel. We’re gonna miss this book, and we’re gonna miss the time-displaced X-Men. But most of all, we’re going to miss having a Cyclops in the Marvel Universe. Marvel needs to bring back adult Cyclops ASAP and admit that he was right about everything!
(W) Mariko Tamaki (A) Juan Cabal (CA) Mike Choi
• It’s a sisters-vs.-sisters showdown as Laura must battle through the Cuckoos’ powerful mind
projections to rescue Gabby – but why did the Cuckoos kidnap Gabby in the first place?
• And will Gabby be able to resist their psychic shackles, or will she turn against Laura too?
In Shops: Sep 12, 2018
X-23 #4 opens in a mindscape with Laura and a Stepford Cuckoo (who we’ll later learn is Sophie) watching a Cuckoo-themed Brady Bunch pastiche on television. This will make more sense later. In the real world, Laura fails to save Gabby from being taken over by the psyche of Esme, and an explosion sends her flying into the woods. Evil Esme, now in Gabby’s body (and donning a black version of the white Cuckoos costimes), sends Mindee to hunt down Laura, and after she leaves, begins plotting with the other Cuckoos to get rid of her, saying she’s weak.
Meanwhile, Laura meets with Sophie in her mind. Sophie shows Laura the history of the sisters, visualized as a Blu-Ray set of the show we saw in the opening (see, told you it would make sense). It seems Esme didn’t fully kill Mindee as she intended. As the evil Cuckoos, led by Esme, embark on plans to take over Cerebro and become “unstoppable,” Laura captures Mindee in the woods and reveals that Sophie has survived and is in her mind.
Weapon H #7
(W) Greg Pak (A) Ario Anindito (CA) Philip Tan
THE STARS AND SKRULLDUGGERS!
• What are “Skrullduggers”? Dragon monsters with Skrull shape-shifting powers, obviously.
• What else is in this issue? Captain America and the Hulkverine! Who’s gonna buy this book? YOU!
In Shops: Sep 12, 2018
Weapon H #7 sees Captain America and Weapon H team up to kill Skrullduggers in Nevada as Weapon H recounts his childhood, where he always looked up to Captain America, who inspired him to become a soldier. He’s really pleased with the fact that he’s teaming up with Cap now. In the course of their battles, Weapon H kills one of the Skrullduggers, and he notices that others appear to be mourning the dead one. This makes him decide he’s not going to kill any more of them.
Unfortunately, Roxxon CEO Dario Agger has other ideas, and he kills the mourners with bombs. Apparently, everything Roxxon is doing is technically legal, due to intergalactic mining laws that classify the Skrullduggers as an invasive species. Though Weapon H has refused to accept Agger’s job offer to travel to Weirdworld and murder Skrullduggers, after figuring out what’s going on, Cap asks him to accept the offer in order to become Cap’s man on the inside while Cap figures out how to take Agger out on the outside. Weapon H agrees, and heads to the portal to find Korg (for more on him, read Planet Hulk).
(W) Gail Simone (A) Michael Shelfer (CA) Greg Land
KILLER INSTINCT CONCLUDES!
Project Armageddon wanted a Super-Soldier they could control… A weapon they could point… A trigger they could pull… Instead they got PURE CHAOS. Neena Thurman’s past collides with the present and nothing will be the same again. Don’t miss the stunning conclusion of KILLER INSTINCT!
In Shops: Sep 12, 2018
In Hong Kong, Domino heads for her final confrontation with Topaz. First, she gets a pep talk from Shang Chi, who tells her that she can control her power if she focuses. Their chat is interrupted by Topaz, who reveals that Prototype died off-panel after last issue, when Outlaw punched him in the face just as he was teleporting away. Topaz is pissed, and to get Domino equally pissed, she tells her she killed Diamondback (though a scene in the beginning of the issue reveals Diamondback survived.
Domino knocks Shang Chi out from behind to prevent him from stopping her killing Topaz. They fight, and when Topaz uses her powers to mess up Domino’s own luck power, Domino focuses like Shang Chi taught her and overcomes it. Yes, Shang Chi is such a good teacher, he can teach Domino complete mastery of her powers in one day of training and a follow-up pep talk. The fight is interrupted by Outlaw and Diamondback, who have stolen a Quinjet from Diamondback’s ex-boyfriend Captain America and crash it into Topaz.
Domino is glad to see her friends alive, but she’s still mad at Topaz and she knows Topaz will never stop coming after her. She picks up a gun, and as Shang Chi pleads with her not to kill Topaz, Domino faces a classic hero’s choice. And she chooses… to blow Topaz’s brains out. Shang Chi is disappointed, but Diamondback and Outlaw have no issues. As the issue wraps up, we learn that neither Outlaw nor Diamondback betrayed Domino, as suspected in earlier issues. It was Adelbert, who Domino forgives.
Gail Simone and David Baldeon have been killing it on Domino, the best Deadpool book currently published. Hopefully this series lasts for a long time.
(W) Saladin Ahmed (A) Joe Quinones (CA) Mike McKone
The Watchers are back! And their all-seeing eyes are fixed firmly on the Exiles. Sure, the team’s time-traveling antics saved the Multiverse – but nobody messes with the timestream while these Watchers are on duty. Justice will be served – and you might be surprised who ELSE appears to dish it out. Featuring guest art from beloved HOWARD THE DUCK and PETER PARKER: THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN artist Joe Quinones!
In Shops: Sep 12, 2018
It’s been 7 issues of Exiles so far, so it’s time for a recap issue, it seems. Exiles #8 spends the bulk of its pages recapping the origin stories of the Exiles team, under the premise of testimony to a council of Watchers, who have put the Exiles on trial for colluding with The Unseen to mess with the multiverse. We get brief recaps of the origins of Blink, Valkyrie, Iron Lad, and Wolvie, though Nocturne declines to tell her own origin story (good for you, Nocturne! origin stories are played out!).
But we’re not just rehashing the past in this issue. We also apparently get some new team members, starting with Peggy Carter, Captain America and her Bucky Barnes. We learn that they survived the explosion from Exiles #3 by being teleported away by the Watchers. We also get a recapped origin from the Old West Black Panther from the previous two issues. It becomes clear that this is a sham trial, and the Watchers, who are actually a rogue group of Watchers who do more than just watch, intend to execute everyone, but Nocturne is able to overcome whatever force has been blocking their powers and the Exiles attack.
Blink regains control of the Talus, or it regains control of her, and all of the Exiles are teleported away. Blink wakes up, apparently in Agrabah, where she has Quantum Leaped into the body of Alladin. We’ll find out more about that next issue.
Is this the first instance of the Marvel Universe crossing over with Disney? This could be very interesting.
Old Man Logan #47
(W) Ed Brisson (A) Damian Couceiro (CA) Andrea Sorrentino
THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACKNESS OF SPACE!
• What is it? And what does it want with Logan? The Marvel U’s newest alien menace is on the loose and ready to start a rampage…
In Shops: Sep 12, 2018
Old Man Logan and Alpha Flight continue their battle against the giant purple vine monster that’s been terrorizing the town of Shag Harbour (Yeah, baby! Yeah!), Nova Scotia. No longer vines coming out of the ground, the creature has gotten up and begun walking around like a giant purple spider. About midway through said battle, Shaman manages to bond telepathically with the creature, learning that it was a victim, fleeing its homeworld after it was invaded by hostile aliens. Unfortunately, in trying to survive, it’s now killing Canadians, which cannot be allowed to stand.
The team tries to obtain more weedkiller to fight the monster, but it blows up the gardening store. As a plan B, Logan and Puck grab some cans of gasoline, Guardian flies Logan up to the top of the creature. He hacks away until he finds its brain, pours in the gasoline, and everything goes boom. Later, after Logan recovers from his burn wounds (if only this Wolverine had the power of Hot Claws, none of this would have been necessary, Puck tells him he’s found the location of Logan’s old enemy, Maestro Hulk. Puck wants to help him hunt down Maestro, but Logan reminds him this was a two-issue guest appearance only, and he’s got to do it on his own… next issue.
The Old Man Logan retirement tour is almost finished playing the greatest hits, and it’s time to wrap things up before returning to the Wastelands to kill off the old bastard in Dead Man Logan.
Iceman #1 (of 5)
(W) Sina Grace (A) Nathan Stockman (CA) W. Scott Forbes
Iceman is back! Which is good, because someone is hunting the Morlocks for sport. Now it’s up to Bobby Drake to prevent another potential Mutant Massacre. But who’s behind this horrific hunt? You won’t believe it if we tell you! Guest-starring Bishop!
In Shops: Sep 12, 2018
Iceman is back, baby! And in the midst of heroically rescuing people from a fire, fighting bigotry, and complaining about his love-life, our hero finds a flyer from the Morlocks about a missing mutant. During a training session with his team of young X-Men, Bobby asks Kitty Pryde for backup to go to the Morlock tunnels and investigate. She promises him a full team, but ends up giving him Bishop. The two head down to the tunnels and find mutant on mutant violence taking place, with a group of mutants trying to start another Mutant Massacre (read the first one on Marvel Unlimited), eliminating the Morlocks because they’re extra-weird, under the assumption that humans will accept mutants more if only the pretty ones survive.
Iceman and Bishop team up with a young Morlock leader named Madin, whose brother is missing (hence the flyer), to take on the fake Marauders. Cornering them in the Morlock alley, a big fight, along with a lecture for the bad guys about their hateful ways, ensues. The good guys win, of course, and Iceman promises the X-Men will be better neighbors from now on. Unfortunately, they still don’t know where Madin’s brother is. Also unfortunately, one of the fake Marauders escapes to meet with his master, Mister Sinister, who is impressed with Iceman’s advanced power usage and will likely try to get his hands on Bobby in a future issue.
Back at the mansion, Bobby finds Emma Frost waiting to speak with him… though that will have to wait until next issue.
God, we’re happy this book is back. So happy, in fact, that we’re giving it the most coveted grilled-meat-themed award in comics, the Wolverine’s Weiner X-Pick of the Week!
Congratulations to the creative team!
That’s all for this week. Next week will be on time. We promise.
Read more X-ual Healing here:
- New Comic Publisher TKO Launches With Big Name Creators and Revolutionary Ambitions - December 10, 2018
- Barnes & Noble Gets a Retailer-Exclusive Edition of Mister Miracle - December 10, 2018
- Cyclops Goes Old School in #XMenMonday Sneak Peeks - December 10, 2018
- Another Year of Rick and Morty Presents One-Shots on the Way from Oni Press - December 10, 2018
- Best-Selling Author Gaby Dunn Makes Comics Debut with Claire Roe in Bury the Lede OGN - December 10, 2018