Thursday, September 13, 2007

X-MEN #5 – February 1992


Credits: Jim Lee (Plot); John Byrne (Script), Jim Lee (Pencils), Scott Williams, Art Thibert, and Joe Rubinstein (Inks), Joe Rosas (Colors), Tom Orzechowski and Lois Buhalis(Letters).

The X-Men rescue Gambit, Jubilee, Rogue, and Gambit from the Hand, but Omega Red has already escaped with Wolverine. The Hand’s leader, Matsuo Tsuaryaba, and Fenris monitor Omega Red’s stamina by having him battle Wolverine until he is near death. As the X-Men track Wolverine to Berlin, Dr. Cornelius uses “induced memory inversion” to dig through Wolverine’s memories to find the location of the Carbonadium Synthesizer. Before they can find any answers, Wolverine is rescued by the mysterious Maverick.

Continuity Notes
Dr. Cornelius is a character from the Weapon X serial, the original “Origin of Wolverine” story. He’s one of the scientists responsible for Wolverine’s adamantium bones. There actually isn’t a footnote or narrative caption explaining any of this. I had no idea who this character was when I first read this story.

This is a good example of a nice looking, energetic comic that doesn’t hold up to scrutiny. First of all, if the bad guys were only after Wolverine, why did they go through the effort to kidnap the other X-Men in the first place? Omega Red already had them unconscious at the end of the last issue, they could've easily just left them behind. It’s just a flimsy setup for a fight scene. I should also point out that the Hand ninjas in this issue are all American white guys. Where did they find these people?

The plot continues to go downhill from here. The reason given for kidnapping Wolverine is so that he can reveal the location of the Carbonadium Synthesizer. There’s no explanation of what this thing is, but I won’t criticize this since the story isn’t over with yet. However, the story wildly jumps from Wolverine being interrogated about its location, to Wolverine suddenly having the Carbonadium Synthesizer in his possession. The jump literally happens from one page to the next.

Does this make any sense?

Aside from some wonky plotting, this issue also introduces Maverick. He’s yet another mystery character with a connection to Wolverine. What exactly he’s doing in this story isn’t explained yet. Maverick starred in his own short-lived solo series in the late ‘90s. Apparently, the market can bear only so many gun-toting mysterious loners.
Lee’s artwork remains pretty strong, although there is one panel that’s always struck me as odd.

Is this supposed to be Wolverine? Did he lose his adamantium-laced dentures?


Anonymous said...

Maverick gave him the synthesizer in the dark and confusion.

mojo said...

I thought that the canister contained Wolvie's healing factor. Not that makes much sense to begin with.

Jay Penn said...

I agree with that last panel, it always struck me as odd too. It looks like Wolverine ate his chin and he has really long chest hair too.

EndlessMike said...

Yeah, Wolverine's carrying his healing cells or something, which Maverick makes mention of when he jumps out a window and they splatter all over the pavement. The carbonadium synthesizer shows up in the next issue or two as something roughly the size of a Walkman.

Anonymous said...

I think that is supposed to be Omega Red, just mis-colored. What you can see of the hair and the formal speech pattern (Wolverine would not say "I will not" he would say "I won't") lead me to believe this, anyway.

Matt said...

The containerin this issue has cells they harvested to help Omega Red stay alive until they got the Carbonadium Synthesizer. It becomes clear that he was stealing them back during the dialogue of this and the next issue. It's why Wolvie spend much if the next issue out cold or barely able to move, they were harvesting the cells where his wounds were healing.

The Synthesizer is in some lady's corpse the whole time.

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