Induction in the Savage Land!
Credits: Larry Hama (writer), Dwayne Turner (penciler), Chris Ivy (inker), Pat Brosseau (letterer), Steve Buccellato (colorist)
Wolverine, Rogue, and Jubilee are sent to the Savage Land to investigate rumors of Magneto’s return. Jubilee is kidnapped by a native flying a pterosaur while Wolverine and Rogue are searching for clues. While Rogue investigates magnetic anomalies, she’s kidnapped by Brainchild and Gaza. Wolverine follows a group of Savage Land Mutates and natives to their temple, where he learns that Sauron is their new master.
I Love the ‘90s
In a Bullpen Bulletins cartoon, Tom DeFalco is badly injured after dancing near Wolverine when “some grunge rock” starts playing.
Starting with this issue, I began buying Wolverine on a monthly basis. Seeing some of the X-Men guest star and knowing that the title would be playing a role in the upcoming crossover lead me to believe that I wasn’t a real X-completist unless I was buying this title (it would be a few more months before I would feel this way about Excalibur, but I never felt bad about missing the Wolverine stories in Marvel Comics Presents). Even though Wolverine’s memories were unlocked in the previous issue, the event is only mentioned in passing in one panel. Rather than being a logical follow-up to this title’s ongoing stories, this issue feels like it could’ve been a typical issue of X-Men. That doesn’t mean it’s a bad comic, it’s an average straightforward action issue, but I don’t think it’s what regular readers of this series wanted. The two approaches to franchise titles seem to be “make them all the same” or “make them all extremely different”. It seems like Marvel decided to go with the first option during this era. Wolverine starts hanging out with the X-Men more often, a more serious Excalibur moves to Muir Island and stops meeting so many Marvel UK characters, and X-Factor drops the humor and becomes the X-Men with government ID badges. And they all get together each year for foil-enhanced, die-cut, holographic crossover adventures.
For some reason, this story goes out of its way not to mention Magneto by name. This trick is also used during Magneto’s cameo in X-Men Unlimited #1. I’m not sure why exactly the creators are so cryptic about this, especially since Marvel’s promotion machine was already hyping his return in the “Fatal Attractions” crossover. Hama does play on this to reveal that Sauron, not Magneto, is the Mutate’s secret master at the end, but it’s still mildly annoying that no one will say the name of the character he’s trying to find.
Dwayne Turner’s art is vintage 1993, but he’s not the worst fill-in guy from this era. Most of his storytelling is fine, except for a confusing sequence on page six where Wolverine is supposedly stabbing a dinosaur in the eye, but it’s hard to tell. Rob Liefeld would be proud of Sauron’s disappearing feet on page thirty, too. I don’t care for his caveman rendition of Wolverine, but I kind of like his cartoonish version of Jubilee. I don’t really know why Jubilee is in this story, but her thoughts on the Dickens novel “David Copperfield” are funny.