Credits: Larry Hama (writer), Dwayne Turner (pencils), Bennett/Barta/Rubinstein (inks), Pat Brosseau (lettering), Steve Buccellato (colors)
Rogue battles Sauron while Wolverine claws his way out of a pit of dinosaurs. After reaching the surface, Wolverine threatens to kill Sauron, but Rogue convinces him that Sauron needs help. They travel back to Brainchild’s citadel, where Rogue plans to use his Genetic Transformer to revert Sauron back into Karl Lykos. Sauron convinces Wolverine that he has his own right to live and belongs in the Savage Land. Wolverine reluctantly lets him go, as Storm and Bishop arrive with Jubilee.
The final two panels have been re-lettered to give Wolverine ominous dialogue about Magneto’s return.
The Savage Land arc concludes with Turner’s weakest art to date. Wolverine versus a crowd of dinosaurs should, at the very least, be interesting to look at. Instead, it’s unfocused, ugly, and really just boring. Hama’s story does offer two redeeming moments, though. The first is Sauron’s justification for his own existence, essentially saying that turning him into Karl Lykos is just as bad as forcing Karl Lykos to be Sauron. If the X-Men force Sauron to be Lykos, where do they draw the line? What are they going to force Lykos to be? It’s an interesting idea that can only work in a Savage Land story (given that Sauron really does belong there, so the X-Men aren’t just setting him free in New York City). The issue’s other redeeming scene is on the last page, where we learn that the Savage Land natives had the same initial impression of Jubilee that I did. As the conclusion to a three-part story, though, it’s definitely a disappointment.