Friday, February 22, 2008

WOLVERINE #77 – January 1994

The Lady Strikes
Credits: Larry Hama (writer), Adam Kubert (pencils), Farmer/Sellers/Pennington (inks), Pat Brosseau (letterer), Steve Buccellato (colors)

Lady Deathstrike attacks Wolverine in Heather Hudson’s home, causing a gas explosion and wrecking her house. When Wolverine tells her that he no longer has the adamantium, and that she’s sacrificed her humanity for revenge, she begins to question her actions. She leaves, but two other Wolverine adversaries, Cylla and Bloodscream, have been sharing information with Deathstrike and are still trailing him. Wolverine gives Heather all of the money he has to pay for the damage and heads to Buffalo Wood.

Continuity Note
Lady Deathstrike’s father created the adamantium bonding process used to lace Wolverine’s skeleton with the metal. She wants revenge because she feels that she should have her father’s legacy. As shaky as that sounds, this really was the character’s main motivation for ten years.

Creative Differences (?)
The last few pages of this issue aren’t lettered by Brosseau, but it doesn’t seem as if it’s because of editorial rewrites. It’s possible that another letterer helped out for deadline reasons.

Production Note
The cover and the art on page sixteen are exactly the same.

This is mostly a “big fight” issue, although Hama creates a few human moments. Forgiveness was a theme that showed up again and again in Hama’s G. I. Joe work, and it makes its way to this series as Wolverine forgives Deathstrike after her multiple attempts to kill him. It’s not really what you would expect to find a Wolverine comic. When Heather Hudson comments on this, Wolverine’s response is “you can’t understand another person’s loss until ya got some o’ the same yourself.” In one strange scene, Wolverine even offers to give his life to Deathstrike if she promises not to kill Puck and Heather Hudson. This leads Deathstrike to declare that she won’t lose her honor and run away, so it’s possible that this was just a feint to get rid of her. The story isn’t clear, though, and it’s possible that Hama was trying to portray Wolverine’s acceptance that he couldn’t defeat her now, or even a suicidal streak. Losing the adamantium wasn’t just a cosmetic change for the character, as Hama shows a willingness to move Wolverine away from his stereotypical portrayal. He’s able to pull it off without making Wolverine seem like an entirely different character.

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