Thursday, March 27, 2008

WOLVERINE #80 – April 1994

…In the Forest of the Night!
Credits: Larry Hama (writer), Ian Churchill (pencils), Al Milgrom (inks), Pat Brosseau (letters) Kevin Somers (colors)

Cyber escapes from an ambulance and continues to chase Wolverine. Wolverine, still recovering from his fight with Cyber, tries to ease the pain with whiskey at a pub. When that doesn’t work, he accepts Zoe Culloden’s offer to help. While on their way to Muir Island, Culloden shows Wolverine a video of Dr. Jaime Munoz, a molecular biologist who has been studying tissue samples of Wolverine left over from the Weapon X project. Munoz thinks that it’s possible to replicate Wolverine’s self-regenerating tissue and develop an adamantium bonding process. He asks the “Logan X” subject to come forward because he’s found a harmful defect in his DNA. Cyber finds Wolverine, and the two fight on the highway. After burning Cyber with gasoline and a light flare, Wolverine and Culloden catch the ferry to Muir Island. Meanwhile in Canada, Bloodscream revives himself and drains life away from two tourists.

Continuity Notes
Dr. Munoz’s reference to a defect in Wolverine’s DNA might be a reference to the upcoming “feral Wolverine” storyline (which unfortunately led to the “Scooby Doo Wolverine” era).

It’s another fight issue with Cyber, which isn’t even through yet as it goes into the next issue. It’s a more interesting read than the last issue, but it suffers from Adam Kubert’s absence. Hama’s interpretation of Cyber is at least more interesting now, as he seems to just embrace the character’s insanity (“I can see miles and miles down that Electric Highway, Wolverine…my eyes are like lasers and I can see your thought waves like phosphorescent fish on a neon ocean!”). Wolverine’s characterization continues to emphasize how weak and broken he’s supposed to be during this time, which is surprising to me. I had forgotten how far Hama had taken this. I wonder if Marvel today would be willing to show their perennial tough guy character in such a state for so many issues. The conversation between Zoe Culloden and a frail Wolverine at the pub is nice, but I wish it wasn’t so short.

Hama again tries to apply some realism to the book by introducing Dr. Jaime Munoz to offer a scientific justification for the adamantium bonding process. Realistically, the experiments done on Wolverine probably wouldn’t be hidden forever, and the process of bonding metal to bone would be of great interest to scientists. It seems strange to see the idea brought up in a superhero comic, though, because I don’t see the story really going anywhere (is Marvel really going to do a story about adamantium being used to cure osteoporosis?). I guess it does help to bring the X-books back to something closer to the real world, which the books started to abandon once the X-Men embraced holograms and Shi’ar technology.

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