Thursday, May 15, 2008

WOLVERINE #86 – October 1994

Claws along the Mohawk
Credits: Larry Hama (writer), Ron Garney (penciler), Al Vey & Bud LaRosa (inkers), Pat Brosseau (letterer), Steve Buccellato (colorist)

Elsie Dee, Albert, and Bloodscream travel to Muir Island to find Wolverine, but he’s already gone. Elsie Dee finally tells Bloodscream the story of her time travel with Albert and the Hunter in Darkness. After discovering an adamantium skeleton with claws in an Indian burial ground, Spiral agreed to send the trio back in time to stop Wolverine’s death before it happened. They land in the 1800s, and find that Wolverine and Forge (from ten years in our future) have traveled back in time to stop the Adversary’s plan to create a chain of chaos throughout all realities. Forge and Wolverine confront the Adversary, and disappear during the battle. Elsie Dee and Albert stay with the Siksika tribe that was also fighting the Adversary while they search for Wolverine. When their batteries get low, they have to go into sleep mode. The Hunter in Darkness goes off with the other Hunters he discovers. Elsie Dee and Albert stay in their sleep mode until Bloodscream discovers them in the present day. After Bloodscream hears Elsie’s story, Albert’s sensors locate Wolverine in Tibet. In a future time string, Wolverine and Forge are reunited. Wolverine explains that the Adversary sent him ten years into the future during their battle, which is why Elsie Dee and Albert could never find him. Albert is revealed to be working with Forge, as Wolverine reveals that he has Elsie Dee’s head inside the metal box he carries with him. Forge promises to build her a new body.

Continuity Notes
The future Albert claims that their presence back in the 1800s negated that timeline, explaining how Wolverine survived into the future. Elsie Dee says that this explains why the skeleton they discovered disappeared. Forge remembers that timeline because he was still battling the Adversary and trapped in the alternate reality he created. Wolverine remembers the timeline because he’s been “permanently effected by a temporal paradox field” after traveling to the end of time in Wolverine #52. I’m almost certain that most of this makes no sense.

The elderly Hunter in Darkness seen in Wolverine #84 is indirectly explained in this issue. It’s the same Hunter in Darkness Wolverine met years earlier, who later befriended Elsie Dee and Albert. After traveling into the past with them, he stayed there and aged a hundred years until he met Wolverine again at the arctic research station.

The Adversary is an evil god that Forge was raised to fight. He’s appeared a few times in various X-books over the years.

Aside from some of the time travel nonsense, this is a fun issue. Garney’s pencils are pretty strong, even if they look nothing like his current work. Something about the coloring and inking in this issue just seems off, though. The colors look unusually pale and washed out, and the lines just seem too thin. I like the moments between Wolverine and Elsie, and the scene with Albert running the gauntlet to prove himself to the Siksika tribe is well done. Hama always seemed to enjoy writing Elsie Dee and Albert, who are really two of the most absurd characters in the X-canon. I don’t think most people would expect to see Wolverine hanging out with the kid from Small Wonder in his monthly series. It is nice to see a resolution to the time travel mystery introduced a few issues ago, but I don’t think Hama ever got around to having the characters actually met up with Wolverine again.

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