Credits: Larry Hama (writer), Adam Kubert & Luciano Lima (pencilers), Dan Green (inker), Richard Starkings & Comicraft (lettering), Joe Rosas & Malibu Hues (colors)
Caliban and Cannonball join Wolverine and Storm on a camping trip. Cannonball asks Wolverine to tell them stories about the X-Men. Wolverine tells a story set shortly after his aborted wedding to Mariko. Trying to numb himself to the pain, he began drinking heavily. Storm invited him to her attic where she showed him a unique hybrid flower she grew. She cut the flower and gave it to Wolverine, asking him to place the flower in a vase next to his picture of Mariko. A grizzly bear wanders on to the campsite. Agent Noah, who has been secretly observing Wolverine with Zoe, tries to kill the bear but Zoe forces him to teleport away instead. The other mutants attack the bear, but Wolverine senses that it’s only hurt and afraid. He tosses a ball at its nose and scares it away. In Egypt, the Dark Riders use mutant death watch beetles to devour Cyber’s flesh, leaving only his adamantium.
When Noah tries to kill the bear, he says that it’s “nothing compared to what we’ve already done!” Zoe says that she’s had enough and that “maybe Landau, Luckman, & Lake have gone too far this time!” What this means isn’t clear at all, but it ties into the upcoming #100 in some way.
Wolverine kills another issue on its way to #100. This one does at least offer some variation on the previous issues, as Hama tries to emphasis Wolverine’s feral regression in a different way by connecting him to nature instead of just having him describe how much he enjoys clawing people now. Actually, this issue probably should have come before the last one, since the previous story had Wolverine welcoming the regression, while this one shows that he’s still holding on to his humanity. This has always been one of my favorite “quiet” stories from this era, mainly due to the flashback, which really is a sweet story about one friend reaching out to another (even if it is only three pages long). Allowing Wolverine to be the one character not to resort to violence against the bear is a nice twist, and the final internal monologue describing the regression from his point of view is well done. It’s still a slight story, but Kubert’s art is good enough to compensate a little.