Friday, November 7, 2008

WOLVERINE #97 – January 1996

Bump in the Night
Credits: Larry Hama (writer), Adam Kubert (penciler), Dan Green (inker), Joe Rosas & Malibu Hues (colors), Richard Starkings & Comicraft (lettering)

Summary: In Scotland, Wolverine and Phoenix investigate Cyber’s jailbreak. They head to the offices of Landau, Luckman, & Lake and discover that part of the building has been destroyed. They travel through LL&L’s hidden warp chamber to a different office, which has two dead LL&L agents on the floor. Wolverine discovers Emmet, the office boy, hiding behind a desk. He sends them through another dimensional warp to find Chimera, the woman who killed the agents. Wolverine walks through the door and is immediately locked in a room with the deranged Chimera. On a giant videoscreen, she views a three-dimensional extrapolation of a fully de-evolved Wolverine. Wolverine interrogates her about Cyber, and she responds by sending an energy creature out of her hand. He stabs her hand, which forces Chimera to teleport away. Phoenix and Emmet blast through the door to rescue Wolverine, as Zoe Culloden enters. She gives Wolverine a package that she claims will explain everything and then sends him back home. Emmet questions if this will really help him, and Zoe responds that she’s at least giving him a fighting chance.

Continuity Notes: This is the first appearance of Chimera, a character who later appeared in a few more Hama stories. Her gimmick is that she’s totally insane and talks to her hand like it's an imaginary sock puppet (I’m not joking). She’s also drawn with scars on her wrist and the side of her face. I get what the wrist scars imply, but I don’t know what the significance of the face scar is supposed to be.

Wolverine asks if Chimera also killed Mr. Landau, and Emmet replies, “Rub out Mr. Landau? Get real, Logan. He’s a principal! He ain’t like you or me!” I have no idea if the mysteries involving Landau, Luckman, & Lake were ever resolved.

Production Note: Here’s yet another nineteen-page comic. I think the nineteen-pagers have turned up in all of the X-books at least once by this point.

Review: It’s another issue building up to #100, playing up a connection to LL&L that I don’t think really paid off when #100 finally happened. Hama seems to be playing this one as a goof, as he introduces Emmet, the Dickensian office boy (complete with a phonetically spelled cockney accent) and the nutty Chimera as the villain. There’s a lot of running around from one mysterious location to the next, but the actual fight scene lasts less than three pages. There’s no information given on who Chimera is or why she killed these people, and having her just disappear at the end feels like a copout. Hama still handles the Wolverine/Phoenix friendship well, but there’s barely anything else going on. Kubert’s art remains energetic and fun, which helps to alleviate the thin story.

2 comments:

Aqualad said...

There was a whole lot of Landau, Luckman and Lake stuff in Joe Kelly's Deadpool. That book would be an awesome addition to Not Blog X, BTW.

Paul said...

How timely! Chimera just popped up in the last issue of Uncanny.

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