Credits: Larry Hama (writer), Val Semeiks (penciler), Dan Green, Dan Panosian, & Chad Hunt (inkers), Richard Starkings & Comicraft (lettering), Joe Rosas & Malibu’s Hues (colors)
Summary: Zoe Culloden takes Wolverine to Akkaba, the Egyptian village annihilated by Genesis. She tells him that he must face this threat against him, and then leaves to track Chimera. Genesis’ acolyte Jamil appears, offering to show Wolverine the way to the nearby citadel. Wolverine follows him, but refuses to enter the citadel through the door Jamil shows him. He overhears the Dark Riders torturing innocent people inside, and sneaks in through a side entrance. Soon, he’s confronted by Dirt Nap and Genesis, who blasts him with a giant weapon. The Dark Riders take him into custody, as Genesis brags that Wolverine will be brainwashed into becoming their new captain. He unveils a new adamantium skeleton for Wolverine, made out of the metal stolen from Cyber. Meanwhile, Cannonball travels to Madripoor to check on Wolverine. Tyger Tiger meets him and takes him to the Warp Chamber at Landau, Luckman, and Lake’s old office. He walks through it and arrives in Akkaba.
Continuity Note: Zoe Culloden says that the office boy Emmet from issue #97 is “more than he seems”. Don’t think this was ever resolved.
Production Note: Another nineteen-page issue.
Review: It’s the five hundredth issue leading up to #100, but this one does at least advance the plot a decent amount and places the characters where they need to be. Zoe Culloden abandons Wolverine pretty quickly, making me wonder why exactly L,L,&L has been so involved in this storyline in the first place. The scenes of Wolverine wandering through the desert are broken up by Cannonball’s adventures in Madripoor with Tyger Tiger. Their brief scenes, but they’re fun to read, as Tyger is revealed as a cougar with a thing for blonds. The rest of the issue mainly consists of Wolverine tracking down the generically evil Dark Riders, and a few pages of the dull Genesis ranting. Genesis, as far as I can remember, was never featured in a particularly good story, outside of his small role in the X-Men ’95 annual. He’s so dull, I always had a hard time remembering who he was even supposed to be when I was reading these issues as they were released. The big appeal of these issues is supposed to be the buildup to Wolverine regaining his adamantium, and knowing that this was just empty hype today makes this storyline much, much less interesting.