Friday, January 9, 2009

WOLVERINE #105 – September 1996

Faces in the Fire
Credits: Larry Hama (writer), Val Semeiks (penciler), Chad Hunt w/Russell & Candelario (inkers), Richard Starkings & Comicraft (lettering), Chris Lichtner & Joe Andreani and Malibu (colors)

Summary: As the other heroes deal with Onslaught, Wolverine joins the NYFD and saves civilians in burning buildings. While rescuing a boy named Sean, Wolverine runs into Elektra’s sensei, Stick. After saving Sean, he returns to rescue Stick. Stick refuses to be saved and instead spars with Wolverine with his bo staff. Stick tells Wolverine not to blame others for taking away his humanity, but to fight and regain it instead. He finally points the way for Wolverine to escape the burning building. Wolverine jumps through to safety, where he’s greeted by the Human Torch. The Torch tells him that the heroes are regrouping for another attack on Onslaught.

Continuity Notes: Wolverine’s appearance begins to change in this issue, appearing slightly more human. And his speech patterns are thankfully back to normal. Stick is described as “not alive”, but not a ghost either, by Wolverine. I have no idea if this connects in any way to Daredevil continuity.

I Love the '90s: The catchphrase "Not!" shows up twice in this issue; once in the letters page and once in the Human Torch's dialogue.

Review: This is one of those issues where we see the hero doing real-life heroic acts, as Wolverine spends several pages playing fireman. And, not surprisingly, Wolverine even tells the firefighters that they’re the real heroes, not him. There’s a cute bit where Wolverine’s rescuees can’t remember his name (Sean’s mother calls him “Valvoline” at the end), and I like the conversation between Wolverine and Stick, which mainly consists of Stick telling Wolverine not to feel sorry for himself. Semeiks’ art is solid for most of the issue, and he does a great job on the scene that has Wolverine’s skin burning off as he saves Sean. Other than that, this is really just time killer.

1 comment:

Paul G. said...

Stick died shortly after his introduction in Frank Miller's 80s Daredevil comics (He exploded in a last stand against Hand assassins, back when the Hand presented some kind of a threat. Ah, Frank Miller.) Miller also used him prominently in his 90s "Man Without Fear" miniseries. I think most readers (and editors) of the time remembered the latter more vividly. So Stick was brought back to guide the feral Wolverine. The line about him not being alive was probably added later after someone remembered that Stick was actually dead.

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