Credits: Larry Hama (writer), Anthony Winn (penciler), Dan Green (inker), Comicraft (lettering), Joe Rosas & Graphic Color Works (colors)
Summary: Wolverine passes through Manhattan’s East Village and stops two thugs from accosting a man in a wheelchair and his girlfriend. The woman, Kirstin, offers Wolverine a place to stay in the building she works in as a super. A juggling mime who watched the confrontation is lured into a basement by a mystery figure. That night, Wolverine tries to sleep, but can’t stop thinking about the events of the past few months. The next day, Kirstin guides him to a construction site, overseen by Helen Bach. Wolverine offers to work for free, hoping to spend time doing honest work. Later, while walking home with Helen, Wolverine spots the two thugs he stopped earlier defacing his motorcycle. Wolverine’s surprised when Helen attacks the men. After fighting them off, Wolverine pushes his motorcycle into his apartment. He’s greeted by the mime he saw earlier, who is now juggling butcher knives.
I Love the ‘90s: The letters page finally gives an actual email address where letters can be sent.
Review: This is another issue that sets up the new status quo of the series. It largely serves as a character piece, but it also manages to introduce a decent amount of plot and offer a few hints about the new supporting cast members. Nothing really came of the new supporting cast, but I like what little we see of them. Clive, the man in the wheelchair, and Helen both chastise Wolverine about using violence, which helps to reestablish the idea that Wolverine himself isn’t entirely comfortable with his violent nature. Helen’s willingness to become violent herself when provoked adds some mystery to the character, one that actually was resolved a few issues later.
Hama tries to build the new direction from the previous issues, as Wolverine claims that living in the city is his response to hunting deer on Xavier’s grounds, essentially having him test himself by going from one extreme to another. It’s a quickie way to resolve the “feral Wolverine” arc from the post-AoA issues, but that story had already played itself out by this point, and using it to justify a new direction is preferable to just forgetting it or dragging it out any longer. The Onslaught storyline is referenced again, but Hama gets decent material out of it. The building Wolverine is helping to rebuild was damaged by Onslaught, and another scene reveals that Wolverine’s guilt over his role in indirectly creating Onslaught keeps him awake at night. Hama finds a clever application of Wolverine’s powers, as he works out relentlessly, hoping to force himself to sleep after tiring himself out. However, his healing factor prevents him from staying exhausted long enough to sleep. It’s a smart idea, and it’s another example of Hama “getting” Wolverine in a way few writers do.