Monday, April 6, 2009

WOLVERINE #116 – September 1997

What the Blind Man Saw
Credits: Larry Hama (writer), Lenil Francis Yu (penciler), Edgar Tadeo (inker), Comicraft (lettering), Joe Rosas (colors)

Summary: The X-Men wander through the desert after escaping from Zero Tolerance. They meet a blind man named Mustang, who is living in a trailer park while waiting for his appointment with a Dr. Prospero. During the night, Wolverine investigates the doctor’s nearby clinic, and learns that Prospero is curing disabilities by turning people into cyborgs. Bastion is now able to use the patients as his sleeper agents, the Prime Sentinels. As Bastion flies overhead, the X-Men hide underground. Meanwhile, Mustang tries to warn the other members of the camp, but they don’t believe him. Elsewhere, Senator Kelly, fearing the potential harm Bastion could cause, decides to stand up against Zero Tolerance.

Miscellaneous Note: The title of this issue is apparently a reference to an old folk song.

Review: We’re now at the middle stage of the crossover, which forces the X-Men to kill some time before they presumably make their final move against OZT (although I don’t think it actually worked out that way). Hama, who’s clearly stuck with this material, decides to add a human element to the crossover by introducing Mustang. Mustang, a pilot who lost his vision and the use of his limbs after an accident, is supposed to put a human face on the Prime Sentinels. It’s a legitimate avenue to take, but at this point Mustang feels more like someone who exists solely to serve a role and less like a legitimate character in his own right. The story is also crammed with excessive narrative captions, most of which are made redundant by later lines of dialogue (For example, there’s extensive narration describing a scene that has Wolverine sneaking out in the middle of the night, unable to escape Mustang’s notice. If the art wasn’t clear enough, the very next page has a dialogue exchange that spells everything out. So what was the point?) The captions are often dull and pretentious, reading as if the editor didn’t have enough faith in the creative team and wanted to put his own stamp on the comic. Unfortunately, this continues through Hama’s final issues of the series.

1 comment:

ray swift said...

I liked the portrayal of Storm in this issue. She spoke very few words, but it was the less that speak volumes.

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