Tuesday, April 14, 2009

WOLVERINE #118 – November 1997

Out of Darkness
Credits: Larry Hama (writer), Lenil Francis Yu (penciler), Edgar Tadeo (inker), Comicraft (lettering), Jason Wright (colors)

Summary: Wolverine tries to convince Mustang to fight against his programming, but he’s unable to ignore his orders as a Prime Sentinel. Jubilee watches Mustang attack Wolverine, and responds by blasting him in the face. The flash destroys his new vision, which enables Mustang to revert to his true personality. Outside, SHIELD agents are attacking an army of Prime Sentinels. One of them targets Cyclops, and blasts him in the chest. SHIELD agents examine him and learn that Bastion recently had a bomb implanted in his chest. Wolverine exits the clinic with information on the process Bastion used to create the Prime Sentinels. He tells Mustang to give it to the SHIELD agents, confident that they can help him. The X-Men then leave in one of Bastion’s ships, hoping that they can save Cyclops in their medi-lab.

I Love the ‘90s: The information on Bastion’s Prime Sentinel process is kept on giant floppy discs.

Review: This is the final issue of Hama’s nearly eight-year run on the title, although there’s no indication within the issue itself. It’s also the final chapter of the OZT crossover, even though an issue of X-Men that shipped two weeks earlier already brought an end to the story. (This chapter actually takes place before X-Men #69, because the SHIELD agents are getting ready to confront Bastion. The “epilogue” label on the cover isn’t very accurate.) It’s too bad Hama had to end his run with an editorially mandated crossover that reads like it was heavily rewritten. This issue is filled with more dull captions and dry exposition, and like the past few issues, it doesn’t read like Hama’s work. Some of the material with Mustang isn’t that bad, but most of this is just outright generic. The fact that no sentimentality is shown for a creator who’s spent over seven years working a title also feels wrong (Scott Lobdell received similar treatment on UXM during this time). It might not have been intentional, but there is a sense that the people in charge don’t care that much about who’s working on these books, as long as the pages are filled up and they ship out on time. It certainly doesn’t help the X-books’ image as a crassly commercial product that’s being thoughtlessly pumped out by Marvel.


wwk5d said...

Sad that Hama went out like this. His run of Wolvie is some of the best we've seen with he character, with good collaborations with Silvestri, Texiera, and Adam Kubert on this title. And noone seemed to have as good a grasp on the Logan/Jubilee dynamic the way he did. I'm not surprised at the way his run ended, we seem to be entering the era where the X-offices (not sure if it applied to the Marvel Universe as a whole, or even all the X-titles, I remember this applied mainly to the 2 X-men titles) were dominated by the editors, and the writers were extremely expendable and seemed to be re-written over many times. It's a miracle that X-force had such a high level of quality during this time.

Seangreyson said...

At least for the OZT trade there's at least one more issue of the crossover, which occurs after the team arrives back at the mansion.

It's actually the better epilogue, as the three teams (Iceman's OZT "team", Cyclops's team, and Rogue's team) reconnect and there's a brief conflict with Juggernaut while they try and deal with the bomb in Cyclops' chest.

Matt said...

Maybe how the writers were treated when they left had something to do with the terms under which they left? When Fabian Nicieza left X-Men a couple of years earlier, he was allowed a nice little note in the letter column. Perhaps Lobdell and Hama angered the X-editors or something...?

Although, now that I've written the above, I suddenly remember that Hama soon showed up writing an ill-received (though not as bad as some people claim)
run on Generation X, so the X-office was obviously still willing to give him work.

Who knows...

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