Friday, May 22, 2009

WOLVERINE #129 – #130, October 1998 – November 1998

Wolverine #129
 Whatever It Takes…
Credits: Todd Dezago (writer), Lenil Francis Yu (penciler), Edgar Tadeo (inker), Jason Wright (colorist), Comicraft (letters)

Summary: Unsure of himself after his fight with Sabretooth, Wolverine returns to the abandoned Weapon X facility to reflect. Inside, he’s attacked by Wendigo. Wolverine slashes his eyes, forcing him to run away. A few minutes later, Wolverine collapses from his wounds.

Continuity Notes: It’s hard to reconcile this with the previous appearances of the Weapon X compound in the preceding years. For one thing, it was actually destroyed during the Maverick one-shot. Aside from that, Dezago shows that the security system is still operational, and has men monitoring the compound at Department H command. This doesn’t seem to fit in with Wolverine’s first return to the Weapon X compound in Wolverine #48, which portrayed it as totally abandoned and forgotten.

Review: This is the beginning of Todd Dezago’s brief run, making it the third fill-in arc in a row (the fourth if you count Tom DeFalco’s two issues). Marvel didn’t seem to know what to do with this book during this era, which reminds me of the state the title was in before the Hama/Silvestri run began. A few months from now Erik Larsen will begin a mostly directionless run, which will occasionally participate in the routine crossovers. Until then, Dezago marks time. This is essentially a Wolverine/Wendigo fight, although Dezago tries to add some depth by having Wolverine reflect on the dividing line between predators and prey throughout the story. He declares himself a predator at the issue’s start, but realizes that he’s Wendigo’s prey by the end. There’s nothing particularly bad about this, but it’s clearly filler.

Wolverine #130

…To Survive!
Credits: Todd Dezago (writer), Lenil Francis Yu (penciler), Edgar Tadeo (inker), Jason Wright (colorist), Comicraft (letters)

Summary: Wolverine recovers from his wounds inside an old barn. A young boy named Jake brings him food and keeps him company. Wolverine eventually realizes that Wendigo is still hunting him, so he flees the barn. He turns back when he considers that Wendigo is tracing his scent, which is still in the barn. Wolverine protects Jake from Wendigo, and eventually defeats him by using kerosene to set him on fire.

Continuity Note: An origin is given for the latest incarnation of Wendigo. After an accident chopping wood, a man was left trapped under a log with his fingers severed. After days without food, he ate the severed fingers, which invited the cannibal curse that creates Wendigo.

Review: The Wendigo fight concludes, as Wolverine declares that he’s found what he was looking for, “Wolverine the man.” He apparently grasps this by using his brains to defeat Wendigo, which he takes a sign that he never needed the Weapon X project to be a fighter. Well, okay then. There’s not a lot going on here, although the scenes with Wolverine and the little kid aren’t bad. Yu produces an amusing splash page that displays the kid’s impression of the X-Men based on Wolverine’s stories, which has Colossus as a robot, Nightcrawler as a Christmas elf, and Rogue as a mummy (because she has to cover her entire body, of course). The rest is pretty forgettable.


Matt said...

"A few months from now Erik Larsen will begin a mostly directionless run..."

Which we will later learn did not even feature Wolverine!! It was the pre-Secret Invasion secret invasion.

I really enjoyed Larsen's run, though. It had a very "old school" feel to it.

Harry Sewalski said...

I always like when the Wendigo is used in a Wolverine story. It's obviously not the sort of thing you'd want to do too often, but when it does crop up it's a nice nod to his first appearance(s).

Bass_X0 said...

What happened to the boy's dog? Did the boy kill his own dog to silence it so that the Wendigo wouldn't find him? Doing whatever it takes to survive?

We see the boy with his hand round the dogs neck then on the last page, no dog, just the boy holding the dog's collar.

Steven said...

Just read this issue. I assumed that yes, the boy killed his dog. Not the usual lighthearted fare from Todd DeZago, and it actually elevates this above average filler for me. Why didn't Marvel let Todd write the book for a while? Better than a bunch of random fill ins if you ask me.

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