Thursday, September 15, 2011

X-MEN: LIBERATORS #2 - December 1998

Home Is Where the Heart Is

Credits: Joseph Harris (writer), Phil Jimenez (breakdowns), Aiken, Leigh, & Pepoy (finishes), Shannon Blanchard (colors), Comicraft (letters)

Summary: Colossus visits his parents’ gravesite, and is shocked when an elderly lady in the chapel spits at him and curses his family. Soon, he’s attacked by Russian soldiers who assume that he’s the escaped mutant from Province 13. Nearby, Wolverine and Nightcrawler encounter more soldiers in the woods. Soon, they’re attacked by the escaped mutant, whose touch has an odd effect on Wolverine. The mutant evades capture, leaving the soldiers to take a disoriented Wolverine into custody. Meanwhile, Sergei reflects on a young girl from the program, and receives word that Province 13 could be shut down. Later, Russian soldiers enter the Savage Land, looking for Omega Red.

Review: It’s an issue full of “middle,” so it’s hard to judge how exactly all of these threads are coming together. As vague as some of this is, I will say that the small amount of info Harris has given us is pretty intriguing. The incident between Colossus and the angry woman is particularly interesting, since Colossus’ “family” might include the historical Rasputins, and not just the immediate family already established in the books. It’s also nice to see Colossus visiting a cemetery and mourning his parents, since their murders seemed especially gratuitous back in the early ‘90s, and he wasn’t allowed a lot of time back then for bereavement (he was too busy irrationally turning heel). The Omega Red in the Savage Land sequence is something I wasn’t expecting to see, and unless this is a continuity reference I’ve totally missed, I’m curious to see why exactly he’s there.

Harris also works in a few “quiet” moments for Wolverine and Nightcrawler, acknowledging the many years they’ve spent apart and taking more time to reestablish their friendship than the main titles ever did. I question Harris’ characterization of Wolverine as an adamant opponent to hunting, though. (One of the Russian soldiers is killing time by shooting at random animals in the woods, which infuriates Wolverine.) Needless killing would anger Wolverine, I’m sure, but Harris’ dialogue makes it clear that Wolverine doesn’t consider hunting for food and for sport to be so different. It’s possible Harris based this on Todd McFarlane’s portrayal of Wolverine in Spider-Man, but that's hardly the definitive Wolverine story. Given the times we’ve seen Wolverine kill animals in the woods, an anti-hunting stance just feels hypocritical.


wwk5d said...

I love this era of Marvel Comics...when the covers would be unnecessarily cluttered with text, even most of the time it didn't add anything to the cover. I guess the letterers just liked to go crazy back then, huh?

Matt said...

wwk5d, I'm not sure if that was sarcasm or not, but assuming it isn't, I agree with you! For some reason, the super cluttered cover copy, often with mismatched fonts and extremely over-the-top blurbs, really appeals to me. I can't explain why, but I love it.

I assume Comicraft produced them, since they lettered nearly all of Marvel's output at this time. I've sometimes wondered who actually wrote them, though. I would guess it was the editors.

wwk5d said...

Actually, I was being sarcastic...I hated them! lol

Matt said...

Yeah, that's what I figured, but it seemed a good opportunity to voice my appreciation. Like I said, I really cannot explain why I like them so much!

tomorrowboy 2.7 said...

Huh, this is the same guy that wrote that Ghost Projekt miniseries from Oni from last year right? I guess he's pretty into Russia.

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