Monday, November 14, 2011

WOLVERINE #136 - March 1999

Credits: Erik Larsen (story), Erik Larsen & Eric Stephenson (script), Jeff Matsuda (penciler), Jonathan Sibal (inker), Jason Wright (colors), Richard Starkings & Comicraft (letters)

Summary: Aria is knocked unconscious and sent back to her cell, where an Ovoid returns her consciousness to her body. Torgo escorts Wolverine to his cell, un-handcuffed, hoping that he’ll see the nobility of the Collector’s plans. His fellow captives attack Wolverine, until they realize that he’s an X-Man and not in league with Torgo. Meanwhile, the Collector receives frightening news from space. The Starjammers have also learned information that’s forced them to side against Wolverine.

Review: More aliens, more pointless fight scenes, and more subpar Jeff Matsuda art. We’ve reached our first Star Wars reference, though, which is amazing when you consider that this is the fourth chapter of the story. It is fun to see characters like Torgo (an alien robot from Fantastic Four #91, as a footnote and flashback helpfully inform us) in a Wolverine story, plus Larsen gets continuity points for bringing back one of the asparagus people killed by Dark Phoenix, and for using an Ovoid to transfer Aria back to her proper body. The Marvel Cosmic material isn’t a bad change of pace, but this plot is still extremely thin, and Jeff Matsuda doesn’t seem too interested in drawing it sometimes. The hints about a vague cosmic threat do add some intrigue to the tired story, but it shouldn’t be too hard to figure out who it’s going to be. And as much as the online fans already hated this story at the time, the final two chapters with the big purple menace just sent them over the edge.

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