Countdown to Destruction
Credits: Erik Larsen (writer), Jeff Matsuda (penciler), Jonathan Sibal (inker), Mark Bernardo (colors), Comicraft (letters)
Summary: Wolverine rescues Aria, who takes him to Prison World’s main power core. They shut off the power, freeing the inmates. Before they can escape, however, they’re ambushed by the Starjammers, who have agreed to join the Collector’s cause. Corsair explains that Prison World was designed to be invisible to the outside world, but is now exposed without power. Wolverine questions what kind of threat the Collector needs to protect the aliens from, just as Galactus arrives on the horizon.
Creative Differences: The third-person narration on the opening page is mistakenly lettered in Wolverine’s distinctive font. (According to Erik Larsen, almost all of the captions were added by editorial anyway.) Other lettering mistakes include a hand-written correction mixed in with the computer-generated font, and numerous dropped words.
Review: I had given up on the Prison World arc by this point, but if I had made it to this chapter, I probably would’ve stuck around for the final issue. I realize that Galactus too often shows up in outer space stories, and many X-fans hated his appearance in this arc, but his role in this story does work as a legitimate twist. Wolverine’s spent the past several issues fighting to free these aliens, only to discover the Collector is trying to spare them from Galactus. Ooops. Now, the Collector could’ve saved everyone a lot of trouble by simply telling his subjects why he’s gathered them, but I’m under the impression that he’s supposed to be too arrogant and enigmatic to even consider the possibility. I still think the art’s too rushed and inappropriate for the subject matter, but I’ll give Larsen credit for picking up the pace and actually using the setting to his advantage this issue.