Credits: Erik Larsen (writer), Lenil Francis Yu (penciler), Dexter Vines (inker), Joe Rosas (colors), Comicraft (letters)
Summary: Wolverine and Nightcrawler investigate a Magneto sighting at a junkyard, only to learn that “Magneto” is one of several animated junk-robots. They defeat the robots but never discover their creator. Later, at a diner, Wolverine fights a group of unruly patrons before Solo and Cardiac suddenly appear to demand a rematch. Nightcrawler stops the fight by informing them of Wolverine’s possession during their initial brawl. Upon returning home, Wolverine questions Xavier’s new obsessive attitude but receives no answers.
Continuity Notes: This story explicitly takes place after the X-Men’s outer space adventure in X-Men #89, which means the Wolverine appearing in this series for the next several issues is a Skrull impersonator.
Creative Differences: There was speculation at the time that Larsen didn’t write the final two pages of this story (which have an irritated Marrow walking away from Xavier and Wolverine questioning his relentless training exercises). I don’t recall Larsen confirming this, but this may be one of the editorially scripted scenes he cited in a few interviews at the time.
“Huh?” Moment: Solo is wearing a giant X-Men style “X” belt-buckle when he debuts in this issue. The belt buckle is obscured in every panel featuring him after this, so maybe someone was trying to cover it up but just happened to miss that first (giant) panel.
Review: Larsen’s first arc was largely a misfire, but luckily Lenil Francis Yu has returned as artist, and the story isn’t a multi-part space epic. On the other hand, calling this a “story” is a little generous. The issue opens with a fight scene with no resolution (and there won’t be one until Larsen’s final issue), followed by a pointless
bar diner fight, then a largely meaningless fight with two Larsen co-creations that he’s somehow managed to sneak into the book again. After that, the editors have decided that we need two pages to remind everyone of the “Shattering” crossover in the main books. The pages that aren’t filled with gratuitous fights hint at Wolverine going over the edge again, and while Nightcrawler is a good choice to play the role of Logan’s conscious, the dialogue is too clunky and the overall plot is too disjointed for this to work.