Friday, March 16, 2012

WOLVERINE #141 - August 1999

Broken Dreams
Credits: Erik Larsen & Eric Stephenson (writers), Lenil Francis Yu (penciler), Dexter Vines (inker), Marie Javins (colors), Richard Starkings & Comicraft (letters)

Summary: At Xavier’s behest, Wolverine performs a computer test at Gen X’s school. Gateway materializes and abruptly teleports Wolverine and Jubilee to the Swiss Alps. They find sanctuary inside Cable’s chalet, unaware that it’s now occupied by Donald Pierce, who’s used Cable’s technology and database to build a suit of adamantium armor. Wolverine attacks, but their battle is interrupted by the mysterious Khyber. Khyber targets Pierce, destroying Cable’s chalet during their fight. He emerges with Pierce’s body and teleports away. Wolverine and Jubilee are left in the cold, waiting for Gateway to create another portal.

Continuity Notes:
· Pierce discovered Cable’s Swiss hideout after Sebastian Shaw left him for dead in Cable #53. He claims that he stumbled upon Cable’s abandoned sky cycle, which carried him to the chalet.
· Synch leads Generation X (sans Jubilee) in an impromptu attack on Wolverine. Synch claims it was merely a training exercise, but Jubilee has a suspicion that something else was going on. I have no idea if this was ever resolved, but it’s quickly forgotten this issue.

Review: Larsen’s entered a pattern of one-issue action stories that pair Wolverine with members of the various X-teams. This could work, but it runs the danger of quickly turning the book into a series of disposable Wolverine Team-Up stories, which is what this issue mostly feels like. Of course there’s nothing wrong with pitting Wolverine and Jubilee against Donald Pierce, especially if another book has already gone though the effort of reviving him. As this issue points out, he’s the villain Wolverine and Jubilee fought against during their first meeting, so using him as the antagonist elicits emotions that, say, a Sauron fight probably wouldn’t produce. And, while I’m not sure who exactly is responsible for writing the first-person captions, I’ll give them credit for doing a nice job with Jubilee’s narration. Her boredom with high school life and desire to return to the X-Men was dropped ages ago in Generation X¸ but I’m glad someone thought to revive it.

The problem is that this is yet another issue that has Wolverine randomly running into trouble with another X-character, trouble that somehow involves a mysterious figure sneaking away with no explanation. Khyber is…apparently a cyborg that maybe looks like Wolverine…I guess? (Yu’s art isn’t very clear.) He’s also wearing a costume reminiscent of the one Wolverine will be wearing a few months from now when he’s brainwashing into becoming Death…so is that significant? Who knows. All we know is that he hates Donald Pierce, which conveniently leads to him finishing Wolverine’s fight and then teleporting away. Add this to the pointless Gen X fight in the issue’s opening, which the story goes out of its way to point out as odd, and you’re left with a comic that seems to be killing pages and lazily concluding stories with no explanation outside of “MYSTERY!” Although the dialogue is much less painful, this is far too reminiscent of the stunts Howard Mackie was pulling on X-Factor during that series’ nadir.


Anonymous said...

Remember, Wolverine was a Skrull at this point so maybe Khyber was an alias Death/Wolvy was using at the time?

Peter said...

Is it possible Khyber was meant to be Wolverine's son? (not Daken, just a prototype :) I get that impression. And then of course they dropped that. As they're wont to do in the X-office.

G. Kendall said...

I think it's possible that Khyber was intended to be another robotic Wolverine clone (like Albert) created by Donald Pierce. That assumes that Larsen/Stephenson knew about Albert, though. And Wolverine doesn't even notice Khyber's similarity during the story, which would be another hole in my theory.

Matt said...

Like I said, Wolvy was a Skrull, so they could always use the, "imperfect memory replication" excuse lol

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