Over the years we all have enjoyed and sometimes hated the giant “epic” multi title crossovers and mini-series that are so damn popular these days. However some of my personal favorite comic book stories are short and sweet. They often times have nothing to do with the major story arc you’re currently reading in that title and especially back in the 70’s & 80’s these self contained stories that had a beginning and end to them all in one book were sometimes more heavy hitting than any crossover could ever be. So I’ll be showcasing some of my favorites and the first one that came to mind might be my favorite of them all.
Flash back to 1986 when X-Men #205 hit the shelves. This issue is easily one of the best Wolverine stories of all time, and it’s all in just one issue. A brilliant epic crafted by Chris Claremont and Barry Windsor Smith remains one of the darkest and most brutal issues of X-men to date. Let me clarify that this was during a time when Wolverine was rarely seen in solo adventures and the character was still deeply mysterious.
The story was called “Wounded Wolf” and featured Lady Deathstrike’s first appearance as a super freaky ass cyborg as well as her three Reaver mercenary minions. It also featured Katie Powers from the mutant kid team ‘Power Pack’ who during a snow storm encounters Wolverine who’s beaten to a pulp, covered in blood and nearly naked. Soon the two of them are both on the run from Lady Deathstrike and her cyborgs who’re out for bloody revenge. It reminds of a Wolverine movie storyboard Ridley Scott might have anticipated directing in the 80’s. Continue reading
Holy Hell! I’ve got to make some time here to give some props to Hugh Jackman’s “last” run as Wolverine! I know everyone and their mom, dad & parakeet are talking about how great this movie is and yeah I agree it’s a glorious final chapter. They finally took the gloves off and let Wolverine be Wolverine. I find it funny how damn long it takes Hollywood to figure out what us comic book fanatics knew way back in the year 2000. We want our Wolverine to be a savage lil’ a-hole and you just can’t really do it with a PG-13 rating. So as you know by now obviously Logan is bloody, gritty and tonally different than any of the other movies. It’s a no BS affair, it’s personal and it has real heart. There are no giant CG robots or even a weak ass version of Sabretooth anywhere in sight. Nope Wolverine here is a cussin’, drinkin’, pissed off SOB and it’s great to finally see him the way he was more or less supposed to be all along. Sure he’s older and weaker here but hey I’ll take what I can get dammit!
Patrick Stewart as Charles Xavier is amazing and so is Dafne Keen’s X-23. They both nearly steal the thunder from Logan time and time again throughout the movie. By now you’ve likely heard it ALL and probably seen the movie. It’s great and I’ll see it again, soon. BUT, yes there is a but here and it needs to be addressed (SPOILERS AHEAD). My biggest problem with ‘Logan’ was it’s villain/villains. That’s not to say I didn’t dig Donald Pierce and his Reavers, they were forgettably fine but let’s be honest they could have been AMAZING. When I heard that they were going up against Wolverine in this final flick I was fucking thrilled. The Reavers could have and should have been a seriously scary force to be reckoned with.
Sure Donald Pierce had a dinky lil’ cybernetic hand but he could have been a lot more like his counterpart from the comics with four cybernetic limbs & superhuman strength. They failed to make him a truly deadly opponent and the rest of The Reavers should have been modeled after the legendary comic book team. Imagine the original Reavers with an even deadlier Lady Deathstrike back again looking more like comic book counterpart. It should have been Logan and co taking on serious threats more similar to ‘The Terminator’. That would have been amazing. They missed an opportunity to really bring us the psychotic cyborgs we deserved to see. They gave us a lot of throwaway soldiers for him and x-23 to mow down sure, but none of them served any other purpose than just that.
The real threat here was X-24, a villain that to me felt as about exciting as “Deadpool” from X-men Origins: Wolverine. I was really disappointed to see a Hugh Jackman ‘clone’ as the big bad muscle of the movie. That was a serious mis-step in my opinion. I only say this because we could have gotten any number of amazing Wolverine villains in his place. Imagine for a second that their secret weapon was Omega Red?! Or Cyber? Daken? Razorfist? Heck even a bigger badder version of Sabretooth would have been welcome.
My point being we really didn’t need any of them, we already had Donald Pierce and The Reavers. They could have supplied us with all sorts of frightening cybernetic mayhem. Instead they went the overused “fight your clone / fight yourself” route. Ahhh well what can I say, I am a picky comic book bastard. It just irritates me that they got so close to me having to just shut the fuck up and admit perfection. At least they finally got ol’ Wolvie right. It took them seventeen years to figure it all out and I’m damn glad they did. This is clearly a groundbreaking movie that’ll change the way comic book movies are made from this point on. Don’t get me wrong I give ‘Logan’ a solid A-, but in the future though let’s give the same care to the villains as we do to the heroes cuz a hero’s only as good as his villain! Oh yeah one more thing I highly doubt this is the last time we’ll see Mr. Jackman in the role of Logan, this movie is a box office smash and we all know money talks…why stop now anyway when you finally figured it all out?!!
Alpha Flight number 13’s cover has always been one of my favorites and if you were reading the comic book back in 1983 you know it was a pretty emotional time for the Canadian super team. This was again during a time when it was kinda special when Wolverine would show up on the scene as opposed to when he was featured in every comic book on the shelves. This was also a time when Wolverine was still a weird little 5 foot 3 inch mutant berserker rather than a Hollywood hunk! Anyway this cover was done by one of my all time favorite artists ever, John Byrne and the scene on the cover is actually a piece of a creepy dream sequence in the wake of the death of Alpha Flight’s team leader Guardian.
I totally dig Wolverine’s classic cowboy style here and of course the brilliant tombstones which feature the names of classic comic book artists. Of course Byrne’s name was usually cleverly hidden as part of the background and can also be seen on the tombstone. This is such a classic cover and a cool time to be into Marvel stuff. I’m still amazed they’ve never worked Alpha Flight into any of the Marvel movies as they’re a huge part of Wolverine’s past…
I really don’t like to be negative here at Universal Dork but having seen the new X-men: Age of Apocalypse trailer, the one character I was most stoked on seeing in this movie has suddenly become the biggest disappointment of the first trailer.
Archangel is hands down one of my favorite characters in the Marvel universe, when Angel made the transformation into this character in the 80’s he became one of the most deadly X-men of all time. One who could suddenly go toe to toe with the likes of Wolverine and Sabretooth. Warren Worthington had such a cool look too that really separated him from the cute, cuddly, handsome look of the classic Angel.
Well it seems that Bryan Singer decided to keep Warren looking like the beautiful blonde Angel (with a bad hair cut to boot) in the role of Acrhangel rather than the dark deadly blue skinned killing machine he’s been portrayed as in the comic books. He looked even more sinister when he joined the ranks of X-Force not too long ago.
This is a minor gripe, if you’re not a huge fan of the character but Archangel’s story is quite compelling too and goes hand in hand with Apocalypse. His physical transformation is incredibly important to the potency of the characters emotionally dark & heavy backstory.
Warren was transformed into freaky looking killing machine and had to come to terms with his odd appearance, he was no longer the handsome angelic superhero everyone had always been so fond of.
So yeah, I’m a bit disappointed with this movie version of Archangel, I like his wings and his suit is decent, but once again Hollywood for some reason has tried to fix something that was never broken. It seems we’ve just got to keep the sex appeal of the star in a Hollywood movie rather than stay true to his comic origins. I’ve still got high hopes for this movie however the excitement around Archangel has died..
I’ve always wondered if perhaps there is some secret connection to Wolverine and The Owl in Marvel comics? Is it just me or do these two legendary characters share some unexplained similarities! Have they ever met in the comics? From what I can tell they’ve never crossed paths. So what’s up here are they long lost brothers? The Same person?! Distant relatives or did perhaps Wolverine rip off Leland Owsley’s style? Let’s compare!
Well let’s see Wolverine again…even though we all know what he looks like!
I’m sure i’m not the first to notice this ahem…striking similarity! but just for the record The Owl first appeared in Daredevil #3 in 1964! Well good ol’ boy Wolverine didn’t appear until 1974 in Incredible Hulk #181! So looks like Wolverine just might have copied Leland’s look for his own! Damn! But still I’m fairly certain The Owl decided he realllllly like Logan’s claws so he had to make a pair for himself. I’m not sure just when The Owl’s claws made their first appearance…STILL though I think it’s totally possible that Logan just might be Leland! Most people make aliases with the same letters in the first name right??! The conspiracy deepens!!
Just got done reading the Death of Wolverine #4, the final nail in the coffin for Logan! Now we all know that Wolverine will only be “dead” for maybe a year or two tops. Same cookie cutter superhero death formula as always, a big comic book hubub, news stories, a bunch of comic books that feature the effect of the characters death, funeral issues, blah blah blah..Yeah so Wolverine will be going MIA for a little while and hopefully people will miss him enough that Marvel can then again make some big money on his return as well.
So was the death of Wolverine worth all the media hype, shiny metallic variant covers, director’s cuts and a high cover price of five bucks a pop? I’m gonna say a firm no. This series should have been at least 6 issues better yet 8 to really tell a compelling unforgettable Wolverine story with some serious staying power. Aside from a strong first issue, the story in general while playing on nostalgia from Logan’s past felt incredibly rushed with not much real substance and not much new to offer to his complex story.
On a positive note at least it wasn’t Sabretooth who “killed” him, his final nemesis “Cornelius” was at least a surprise and the series art was pretty fantastic. Shocking? Nah…issue number four brought Logan’s legacy full circle back to the Weapon X program where Cornelius of course was creating super soldiers with adamantium laced bones and of course he needs Wolverine’s healing factor to ensure his test subjects can survive the procedure. Of course when he realizes he no longer possesses it, he’s got little use for Logan and orders a new nemesis Major Sharp to destroy him. Ultimately the ending is in many ways very predictable and I can already see the image of Wolverine literally bursting back into the realm of the living in a year or so.
My final thoughts, I’m glad Wolverine is “dead”. He’s been done to death literally. He’s been around every corner for the last two plus decades, he’s turned into a bit of softie too. Wolverine is not the mysterious anti-hero we came to fall in love with anymore. I think some time apart is healthy, he’s like a lover who you’ve spent every waking second with for far too long, you need some time to breath dammit! I also really hate these ‘Death’ of events. They’re NOT shocking in the least. If you really wanted to shock us have his death take place unannounced in his main core book! Have all this shit happen but don’t tell us he’s gonna die a year before it happens!! Imagine if Robert Kirkman announced every death in The Walking Dead and made a damn spectacle out of it every time someone kicked the bucket?! How shocking would that be?!
I also don’t like all these tie in books, I for a second considered buying “The Logan Legacy” #1 today until I saw how terribly drawn and stupid every panel of it all looked. I for one look forward to a good loooong ass break from Logan. When they do bring him back, and they will,I hope Marvel learns from their mistakes. Give him a spot in the X-men(One title), give him one solo book of his own, get his hairy ass out of The Avengers and make him more like the guy who we used to all wanna hang out with! Make him pissed, mean and most of all a loner like he was meant to be. I look forward to the day I miss me some Wolverine!!! ‘Nuff said…..
The Death of Wolverine #2 is a comic book I’ve really been looking forward to for the last week! I was super impressed with the first issue even though it was five bucks and had a bunch of useless filler, it felt in part like the old Wolverine stories I used to love! So issue two continues the story in the classic setting of Madripoor- One of my favorite places in the Marvel Universe! There we meet a disguised Logan (“hipster Logan”, I personally would have preferred “Patch”instead) who’s been hanging out there for weeks looking for Viper, with some valuable merchandise for sale. This leads Logan to an odd encounter with several villains from his past. Sounds cool huh?
Well I don’t wanna spoil anything but it all seems a bit too forced. We’ve got important characters that disappear from the pages of the story as fast as they appear. Maybe this series needed to be a six or eight parter instead of four? It already is feeling a bit rushed, issue #2 feels quite a bit different from the first. I would have liked to have seen at least two issues of Madripoor and now it appears at the end of this issue we are off to yet another “classic” locale.
The story at issue two has lost it’s flow and lost my interest substantially. I get it now, they’re trying to cram as many classic characters into this four part series as possible and it seems issue three is likely to continue doing the same. Considering that how large the panels per page are in this series so far (a lot of panels simply divide up on single drawing into multiples) it’s likely that we’re not going to get the quality story telling we’d thought we were promised with issue number one. I’m on board for the last two though, I could easily be proven wrong and might be simply dazzled by the last two.
However, with issue number two and it’s rather paper thin plot, uninspired and unnecessary fight sequences and mish mash of random classic characters coming and going I’m starting to think it’s hard to make Wolverine interesting anymore for more than a single issue. At least McNiven’s art is still beautifully rendered. Oh yeah this issue is also 5 bucks and jam packed with a bunch of dull extras that somehow Marvel thinks justify the high cover price. What I predict we’re in store for is a rushed storyline that could have been amazing. If they don’t pull this off correctly I doubt anyone will be be anticipating Wolverine’s return from the dead anytime soon…