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
Ahhhh the X-men of the 1980’s…..it just doesn’t get any better than that. Which brings me to my pick for comic book cover of the week X-men #195 drawn by Bill Seinkeiwicz. Just knowing Bill did this cover is a no brainer that’s it’s gonna totally rule. This issue features the X-men trying to save Power Pack the kiddie mutant team from the eighties from the Morlocks, the inner art of the issue is drawn by the fabulous John Romita Jr who was even more spectacular back in the 1985. Don’t worrry though folks, Katie Power wasn’t harmed by Wolvie but it did truly make for one stunning must have comic if not only for the cover alone! I miss those days of the X-men!
I was just thinking about some of the greatest Wolverine stories of all time and this amazing X-Men issue was the first that came to mind. This one came out in 1986 and was a stand alone issue by Chris Claremont & Barry Windsor Smith.This is truely classic Wolverine at it’s best and this one has stuck in my head since i was a kid for many reasons.
First i had never seen an X-Men comic that was this violent i am surprised that is got the comics code approval in 1986. It’s filled with blood and guts. Barry Windsor Smith draws a haunting wintery landscape in which Wolverine is running for his life (which doesn’t happen too often you must admit) and his only hope is Power Pack’s own Katie Powers. They are being pursued by a truely terrifying Lady Deathstrike (her first appearance with her cybernetic body)-the BEST i have ever seen her drawn and how she should have appeared in the X-Men 2 movie.
This raw gritty 80’s comic gem came out before Wolverine even had his own series. It shows him beaten down and vulnerable, which is a rare event in comics now days when he can get his entire body burned dry from his skeleton and still be kickin’. This makes me wonder where Barry Windsor Smith has been all this time? My vote is to get him on the Wolverine title in 2009!! If you are at the comic shop any time soon go comb the back issue section for this! I have heard this stand alone was the inspiration to give Wolvie his own title in 1988.