Comic Comments: Wolverine Versus the X-Men

Wolverine Volume 4 Issue 6

This arc is a three issue arc taking Wolverine volume 4 issues 6-8. It follows up on the Wolverine Goes To Hell story picking up where issue 5 ended.

Here’s the credits for this arc: Writer: Jason Aaron, Artist: Daniel Acuña, Cover Art: Jae Lee with June Chung, Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit, Designer: Jared K. Fletcher, Asst. Editor: Jody Leheup, Editor Jeanine Schaefer, Group Editor: Nick Lowe, Editor in Chief: Axel Alonso, Chief Creative Officer: Joe Quesada, Publisher: Dan Buckley, Executive Producer: Alan Fine.

All images are the property of their owners I reproduce them here under the Fair Use Doctrine of the copyright law for commentary and critique. No more than three pages total from any one issue is reproduced.

Logan’s soul comes back to his body after the spiritual abduction but the demons possessing the flesh haven’t left.  The problem is there are too many occupants in his head.  They are battling for control inside and out.

Wolverine Volume 4 Issue 7

Again we have a two aspect story. The battle for Logan’s soul inside him and the battle to keep his physical being from doing harm.  Just like when the Hand controlled him back in the Enemy of the State he’s battling his own X-Men.  Yes, a worn-out plot line that I hope to never see again but gee – lookie at the Avengers Vs X-Men line going on now, or schism, or well the list get longer every year.

For this arc I was again bored with what was going on in the outside world.  Sure Scott has a Danger Room program to help the team practice killing Wolverine.  They all fret with the ‘oh noes’ but we’ll do what we have to do.

Wolverine Volume 4 Issue 8

The new spin on the old tattered plot of what goes on in Wolvie’s head is this time he’s battling demons literally.  He calls up all aspects of himself to do battle.  We see Patch, Weapon X,  Department H, Death, and many other personas he has taken over his long life. The lead Logan starts out nude (again) and dons Samurai’s armor to lead the battle.  The team do what Logan claims his the best at doing, fight the enemy.

The X-Women decide they have to give him a chance by going in there to help in the fight.  Emma leads the brain invasion and Melita insists on going along to help her man.

Wolverine Weapon X - Insane In The Brain TPB Cover

Once in Logan’s head we are treated to touch moments and silly ones.  At one point there are guideposts labeled The One That Got Away, What To Do About Daken, Things I Should Te.., Beer Garden, Memories of Mariko, and Things That Bug Me About Scott. There are labeled doors as the women investigate his mind and the doors are entitled  Reasons To Hate Myself (that one has Dr. Rot’s graffiti tag, if you’ve not read that arc GET IT. It is awesome story and interor art! Insane In The Brain arc in Wolverine Weapon X TBP), Secrets of Weapon X, X-Men I’ve Had Sex With, How I Cheat At Cards, Hopes and Dreams, Sexual Fantasies, Football, Faith, and Self-Loathing.  We don’t always see what’s behind the doors but the woman’s reaction to looking into some of the room often tells us what’s there.  I’ll leave it to you to read the story to see what is there, as the contents don’t effect the story.

Eventually as the fortress that’s Logan’s heart begins to fall to the demon horde he throws the women from his mind.  They are back to the boring reality of ‘oh noes do we kill him?’  But in his mind he still has two allies, one is Kurt who suggests he’s not an aspect of Logan’s mind but something more.  The other is Jean as the Phoenix (need I point out this is another WAY over used plot device?).

I don’t think I’ll spoil anything for anyone who hasn’t read it to say in the end Logan is victorious over the demons.  I mean it’s not a possessed Logan that’s running the school and once again battling the X-Men today.  So you know he makes it through.  How he does addresses the torch he’s carried for Jean for so long.  Also his given good advice by Kurt but does he take it?

How do you know when Logan is no longer possessed?  He wakes up and asks for a drink and hugs his woman.  Ahhh, sweet.  Good thing Scott waffles so much giving Logan time to wake up.  Once again it’s close but they scuffle as class 4 mutants do and as they did yet again Schism.

I do not like the interior art.  It has many of the issues discussed in DarXide’s article Photoshop of Horrors article. I found it distracting.  Remember the coloring books where the outline of each part was a heavy line?  Yeah that’s what this looked like, like characters were cut out and stuck on the felt board background.  I don’t like it but I’ve seen much worse.

The cover art again suffers from pinched faces.  Everyone looks down their nose at Logan in the first cover.  In the second cover Wolvie has a dowager’s hump and has lost a lot of weight.  The third one has Scott straining way too much.  But all of them do have great anatomy and beautiful coloring.  So it’s a give and take situation.

The story is a single issue entitled Get Mystique The Final Repose.  It sets us up for the five book arc of Wolverine’s Revenge.  Stay tuned after the cut for spoilery scans with my comments.  If not until next friends!

Wolverine Volume 4 Issue 6

Here is where Logan just got back into his body and is fighting for control. I thought it said a lot about their relationship how he fights to warn her. How she’s horrified by the demons stabbing him.  Also I think the demons are related to Deadpool’s voices in his head with the yellow bubbles and all.

Note we’ve still not settled on just what are the signature physical traits of Melita.  She again looks different – not angled features like in 5.1 nor the rounded she had when first introduced but more standard model features.  Hair again still long but not settled on a texture.  Annoys me.

Also those distress lines from Logan’s head there looks like something from a bugs bunny cartoon.  I’d tolerate it if we were in his head but this is supposed reality!

Wolverine Volume 4 Issue 7

Here we see Logan/James running to get the fortress of his heart while being blasted across the landscape of his soul. His buried regrets include his bio father Thomas Logan, the Silver Samurai Kenichi Harada (but looks mispelled there), someone Yashda, and of course Markio.

One thing that bothers me beside the Photoshop of Horrors glowy bits is the yellow outline in the 4th panel around a great drawing of our hero and in the 5th panel along the roof line of his heart.  What is up with that?  Did someone pee on the art?  I don’t like it.

Wolverine Volume 4 Issue 7

Next I thought I’d give you panel where Samurai Logan marshals all the aspects of his personality to battle the possession.  Who can you name there? Also just a bit of foreshadowing (now called Chekhov’s gun I’m told) who does the cowboy there favor that we saw in the Wolverine Goes To Hell arc?  Hmmm?   Wonder why.

Wolverine Volume 4 Issue 7

Kurt goes deep into Logan’s heart to free what will defeat the demons.  I have to admit this fangurl was just giddy about seeing Nightcrawler again.  He’s in my top three favorite characters of all time.  I could do without the glowy treatment on the Phoenix symbol. However the first panel there made my heart beat faster to see Kurt back in action saving his buddy.  The last time I got to see that was in the Insane In The Brain (seriously get that TPB!).  As usual Kurt is right and what he frees from that room is what Logan needed to use to defeat the demons.  Again Kurt is the true friend and hero, I hope Marvel honors his death and doesn’t cheapen it like they Piotr’s heroic death.  (I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  A hero’s death means nothing if you it isn’t really a sacrifice)

Wolverine Volume 4 Issue 8

Here we see that Melita is warmly welcomed in James’s heart. She’s willing to fight beside him and he really appreciates that. Yet again she’s got another look going here but all the X-Women are a bit off and dressed in armor when they show up in this battle.

What’s funny is Jubliee’s comment after this panel but I left that for you to discover like what’s behind the doors of Logan’s heart.  I have to admit in these panels the art doesn’t bug me like it does in some.  These are as good as Kurt’s panels up there but they don’t distract me with odd things going on or a funny outlined look.

Wolverine Volume 4 Issue 8

I chose to skip all the fun with doors and X-Women to let you experience that with your own read. I enjoyed the laughs but here we have what can be another very important growth moment for James Howlett.  When he went to hell he dealt with his long standing Daddy issues and his guilt over letting Markio go.  Here in his heart he had to face his unrequited love for Jean.  If he’s to defeat the demons possessing his heart he has to let her go.  Something he’s been needing to do for years, something Kurt knew would win the battle for Logan’s heart. Again it’s heavy handed hyperbole but it works to resolve a long standing issue that’s been worn out years ago.

Wolverine Volume 4 Issue 8

Logan makes the choice to live. He’s willing to let Jean go but not for the reasons we’d hoped he would. No it’s what’s behind another door in his heart that makes him want to stick around. I have to say I like this twist. One of the things that makes Logan dear to me is he does make bad choices but is true to himself. He’s not too goody-goody. He also regrets those mistakes. How many of us have made choices knowing we’ll regret it later but dammit I’m gonna do it now?

Again my issues with the art – look how Jean looks like she’s been cut from something else and pasted there.  In the next panel I love the Logan head but it too looks like it’s stuck in not part of the panel.  Finally the last panel we don’t have a piss yellow outline but a demon blood green one or is that radioactive green?

Wolverine Volume 4 Issue 8

With his decision made his passion, lust, or the Phoenix fire he’s been tending for years burns through him and engulfs them all.   Kurt is happy to see it and tells Logan that heaven has great beer.  You know if you can’t use noble goals to entice someone to heaven there’s always beer.

Jean too wishes Logan well and wants him to live.  This mirrors the parting with Markio in hell in some ways.  Finally we are back to reality with the reluctant Scoot not blasting Logan.  Yeah I’m sure Logan is thrilled that after battling in hell and then for his own heart and soul that the first thing he sees when he gets back is Scott’s spandex covered crotch.

Wolverine Volume 4 Issue 8

Back to Utopia and reality Logan’s again dressed as I like him in his civvies. Just before this he was smiling with a recovering Piotr while standing with Kitty and Melita.  Notice upon seeing constipated Scott he’s not smiling.  Scott’s first issue to take up with Logan is did he see Jean in hell.

Again we are back to the heavy outlines with the piss yellow highlights.  Yeah I notice these things when reading and it throws me out of the story.  I also noticed that in the last panel there the character doesn’t go with the background.  We’ve got that cut out stuck in syndrome again.  That throws me out of the story.  In a comic I’m looking for the full experience of words and art molding together to give me an almost cinematic story experience.  Just as bad Foley work in a movie throws me out, or overly done effects (yes I’m looking at you Ang Lee’s Hulk) throw me out of a movie art that’s not cohesive throws me out of a comics story.

That’s it until next time!

One thought on “Comic Comments: Wolverine Versus the X-Men

  1. Pingback: Comic Comments: Get Mystique Final Repose | Mary Louise Eklund

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