Three X-books out last week: Deadpool #3, Marauders #8, and Wolverine #1. One of them, Wolverine, was double-sized and double-priced, fitting considering Wolverine is double-dicked. Luckily, this recap column is free. Let's find out what happened in last week's X-books…
Sworn to sell comics for Marvel executives who feared and hated the fact that Fox owned their movie rights, The Uncanny X-Men suffered great indignities, but thanks to a corporate merger and a line-wide relaunch, the X-Men can finally get back to doing what they do best: being objectively the best franchise in all of comics.
WOLVERINE #1 DX
(W) Ben Percy (A) Viktor Bogdanovic (A/CA) Adam Kubert
THE BEST IS BACK!
Wolverine been through a lot. He's been a loner. He's been a killer. He's been a hero. He's been an Avenger. He's been to hell and back. Now, as the nation of Krakoa brings together all Mutantkind, he can finally be… happy? With his family all together and safe, Wolverine has everything he ever wanted… and everything to lose. Writer Benjamin Percy (X-FORCE, WOLVERINE: THE LONG NIGHT) and legendary artist Adam Kubert (X-MEN, AVENGERS) bring the best there is to his new home! PLUS: The return of OMEGA RED!
In Shops: Feb 19, 2020
This issue contains two full stories, one for each of Wolverine's dicks. The first one begins with Wolverine waking up in Alaska, the murdered bodies of X-Force strewn around him. Wolverine has killed the X-Men… again! In a flashback to five days ago, Jean Grey interrupts Wolverine playing a game of hide and seek with children to send him to meet with Kate Pryde at Hellfire Bay. Over whiskey, Kate tells Wolverine that someone has been stealing Krakoan drugs.
In Baltimore, C.I.A. Agent Jeff Bannister investigates a slaughter at a drug lab run by criminals selling Pollen, a street drug made out of Krakoan plants. A prose page tells us about the Order of X, mutant-worshiping humans who have an extremist splinter group that believes in eating mutants to ascend to a higher plane of existence. Flashback to four days ago, Sage informs Wolverine that the stolen drugs are ending up in Russia. X-Force is assembled (Wolverine, Jean Grey, Domino, and Kid Omega), and Gateway transports them to Russia. In Baltimore Agent Bannister receives an update on the Pollen case at the hospital, where he's visiting his sick daughter who is in need of Krakoan medicine. He has a personal reason to be upset the drugs are being stolen and sold illegally. A prose page tells us how Wolverine's blood retains some of his healing factor for a bit when outside of his body.
Three days ago in Russia, X-Force drops in on an Order of X cult meeting. They all drop Pollen and then attack X-Force, hoping to drink their blood. Before X-Force can stop them, the Pollen does their job for them, killing everyone. One day ago, Wolverine carries the corpse of the Order of X leader into a Russian mob hangout and demands to know where they got the Krakoan flowers to make Pollen. He learns it's from someone called "The Pale Girl" who has the power to control other people's minds and bodies. Now the flashbacks catch up to earlier today, as both X-Force and the C.I.A. plan to pay a visit to the Pale Girl.
Now we return to the present, as Wolverine treks through the snow and sees a vision of the Pale Girl. But as he shouts at her about making him kill X-Force, she disappears, and Bannister and his squad are there instead. Bannister asks Wolverine who he is, but Wolverine apparently has amnesia.
In the second story, Wolverine is frolicking through the woods of Krakoa when his old nemesis Omega Red comes through a portal, ripped to shreds, and looking for amnesty. Wolverine prefers to stab him to death instead, but Magneto stops him. He sends Wolverine through the gate to Paris, France, to find out just whose blood Omega Red was covered in. Wolverine finds a trunk full of corpses.
Back at Krakoa's Prison Grotto, Dr. Cecelia Reyes attempts to heal Omega Red. Wolverine thinks she shouldn't bother. Magneto argues that Omega Red is a mutant and deserves amnesty like everyone else. Wolverine argues that Omega Red is worse, but I gotta side with Magneto here. Compared to Mister Sinister? Apocalypse? The dozens of other genocidal bad guys Krakoa has accepted? What makes Omega Red worse than them? Magneto orders Wolverine to figure out what Omega Red was into before coming to Krakoa and clean up the mess like a good mutant CIA agent.
Wolverine visits Omega Red in his cell and wants to know who the corpses belonged to. Omega Red suggests he didn't kill them and sends Wolverine to a place called King's Oubliette. Outside this old timey nightclub, Wolverine encounters a woman who tries to sell him a flower, but he has business inside. After drinking some absynthe, he passes out. It was drugged. He wakes up tied up and hanging upside down as vampires stick a tap in his neck and begin filling up cups. Wolverine cuts his way free and decapitates the head vamp. He's soon joined by the woman from outside who has a daylight gun and blasts more vamps. After killing them all, she leaves Wolverine without telling him her name.
Back in Krakoa, Wolverine confronts Omega Red about sending him into a trap, but Omega Red insists he was just trying to show Wolverine the truth. Vampires are on the rise. And though Omega Red is sort of a vampire himself, he claims he's been feeding off animals lately and hopes that Krakoa can provide him sustenance without killing. He tells Wolverine the story of St. Julian, who was prophecized at a young age to murder his own parents. To avoid that fate, he avoided them, but one day he came home and found two people in his bed and assumed his wife was cheating on him and killed them both. Turns out they were his parents, come to visit. Oops! He tells Wolverine to go back to France to learn the rest of the story, which he implies has a twist ending.
Wolverine goes back to France and meets up with the woman again, who explains her name is Louise and she belongs to an anti-vampire club called the Nightguard. She believes vampires are using the rise of mutants as cover to grow their own ranks. They grab some weaponry from her armor and head down to the catacombs but soon fall through a trap door, where Wolverine is impaled on some spikes and Louise's light cannon is broken. Vamps surround them and capture Louise. Then they transform into bats and feed on Wolverine, then leave when he kills their leader. But afterward, Louise tells Wolverine that their real leader is Dracula. Hey! A plot point from before HoXPoX! As they leave, they agree that St. Julian's story had a happy ending, but we never learned what it was. WTF?
Later, Omega Red meets with Dracula, who gives him the Carbonadium Synthesizer in exchange for his loyalty while inside Krakoa.
Was it any good?
Good? It was okay. If I had to come up with one word to describe it, it would be: exhausting. The first story basically retread a bunch of Wolverine tropes, with him accidentally killing the X-Men and losing his memories. It really felt like an extra X-Force story, and I'm just not sure we need two ongoing X-Force comics. The second story was better, not just because it had a satisfying beginning, middle, and end (though that's a big part of it), but also because it was the kind of story that's unique to Wolverine without retreading old ground. It's the kind of story that wouldn't seem out of place serialized into 8 parts in an old issue of Marvel Comics Presents (and isn't it too bad Marvel blew the relaunch of that so badly?). If this issue consisted of that story alone and cost half the price, it would have won the week, but the first story made it feel bloated rather than worth double the price of a regular Marvel Comic (which is already too much money).
It was an odd choice not to pay off the St. Julian story though. Were they hoping to reveal the conclusion to a centuries-old story in another issue? Or were they counting on people to Google it? Neither is a satisfactory reason to include an unfinished story in the issue though. We never did learn how St. Julian redeemed himself, so I looked it up online. Apparently, he started an inn (come stay at the hotel where the owner murders people in their beds — great marketing) and a hospital for poor people as penance (the Bernie Sanders of Medieval times?) and helped a leper who was actually a messenger from God who forgave him, an ending which frankly didn't live up to the hype.
Next up: the Wolverine's Weiner X-Pick of the Week. Check back soon…
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