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Friday, July 17, 2015

X-amining Wolverine #29

"The Road Back"
Late August 1990

In a Nutshell 
Wolverine, Karma and Target recount how they came to be on Rumika. 

Writer: Jo Duffy
Penciler:Barry Kitson
Inker:Al Milgrom
Letterer: Jim Novak
Colorist: Greg Wright
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
On Rumika, Wolverine, Karma and Merrick burn the dead mercenaries, then tell each other of how they came to Rumika and their connections to the Master Form: Wolverine, who ended up on the island following his encounter with Dr. Page and the Pinocchio robot in Madripoor, Karma, who came to stop the mercenary attack after learning of it from her uncle, and Target, who was duped into believing he was protecting the Form by Merrick, who was actually responsible for killing Target's family when he was a boy and his father was working with the Master Form. Just then, a trio of mercenaries appear on the island. Working together, Wolverine, Karma and Target kill them, then add their bodies to the still-burning funeral pyre. Wolverine, having decided on their next move after listening to each of his companion's stories, tells them to get ready to leave. But first, he places the Master Form before the fire, declaring that Rumika died for it, so it shall remain on the island as a representation of its people. Then he tells Karma and Target their destination: Madripoor. 

A Work in Progress
Karma introduces herself as Shan Coy Manh, her first name spelled phonetically instead of "Xi'an".

Wolverine describes himself as Tyger Tiger's bodyguard, which I don't think has ever been said that explicitly before.


In one of the exposition pages, Wolverine mentions smelling Merrick (the guy Target killed last issue, who sent the mercenaries to Rumika) in Page's lab back in issue #27, something that hasn't been mentioned before.


The Reference Section
Young Target is presumably watching the Teenage Mutant Ninja A-Team


Teebore's Take
Hooboy. So this is the penultimate issue to this four part storyline, which means we're heading into its conclusion still completely ignorant as to what the Master Form is/does and why everyone/anyone wants it, nor has anything been revealed about the titular Lazarus Project (which, just to be clear, is the name of the story). But instead of spending any time on those things, this issue instead devotes a whopping four pages to recapping the status quo of Wolverine's involvement in Madripoor (including details on Jessica Drew and Lindsay McCabe, who were written out of the series two issues ago) and the first chapter of this story, which was just two issues previous. Then, we get a few pages recapping Karma's past and her status quo in Madripoor.

And finally, Target, a character introduced for this story and one who will never appear again, gets a lengthy origin flashback in which we see the inhabitants of his town, including his parents, slaughtered in the pursuit of the Master Form. Which we still know nothing about. In a longer story arc, this kind of time-killing material would be somewhat forgivable. Ditto if Target's flashback actually revealed something about the Master Form. Instead, we're heading into the finale of the story, yet it feels like the story has barely even started.

Next Issue
Next week: Jim Lee returns in Uncanny X-Men #267, Rob Liefeld returns in New Mutants #93, and, uh, Crimson returns in X-Factor #58.

Collected Editions


5 comments:

  1. In one of the scenes, Wolverine puts the Master Form on the ground and says "I'll show you what it does". When I first read this, I wondered if there was supposed to be some clue in the art as to what the Master Form does.
    Regarding these issues being plot light, it's worth remembering that these issues were supposed to tie in with the second Fallen Angels series. Many of the tie-ins with the Infinity Gauntlet series, for example, were plot light. The problem is that the second Fallen Angels series never came out and that these issues just don't work on their own as a story.

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  2. // nor has anything been revealed about the titular Lazarus Project (which, just to be clear, is the name of the story) //

    Ha! This did indeed feel more like a pre-climax breather at the hump of a much longer story than part three of four. Pretty sweet Chiarello/Janson cover, though…

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  3. Stay strong Teebore! Hama starts his looooong run on the book soon on #31, with Silvestri/Green on art duties!

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  4. @Anonymous: The problem is that the second Fallen Angels series never came out and that these issues just don't work on their own as a story.

    Any idea if FA2 would have been published before, after or simultaneous to this story? I'm curious if maybe the Master Form was intended to be a thing there, so we'd already know what it did here. On the flip side, maybe the questions about just what the Master Form and the Lazaraus Project are would have been revealed there, if FA2 was meant to follow this story (though in that case, this story's sins wouldn't have been pardoned quite as much, as one shouldn't have to read another story in an unrelated title to make sense of this one).

    @Blam: Pretty sweet Chiarello/Janson cover, though…

    The covers are, easily and without a doubt, the best thing about this story.

    @Jeremy: Hama starts his looooong run on the book soon on #31, with Silvestri/Green on art duties!

    I can't wait! I got into this series (and Hama's run) around issue 70, so I've never read any of the Hama/Silvestri stuff before. Looking forward to it. Just having some creative consistency on the title will be nice.

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  5. I'm not sure. On the one hand, this link makes it sound like it was intended to follow it:
    http://www.comicartfans.com/GalleryPiece.asp?Piece=612588
    On the other hand, the Duffy interview makes it sound like it was supposed to be a crossover, so simultaneously.

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