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Friday, February 5, 2016

X-amining Wolverine #40

"DReconstruction"
June 1991

In a Nutshell 
Elsie-Dee and Albert are reunited in New York. 

Script: Larry Hama
Pencils: Marc Silvestri
Inks: Dan Green
Lettering: Pat Brosseau
Coloring: Glynis Oliver
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
At the X-Mansion, Forge examines Elsie-Dee, determining her to be made mostly of explosives, and that her destruct sequence has only been halted, not eliminated, making her a continuing danger. In Venice, federal agents arrive to obtain Albert, but discover he has healed and upgraded himself, making his escape from the police station easy. Able to sense Elsie-Dee across the country, Albert breaks into a military base and commandeers a stealth aircraft to fly to New York. In the city, Wolverine and Elsie-Dee hustle pool, but as Albert draws closer, Elsie-Dee picks up his signal, and requests Wolverine take her to higher ground so she can get a solid lock on it. The pair race to the top of the World Trade Center, where Elsie-Dee is able to establish communication with Albert, just as he reaches the city, flying the jet into Wolverine. The two fight, until Elsie-Dee breaks it up, telling Albert they're free of Pierce's programming thanks to Wolverine. Just then, the stealth aircraft is attacked by US fighter jets who had been pursuing it, and the plane crashes into the river, along with Albert, Elsie-Dee and Wolverine.

Firsts and Other Notables
Along with Storm, carrying over from the previous two issues, both Forge and Jubilee guest star in this issue. Given that Wolverine and Jubilee have been operating as a hero/sidekick partnership for almost two years now over in Uncanny X-Men, her appearance in this series is long overdue, and she'll remain a fairly regular presence in the book up through issue #75.


Similarly, the four X-Men appear in the X-Mansion subbasement, making this the first appearance of the X-Mansion ever in this series. Given the circumstances surrounding it, between the X-Men being in Australia, then there being no X-Men, and Wolverine always being very determinedly removed from the events of the other book in this one, its understandable, but at the same time, it's kind of amazing to realize that it took forty issues to show Wolverine in his team's central base of operations.

After upgrading himself between issues, Albert adopts his character's more familiar and consistent look in this issue, with the metal "eyepatch" and pointed shoulder pads (this, for example, is the look used for his action figure).


The Chronology Corner
As with Storm in issue #38, Forge and Jubilee appear in this issue following the end of the "Muir Island Saga" in X-Factor #70.

The Grim 'n' Girtty 90s
Needless to say, the climax of this issue, in which Albert flies a plane at and crashes into the World Trade Center, could only have happened before 2001.


Teebore's Take
Though they'll stick around for a couple more immediate issues (and be a presence in the book beyond that), this effectively ends the initial Albert/Elsie-Dee story, but the big takeaway from this issue is just how much bigger the series feels with Wolverine back in New York and interacting with fellow X-Men again. Given that they already have a hero/sidekick relationship in X-Men, it makes sense to bring Jubilee into this book (it's frankly a shame it's taken this long), and she'll thankfully remain a recurring presence in the series off and on for awhile moving forward, helping the book feel more like a traditional solo series. At the same time, the move to more familiar settings doesn't take anything away from the series' existing tone, either the loonier, more whacky one of the immediate story or the larger noir-ish high adventure vibe Hama & Silvestri have been working since their run began. Ultimately, it's the best of both worlds, and this issue might just be the best example yet of what a "traditional" Wolverine solo series looks like.

Next Issue
Next week: Uncanny X-Men #278, Excalibur #39, and X-Factor #68.

Collected Editions

6 comments:

  1. Albert adopts his character's more familiar and consistent look in this issue, with the metal "eyepatch"

    The go-to choice of a busy man not wishing to look like Logan!

    His Blaupunkt is probably capable of playing them newfangled fancy-ass CDs!

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  2. Kind of funny that there are four X-Men heads pictured in the corner box of Wolverine's solo series. Another indication of how ingrained into the X-mythos the series is becoming around this time.

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  3. // amazing to realize that it took forty issues to show Wolverine in his team's central base of operations //

    One the one hand, yeah, I guess, but on the other hand the whole point of the series when it launched seemed to be a hard lean into The Adventures of Wolverine apart from the X-Men — the biggest surprise to me being that elements of Wolverine popped up in Wolverine-centric issues of Uncanny more than outright X-Men stuff appeared in Wolverine, right down to Psylocke and Jubilee as you note. Which doesn’t mean that it becoming a more traditional solo spinoff title, more directly connected to its parent series like Matt says, is a bad thing per se. I’m frankly impressed that the separation(s), tonally and for the most part geographically, lasted this long and on the whole I'm thankful that we got them even when certain aspects of Logan's off-duty life in Madripoor were hard to swallow.

    Forge using the expression “alarming to the max” was highly suspect — given his character as well as this no longer being the ‘80s — but it became unintentionally hilarious when on the next page he uttered the phrase “tubular skeleton”.

    “Albert, the fake Wolverine” is never going to not sound dumb, from Jubilee’s mouth or anyone else’s.

    Wolverine refers to Albert as “my android clone,” which doesn’t quite make sense. If he only knew German he could have said “doppelganger”.

    No way the Pentagon would have announced the theft of a prototype stealth bomber that quickly.

    That was a very weird panel to end on.

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    Replies
    1. That was a very weird panel to end on.

      It was. Both in terms of ending the narrative there, and in how it was staged/presented on the page.

      Delete
    2. That was a very weird panel to end on.

      It was. Both in terms of ending the narrative there, and in how it was staged/presented on the page.

      Delete
  4. Blam: If he only knew German he could have said “doppelganger”.

    Page two Forge just got highly suspicious.

    I never quite got along Wolverine suddenly becoming such a sex cymbal that diner waitresses feel need to vocally comment on his handsomeness on Hama's run.

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