Friday, June 2, 2017
X-amining Wolverine #67
In a Nutshell
Wolverine learns the truth about Terry Adams.
Writer: Larry Hama
Penciler: Mark Texeira
Inks: Texeira & Pamiotti
Letters: Pat Brosseau
Colors: Steve Buccellato
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco
Left for dead in a Russian desert, Wolverine wakes up, still hallucinating the presence of Janice and believing the year to be 1967, and he sets off in search of Terry Adams. Meanwhile, the X-Men track down Maverick, in the hopes of learning Wolverine's whereabouts. In the Hindu Kush, the two KGB agents who shot Wolverine learn of a bounty placed on him by the Hand. They go back to try and retrieve his body, but are shocked to discover it's gone. At the X-Mansion, Maverick informs the X-Men that "Terry Adams" is the former Soviet space center at Tyuratam. As the X-Men depart for the base, Wolverine arrives there, trailed by the two KGB agents. Wolverine kills them and steals their armored car, using it to infiltrate the facility. Inside, he meets a young woman who, believing Wolverine to be KGB, takes him deeper into the base, to where her father, the Soviet super astronaut Epsilon Red, resides. Only then does she realize the truth about Wolverine: that he's actually the person who tried to kill her father years ago.
Firsts and Other Notables
This issue reveals that "Terry Adams" is not a person whom Wolverine killed, but whether, an anglicized name for a Russian space launch facility called Tyuratam. It's said to be the place where Wolverine tried to kill Epsilon Red, a Soviet super astronaut. Epsilon Red will appear next issue, but his daugther (whom we'll learn is named Elena Ivanova) appears here for the first time. While Epsilon Red doesn't appear outside this story, Elena will make a few later appearances in Maverick's solo series.
Speaking of Maverick, he's said here to have been Wolverine's case officer for the Tyuratam mission (for what that's worth) and in the present, he's hunting a serial killer who is taking out mutants, though I don't believe anything ever comes of that (apparently Hama just meant it as a throwaway detail to show what Maverick has been up to since the Psi-Borg story concluded).
I should have mentioned it in the post for Uncanny X-Men #298, but this month marks the beginning of Marvel running a "30th anniversary" image for the X-Men in the UPC box of various direct market titles (though not all, as the Avengers, also celebrating their 30th anniversary in 1993, get one as well). This continues the tradition which found the Fantastic Four's anniversary being marked similarly in 1991 and Spider-Man's in 1992.
This is another one of those covers where the central Wolverine image will get lifted and used in various marketing and licensed material around this time.
A Work in Progress
Professor X acknowledges that a lot of Wolverine's current mental problems are probably being exacerbated by the recent deaths of Mariko and Silver Fox, a "no duh!" notion that's nonetheless nice to see acknowledged.
This issue reveals the Hand has placed a bounty on Wolverine.
Colossus rightly makes a point to Iceman about the vast size of Russia and how Colossus' native Siberia is very different from other parts of the country in terms of geography.
More gratuitous butt shots from Texeira, as Psylocke is positioned closest to the reader, from behind, on one page.
The Best There is at What He Does
It's noted that Wolverine's healing factor can't really do anything about thin air (Wolverine's continued need for oxygen being one of his few significant weaknesses at this point).
A marked improvement over the previous issue, thanks in large part to the line between reality and Wolverine's hallucinations being more coherently drawn, and in part because the issue is split about 50/50 between Wolverine and a group of X-Men, allowing all the trippy mental stuff some room to breathe. The story is also gaining some more focus, thanks to the revelation that "Terry Adams" isn't a person, it's a place, which helps make the narrative more clear as well. It's still hard to get too worked up over this, however, as the end result is still just another seemingly-random tale of Wolverine's past that seems designed more to let Hama play around with Wolverine's psyche and Texeira to play around some extreme/surrealistic imagery than to actually say or do something with the character, but at least for this chapter, things are lot more readable.
Next week: X-Men #18, X-Force #20, and Excalibur #64!