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Friday, October 21, 2016

X-amining Wolverine #56

"We Got Cylla, Can Mothra Be Far Behind?"
Early July 1992

In a Nutshell
Wolverine's fight with Cylla leads to a confrontation with the Hand at the home of Clan Yashida.

Writer: Larry Hama
Penciler: Marc Silvestri
Inker: Dan Green
Letterer: Pat Brosseau
Colorist: Steve Buccellato
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

As Wolverine fights Cylla, Gambit & Sunfire continue to battle Hand ninjas. In the course of their fight, Sunfire accidentally destroys the police station. When Cylla emerges from the wreckage to find herself facing Gambit & Sunfire as well as Wolverine, she flees. Meanwhile, Jubilee & Yukio set about finding Wolverine, while Reiko attempts to leave the country. However, she's captured by Hydra, led by Silver Fox, who offers to trade her protection from the Hand in exchange for use of her skills as a poisoner. Elsewhere, Wolverine decides to seek out Mariko's help in finding Jubilee. He arrives at the ancestral home of Clan Yashida, along with Gambit & Sunfire, just as Silver Samurai is admonishing Mariko for her leadership of the clan. Wolverine & Silver Samurai are poised to attack when they're interrupted by news that the Hand has surrounded the complex. Outside, Matsu'o sends an envoy to Mariko, telling her to give herself up, while Jubilee & Yukio watch from cover. When Jubilee asks who lives on the estate, she's shocked when Yukio answers that it's Wolverine's true love.

Firsts and Other Notables
The series returns to bi-weekly shipping for the summer, for the fourth and final year. Across the line, it is joined by Avengers, Captain America, Punisher and Silver Surfer in double shipping, but this is the last year that Marvel will produce any series bi-weekly in the summer.

Silver Fox, Wolverine's thought-dead American Indian girlfriend from his pre-Weapon X days, last seen alive and well in Wolverine #50, turns up in Japan, leading a Hydra contingent and acquiring the services of Reiko.

We're in Japan, and Sunfire, Mariko and Yukio have all already appeared, so of course Silver Samurai appears in this issue. Last seen in issue #3 of this series, in which he acquired the Black Blade, he is shown wielding that weapon here.

A Work in Progress
Cylla, responding to my objections from last issue, declares that she's still targeting Wolverine despite Pierce being dead because that's the purpose she was programmed with, and machines are compelled to fulfill their purposes.

Young Love
Jubilee is shocked to hear Mariko referred to as Wolverine's true love, suggesting he hasn't talked about her much in Jubilee's presence (which is possibly also a nod to the fact that the pair haven't interacted with each other since the Kitty Pryde & Wolverine series).

Austin's Analysis
The "kitchen sink" approach to this story continues, with Silver Fox (along with Hydra) and Silver Samurai added to the mix, as everybody moves into place for the finale next issue. Beyond that, it's a pretty standard action-filled second chapter. Gambit's presence continues to be a mystery, as he's mostly there, apparently, to give Sunfire someone to talk to while they're fighting ninjas and Wolverine is battling Cylla. The action gets a little repetitive (it's easy to find yourself skimming it), but Silvestri continues to draw the heck out of it, As the penultimate chapter in the Hama/Silvestri run, it's certainly fittingly in step with the kind of outrageous, over-the-top action, all centered around Wolverine, that has defined their collaboration.

Next Issue
Next week: Uncanny X-Men #290, X-Force #12 and X-Factor #80.

Collected Editions


  1. That art looks pretty great. It's too bad Silverstri couldn't have stuck on Uncanny instead of Portacio. Do we know why he got pushed over to Wolverine?

  2. I believe it was Silvester's choice.

    1. Silvestri, that is. Autocorrect.

    2. So I've heard. He didn't like having to draw the whole ensemble all the time in a group book, solo book was more to his liking.

    3. Silvestri, that is. Autocorrect.

    4. In fact Teebore posted a quote from Silvestri on the subject with his issue 31 review:

      "I was getting pretty burnt out from doing the book. There were some years we had to do fifteen issues instead of twelve and I had enough trouble doing twelve. Fifteen was a lot of work. The thought of moving over to Wolverine - a single character book featuring one of my favorite characters - was a relief! I was like, 'I'm ready to go.' That turned out to be a great switch for me. I'm happy it happened."

  3. I believe it was Silvester's choice.

  4. Of all the Image guys, I've always held Silvestri and Lee's work in the highest regard. He was the Penciler on Uncanny when I became a monthy reader. His stroytelling was pretty solid, and his stylized darkness worked well for the tone of the book during the outback era. Artists during the post-Byrne era tended to burn out (no pun intended) fairly quickly, what with a massive cast that Claremont continued to expand. Silvestri stayed on for the better part of 3 years. I'm sure he was quite happy to take the Wolverine job. He always seemed to have fun with the character.

  5. Yikes. My new phone is screwed up. Anybody want to hear more about Sylvester, and the choices he made?

    1. Can you tell me why he left UNCANNY X-MEN to go start chasing Tweety Bird around non-stop? Seems like an odd career choice.


  6. // but this is the last year that Marvel will produce any series bi-weekly in the summer //

    For a while, anyway… 8^)


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