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Wednesday, January 9, 2019

X-amining Wolverine: Evilution

"Evilution"
1994

In a Nutshell
Wolverine & Boom-Boom team-up when a teen cult raises a demon.

Writer: Ann Nocenti
Layouts: Mark Texeira
Penciler: John Royle
Inkers: Phillip Moy & Andrew Pepoy
Letterer: Dave Sharpe
Colorist: Monica Bennet
Editor: Suzanne Gaffney
Group Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
A strange dream leads Wolverine to the small town of Prescott, which is dealing with the pollution caused by a recently-closed nuclear power plant in town. Boom-Boom is also in town, as she periodically visits the mall there, and they both encounter members of the Devos, a cult of young people dedicated to destroying technology and returning the world to a more primitive state. Using rituals involving animals & technology, the Devos manage to summon an ancient demon. Wolverine tells Boom-Boom to leave town, but she doesn't, and is captured by the Devos. With the help of a local, Red Water Fall, Wolverine tracks the Devos to the abandoned power plant, where they intend to sacrifice Boom-Boom. Wolverine & Red Water Fall rescue her, and then Wolverine & Boom-Boom team-up to defeat the demon and shut down the Devos, but the demon swears he will return.

Firsts and Other Notables
This is another standalone Wolverine oneshot; it presumably functions as Wolverine's 1994 annual. It is squarebound and cost $5.95.

Boom-Boom is apparently known to hang our in the town of Prescott, something never mentioned before or since.


Wolverine is guided by an American Indian named Red Water Fall, who basically functions in a “magical negro” role in the story, providing Wolverine with sage advice and helping him find the right action to perform; this is his first and only appearance.


The Spear of Destiny (aka the spear which pierced the side of Christ at the Crucifixion that shows up in a lot of fantasy/occult stories) features in this story briefly (one of the Devo kids steals it from a museum in Germany and delivers it to the demon they've summoned for...reasons).

If the name on the front didn’t make it clear, the pre-title page text screams “Ann Nocenti wrote this!"


The Chronology Corner
As a note at the beginning of the issue states, this story obviously takes place before Wolverine lost his adamantium in X-Men #25. More specifically, it takes place between issues #9 and #10 of X-Men, and before issues #66 of Wolverine. Boom-Boom appears between X-Force #5 and #6

Austin's Analysis
Words choked of meaning. 
Art strangles clarity.
Characterization suffocates sense.
Creators' decisions twist off reviewer's enthusiasm. 
The overwrought wrings all meaning.
Layouts kill understanding.
Boom-Boom's presence strangles necessity.
Wolverine rusts enjoyment.



What's even the point of this? 

Next Issue
The new Dark Riders debut in Cable #17! Next week, Bishop gets the limited series treatment.

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8 comments:

  1. I can't even begin to process this. Boom Boom frequents a small town's mall?

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  2. I don't think Nocenti had been writing for Marvel for some time. This had to be sitting in a drawer somewhere, especially as the continuity is a couple years behind. It should have stayed in the drawer.

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  3. Savage analysis, but I've no doubt you hit the nail on the head.

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  4. I always wanted to hear the back-story on this story, as I've never heard what happened.
    It seems obvious that editorial tampered pretty heavily with this plot.
    The ending makes no sense, and reads like an editor rewrote part of the ending, and then tacked on part of Nocenti's original ending, giving the ending a completely contradictory message.

    Also, I've heard it stated that Jubilee was supposed to be the co-star in this story, and not Boom Boom.
    That makes a lot more sense.
    However, why did it get changed to featuring Boom Boom instead?

    I think Nocenti was still working at Marvel around the time this one-shot was released too.
    She wrote a Venom mini-series around this point.

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  5. All I can say, having never actually read this story, is -- what a magnificent review!

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    Replies
    1. Oh -- also, John Royle has evolved into a really good J. Scott Campbell clone. He drew the DANGER GIRL/G.I. JOE miniseries and then another DANGER GIRL series some years back, and currently he draws covers for IDW's ongoing Marvel continuation, G.I. JOE: A REAL AMERICAN HERO.

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  6. “Jimmy has dissected the heart with such precision that it is still beating,” announces his teacher. Since when do kids in high school dissect living frogs?!?

    // this story obviously takes place before Wolverine lost his adamantium in X-Men #25 //

    Yet he’s shown being aware that his claws are part of his mutation and predate the adamantium bonding.

    // Austin's Analysis //

    Bravissimo.

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  7. What's even the point of this? $5.95

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