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Wednesday, November 13, 2019

X-amining Knight of Terra

"Knight of Terra"

In a Nutshell
Wolverine & Wolfsbane return to the land of Geshem to fight a great Beast threatening the kingdom.

Plot: Ian Edington
Script: John Ostrander
Pencils: Jan Duursema
Inker: Rick Magyar
Letters: Richard Starkings/Comicraft
Colors: Tom Vincent
Editor: Kelly Corvese
Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras

In the land of Geshem, Wolverine battles the Beast, but is eventually overwhelmed. Inside Queen Rain's castle, Shaman, responsible for bringing Wolverine to this world, casts a spell to swap his Rain with Wolfsbane. Shaman explains how the Mage's machinations that first brought Rahne to Geshem have led to Princess Rain's metaphorical struggle with a mystical beast inside her becoming literal: she is becoming more savage, and her kingdom is being attacked by an external Beast. As Shaman leads the Queen's Guard in backup of Wolverine and put down the Beast, he needs Wolfsbane to act as Rain, to reassure the populace that everything is fine. As Wolfsbane familiarizes herself with court, the Beast continues to stalk the land, and is stalked in turn by Wolverine, who meets a woman named Lillian which provides him with a horse. Back on Earth, Professor X attempts to help Rain reconcile the beast inside her, while on Geshem, Wolfsbane holds court. Just then, the Beast reaches the castle, and easily defeats the Queen's Guard, fighting his way inside to confront Wolfsbane. She transforms into her werewolf form just as Xavier manages to make Rain come to terms with her animalistic side, thereby sending her back to Geshem. She arrives just as Wolfsbane & Wolverine defeat the Beast, killing its human host. Queen Rain knights Wolverine for his assistance, then Shaman sends Wolfsbane & Wolverine back to their world.

Firsts and Other Notables
A sequel to 1991's Rahne of Terra, this issue involves Wolverine & Wolfsbane returning to the medevial fantasy world of Geshem (aka Earth-1991), in order to help that world's Princess Rain maintain her hold over the kingdom and battle the Beast (that world's version of Sabretooth).

The story begins with Wolfsbane on Muir Island, something she hasn't yet done in contemporaneous issues of either Excalibur or X-Factor (she'll turn up in Excalibur as of issue #90).

This is a square blund prestige format issue, though unlike the original story (which functioned as the 1991 annual for Wolverine), this is just it's own standalone one-shot (as Wolverine receives a proper annual in 1995 for the first time).

The Chronology Corner
Wolfsbane appears here following Excalibur #90, Wolverine between issues #92 and #93 of his series (and after Uncanny X-Men #325). Professor X appears here after Cable #23 and before Wolverine #93.

A Work in Progress
Rahne is pleased to know that her Geshem counterpart is married to that world’s Doug Ramsey (whom she met in Rahne of Terra).

Geshem Doug has a metal arm, a condition Rahne thinks makes him like Douglock in her reality.

Geshem Illyana is alive and well.

Austin's Analysis
I don't know that anyone was crying out for a sequel to 1991's pun-tastically titled Rahne of Terra, but much like that original issue, this is perfectly fine and entirely unessential. It cover all the usual bases that alternate reality stories tell (Doug is married to Alt Rahne! Illyana is alive!), which, coming so close on the heels of "Age of Apocalypse" runs the risk of of coming across as laughably shallow (one issue's worth of alt re-imaginings vs. four months' worth) and/or tiresome (didn't we *just* get back the prime reality and regular versions of characters?), though having characters cross between worlds does lessen the comparison somewhat. As with the first story set in Geshem, Wolverine is the ostensible the title character but effectively superfluous to the story (he fights Alt Sabretooth a lot. That's about it); instead, this continues to be a Wolfsbane story first and foremost which is, given her absence over the previous few months (and the neverending glut of Wolverine stories) a welcome tradeoff. Again, this is hardly required reading, with the plot, scripting, and art all falling comfortably in the wheelhouse of "fine", but as standalone Wolverine specials in the mid 90s go, this could be much, much worse.

Next Issue
We return (sort of) to the Age of Apocalypse via What If? #77!

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  1. Yeah techno-organic virus turning into a cybernetic arm says Cable is older and alive Doug Ramsey.

    1. Yeah except we all knew by this point Cable was really Nathan Summers.

  2. Square Blund is my new band name.


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