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Friday, February 7, 2020

X-amining Wolverine #93

"Tavern in the Town"
September 1995

In a Nutshell
Wolverine, Cannonball & Juggeranut walk into a bar.

Script: Larry Hama
Pencils: Adam Kubert
Inks: Dan Green & Matt Ryan
Letters: Richard Starkings & Comicraft
Colors: Joe Rosas & Digital Chameleon
Editor: Bob Harras

In Scotland, the Dark Riders break Cyber out of prison and take him to their leader. At the X-Mansion, Cannonball & Wolverine are racing each other through the woods around the mansion when Juggernaut suddenly regains consciousness. Still worried about Onslaught, he quickly busts his way out of the mansion. Later, Wolverine & Cannonball are having beers at a local bar when Juggernaut comes in. Cannonball drunkenly picks a fight but is no match for the Juggernaut. Wolverine then confronts him and urges him to leave, which Juggernaut agrees to do; he knows what's coming, and has no desire to stick around. As Juggernaut leaves out the back, he's teleported away by Zoe Culloden and her associate, who say he'll no longer be a problem. When Wolverine follows behind him and finds Juggernaut gone, he's once again struck with the feeling of being watched.

 Firsts and Other Notables
The new Dark Riders free Cyber, last seen in issue #81, from the Scottish prison where Moira sent him, setting up his involvement in the storyline that will carry the series through to issue #100.

Juggernaut wakes up from his Onslaught-induced coma, helping spread the word about Onslaught on his way out of the mansion.

At the end of the issue, Juggernaut is transported away agents of Landau, Luckman, and Lake; he will end up in the Malibu universe, setting up his role in the Malibu Exiles series that will carry him through to the start of "Onsalught".

A Work in Progress
Cannonball gets drunk in this issue, lamenting the time Boomer is spending with Sabretooth.

This issue essentially concludes the same way as the previous one, with Wolverine (rightly) feeling like he's being watched by the cloaked Zoe & Noah; I'm willing to give Hama the benefit of the doubt that this repetition is intentional.

Artistic Achievements
Adam Kubert seems to be having a lot of fun with the relative size of Juggernaut & Wolverine in this one.

Austin's Analysis
Like the previous issue, this is light on plot - "Wolverine gets a beer with Cannonball. Juggernaut passes through" - with a decent chunk of its pages dedicated to setting up later stories, both for this book and elsewhere (Cyber's escape, all the Juggernaut stuff). But like the previous issue, this lack of plot is made up for by some increasingly-stunning art by Adam Kubert (who, amongst other things, does a great job of rendering Juggernaut as a massive chunk of a character). I've been on record as not being a huge fan of the deluxe paper of this era, but there is no denying it did do a lot to improve the art, and arguably nobody took advantage of it more than Adam Kubert. Every issue he's drawn since #87 (the first "deluxe" book) has been impressive, all the way up to this issue, in which he makes an issue in which very little actually happens seem exciting nonetheless.

Next Issue
Next week: Generation X #8, Excalibur #90 and Cable #24!

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  1. Y’know, it suddenly occurred to me as I read this that all these years, I never knew how Juggernaut left the mansion. I remembered him being in a coma there in the Paul Smith fill-ins on X-MEN, and I knew that “Onslaught” started with him coming back for help... but I had no idea what happened in between.

    (I do recall the house ads for the Malibu stuff, so I must’ve been aware on some level that he had come out of his coma and left, but I just never questioned how it happened.)

    Anyway — I meant to mention this a while buck, but forgot: I really like Juggernaut’s revised colors around this time. Throughout the mid-to-late 90s, he’s consistently colored with the band around his middle yellow as opposed to the traditional orange, and I’ve always thought that was an improvement for him.

    Lastly — I am on record as loving superhero costumes. I prefer that they be worn often, in action whenever appropriate. I like Wolverine’s costume a lot. I seriously bristled when Grant Morrison had Wolverine declare in his first NEW X-MEN issue that he had always found the costumes dumb, even though he had worn his for 25 years at that point, frequently when away from the X-Men with no real need for it.

    All that said, I don’t understand why Wolverine puts on his costume in this issue. He’s hanging out in civilian clothes, then when Cannonball takes off, Wolverine puts on his costume just to jump on his motorcycle and chase him. Then he promptly removes it again when they get to the bar. What was the point?? I wonder if there was some edict around this time that Wolverine was required to be in costume at least briefly in every issue? Because I can think of no logical reason why he’d wear it here!

  2. Wasn’t Cyber’s last appearance in Wolverine #81?

    1. Yeah, I got that wrong. #79 is the start of that Cyber story; #81 is the end. I corrected it, thanks!

  3. Yeesh, I had forgotten all about the Malibu stuff. Will you be covering that here? Phoenix Resurrection, yikes.

    1. I won't be covering the Malibu stuff in real time. I put it to the group when I was planning out this run of issues, and the consensus was that it was unnecessary and not really in the scope of my project. But I may review it over on my Patreon page at some point.

    2. That's probably the best choice. I agree that it's completely necessary, but it would be fun to see you cover it just because it's so terrible. Do you recall how often it was referenced in the main MU after it was over? I seem to remember some character development for Juggernaut coming over. Maybe I'm wrong. Wasn't sure if it was like Marvel vs DC where they insist it happened, but we all know it isn't canon.

  4. So... Wolverine and kid from rural area go to a bar. Kid from rural nowhere complains about his lovelife. Juggernaut shows up, kid from nowhere attacks Juggenaut and gets stomped. Wolverine talks down Juggernaut, Juggernaut leaves bar without further incident.

    Is this an intentional homage to Uncanny #183? If so, it's a nice touch on Hama's part.


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