Whew.  It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted a synopsis as I go through my comics.  With the Christmas season, it just got really busy.  Standard, cliche excuse, I know, but it is what it is.  It also means that I haven’t even been reading my back issues so fear not!  I haven’t skipped any!

Wo75 cvr

November 1993 – “Nightmares Persist”

SYNOPSIS

Immediately following the events of X-Men #25, Wolverine lies dying in the Blackbird as Jean and the Professor attempt some “psychic surgery”, hoping to keep him together mentally so that his body has the chance to heal.  Inside Wolverine’s mind, they find nightmares, experiencing all the horrors Wolverine has experienced, some literal (one scene shows the adamantium getting ripped out, some figurative (I’m pretty sure Sabretooth never actually disemboweled Wolverine while Wolvy was wearing his Weapon X helmet).

Weapon X
Some people just have no concept of personal space…

Back in the real world, the Blackbird continues its downward spiral, starting to heat up as it gets deeper and deeper into Earth’s atmosphere.  One of the moments of turbulence (actually the entire trip is one big bump) jars Wolverine’s medical bed loose and it slams into the wall, jarring Wolverine awake.  As the Blackbird careens towards the planet, systems start shorting out.  Quicksilver quickly (haha…get it?) takes over the manual controls because only his speed can compensate for the lack of automation.  Back at the mansion, the rest of the X-Men stay huddled around a communications center as Moira MacTaggart tries to talk Jean and Xavier through keeping Wolverine stable.  Meanwhile, Jean concentrates on keeping the entire plane from breaking apart.

Everything else happens so quickly, moving from panel to panel.  Xavier prepares to re-enter Wolverine’s mind to try and keep his consciousness whole.  In Wolverine’s mind, Xavier sees various images of Wolverine chasing after magneto and getting ripped apart.  Wolverine’s entire body is destroyed by an avatar of Magneto.  Wolverine then pushes towards this bright light.  Professor X tackles him, warning that the light means death.  Wolverine replies “Aww, Charlie…  don’t ya think I know that?”.

In the real world, the Blackbird continues to disintegrate as the control panels erupt in sparks and one of the wings starts to tear apart.  Even as Gambit and Bishop both attempt to regain control, the main hatch blows open, depressurizing the cabin (pay attention, because this will come into play later).  Wolverine, in his mind, struggles while facing a glowing white woman.  He’s ready to accept his fate when suddenly the woman pushes him back.  In the cabin, bedlam ensues.  Things are flying all over the place and Jean Grey does her damnedest to hold the cabin door shut.  Unfortunately, the Blackbird flies through a thunderhead and the loud cracks disrupt her concentration and the door flies free and so does Jean Grey.  She grabs hold of a handle as she flies out the open door, dangling outside of the aircraft as it continues its decent.  Gambit and Rogue also lose their footing and head for the open hatch.  Instead of saving herself, Jean uses her power to block them from being sucked out.  Unfortunately, she has no more strength to hold on.  as she finally slips…

A conscious Wolverine grabs her arm and pulls her back inside.

Wolverine Jean

Some time later, the X-Men are training in the Danger Room.  Wolverine decides he needs to prove that he can still be of use without his claws and unbreakable bones.  Xavier sends two battle droids against him.  Wolverine takes a little time getting pummled but as he gets more and more frustrated, he finally does the unthinkable:  he pops his claws.  That’s right.  The claws everyone assumed were just a byproduct of his adamantium.  Bone claws pop out of his hands, much to everyone’s surprise.

A short time later, Wolverine and Jubilee share a bonding moment.  Jubilee discusses how her powers have increased and Wolverine vents about not knowing that his claws were real.  Later that night, Wolverine leaves the mansion and the X-Men.

hehe...just because I liked seeing Wolverine get smacked around.
just because I liked seeing Wolverine get smacked around.

REVIEW/THOUGHTS/SNIDE COMMENTS

i’ll be honest.  This was the first Wolverine comic I ever picked up.  When I was first introduced to Wolverine, I wasn’t enamored with him like most other kids.  I’ve come to really enjoy his character as written by Claremont, but at the time, I just didn’t really care about him.  I only bought this issue because it was part of the Fatal Attractions saga.  To this day, I still haven’t purchased any of issues numbered 1-74.

I’m also not the biggest fan of Adam Kubert.  I wasn’t as a kid, and my opinion hasn’t changed too much.  So the art in this issue really isn’t anything special to me.  I think mostly because he seemed to have the same fascination with characters having too much hair that Rob Liefeld always seemed to have.  Wolverine seriously needs a haircut in this issue and I cannot fathom how Jean manages to live her daily life with as much hair as she seems to have.

Still, I remember how big an uproar this issue made.  It’s funny when you think about it.  Wolverine’s claws were originally intended to be part of his costume.  Then in Uncanny #98, it was revealed that his claws were a part of him (this was the first time anybody saw his claws while he was not wearing his costume).  At some point along the way, it was suggested that his claws were the result of adamantium metal pooling in his arms during the bonding process that resulted in three claws in each hand.  Of course, looking back, this doesn’t seem like it would make much sense since a foreign body wouldn’t be connected to the ligaments/muscles needed to actually use them.  But I’m not exactly an expert in human anatomy and physiology, so I could be wrong.  But it makes much more sense that his claws were bone.  If they are part of his mutation, then I can easily suspend my disbelief about the ligament issue..  Anyways, this was a pretty big deal.  Not enough to make national news, but definitely huge in comic circles.

This also marks the first time Wolverine left the X-Men since he’d joined.  Even when the X-Men disbanded around #255, we still had Wolverine stories in the main title.  Sure, he occasionally would be gone for an issue or two, but this time he actually took an extended leave of absence.

The best part of this issue, though?  Wolverine throws away a cigar.  Now that his healing factor is pretty much maxed out, it no longer protects him from smoking.  I loved it!

Overall, this issue was enjoyable, but not mindblowing.  The storytelling runs at a great pace, the panels going back and forth between the real world, Wolverine’s mind, the X-mansion, the cabin, etc.  It is constantly moving and never feels boring.  I will admit to being a bit biased and maybe being a bit more harsh to this issue than others because, as I’ve stated, I’m not a huge fan of Wolverine.  Still, it makes a great follow up to X-Men #25 and would have been a decent ending to Fatal Attraction if they didn’t decide to follow it up with Excalibur (which I won’t be reviewing – but it’s not worth a read).

ouch!
ouch!

FAVORITE QUOTES

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Jean:  “We’re here to help him, Professor.  But this – this is a violation of the worst order!  It was wrong with Magneto and it was wrong here!”

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Wolverine:  “Don’t wanna be…numb.  Gonna be…numb forever…after I buy the…farm!”

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Jean:  “Logan, your life-graphs had bottomed out on the medi-unit scanners.  Y-You came back?  For me?”

Wolverine:  “You got it the other way around, Jean.  It was you who reached out and took my hand.”

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Wolverine:  “I may be down, but I ain’t out and I’m still the best at what I do!”

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Wolverine - Copy

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