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CSBG Archive

A Year of Cool Comic Book Moments – Day 132

Here is the latest cool comic book moment in our year-long look at one cool comic book moment a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the moments posted so far!

Today we begin a mini theme week (“mini” as in it will take less than a week) that I meant to do the other week when his film came out – cool comic book moments involving Wolverine stabbing people!


The issue is Uncanny X-Men #116 and the creative team is Chris Claremont and John Byrne.

To set up the scene, this bad guy named Garokk has basically taken over the Savage Land and he’s messing with the environment there. Luckily for Ka-Zar and the Savage Land, the X-Men happened to be stuck in the Savage Land themselves, so they come to help out Ka-Zar.

First, though, they are attacked by Garokk’s men, who are riding pterodactyls!

This sets up “the” moment for today, which nowadays would be a fairly routine moment, but for the time, what Wolverine does next was just as shocking as the look on Nightcrawler’s face makes it out to be.

As an added bonus, here’s Wolverine killing a dinosaur, too!

This was really the FIRST moment involving Wolverine stabbing someone, and it holds up well.


I applaud the tasteful, though not logistically possible, lack of claws popping through the back of the dinosaur’s head. Sure, it was a different time, but even today it would be gratuitous.

That may be down to a more anatomically sensible claw size, as opposed to the current-day claws that are the full length of his forearm (or even longer in some cases).

Or it might not, I dont know…

Maybe he just stuck the claws out far enough to kill the dinosaur, but not to pop out the other side?

I believe I read somewhere that Byrne hated that scene. He wanted to keep whatever Wolverine did to the guy ambiguous but still make clear that it wasn’t very nice by showing the reactions of Nightcrawler and Storm. The “Snikt” was added later and he wasn’t happy when he saw it.

How does Storm produce that flash flood? Sure, she can manipulate the water on the ground, but that would require her to multiply it.

I like the follow up to Logan dispatching the guard. (This is from memory, so it might not be exactly right.)

Cyclops: “What happened to the guard?”
Nightcrawler: “Wolverine… dealt with him.”
Cyke: “… Oh.”

And Wolverine talks to the animals? (The ones he doesn’t stab, of course.) And his nose “is useless in all this muck”? Really? I thought he was the best there is at what he does! I’ve been sold a bill o’ goods, all these years!
(I was eight when this comic came out and even I knew Wolverine killed the sentry. I don’t recall being shocked AT ALL. ‘Course, I grew up watching war movies, so …)

How does Storm produce that flash flood? Sure, she can manipulate the water on the ground, but that would require her to multiply it.

Actually, Storm is a weather manipulator, so she simply “created” storm clouds, which would produce the torrential rains for the flash flood in such tight quarters.

Thanks, Brian, for doing a moment from this run. I didn’t read most of these until the late 80s. But the rest of this run is so underrated (which is saying something considering the acclaim it’s received).

Every comic felt like it built on the last and you were as out-of-breath as the X-Men by the end of it. I’ve never loved the X-Men more than this run (which probably explains why every run since then has ended up being a riff on it, outside of Morrison, of course.)

is it caonincal that Wolverine’s skin never stays open (like a pierced ear) from all his snikting? That he gives himself six gaping wrist wounds every time he pops his claws? And that it hurts just as much as if it happened to me? I hope so: good example of character-defining actions, the literally self-destructive hero.

I’ve been reading this run recently, and the plots and dialogue are awesome, but man, Claremont sure was caption-crazy… really over the top cheesy stuff that doesnt age well. It makes me grateful for the show-not-tell standard in modern comics.

Still, great stories, great characters.

Hey Brian…is that definitely #117? I’d have to open the long boxes in my attic to be sure but I thought that was the Xavier vs Shadow King issue? I would have guessed #116…..but I could be completely wrong!

Was this also the first moment that hints at the healing factor (“I heal real fast”) and the adamantium skeleton (“beast ain’t been born yet that can break my bones”)?

I remember reading that originally Wolverine’s claws were intended to be part of his costume and Claremont wanted to establish that they were part of him, otherwise anyone could be wolverine just by putting his gloves on (which he did when they were captured – on Starcore one? I can’t remember – another cool moment though). That has always made me curious about when his actual mutant powers were established, as early on he is just non-specifically tough and durable.

Pity the poor Banshee, whose sonic scream prevents him from hearing things going on in his vicinity…

love the . look on Storm’s and Kurt’s faces when they see wolverine stab both the guard and dino. proving that Logan will do what needs to be done in his own way. not to mention the surprize storm shows when wolverine starts to heal.

johnny the boy

May 13, 2009 at 1:19 pm

this issue is, IMHO, where wolverine ceases to be the weird, throw-away, hulk villain who seems to exist only to annoy cyke and begins to become (for better or worse) the character we know today.

re: his claws breaking skin every time:

It hasn’t been very consistent, but back in the day, they were thought to be put there by weapon X. Nevertheless they still were usually described as coming out of bionic housings in his forearms. Jim Lee’s cover of like X-Men 5 or something even shows those bionic housings.. After Magneto tore out all his metal those housings were torn out too making it so he had to pop through his skin every time. Apocalypse didn’t appear to bother to replace the bionic housings when he put the metal back now so they still pop through skin these days.

My fave of this sequence is actually Wolvie talking to Zabu…which I always though was really cool. But one of the things that I love about this run is how well information on his character was fed in dribs and drabs for years in real time. Issue 109 is a great start to developing his character, and this issue just continues to build upon it.

Kurt and Ororo’s reaction to Wolvie taking out the guard off-panel is priceless. Byrne and Claremont were at the top of their game here and it’s clear to see how Wolverine became the book’s breakthrough character during their run.

I’d almost forgotten what it felt to like to see Wolverine as being cool rather than overexposed. He might have even retracted his claws a bit when killing the dinosaur, too. World of difference.

Byrne’s right: that one little “snikt” changed the entire scene. I would have preferred to make it more ambiguous.

Was this a scene that got Jim Shooter all bent out of shape abut X-Men not killing without having to pay the price? I know that’s what made him mandate killing off Jean Grey…

Ethan Shuster

May 13, 2009 at 7:05 pm

I guess maybe it wasn’t always a part of Wolvy’s character, but I always liked this exchange in the first X-Men movie:
Rogue – “Does it hurt?”
Wolverine – “Every time.”

They actually talked about how the skin would heal over during the first (and best) Genosha storyline, when Wolvie lost his healing factor and Rogue (being “run” by the Carol Danvers persona) had to bandage him up.

This really is where Claremont & Byrne started to really hit their stride. You’ve got the great stuff in Japan, Alpha Flight, the race to Muir Island…and all the while we start seeing the build up to the Dark Phoenix saga. It’s particularly impressive how Claremont ran these long thread plot elements through the book without sacrificing some good, short stories, like the Savage Land.

More non-Marvel moments please?

Byrne was a great artist back when he cared about art.

Sadly, that is now … like … twenty-five years ago.

I think Byrne is still a good artist, I just think his plotting/writing isn’t as good as it used to be. Just my opinion, of course.

Was this issue inked by Terry Austin? It’s got his feel to it.

Reading the Byrne/Claremont X-Men and comparing Wolverine then to Wolverine now is a revelation – like listening to the Faces’ Stay With Me when your only experience of Rod Stewart is Do Ya Think I’m Sexy; you’re like “oh, THIS is why people took an interest…”

Wolverine was infinitely cooler when we didn’t know anything about him. Being hundreds of years old with bone claws just kind of ruins the character for me.

Love this scene.

Oh, and “If You Think I’m Sexy” is a classic! :D

More non-Marvel moments please?

There was a non-marvel 2 days ago. Going through the archives, there’s a fairly good split between DC and Marvel with some Dark Horse and others thrown in. Do you really think making the request is going to make a difference?

I was just thinking of this scene, and that it would be a worthy addition to this archive.

Thank you!

There was a non-marvel 2 days ago. Going through the archives, there’s a fairly good split between DC and Marvel with some Dark Horse and others thrown in. Do you really think making the request is going to make a difference?

It might. I know that Brian reads the comments and to be honest, the Marvel moments of late have been fairly lame.

Anything’s possible (not likely, but possible!)!

I love how Nightcrawler watches Wolverine kill the guard and all he can say is: “Mein Gott.” XD

Big jungle cat killing people with his claws- too conspicuous. Diminutive mutant in bright yellow spandex killing people with his claws- sneaky.

[shrug] good enough.

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