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CSBG Archive

A Year of Cool Comics – Day 141

Here is the latest in our year-long look at one cool comic (whether it be a self-contained work, an ongoing comic or a run on a long-running title that featured multiple creative teams on it over the years) a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the moments posted so far!

Today we take a look at the Wolverine mini-series by Chris Claremont, Frank Miller and Joe Rubinstein, which I discussed in this week’s Comic Book Legends Revealed

Enjoy!

The Wolverine mini-series opens up strong with a sequence that sets up the entire book, really…

The idea of being a savage or a human is the main dichotmy of the series, something that is heightened when Wolverine goes to Japan to find his lady love, Mariko, who he discovers is married but being abused.

He challenges the marriage, but Mariko’s father, Shingen, fights Wolverine one-on-one and shows Mariko that Wolverine is little more than an animal…

Beaten and broken, Wolverine is near death before being saved by the wild and dangerous Yukio, who soon finds herself AND Wolverine attacked by the Hand…

Yukio does not expect that much from Wolverine, but is shocked to see that Wolverine is, you know, the best at what he does…

Wolverine is drawn to Yukio, but soon learns that he is only a pawn to her. Eventually, he is caught up in a game of cat and mouse with the Hand, Yukio and Shingen, Wolverine somehow manages to find the serenity that had eluded him.

This sets up the finale, where Wolverine is prepared to face Shingen again, only as a man – not an animal.

This sets up the famous Wolverine/Rogue storyline from Uncanny X-Men #172-173 that ranked #1 on the Greatest Rogue Stories Ever Told list!

10 Comments

pretty awesome stuff. It’s a bit text heavy, but if it’s read as internal monologue that’s an ‘a-ha!’ moment, it works pretty well. Thanks!
DFTBA

Ah, always fun to read a bit of a comic book classic.

I like the Paul Smith stuff later on more, but this is good stuff. The transition of Wolverine the beast into Wolverine the man comes into fruition, and I love the final confrontation.

“Am I worthy?”

Is this where that ‘best at what I do’ line comes from? I don’t remember ever seeing it before an early issue of What The-? It was clearly meant to be his famous catchphrase, but I can’t recall ever seeing it in X-Men up until that time.
(As What The-? clearly explained, he’s the best at what he does, and what he does is wear women’s underwear. That sounds about right.)

I’ve always liked Frank Miller’s art, at least in the early ’80s, which is all I’ve really seen, but he did not know how to draw bears, did he? I get the impression a lot of comic artists work really hard on getting human anatomy right, in a variety of different poses and from different angles, but don’t bother to learn much about animals. Some of his bear poses look a bit human.
Also, someone needs to tell him that bears don’t have a raised heel like most mammals. They’re flat-footed, like humans.

Thanks, Mary, for pointing out that bear’s tortured anatomy – I noticed that the first time I read it when it came out (in addition to being a comics geek, I was also a bit of a dinosaur/nature geek and tended to watch a lot of those PBS nature documentaries, so I really paid attention to the way comic artists drew animals…)
To be honest, although I was a huge X-fan back then, my response to this series was pretty lukewarm – I also preferred the story penciled by Smith a little later in the X-men. I guess it’s because Wolverine, although a great character, was never my favorite X-man, and this series was really the start of moving him to the forefront not only of the X-books but nearly the entire Marvel universe.

Great stuff. It is amazing that this was the only work Claremont and Miller did together. I’ve never found Wolverine more interesting than I did here.

Dean, the WOLVERINE mini was not the only work that Claremont and Miller did together. They also did the FF/Spider-Man story in MARVEL-TEAM UP #100 (inks by Wiacek). That was another first rate piece of work. It also marked the introduction of Karma.

I never liked this story. It’s written by Claremont and it’s probably the most ordinary art I’ve ever seen from Frank Miller

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