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CSBG Archive

A Year of Cool Comics – Day 162

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 an underrated Wolverine run – Archie Goodwin, John Byrne and Klaus Janson’s seven-issue run from Wolverine #17-23.


I believe Byrne has said that the only reason he agreed to do this run was because of the chance to work with the late, great Archie Goodwin (Byrne was not doing a lot of “just the art” projects at the time).

And the run opened with a tremendous cover by Byrne (that ended up on a lot of licensed stuff by Marvel in the late 80s/early 90s)….

The early pages of their run pretty much expressed what kind of stories that Goodwin and Byrne would be doing…

This would be basic, well-done adventure comics.

Check out the cool cliffhanger of the first issue, where they introduce a new villain….

They introduced a new heroine, as well, La Bandera, and tied in with Byrne’s Acts of Vengeance, having Wolverine fight Tiger Shark…

The run ENDED with a great cover, too..

By this time, Byrne was doing the art by himself…

This was a great tun that does not get as much attention.


I’m sorry but for me Janson’s inks do not work over Byrne’s pencils. Really puts me off this story.

This was probably the best storyline to appear in the original Wolvierine series. Goodwin wrote a good Wolverine (the Wolvie/Nick Fury GN he did with Chaykin is also excellent). Magneto’s cameo at the end is a pretty cool moment.

“I’m sorry but for me Janson’s inks do not work over Byrne’s pencils.”

I’ve got to pitch in on the other side of the argument. The pages above with Janson’s inks seem a lot stronger to me. By this point of his career, Byrne inking himself had already become kind of self-indulgent from my point of view. I much prefer the collaboration with Janson.

I remember this run when the UK’s Wolverine and Deadpool comic reprinted it. And it is INSANELY good.

I’ve always felt that Byrne’s declined in quality by this time, but that first stuff with Janson looks really great. And that cover for #23 is fantastic.

All handily reprinted in Wolverine Classic Vol. 4 apparently.

That was good Brian. I did not know of this run.

La Bandera’s costume sure shows a lot of leg skin.

Omar Karindu, with the power of SUPER-hypocrisy!

June 12, 2010 at 9:30 pm

I sort of wish there were a character called Wolverien. He could be the existentialist French version, who sighs heavily and says, “I’m the best there is at what I do…but what does it mean to be?”

That last Byrne cover was done with the help of a Mac, it even got a credit.

I have to agree that Janson over Byrne didn’t work for me. I’m not crazy about Janson over anyone besides himself for me, Miller included. I like his inks over Romita Jr on that Punisher/Wolverine/Ghost Rider book.

I always dig Janson, myself, and think this was pretty neat looking. Did Janson ever ink/finish Byrne any other time? Is Janson the one inking JRJR on the latest Avengers title? (I’ll have to look it up when I get home.)

I believe this is in the first Essential Wolverine volume, which I have at home (although it’s my sister’s, she had a pretty good run of Wolverine. Why she dug Wolvey so much, I dunno). I’ll have to give it a read, looks like it will look neat in B&W.

I do like Omar’s idea of Wolverien. He would, of course, have to team up with Batroc, though. I can imagine a whole comic of Wolverien and Batroc sitting around discussing Sartre.

Omar/Travis – Jes nais regrette Wolverien!

yes he did: Avengers #182 & 183, just wonderful stuff, quite different from what you see here (not better or worse, just different).
Anyway, at that time I thought Byrne was starting to decline (he did his first run at She-Hulk at the same time and it liked that much more than this), and Janson’s inks were starting to loosen too much, too. Maybe we can justify Byrne’s sloppiness saying that, by that time, he was scripting She-Hulk and the 2 avengers titles, and pencilling She-Hulk and West Coast.

About this being “the best storyline to appear in the original Wolvierine series”; well, I’ve always look at this as an “ok” story, far from the best efforts of any of its creators. For me the best were the ones Larry Hama did with Silvestri and Texeira (and a few done in one issues with Kubert), specially the first 4-5 storylines from the Hama-Silvestri run. They had a sense of fun that I miss in the rest of the series (and in almost anything is published today, btw).

Byrne’s art on the other two titles – and Namor which follows – is streets ahead (imo) of what we see here – all the familiar Byrne details are there. To my mind the blame for the art looking like this is firmly laid at Janson’s door.

Now seeing some Pencils for this would be instructive – especially alongside some WCA/She Hulk for comparison

Well to be fair Byrne is only credited with breakdowns.

My two cents: it was an extreme pleasure to work with both Archie and John on those 7 issues. I’m not sure why we stopped when we did but I would have loved to continue. John was doing breakdowns-I think in blue pencil-and I just remember how much fun it was to work on that run. And any opportunity to work with Archie Goodwin was something no one could pass up. Nice pick, Brian!

It’s nice to know that you basically had the same response as Byrne, Klaus – the opportunity to work with Archie was really special.

Thanks for stopping by!

Omar Karindu, with the power of SUPER-hypocrisy!

June 13, 2010 at 2:04 pm

Aw man….Wolverien coulda been another Suicide Squid.

John was doing breakdowns-I think in blue pencil-and I just remember how much fun it was to work on that run.

I’d always (naively?) assumed Breakdowns was another word for Pencils – how do the two differ ? And if John was credited as Pencilling what would the difference in material recieved by the inker be ?

I’d always (naively?) assumed Breakdowns was another word for Pencils – how do the two differ ? And if John was credited as Pencilling what would the difference in material recieved by the inker be ?

There are three major ways for a penciler to be credited:

1. Layouts – these are really not very detailed at all. Practically just guides for the other artist where to draw stuff.

2. Breakdowns – these are not really fully realized pencils, but they’re more distinct than just layouts. Still, the inker is basically doing at least half the job of the penciler on top of his/her normal inking job. That is why the inker is credited as the “finisher” rather than the inker, as he/she is finishing the pencils of the penciler rather than inking the finished pencils.

3. Pencils – this is what you normally think of when you think of penciled artwork. This is nearly fully realized art that the inker then has to make fully realized.

Basically, then, in 1 – the art doesn’t look like the layout artist’s work at all, but rather the artist who penciled over the layouts (think Keith Giffen’s Justice League work or his 52 work), in 2 – the art is clearly recognizable as the penciler’s work, but it is also clearly recognizable as the inker’s work, as well – think the above work (where you can definitely tell it is Janson doing the finishes – or Joe Rubinstein on the Wolverine mini-series, or Bob Layton on most of his first Iron Man run) and finally, 3 – most of the time, the penciler’s work is more recognizable than the inker’s (think most comic books).

Jeremy A. Patterson

June 13, 2010 at 2:25 pm

I felt that this run was pretty solid!


Ditto. I think Klaus Janson’s inking here looks spectacular; it adds a certain, I don’t know, smoothness to Byrne’s art, I’d say. And I just love that ending with Magneto. “Ah, your German comes back!”

Travis Pelkie

June 13, 2010 at 6:32 pm

Woo, Klaus Janson himself shows up. Way cool. If you’re still reading, Mr Janson, I’d like to say that I’ve always enjoyed your work. Gothic part 2 is actually one of the earliest comics I got, and some of those images still creep me out (in a good way). Thank you for all the great work over the years.

Now I’ve got to look at those DC guides you did.

Travis-Thanks for the kind words regarding Gothic. It’s great that you were creeped out! That was the exact effect I was going for: not so much in your face gore or violence but more goose pimples and hair raising than anything. Sometimes things work out, sometimes they don’t. One of my favorite jobs.

i’m really glad that Mr. Janson has stopped by & made some comments. i love hearing the backstory & history from the professionals, and getting their perspective.

That being said, i’m not a big fan of Mr. Janson & i don’t really enjoy his work over the Byrne art in these panels. i feel bad about that, as Klaus seems very nice & has worked on some of my favorite comics.

Thanks Mr. Janson for being willing to drop by!


Has this been collected?

Yup, in Wolverine Classic Vol. 4 and in Essential Wolverine Vol. 1.

Travis Pelkie

June 15, 2010 at 6:59 pm

There’s a local dollar store that has 2 packs of old comics packaged, and I saw that in some of them, there’s part 2 of Gothic, so I smile at the idea of a new generation of kids being creeped out by those images in Gothic. Thank you, Mr Janson.

Sweet; thanks a lot Gokitalo!

I found these in the back issue bins a few months ago and had a great time reading them. La Bandera was a little hokey but like I said, it was all terribly fun. Spore reminded me of a seaweed-based villain Bryne created when he was doing the Namor series in the ’90s. Great final cover. And I like Janson’s inking here. I thought it fit nicely with the back-to-basics adventure approach of the run.

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