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Week of Cool Wolverine Comic Book Moments – Wolverine Somehow Survives the Citadel of Light and Shadow

All week long we will feature brand-new Cool Wolverine Comic Book Moments in celebration of his recent film. Here is an archive of all the past cool comic moments that I’ve featured so far over the years.

We begin the week with an acclaimed one-off story from X-Men Annual #11 by Chris Claremont, Alan Davis and Paul Neary where Wolverine puts the rest of the X-Men on his proverbial shoulders.

The issue opens with Wolverine trying to drown his sorrows on the one year anniversary of Mariko jilting him at the altar. He reflects over the situation in the X-Mansion…

Suddenly, the X-Men are confronted by a powerful alien being known as Horde who forces the X-Men to go to an interdimensional place called the Citadel of Light and Shadow to retrieve a gem from it. The X-Men go along with the plan for now (figuring that they can always try to figure something out when push comes to shove at the end, since they’ll at least have the powerful gem to barter with). Along the way, though, the Citadel begins to offer each member of the team their own secret dream. In the case of Rogue, the Citadel plays upon her racism and transports her to her dream world of Slavery era South…

One by one the X-Men are picked off by the Citadel. A lot of their dreams, by the way, are REALLY depressing. No more so than Dazzler, where she is given the option of being a mega singing star, a successful lawyer and judge and a bag lady and she chooses the bag lady option because it is the only one that doesn’t bring with it pressure. DANG, that is some hardcore shit right there, Claremont!

Eventually, Wolverine is given his temptation and Davis freakin’ KILLS it here…

That’s about as sexy as a drawing of a fictional character on a piece of paper can get.

In the end, Wolverine is able to fight off the temptation, as is Storm (just barely). However, Horde shows up and Wolverine “saves” Storm by throwing her into her dream again…

How awesome is that? Wolverine’s blood is enough to activate the gem.

For a moment then, Wolverine is pretty much a god, but can he resist that temptation as well?

Come on, this is Wolverine, of course he can!

The X-Men are all saved and Storm pays tribute to Wolverine with a brilliant end panel before an epilogue not having to do with Wolverine….

What a classic story.

I presume the blood hitting the gem is “the” moment.

Feel free to e-mail me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com to suggest other cool Wolverine moments to me for the rest of the week! Make sure to check the archive, though, as a number of cool moments have already been featured starring Wolverine (including “Now it’s my shot!,” giving Rogue his healing power and more!).

31 Comments

Astonishing Spider-Man and Wolverine issue 5, Wolverine becomes the new Phoenix. Nuff said true believers!

X-Men Annual #11, my favorite annual of the bunch from Claremont(well, not including Asgardian Wars). Lovely, LOVELY Alan Davis/Paul Neary work here.

Yeah, I always loved this story when I was a kid. It was just so dark and disturbing and unlike their regular stories. That image of Horde having torn Psylocke’s metal form to shreds was particularly disturbing. And to think it was relegated to an annual that many (most?) fans might’ve skipped altogether.

However, Horde wasn’t appealing to Rogue’s “racism.” It seems a fairly typical dream scenario for a Southern girl like her to be the Belle of the Ball like Scarlett O’Hara. More importantly, she’s able to fit in, to be the center of men’s attention and affection, and to safely be able to return tt. Outright calling her a racist like that really puts a simplistic and rather unfair label on what’s going on in that scene.

Literally just read this today in my volume of Essentials. looks a lot better in colour, but still excellent.

Rogue is the Paula Deen of the X-Men.

But Wolverine bleeds all the time in fights. So shouldnt there be literally tens of thousands (or more) of Wolverine clones running around from all the drops of blood he’s spilled? And this story contradicts later Wolverine stories. His body shouldn’t regenerate the Adamantium skeleton and claws. But you can’t fault Claremont and Davis for what came later.

The story notes that it is only resurrecting because of the power of the gem. Likewise, that would explain why the adamantium skeleton was added, as well. In effect, “a wizard did it!”

Seriously? Appealing to Rogue’s “racism”? That’s just poor, lazy writing, man. Modok summed up the situation correctly. There is nothing about race there or anything in Rogue’s background that ever even implied that (at the time, anyway, that I can think of).

Claiming that racism, rather than the desire to be able to touch someone without hurting or killing them, was what the citadel was appealing to in Rogue’s trap is lazy and disappointing.

First, I think Brian was semi-joking, but I do see his point some. It may not have been racist in an overt, malicious, intentional way by Rogue, but it was racist in a narcissistic, self-absorbed, insensitive, unintentional way. There are millions of scenarios that could involve her being able to touch other people. For her to reduce an oppressive, exploitative system like the plantation South to a storybook fairy tale that would have been cool because she would get to wear nice frilly dresses and attend parties with cute boys she could dance with is pretty racially insensitive. It would be like someone fantasizing about how great it would have been to be a young German debutante in Nazi Germany because it was a prosperous, exciting, romantic time with those wonderful young boys in their dashing uniforms without even giving a single thought to all those Jews dying in concentration camps and Russians dying in battle.

Rogue must’ve been a big fan of Gone with the Wind as a kid.

Well if it was a joke…my mistake for missing it! No worries. Plus, I don’t come here for the jokes, I come for the awesome comic articles! This issue is one that has stuck with me since it first came out…a great and memorable Annual.

And “T”…don’t forget “Godwin’s Law”…nailed it in one! I kid…and of course I see your point.

But still…romanticizing a time which contained institutionalized racism is not the same as romanticizing institutionalized racism. Don’t forget it was also about class for Rogue – she was basically “poor white trash” from Mississippi. There is also nothing saying that Rogue’s dream-self wasn’t an abolitionist and suffragette as well!

Jeremy…

Yeah, I’m sure she was…lots of girls that grow up in the south were/are.

Is this the beginning of Wolverine’s healing factor reaching ridiculous degrees? Other than that, this is a cool story.

T, Claremont made Rogue’s hatred of how she couldn’t touch anybody her defining character trait, and never wrote anything about her being bigoted against anybody. So when you have to choose between something that was in the vast majority of the stories featuring her and something that was in none of them, choosing the one that was in none of them the way Brian did is the lazy move.

“That’s about as sexy as a drawing of a fictional character on a piece of paper can get.”

Agreed. Alan Davis is a master at non-creepy cheesecake.

Are we supposed to read something into the panel where Storm’s irresistible fantasy is Yukio? I remember them being close friends, but not intimates.

Agreed on the supposed racism. While I haven’t read the full issue, I don’t see any servants or slaves anywhere in those pictures. If that was the part she cared about, wouldn’t she have people waiting on her hand and foot? No, if anything this was slightly lazy of Claremont, thinking “she’s from the south, she wants to be loved and admired and touched, so let’s put her in the Antebellum south!” (I’m from Louisiana and I never daydreamed of living in this era as a little girl. I just wanted to be a princess in medieval times.) If we were truly meant to believe that Rogue was racist, I think we would have seen some kind of conflict of the sort between her being unable to respect Storm as a leader or otherwise doubting her abilities, while from what I remember she never had that problem.

Ah yes. This is the infamous story that some writers used to justify Logan’s amped up healing factor. I picked this book up when it came out. I was a huge X-fan at that time. So when some of those writers were saying “Logan regenerated from a drop of blood”, my first reaction was “did you read the story?”. It clearly states in the story that the crystal is what jumpstarted his healing factor.

I think that Logan’s healing factor should go back down to its original level. By original level I mean cutting open his jugular veins would kill him because he would bleed out faster than he could heal. It wouldn’t make him so unbeatable and add tension to his stories. He would also use his brains and skills more instead of just charging into battle.

It was the Storm/Wolvie kiss shown in the header panels there that blew my mind when I first read it. This lead to such a great simmering characterization/sud-plot that ran through the books about their relationship, culminating in the first Crimson Commandoappearance/ “Most Dangerous Game” storyline in Uncanny.

And that last panel there for me is the moment and the payoff that harkens all the way back to the original mini.

Brian, if memory serves this is also the issue that shows the wonderful Davis image of the X-Family tree with various members as the trunk (Colossus), the heart, the boughs, leaves and canopy. That crystalized for me the whole embodiment of what the X-Men stood for, moreso than the FF or the Avengers.

Yup, this is one of my favorites.

This annual was my #1 pick in the Top X-Men story poll. The art plays a huge roll in that, but Claremont’s story was great, too. I practically read this comic to pieces when I was younger.

And as emacpmd mentioned, I always thought it was pretty clear that the gem was what supercharged the healing factor, and not that Wolverine can just regenerate from a drop of blood.

LouReedRichards

August 6, 2013 at 10:11 am

Rather than Rouge being a racist, is it more of a case of Claremont being a lazy writer?

Like “T” said there are multitudes of scenarios that he could have placed her in that wouldn’t deal in Southern Antebellum cliche’s.

I didn’t read that much of the X-Men back then, but I don’t ever recall Rogue exhibiting racial enmity.

Also: As a life long Southerner, I’ve always thought Rogue’s accent was laughably inept or clueless. I guess I should get in line behind the Irish, the Russians and the Germans.

T, Claremont made Rogue’s hatred of how she couldn’t touch anybody her defining character trait, and never wrote anything about her being bigoted against anybody. So when you have to choose between something that was in the vast majority of the stories featuring her and something that was in none of them, choosing the one that was in none of them the way Brian did is the lazy move.

Again, in case I didn’t make it clear last time, I don’t think it’s overtly, intentionally racist as far as Rogue actively hating black people. I think it’s covertly, unintentionally racist as far as Rogue fantasizing about how glamorous an era the antebellum South was without even and romanticizing it without even giving a second thought about the implications of living in such an era. How self-absorbed does one have to be if to them the most prominent, important part of the antebellum South to her is the awesome dinner parties and the courting and the flirting, all the while ignoring the 800 ton not pound elephant in the room?

While I haven’t read the full issue, I don’t see any servants or slaves anywhere in those pictures. If that was the part she cared about, wouldn’t she have people waiting on her hand and foot

Well, that’s exactly the part that I mean when I say it’s unintentional racism via self-centered narcissism rather than intentional racism via malicious intent. The fact she can fantasize about how awesome the South would be without even giving a second thought to the subjugation of a whole race that era and region were built upon shows a callous, disregard for a whole race of people. It’s racism by negligence or obliviousness if you will. At the risk of again invoking Godwin’s Law, again it would be like fantasizing about how awesome it would have been to live in Nazi Germany for various reasons, then when someone brought up “But what about the Jewish oppression” you responded “Oh, I forgot about them” or worse, “The what oppression?” In such a situation you may not actively be a hater of Jews, but to disregard their situation so casually because you enjoy other more superficial aspects of the situation could be considered a form of racism.

I’ve read a few blog posts talking about that Wolvie/Storm kiss as a signal that they had a relationship going on on the side…never really picked up on that when I was younger…was there any more evidence of that?

As far as I recall, I didn’t bat an eye at that panel when I read it just because, I dunno, the X-Men always seemed to take weird liberties with each other that didn’t seem to amount to anything serious. I’m thinking of how Rogue absorbs Wolvie’s powers through a make-out kiss, or Storm casually getting naked all the time, or Psylocke also getting naked to pose for Colossus’s pictures…

T, earlier in his run Claremont wrote a scene where Mastermind used his powers to convince Jean Grey that she was reliving the life of one of her ancestors, which included making her see Storm as a rebellious slave about to be whipped. He also gave us at least two scenes where Kitty reacted to African-American friends using the word “mutie” by throwing the N-word at them. If racism had anything to do with Rogue’s temptation it would have been an explicit part of the scene – Claremont was not even slightly subtle when it came to writing about racism in the X books.

The lines which explicitly spell out what is tempting to her are these: “She has a home, family, love– everything Ah’ve always dreamed of. It isn’t fair, why can’t those gifts be mine?!” That is not racism the fantasy is appealing to; it is the desire to be able to touch and be touched without hurting others and risking her own sanity which, as i pointed put upthread, was her defining trait at the time.

Oh man, this is one of my favorite comics of all time. I must have read this a billion times, each of the panels on each page you showed here is indelibly imprinted in my mind. THIS is what Wolverine looks like to me. THIS Storm will always be MY Storm, and that kiss she shared with Logan has always been just perfect for me. That panel!

Seriously, I’m kind of giddy right now, having a nostalgia-gasm. I love this issue so much. Yay!

1) Rogue is not racist. you can think Babe Ruth was a legendary baseball player without being racist for supporting segregation. inferring that rogue is racist because of her dream sequence is dumb.

2) the gem regenerated Wolverine. his healing does not work like gremlins coming into contact with water. this is pretty obvious in the story.

3) the most baller moment in this issue is in the beginning when Wolverine is getting sloshed. he grabs a beer, slices off the top and chugs it, like a regular frat circus. it is far cooler than anything that happens with the silly crystal of dreams or whatever.

Is it just me, or Storm showed a hint of a love interest towards Yukio? I never picked that up on reading the issues published in Brazil (that particular one was never published, I think).

nice pick for actully showed that even tempted with the power of a god wolverine was able to do what needed to be done to save the x-men . though kind of creepy when horde shreds pylocke and also has rogue desire be a southern bell of the ball and a little touch of rogue having some racism .

It was a heck of a lot better issue than that Evolutionary War annual that came next!

I loved this issue. A lot of it has to do with how old you were when you started buying them, and what issue you started with (me: ten years old, X-Men 200), but this was just amazing. I loved the Art Adams X-Men, the JRJr X-Men, but Davis was (and is) clean and clear and delineated like nobody else. On top of that, this story in particular dug into their characters. I loved seeing the X-Men succeed, partially because I saw that they had weaknesses. I remember C. Britain and Megan sacrificed themselves for normalcy, and it always colored how I read them in Excalibur after that.

I love the characterization of Wolverine in this era, he really was about idealism over pragmatism, for better or worse. This idealism still sticks with me nearly 30 years later.

Was the Impossible Man/Warlock New Mutants annual ever on this list? Davis killed it on that one as well, if I remember correctly.

“As far as I recall, I didn’t bat an eye at that panel when I read it just because, I dunno, the X-Men always seemed to take weird liberties with each other that didn’t seem to amount to anything serious. I’m thinking of how Rogue absorbs Wolvie’s powers through a make-out kiss, or Storm casually getting naked all the time, or Psylocke also getting naked to pose for Colossus’s pictures…”

I always liked that about the X-Men. They seemed to be a group of adults (even though the soap opera drama could be high school level at times). There was a seeming naturalness about sex that other teams and characters never approached.

roquefortraider

August 12, 2013 at 4:19 am

How did Logan regrow his adamantium bones??? This was magic in action, not his healing factor!

The silence on the “racist” comment is deafening.

However spot on regarding how sexy the art was here. Hama had a good run, but I still can’t forgive him for killing Mariko. Left nothing for Wolverine to strive for, and started a line of dead girlfriends. And revived some notion that Jean Grey was the “one” for him, rather than being someone he loved, but not really the best fit for him. Amazing no one has brought her back to life. They’ve done it with everyone else. Maybe now that she’s in a movie.

And emacpmd hits it on the head. There used to be lots of ways to kill Wolverine; he was just hard to kill. Wasn’t it Mystique in a story who says if she can cut his throat he’ll bleed out before he can heal from his wounds? (The second half of Days of Future Past maybe?) He should be hard to kill, but not immortal.

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