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Robert Greenberger

by Robert Greenberger

Wolverine epic Collection: Madripoor Nights

In the 1980s, Wolverine was Marvel’s a lot of ubiquitous character, seemingly appearing in every title possible with the exception of the star Comics line. fans and merchants alike couldn’t get enough of him and marvel was a lot more than delighted to accommodate the demand. At first, the major spinoff appearances were controlled by Chris Claremont, who laid claim on him and held on for years. paired with Frank Miller, they produced the sensational first miniseries which paved the way for a lot more solo tales and now marvel is collecting those tales in a series of collections beginning with Wolverine epic Collection: Madripoor Nights.

When the company made a decision to create a biweekly anthology, Wolverine became its cover feature and famous player. The first serial, “Save the Tiger”, from marvel Comics presents #1-10 kicks things off followed by a stand-alone preview tale from marvel Age annual #4, which led readers directly into the first Wolverine ongoing series and here we get the first 16 issues.

Marvel Comics presents #1. Art by Walter Simonson.

Although Claremont created the principality of Madripoor in new Mutants #32, three years later in 1988, he chose to set Logan’s solo stories in this land, south of Singapore. The small island is divided into Hightown and Lowtown and it’s the latter portion where Logan hangs out. “No policies here,” Wolverine observes of Madripoor, “anything goes — an’ everything can bought.” With art from John Buscema and Klaus Janson, the ten part story continues the theme of Asian underworld families at war with one another, themes first introduced in the Miller miniseries. Propelling the action are his encounters with super-powered enforcers with names like Roche, Sapphire Styx, and Razorfist. He also meets Jessan Hoan who we know today by her title Tyger Tyger (what’s the story title, readers?). Her history ties back to the first Reavers storyline and set her up as one of the crucial characters in his stories and the greater marvel Universe.

This arc is one of the first Wolverine stories collected, starting in 1992, and continuing to remain available here. It’s comics noir, which Claremont exceled at and aided by Buscema and Janson’s atmospheric artwork, was a cut above the other stories in MCP at the time. There’s a moral ambiguity to a lot of of the characters and situations which makes for good reading. It’s not Claremont’s best material but certainly a good taste for how a monthly series might seem with the theme of honor running through the scenes.

Wolverine #1

This story and the series that followed come at a time when the world thought the X-Men were dead. Today’s readers are merely mourning a seemingly dead Logan (for now anyway) but sets the tone nicely for rereading these adventures. The ongoing kicks off with Claremont and Buscema reunited but inker Al Williamson brings a slickness to the artwork that clears up some of the Madripoor murkiness.

With Logan dead, Wolverine wears a disguise and suit and passes himself off as patch (combing his hair differently might have helped confuse people). Claremont continues to develop and expand the cast of supporting players in Madripoor including Archie Corrigan (a sly idea of the hat to Archie Goodwin, who wrote similar stories in the secret agent Corrigan comic strip). once we establish the milieu, a dead body propels patch into his first story involving a talisman known as Muramasa Sword, or the Black Blade. The Silver Samurai comes trying to find the blade, too, but it winds up possessing private investigator and one time Spider woman Jessica Drew, who becomes a recurring player in the series.

This follows another dead body that now involves the corruption within Madripoor’s ruling government which ultimately pertains to involve the Asian elite known as The Hand.

Wolverine #8

Issues #7-8 are interesting in that they guest star the Hulk when Peter David was writing him as the gray-skinned Mister Fix-It and tonally, they work very well together. Unwittingly, it also seems to set the stage for a handoff. David, and artist gene Colan, supply a fill-in for #9 and by issue #11, he replaces Claremont as the series’ scribe. Williamson is also replaced by the a lot more proper bill Sienkiewicz as inker and if you look carefully, there are two really nicely colored issues by mark Chiarello, long before he joined DC.

Wolverine #11. Art by Kevin Nowlan.

David keeps the noir tone but shifts gears a bit and brings Archie, Patch, and Jessica to San Francisco for a change of scenery. They’re there to help Archie’s brother Burt but come across some vampires as well, which leads to the revelation of the Gehenna Stone, imbued with the spirit of Ba’al.

Back inMadripoor, David focuses the next story on actress Lindsay McCabe, who needs a bit of rescuing but her problems also seem connected to the pieces of the Gehenna stone which takes us through issue #16 and the end of this volume.

There’s plenty of action, lots of snkits and slashes, some excellent dialogue and interesting characters. This is the height of Wolverine’s creative development and is both instructive and entertaining reading.


Wolverine epic Collection Vol. 1: Madripoor nights

Classic comic covers from the Grand Comics Database.

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