Thursday, May 29, 2014

Scanned Thoughts: Wolverine #7

Fights between Wolverine and Sabretooth are equivalent to masturbation in the X-men comics in that it never gets old and is always satisfying in some capacity. I freely admit that I indulge in this guilty pleasure the same way I indulge in a bong hit on a Friday night. The conflict between Wolverine and Sabretooth is so extensive in its breath, yet so visceral in its nature that short of the Yankees and the Red Sox, there are no rivalries that can evoke such angry passions. Since Wolverine's latest solo series began, he has been on a collision course with Sabretooth to get back at him for the ass-kicking he received during the Killable arc. It has led him to ditch the X-men, hook up with some new team, and work for a walking masturbation joke, the Offer. While it began with a confusing, disjointed narrative, it has finally become more streamlined now that Wolverine has finally caught up with Sabretooth and Madripoor. While his pending death is still a few months away, I made sure I had plenty of lube ready when I read Wolverine #7. I would say it came in handy, but that would be one masturbation joke too many.

The stage is set for the big fight. Sabretooth has found what he has been looking for along with the Hand, the Offer, and probably the Montana Militia. It doesn't look like much, but it's really fucking shiny and for stoners or psychopaths, that's usually enough. There's no telling what it can do, but it's a given that Sabretooth will find a way to make it something he can torture Wolverine and/or bang Mystique with. Wolverine can only watch because he's still without his healing factor and horribly unequipped to take on his nemesis. But he doesn't have to because a monkey unexpectedly comes in and steals the shiny orb. I'm not on LSD, believe it or not. That actually happens. Maybe it's some sort of colorful metaphor for the IRS, but it feels like someone is just exploiting my inherent love of monkeys.

With monkeys working in his favor, Wolverine launches his attack. This could bit it. This could be the first round of the Wolverine vs. Sabretooth: Round 29,821. And without his healing factor, it promises to be especially painful and epic for Wolverine. This is what was teased with the previous few issues. Sadly, this isn't what we end up getting.

Instead, we just get Sabretooth calling in the Hand like a little girl calling for her mommy when she sees a bee. They swoop in, shoot Wolverine with poison arrows, and allow Sabretooth to escape. He still doesn't have that fancy glowing orb, but he doesn't have Wolverine's dead rotting corpse to bury either. It's incredibly anti-climactic. It couldn't be more anti-climactic without throwing in a clip of a Tasmanian Devil giving birth at the end of a porno.

It's also anti-climactic in how Wolverine deals with being shot by a dozen poison arrows. When he had his healing factor, this would barely count as a flesh wound. Now that he doesn't have his healing factor, this should be a big fucking deal. Again, it's anti-climactic, but in a somewhat different way. It's more like hearing a guy fart at the end of a porno. It's jarring, but doesn't kill the mood completely.

In the previous issue, it was already revealed that Wolverine was secretly getting help from MI-13. They were just as interested in finding the big shiny orb as the Offer. And one of them, Faiza Hussain, happened to be keeping an eye on Wolverine while he prepared to take on Sabretooth. She probably won herself at least 20 bucks betting that he would get himself mortally wounded, although anyone dumb enough to take that bet has no business gambling. She helps heal him and in yet another act that sort of goes against the whole being killable concept, Wolverine heals up without a scratch. It's as inane as it sounds so I wouldn't recommend reading it sober.

The rest of his team catches up with him. This includes Pinch, a woman who took a page from the Gwen Stacy playbook and decided to jump into bed with Wolverine. It's as foolish as it sounds. She already began questioning his loyalty in recent issues and she just happened to see some strange secret agent heal Wolverine from a mortal wound. If she didn't have her doubts before, she now has as many as Tiger Woods' ex-wife.

We get some inner monologue with her, but at no point does she say anything that would make anyone feel sorry for her. Seriously, did she really think sleeping with Wolverine was a good idea beyond just getting a few good orgasms? The relationship between Pinch and Wolverine has had less depth than an old episode of Pimp My Ride. When the series began, they were just...together. Nothing else has been done with them. And we don't know shit about Pinch other than she's sleeping with Wolverine and looks good in a skin-tight outfit. That might be a suitable criteria for a hooker, but not for a relationship that we're supposed to care about. So her feeling betrayed has no weight to it. She might as well be a waitress that Wolverine forgot to tip. At least she can say she got to see him naked.

Pinch continues her bitching and moaning about his betrayal as they search for the orb. She still doesn't say anything that would make her any less important than someone Wilt Chamberlin slept with. At this point, I'm just begging her to shut up. I was glad that we got some insight into who she was earlier. Now she's just nagging and distracting from Wolverine's mission to take the orb back from a bunch of crazed monkeys. It's not as awesome as it sounds because too much of it is taken up by Pinch. But he does eventually manage to wrestle the orb away from the monkeys, but in a way that will disappoint many Planet of the Apes fans.

When he touches the orb, it activates some sort of crazy security system. But instead of an annoying car alarm that wakes people up at three in the morning, it creates an entire army of variant Wolverines to defend it from unauthorized users. While I would love to see more crazed monkeys, I will admit that this is a pretty effective security measure. Hell, I wish my laptop and cell phone had this kind of security. I would be much less worried about someone stealing my comics and porn.

The battle that follows isn't quite as epic as the Wolverine vs. Sabretooth battle we were promised, but it's still pretty entertaining. Wolverine takes on a bunch of variant Wolverines that include samurai Wolverines, army Wolverines, and I'm pretty sure there's a cross-dressing Wolverine somewhere in there. It's Wolverine battling himself, which would be a pretty fitting struggle if Pinch's bitching still didn't distract from the action. But it does have a purpose in the end.

At one point, the orb seeks to find the exact opposite kind of Wolverine with which to fight him. While I would guess such a version would be a scrawny, hairless, weakling who spent years as Sabretooth's prison bitch, it ends up being a Wolverine wearing the same costume he dawned when he wore the Offer. This effectively reveals to his team that he's been lying to them. Again, it has no emotional weight. Hell, at this point it's a relief to finally get this shit out of the way. It's still pretty visceral, but nothing that can't be found in a Wolfenstein game.

It continues to get more contrived from there. While Wolverine is battling his variant, Pinch and the rest of the team retrieve the orb and figure out the password to deactivate the security system. The way they figure it out is pretty inane. They use some sort of nanite translators, which might as well be cheat codes in a video game. It feels rushed, which I guess is a direct result of wasting so much time having Pinch bitch about Wolverine's betrayal. It ends the brawl between Wolverine and his variant before it can get all that epic. So that means the struggle against the crazed monkeys and a variant Wolverine were both cut short. And for what? Pinch being pissed off that Wolverine lied to him? That has to be the worst deal that wasn't made by Donald Trump.

It's because all this bitching and all this horribly unepic action that the eventual confrontation between Pinch and Wolverine falls flat. She's upset with him, obviously. She even punches him, which is to be expected. I've had ex-girlfriends do way more to me and I only ever lie about where I hide their panties. Wolverine tries to claim what they had was real, but that sounds about as genuine as a promise from Vladimir Putin. Considering he still has emotional ties with Storm that haven't been addressed, there's really no salvaging this moment or giving it any hint of emotion. It only got a little bit tense when Wolverine pulled a gun on Pinch, which has never happened with me and my ex-girlfriends. But she manages to taunt him enough for him to let her go. Again, it's flat and it makes no fucking sense. There's no reason to be upset in the slightest that Wolverine screwed over his new team. There's nothing that was done to make anyone give a damn in the first place and that's why it feels so unsatisfying.

But Wolverine is still not completely without allies. As his former team takes off, effectively kicking him out of their crew and Pinch's panties in the process, his friends from MI-13 catch up with him to help him battle the Hand. They're understandably disappointed that Wolverine lost the orb, but they didn't have to listen to Pinch's bitching so I consider them the lucky ones. There's not much else for them to do but fight or run from a squad of ninjas. It sounds like it should be epic, but at this point the lack of depth and emotion and logic, for that matter, just make it all but impossible. I want to feel sorry for Wolverine, but he planned this shit. I can't feel any sorry for him than I can the guy who invented edible panties.

While Wolverine watches his plan fail miserably, Pinch and the rest of the Offer's team tries to get away with the orb. But they end up clashing with Sabretooth again, who wants that orb just as badly. They try to make a deal because a guy like Offer can't call himself that unless he's willing to make deals. Unfortunately, Sabretooth is a shitty negotiator in that he doesn't follow the typical Ebay model for deals. He reveals that he has Pinch's daughter and he'll do all sorts of unspeakable things to her, like put her on a TV show with Tim Allen, if she doesn't fork over that orb. Now Pinch did mention a daughter earlier in the issue, but that doesn't earn her any sympathy. If anything, it just makes her more of a joke. She couldn't be more generic if she were mass produced in a Chinese factory. Pretty face, check. Hot body, check. Bangs Wolverine, check. Has family drama, check. She only has this in common with half the female supporting cast on 24. And at least they don't bitch and nag as much as she does.

This issue exposed a lot of secrets that have been put in place in the most convoluted way possible. While it should be refreshing, it only ends up becoming bland and confusing. The whole plot with Wolverine chasing this fancy glowing sphere that channels variant versions of its wielder was pretty interesting, but that was the only part of the story that was really interesting. Everything else from exposing Wolverine's secrets to his team to Pinch's reaction to his betrayal was just annoyingly flat. I want to feel bad for her and for the team that Wolverine went through the trouble of infiltrating. But his betrayal has no weight to it. When it finally came out, I was more like, "Finally! No more of this elaborate deception bullshit. Now where the fuck did I leave my keys?" The plot may be clear now, but it feels needlessly convoluted and trivial. So now Sabretooth is just going to try and kill Wolverine again after he had the opportunity to do the same thing in Killable? That's both horribly inefficient and downright stupid, even if he succeeds. This story was really gaining momentum, but instead it turned into yet another generic clash between Wolverine and Sabretooth that has none of the depth it needs to be awesome. I can only give Wolverine #7 a 4 out of 10. There were crazy monkeys and cool glowing shit in this comic. That might make it somewhat appealing while stoned, but in every other state of mind, it's just plain dull. Nuff said!


  1. So, they take his healing factor away... and just replaced it with instaheals ?

    1. Sure seems that way. Haven't seen a cop out this big since Bill Clinton. At least they're making an effort to have Wolverine function in his killable form. Still, it's a shitty cop out.


    2. Should we start making bets on his, presumably, future demise ?
      I am pretty sure he will still appear in comics, maybe even more than he does now. Something similar to all those new "untold" stories about SM... or have Hudson Jr from Ultimatum transfer to 616.