Friday, July 11, 2014
Scanned Thoughts: Wolverine #10
And so the countdown continues to one of the least tense deaths since South Park started killing Kenny every episode. Since Wolverine’s impending death was announced and I began reviewing the series that would send him to his grave, there has been a distinct lack of enthusiasm among comic fans, myself included. Some will bitch and moan that death has become such a revolving door in comics that it’s not even worth getting worked up about. This sentiment has some merit, but that doesn’t mean a major death can’t be compelling. The circumstances with Wolverine are a bit different though. He’s one of Marvel’s most bankable characters so that means they’re sure as shit not going to keep him dead. The legions of women that touch themselves to the image of Hugh Jackman’s chest hair would riot. We all know he’s not staying dead. Plus, Marvel has already seen with Ultimate how a dead Wolverine tends to make a shitty series even shittier. I want to believe that they’re going to do something that will give his death some impact. The last issue actually made a good effort by bringing Rose into the mix. Wolverine #10 promises to raise the stakes, but I refuse to get too excited. That or I’ve got some kick-ass weed today.
It certainly helps that Wolverine is finally getting the rest of the X-men involved. Even though he flat out ditched them and didn’t even have the good sense to say he was going on a three-week bender in Madripoor, he has come crawling back to his former team. It’s not quite as pathetic as it sounds, even though Kid Omega answers the door in his underwear. It was already revealed several issues ago that Wolverine’s departure was part of an elaborate ruse to get close enough to Sabretooth to harvest his organs in ways that would disgust Hannibal Lector. He had his chance, but failed to maim him or stop him from obtaining a powerful alien weapon. Now that he plans on unleashing it on New York City, he needs the X-men’s help. It’s not pathetic. It’s downright practical.
It also helps that Wolverine actually takes the time to explain to his fellow X-men why he left. And remarkably, he doesn’t make light of it. It’s not something that is casually glossed over. He actually manages to sound strategic and even a little sympathetic, claiming that he needed it to seem genuine. At times, he admitted he got a little too genuine. But he makes it clear that he really does care about them and not just because they live in the same house where he keeps his beer. It’s not the most moving speech. It’s not Bill Pullman in Independence Day, but it gets the point across.
It doesn’t stop with a speech either. Wolverine also takes time to address his more personal affairs, which includes Storm. One of the major points of confusion I had when this series began was Wolverine boning some new woman and essentially ditching Storm. She’s a fucking goddess and he chose to shack up with some strange woman who doesn’t even have a nicer rack? I struggled to warp my head around that shit and I’m pretty sure most would expect Storm to tell Wolverine to fuck off when he tells her about Pinch. I’m pretty sure my ex-girlfriends would have done way worse. However, Storm has something none of my ex-girlfriends have. It’s a little something called heart.
She says outright that she and Wolverine never had a strong commitment. They weren’t married or anything. They never said outright that they were not going to bone anyone else. Unlike 98 percent of the women I’ve been involved with, she didn’t make the assumption that they were exclusive just yet. So when she basically uncovers what happened with Pinch, she doesn’t get mad. She doesn’t even say he’ll never see her naked again. She encourages him to deal with this situation, clear the air, and then they’ll have a chat about the future prospects of being naked in the same room. I didn’t think it was possible to love or respect Storm even more, but she once again proves why she’s a goddess worthy of worship. Sorry Thor. Sorry Odin. She’s just that much more awesome and she has a nicer ass.
While Wolverine humbles himself in front of his friends, Sabretooth is getting ready to do the exact opposite. He’s now in New York City armed with a creepy glowing orb that can create any alternate version of himself. In his hands, that’s a pretty potent weapon because it means he could overrun the world with AU Sabretooths until there’s nothing left by rivers of blood and the overwhelming odor of wet cats. Mystique, who is supposed to be his partner in crime and occasional fuck buddy, sees this as a way of furthering her goal of mutant dominance. But Sabretooth makes it clear that he doesn’t give a shit about mutant politics. He just wants to torment Wolverine. Nobody can say the man doesn’t have priorities.
The problem is that Sabretooth is banking that Wolverine is going to be pissed off and stupid enough to hunt him down on his own. Well, he must suck at blackjack because Wolverine does the exact opposite. Instead of shrugging off the help of his friends like he usually does and going solo, he seeks out more help. He even tries to get help from the same friends whose bar he fucked up when he got into a fight with Thor. I get the sense that he’s really pushing the value of his friendship, but I guess he’s vindicated when the ninjas attack. Let’s face it, ninjas had to attack at some point. It’s a fucking Wolverine comic.
So Wolverine get a chance to give the same speech he gave the X-men. Instead, the Hand makes his point for him. It doesn’t matter what his reasons were for being an ass before. Sabretooth is still going to try and fuck them up because they happen to be associated with Wolverine. He essentially ensures that they’ll hate Sabretooth way more than they’ll ever hate Wolverine. Wolverine may trigger bar fights, but he never sends an army of fucking ninjas to attack him. Sabretooth just gave them all the more reason to help Wolverine. I’m not sure he knows that his strategy backfired, but I’m pretty sure he doesn’t give a shit.
It also turns out that these friends of his aren’t just random drinking buddies. One of them happens to be a vampire and not the kind that sparkle either. Yes, it is random. Yes, it probably panders needlessly to the Twilight and True Blood crowd. But it makes the battle against the Hand all the more bloody and for that, I’m okay with it. I’m as sick and tired of vampires as much as the next buy, but if it makes a ninja battle more awesome, I’m all for it.
As if a vampire wasn’t helpful enough against an army of ninjas, another one of Wolverine’s friends showed up. This time it’s Thor, who is like a billion vampires armed with a big ass hammer. This is the same Thor that roughed Wolverine up a few issues ago when he was still pretending to be the kind of asshole that abandoned his friends. And unlike most gods, Thor is pretty forgiving about it. I’m guessing he saw that someone had sent ninjas to attack Wolverine and that was proof enough to him that he’s still a good guy. Naturally, the ninjas know they’re outmatched against a full-blooded god so they retreat. No amount of ninja skills or magic can help him against this shit. And just like before, Wolverine doesn’t have to explain himself. Thor already understands. That probably means he got a few text messages from Storm and like most gods, Thor tends to heed the words of beautiful women.
But Thor doesn’t stop with helping Wolverine beat up ninjas. I’m pretty sure that’s something they do during the intermissions of hockey games. That text message from Storm must have also included a picture of her ass because Thor was nice enough to both forgive Wolverine and bring a huge fucking heap of backup to help him. That includes a large contingent of SHIELD agents, led by Nick Fury, the Sam Jackson version and not the David Hasselhoff version. It’s a pretty impressive army he’s got going for him. The X-men, his bar buddies, Thor, and SHIELD are now ready to help him maim Sabretooth into a bloody smoothie. Suddenly having an army of AU versions of himself doesn’t sound like much of an advantage.
It sends a message that hasn’t really been conveyed in this series or any Wolverine series for quite a while. While he may be the ultimate loner and a hell of an asshole sometimes, Wolverine has a lot of friends that care about him. They know he’s vulnerable. They know Sabretooth is going out of his way to kill him in an obscenely elaborate way. They know this is one of those things that Wolverine likes to do on his own, but now they’re ready to help him. It would be so heart-warming if Wolverine’s inevitable death hadn’t already been spoiled. But I guess the fact this might be his last battle alongside his friends helps add to that warm and fuzzy feeling. That or it’s just the cocaine talking. It might be a little of both.
Sabretooth is still working under the assumption that he’s only going to deal with Wolverine and not his friends. That promise to make his reaction to all the backup Wolverine brings with him all the more satisfying. That doesn’t stop him from making his plants obscenely ambitious. He doesn’t just want to see Wolverine die. He wants to essentially unleash a massive wave of natural selection on the world. He wants to create a place where tough, savage, brutal assholes like him reign supreme. It’s a world where lobbyists, fancy clothes, and a nice car do about as much as a well-made baseball bat. In that world, Sabretooth is basically the Koch brothers. It’s every creationists worst nightmare and for once, it’s not coming from Bill Nye.
But unleashing this perverse form of evolution just wouldn’t be a big enough dick move for Sabretooth. He still has to take it a step further so that he’ll have an even bigger boner when he dances on Wolverine’s corpse. That involves getting Lost Boy, Pinch, and her daughter involved. He already has them imprisoned and they’re understandably pissed off at Wolverine. Plus, having Pinch’s daughter only gives them even more incentive to get back at him. It’s cruel and sadistic, even for a guy with a ninja army at his disposal. But since Wolverine is set to die soon, Sabretooth can’t afford to half-ass it. Like a pending whiskey and bacon shortage, he has to act fast and show no mercy.
When this series first started, I was more than a little confused (and more than a little high) about how Wolverine ended up on a new team and why the fuck he left the X-men. I came pretty damn close to dropping this series because reading it stoned wasn’t making it less confusing. But it has steadily improved, getting to a point where it has established an emotional weight to Wolverine’s impending depth. That weight can only be so much since we know Marvel is not going to keep dead the same character that Hugh Jackman made so sexy to so many men and women alike, but it’s better than nothing. This issue felt like it brought Wolverine full-circle, having his friends and loved ones rally behind him despite the stunt he recently pulled. Sure, it’s a little contrived, but it shows just how much Wolverine has endeared himself to others, despite being a prick on so many occasions. While the story itself didn’t move forward by that much, it did set the tone in all the right ways. Plus, it established that Ororo Munroe is the ultimate girlfriend in the Marvel Universe who isn’t a shape-shifter. Sorry Emma Frost, but big tits only go so far. Yes, I said that and I stand by it. Wolverine #10 gets a 7 out of 10. This might be the most love Wolverine has ever gotten outside of Japanese whore house. Since he’s about to die, I say give it to him. Let him feel the love and maybe throw in an extra bottle of whiskey. That way he can die happy and hopefully take Sabretooth with him. Nuff said!