X-Men #140 (1980, December)
I’ve been busy the past few days. I’m going to continue to be busy over the next couple weeks, so I may be more sporadic than usual in my updates. For today, though, “Rage!”
We start with Colossus trying to pull out a tree stump. He feels homesick, and clearing some land to make a garden makes him feel better. He explains it to Angel, and waxes poetic about the beauty of a seed giving birth to a flower. In the city, Ororo’s walking down the street, and some creep keeps hitting on her. She soaks him with a mini-rainstorm, then picks up Kitty from her dance class. Ororo’s jealous of Stevie. Silly Ororo.
Finally, we head up north, to find Nightcrawler trying to avoid getting killed by the Wendigo. It doesn’t go well. He finally gets knocked towards the cabin, getting the attention of Wolverine and the three present members of Alpha Flight. Vindicator takes the lead, melting a truck Wendigo throws, but then gets smacked by a tree. Snowbird checks on him, Shaman deals with a fire started by the gas from the truck (and we learn that he had previously turned his back on his Sarcee heritage to become a doctor), and Wolverine chases Wendigo.
He and Snowbird find him, and he sends Snowbird to get the others. Wendigo moves a boulder, and the missing campers are behind it. Wolverine jumps into action, going into a berserker rage to take Wendigo down. As he leads the mother away, he gets grabbed from behind by Wendigo. He gets slammed around, until Nightcrawler teleports in to bash Wendigo as a distraction. Vindicator joins in, too, but they’re not hurting it enough. Snowbird shifts into a wolverine, and goes insane. She takes the Wendigo down, but has lost herself to the animal in the process. Wolverine talks to her until she returns to normal, and Shaman uses his magic to return the Wendigo to human form. And then Vindicator tells the man he’s under arrest.
Nightcrawler talks about Wolverine having killed, and Wolverine defends himself, saying that when he worked for the government, he was either ordered or sanctioned to kill, and then he only resorts to killing when the target is a threat. Nightcrawler says it’s reasonable. But then asks if that makes it right. A very interesting question. We then head to Ottawa, where the Prime Minister tells Vindicator that Alpha Flight is being shut down. Then, finally, to a prison, where the Blob manages to increase his personal gravity enough to collapse his own cell on himself and walk away.
Great issue. The first scene has some really nice characterization for Peter, and the bulk of the issue gives some to Wolverine. The fight with Wendigo is exciting, and really cool. Next up, though, is something far, far bigger.
I have two other comics to mention, but one will wait until the next post. Today, though, I will mention Machine Man #18, by Tom DeFalco and Steve Ditko. First, I want to say that Ditko was one of the best comic artists of the ’60s, but by this point, his art just looked dated and unpleasant. Anyway, Sasquatch, Aurora and Northstar are sent to the US to find and arrest Machine Man, after evidence is anonymously sent saying Machine Man sent the Hulk to Canada a while ago. Sasquatch manages to track Machine Man down, and in the ensuing fight, Machine Man dumps Sasquatch in some water then electrocute him into unconsciousness. Machine Man tracks down Madame Menace, and gets hit with a sonic cannon. Sasquatch, Northstar and Aurora end up coming to his rescue, beating up her thugs. While they fight, he frees himself from the sonic cannon, but part of his face is melted in the process. He freaks out, and pounds away at Sasquatch before leaving. Alpha Flight heads home. This was blah. DeFalco’s writing and Ditko’s art are both throwbacks to the ’60s, but they wouldn’t even have held up terribly well in that decade, either.