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Wolverine #3 (1982, November)

September 19, 2013

Continuing with Wolverine’s original mini, with “Loss.”


That’s a great, poignant, depressing cover.

It starts with Wolverine drunk in a bar, fighting a sumo wrestler who cheats. Wolverine easily lifts the big guy above his head, and then even jumps. Then he throws the wrestler out the window. When he leaves with Yukio, his cop buddy, Asano, asks for help against a guy who’s united the Japanese criminal underworld and plans to take over Japan. Wolverine refuses. Yukio leads him out to some train tracks, and they fall down and start making out until Wolverine notices some vibrations along the rails. He moves just in time, avoiding the Bullet Train. Then he falls asleep.

He dreams of a warrior riding out of the west to win the hand of the woman he loves. Mariko. Her palace is barred, but the warrior attacks anyway. He’s riddled with arrows when he sees her, and she says her love is for a man, not an animal. Then she shoots him with another arrow.

Meanwhile, some Hand ninjas have shown up to tell Yukio to kill Wolverine. She kills them instead. She tries to wake up Wolverine, but he mutters Mariko’s name, so she kicks him in the face and leaves him. Poor Yukio. Wolverine goes back to his hotel, and finds Asano, dead, with one of Yukio’s knives in his throat. Then he catches the scent on the knife, and realizes where he smelled it before. It’s the nerve poison that was on the shuriken he was hit with when he went to see Mariko and got his ass kicked by Shingen.

He chases Yukio across the rooftops, until he finally brings her down with one of her own knives. Before he can kill her, an arrow goes through his arm, and a bunch more follow as the Hand tie him up. Then we get another brutal and awesome fight scene. Some excellent work from Miller.

After the fight, he starts to think about how the Zen garden the fight ruined is similar to his whole life. So then he starts smoothing it out, and decides to keep striving to be a better man.

Still great. Miller killed it on this series. The action is exciting and brutal. During the big fight in this issue, Claremont wisely just steps aside and lets the art speak for itself. There was no need for dialogue or narration, so Claremont didn’t include any. The moment where everything falls into place for Wolverine, about Yukio working for Shingen the whole time, was also great. Miller drew the moment well, and the Claremont wrote it well. Also good was Yukio’s thoughts about Wolverine after he mutters Mariko’s name. She really does love him, and hates that he can’t get over Mariko. Though it’s difficult to tell, at this point, if she loves Wolverine, or the idea of Wolverine. She seemed to be in love with him before she met him, which makes me think it’s his reputation she loves. And when he’s living up to that reputation, it makes her happy, but when he wants to be someone different, she gets disappointed. That’s pretty believable. It happens quite a bit in real life, too.

Next issue is the climax. Last issue was Wolverine hitting rock bottom. This issue was him wallowing there, and then beginning his climb out of it. Next issue, naturally, will be him redeeming himself.

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