Marvel Comics Presents #4 and 5 (1988, October)
Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). I’m still happy about yesterday’s New Avengers. But for today, a continuation of “Save the Tiger,” by Claremont, John Buscema, Janson, Oliver and Orzechowski. Part IV, “The Ordeal.”
Logan wakes up chained up in a dungeon. Sapphire Styx comes in to steal some more of his life force, so he can’t cause any problems. Then Roche enters with his Inquisitor to torture Logan a bit. At dawn, Tiger pays a visit to O’Donnell at the Princess Bar. 14 hours later, Roche’s Inquisitor suggests calling it a night. With them gone, Logan briefly considers trying to telepathically call the X-Men for help, but decides he’ll handle it himself. He slices the chains and gets outside, where Razorfist is waiting for him. Logan wonders almost the same thing we all do: How he eats or gets dressed. Though, really, what we all want to know is how he goes to the washroom. Anyway, with Logan so badly hurt, Razorfist kicks his ass. Logan falls into a river and over a waterfall.
A pretty cool installment. We see Logan getting pushed to his limits. Styx mentions the Inquisitor even got him to scream right at the end, which tells us both how tough Logan is and how much he was put through. Obviously, Logan’s healing factor means he can put up with a lot, but even so, the Inquisitor pushed his healing factor hard and left him so weak he could barely walk. So it’s pretty cool. We also see that Tiger does still have some goodness in her, as she thinks she shouldn’t abandon Logan. So, yeah, pretty good.
And Part V, “The Rescue.”
Wolverine, in his costume, is marching through a desert, with a yoke on his shoulders. Sapphire Styx shows up to drain him, but he breaks away. She’s joined by Roche, Razorfist and the Inquisitor. He goes into a berserker rage, but still gets his ass handed to him. He wakes up in the harbour, and sees faces in the moon, of Mariko and Amiko (his foster daughter that he never sees because he’s a jerk). He’s pulled out of the water by Tiger, who’d been watching Roche’s villa for a chance to rescue him. She takes him to where she’s been staying, in the floating village, a bunch of boats chained together as a city. He wakes up, attacks her, and passes out again. She spends the next few days taking care of him while he heals. Once he wakes up, he thanks her for saving his life, and she says he saved her life, and calls him Wolverine.
Pretty OK. This installment is all about Logan being near-death, and Tiger nursing him back to health. It’s not bad, but it’s not great. The hallucination at the start is a bit weird and lame and distracting. I don’t know what story purpose it serves. It doesn’t add anything. It just takes up pages that could have been better spent expanding on Tiger taking care of Logan, which is glossed over really quickly. So, yeah, this installment could have been better.
The art in both parts is good. Buscema was always a reliable artist. You knew what you’d get when you picked up one of his comics. It wouldn’t blow you away, but it was competent work. I’m not sure he was the right line artist for this story, though. This is very much a noir story, and I’m not his lines work for it. Janson’s inks don’t mesh well with the lines, and Oliver goes with darker colours, which also clash a bit with the lines. I think another artist might have worked better. One who does dark stories better. As it is, there’s a bit of an off-ness to the art, that I don’t like.