Marvel Comics Presents #8 & 9 (1988, December)
Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow Canadians. Happy Indigenous Peoples Day to everyone. Remember: Christopher Columbus was an idiot and is responsible for the deaths of a lot of Indigenous people. He does not deserve praise. But! Let’s get to today’s comics! By Claremont, Buscema, Janson, Oliver and Orzechowski, “Save the Tiger Part 8: The Fight.”
At Roche’s estate, a young thug who’s new to the place is clearing a blockage of a drainage tunnel. Logan slams the guy into a wall and gets some information. He cuts the power and phone lines, which gives him a few seconds before the back-up generators come online, for him to get over the wall. Meanwhile, Tiger Tyger is climbing up the cliff at the back. Some dogs are released and go after Logan, but he scares them off. He attracts attention, and runs into a room filled with Roche’s men. While everyone’s after him, Tiger sneaks into the dungeon to free O’Donnell. Sapphire Styx is draining his energy, so Tiger shoots her, but then gets whipped by the Inquisitor. Which is disappointing. She takes down the vampire but then gets taken down by a loser with a whip. Logan’s defeated the thugs, but then comes up against Razorfist.
This is a good installment of the story. It shows Logan being all sneaky and clever, which is fun to watch. He does also get to beat people up. We don’t see much fighting in this issue, but we do see the start of the fight, and the aftermath, and he definitely kicked a lot of ass off-panel. That it’s all a distraction so Tiger can get in unseen makes it cooler. She does get taken down by a weak-looking guy, though, so that sucks. Still, this is a cool part.
And Part 9: “The Confrontation.”
After a splash of Logan and Razorfist, we cut to Tiger and the Inquisitor. She trips him and pounces at him. Back to Logan and Razorfist. Razorfist is kinda kicking Logan’s ass, since Logan’s still hurting from the torture at the Inquisitor’s hands, and because he’s not popping his claws. And I want to highlight something: In-story, it’s been three months since the Inquisitor tortured Logan. He’s still not 100% from that. Can you even imagine that? Logan’s healing factor used to have limits. Starting in the ’90s, those limits got removed, so by the 2000s, he would heal pretty much instantly from anything done to him. I preferred him with the limits, honestly. Anyway!
Tiger is beating the shit out of the Inquisitor. Good.
She gets attacked by Sapphire. Sapphire throws her around a bit, and then moves in to kiss her. But she doesn’t. She instead tries to absorb Tiger’s energy through her hands on Tiger’s face. Which is oddly disappointing to me. I mean, it’s the ’80s, so of course Sapphire couldn’t have actually kissed her. But the fact that Sapphire just wasn’t willing to kiss Tiger weirdly disappoints me. Ah well. Tiger throws off the energy drain to fight back.
She then grabs a hot brand and burns Sapphire’s face with it. Tiger starts to collapse, and the Inquisitor thinks it’s a good time to take her, but Sapphire tells him to help her get away. Back upstairs, Logan finally pops his claws, and stabs Razorfist. Which supposedly kills him, but he’ll be back.
This is another good one. Logan getting his ass handed to him is always satisfying, but honestly, Razorfist is too stupid a character for me to really buy him as a threat to Logan. I like a lot of goofy villains, but Razorfist is too lame, even for me. He’s a guy with knives on his hands. And he kicks Logan’s ass all around the place? Meh. I would’ve liked it more if it was a more even fight, rather than Razorfist absolutely dominating it.
The Tiger stuff was great, though. The way she pounds the hell out of the Inquisitor. And then fighting off Sapphire. I mean, her strategy for dealing with a vampire is to bite her. That’s awesome. Hoist by their own petard! It’s a good highlight of how dangerous she is, made better by her doing it on her own, without Logan helping her. The sad truth is we won’t get many more instances of Tiger kicking ass. Mostly, she’s just going to be a crime lord, getting others to do her dirty work. So, it’s nice seeing her dishing out some beatings here.
The art in this story remains not to my taste. Sal Buscema just has such weird faces. I think I find his lines a bit heavier than I prefer, as well. I just know I don’t enjoy his work. But! These two parts are still great, and move the story along to its climax in the next part.