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Wolverine #2 (1988, December)

October 15, 2016

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). Today, by Claremont, Buscema, Janson, Oliver and Orzechowski, “Possession Is the Law.”

Possession Is the Law

The body positioning on this cover looks odd to me.

Lindsay McCabe is in Lowtown, at a dive bar, looking for Jessica Drew. Logan tells the thugs to leave her alone. At the bar, he’s given his usual drink, and Lindsay asks for one of the same. He warns her not to, but she downs it, and promptly falls on her ass, then stands back up. Apparently, Lindsay, Logan and the woman tending bar are the only people in the place who can handle the drink.

Wolverine #2

I love her Film Career Stories. They’re great.

We also learn what it is that Logan loves to drink:

Wolverine #2

Long Island Iced Tea!

I know Long Island Iced Teas aren’t exactly weak drinks. They really can knock you on your ass. But they are not at all what one would expect Wolverine to drink. Like, pop culture has actually kinda made me think of Long Island Iced Tea as something women drink. So the fact that it’s Logan’s regular drink is just hilarious to me. (For the record, X-Plain the X-Men also laughed their asses off at it when they did this story.)

Anyway, Lindsay and the bartender bond over both being from around Long Island. Logan interrupts to say he’s going looking for Jess, and tells Lindsay to stay behind, over her objections, with Belle looking after her.

Wolverine #2

That sounds about right.

Lindsay then jumps over the bar and falls on her ass. Upstairs, Logan finds a room filled with dead bodies. Then the Silver Samurai blows his way in. And this leads to a three-way fight between Logan, Silver Samurai, and a leather-clad, katana-wielding Jessica. She’s possessed by the Black Blade, and the Samurai explains the stories about it.

Wolverine #2

That’s a weird outfit she’s wearing.

Lindsay doesn’t want Jessica to die, since Jessica is her . . . best friend. The hesitation, by the way, is Lindsay’s. I should note here that Jessica and Lindsay had one of the most subtext-laden friendships in Claremont’s entire career. Yeah, that’s saying a lot. They made Storm and Yukio look subtle. They were very clearly lovers.

Regardless, Logan brings down the bar, and Jessica escapes, and he gives chase. Meanwhile, Lindsay finds the Samurai buried in the rubble, and frees him. She spared his life, so now she wants him to spare Jessica’s. The cops show up, and Samurai wants her to go with them, but she refuses, because she’s got irresistible amounts of spunk. Logan catches up to Jessica, and they fight. Ultimately, Logan grabs the Blade, and it takes him over. Which somehow gives him new pants. I get that it’s a visual cue to his possession. But how does a sword change someone’s pants? Also, Jessica got a whole outfit, Logan just got pants. Sucks to be you, Logan.

So, this was pretty good. Lindsay steals the show. She is a treasure. I want her brought back, because she really is a great character. She’s loads of fun. She’s always got fun stories from her acting career, and her utter fearlessness is charming. She’s not actually fearless, I think she’s just too single-minded to really think about what’s going on around her at any given moment. And it’s really fun. I love Lindsay. Logan is Logan. He talks quite a bit about how the X-Men are supposed to be dead, and he doesn’t want to give away who he is. Why he thinks a goddamn eye patch would actually trick anyone is beyond me. Has he ever looked at his hair? That is a distinctive hairstyle he’s got. And a distinctive face. He’s not a guy you forget easily. And an eye patch won’t solve that. Claremont lets it work, I think mostly because it needs to work in order for there to be a story. Of course, later on, Peter David would have a story that reveals everyone always knew he was Patch, they just played along because they didn’t want to hurt his feelings.

The Black Blade plot is fine. A mystical item that controls people. Sure. It’s an odd fit for a Wolverine story, but then, his solo got downright weird quite often. In this case, it’s not something I’m particularly invested in, but Claremont does a decent enough job with it. The art is good. Some weird faces I don’t like. Some weird body language. But there’s good work done setting tone and mood. I think Janson and Oliver deserve particular credit for that, as the inks and colours stand out in terms of tone and mood. But, of course, they’re building on Buscema’s pencils.

So on the whole, a good issue.

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