Havok and Wolverine – Meltdown #3 (1989, January)
Alex and Scarlett are flying north, while Logan tries to follow on the ground, after changing into his costume. And daaaamn, Kent Williams is good.
He overhears a Russian talking on a walkie-talkie, with the guy being ordered to find Logan’s body. And, uh, holy shit?
That is nasty. Then Logan warns the Russian’s superior he’s coming for him, and steals a helicopter. General Meltdown is worried, but Dr. Neutron tells him to relax, and things will be fine. Meltdown goes down to a lab, and has a radiation column raised, and a firing range activated. He fires radiation blasts at holographic images of a tank, an aircraft carrier and a city. He rambles to himself about needing concentrated, controlled radiation, and Alex is the tool, but they need to provoke him into trying to kill Meltdown.
Back to Mexico. Alex and Scarlett land, and while Alex naps on a bench, Scarlett calls Neutron to report in, and discuss their plan. She figures Alex is suspicious of her “friends,” and decides to play on his feelings of jealousy. She also suggests a plan for dealing with Logan. This bit is absolutely crucial to her plans:
Jokes aside, it’s gorgeous art, and the last two panels on the page do a great job showing how she’s being affected by her own performance. She’s having trouble keeping the Scarlett persona separate. When she was talking to Neutron, she referred to Havok as “Alex” before correcting herself. So, yeah, she’s getting lost in the role. After the sexy interlude, she goes back to Alex and resumes her manipulations, by implying that she got the bi-plane by sleeping with her ex. And they meet a guy with a jet, who’s going to fly them to Poland. Then, on the plane, Alex and Scarlett talk and are clearly about to sex each other up.
Back to Wolverine, who finds the motel where Scarlett left her dress. He gets attacked by a drone armed with tasers. He’s going to be brainwashed, and set up for Alex to kill, prompting Alex to seek revenge.
In Poland, Alex and Scarlett have a guide lead them to a fortress. Alex goes inside to check it out.
So pretty. Anyway, he’s attacked by Logan.
Logan is trying to kill Alex, while Alex is trying not to die. Right before Logan can kill Alex, Alex fries him.
So Logan’s dead, and Alex vows vengeance.
This is another great issue. A common problem, in minis like this, is that the third issue usually feels like it’s just moving pieces around to set up the finale. And that does happen here. This isn’t as good as the first two issues, and a lot of that does come down to the problem of it being used to set up the finale. But it’s still a great issue. It does a very effective job of set-up, and it includes some good character stuff. Scarlett grows more interesting. Alex feels a bit under-served by the issue – I would’ve liked to have seen more of him in it. Logan is pretty boring here, as well, aside from some pretty good “badass” moments. Like stabbing a guy through the goddamn eyes. Actually, thinking about it more, from a writing standpoint, this issue was pretty weak.
What elevates the issue is the art. This issue is gorgeous. Even by the standards this mini has set, it’s gorgeous. Full of spectacular panels and pages. Muth and Williams both kill on it, between Muth’s painted style and Williams’ rougher style. They clash and complement in really enticing ways. I mean, just look at the panels I posted. It’s a gorgeous comic that does a wonderful job masking some of the weaknesses in the writing.
And it’s going to be one hell of a finale.