Wolverine #4 (1989, February)
Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). I got to hang out with a friend today, which is why this is so late going up. We exchanged Christmas gifts. I’ll tell you about it on Tuesday. But now, by Claremont, John Buscema, Williamson, Oliver and Orzechowski, “Bloodsport.”
In Lowtown, a guy is running through the streets, chased by a big guy and a creepy goth dude. The murdered guy is Lord Ranjamaryan, the Prince’s Chancellor. The police pull his body out of the water, and Logan comes by to check him out and catch any scents. He liked Ranja, who used people but who tried to do as little harm and as much good as he could. Tai tells Logan that there were rumours Ranja backed Tyger as the new Crimelord, and that someone killed him to prevent it.
Out on an isolated airstrip, Roughhouse and Bloodsport are threatening a pilot by the name of Archie Corrigan. They want Archie to stop flying jobs for Tyger, and to back their General, instead. Back to Logan! He sneaks into Ranja’s estate. He’d had a dinner with a lady (he was apparently a “player,” as Logan puts it), and Logan recognizes the scent on a handkerchief left behind. He heads to Hightown, and wakes Karma from her sleep. Karma! It’s Shan, guys! She’s serving her uncle, Nguyen Ngoc Coy. Logan tells her to figure out which side of the fence she’s on.
Next day: Jessica and Lindsay. They’re taking a stroll through the Lowtown Bazaar, and have a run-in with Roughhouse.
He calls them the cutest girls he’s seen “in a troll’s age.” The original intention with Roughhouse was actually that he was half-Frost Giant, though that was never developed, and I think he was later stated to be just a mutant. Regardless, Bloodsport drags him away, though he gets in a last flirt that makes Jessica threaten to punch him until Lindsay holds her back. Then a bleeding woman stumbles out of an alley. Jessica goes to check where she came from, climbing the outside of a building, which is weird, because I could have sworn she lost that ability. She lost all her spider-powers after she “died” and came back. I guess Claremont decided, nah, her powers were just more limited. Or something. Anyway, she heads inside the building, and finds a lot of dead people, and “The Tyger Is Dead” scrawled in blood on a wall.
Later, Logan, Jessica and Lindsay meet at the Princess Bar, to go over the case. Lindsay notes that Jessica drove General Nguyen out of San Francisco, and Logan says Karma’s good people and would only work for him if he had something over her. Of course, the “hold” is that he’s helping to find her brother and sister, still missing. They won’t be found in this series! It’ll still be a few years before the plot gets resolved in a Beast mini. Tyger asks Logan to accompany her to the palace, and along the way, they get attacked.
So, Logan vs. Roughhouse! It doesn’t last long. Logan and Tyger are both in trouble. So, Karma to the rescue!
Yay for Karma saving the day. Logan escapes with Tyger, and Karma slips away. Logan takes Tyger to Jessica and Lindsay, while he makes plans to disrupt Coy’s drug trade. He goes to Archie for help. And in Coy’s penthouse, Coy yells at Bloodsport and Roughhouse to find and kill Tyger.
This issue has Karma in it, so that automatically makes it better. Karma’s the best. I find it really interesting that Claremont brought her into this series as a supporting character, actually. He didn’t do much with her in New Mutants – he wrote her out early in the run, brought her back a while later, then wrote her back out again not much after. He just didn’t seem to have any idea what to do with her. So it’s interesting that he decided he had use for her here. And she actually did get some pretty good use in Wolverine. This issue starts that, by having her wanting to help Logan, even as she feels obligated to help her jerkass uncle. So that’s cool.
This issue also introduces Roughhouse and Bloodsport. I should note that Roughhouse spells his name incorrectly, with one ‘h’. I refuse to spell it that way. Because I don’t think this was an intentional choice, I think it was an error, and I’m just not going to support that error. Misspelled name aside, I like Roughhouse. He’s fun. He’s big and boisterous and loves fighting and flirting in equal measure. He’s just a big guy looking to have a good time, and it makes him very endearing. Bloodsport has his own charms, with his Shakespearean speech pattern. He’s a 400-year-old goth. It’s kinda cool.
The art’s not bad. Better than Sal Buscema’s was. I’m not a big fan of John Buscema, either, but I didn’t really mind him here. I don’t know, it still has the same things I dislike – slightly heavy lines, faces that tend to be a bit expressionless – but the problems didn’t stand out the way they sometimes do. So it mostly looked fine.
So yeah, all in all, not a bad issue.