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Wolverine #12 (1989, September)

August 20, 2017

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). Yep, two Wolverine issues in a row, thanks to double-shipping. By David, Buscema, Sienkewicz, Oliver, and Bruzenak, “The Gehenna Stone Affair (Part 2 of 6): Straits of San Francisco.”

The Straits of San Francisco

Pretty cool Kevin Nowlan cover.

The judge at the hearing calls the police, about the vampire attack.

Wolverine #12

Do you need a reason to dress a horse like Harrison Ford?

In the courtroom, madness. A big brawl. Logan’s briefly glad Jessica isn’t there so he doesn’t need to worry about her. So that’s when she arrives. She chases Burt out the window and hops on the back of his horse as he flees the scene, pursued by a car. Logan grabs Archie and follows, stealing a police car to join the chase. And then a few vampires steal another police car to chase after Logan and Archie. There’s a quick interlude at a hangar, showing a dude with a near-complete sphere that looks to be made of the same material as the diamond Burt has. Back to the chase! Jessica fires a few shots at the pursuing vampires, and Burt takes a hard corner that the vampires overshoot, into the kind of awesome hill-jump cars always do in fiction. The vampire car is shaken but keeps going, but the police car Logan and Archie are in stalls out, which is what would probably actually happen if you pulled a stunt like that in a car that isn’t specifically designed for it, like stunt cars presumably are. And we get this moment:

Wolverine #12

Is this guy based on some shop owner PAD hated, or something?

This guy’s shop was destroyed in an issue of PAD’s Incredible Hulk, as I recall. I kinda miss the days when Marvel would routinely make references to comics, comic shops, comic conventions, all that stuff. It was always a fun little bit of meta-content. Anyway, obviously the vampire car smashes into the shop. There was only one way for it to go, once we saw this guy. The other vamps are still chasing them, though, and Logan takes a bullet to the skull, and he’s left dazed.

Wolverine #12

That’s gonna sting.

He stays conscious through that, and puts his claws through the door of the other car, so they can’t veer away from the streetcar they’re about to ram into.

Wolverine #12

Complete with obligatory explosion.

Pretty sure it wouldn’t actually blow up like that. But either way, Logan makes the best of living in an action movie, with a perfect quip:

Wolverine #12

Indy would be proud.

With that done, Logan tells everyone they have to get back to Madripoor.

On a side note, in the letters column, someone complains about no one seeing through the “Patch” disguise, and the editor’s response says they suspect Karma and Jessica have both seen through it. I don’t remember if we actually get confirmation of Karma seeing through it, but Jessica definitely did. And it is pretty reasonable to think Karma did, too. (In fact, I’m pretty sure we learn that basically everyone saw through it.)

Anyway, this issue. It’s mostly one long chase scene, and it’s actually pretty fun. No real character exploration, no plot developments, it’s just a chase. And Buscema handles it well. I’ve heard that most artists hate drawing horses and cars, and PAD forces Buscema to draw both in the same issue, so clearly, PAD hated Buscema and wanted him to be miserable. Though I have no idea how Buscema felt about drawing either of those things, maybe he enjoyed it, maybe this was one of his favourite comics that he drew. Shame we can’t ask him. Regardless, he still makes for a really good chase, lots of excitement, which helps PAD’s scripting land solidly. The jokes and quips PAD includes are mostly funny, and the art is done in such a way as to keep the jokes from clashing.

So, as shallow as this issue ultimately is, it’s more than fun enough for the lack of substance to not be any real problem. It’s just a good, fun issue.

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