Deathblow and Wolverine #1 (September, 1998)
Story & Breakdowns – Aron Wiesenfeld
Finishes – Richard Bennett
Colors – Monica Bennett
Letters – Mike Heisler
Computer Colors – BAD @$$
Design – Greg Brotherton
Assistant Editor – ERT
Editor – Tom Harrington
Cover Price: $2.50
Here’s a book I never knew existed! Let’s take a look at that time back in the 80’s when Logan and Michael Cray hung out in Chinatown!
We open in San Francisco, 1982… and man, I love this art already! Wolverine is heading in to visit a lady friend named Sung, who is in rather poor spirits at the moment. Ya see, she went to visit her mother… and her mother didn’t even recognize her. Logan attempts to comfort her… and says that this can happen as people get older. She asks him to accompany her back, and he agrees.
Logan and Sung head back over… and he is surprised to see just how lucid Sung’s mother is… chatty, friendly… just a real sweetheart. This is when Sung informs him that her mother has never spoken English before!
Suddenly, the worm turns… Sung’s mother backhands her… and, like they usually do, a ninja bursts through the window… and slashes Sung’s mother right across her belly! She slumps to the ground.
Wolverine shouts to Sung to get outta dodge… and she begrudgingly does. Then he gets thrown out the window… and hits the Chinatown street amid a sea of arrows.
He runs through what looks like it might be a Chinese New Year festival… right past, er into… our man, Michael Cray… Deathblow!
Wolverine gets attacked by even more ninjas… and winds up collapsing. Cray stands before Logan’s body and begins firing on the ninjas.
He loads Wolverine into his convertible and drives away, shaking ninjas off with each turn. He tells Logan he’s going to take him to the hospital. Wolvie… pops his claws in response. Might be best not to take him there. Before he can tell Cray where he’d like to be dropped off, Wolverine… falls asleep.
And so, Cray decides to take his passenger back to his place. While Wolverine is kayoed, Cray looks through his belongings… and finds something most curious: A letter addressed to him, from Logan and Sung’s address!
Wolverine begins to stir, and Cray begins with the questions. Unfortunately, before he can get any answer… more ninjas! Cray is forcefully ejected from his home… which is then destroyed when a car drives through it.
Wolverine and Cray fight off the ninjas, like they do… and decide to head back to Logan’s home address. Upon arrival… he doesn’t find Sung, instead there’s a creepy fella in a top hat!
What a fun little romp this was!
I gotta admit, I know next to nothing about Michael Cray… other than, I think he was cloned a whole helluva lot back in the day… but, what we see of him here is a pretty cool character. I’m pretty sure my main takeaway for him is his lamenting the loss of his house… just seemed like such a sad-sack reaction to having a bunch of ninjas descend upon one’s home.
Wolverine was… Wolverine. This was before their were X-Men movies, so Marvel hadn’t yet spilled the beans on every little bit of his history (in attempt to beat the studios to the punch), so it could stand to reason that… sure, Logan and Cray met up in 1982 San Francisco. It seemed like Logan knew everybody anyway… so really, what’s the harm?
As for the story… there’s not a whole heckuva lot to sink our teeth into. We know that there’s something going on with Sung… and somehow she’s in the middle of the mystery. That, and there were a whole lot of disposable ninjas roaming the streets of San Francisco.
Where this issue shines, for me… is the art. It’s pretty glorious stuff! Worth the price of the issue alone!
Overall… a weird little miniseries, that I didn’t even know existed until I found this issue in a cheap-o bin. It’s one I will be keeping an eye out for… and I’d recommend others do the same!