Marvel Comics Presents #2 (Wolverine)
“Save the Tiger, Part 2 of 10: The Bad Guy”
Writer – Chris Claremont
Pencils – John Buscema
Inks – Klaus Janson
Letters – Tom Orzechowski
Colors – Glynis Oliver
Assistant Edits – Michael Rockwitz
Edits – Terry Kavanagh & Michael Higgins
Chief – Tom DeFalco
Hey gang… today we kick off issue #2, which is always a bit of a let-down, from a content-creation point of view. Gone is the “freshness” and novelty of the project… and now, it’s just become “business as usual”. The initial excitement (if there ever was any) sorta wears off… and we go back to being just a repository for future researchers to hopefully happen across when looking for information on these lesser-discussed anthologies.
Well… chin’s up folks. We’ve got a job to do… and there ain’t nobody else out there dumb enough to do it!
We open with a bearded fellow informing a group of “young gentlemen” that he is quite disappointed in them. This man… well, he doesn’t bother to introduce himself, but he’s referred to as “Mr. Roche”. These “young gentlemen” are comprised of the punks that Wolverine beat the hell out of in our prior chapter. The geeks make excuses… but, our well-dressed financier isn’t havin’ any of it. He decides it’s time to introduce them to a… um, less well-dressed individual. In fact, this guy looks damned goofy. Ladies and gentlemen… I give to you: Razorfist!
Could this be… could it be we’ve already found our “Malvolio“? What ol’ Mal was to Action Comics Weekly… could Razorfist be to Marvel Comics Presents??? Ehh, probably not. Anyhoo, Razorfist makes short work of the punks. Mr. Roche then gives him his next mission… which is, duh, kill Logan.
Speaking of Wolverine… when last we left him, he had a whole lotta guns pointed at his mug. That O’Donnell character has taken point on the discussion… and would really like to know how this hirsute stranger knew the late Dave Chapel. Logan explains that he happened across the fella while on one of his many leisurely treks through the desert… ya know, like ya do. Chapel was in a bad way… professionally tortured and left to perish. Before he died, he gave Wolverine a locket to return to Madripoor… and so, that’s what he’s trying to do.
O’Donnell isn’t so sure he’s buying this story… and so, Logan more or less dares him to try somethin’ funny. O’Donnell proves that he’s no dummy by pocketing his firearm. This impresses sweet Sapphire, who thirsty broad that she is, introduces herself to Wolverine yet again. He still isn’t terribly interested. Out the window, our hero notices a familiar figure wearing one’a those Raiden from Mortal Kombat hats. Could this be one of those guys Shang-Chi fought at the flophouse last issue? Nah…
Wolverine gives chase… in a scene that reminds us both that he: a) is a mutant with super-keen senses, and b) has unbreakable Adamantium-laced bones. We might have to start keeping track of how many times we’re going to “learn this”… I have a keen interest in that old chestnut that “every comic is somebody’s first”, so this tickles me… perhaps more than it should. Anyhoo, Logan catches up to this stranger… and we find out that it’s actually Jessica Hoan! You might be asking, “Who’s Jessica Hoan?”, to which I’d respond with “How dare you…” No, actually, I haven’t the foggiest myself (maybe she’s Tiger Tyger? Or izzit Tyger Tiger?), but I’m looking forward to finding out more… next time!
Chris Claremont has proven to be such a versatile writer during his career… but, I’m honestly a bit surprised (and impressed) at how well he’s adapted his style to an eight-page format. Sure, he did a bunch of weeklies in his time, Captain Britain and what-not… but, man… this had some great flow to it that, sadly, cannot be said for a lot of the stories we got across the street in Action Comics Weekly. Over at DC Comics, the shift to eight-pagers seemed to be the bane of most writers’ existence. Stories were uneven, weirdly paced, and sometimes just a total mess when it came to the “nuts and bolts” of comic book storytelling!
Mr. Claremont doesn’t have that same problem… in fact, he seems to have the ability to tell his same style of story… ya know, very wordy… but still with plenty of action and characterization, in any-size-chunk he chooses! It’s a true testament to his talents!
So, whatta we got here? Well, we get some information on the punks from the previous chapter, as well as meeting the mastermind and the new “big bad” on the block. Logan’s story at the bar gets picked up perfectly, and we find out a bit about Dave Chapel… and our hero’s motivations for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Then, we get a decent enough cliffhanger with the arrival of Jessica Hoan (who I’m like 87% sure is Tiger Tyger/Tyger Tiger… however the hell the name actually goes). Feels like we’re getting actual progression… and we’re only 16-pages in. Really enjoying this. The art… well, it’s the same as last time. Good stuff, but I really don’t care much for this frumpier-faced Logan. And, Razorfist? Sweet Lord… that’s one dopey-looking character! Yikes.
Tomorrow: A Muck-Encrusted Mockery… of a Story? Nah.