Review: X-Women No. 1 by Chris Claremont, Milo Manara (artist)

X-Women No. 1 (One Shot)X-Women No. 1 by Chris Claremont

My rating: 1 of 5 stars


Who let this shit slide through?!

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Go on a high-flying, death-defying, globetrotting adventure with your favorite X-Ladies. Storm, Psylocke, Shadowcat, Marvel Girl and Rogue save the world and look great doing it.

When I read the ‘and look great doing it’ part of the blurb, I thought this might be a little campy, but I never thought it would be downright insulting. After all, this was written in 2010. How bad could it be?

Well, bad enough that by the end of this, I looked a bit green…

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I’m not sure I can adequately explain the rage monster, so I’ll let the pictures help me tell the story.

The X-Gals go on vacation together for a little Girl Time.
Poor Kitty didn’t have a bathing suit, so she just used dental floss to cover her ass.

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After a night of drinking, Rachel gets kidnapped. As per usual.
But the X-Babes roll in to save her in the sexiest way possible.
Except she can’t leave, because they’ve got Emma Frost locked up, too!

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Oh no! They’ve lost their powers!
But Storm still has the power to get her ass in Rachel’s face.
Tee-Hee!

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Well at least something good came out of them losing their powers.
I mean, at least now Rogue can…touch the other women.

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Oh, and they can all lounge around in their panties making pouty lips.
Bonus!

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More unrealistic things happen, and all the ladies end up as extras in a soft-core cable porn movie.
Hapless Prisoners on the Island!
Isn’t the bamboo gag a nice touch?
My Rage Monster thought so, too!

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The smarmy guy with the goggles on his head is the leader of this island, and he take a shine to our fair Storm. He’s married to an equally over-sexualized woman who makes lots of angry/jealous faces while her husband paws at Ororo.

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She resists him at first, but eventually offers to stop struggling if he will free her friends.
But, no. He says he likes the struggle…

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Don’t worry! With the help of their new island buddy, Mr. McRapey, they take out the bad guys and rescue their friends.
Oh, look! That darn McRapey just can’t seem to leave Storm alone, can he?
*giggle*

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I’m so angry. So, so angry.
Even though I’ve always thought his dialogue was dry, crunchy, and stuck in the 80’s, I still used to have a modicum of respect of Chris Claremont.
He’s Mr. X-man, and his stories were responsible for changing things in the mutant universe. And he’s The Guy who changed a lot of things about the way comics were made, as well.
But you know what?
That shit will only carry you so far in my book. He pretty much has one more chance to redeem himself, before I totally write him off as an author. I get that he wasn’t responsible for the artwork, but that whole storyline with Storm was unacceptable.
Unacceptable! Do you hear me?!

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As for the artist, Milo Manara?
Well, this isn’t the first time he’s managed to Porn-up a female superhero.
He may have talent, but he shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near a mainstream comic book. His artwork is laughably erotic. And to be honest, I was laughing while I was reading this shit.
Well, right up till my daughter asked me what was so funny.
Shockingly, I didn’t find it nearly as funny anymore.
The thought that my daughters could read this, and perhaps even think that this degrading, offensive, and hypersexualized version of women was something to aspire to?

I. Don’t. Think. So.

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Review: The Trial of Jean Grey (GotG & All-New X-Men) by Brian Michael Bendis & Stuart Immonen

Guardians of the Galaxy/All-New X-Men: The Trial of Jean GreyGuardians of the Galaxy/All-New X-Men: The Trial of Jean Grey by Brian Michael Bendis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


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***This is the first of the “Green Theme” Buddy Reads with the Shallow Readers, criteria being: Drax and Gamora are both green.***

I might be tempted to almost call this 4.5, but 4 seems like its not an insult.

I’ve been following the All-New X-Men, where the past in the present have to be smacked in the face with who they became, and what they did and are doing. It’s a great idea, especially since Bobby may be about the only one who doesn’t have serious drama to look forward to.
Kitty is the perfect leader of this group, because she was the young teen alongside grown up versions of most of these people, so it’s fair to say she can relate to them, and actually knows them as well.

The GOTG, well if I have to explain them, you’re obviously living under a Rock…in North Korea. (Don’t hack me Kim!)

They’ve added a new female ‘Angela’ to the team, and she seems to be a warrior and a half, who both Gamora and Rocket have crushes on.
Rocket Raccoon is by far the funniest thing to happen to Marvel in a long time. There’s one scene with Tony Stark recording a message to send to them, now that he’s back on Earth, and he decides to erase it and try again, only for Rocket to inform him it’s live. The expression on Tony’s face is priceless, as the Guardians were the one gang where Iron Man/Tony Stark wasn’t the cool guy or the funny one, he was the outsider trying hard to fit in and be loved. I LOVE that Bendis has the gumption to write a major character like Tony as kinda the “hey guys, I’m cool too!” character he is there.

Guardian, (Purple Mohawk Alien head of the Sh’iar Guard) decides that with Jean Grey now alive, she should be put to trial for genocide when the Dark Phoenix destroyed a solar system. To break it down, by the end of the book, that’s about the worst decision he could have made.

The GOTG discover that Jean Grey is alive, and go to investigate, but show up just in time to be too late…in Canada.

Gamora: What is a Canada?
Peter Quill/Star-Lord: It’s cold and distant; you’ll love it.

This leads to the X-Men/GOTG team up. Realize that the X-Men are from the past (1960s) where Neil Armstrong has yet to walk on the moon…and Beast is losing his shit about space travel and aliens. It’s fun to see.
The interactions are great, because Bendis writes both books usually, so he knows the characters very well.

The interplay between Bobby and Rocket is hilarious. Rocket getting mad for being called a raccoon, Bobby being excited to talk to a talking raccoon (like a Disney movie he says…funny and a plug for the parent company lol) and so forth.

Meanwhile, it wouldn’t be space and the Shi’ar if a certain band of space pirates didn’t show up…yes you know the ones…

This leads to a well done touching moment between a father and a son, only this time, the father gets the same son back for the second time.

So now we’ve got 3 teams all together going up against Guardian and the Shi’ar, which makes for an awesome throwdown, all the while with Jean in captivity, and being made to see what damage she caused as the Dark Phoenix.

Add to the mixture, J-Son, Peter’s father, showing up and pretending to be caring about Jean and the Phoenix, but having an ulterior motive of course…

So the 3 teams make their way to the Shi’ar homeworld, and shockingly, a battle ensues…

I won’t go into any more specifics, but we see some very new developments, and some major left turns.

But we get some perfect mixture of humour and serious throughout the book, and some gorgeous Stuart Immonen artwork. (I had been very upset when he left All New X-Men, so I’m very happy to see him here again).

There’s also some solid flirtation between Kitty and Peter, who make a decent connection, and of course, some great bits with Groot talking to trees, and making Rocket weirded out…especially back in Canada, when they run into real raccoons.

This is a fantastic, and sensible crossover (for one that involves time travellers stranded, space aliens, talking trees and raccoons, and a gigantic space cosmic entity made of energy…) and I highly recommend it, entertaining, funny, and a good story too, with definite future ramifications.


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Marvel Knights: X-Men – Haunted; by some hack.

Marvel Knights: X-Men: HauntedMarvel Knights: X-Men: Haunted by Brahm Revel
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The art here is the saving grace. Without it, I think this is a 1-star book.

At the end of the story, the author thanks Marvel for letting him into the Big Leagues so to speak, and then says he’s going back to the minors…I think if fate is kind, he’ll land on the DL and retire from baseball altogether…please.

Rachel Gray has a dream about a mutant being murdered…cue road trip to West Virginia/Kentucky Coal land. Banjos start a twanging. (West Virginia, the only state my American father ever told me to keep my head down and out of sight of the windows when we drove through..)

Wolverine, Kitty and Rogue go investigate…but if they’re running a school, why do you send the headmaster AND the #2 (Kitty)? Isn’t that a bad idea?
Also, don’t you send the person who had the vision (because it wasn’t a dream, it was real, says Beast).

Anyhoo, hillbilly central: 1 Mutant dead/murdered. Survivalists hopped up on drugs trade them for guns with a local biker gang, all deals brokered by the Sheriff. Of course, he also happens to be the uncle of one of the other mutants…who uses her powers to help him because he’s such a winner…

The powers are re-DICK-you-lose. Mutant one: is pretty much Obi Wan Kenobi, and can Jedi Mind trick you into believing whatever she wants.

The other: can manifest anyone’s memories into living breathing reality, so that your past can come back to kill you.

so somehow, out of nowhere, podunk nowhere ends up housing not 1, but 2 Omega Level crazy powerful mutants…RIGHT. And they don’t even know about each other…they’re just both hillbilly white trash chicks, who are only linked by the fact that both their moms killed themselves due to their daughters’ weirdness.

Super fun so far eh?

Well the powers get unleashed against the X peeps, yet only Rogue and Wolverine seem affected negatively. They fight their past (Brotherhood of Mutants, Carol Danvers, etc. and Logan and Rogue talk shit about how bad each other was in the past, and how they’re no good.

Meanwhile, Kitty has her past visit her, and of course, it’s Prof X. He’s manifested as real, and leads his students to victory.

What do we learn? 1 – The X-Men are stupid.
2 – Wolverine is one dimensional and angry…and stupid.
3- Rogue is powerful…and stupid.
4 – apparently Kitty has not a single negative memory at all.
5- each of them takes a long time to realize they can just remember other X-Men to help them fight…and so Storm, Nightcrawler and Colossus show up manifested from the past and fight the baddies (who are the Bikers and Cult members of course).

Then the young muties must befriend and trust each other to stop the madness…

Something something something…my brain hurts more than if I drank a whole bottle of Bourbon last night.

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Review: Ultimate Comics X-Men: World War X – by Brian Wood

Ultimate Comics X-Men by Brian Wood Volume 3Ultimate Comics X-Men by Brian Wood Volume 3 by Brian Wood
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Here’s the main thing: This whole volume is called World War X.

Mutant on Mutant violence. Utopia versus Tian.

What’s cool? Jean Gray is a bigger villain here than Magneto ever was in 616.
Just pure evil looking down on everyone.

Kitty shores up the troops (cue the arrival of Colossus), and realizes she can’t be a pacifist.

Jimmy Hudson betrays someone…or does he? Or he does? Hmm? It costs him…or does it?

Pixie is a hero.
Yes, Pixie.

Iceman and Husk appear on the side of angels.

Jean here written by Brian Wood is a delusional dictator who wants all power and control over the mutant people.

She does horrible things to Utopia in order to defeat them…she REALLY hates Kitty.

Everyone comes together to fight her off (funny enough, there’s not a ton of people who side with Jean…some nobodies…not even a Toad or Pyro to be seen lol.

The other cool part is the reaction of the US Gov’t/human populace to the events.

Kitty goes all out here, for a pacifist, she realizes somethings are bigger than ideals.

The final showdown between Kitty and Jean is pretty awesome. I’m sure it would have been moreso if I’d actually known what happened in vols 2-4…

I think this was the end of this series.

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Review: Ultimate Comics X-Men, by Brian Wood

Ultimate Comics X-Men by Brian Wood Volume 2Ultimate Comics X-Men by Brian Wood Volume 2 by Brian Wood
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

***I’m way behind, I only read the first Volume by Nick Spencer, so I’m behind about 18 issues or so, and I have no idea where most of this is coming from***

Kitty Pryde is the pacifist leader of the X-Men, living in Utopia (this time a reservation, terraformed, as opposed to an island). She has 2 factions, those that follow her, and those that follow Mach 2, a teen Morlock Mutant.

Those that follow Kitty include Storm (very much the same as Marvel 616 version), James “Jimmy” Hudson (son of Wolverine, very similar); Rogue (very different, sort of Earth Mother type here), and some others.

Mach 2 (Magneto type power over metal) has Warpath (same as 616), Psylocke (a very different version), and some others. Mach 2 is about retribution against human crimes (again similar to Magneto).

Throw into the mix that Jean Gray (who is Karen Grant here) is the mistress of Tian (the land of Zorn and Xorn) is at odds with Kitty, and wants all the mutants to live under her in Tian.

Clear yet?

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Ya.

So meanwhile, the humans don’t like things, so bad humans send General Ross (yes, that one) to kick them off the reservation…except, he’s actually a pretty decent guy here, not the same 616 maniac.

Turns out, someone in Utopia is manipulating events to get Utopia to fall apart…

shock. If you don’t like teams fighting themselves, then this isn’t the book for you.

By the time the end of the volume rolls around, Jean Grey has infiltrated Utopia, they’ve fought off the military (thanks to Rogue and the environment – utopia is like Krakoa, an intelligent ecosystem), and Kitty and Jean have a head to head…which puts things thru to the next volume.

Meanwhile, Hudson has managed to get both factions in Utopia to work together (but only to fight invaders..)

Ya…so that’s what happens.

I don’t think I missed much.

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X-Men: Battle of the Atom; by Brian Michael Bendis, Jason Aaron & Brian Wood

X-Men: Battle of the AtomX-Men: Battle of the Atom by Brian Michael Bendis
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

OK All-New X-Men makes a LOT more sense now.

I read all of that and all of Wolverine & the X-Men before this.

Now that I’ve read it, it makes a bit more sense.

But still, as a whole, meh plus?

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Yes that’s me straining to enjoy a bowel movement, much like RDJ.

There’s stuff to like here, as many friends have already mentioned:

It flows very well, you hardly know when you’ve changed books, because it flows man. Like the river. Whoa.

Aaron and Bendis are what’s missing from Wood’s X-Men…ie HUMOUR. Wood’s X-(wo)Men would be a perfect DCU book.

Iceman is awesome. Seeing not 1, not, 2, not 3…oh ya.

Also explains why Kitty leaves the Jean Grey School (and Iceman), and why the All New (PAST) X-Men end up where they are.

Explains why Jean has some serious confusion about things.

There’s also a lot to not like:

SOOO MUCH ANGER!!! INFIGHTING! GARRRGH!

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This is from a documentary of my high school…I actually saw some kid flip a whole cafeteria table over during a MAGIC card game…it was awesome. I was hoping to see some spellcasting or at least a magic wand shoved somewhere dark, but no such luck…

If Hank McCoy is so smart, why has he continually fuct this up? Bringing people forward in time worked so well, why not bring more back in time? That oughta be cool right?

We get 3 versions of Beast, 2 Cyclops, 2 Jean (I mean…no…maybe we don’t? ummm…ya.) 4 Iceman…but only 1 Angel??? I mean seriously, he’s the only one who says “DUDES, WE DON’T BELONG HERE! LET US GO HOME TO THE LAND OF TV DINNERS AND HOTPANTS!”

Shockingly, there’s only 1 Wolverine, and that’s kinda telling, knowing what we know now.

There’s too many monologues and fighting, not enough questioning why, and then Kitty gets mad at the present X-Men (Wolverine’s gang) for trying to get Cyclops and Jean back when they run away (the past ones) and don’t want to go back…umm…isn’t that what you all knew you had to do to start with??? I mean I know letting people decide things for themselves was a good idea, but you can’t seriously think letting the teen X-Originals decide to run off and stay hiding in the present was a good idea?? Ugh. No.

There’s some cool characters we get to see:

Future Icem(e)n; Future Colossus, Magik gets to really let loose, we see how some of the X-kids do in the future (Quentin Quire) and we see what shit goes down (to a certain degree).

I love that Wolverine and Magneto come across as the voices of reason here…that’s too funny.

Iceman from the Future is great. Needs his own series, pronto. If it weren’t for Bobby Drake, I don’t think I’d have laughed once…”So If we’re going to the future, shouldn’t we pick up a sports almanac or something?”

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Yup. THAT is how you do time travel and funny.

This book really hovers into nearly DCU levels of seriousness…not loving it.
I can see how this isn’t really meant to be funny, but see the Iceman? Make-a-the-funny words? MORE OF THIS!

So, it’s OK, there’s a few nifty moments, but it also causes more problems than it solves.

It is what it is, and if you’re not an X-person, stay away. FAR AWAY!

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Review: X-Men – Primer; by Brian Wood

X-Men, Vol. 1: PrimerX-Men, Vol. 1: Primer by Brian Wood
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

What a HUGE disappointment.

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Brian Wood! YAY! (DMZ, Northlanders!) with an all-ladies X-(wo)Men team!

So excited by the all ladies all the time, they forgot about plot, or good writing, or character interactions that make sense.

Oh and they also decided to include a bunch of characters no one knows/remembers, which is the fastest way to get new reader and others (ie. ME) to stop caring.

John Sublime (some uber-badass, now seemingly in need of the X-(wo)Men to help him, says that his twin sister’s…spirit? Aura? Being? Hard Drive? USB Stick? Or some shit is alive and has tricked it’s way into the Jean Grey School.

All thanks to:

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Yes that’s right, all thanks to: MALLRAT GIRL! (her given name is Jubilee, and she’s a vampire too apparently, but only needs sunglasses…at night…so she could be called Corey Hart)

Anyhow, Jubes (as someone decided to call her, which makes sense, as she’s about as substantial as a Ju-Jube) randomly takes a baby from the ruins of a Bulgarian hospital; because ya. But do any of these normally rational women make a single mention of baby napping a foreign child who may have parents waiting for it? (actually, no. Jubes is about the only one who feels bad about it, and when Mallrat feels bad about something it usually involves Orange Julius being out of slurpees)

So, cue up evil sister “entity” which possesses some chiquita banana who’s been in a coma while Beast tries to figure out how to save her…

In the midst of it, Storm is ready to make the decision to take her out in order to stop the entity. Apparently Mz. Rachel Grey doesn’t care for this. Funny enough, they decide to make this into a high school popularity bitch fest contest. Instead of saying um…I was Queen of Wakanda, I have been to the future, I survived getting busy with Wolverine, and I’ve had the Black Panther inside of me (No euphemism actually), oh and I’ve been an X-Man since before you were a dirty thought in your dad’s brain; they go to a full out leadership debate.

Hint: if you want a cool new team of ladies, then don’t try and make them just like the men (we DO NOT need you fighting like X and Magneto, Cyclops and Wolvie or anyone else. Just show you’re better than that by getting along). It just feels awkward and forced, like someone said “better have a leadership crisis”. Not “OK Storm is OBV. the boss, since she’s the boss of everything else too. Oh and MOHAWK. Shiver me timbers that’s hot. White hair and everything…mmmmmm.

OK so blah blah, more shit; I think we’ve got Storm; Grey not Jean; Rogue; Betsy Braddock mmm nice new costume fit for the modesty era; Jubes, and I think Kitty was in there too.

Oh and by the way; wouldn’t Kitty be a natural choice for leader behind Storm anyhow? Seriously. I guess they just tried to make Rachel less appealing? Also, it looks like she was on a month long bender….the artwork makes her look exhausted and sorta manga styles.

Evil thingy is defeated; baby is kept; Rogue saves people on a plane by absorbing more powers but somehow this drains her, and she can’t even fly anymore? Also, where the FUCK did she go for the next installments??? She’s not even in Battle of the Atom FFS.

There’s a side story with Jubes taking the baby on a road trip around Cali with Logan, who ends up buying the house she grew up in for her, just cause. Right. Everyone loves Logan, he’s always had a soft spot for vampires mallrats idiotic children who pretend to be X-Men.

You might also have noticed, this is only 4 issues…

So we get Jubes’ “CLASSIC” first appearance, when she is saved by the X-Girls circa 1989 when Storm was still hot, Rogue was Carol Danvers, Dazzler was…really? Dazzler? Isn’t she just Jubilee without the soft Asian vampiric overtones? The one who used her fireworks for making money and disco dancing, not just walking around the mall all day?, oh, and Psylocke who looks like she’s straight outta 1896.

They save her from a…MALL. Yup.

So in all, this is a big disappointment, like forced on me somehow, and I didn’t like it. I really WANTED to like this, truly, I did, but really.

Malls, babynapping, possessed evil entities, and someone thinking they can talk shit about the Goddess of Thunder? Fuck that noise. She’s like Thor without the hammer…(double entendre here…see what I did?).

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Wolverine: Killable by Paul Cornell (art by Alan Davis)

Wolverine, Vol. 2: KillableWolverine, Vol. 2: Killable by Paul Cornell
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I feel very wishy-washy on this one…the concept I like; Wolverine having to reassess how he does things due to losing his healing factor.

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What? I’m as surprised as you were Cary…though I already knew about this, and read Vol. 1 of this title, I didn’t recall that taking place…shows how well it was written that a major thing like that happens and I don’t remember.

Cornell is hit and miss, but mostly miss. This is 2.5 Stars

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Yup. So Beast gets all sad that Logan is now Human, and boohoohoo. Everyone thinks he’s going off, and he does, so Kitty follows him.

There’s one decent passage where Thor comes down to drink with Logan and tells him that he loves Midgarders so much because they’re mortal, and that with time, Logan will realize what a great gift it is. Frankly, I think Logan as written by most GOOD writers would have him make a few snide remarks, but file that away as decent advice. Cornell has him start a fight with Thor…while NOT able to heal…ya. Good idea.

There’s some stuff about SHIELD and a virus from the microverse (how Wolvie lost the healing in the first place) taking over Earth, and that leaves Nick Fury Jr. to look like a dolt and have TERRIBLE dialogue.

“We’re Facing Impossible Odds!”
“There’s Just Too Many of Them!”

So in a Mall in Alberta (because of course, they’ve built a mall over the site where James Howlett/Logan/Wolverine grew up) Kitty and Logan fight off Hand ninjas (did you know that Sabretooth is the head of the Hand now?) and spend way too much time in stupid arguments with mall cops about how “Muties” are so bad news…Muties? is it 1987?

Anyhow, Alongside Victor Creed we’ve got Mystique, Silver Samurai, and Lord Deathstrike (not Lady, but Lord..he’s kinda…dumb). All fighting and way too much talking from Kitty’s inner monologue…

Sabretooth shows up, and to prove he’s REALLY EVIL he tells Logan he won’t kill him even though he’s totally defeated, because he wants to let it sink in that he’s much better than Wolverine, and he wants Logan to get old and fall apart and then he’ll maybe put him out of his misery in a nursing home…

So the title is apt: Wolverine IS Killable. But not in this volume.

Missed opportunity here…could have been GREAT in a better writer’s hands.

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