Wednesday, May 19, 2010

VINTAGE - Wolverine & Punisher: Revelations

As promised, it's time to talk about comic books collections you'd love to buy, but are currently out of print. I've decided to dust the ol' girls off on my bookshelf and share a little bit about them.

My primary reason for reading our first selection was the fact that Christopher Golden had a fair hand in writing it. After penning The Punisher's rebirth as a "weapons of heaven" reborn supernatural creature, the next step was obviously pairing him with Wolverine for a fun save-New York City adventure. Wolvie, who just got a brand new gal pal named Caley, is uncharacteristically happy when we begin our story. He's dressed to impress as he meets his new beau, a museum curator currently working on excavating on old forgotten subway station, for a fancy dinner. While the pair flirt on their night out, Caley is interrupted with news of a cave-in at the dig. Wolverine has his trusty motorcycle, so they both scoot off to see whats wrong.

Meanwhile, Frank Castle (the aforementioned 'The Punisher' just in case you kids didn't know) is also hanging out with his new platonic lady friend from his previous rebirth story. You don't need to read it, but it was a nice nod from Mr. Golden just in case you did. He's eventually whisked away to meet something called The Council of Thrones. Who are these kidnapping jerks, you ask? Well, they oversee all of the activities of angels from Heaven on Earth. Obviously. The Punisher was brought back to life by an angel and retains some of his supernatural mojo, so the Thrones have decided they oversee his activities, too. Castle isn't impressed by how weird they look or how powerful they seem to be, so he basically peaces out. The Thrones warn him something bad is coming...

Which brings us to Revelation. Not the biblical event, mind you, but a young girl who was awakened by the aforementioned excavation mishap. A former Morlock (you WILL be lost if you don't know the Morlocks were underground sewer-dwelling mutants, too ugly for the world above. Wolverine tries to explain this to Frank later on, but in Logan''s typical style, it's sort of hard to decipher since he's trying to sound too cool), Revy was cryogenically frozen by a Morlock scientist with a really cool name. Turns out our girl has the power to kill people with a 'death aura' - an airborne virus she can't control. She was frozen until a cure could be found, but in a separate story in X-Men related comics, all the Morlocks were killed and everyone forgot about her. Being in the big chill for so long warped her mind, so she believes the sewers are Hell and the surface above, "the light" is Heaven. Both Wolverine (mutant healing factor) and The Punisher (angel-enhanced powers) are unaffected by her powers, so the pair race to stop her before she kills most of Manhattan.

The manga-inspired art is beautiful to look at in this trade paperback, but doesn't necessarily go with the gritty story Golden and his co-writer Tom Sniegoski were originally going for. Pat Lee is drawing things almost too beautifully, too heavenly if you will, for a story that essentially takes place in the "hell" of the New York City sewers. While Wolverine insinuating about his "family" during his date (an obvious nod to how he feels about the X-Men) is cute, the very notion of a "Morlock scientist" who could design technology as sophisticated as what Lee's artwork shows is almost preposterous. The Morlocks were stealing food and wearing rags in early X-Men stories; you're telling me one designed a cryogenic freezing chamber along with "failsafe" robots capable of ramming rebars through Frank Castle? WHAT? I would imagine all of the design stuff would be a little less sophisticated, which would have made more sense with the "malfunction" that set Revelation free. I guess no one really loved the angelic-inspired Punisher; in this story, he doesn't do a whole lot in the beginning part of the story besides kind of wander around. Wolverine really shines here, and he looks pretty good. It was fun re-reading the story and I'm glad it is still part of my permanent comic collection

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