May 1, 2010

Ye Olde School Cafe’: Wolverine Classic Vol. 1, pt 1

Hey everybody, it’s Saturday again! Time to turn back the clocks to yester-year and relive a story from before 1990, in Ye Olde School Cafe’! This week I’ll be beginning a run on one of my all time favorite characters, Wolverine! This guy has been known by many names, but has always been great for action stories and being a man of mystery (Well, not anymore, but you know what I mean). I’m going to be using Wolverine Classic vol. 1 for today’s column and for next week’s as well. We’ll be getting a close look at Wolverine’s alter-ego Patch in this first story line. Also, Chris Claremont will introduce you to a few of the villains in Logan’s rogues gallery. These stories were written by Chris Claremont and illustrated by John Buscema in 1988/89.

Wolverine has had many names, but the one used most often when in Madripoor is Patch. We see a scene on an Indonesian Island of a band of thugs, pirates basically, that are beating a captain senseless and then forcing the women that are also captured to give them pleasure. A man who is on guard duty soon finds out that they are not alone on this island. In the jungle, a face peers through an opening at the guard and then proceeds to snap his neck like a twig. Inside one of the huts, one of the thugs is beating one of the female captives, but he soon meets his maker courtesy of Wolverine’s claws. Wolverine then cuts the captain loose, but before he can make his escape, the leader of the pirates and his crew discover him. A ferocious melee breaks out and after being shot multiple times, punched, kicked, and stabbed, Wolverine emerges the winner over the entire group. The leader was hanging back, sees Wolverine victorious, and grabs one of the girls to use as a hostage. He makes his way to a boat and Wolverine follows, but he can’t put the girl’s life in danger, so he lets him get away. Little does the pirate know that a woman is below deck who shoots him dead, and his carcass falls off the boat into the sea. Back on land, Wolverine is talking to the captain, who is apparently friends with Wolverine. They talk about a mysterious “Black Blade” that corrupts the soul, but then the man dies from the wounds he’s suffered at the hands of the pirates.

Our next scene follows a woman named Lindsay McCabe at the Madripoor airport. The girl is being followed by some mob looking dudes, but Patch flattens one of their tires and they are left kicking the car and shouting. When Lindsay reaches her hotel, she finds two people already occupying it and they have questions they want answered. Before they can coerce her though, the door is smashed in by Patch, and he quickly dispatches the goons. Lindsay and Patch talk about a mutual friend, Kojima (the dude Wolverine tried to save just a day ago from the pirates), and Patch tells her that he’s dead and his killers are after her now.

After the two agree to join forces, they go to a local bar to find Lindsay’s partner Jessica Drew. Patch tells Lindsay to wait downstairs while he investigates the upstairs. He finds a room thought to be occupied by Jessica, but only finds a room full of cadavers. The next part of the room he enters is dark, but he can sense someone is there. That someone knocks him through a wall, and then reveals himself to be the Silver Samurai. The two warriors are no strangers, and Wolverine knows that how much they hate each other isn’t going to make this easy. The two old enemies fight like rabid dogs, and just when you think this fight can’t get any crazier, Jessica Drew appears and smashes both of them with her new weapon of choice – The Black Blade! The fight eventually goes downstairs, and all of the alcoholics get in on the act too. Jessica fillets a few of the low-lifes, and then turns her attention to Patch and The Samurai. She pretty much beats them down too, but then sneaks off into the night with Patch following her trail. Patch eventually catches up to her and the two battle tooth and nail for possession of the sword. Jessica makes a final swing with the Blade at Patch, but he’s ready and stops it with his hand. He then grabs the Blade and is hypnotized by its powerful lust for killing. Silver Samurai and Lindsay show up to see Patch holding Jessica, and shouting that he is the only worthy master of this blade and he’s going to sacrifice Jessica to prove it!

After seeing the building crumble to the ground in flames, Lindsay tries to run inside to help Jessica. The Samurai saves her when she gets trapped by the flames, and then the two forge an alliance to stop Patch and save Jessica. They go to visit a friend to find answers about the three goons that attacked Lindsay in the hotel earlier. They are being held by his friend, O’Donnel, in his basement. The Samurai and Lindsay go down to interrogate them. The Samurai and O’Donnel are shocked at the viciousness of Lindsay’s methods. First, she unties the woman of the group and beats her senseless in front of the other two. The men agree to talk out of fear, and they get the information they want. This is all just an act according to Lindsay, though.

Next, we see the three partners make their way to an island with an secret cave. This is where the cult of the Black Blade performs their rituals. The partners agree to split up, and the Samurai tells Lindsay that she will have to kill Patch to save Jessica. Lindsay peers downward into the cave and sees Jessica about to get beheaded, so she raises her high-powered rifle and shoots Patch. Meanwhile, Silver Samurai is fighting all of the followers of the cult single-handedly. He then focuses his attention on Lindsay, because she is being stalked from behind by Patch. He’s about to cut her head off, but Silver Samurai stops him. The two swordsmen fight, but in the end, Patch’s sword is the more dominant and he readies himself to deliver a killing strike to the Samurai. Lindsay raises her weapon and shoots Patch again. All she does is anger him again though, and he proceeds to hurl his blade at her. Patch then turns his attention back to thrashing Silver Samurai, but when the time comes to finish them, he can’t do it. He wills himself out from under the control of the Blade and throws it into a wall. The Silver Samurai then grabs the Blade from the wall, but to everyone’s astonishment, he isn’t affected by the Blade’s hypnotic powers. Then Samurai tells them that he already possesses a blade of honor, so there is no room in his soul for another. They all part ways with Patch carrying Jessica, and Lindsay following closely behind.

Well, that’s it for part one of this TPB (trade paperback), but tune in next week to meet two of Wolverine’s deadliest enemies ever! A creature who is not only hundreds of years old, but a vampire as well, and his best friend, a man who is actually an Asgardian! See you next week!

Billy Dunleavy



  1. Kristin

    That actually sounds really interesting, but then I’m a little biased toward Asian oriented mythology.

  2. Billy

    @Kris- In my humble opinion, this was tops for Wolverine. When this ongoing started up, he was still shrouded in mystery and was very intruiging to read about. The stories that are set in Japan and/or Madripoor are definitely my favorites. The locale and supporting cast are top notch. The seedy underworld and places like the Princess Bar are priceless.

  3. These were some of the best Wolverine stories and still rival a lot of what’s been done with the character in the last 10 years. Totally agree Billy!

  4. Billy

    @Speech- Thanks man! I’m really looking forward to his battles in the next few weeks! (of this column that is) 😀

  5. […] Cafe’! This week, I’ll be featuring part 2 of Wolverine Classic Tpb (trade paperback). Last week we saw Wolverine beat down a bunch of thugs, then get possessed by an ancient sword. He even tangled […]

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