Back Issue # 4 June 2004 (magazine review)

As I said elsewhere, I was lucky to buy a bunch of TwoMorrow mags off the internet auction website that has some very early issues, Back Issue # 4 being amongst them and does explain why so little about Wolverine is covered in later issues. Lets pick out the good stuff.

Peter Sanderson interviews Chris Claremont and John Byrne separately by phone and merges their comments into one 26 page slot. One of the few things I would draw a question on is in Uncanny X-Men # 98 where Wolverine is captured by the Sentinels and one of the humans there questions Steven Lang as to whether he is a mutant or not because of the low energy readings they’ve got. I doubt if even the Sentinels could distinguish between a mutant and a new sub-species but a regenerative ability would be of a lower power order compared to that of Banshee or Jean Grey and probably just ticking over unless he was seriously hurt.

The discussion point of how tight-triggered Wolverine could be and Byrne’s suggestion that he could disembowel Kitty Pryde for saying ‘Hi!’ wrong at breakfast forgets how rapidly she becomes disentangled. If anything, she’s the one person who could not be harmed by his claws.

Mike Eury goes over the origins of Wolverine with Len Wein, Roy Thomas, Chris Claremont and John Byrne, much of it focus on his age. Physical age shouldn’t make much difference to someone with his healing power as it would make him look youthful setting him back to a particular age. Then again, as with Sabre-Tooth, a lot depends on the body clock and what is determined as adult. As to all the new X-Men being younger to Xavier so he remains the father figure/mentor, I doubt if Wolverine would want to be seen in that light. In the early days, he never really made a deal of just how old he actually was until he got 10 demerits for bad behaviour.

Oh, there’s a massive art gallery of Wolverine illustrated by various artists that is bound to include someone you like.

Back in 2004, Frank Castle aka the Punisher had been 30 years on the scene and the cause for a revision to the Comic Code Authority as far more violent material was available on film and TV screens. Writer Dan Johnson goes over the Punisher’s history and some great Mike Zeck illustrations as he became his artist, although John Romita Sr created the original look.

Walter Simonson is interviewed by Brian K. Morris about his three years on ‘The Mighty Thor’ where he became artist and writer. It’s rather wry that when he went to one of his local stores to get his first issue, # 337, that it had already sold out. When you consider the freedom he had to change who was worthy to pick up Thor’s hammer, introduced Beta Ray Bill, dumped Thor’s Donald Blake persona and so much else, his point, even 20 years ago that editorial would never allow that today is very telling.

I’m still not believing my luck in still getting hold of early paper copies of these magazine in good condition but I suspect those who buy them respect these mags and look after them. Then again, with so much good art here as well, you want to keep that protected. Let’s keep that tradition.

GF Willmetts

May 2023

(pub: TwoMorrows Publishing. 100 page illustrated magazine. Price:  (US). ISSN: 1932-6904. Direct from them, you can get a digital copy for $ 4.99 (US))

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