So, in the late ’80s and early ’90s, Marvel was producing a lot of Wolverine one-shots. I mean a lot. Most of them took the form of prestige-format 64-72 pagers and featured stories that just as easily could have been told in the pages of the regular monthly Wolverine book. Or the monthly X-Men book. Or Marvel Comics Presents. Or an Annual. You see what I’m getting at here? See, to me, the point of a one-shot is to tell stories that one wouldn’t have told otherwise or to expand on… actually, let me take that back: there’s no damn point to a one-shot. Unless you’re an indie publisher and that “one-shot” is actually the entire story you want to tell, there’s no point. It can just be told in the monthly book.
I feel like someone at Marvel clued into this whole “hey, there’s no point in making a story that could just be told in the monthly book” thing, and decided to do something different. Which you’d think would be a good thing, but no, it swings right around into new territory: if it wasn’t done in the main book, there’s probably a good gad-damned reason it wasn’t done in the main book.
And from that lovely premise, we get Wolverine: Rahne of Terra: a book by possibly the best writer at Marvel at the time (Peter David) and one of the best artists at Marvel at the time (Andy Kubert) somehow combining to create one of the worst, weirdest, poorly conceived things I have ever cracked the spine of.
I don’t know where to begin. Okay, well, let’s start with the fact that this is not a Wolverine book. I know his name is in the title, and I know he’s the only identifiable character on the cover, but you’ve all been fooled: it has nothing to do with him. Your only clue as to what the story is actually about? See how they misspelled “Rain” in the title to “Rahne?” From that, you were supposed to glean that this was a story revolving around the New Mutants, specifically, Rahne: Wolfsbane.
I have no issue with Wolfsbane. In fact I think she really blossomed under Peter David in his X-Factor run, but here… woo man. Let me see if I can some this up: all the New Mutants and X-Men are characters in a medieval fantasy. Knights, Wizards, Princesses, what have you. It seems like pretty standard alternate-universe fare, without much inspiration, but Rahne remembers her past as a New Mutant.
We learn that the wizard of this dimension switched Rahne with their Princess to protect her. And Wolverine is some kind of monster that haunts the castle. But don’t worry: he barely shows up. At the end Rahne wakes up and pulls the “but it was so real…. you were there, and you were there” and we think it’s all a dream, until Logan shows up and thanks her for her help. Such a twist.
Yup, you definitely wouldn’t have seen this in the regular monthly Wolverine book. Thanks ever-so.
My rating: 1 of 5 stars
“Yup, you definitely wouldn’t have seen this in the regular monthly Wolverine book. Thanks ever-so.”