WOLVERINE #125-128 (1998): Chris Claremont returns!

Chris Claremont is back! And there’s art by Leinil Francis Yu! And it’s giant-sized!

This better be good.

The story begins with a fakeout. We see Jubilee reliving scenes from her own past, seemingly narrating them, but it turns out that the narrator is Kitty Pryde–and it’s unclear if these are dreams or stories.

We see various scenes that take place during various (Chris Claremont written) X-issues, but everyone is dressed in green.

It’s looking more and more like this is some kind of mix between a dream and an attack. As I read this issue, I was thinking, “Is this a Nightmare story?”

The thread begins to tighten. The story is about all the women from Wolverine’s life, with a focus on Viper of Hydra. And I mean ALL the women he’s been involved with.

And suddenly we are in Australia at the old X-base and the two women state that they have an important mission: To save Wolverine.

But first: Fashion show!

We are about halfway through the issue when we finally see Wolverine in real time (not these odd dream/memories/stories). He’s in Japan, sparring with Yukio, ninjas, and Psylocke. But, no, that’s a dream too. He’s also dreaming about the women from his past. Jubilee offers to save him, but he seems to know this is a lie…

It seems that this was all a result of Jean Grey being forced by Viper to manipulate the various characters.

And when everything gets real it seems that many of the “dream” characters are actually with Wolverine and the others. They’re all present, in Madripoor, where Wolverine announces he’s going to marry Viper. From there, it’s on to issue #126.

Logan explains that Viper once saved his life, and he gave her a favor. This is what she asked for.

Viper looks smashing in her green wedding dress. I guess the reason that all the other women from Wolverine’s past wore green is because they’re bridesmaids. But right after the ceremony, Sabretooth kills the preacher and goes after Viper.

And Sabretooth now has adamantium.

The fight continues into issues #127-128, where a bunch of other pencillers also sign on. Yu’s gone for #128. Too bad because Yu’s art was terrific.

The story gets bigger and bigger with more and more guest stars (Avengers! X-Men!) and it finally seems to come clear: This is all Hydra. They’ve got sorcerers who are messing with the minds of Wolverine, Kitty and Sabretooth in an effort to get them to join Hydra. Eventually, they shake off the thrall and Sabretooth kills them all, then runs off. Before he does, he stands over the barely conscious Kitty Pryde…

…And I’m pretty sure he insinuates that he is thinking of raping her.

The story ends with (I think) Hydra in control of Madripoor, Kitty and Wolverine wanted by the government, and Kitty wondering if she can control her own savage side that emerged during the story.

This story was a fantastically fun read–completely unpredictable. But of course that’s because most of it didn’t even really happen. I’m left wondering how much of it was real, and assuming most of it was not. But the complexity, the huge cast, the ability to attract excellent artists, and the details of each character who appeared (real of not), are all signature elements of a Claremont yarn.

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