Cripes, it’s been a while, eh? Ever since Marvel announced Wolverine would be dying, I’ve just not had the stomach for comics. I mean, Wolvie, deceased? The Ol’ Chucklehead? Claws-n’-Baws? Howlin’ Jimmy Logan?
It was too much for me to bear, a final indignity in a world where Comics Promises seem to mean NOTHING. Sure, they can bring back Bucky and Jason Todd, they can put Ghost Rider in a car, but nope, no way, NO WAY I was going to tolerate them killing off my pal, the Hairy Sex-Badger himself, Wolverine. I can only assume it’s Disney’s fault. Since they took over? Let’s just say the House of Mouse would not be my Spouse (if I had to marry a corporate entity, y’know? And if I DID, it’d be Hexus the Living Corporation from Marvel Boy. I’m gonna want to marry something that’s alive, right? Not dead, like Wolvie? Who’s gonna marry Wolverine now? Deadman? THAT’S DC, NOT MARVEL, BOZO!). .
So, yeah, I stopped reading comics, cold turkey. One day, though, I was looking through my collection (looking but not reading. It’s a ‘respect for the dead’ thing), and I heard a ghostly ( masculine, not wispy) voice.
“Bub,” it said, “bub, I’m right here. Come on, get your hand in there, and open me up”
So, yeah, I dared to read some of the words on the cover of the issue in my hand, breaking my promise to myself of “NO MORE COMICS”, like Marvel broke their promise to keep me happy, no matter what, and there it was, the first American comic I’d ever bought, all those years ago, in Majorca: Wolverine #51 by Larry Hama and Andy Kubert (the one where Wolverine goes to a motel for sex, and Jubilee spies on him).
Opening it up, slowly at first, letting my eyes adjust, letting the words find purchase in my brain, I heard that reassuring, gruff voice again:
“That’s it, kid”, the Hallowed Relic in my hands growled, “looks like you found me”.
Wracked with pleasure the likes of which I hadn’t experienced since the first time I’d glimpsed these pages, I had realised something beyond my mildest dream:
Wolverine’s spirit was trapped in this comic, and only I knew about it.
We sat and chatted for a while, I put on my special gloves so as not to mark his divine pages, and he told me of how he’d been cursed to feel the pain of all his victims. That’s right, some vicious God or Comics Code-Approved Devil Analogue was making Wolverine experience as many comics of variable quality as Wolvie himself had inflicted on other people over the years.
Basically, he’s here to help me read and review the latest batch of cheapo comics back issues I’ve bought.
We’re here, we sneer, we’re gasping for a kir.