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Underrated: Havok and Wolverine: Meltdown

This is a column that focuses on something or some things from the comic book sphere of influence that may not get the credit and recognition it deserves. Whether that’s a list of comic book movies, ongoing comics, or a set of stories featuring a certain character. The columns may take the form of a bullet pointed list, or a slightly longer thinkpiece – there’s really no formula for this other than whether the things being covered are Underrated in some way. This week: Havok & Wolverine: Meltdown.


I don’t remember the first time I read this story, but it was likely in the UK reprint magazine Wolverine Unleashed in the mid to late 90’s. That was also the last time I read it, so when I saw the collected edition at my LCS for $15 I couldn’t pass it up – now because Wolverine is a little bit more marketable than Havok, the trade was just called Wolverine: Meltdown.

Originally published in the late 80’s, Meltdown was written by Walter and Louise Simonson, with illustrations by John J. Muth and Kent Williams. The story is set around the Chernobyl nuclear disaster of the mid 80’s, and finds Havok and Wolverine caught up in the midst of a plot to end the world in nuclear war from the shadows. The art has a wonderful painted look to it at times, but the artists aren’t afraid to experiment with multiple forms of media throughout the book. It’s a choice that is divisive to some – I’ll freely admit when I was younger the art did nothing for me, but I enjoyed the story a fair bit, whereas now I find myself absorbed in the art more than the writing which is a strange twist on how I usually find myself feeling when coming back to stories I haven’t read in 20 some years.

It’s easy to imagine the way this story would have felt when initially released as it presents another possibility behind the Chernobyl disaster as an intentional act to snare the X-Men. Looking back now, it’s a great premise to a story, and one that still holds up despite the very specific time setting. Admittedly, I’ve no idea or memory as to how in continuity/canon this story is within the X-Universe but the story is entertaining enough to allow you to just enjoy it as is, and seeing Wolverine and Havok team up together is still a relatively rare event even today – and while I’m probably in the minority here, I’d love to see more chances for these two mutants to come together on the page.

The main reason I wanted to talk about this book today is solely because it’s a story that I’d completely forgotten about. This isn’t one of the classic Wolverine or X-Men stories that people will talk about, and honestly nor should it be, but it’s still an enjoyable tale that still stands the test of time; admittedly it’s the artwork that will pull you in more than the story, because this is a book that just looks utterly fantastic. The art is at times risky and pushes the envelope of what comics would typically feature 30 years ago (and yet is far more common today). Do yourself a favour and check this story out if you can – it’s a four issue mini series that shouldn’t break the bank if you hunt the individual issues.


Unless the comics industry ceases any and all publication look for a future installment of Underrated to cover more comics that aren’t cracking the top 100.

Preview: X-Men Legends #4

X-Men Legends #4

(W) Louise Simonson (A/CA) Walter Simonson
Rated T+
In Shops: Jun 23, 2021
SRP: $3.99

WITH A VENGEANCE!
Things go from bad to worse for X-FACTOR when they must save the baby NATHAN CHRISTOPHER SUMMERS from the clutches of a deadly robot attacker. But who is really at the helm, and what will this mean for the FUTURE of the team and the SUMMERS clan?
Return to this classic era with legends Louise Simonson and Walter Simonson in this ALL-NEW tale set before the original X-FACTOR #43!

X-Men Legends #4

Preview: X-Men Legends #3

X-Men Legends #3

(W) Louise Simonson (A/CA) Walter Simonson
Rated T+
In Shops: Apr 28, 2021
SRP: $3.99

THE ORIGINAL X-FACTOR RETURNS – TO BATTLE APOCALYPSE!
The mutants once known as the original X-MEN now fight the good fight as the mutant team X-FACTOR! Together with their mysterious sentient spaceship Ship and the newly transformed ARCHANGEL, they’ve defeated CAMERON HODGE and foiled APOCALYPSE’s scheme. But as Ship starts to malfunction, Apocalypse’s true plan unfolds!

Return to this classic era with legends Louise Simonson and Walter Simonson as they kick off an ALL-NEW tale set before X-FACTOR #43!

X-Men Legends #3

Preview: Women of Marvel #1

Women of Marvel #1

(W) Natasha Alterici, More (A) Eleonora Carlini, More (CA) Sara Pichelli
ONE-SHOT/Rated T+
In Shops: Apr 21, 2021
SRP: $5.99

WHO RUNS THE WORLD? YOU ALREADY KNOW. CELEBRATE THE WOMEN OF MARVEL WITH AN EXTRAVAGANZA OF EXTRAORDINARY TALENT!
The future is female! Get in on the ground floor with this amazing assembly of writers and artists from all over entertainment. Comics legend Louise Simonson kicks things off with a must-read introduction! Nadia Shammas punches the glass ceiling with the Jade Giantess! Elsa Sjunneson grits her way to the front line with Captain Peggy Carter! Sophie Campbell goes feral with a bone-grinding Marrow story! Video game-and-comics writer Anne Toole makes her Marvel debut in a blaze of glory! Natasha Alterici of Heathen fame charges sword-first into the Marvel Universe! With astonishing art from new and established artists Kei Zama (Transformers, DEATH’S HEAD), Eleonora Carlini (Power Rangers, Batgirl), Skylar Patridge (Resonant, Relics of Youth), Joanna Estep (Fantastic Four, Fraggle Rock) and more, you’re sure to come away powered up and ready to slay – in high heels and boots alike.

Women of Marvel #1

Scarlet Witch, Magik, and Moore Get the Spotlight on Women of Marvel #1 Covers

This April, Women of Marvel #1 will spotlight iconic characters from the X-Men to the Avengers in a collection of tales by an all-female lineup of incredible talent from throughout the entertainment industry. And today on International Women’s Day, Marvel hasrevealed new variant covers and share more details about the incredible special.

Women of Marvel #1 will be packed with inspiring tales from new and established creators including Louise Simonson, Nadia Shammas, Elsa Sjunneson, Sophie Campbell, Anne Toole, Natasha Alterici, and Mariko Tamaki. In addition, acclaimed Brooklyn Brujas author Zoraida Córdova will be making her Marvel Comics debut with an action-packed story about the deadliest woman in the galaxy, Gamora! Joined by Swedish artist Maria Fröhlich – also making her Marvel debut – Zoraida puts Gamora in the crosshairs of her most lethal enemy yet: love. With astonishing art from Kei Zama, Eleonora Carlini, Skylar Patridge, Joanna Estep, Maria Fröhlich, Peach Momoko, Rachael Stott, Nina Vakueva, Marika Cresta, and June Brigman, this oversized issue will be a spectacular showcase of some of the most amazing talent in the graphic novel industry today.

Check out variant covers by Amanda Conner, Maria Wolf, and Peach Momoko. Stay tuned for more news about this highly-anticipated one-shot and don’t miss Women of Marvel #1 when it hits stands on April 21st!

ComiXology Features 11 New Comics Today from Marvel, Harlequin, Yen Press, and Cinebook

ComiXology has a packed Thursday with 11 new digital comic releases. Get shopping now or check out the individual issues below.

The Battle Vol. 2

Written by Patrick Rambaud, Frédéric Richaud
Art by Ivan Gil
Purchase

The battle has been joined. On this first day, Massena desperately holds onto Aspern, the French cavalry charges again and again, but the Emperor cannot seem to break the Austrians. Louis-Francois, stuck on the wrong side of the only available bridge, impatiently waits for repairs to conclude. Not only are his official messages delayed, but he’s also dying to send news to Miss Krauss in Vienna. However, his friend Stendhal, who’s remained with the beautiful Austrian lady, makes some upsetting discoveries …

The Battle Vol. 2

Blake & Mortimer Vol. 27: The Call of the Moloch

Written by Jean Dufaux
Art by Christian Cailleaux, Etienne Schréder
Purchase

Tasked by the queen to close the ‘Septimus Wave’ case once and for all, Captain Blake is facing a daunting task, for many questions remain unanswered. Where did the spaceship buried beneath London come from? What became of Lady Rowana and Professor Evangely? Meanwhile, Mortimer is trying to pull Olrik out of the catatonic state the villain has been in since his encounter with the ship’s occupant. Has the threat to the nation truly been vanquished?

Blake & Mortimer Vol. 27: The Call of the Moloch

À celle qui occupe mes souvenirs

Written by Annie West
Art by Kyoko Sagara
Purchase

Pourquoi réapparaît-il maintenant dans ma vie !? Alessandro, l’ancien amour de Charis, est revenu.
Il ne s’agit rien de moins que du célèbre Comte de l’éminent clan italien des Mattani. Leur première rencontre date d’il y a deux ans, dans une station de ski. Cet homme passionné au physique avantageux a ravi le cœur de Charis dès que ses yeux ont croisé ces iris émeraudes pétillantes de vie. Ce bonheur, croyait-elle, durerait éternellement… s’il ne l’avait pas un jour cruellement plaquée en doutant de sa fidélité.
Aujourd’hui, le passé est revenu la hanter de douloureux souvenirs et ses baisers volés, aussi sucrés et délicieux qu’autrefois, n’arrangent pas les choses.

À celle qui occupe mes souvenirs

Lucky Luke Vol. 77: A Cowboy in High Cotton

Written by Jul
Art by Achdé
Purchase

Big surprise for the Lonesome Cowboy: a rich widow and admirer of his exploits has bequeathed him a 250 acre cotton plantation in Louisiana! Thrust into the role of a rich landowner, welcomed as one by his white neighbours, he will have to fight to gain the trust of his terrified black employees and split his heritage among them. A goal towards which he’ll receive help from the local Cajun community, and from … the Daltons!

Lucky Luke Vol. 77: A Cowboy in High Cotton

One Night With The Forbidden Princess

Written by Amanda Cinelli
Art by Kaoru Ohashi
Purchase

Though Princess Olivia had always dreamed of falling in love, her father forces her into a political marriage for the sake of their country. Not ready to marry a foreign sheikh, she attempts to escape from the palace. But she’s soon caught by Roman, the sheikh’s best friend and security personnel. In order to calm the tearful Olivia and ease her into accepting the marriage, Roman takes the princess to his private island. But there’s still plenty of adventure awaiting her…

One Night With The Forbidden Princess

So I’m a Spider, So What? #49

Written by Okina Baba
Art by Asahiro Kakashi
Purchase

A spider in shining armor’s work is never finished! After saving that dandy stud and li’l vampy and co., guess I’ll hang around as their protection detail for a bit. But is robber really that popular a job or is somethin’ funny going on in town…?

So I'm a Spider, So What? #49

Wolverine Legends Vol. 2: Meltdown

Written by Louise Simonson, Walt Simonson
Art by Jon J. Muth, Kent Williams
Cover by Jon J. Muth, Kent Williams
Purchase

Collects Havok & Wolverine: Meltdown #1-4.

Wolverine comes to blows with his teammate Havok when a femme fatale strikes. This modern-classic psychological thriller was written by the husband and wife team of Walter and Louise Simonson, and features gorgeous fully-painted artwork by Jon J. Muth and Kent Williams.

Wolverine Legends Vol. 2: Meltdown

Wolverine Legends Vol. 3: Law Of The Jungle

Written by Frank Tieri
Art by Sean Chen, Rachel Dodson, Terry Dodson, Tom Palmer
Cover by Esad Ribic
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Collects Wolverine (1988) #181-186.

Wolverine probes the dark and seamy underbelly of the city, and guts it. Placing himself in the center of a bloody mob war, Logan plays a most dangerous game.

Wolverine Legends Vol. 3: Law Of The Jungle

Wolverine Legends Vol. 4: Xisle

Written by Bruce Jones
Art by Jorge Lucas
Cover by Jorge Lucas
Purchase

Collects Wolverine: XISLE #1-5.

Intending to spend a rare carefree moment at a carnival with his beloved stepdaughter Amiko, Wolverine shows a violent side of himself that sends the young girl running in fear. Unable to face what he’s done, Logan is propelled into a soul-searching adventure he may not be able to escape. What did he do? And what did young Amiko see?

Wolverine Legends Vol. 4: Xisle

Wolverine Legends Vol. 6: Marc Silvestri

Written by Larry Hama
Art by Hilary Barta, Dan Green, Tom Palmer
Cover by Marc Silvestri
Purchase

Collects Wolverine (1988) #31-34, 41-42, 48-50.

Witness how artist Marc Silvestri rose to comics’ superstardom during his legendary and sales record-breaking run on WOLVERINE and UNCANNY X-MEN. Now having made his triumphant return to NEW X-MEN, energizing his fans and finding legions of new ones, Marvel offers a new collected edition of some of his best Wolverine stories, highlighting a benchmark in the career of one of comics’ top artists and a run of one of the industry’s best-selling titles! Watch Wolverine take on the drug-crazed Japanese Yakuza, face down a legendary Canadian monster and uncover secrets of the mysterious Weapon X program, culminating in a battle with a cyborg version of himself!

Wolverine Legends Vol. 6: Marc Silvestri

Yakari Vol. 18: The Wall of Fire

Written by Job
Art by Derib
Purchase

In the middle of the night, a daring thief from another tribe makes off with the horses of Yakari’s people. Only Little Thunder managed to escape him by fleeing into the forest. While the warriors hurry after their precious mounts, Yakari goes in search of his friend … who is himself trailing the thief! Once the two groups converge near a huge camp, Yakari will have to display extraordinary cleverness to help his folk…

Yakari Vol. 18: The Wall of Fire

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All-Star Creators Celebrate the Women of Marvel in April

Get ready for a new giant-sized special celebrating Marvel’s heroes will debut in April. Women of Marvel #1 will spotlight iconic characters from the X-Men to the Avengers in a collection of tales by an all-female lineup of incredible talent from throughout the entertainment industry.

Kicking things off will be comics legend Louise Simonson with a must-read introduction. Simonson will be followed by some of the hottest rising stars in the graphic novel industry. Nadia Shammas punches the glass ceiling with an action-packed She-Hulk adventure, Elsa Sjunneson grits her way to the front line with a tale about Captain Peggy Carter, Sophie Campbell goes feral with a bone-grinding Marrow story, video game and comics writer Anne Toole gets gritty in the streets of Hell’s Kitchen, and Natasha Alterici of Heathen fame charges sword-first into the Marvel Universe with a revelatory tale about Rogue and Mystique. With astonishing art from new and established artists Kei Zama, Eleonora Carlini, Skylar Patridge, Joanna Estep, and more, readers are sure to come away powered up and ready to slay. And featuring a cover by Sara Pichelli!

Stay tuned for more news about Women of Marvel #1 and pick up this extraordinary issue when it hits stands in April.

Women of Marvel #1

Explore Mutantkind’s Greatest Mysteries in the X-Men Legends Trailer

X-Men history will be revisited and revealed when X-Men Legends #1 debuts next month. This first-of-its-kind series will feature the return of the franchise’s most influential creators—including Louise Simonson, Chris Claremont, and more— in all-new, in-continuity stories set during their groundbreaking runs. Starting things off will be Fabian Nicieza with a two-part tale that finally reveals the truth behind one of the most talked-about mutant mysteries: Adam-X and his startling connection to the Summers bloodline!

Introduced during Nicieza’s explosive work on the X-Men in their nineties heyday, the beginnings of this storyline can be traced back to 1993’s X-Men #23. Since then, X-Men fans have endlessly speculated, theorized, and debated what became known as the “third Summers brother” mystery. Now, all will be answered as one the most infamous comic book plot danglers of all time is resolved! Take an exhilarating trip through the history behind this iconic piece of X-Men lore in the action-packed X-Men Legends #1 trailer, featuring never-before-seen artwork!

Each month, X-Men Legends will dive into the rich history of the X-Men to tie up loose ends, resolve long-standing plot danglers, and reveal shocking truths that will change the past and future of the X-Men! Don’t miss these revelatory tales when X-Men Legends #1 hits stand on February 17th!

Louise Simonson and Walter Simonson Return to X-Factor in X-Men Legends #3

Legendary creators Louise Simonson and Walter Simonson will be returning to the X-Men franchise this April in X-Men Legends #3. The pair will be teaming up for an all-new, in-continuity story set during their groundbreaking run on X-Factor— notable for introducing one of the X-Men’s greatest villains, Apocalypse, and boldly transforming Angel into the metal-winged Archangel.

Starring the original X-Men now defending the world as the mutant team X-Factor, X-Men Legends #3 will take place just before X-Factor #43. Having defeated Apocalypse, X-Factor now uses his mysterious sentient spaceship Ship as their base of operations. But when Ship begins to malfunction, they’ll realize Apocalypse’s true plans are just beginning to unfold. Don’t miss a rematch decades-in-the-making when the full breadth of this iconic villain’s original motives are finally revealed!

X-Men Legends #3

Rodney Barnes, Shelly Bond, Al Ewing, and Louise Simonson, all Get the Spotlight at Baltimore Comic Con Live

This coming weekend kicks off the 1st annual Baltimore Comic-Con Live, a FREE ONLINE EVENT. The event goes digital and is streaming the weekend of October 23-25, 2020! Come check out retailers, exhibitors, artists alley, programming, and the Ringo Awards live! Don’t miss out on the creator spotlight panels, focusing on superstars Rodney Barnes, Shelly Bond, Al Ewing, and Louise Simonson!

KILLADELPHIA

Panelists: Rodney Barnes
Host: TBD
Sunday, October 25, 2020 – 6pm ET / 3pm PT

Get a front row seat for a one-on-one discussion with Rodney Barnes, the writer of what’s being called the best vampire comic in years, KILLADELPHIA.

Rodney Barnes

SHELLY BOND: Creator Spotlight

Panelists: Shelly Bond
Host: TBD
Saturday, October 24, 2020 – 4pm ET / 1pm PT

A spotlight panel with former DC Vertigo Executive Editor Shelly Bond: “…the most mod editor of them all. -ComicsBeat”

SHELLY BOND: Creator Spotlight

AL EWING: Q&A Panel

Panelists: Al Ewing
Host: Amy Dallen & Coy Jandreau
Sunday, October 25, 2020 – 1pm ET / 10am PT

Don’t miss this rare conversation with Al Ewing, the creator of Immortal Hulk and the new series, We Only Find Them When They’re Dead, for a LIVE Q&A with fans. BONUS: This panel is hosted by the dynamic duo and stars of Collider HeroesAmy Dallen & Coy Jandreau!!!

AL EWING: Q&A Panel

LOUISE SIMONSON

Panelists: Louise Simonson
Host: Christy Blanch
Sunday, October 25, 2020 – 3pm ET / 12pm PT

The Godmother of modern comics, Louise Simonson, sits down with Baltimore Comic-Con to chat about the industry’s history, present and future with host Christy Blanch.

LOUISE SIMONSON
Almost American
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