After a brief hiatus, FUNday returns to Alpha Flight Collector! This week’s installment is heartbreaking. It might even tug at your hearstrings. Or, as Weird Al might say, “I’d rather rip my heart right out of my rib cage with my bare hands and then throw it on the floor and stomp on it ’til I die” [than read this post]. It’s FUNday, not Valentine’s Day, so you decide!
Strange Tales II #1
No, not that Strange Tales and no, not that other Strange Tales, and no, not volume I of Strange Tales. This is volume II of what is the fifth series to be named Strange Tales, this one distinguishable from the others by the MAX imprint, Marvel’s explicit content line. Containing an anthology of stories of various lengths, topics and themes, a cavalcade of indie artists draw and write with their own inimitable style, sometimes producing gems, sometimes less gem-ful but always without limits. Wild Child appears in the first story in a few panels.
The first story is an untitled and uncredited eight page Wolverine story by cover artist Rafael Grampá that takes place at an underground mutant fight club, mashed up with a story of lost love too bloody to even describe. The story opens with Sabretooth ripping out Wild Child’s heart in the ring, but don’t worry, his healing factor kicks in just fine and he’s shown later joking with Victor in the locker room. Still, it’s an impressive accomplishment to come back from a ripped out heart.
Since Wild Child is dead, having been killed by Omega Red in Wolverine Origins #39, this appearance is obviously not in continuity, as clearly indicated anyway by the plot.
The difficulty factor in identifying Wild Child is that he isn’t mentioned by name – he appears in the ring in one panel unnamed, then on a large promotional poster, also unnamed. On the next page, another portion of the poster is shown, with what is likely the words “Sabretooth VS Wild Child” but you can only see the rightmost portions of this text, and even the “Child” part is obscured by Wolverine’s arm. It’s almost as if Rafael Grampá were trying to say, “Fans, I respect you. You know who these characters are. I’ll give you the barest of hints and I’m sure you can figure it out without captions”, a complimentary nod to the MAX imprint’s intended audience of older, more sophisticated readers who don’t need to have these things spelled out.
Of course the same sophisticated readers can flip back a page to see an image of the Red Skull’s butt as he serves drinks in a strip club wearing nothing but a thong and a choker as The Watcher slips a dollar bill into Ms. Marvel’s ass crack, but hey, you get the point!