Writer Chris Claremont
Artist Sana Takeda
Letterer Tom Orzechowski
Cover Dated 2010
This story is pretty much Claremont trying to make it up to Wolverine for killing him off in the very first issue. This annual takes place before that issue, so it is the only time Claremont gets to really write the character before bringing him back as one of the villains in the second volume.
How does Claremont make it up to ol’ Logan? He has Nick Fury show up to the mansion, offers Jean and Logan an undercover assignment, where they get to go to a romantic island resort and ‘pretend’ to be a newly married couple on their honeymoon.
It doesn’t surprise me that they tapped Takeda for this title and the art is glorious with the coloring and almost paint like quality. She has a nice fluid style and her characters look great. Jean is in various bathing suits in this issue and there is something about having a woman drawing women in bathing suits that seems natural and not like most of the cheesecake drawings we so often get.
Issue opens with Jean and Wolverine, shackled inside of a cave. There are cloaked individuals around them.
Jean gets to narrate the issue. She starts with realizing that the first time she saw Logan, she should have run. In fact, she did, she left the X-Men soon after Giant Size X-Men 1. She tried to take Scott but he was still high on Xavier’s dream. Tragically, she came back to the X-Men, scarified herself to save her team, had the Space Deity – Phoenix – hold her captive at the bottom of Jamaica Bay and her life hasn’t been awesome ever since.
Jean does narrate that she now has the same feelings Logan has for her – I guess if you whine to a woman, constantly, she will eventually give in.
So the cloak individuals are actually part of the Hand. In the comic, it hasn’t been that long since the Hand successfully was able to turn British Psylocke into Asian Psylocke. So now they are trying to do that with Jean and Wolverine, but not the ethnic change. They are attacking both their minds and souls, instead. Jean is able to resist for the most part but she is worried about Logan has his healing factor isn’t as strong as it once was. We can see that his attempts to resist the conditioning is wearing on him.
Since getting to this island, Jean’s telepathy has been blocked and now she worries that it is up to themselves to save them as she can’t send out a distress signal.
The bulk of the rest of the issue is a flashback that leads us back to the two X-Men being held prisoner.
Nick Fury is requesting the X-Men’s help. Scott blows off the request, the mansion was destroyed recently and he and Beast need to figure out what the best way to protect it is. I would highly recommend a force field or maybe a secret location – instead of just building on top of the last mansion’s ashes.
There is a quarter house ad for Thor and the Warriors Four issue 2. I really like that cover of Katie chasing Beta Ray Bill with a saddle so she can ride him like the horse that he appears to be.
Jean tries to reason with Scott, mentally and Scott shouts at her to get out of his mind.
Jean apologizes (which is a word I swear I type every other review! Those X-Men are a sad group) for Scott’s reaction. He’s been on edge since X-Factor’s last fight with Apocalypse on the moon. We get Claremont rewriting Pre-X-Men 1 history now – thus proving more that these were not old scripts in his drawer that he is now able to see printed.
I guess that is the mission that concludes with Scott having to send his son, Nathan, into the future and become Cable. In the Forever timeline, Nathan didn’t get the techno-organic virus and so now Scott has to figure out how to be an X-Man and raise his son. Don’t worry, he still decides to send him away but to grandparents.
For some reason, Wolverine still offers up his and Jean’s services to Fury. Fury states that he really only needed these two. If the whole team had gone, the story would have been different. I wonder why Wolverine doesn’t offer any of the other X-Men, as surely the X-Men are not only Beast, Cyclops, Jean and Wolverine plus Xavier.
Fury tells them that all he needs them to do is run some reconnaissance, SHIELD will handle the law enforcement – which who knows where they end up when it finally comes time for that?
Cut to the island, where Jean wears her one of two outfits. A pink bikini top with like Jasmine pants that are also pink. Her other outfit is a skimpy white bikini that she only wears the one time. The pink number is her go to.
Jean feels back, they should be helping rebuild instead they are on vacation. Jean reveals to Wolverine that she can’t access her telepathy but she does note how all the employees at the resort have wires coming from their ears and how many surveillance cameras there are.
While Jean is wearing that white bikini, Logan is wearing larger swimming trunks. She thinks he looks nice in them. Jean tries to lighten him as they are suppose to be on their honeymoon. Scott clearly doesn’t know that part of the plan.
Logan tells her that they have to go on a lover’s stroll later that night. Later that night, Jean holds Logan’s hand, which surprises him. He tells her what he found earlier that day. There is a shack that has off limit signs and people kept going in and out of all day.
They climb this mountain for a better peak at the shack from above. Jean’s telepathy still doesn’t work, even at this height. She tells Logan that she isn’t worried as his senses are still working.
Logan kisses Jean, which surprises her. She tells him that they are only suppose to be pretending to be on their honeymoon. As soon as she says this, Hand ninjas (which is redundant) comment from above that they were being fooled. Which I like how all issue, Jean has been trying to get Logan to make a move or to at least appear to be having a good time, as soon as he goes along with it, she shouts that they are not on their honeymoon for all to hear. Good job keeping that cover, Jean!
So they get captured and we are back to them being shackled in the cave.
There is a house ad for Siege, and they try to make it look like a movie ad, even with the small print on the bottom with who made the film and who is starring in it. It is a nice touch. The event itself is missable as I’m not even sure I own any issues of it or even any tie ins to it. It does end the Dark Reign / Norman Osborn’s time as Director of SHIELD / Hammer.
Just as Jean is thinking to herself that this is the end of them, they get some help. Crashing through a wall is – Psylocke, Nightcrawler, Kitty Pryde and Jubilee! I like how Takeda has chosen to have Psylocke, not in her traditional purple bathing suit uniform but an old school X-Men uniform that some of the team wore after the Muir Island Saga. Kitty is wearing her blue Excalibur outfit, she’s looking good here too. Glad Takeda got to draw some other characters besides just Jean and Logan.
Psylocke is out for blood, as she knows how devastating the Hand can be. Kurt is surprised about the reaction but I completely get it. She doesn’t even have the body she has had for over 27 years! Now she has this other body, that use to belong to to Kwannon.
Kitty tries to free Jean and Logan. She successfully frees Jean and Jean tries to warn Kitty against Logan. Kitty makes a joke about how X-Men don’t listen to caution, frees Logan and gets back handed for her efforts. In Kitty’s shock, she phases through the ground.
Jubilee, not seeing what happened to Kitty, approaches Wolverine and he straight punches her to the face. It looks so sick and I wouldn’t imagine that Jubilee is getting up anytime soon. Wolverine starts going on about how he is the master assassin for the Hand.
Psylocke and Wolverine start fighting, she holds her own rather well. Kurt tries to help out as well, it doesn’t do much but delay Wolverine from attacking anyone else.
Once Kitty lands on her feet (pun intended!) she sees some Hand sorcerers chanting around a generator. She knows that can’t be good. She feels like it is similar to that time Ogun made her into his apprentice during the still amazing, Kitty Pryde and Wolverine miniseries. Kitty phases through the device, in hopes that it frees Wolverine from the Hand influence. It does.
Jean helps as well as she tells Wolverine that she loves him as much as he loves her and this is the final push he needed to shake off the effects.
Kitty reveals what made them show up. SHIELD was under the impression that everything was okay – which is odd, you would think they had agents watching over the two X-Men the entire time. Kitty thought it was odd that Jean wasn’t responding to any of their telepathic summons and so they came to investigate.
Psylocke offers them a ride home and Logan turns them down. He and Jean will find their own path. Which is weird, what are they going to do, take a cruise ship? But clearly the X-Men know that Logan and Jean are going to bone and so they jump into the Blackbird and take off.
After Logan comments about how he can read Jean’s body language (the huh?) they kiss, thus ending the story.