[Jason Powell. Chris Claremont. Every issue. That is all.]
This issue is Marc Silvestri’s 32nd and last of Uncanny, making him second only to John Byrne in amount of Uncanny issues penciled during Claremont’s tenure. It’s also the last Claremont Uncanny issue to be inked by Dan Green, making his final tally a remarkable 58 issues – far surpassing any other embellisher.
It’s not the finest comic for Silvestri and Green to go out on. The Dazzler material of the previous issue was much more impressive – and more representative, for that matter. “Harriers Hunt” is, by contrast, an uninspired story that accomplishes nothing other than to return Wolverine to Madripoor. (The move was necessary in order to sync up Wolverine with the solo title, which at this point was being handed off to Jo Duffy for another saga featuring the Madripoor-based supporting cast.)
In a nod to the series that necessitated this story in the first place, Claremont brings in some of his own original characters from Wolverine #5 – Harry Malone, Battleaxe and Shotgun, or “the Harriers.” That earlier story hinted at the existence of a larger team, and so – in much the same way that, ten years earlier, the Claremont/Byrne “Weapon Alpha” story had eventually led to a sequel featuring Alpha Flight – here we get the ranks of the Harriers filled out with more than half a dozen new characters.
But whereas Alpha Flight were striking and memorable thanks to John Byrne’s canny designs, the Harriers are something else again. A promising double-page spread introduces them – a la the Reavers’ intro in Uncanny 248 – but ultimately they turn out to be a collection of ciphers, lacking the personality and mystique of teams like Alpha Flight, or the sheer dramatic impact of villains like the Marauders. Uncanny 261 is, in retrospect, a foretaste of the latter-day Claremont that flourished in the pages of X-Treme X-Men and other vanity projects – the lackadaisical writer who would gleefully introduce a team of new villains at the drop of a hat, providing some codenames and some vaguely defined sets of powers, but entirely failing to make any genuine impression.
We also get a single Banshee/Forge scene, setting up the upcoming Morlock two-parter. It’s a welcome bit of variety, but ultimately not enough of a diversion from the plain vanilla of the main plot: The Harriers show up, Wolverine is kidnapped, Jubilee and Psylocke rescue him, and another 22 pages have been filled.