WOLVERINE: Page 2 of 23


Despite his new role as Romulus’ pawn, Logan earned his own way in life when Romulus did not have direct use for him. He spent some time working for the Hudson Bay Company, unaware that the owner Elias Hudson was his uncle. Logan was accepted by a tribe of Blackfoot living in the north country, and given the name Carcajou, or “Skunk-Bear,” referring to the wolverine. [Marvel Comics Presents (1st series) #93-98, Wolverine: Origins #33] At one point, Logan was loaned out from Hudson Bay to support mine workers on strike in Kentucky with their fledgling union. Logan’s muscle helped the miners overcome the Pinkerton agents the owner hired to force them back to work. When the owner lost his temper and killed the union negotiator during the settlement, Logan killed the owner in front of his young son. In doing so, Logan unwittingly set the boy on the path to forming an entire organization dedicated to revenge against Logan, known as the Red Right Hand. [Wolverine (4th series) #10] He also operated as a merchant marine and first travelled to Madripoor, where he met a young entertainer named Seraph. [Wolverine: Origins Annual #1]

Eventually, however, Romulus manipulated Logan into the Canadian Army at the onset of World War I. He was assigned to a training camp under the command of another of Romulus’ agents, Logan’s uncle Frederick Hudson. Logan’s drill sergeant was a nasty piece of work named Silas Burr, a former Pinkerton agent with an innate talent for bringing out the worst in the men he trained. Romulus wanted Burr to instruct Logan and nurture his darker impulses to make Logan a more effective killer. Logan hated Burr, but was nevertheless a good student and honed the aggressive and sadistic side of his personality under Silas’ instruction. Logan’s only peace of mind during the brutal training was a woman named Janet, who worked on the base and with whom he fell in love after a time. Logan was unaware that Janet was another agent of Romulus’, acting as his handler in ways that Burr and Hudson could not. [Wolverine: Origins #12, 15]

Logan saw action in Europe with Burr and his Devil’s Brigade. In 1915, he was fighting the Germans in Belgium when a chlorine gas attack wiped out most of his fellow soldiers. Logan’s healing factor protected him from the gas, and so he strapped a couple of bayonet blades to his wrists and continued cutting through the enemy. Among the dead and dying, he came across Lazaer, a physical manifestation of Azrael, the Angel of Death. During the fight, the impossible happened when Logan lay hands on Lazaer’s blade and defeated him in combat. As the shocked Lazaer vanished, Logan became deeply troubled by his encounter with the supernatural. He began to lose his nerve for killing, and experienced the undeniable insight that he shouldn’t be alive anymore. Logan’s ennui turned suicidal before Lazaer reappeared before him. The angel explained that defeating him was both a prize and a punishment. From then on, whenever Logan came to the brink of death, he would rematch Lazaer on the spiritual plane. His spiritual strength was defined by his will to live, and Logan’s will was strong. To defeat Lazaer again each time allowed Logan’s soul to return to his body, making him effectively immortal so long as his healing factor kept working. To lose, however, meant his soul would pass on into purgatory regardless of the physical state of his body. [Wolverine (3rd series) #57-61]

Back at the Devil’s Brigade camp, Romulus and Hudson decided it was time to move Logan on to a new assignment. Hudson ordered Burr to kill Janet where Logan would see. Logan went into a berserker rage but was still beaten severely by Burr, who even ripped out one of Logan’s eyes. Like Silver Fox before her, Janet’s death and the physical trauma reinforced Logan’s conditioning that he was an animal, and if he tried to act like a man, then everything he loved dies. In addition to his Romulus conditioning, this incident also left Logan with a deeply set fear of facing Silas in a fight again, even after his memory of the actual fight was damaged or lost. [Wolverine: Origins 12, 15]

Logan went feral after Burr defeated him, regressing to a bestial wildman again. Creed recovered Logan from the wilderness and reactivated his conditioning. He crewed as a sailor and merchant marine again, sailing all over the Americas and the Far East, where he returned to Japan and Madripoor often. [Wolverine: Origins #17]

Logan also spent time wandering the land as well as the seas. In 1921, he came before a Mexican firing squad alongside a young Raven Darkholme. Taking a liking to the scrappy Canadian, Raven invited him into an operation of grifters she set up in Kansas City, Missouri. During a big heist at the Federal Reserve Bank, Logan and Raven double-crossed each other. Logan ratted the gang out to the police, whom Raven lied about having paid off. The rest of the grifters were killed in the bank heist but Logan and Raven escaped separately, beginning a long mistrustful relationship between the two. [Wolverine (3rd series) #62-65]

In the Prohibition Era, Logan also happened across a young vampire hunter named Eric Brooks in New York, New York, and saved his life from a marauding vampire. [Blade (3rd series) #5] Around this time, Logan worked as a bootlegger bringing hooch down from Canada to Chicago or Minnesota. He ran afoul of Al Capone, who was using Victor Creed as a hitman. Capone and Creed lured Logan to the site of the infamous St. Valentine's Day Massacre, which he barely survived. [Savage Wolverine #20] He had another encounter with rival bootleggers In Minnesota while working with his friend Elias from the Great War. Elias was killed by the mobsters and Logan tried to fulfill his last request of getting Elias's four kids to safety at their aunt's farm. In South Dakota, Logan was gifted with a motorcycle for his efforts protecting the kids, possibly his first motorcycle. [Savage Wolverine #14-17] He also spent some time down in Africa in 1931, living on the open veldts. Logan befriended a family of elephants out in the wild, and often returned to visit them over the decades. [Savage Wolverine #12-13]

In time, Logan became reacquainted with the small but beautiful Seraph, who ran the Princess Bar in Madripoor’s Lowtown. Logan was unaware of his masters during this time period, and believed his relationship with Seraph was simply good fortune. For her part, Seraph genuinely came to care for Logan as well, but she still prepared him as Romulus wanted. While Silas Burr taught Logan about brutality, Seraph taught him about subtlety. Seraph was a contact between Romulus and Madripoor’s local faction of the Hand. She instructed Logan on how to be an assassin: not just how to kill, but how to kill and get away with it. [Wolverine: Origins #17, Wolverine: Origins Annual #1]

Logan fell in love with both Seraph and Madripoor during this period, and would often return to Lowtown over the years. It is known that he worked with Seraph on and off from at least 1932 to 1941, but also continued to travel on his own and as part of the crew for various ships. During his travels in the 30’s, Logan first met his future mentor Ogun in Shanghai, where the samurai served as an honorable captain in the Japanese Imperial Army. [Wolverine (2nd series) #113] In 1936, he met a time-travelling Kitty Pryde in Scotland, and helped prevent a Nazi plot to manipulate the line of succession for the British Royal Family. At the time, Logan was working with “Mr. Raven” and Irene Adler, but whether he recognized Mystique from their earlier encounters or not is unclear. [X-Men: True Friends #1-3] In 1937, Logan became involved with the Spanish Civil War with Ernest Hemingway and Eugene Judd, the latter of whom would eventually become the Alphan called Puck. [Wolverine (2nd series) #35-37]

[Note: Logan’s involvement in the Spanish Civil War may have been a form of time travel reverse-engineered by Gateway. Wolverine and Puck were transported back in time by Gateway’s bull-roarer to battle Lady Deathstrike in the past. In the process, Puck ended up possessing his own younger, full-sized body, but Logan’s presence in that time period was less clear. After the adventure, he retroactively appeared in a photo from the bull fights Puck had been carrying earlier. Even before the adventure, however, Logan remembered some of the events in question, suggesting he had been there physically even before the time twisting.]

Romulus occasionally removed Logan from Seraph’s care and gave him new assignments and memory implants as the situation warranted it. In 1938, after another round of brainwashing, Logan's handlers sent him to make contact with Taras Romanov, a Russian spy and expert in the field of espionage. Taras believed Logan had been sent to him to learn the spy game, and that was true in part. For more than two years, Logan was taught all the tricks of the trade from Taras, and was as good a student for Taras as he was for Burr and Seraph. Logan also functioned as a teacher himself, for Taras's young daughter, Natalia Romanova. After dark, Logan secretly met with the pre-adolescent Natasha and trained her vigorously in the art of combat. They developed a strong bond and Natasha took to calling him “Little Uncle.” However, the second part of Logan's mission was to determine if Taras had learned too much about their benefactors. Once Logan had determined Taras actually knew who Romulus was, he executed his teacher. As he left the Romanov estate, Logan tried to convince Natalia to get out of the spy game before it became her life. [Wolverine: Origins #9]

[Note: Wolverine: Origins #9 claimed Taras was Logan’s first mission after Jasmine Falls, but this is impossible given the timeline. These events predate Logan’s first meeting with Captain America, before he adopted Bucky as his partner. Logan’s extraction from Jasmine Falls, however, was committed by the Winter Soldier, alias James Buchanan Barnes. Barnes could not have been active as the Winter Soldier years before he even became Bucky]

Later, in Madripoor, 1941, Logan became involved in a tussle between the Hand genin warriors and the newly-activated American super-soldier, Captain America, working on behalf of his country to protect Natalia Romanova. They worked well together, and succeeded in preventing the Hand from brainwashing little Natasha into an assassin for their cause. Or so Captain America thought.

In truth, Natalia was still an agent of Romulus, sent in as an “innocent victim” to kill the Hand’s leader, or jonin. The Hand of Madripoor were planning on renegotiating their agreements with Romulus’s organization once they formed a new alliance with Baron Strucker of Germany, so Romulus arranged the assassination to put his allies in their place. Logan involved himself in the skirmish at Seraph’s direction to earn the respect of America’s Super-Soldier, in case he proved useful in the future. He intervened on Natalia’s assassination of the jonin to prevent her from getting blood on her young hands. [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #268, Wolverine: Origins #16]

In the weeks that followed, Logan returned to action with the Canadian army, as the Devil’s Brigade was reactivated for World War II. He was stationed in north Africa under Silas Burr’s command again, although at this point Logan no longer remembered Janet or their past together. He received new orders to reconnect with Captain America and used their history to forge an alliance for Romulus’s benefit. Romulus’s connections allowed him to arrange an escort for Logan into the African theatre of war: Sergeant Nick Fury. Unfortunately for Logan’s mission, the USA had already set Captain America up with a partner since they last met, the young Bucky Barnes.

Logan, Fury, Captain America and Bucky gathered their men in the Tunisian Desert for a strike on Baron Strucker, who was using his influence within the Nazi party to begin gathering an early version of Hydra under his personal control. During the raid, however, Romulus’ agents negotiated their own alliance with Strucker, forcing Logan to switch sides and aid the fledgling Hydra against the Americans. Despite his orders, Logan came to respect Captain America, and didn’t want him killed. Instead, Logan arranged for their plane to be shot down during the escape so that Strucker was returned safely to the Nazis. By not relaying valuable information about “kid sidekick” Bucky’s elite military and sniper training, though, Logan ensured Cap and Bucky had the edge they needed to escape. Unfortunately, it didn’t stop a furious Captain America from beating Logan senseless after learning he was a traitor, and Logan suffered another healing factor induced memory loss because of the thrashing. [Wolverine: Origins #17-20]

By the winter of 1942, Logan was active again overseas and was captured and imprisoned in a Nazi concentration camp. Before he eventually escaped, Logan spent some time passively tormenting the series of commandants that cycled through the camp, using his unnerving presence and virtual invincibility to mock the officers' authority. [Wolverine (3rd series) #32] He freed himself soon enough, though, and re-enlisted in the Devil's Brigade. At the rank of corporal, Logan jumped with the Brigade as paratroopers over Normandy, France during the D-Day invasion of 1944. He lost his rifle in the fall, and found himself hanging in a tree with a young Canadian soldier. The boy unthinkingly lit a lighter to see where he was, and alerted the Nazis to their location. Cutting himself free with his Fairborn knife, Corporal Logan charged the Nazi patrol that came looking for them, and killed more than a dozen men with nothing more than his bare hands and trusty knife. [Wolverine (2nd series) #34] The blood-sucking immortal named Bloodscream was present for this slaughter as a Nazi officer, and would remember Logan decades later. [Wolverine (2nd series) #78]

After Germany surrendered, Logan remained active in the Pacific theatre of war in 1945. He wound up in a Japanese P.O.W. camp near Hiroshima with another mutant soldier, Lt. Ethan Warren. During their escape, Logan and Warren crossed paths with a Japanese woman named Atsuko. Warren wanted to kill her on sight, but Logan refused to let him and sent Warren on his way. In gratitude, Atsuko hid Logan from the patrols at her home. She told him how her father died as a kamikaze pilot during the war, and they eventually made love that evening. Logan fell hard for Atsuko and offered to take her away with him, far from the war that had filled both their lives. Unfortunately, a vengeful Warren returned and shot Logan in the head, then killed Atsuko before the Canadian could recover. The two men were still fighting when the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. Logan barely survived the blast and eventually made his way out of Japan. [Logan #1-3]

[Note: In Logan #2, he indicated to Atsuko that it was his first time making love. This contradicts the story told in Wolverine: Weapon X #10, not to mention his relationships with Silver Fox, Janet, Seraph, Raven, etc. It’s possible that Logan only believed it was his first time due to some of Romulus’ memory implants or programming active at the time.]