WOLVERINE: Page 3 of 23


After the war, Logan ended up signing on as a freelance operative for the firm of Landau, Luckman & Lake. In exchange for LL&L managing his accounts and affairs, as well as storing his personal effects during his travels, Logan would perform covert operations work for them or hire himself out to government agencies with LL&L as middleman. He typically worked through an expediter named Chang, who found his assignments for him. It is unknown what level of control Romulus was exerting on Logan at this time, nor whether LL&L was an extension of his operations or not. [Wolverine (2nd series) #4] During his time with LL&L, Logan occasionally encountered a powerful opponent named Kimora, and the two became bitter enemies. The two eventually clashed over a scientist named Carling, who was seeking sanctuary with LL&L. Kimora was apparently killed in this confrontation, but not before filling Logan's head with the suggestion that his employers were manipulating him, and tales of other worlds. [Logan: Path of the Warlord #1]

Logan stopped working for LL&L after the Kimora affair, and he returned to Japan where he renewed his earlier association with Ogun. Ogun was a renowned Japanese warrior who saw great potential in him, and Logan became as disciple of the sensei. Logan lived and worked with his sensei, learning the martial arts and mental discipline Ogun had to offer him, as well as the unique skills and mindset of the ninja and the samurai. Beyond using a sword, however, Ogun also taught Logan about culture and poetry, and the two men became as brothers. Still, Logan's animal instincts often overwhelmed him in his training sessions, and he eventually left Ogun's tutelage with his training as a samurai incomplete. [Kitty Pryde & Wolverine #1-6, Wolverine (2nd series) #169]

Such unfinished training would be deadly in anyone's hands, and so Logan went to Jasmine Falls seeking redemption at the hands of Bando Suboro, a legendary sensei Ogun referred him to who would soothe his killing instinct and teach him the arts of creation instead of death. [Wolverine (3rd series) #40]

Eventually, Chang tracked Logan down to his retreat and insisted he accompany him back to the agency -- Kimora had turned up alive and successfully captured Carling. To secure Logan's help, Chang was forced to reveal the truth behind these occurrences: Kimora was actually an extra-dimensional warlord who had been trapped in their dimension years ago due to Doctor Carling's own exploration into new realms. With Carling's assistance, Landau, Luckman & Lake established footholds in this other dimension, setting themselves up as the guardians of our world from possible extra-dimensional invasions... and looking to make a profit out of the matter, as well. Now Kimora managed to return to his homeworld, and planned on using Carling's knowledge to transport his invading armies to Earth for conquest. Logan and Chang made an excursion into Kimora's realm in order to stop him, and were joined by Carling's daughter, Rose, whose mother was from Kimora's world. The three of them managed to infiltrate Kimora's castle and, though Carling died from Kimora's torture sessions, the mad dictator himself was cast into the void between worlds, never to return. [Logan: Path of the Warlord #1]

Logan returned to Jasmine Falls, and even took a wife, a Japanese woman named Itsu. When they announced her pregnancy, Logan went through a ceremonial test as tradition demanded, a type of graduation to see if Bando's teachings had stuck -- he would be attacked from all sides by the men of the village, avoiding their strikes while restraining his urge to strike back. The ceremony was going well, and Logan was in control, until a nearby mountain exploded and shattered his concentration. This momentary lapse caused him to injure another fighter, and thereby lose the right to raise his own child in the village. In disgrace, Logan inquired to Bando about the explosion, and learned about an apparently immortal warlord named Muramasa, who lived on the peaks and carved legendary weapons out of the souls of men.

Logan planned to leave Jasmine Falls at that point, to return only when he was worthy of Itsu and his child. But, as he came to say good-bye, he found Itsu dead on the floor of their home. Unknown to Logan, the Winter Soldier had been hired by Romulus' people to murder Itsu, and then compel Logan to chase him to Madripoor, where the wild man would be re-inducted into their control. Instead of hunting the killer immediately, though, Logan seized upon his knowledge of Muramasa and climbed to the top of the mountain. Embracing the vengeance in his heart, Logan had Muramasa perform his rituals, distilling the essence of Logan's enraged soul into the power of a blade more deadly than any ever forged. After a month of effort, Muramasa had the essence he needed from Logan, though the forging itself would take many years. His men were removing Logan's unconscious form from the mountain when Winter Soldier attacked and killed them, leaving Logan for the extraction team to come get him, and rebuild his mind as they saw fit. [Wolverine (3rd series) #38, 40]

In 1958, Logan wandered into San Francisco’s Chinatown, looking for some good noodles. He came across members of the Black Dragon Tong shaking down a restaurant owner and his daughter Lin for protection money. Logan chased the thugs away with little effort, and took a liking to Lin, so he decided to stay awhile. Soon Logan found himself orchestrating a revolution in Chinatown, uniting all the Kung Fu schools into his army against the Black Dragons with Lin at his side. Only after he decapitated the Black Dragon in a swordfight did Logan realize the people of Chinatown expected him to become the NEW Black Dragon. A Dragon was a necessary evil to holding the warring tongs together, and so the people named Logan the Fist of Legend and passed on the Spear of the Black Dragon to him. But Logan wasn’t interested in ruling. He was, in essence, just looking for a good fight, and refused the honor. Lin and the people turned on Logan for his rejection, and he was warned to never set foot in Chinatown again. [Wolverine: Manifest Destiny #1-4]

Not long after this, Logan renewed his ties to the intelligence community and was inducted into a special CIA black ops unit, codenamed Team X. Team X was established under the direction of US Army Major Arthur Barrington and teamed Logan with operatives named David North, John Wraith, a man known only as Mastodon and, shockingly, Silver Fox and Victor Creed, aka Sabretooth. Active during the 1960's and the Cold War, Team X frequently was called in to deal with anti-Communist operations, including alleged expeditions into Cuba, Vietnam, East Germany and the greater Soviet Union. The government employed newly developed memory implant technology to establish false recollections and cover stories for their agents for different missions. They occasionally reused prepared sets and soundstages to provide realistic backdrops for the false memories before implantation.

[Note: Team X’s Silver Fox was one of the few elements of Logan’s past left unexplained by the Wolverine: Origins series. She clearly existed, as she appeared in the present day. Since regaining his memories in House of M, though, Logan confirmed Silver Fox’s death in the cabin at the turn of the century. The best explanation seems to be that Logan and Creed were given memory implants covering up Silver Fox’s death so that they would work together in Team X. A Silver Fox body double was introduced to the group, with an identical set of memory implants, to cement the reality of the agents’ false memories.]

During this period, Logan remained under the control of Romulus. His shadowy handlers employed a second set of memory implantation procedures to ensure Logan was primed to carry out secondary objectives prepared by Romulus in addition to the primary missions provided to him by the CIA. Logan's handlers frequently wiped his memory after each new operation he completed, using more advanced methods developed over the years. They used induced electrical current sent straight through his brain, destroying brain cells controlling short term memory. As his healing factor "re-grew" these cells, new memories were imprinted on his brain by a steady repetition of alternate events as his body recovered from the electro-shock. This process was performed time and again after each mission but, at one point, a special test was administered. Logan was made to swallow a capsule containing a new synthesized metal known as carbonadium and then shot full of holes with four automatic rifles. His handlers wanted to test the theoretical properties of carbonadium and the effect it would have on Logan's healing factor. Indeed, the tiny capsule in his system was enough to slow Logan's regenerative powers by more than three times. After the test was complete, however, the scientists in charge were sloppy and allowed Logan to wake up before the memory implants could be initialized. The shock to his system restored Logan's memory of everything up until that point, even his claws. Scaring the one surviving scientist into keeping silent, Logan decided to continue operating as if he were under the control of his handlers until he could learn more about who was truly in charge of gutting his mind and controlling his actions. [Wolverine: Origins #6-8]

He delivered the information for his next assignment to his CIA contacts, and so Team X was deployed behind the Iron Curtain to East Berlin. Logan, Creed and North had a mission to extract a deep cover operative named Janice Hollenbeck and steal the Carbonadium Synthesizer, a key element in the Russians' super-soldier program. Creed sent North after the agent and Logan after the C-Synth device, while he went personally to check on the super-soldier in development. Logan decided the C-Synth would be a good weapon to use in the future against Creed and his healing factor but, before he could get North to take the device and hide it, Creed came barreling through with a fully active Omega Red on his tail, leaving them in a running firefight with the newly minted super-soldier. Creed wasn't so distracted that he didn't realize something was off about Logan, however, and so he murdered Janice in cold blood. This let Team X lose her as excess "baggage" in their escape and spiked Logan's conditioning “trigger,” reactivating the implanted programming that kept Logan under Romulus' thumb. Even re-brainwashed, though, Logan still hated Creed for killing the woman so callously. The three of them barely survived a ten story drop to the streets below, where Wraith was waiting to help them escape. As Team X dove into a nearby river where their helicopter contact was waiting for dust-off, Logan took the opportunity to "lose" the C-Synth, hiding it inside Janice's body so that no one would profit from this FUBAR of a mission, and the loss of her life. The debriefing with Barrington was scathing, and Team X’s group dynamic was irreparably damaged. [X-Men (2nd series) #5-7, Wolverine: Origins #7-8]

Although it seemed Team X would not last long after the fiasco in Berlin, the operatives were still serving together several years later. On one mission in 1968, Logan was sent into the Soviet space center at Tyuratam to assassinate the newly-minted super-astronaut Epsilon Red before he could be used to beat the Americans to the moon. The assassination was called off at the last minute in a report delivered by Creed. Logan evacuated without killing Red and Creed followed, but not before killing Epsilon's wife in front of him just out of spite. [Wolverine (2nd series) #67-68]

[Note: Wolverine Origins #6 indicated Logan was present in Dallas, Texas during the Kennedy assassination, possibly even having a role in the events. In the other hand, Savage Wolverine #18 depicted Logan learning about the assassination on television while helping Hispanic workers march for equal rights and pay. The discrepancy is unexplained.]

Eventually, Team X did dissolve, and despite his relatively exemplary service record, Logan drifted out of official channels for a time. His memory of his bone claws returned (or perhaps more accurately, was allowed to return by Romulus), and Logan began to see himself as nothing more than a mercenary and a hired killer. Either because of this change in self-perception or more memory tampering, Logan was on better terms with Creed than he had been in years, considering him a good man to have his back. Times were changing in America, however, as the general public and the government slowly began to recognize the presence of mutants in their midst. On a favor from an old soldier buddy, Logan tracked down his friend’s runaway son only to see the boy Anthony explode with biological energy. When he recovered, Logan recognized the signs of a cover-up at the blast site and realized the government was now actively hunting mutants. Deciding to make a stand against this sort of treatment, Logan recruited Creed to help him obstruct the government’s plans.

Logan and Creed rescued Anthony from a secret facility in Quantico, and also rescued or located a number of other young mutants. They had some setbacks, however, when they failed to recruit a young Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr. Logan brought his recruits to a safehouse in upstate New York for further training. Creed took a particular liking to Holo, an eighteen-year-old girl with illusion powers who helped him feel like a man beneath his bestial exterior. Seeing a chance at happiness, Creed tried to get out of the fight and take Holo with him before things turned bad, but Logan and Holo convinced him to remain with the group. Holo believed in Logan and helped calm his own doubts about his goals and leadership. Logan’s plan was to pit the government against the bottom dollar, using sabotage and guerrilla tactics to make hunting mutants too expensive to continue. Once the agency was weakened, he and perhaps Creed would offer their services as mutant agents voluntarily in exchange for the younger mutants being allowed to remain free and unmolested by the government.

Unfortunately, the government pushed back far harder than Logan anticipated. The fanatical anthropologist turned cyberneticist Bolivar Trask provided the agency with mutant-hunting Sentinel prototypes, and the deformed mutant Virus used his mental powers to infiltrate Logan’s group on behalf of the government. Despite the warnings and plea for common ground proposed by Agent Fred Duncan, a violent raid was launched on Logan’s safehouse, leading to a number of deaths. The worst of it came when Virus mentally forced Creed to lethally wound Holo with his claws. As the distraught Creed fled with Holo in a vain attempt to get her medical care, Logan stayed behind as his dream, and the house literally collapsed around him.

In the aftermath, the mutant department did collapse from over-expenditure. Only the cautious Fred Duncan was still employed to research “the mutant agenda,” and the government’s position on the matter went back to square one. Despite this “victory,” Logan hated himself for failing Victor and getting the others killed. He was trying to drown his sorrows when Creed arrived at the bar to confront him. Victor made it clear he blamed Logan for Holo’s death, and costing Creed the only chance at happiness he would likely ever see. Creed coldly told Logan he wasn’t there to kill him, but if Logan ever picked himself up and dared to be happy about something again, Creed would be there to take it away from him every time. As Victor departed, Logan stumbled out into the parking lot. He was met by Canadian government agents and, with nowhere else to go, Logan agreed to return to service. [First X-Men #1-5]

Logan's memory was altered again as he returned to Canadian Intelligence. He once again suppressed conscious knowledge of his claws, and his memory of the recent mutant affairs was also suspect. Logan ended up with a secret branch of Canadian Intelligence doing field work. He had several run-ins with an early version of Hydra, as Baron Wolfgang von Strucker attempted to expand his sphere of influence from Japan to the rest of the world. On one occasion, Logan was captured in India by neo-Nazi agents working for the Baroness Adelicia von Krupp. He was tortured for several days by Strucker himself (in his guise as the “Supreme One”) until being rescued by a married couple of CIA agents, Richard and Mary Parker. Mary passed out in the explosion caused by their escape, and so Logan accompanied Richard with his wife to the hospital. As a result, Logan was at the scene when the doctor told Richard his wife was pregnant. Logan was the first person to congratulate Richard Parker on his upcoming baby boy. [Untold Tales of Spider-Man #minus 1]

Logan did quite well for himself in the spy game for many years. More than a decade after his encounter with the Parkers, Logan teamed up with Colonel Richard Stoner shortly before the founding of SHIELD. Hydra attempted to steal the prototype terraforming exoskeleton James Hudson designed for Am-Can, but Logan and Stoner caught them at the border and retrieved the battle suit. [Fury #1] He was partnered with a man named Neil Langram and it was with Canadian Intelligence that he first befriended a CIA operative named Carol Danvers, a young woman barely 20 years old who had already made her way through the US Air Force training and then recruited for field ops duty. Logan, Langram, Carol and Carol's partner Michael Rossi were frequently teamed up for joint ventures between American and Canadian intelligence services. On one occasion, Logan and Rossi disobeyed direct orders in order to rescue Danvers from Russia’s Lubyanka prison facility, an act which cemented Logan and Carol’s friendship for life. [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #182]

Unfortunately, Logan’s career with Canadian Intelligence began a downward spiral once "the mutant question" begins to reach the public. The government had rebuilt after the last fiasco into mutant research, creating joint operations between clandestine American and Canadian agencies, pieces of which had been discovered and published by investigative journalists. Logan and Neil Langram both were mutants, and so had a rather personal stake in unraveling any secrets behind mankind's evolution. Unfortunately, Langram poked around too loudly and was assassinated by Sabretooth. This time, Creed was on the other side of the mutant agenda, working for Sebastian Shaw and the Hellfire Club as a contractor for the government co-op. Logan and Carol Danvers attempted to sort out the conspiracy, infiltrating the Canadian Ministry of Defense and the Hellfire Club mansion in Manhattan, but Sabretooth made sure to prevent any information leaks by killing everyone they could have talked to. In the end, the US government shuffled Carol away to a safe house for more than a month of "debriefing" so that she couldn't spread word about what she had discovered, while Logan became persona non gratis in his own country, the doors shutting in his face every time he tried to explain the conspiracy to his superiors. [Logan: Shadow Society]

At least partially over stress from the conspiracy's backlash, his partner's death and finally having a label for what he was, Logan began chronically abusing drugs and alcohol, trying to find some combination which would dull his mind for a time. During a session at a firing range, Logan was so pumped full of drugs that he fired off a ricochet which shot through a range employee's head, critically wounding him. Logan was brought up on charges by his supervisors in Ontario and forced into a mandatory leave of absence after a gamut of medical and psychological tests labeled him unfit for duty at this time. He continued his self-destructive streak, drugging himself into a nightly stupor at the bars, and then crashing at the Prophecy Hotel. [Marvel Comics Presents (1st series) #72]