WOLVERINE: Page 8 of 23


Under the returning leadership of Storm, the X-Men were transported by Roma to the Australian Outback to confront a gang of thieves and murderers known as the Reavers, who had set up operations in an abandoned town. They were forcing a teleporter named Gateway to do their bidding, lest they defile his people's holy land. The X-Men defeated the Reavers and saved a Singapore financial worker named Jessan Hoan, whom the Reavers had kidnapped with the intent of brainwashing her into properly investing their stolen booty. After sending Hoan back to her family, Wolverine and the others adopted the Outback town as their new base of operations, and the thankful Gateway silently agreed to send them anywhere they wanted to go on command. [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #229]

A few weeks later, Logan used this gift of travel to fulfill a debt -- a dying man named Dave Chapel asked him to aid "the Tiger" in Madripoor. As it turned out, Jessan Hoan had not escaped unscathed from the Reavers' manhandling: their brainwashing had been partially successful, turning her into a wild woman with diminished scruples and a taste for action. She aimed to overthrow the reigning crimelord of the island, Roche, and establish herself in his place. After she saved his life from Roche's men, Wolverine lent her his support in the takeover, but afterwards forced her to accept him as her "conscience" -- so long as Logan was around, "Tyger Tiger" would be accountable to him. [Marvel Comics Presents (1st series) #1-10]

Enjoying the wild atmosphere of Madripoor, Logan set up a second home for himself in the Lowtown area as a silent partner to the Princess Bar along with another ally of Tyger's named O'Donnell. Adapting the alias of "Patch" in order to keep the X-Men's survival a continued secret, Wolverine used Gateway's help to split his time between Australia and the X-Men and his interests in Madripoor. When Mariko Yashida’s personal secretary, Noburo Kojima, went missing in a plane hijacking, Logan tracked his old friend down. Logan killed his pirate captors, but Kojima was already on the verge of death. He warned Logan that the pirates worked for the Cult of the Black Blade, hunting a Muramasa sword that was on its way to Madripoor via couriers. Logan found the couriers, old friends of the X-Men from San Francisco named Jessica Drew and Lindsey McCabe. Unfortunately, Jessica had already been possessed by the evil spirit of Muramasa within the sword. “Patch” joined forces with Lindsey and Silver Samurai of the Clan Yashida to recover the Blade. He defeated the possessed Jessica, only to fall under the blade’s spell himself. Eventually, Lindsey and the Samurai infiltrated the cult’s ceremonies and retrieved the Muramasa blade. Harada managed to bond with the blade as its true wielder, without losing his identity, and Logan recovered. [Wolverine (2nd series) #1-3]

After General Nguyen Coy made a play for the Tyger’s new territory, Logan helped arrange a settlement under the support of Madripoor's Prince Baran: Tyger would serve as co-crimelord of Madripoor with General Coy, running the majority of crime on the island while the general handled drugs and slavery, with both paying tribute from their gains to the prince.
Also, as a favor to Psylocke, Logan renewed his contacts with Landau, Luckman & Lake and requisitioned an impenetrable body armor for the lady to wear in combat. Logan was a busy man all-around this period, dealing with the Brood and Genosha with the X-Men, manipulating the Hulk into crippling some of General Coy's business in Madripoor, as well as dealing with his annual tussle with Sabretooth on his birthday. [Wolverine (2nd series) #4-10, Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #232-238]

When Inferno struck New York, the X-Men were drawn into the conflict and Wolverine was finally able to confirm with his own eyes what his senses had told him months ago -- Jean Grey was alive. He planted a rather strong kiss on her, though... just to be sure. After this meeting, the X-Men and X-Factor knew each other were alive and active, and were allies once more. [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #241]

Meanwhile, back in Madripoor, Patch's buddy Archie Corrigan was having troubles with his brother Burt, a scatterbrained but otherwise harmless guy. Some of his family tried to declare Burt legally incompetent to get their hands on the family fortune. Bored with his latest round of bar fights and dart games, Logan went with Archie to the competency hearing in San Francisco, only to get drawn into a millennia old conflict of good vs. evil. Once long ago, an ancient city called Gehenna proved to be so unspeakably evil that the Hand of God himself was sent to eradicate it from the face of the Earth. The city's leader, Ba'al, survived the Hand's execution by transferring his evil essence into a gem, which came to be called the Gehenna Stone. Still, the Hand of God managed to destroy the stone as well, and scattered its pieces across the world to prevent Gehenna's evil from ever resurfacing. At least, until a modern day reincarnation of Ba'al began gathering up all the fragments around the world and reconstructing the stone. Burt Corrigan stumbled onto this information, and stole one of the last pieces of the stone from a museum to keep it safe. Patch, along with private investigator Jessica Drew, got dragged into protecting Burt and his stone. As far-fetched as the story was, Logan sensed unspeakable evil emanating from Ba'al whenever they met. This conflict led them back across the Pacific to Madripoor, where Ba'al succeeded in reconstructing the entirety of the Gehenna Stone and reclaiming the full spiritual power of the original Ba'al. Dressed as Wolverine, Logan entered final conflict with Ba'al, who apparently saw him as a modern reincarnation of the Hand of God. Whether this was true or not, Logan succeeded in smashing the Gehenna Stone once more and killing Ba'al, ending things for good. [Wolverine (2nd series) #11-16]

Somewhere around this time, Logan was attacked by a renegade cyborg, whose lingering scent led him back into the Savage Land. While there, he joined the Tribe of Fire and lived and hunted with them for many weeks while trying to discover the origins of his attacker. He also befriended a mighty woman-warrior named Gahck, who fell in love with him. Eventually, Wolverine tracked down the cyborg's home base inside a volcano, where a robotic clone of Apocalypse had been experimenting on the local tribesmen. He destroyed the robot and his laboratory before leaving the Savage Land. [Wolverine: The Jungle Adventure]

During one of his vacations to Madripoor, however, the X-Men fell apart in Wolverine's absence -- Longshot ran away, Rogue and Storm were both apparently lost, and the remaining members fled through the Siege Perilous before Psylocke's vision of the Reavers killing them came true. With the X-Men gone, Donald Pierce and his newly reformed Reavers took over the Outback town once again, and control of Gateway. When Logan finally made his way back to Australia, he was ambushed by Pierce and the others, and crucified on a wooden 'X' out in the sun where the Reavers tortured him for days on end. Eventually, he escaped with the help of Jubilation Lee, a California mallrat who secretly followed the X-Women through one of Gateway's portals a few weeks back. She had been hiding in the town, scavenging off of the X-Men and then the Reavers. [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #251-253]

Jubilee did what she could to nurse Logan back to health, but he was in a bad way, weaker than he had been in quite some time. He also became delusional, imagining specters of Carol Danvers and Nick Fury as his constant companions. With Jubilee's help, Wolverine chartered a boat and they sailed their way to Hong Kong, where he hooked up with his old lady-friend Rose at the local Landau, Luckman & Lake office. Unfortunately, the Hand and the Mandarin marked his presence in the city as a potential threat, and sent a pack of genin to kidnap him. The ninjas were accompanied by the Hand's latest addition, the X-Man Psylocke, who had been delivered to them by the Siege Perilous and then brainwashed and transformed to serve as their Lady Mandarin assassin. Psylocke defeated Logan in combat but, as the Hand attempted to use her telepathy to reprogram Wolverine into their slave, the psychic link she forged with him was strong enough to overcome the Hand's conditioning and shock her back to her senses. [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #256-258]

Wolverine spent some time in the Far East recuperating with Jubilee and Psylocke, but once word of Genosha's assault on and capture of the New Mutants reached them, Logan and Betsy felt they had no choice but to intervene. The three of them snuck into the country and ended up joining forces with a cadre of New Mutants, X-Factor and former X-Men members to deal with the growing threat of the Genoshan Magistrates and their insane contractor, Cameron Hodge. After freeing their friends and crippling Genosha's Mutate slave program, Wolverine and the others retired to the burnt out remains of the X-Mansion to plan their next move. [X-Tinction Agenda crossover]

Logan was still hurting from the Reavers' torture months ago, however, and even fell easily in mock combat with Storm's new partner, Gambit. [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #273] While waiting for the team to figure out its new direction, Logan received a message from Four Freedoms Plaza. Arriving at the building along with Spider-Man, the Incredible Hulk and the new Ghost Rider, Wolverine heard from a woman claiming to be Sue Richards that the Fantastic Four had been killed, and she wanted their help in hunting down the assassins who murdered her family. As the New Fantastic Four, their mission led them into battle with giant monsters, the Mole Man and his Subterraneans, and a squad of Skrull commandos. Eventually, they learned that "Sue" was actually a Skrull rebel named De'lila who had manipulated them, and they joined forces with the still-living original Fantastic Four to stop her plot. [Fantastic Four (1st series) #346-348]

Shortly thereafter under Storm's command, Wolverine, Psylocke, Jubilee, Forge, Gambit and Banshee were re-established as an active roster for the team. Before they could make a decision on which of their many identified enemies and threats to address first, however, the team was shanghaied into outer space by Lila Cheney. They managed to reunite with Professor Xavier out there and free him from a cadre of Warskrulls, before returning to Earth to face the threat of the Shadow King, who had taken over Muir Island. The Islanders were strong enough to take the X-Men off guard and allow Shadow King to take over most of their minds. Forge remained free long enough to join forces with the arriving X-Factor and devise a means of blocking the King's influence over some of his slaves, including Wolverine. In the following civil war between the mutants, Logan reclaimed his position as the toughest X-Man around by disabling the mind-controlled Gambit in single combat. In the following days, as the X-Men were recuperating on Muir Island, Wolverine asked Jubilee to leave the team, presumably for her own safety. She refused, aggressively, and Logan was apparently willing to let it go at that. [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #273-280, X-Factor (1st series) #69-70]

Wolverine soon heard rumors about a price being offered for his head out in Santa Monica, California, where he had supposedly been on a crime spree for the last few days. After he got out on the coast, Logan ran into a pair of androids called Albert and Elsie Dee, who were constructed by Donald Pierce and the Reavers to destroy him. Albert was a robotic doppelganger of Wolverine who was being used as the obvious bait for the X-Man, while the real threat came from Elsie Dee: an android assembled to look like a cute five-year-old girl, but packed to the brim with plastic explosives set to go off when she got close to Wolverine. Unfortunately for Pierce, a glitch in the programming process had made Elsie intelligent enough to want to preserve her own life -- she couldn't fight her self-destruct programming directly, but she did carry on side efforts to augment her and Albert so that they could survive their mission parameters. Wolverine had little problem disabling Albert, as Pierce had planned for, but when he "saved" Elsie Dee from a burning building, she mentally restrained her detonation sequence long enough for a still barely-functional Albert to tap into the NSA main banks and crack her disarming code, transmitting the shut down program to her. [Wolverine (2nd series) #38-39]

Even with the proximity fuse disarmed, though, Elsie was still a walking talking explosion waiting to happen, so Logan took her to the X-Mansion for Forge's help in removing the explosives from her construction. Things became complicated when Albert reactivated himself, and decided that killing Wolverine was the best way to free Elsie Dee from any chance of her self-destruction sequence going off. He stole a stealth fighter and actually rammed Logan off of a building with it, and the two of them proceeded to tussle until Elsie Dee convinced Albert she was fine with her programming on hold. Just as the fight ended, though, a wing of US fighter jets tracking the stealth shot them out of the sky. Elsie managed to strap Logan into an ejection seat and, after they crashed into East River, she dragged him to temporary safety in the Morlock Tunnels. A torrential rain storm began flooding the tunnels with water while Wolverine was recuperating and, just because life wasn't interesting enough already, Sabretooth was also down in the tunnels at this time, having been hunting the remaining Morlocks ever since the massacre. Wolverine and Sabretooth got into a slugfest, and Creed dropped the bomb that he believed he was Logan's father.

The fight was ultimately interrupted when the tunnels became a flume ride as the flooding carried them all through the underground drains. Elsie Dee saved them from either drowning or being crushed by the massive debris floating through the tunnels by disengaging her head and remote detonating the explosives in the rest of her body to break open the underground dam, and dump them all back out into the river. Forge had called in some markers when Logan went missing earlier that night, and so Nick Fury and SHIELD were there with an emergency medevac chopper to pull them out of the water. Sabretooth went psycho inside the helicopter, and Elsie Dee's animated little head lunged at his neck, throwing him off-balance enough that they both tumbled out of the sky and crashed back into the water. Logan mentioned Creed's claims to Fury, but the blood samples taken from the two of them after they were pulled out of the water didn't match – as far as medical science was concerned, they weren't father and son. [Wolverine (2nd series) #40-42]