WOLVERINE: Page 9 of 23


Meanwhile, the original X-Men from X-Factor decided to rejoin the alma mater, expanding the roster enough so that two distinct teams were necessary. Wolverine ended up on the Blue Strike Force under Cyclops's command, and they started off by getting involved in the latest in a series of final confrontations with Magneto. [X-Men (2nd series) #1-3]

In his spare time, Logan made a return visit to Madripoor only to be caught up in a potentially hazardous deal between Tyger Tiger and General Coy. While investigating the sale of a particularly dangerous hallucinogen to Coy, Wolverine encountered an adamantium-enhanced dealer named Cyber, whose scent Logan recognized as his old instructor, Silas Burr. Although he no longer recalled the details and context of their fight over Janet, Logan still experienced a primal fear over facing Cyber in a fight again, and could barely even lift his claws in defense. Logan eventually managed to overcome his terror and in revenge for his old injury tore out one of Cyber's eyes and dumped him in the hallucinogen he was peddling, driving his tormentor over the brink of madness. [Marvel Comics Presents (1st series) #85-92]

Wolverine also crossed paths again with the Hunter in Darkness, the creature he once met during his wild time after escaping the Weapon X program. The Hunter was captured and displayed in New York by a showboating businessman named Ronald Parvenue, and while Logan succeeded in freeing the wolf spirit, the encounter left him with a serious sense of deja vu. Old flashes of memory and details long forgotten began to resurface in Logan’s mind, including information about the Weapon X Program. [Wolverine (2nd series) #45-46]

Following a hunch, Wolverine recruited the tracker who found the Hunter for Parvenue to show him the creature's lairs in the Canadian wilderness. They successfully located the abandoned Weapon X facility that Logan escaped from years ago. Exploring the complex caused a backlash of repressed memories to shoot through Logan's mind, and it renewed in him a long-forgotten but serious desire to fill in this missing period of his life. After an abortive trip through his own memories thanks to Professor X and Jean Grey, Logan staged a one-man invasion of the SHIELD Helicarrier in order to force Nick Fury into giving up all the security files they had on him -- 50,000 pages of NSA documentation.

Using this information, he tracked the Weapon X Program to its legitimate cover as the "Pest Control Section" of the Department of Agriculture, still being run by Carol Hines and the Professor himself. At a warehouse they rented in Windsor, Ontario, he uncovered a group of sound stages where his various false memory implants had been constructed decades previously. His investigations triggered the Weapon X failsafe program known as Shiva, a powerful android manifested in a sequence of robotic bodies, each more difficult to defeat that the previous one due to the computer's learning capacity. He survived his battle with Shiva only to find the Professor on-site, killed while he was busy with the robot. Unknown to Wolverine, the assailant was Silver Fox, apparently alive and not only nursing an unexplained grudge against him but also working as a Hydra section chief. [Wolverine (2nd series) #48-50]

Soon, Logan was caught up in another conspiracy involving his past, as Matsuo Tsurayaba and the Fenris twins made preparations to revive the Soviet Super-Soldier, Omega Red. Though he had been in cryo-storage since the Cold War, Omega still needed the Carbonadium Synthesizer Team X had stolen in order to properly calibrate his powers and cybernetic upgrades. As a result, his new masters forcibly brought Doctor Cornelius of the Weapon X Program out of retirement to manipulate Logan's memory implants and try to retrieve the information on the C-synth from his mind. They kidnapped Logan from the Xavier estate and brought him to East Berlin, where they sought to weaken his mind with a combination of drugs, neural hardware, and 18 straight hours of combat with Omega Red. Lucky for Wolverine, his old pal David North was on the scene, still working for Major Barrington but now under the codename of Maverick. North managed to arrange for Logan's escape and secure him in a safe house to heal. Wolverine's mind was still blocking the events of his time with Team X, however, and he had no recollection of working with Maverick before or of the Carbonadium Synthesizer. When the X-Men came to the rescue, only to be captured in turn, Logan forced North to help him break back into the Berlin headquarters of Fenris and the Hand in order to free his friends. They ran afoul of Sabretooth, whom Matsuo hired to hunt down Logan after he had escaped, but they ultimately managed to break out of the complex with everyone intact. Enough of Logan's memories of Team X had been shaken loose by Cornelius' probing that he recalled stashing the C-Synth in Janice's body, and he and Maverick beat the Hand to her grave, and Logan cut off Matsuo's hand in the process. Wolverine handed the C-Synth over to Maverick at the end of the adventure. [X-Men (2nd series) #4-7]

Some weeks later on a trip to Japan with Gambit and Jubilee, Wolverine accidentally wound up interfering in business between Matsuo Tsurayaba's Hand sect and the Clan Yashida under his former fiancé, Mariko. As Mariko had been legitimizing the last bits of her clan's operations (still corrupt from her father Shingen's stint as lord), the Hand had seen this as a weakness and begun attacking Clan Yashida's interests. Mariko and Matsuo were in the middle of peace negotiations when Logan inadvertently shattered them by arriving in Japan – Matsuo saw the arrival of Mariko's warrior beloved as a sign of bad faith in their talks, and also wanted to revenge himself on Wolverine for the loss of his hand. Logan ended up joining forces with Sunfire and the Silver Samurai in protecting the Yashida estate from a swarm of Hand genin. Things became even more dangerous with the arrival of wild card cyborg Cylla, out for Wolverine's head, and the manipulations of Silver Fox, who deliberately made arrangements with Matsuo just to make Logan suffer. They sent in a skilled poisoner named Reiko as an envoy to Mariko, offering to buy off Clan Yashida's final few illegitimate holdings at a fair price, thus enabling her to fulfill the vow she made to Logan years ago and they would finally be free to marry. The only concession would be for Mariko to make atonement to Matsuo in the tradition of the crime families by offering up one of her fingers. Mariko agreed, but the blade she used was tainted with blowfish toxin, and the first cut poisoned her beyond hope of recovery. The assassin killed herself, and Wolverine arrived too late to save his beloved. Instead, he took her into Clan Yashida's and, on Mariko's request, mercy-killed her with his claws to save her from the agony the toxin was causing her.

Logan soon went after Matsu'o Tsurayaba for the pain he had caused, but instead of killing the Hand master he merely cut off his prosthetic hand again and then did the same to his nose, promising to come back again and again, taking another piece of Matsu'o with him each time. [Wolverine (2nd series) #55-57]

On his way back to America, Logan's plane was commandeered by SHIELD at the request of his old Team X intelligence buddy John Wraith. Turns out another former member, Mastodon, had had his age suppression factor kick out on him, and Wraith was gathering the old team to address the problem... including Sabretooth and Silver Fox. This was the first time Logan and Creed had been confronted with the idea that Silver Fox was still alive since their Team X days, as both believed Creed had killed her in the cabin decades ago. Silver Fox for some reason hated both Creed AND Logan, but they didn't have the time to discuss this before getting information from their captive Carol Hines and heading out after Aldo Ferro, the Cuban crime lord and psi-talent who had aided the original Weapon X Program in their memory implantation process. Team X's confrontation with Ferro (or "Psi-Borg" as he called himself) was both surreal and inconclusive, as his psi-powers enabled him to manipulate their perceptions throughout the battle. In the course of this, Ferro killed Hines and got Sabretooth to kill Silver Fox again(?), leaving the mystery of her resurrection and return unanswered. As the dust settled, Wraith used his connections in the intelligence community to track down the old cabin where Logan and Silver Fox had once lived together, and Wolverine buried her there in the one place he remembered being truly happy. [Wolverine (2nd series) #60-64]

After the X-Men mixed it up with a new incarnation of the Acolytes in France, Professor Xavier got the disturbing notion that Magneto might have survived the destruction of Asteroid M months previously, and sent Wolverine down to Magneto's old haunts in the Savage Land along with Jubilee and Rogue to check on "magnetic anomalies" he had detected. Sure enough, they encountered a scattered group of Magneto's artificially-engineered mutates, who confirmed the Master of Magnetism was alive and well, somewhere in the world. [Wolverine (2nd series) #69-71]

Magneto returned in a major way only days later, unleashing a pair of catastrophes across Westchester County and then the entire world with his powers. Wolverine, along with a small strike force of X-Men, snuck aboard his new Avalon space station to disable his capabilities. Their covert mission unfortunately led into a direct confrontation with Magneto himself, and one of the worst traumas of Logan's long life. Attacking Magneto directly in order to protect Quicksilver from his father's wrath, Wolverine drew Magnus' full rage down on top of himself, as the Master of Magnetism used his powers to forcibly rip the adamantium metal out of Logan's skeleton. The trauma he suffered was horrendous, and he very nearly died before the X-Men could get him back to the mansion for serious medical treatment. His healing factor was barely holding his body together after that, leaving him physically weak and incapable of coping with any additional pain or injury. Even his senses had deteriorated due to the massive damage his body suffered, leaving him little more than a normal man in the aftermath of Magneto's attack. To add psychological torment to his physical ones, Logan realized for the first time in nearly 100 years that his claws were bone, and a natural part of his mutation instead of something added by Weapon X. He couldn't use them, however, since he normally relied on his healing factor to close up the tears in his skin created by the claws, and now he would simply bleed out from his hands if he tried to pop the claws. Seeing himself as too weak to support a position on the team, Wolverine left the X-Men in the middle of the night, looking to find a new place for himself in the world. [X-Men (2nd series) #25, Wolverine (2nd series) #75]

Even still, he could hardly find peace, going into battle against the likes of Lady Deathstrike, Cylla and Bloodscream. In a fight with Cyber, his right set of claws were even broken off about half-way down, leaving him nothing but slowly regenerating splinters. Logan soon came to believe that his healing factor simply wasn't going to cut it this time, and his days were numbered. He was growing weaker and weaker as his immune system broke down under the stress of his injuries. He revisited the graves of Silver Fox and Mariko Yashida to say goodbye, arranged for James Hudson to be executor of his estate, and touched base with his foster daughter Amiko, asking Yukio and the Silver Samurai to look after her for him as a debt of honor. Despite his pessimism, though, Wolverine's healing factor reactivated itself at greater than full throttle, regenerating his lost claws and restoring his powers to him, better than ever. [Wolverine (2nd series) #76-88]

Logan returned to the X-Mansion to renew his membership in the team, just as the active members cleared out to Israel to deal with the threat of Legion. Logan was left alone in the mansion with their new houseguest / prisoner, Sabretooth, who was supposed to be getting psychological treatment and therapy from Professor Xavier to curb his bloodlust. Creed broke out of his cell, however, and engaged Wolverine in a brutal battle, promising to go after everyone Logan loved once he got free. He simply pushed Wolverine too far, and Logan popped his claws straight up into Sabretooth's brain. [Wolverine (2nd series) #90]