WOLVERINE: Page 10 of 23


Creed remained at the mansion in intensive care, lobotomized to the point where his memory and aggressive drive were completely gone. After that, it became clear that not only were Wolverine's powers getting stronger, but his bestial side -- the animal instincts and urges that worked side by side with his mutation -- was getting stronger as well. Logan regressed to a kind of wild man, living out in the woods behind the Xavier mansion, barely interacting with his fellow X-Men. [Wolverine (2nd series) #92] Soon enough, as Logan had always predicted, Creed not only recovered from his injuries but broke out of the mansion, critically wounding Psylocke in the process. Working with Betsy's lover Archangel, Wolverine contacted an old acquaintance named Gomurr the Ancient in order to gain access to a mystical revitalizing agent known as the Crimson Dawn of the Ebon Vein. Confronting Tar, the Proctor of the Crimson Dawn, the two X-Men managed to gain access to the Dawn and tap its power as a means of saving Psylocke from her injuries. [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #329-330]

Not long thereafter, Logan learned that Cyber had broken free of his prison in Scotland, where Excalibur stashed him after their last encounter. His investigations led him back to Landau, Luckman & Lake's local office, and then through a warp chamber to battle a raider named Chimera who had trashed the place. On his way back, he suffered a blackout and woke up in the aftermath of a bloody massacre at the Princess Bar in Madripoor. His friends O'Donnell, Archie Corrigan, Rose Wu and dozens more were all dead, slashed up by claws. Police Chief Tai arrested him at the site and, with his memory a blank, Logan conceded to being locked away until he could figure out for himself whether he was responsible or not. Luckily for Wolverine, his adversaries tipped their hand -- Prince Baran and General Coy arrived at the prison with a squad of goons to finish off their old nemesis Patch, including the pair of thugs whose claw gloves were used to mimic Logan's in the massacre. Now sure of his own innocence, Wolverine tore his way out of the prison and through his adversaries, killing them all down to the last man. [Wolverine (2nd series) #97-98]

He fled to the remains of the local LL&L officer and used their warp chamber to hook up with the Expediter, Zoe Culloden, who sent him on his way to destiny against Genesis and the Dark Riders in Akkaba, Egypt. It seems Genesis had been planning to confront Wolverine for quite some time -- it was his Dark Riders who broke Cyber out of jail, for the sole purpose of murdering the madman and harvesting his adamantium. Upon capturing Logan, Genesis worked to restore Wolverine's adamantium bonded skeleton and reprogram him to serve as Apocalypse's first Horseman and paladin for the Dark Riders... Lord Death. Genesis's efforts proved to be unsuccessful, however -- Logan forcibly rejected the brainwashing implants and the adamantium bonding, an act which dramatically accelerated his regression. Wolverine retained his sentience long enough to slaughter Genesis and all his Dark Riders, but after that he simply regressed to being completely feral, and slunk away into the desert. [Wolverine (2nd series) #99-100]

The X-Men managed to catch up with him and return Logan to the mansion, as he slowly began to rise from his bestial state and back to his humanity. [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #332, Wolverine (2nd series) #101] He received help in this endeavor from an unlikely source: Elektra, the ninja assassin and former paramour of Daredevil. It seems her mentor, Stick, saw Logan as a potential member of their order, the Chaste, for his great spirit and decades of work against their blood enemy, the Hand. He sent Elektra to help Wolverine find his path again, and she began retraining Logan in the martial arts to help him tap into his human spirit again. She proved to be a great help to Wolverine, and a true friend. [Wolverine (2nd series) #102-106]


Not long thereafter, on a routine visit to Yukio and Amiko in Japan, Logan was assaulted by a band of ninjas and a special task force of the Japanese government, pitted against him by the Hand as they kidnapped his friends. Yukio was tortured in the dungeons of the Hand leader's citadel, but what was done to Amiko was far more insidious: a period of subliminal indoctrination followed by direct hypnotic commands that convinced the young girl that Wolverine himself was responsible for her mother's death. Wolverine managed to rescue the two of them but, unknown to him, Amiko's conditioning had settled in, instructing her to bide her time and learn as much as she could before finally seeking revenge on her adopted father. [Wolverine (2nd series) #107-109]

Upon returning to the mansion, Logan was greeted by a series of dire omens which spoke ill of his future. A package from Landau, Luckman & Lake arrived, entrusting into Logan's care a box of unspoken value. He was also confronted by an unnamed demonic creature who offered to restore Mariko to life for him in exchange for a favor. Instead, Elektra's mentor Stick arrived and helped Logan drive off the demon. Stick explained that this entity was one of pure malevolent evil, the very threat he sent Elektra to Wolverine to help him prepare for. He also subtly suggested that the danger was too great for Logan to risk hanging around the Xavier Institute too much, putting his friends in danger. Logan took the hint and began renting out an apartment in Manhattan's East Village. Having been nursing his body for the past few months, spending every waking moment trying to overcome his feral regression, Logan now sought to nurse his soul. He took a job as a construction worker in order to work with his hands, and began soaking up the local culture and making ties in the community. It wasn't long before his phantom opponent made his presence known, however, possessing various people and sending them against Wolverine, taunting him to deduce his foe's identity. Logan eventually recognized his old teacher, Ogun, back from the grave and mad as a hatter. Their battles ended temporarily when Ogun possessed Lady Deathstrike and vanished into the night. [Wolverine (2nd series) #111-114] A few weeks later, Kitty Pryde drew him into another confrontation with Ogun on-board the SHIELD Helicarrier, and together Wolverine and Shadowcat managed to cleanse the old sensei of his evil intent, and put him back on the path of light. [Kitty Pryde, Agent of SHIELD #3]

His struggle with Ogun didn't keep Wolverine out of trouble with the X-Men, though, as the organization of mutant-hunters known as Operation: Zero Tolerance was temporarily granted sanction to hunt down mutantkind, and they started by capturing Logan and a squad of X-Men. [X-Men (2nd series) #65] The team managed to escape, and the government realized its mistake and had SHIELD shut down OZT, but Cyclops had a nano-tech bomb planted in his chest during their time in Bastion's clutches. They managed to safely extract it, but Scott and Jean decided to take a leave of absence afterwards to recuperate, leaving Wolverine and Storm in charge of the X-Men, with the mansion gutted by Bastion's nano-technology and a bunch of troublesome new X-Men like Maggott and Cecilia Reyes to deal with. [X-Men (2nd series) #70] None were worse than Marrow, a psychotic Morlock and former leader of a pack of serial killers named Gene Nation, who was primarily staying around just to get under Ororo's skin. Wolverine tried to get Marrow to tow the line by knocking her around a bit in the Danger Room, but only ended up getting a bone knife through his neck for his troubles. [X-Men (2nd series) #72]

Despite the drawbacks, the X-Men operated as best they could. Not long after their escape from Bastion, Wolverine and the X-Men were confronted by a re-formed Alpha Flight. It seems Department H had been corrupted by forces within it, and they were now using Alpha to pursue their own sinister agendas, including a desire to recapture Weapon X and bring him under their control. To do this, Department H modified Alpha Flight's memories of Logan and fed them false information about him possessing a deadly criminal past and having recently killed their teammate, Madison Jeffries. Their mission was to bring him to justice and reclaim the adamantium from his skeleton, which H claimed was still official government property. Logan was forced into a conflict with his old friends, first alone and then alongside his fellow X-Men. Things finally calmed down enough to exchange information, and Alpha learned not only that Wolverine had been in Bastion's prison during the time of the alleged murder, but also that Logan's adamantium was gone, so the supposed "adamantium detector" they had used to track him was yet another lie from Department H. Making peace with Wolverine, Alpha Flight took off to confront their employers on the situation. [Alpha Flight (2nd series) #9, Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #355]

Later, while on a trip into Salem Center, Logan chanced on the latest crime scene where an animal-like serial killer had been making its way through the small town. He caught the scent of Maggott's pet slugs and, fearing the worse, set off to track them down. He was caught off guard and knocked unconscious, though, only to wake up and find he had been put through an exploratory autopsy while still alive. As he recovered, Wolverine hooked up with his fellow X-Men and informed them that Maggott was innocent -- it was the N'Garai cairn acting up again. As a new horde of demon creatures were let loose from the portal on Xavier's property, Wolverine was sucked down into their home dimension. Time passed differently there, and he apparently spent days, possibly weeks fighting the demons before the rest of the X-Men travelled in after him. They learned that the N'Garai themselves had actually been wiped out and overthrown by their slave caste, the Ru'Tai, under the command of their expeditioner, Pilgrimm. Pilgrimm and his mongrels had been kidnapping and examining people from around the world, getting to know humanity from the inside out. Unfortunately for Logan, this never would have happened without his help -- it seems the last time Wolverine entered the N'Garai dimension (during his period of feral regression) and battling the demons, tales of his invincibility and prowess as a killer had spread through the Ru'Tai, and they eventually revolted and took power in the name of "Mai'Keth", their godlike interpretation of the legend of Wolverine's actions. Still, the X-Men managed to overpower Pilgrimm, and destroyed the source of his power, the Eye of Kierrok, which safely transported them and the surviving victims of the Ru'Tai back to Earth. [X-Men (2nd series) #75]

Meanwhile, Logan's newly established personal life took a fatal blow when a deadly assassin from his past named McLeish blew up his East Village apartment with an explosive device equipped with adamantium shrapnel. Logan survived the "White Ghost's" attempts on his life, but ultimately decided he was too tired at rebuilding things to even try and restore his apartment, choosing instead to return full time to the X-Men and the mansion. [Wolverine (2nd series) #119-122] Wolverine's next major trial came when the Viper tracked him down and demanded he fulfill the debt he owed her from years past. Shockingly enough, that debt was his hand in marriage. Viper was interested in setting herself up as new ruler of Madripoor, in place of the deceased Prince Baran, and needed to create an ironclad reputation for herself to ensure the loyalty (or at least fear) of her populace. Being married to the unbeatable "Patch" helped complete this reputation for her. Logan agreed but, just after the marriage ceremony was completed they were attacked by Sabretooth, who had somehow managed to acquire an adamantium skeleton and set of claws for himself, making him a tougher opponent than he had ever been. Wolverine barely survived his first fight with this enhanced version of his old foe. [Wolverine (2nd series) #125-127]