Claws II #2

Issue Date: 
September 2011
Story Title: 
Back and Forth

Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray (Writers), Joeseph Michael Linsner (Artist), Dan Brown and Nick Filardi (Colours), Jeff Eckleberry (Letters), Mayela Gutierrez (Production), Jake Thomas (Assistant Editor), Mark Paniccia (Editor), Axel Alonso (Editor in Chief), Joe Quesada (Chief Creative Officer), Dan Buckley (Publisher) Alan Fine (Executive Producer)

Brief Description: 

Wolverine and Black Cat get to safety with Killraven’s gang, using the subway tunnels to keep out of the alien’s way. On the journey, Wolverine gets Killraven to explain what they are doing. Killraven says two of their teammates have been kidnapped, along with a doctor, and they are going to rescue them. Black Cat shows them the time travel device and they tell her that the kidnapped doctor might be able to help. Killraven says that the planet was invaded by Martians years ago and they wiped out most of the humans, with those remaining being used as slaves. He and his teammates escaped and have started a rebellion to get rid of the Martians. Wolverine and Black Cat decide to help free his teammates and the doctor. Meanwhile, Mint Julep and Volcana Ash are being tortured for information on Killraven’s location. They refuse to speak, so the Martian interrogator brings out a sinister robot named the Extractor to torture them. The team travels through the subway tunnels until the come across a human corpse. They see it was killed by a giant creature, which suddenly ambushes them. The creature kills some of the gang and, when it gets injured, it spawns dozens of smaller versions of itself. One of Killraven’s gang, M’shulla, draws the creatures away so the team can continue. They come to the end of the tunnel and the only way through is through a pool of acidic water. Wolverine goes first to scout ahead. After finding the enemy citadel on the other side, he goes back to fetch the others. They all make it through except Killraven, who is attacked by an underwater security reptile. Wolverine saves him but he’s knocked out. As they recover, they are found by a little girl. When Black Cat goes up to her, the girl’s mouth opens and gas comes out, knocking the team unconscious. They are taken by the Martians and placed in stasis tubes on a spaceship. The captain of the spaceship initiates the countdown sequence to take them to Mars so they can be enslaved.

Full Summary: 

As Wolverine and Black Cat square off against the robots, he says he doesn’t run away from a fight. Killraven tells him it isn’t running, it’s strategizing. One of Killraven’s gang, M’shulla, turns to his girlfriend, Carmilla, and tells her that, no matter how many times he does this, there’s still a certain amount of joy watching these bastards get eliminated. She tells him his elation experiences shouldn’t be a joyous one. He says he didn’t ask them to attack the planet and enslave the human race; it was their choice. Carmilla arms a grenade and says she’s sending a pulse grenade their way; it should give them some distance. She throws it under one of the robots and it explodes, causing the robot to topple over. As they run, M’shulla tells her she shouldn’t have done that, as they only have a few left. She tells him she only has one life and then urges him to hurry as its power will be back on soon.

The group makes their way to the exposed ruins of a subway tunnel. Killraven hands Wolverine a gun but he turns it down, opting to use his claws instead. Black Cat happily accepts the weapon, as she would rather use it than get her hands dirty. Killraven tells Wolverine that he witnessed him taking down one of them but they now have over a dozen heading to their location. He must have known this. Wolverine says that they are new to town and then asks Killraven to bring him up to date. He tells Wolverine there will be time to talk later; he must help his compatriots. He then beckons them down the subway tunnel, saying that they have a better chance together. Wolverine turns to Black Cat and asks what she thinks but she’s already following them with her new guns.

Killraven asks M’shulla for a report. He tells them they hit the robots with a pulse which has given them some distance between them. They couldn’t see where they went. Wolverine overhears and says that, if that’s the case, then Killraven can explain what’s going on. Killraven says they should walk and talk… they are on a mission to get back two of their teammates, Mint Julep and Volcana Ash. Black Cat says they sound like stripper names, which confuses Killraven. He says they were supposed to meet them at Tompkins Junction yesterday. They were supposed to bring someone back who could help their cause. However, they were surrounded and the girls and the doctor were captured. The enemy wants the doctor for a number of reasons and the girls will be tortured for the whereabouts of Killraven. Last word they got was that they were being held in the main citadel a few miles from where they are. But they have been hitting resistance at every turn.

Wolverine says that it’s a great story but he still wants to know what’s going on. He asks who they are, what the things are out there and how this all happened. Carmilla asks where they have all been. Black Cat shows her the teleportation device and says they have been in the past. The device brought them here and hopefully when they figure it out they can use it to go back. Carmilla says it looks like the work of Dr. Thomas. She says Black Cat mentioned it was a time machine and Black Cat replies it’s either that or she is hallucinating from the dessert she ate. Wolverine asks what the deal is again.

Killraven says that the Martians came out of the sky a few years ago and launched an all out attack. Mankind fought back but they weren’t prepared for an invasion like this and all the biological and nuclear weapons they used were turned back on them. The Martians systematically killed billions and the remaining life on the planet mutated because of the fallout. The strong survived but were captured and turned into slaves. He was a slave too but he escaped, as did many of the others here. They are one of many factions roaming the planet fighting for the liberation of Earth. They hope that one day they can turn the tide on the alien invaders.

Wolverine and Black Cat seem taken aback by the story. Wolverine tells Black Cat that he doesn’t want to spend any more time than is needed in this mess. Carmilla says that, since the aliens are on to them, the only choice is to take the old subway tunnel. She says it should be empty… mostly. Black Cat picks up on the word “mostly” but Killraven ignores her and says that it is settled; Wolverine and Black cat will help liberate their friends. As they head off to find the subway tunnel, Black Cat asks what Carmilla meant by “mostly. “

In the main citadel, a giant, dome-like structure in a park, screams are heard. The green-skinned Mint Julep is being tortured. A voice calls out and says they won’t ask again. They demand she tell them where the one known as Killraven and the Freeman base camp is. If she does that, she and her companion can live. Mint is being suspended by her arms from a device and behind her Volcana Ash is strapped to a chair with her hands encased in cuffs. She tells Mint not to say a word and Mint tells the voice to go to hell. The voice says then they shall do it the hard way and then order the Extractor to be deployed.

Volcana looks towards the door as it opens and a figure stands there. The figure has glowing red eyes and cables coming from its legs. Volcana says that the voice always sends other people to do its dirty work. The voice says he wouldn’t sully his hands with the likes of them. The Extractor walks towards the women and a robotic tentacle emerges from its neck. Volcana says that, if it touches her, then she will burn the whole place to the ground. The Extractor’s head tilts backwards to open its neck up. A dozen robotic tentacles weave out from it and point towards Volcana. The voice speaks up and says it would laugh if it wasn’t so sad. It then orders the Extractor to make Volcana scream and do it quickly; they have a launch schedule to keep up with. The tentacles get closer to Volcana’s face as she tries to move away from them.

Meanwhile, Killraven and the team are walking through the ruins of a train station. Carmilla says that, according to her map, the tunnel they want is up ahead and it should take them underneath their building. Black Cat tells Wolverine that, if they get stuck in this future, then it won’t be very accommodating to her lifestyle. Wolverine is surprised that’s what she’s worried about. She says she gets it; it’s the end of the world and they are fighting Martians. This whole trip is becoming a major buzzkill. They were having such a nice dinner before Arcade and White Rabbit showed up. She thought her and Wolverine were… Wolverine says they were, but that ship has sailed. He tells her to stay in the moment and she replies that’s what she was trying to do.

They come to a doorway leading down to the subway tunnels. Wolverine peers into the darkness and says it smells funny, like wet fur. It must be the rats. As they head down the dark stairs, Black Cat says, as long as it’s just rats, that’s not a problem. As they step onto the train tracks, they spot human remains. Killraven tells everyone to arm themselves. Wolverine inspects the bones and says the gash marks on them look like they come from an animal about a foot long. When M’shulla soon finds the corpse of a giant rat, he tells Wolverine he seems to have found the culprit. Carmilla says it seems something bigger attacked it and, by the looks of it, it’s not finished. Black Cat says they shouldn’t sit around and debate; they should get out of there. Wolverine unsheathes his claws and says it’s too late as they have incoming.

A giant, multi-eyed creature looms out of the darkness towards Black Cat. It has teeth like a rat but is the size of a rhino and wields pincers and tentacles. Carmilla tries to shoot it as it swipes M’shulla out of the way. Wolverine slashes it across the face but he is struck by a pincer. Killraven jumps on its back and starts hacking at it with his knife. The creature grabs one of Killraven’s men in its jaws and starts eating him alive. Killraven is thrown off the creature and he turns to Wolverine and tells him they are having no effect. As the dismembered arm of the man falls to the ground, they look at it and Wolverine agrees with Killraven.

Suddenly, Carmilla takes out a grenade and throws it towards the creature. It explodes and the creature falls to the ground and its side rips open, causing dozens of smaller creatures to pour out. The creatures swarm around the team and Black Cat jumps into the arms of Wolverine, who says they have just pissed it off. M’shulla notes it seems mesmerized by the light, so maybe they can burn it. M’shulla takes the torch and runs off with the creature chasing him. He says he will go back the way they came whilst the others continue on. He will catch up later, he hopes.

Wolverine tells Killraven it was nice of his man to take one for the team. Carmilla interjects and says he’s not his man, he’s her man. Black Cat smiles and puts her arm around Wolverine. She says not to worry as he isn’t that kind of man.

They continue along the tracks and Killraven tells them the glowstick he is using will only last another fifteen minutes, but hopefully by that point they will be under the citadel. Wolverine asks about the security there and Carmilla says they have noticed they have a different perimeter security at their strongholds. They are excellent strategists. Black Cat asks if the Martians want to stay and colonize the planet or if it’s just a stepping stone to universal domination. Killraven says there are many rumors. Their ships land here regularly and they have set up a number of large fortresses. At night time, some of their ships head back to where they came. Lately, they would rather round the humans up than kill them. Their communication is all word of mouth so it’s all secondhand.

Black Cat says it sounds like they found some kind of purpose for the humans. She tells them, if they find the doctor and if he can fix the device, then they can take them back to their time. Killraven says he understands her wanting to go but he was born of this time and this is his fight. The remaining few people are under his protection and, because of the actions of him and his men, they have become something more than a group of freedom fighters. Wolverine adds on that they are inspiring people.

They come to a giant pool of glowing green water with a subway car submerged in it. Killraven says there is a light coming from the water. It looks like some of the subway tunnels have collapsed and broken the water mains. Black Cat says it looks like there is acid in the water. Wolverine puts his hand in the water and holds it under for a few minutes to see how acidic it is. Wolverine says it started to eat through his skin after about four minutes. Carmilla asks if he is okay as he doesn’t seem hurt at all. He tells her it only hurts for a second because he has a healing factor. If he gets the time, he will tell her all about it. Wolverine says he will dive in and see what’s ahead. If it looks clear and the dive is only a few minutes, they can figure it out from there. Killraven says they have no choice as Wolverine dives in.

As he swims through the acidic water, he passes the skeletons of humans. Eventually, he comes up in the Martian citadel. As he exits the water, he is spotted in security cameras which record his movements and features. He jumps back in the water and swims to the group. Wiping the acid out his eyes, he says it’s a three-minute swim. They are going to have to stay close, as they won’t be able to open their eyes in the water. Carmilla suggests using wires as a rope to tie to each other. Wolverine ties the wire around his waist and leads the way through the water. They get out on the other side and Black Cat notices the acid has started to eat through her clothing. Carmilla alerts them to the fact Killraven didn’t make it.

Wolverine dives back in and finds Killraven fighting with a snake-like creature. Wolverine stabs it in the head and it explodes, sending springs and gears flying through the water. He grabs Killraven’s unconscious body and takes him to the waiting women. As he exits the water, Black Cat asks if she’s the only one turned on right now. Carmilla asks what’s wrong with her, as Killraven is hurt. Wolverine says he has only passed out from an electric shock he got off a security reptile. Problem is, whoever is running the place knows they are there now.

A little girl enters the room and tells them that he is correct and, if they come quietly, no one will be hurt. The girl is wearing her blond hair in pigtails, dressed in a blue dress and holding a giant lollipop. Carmilla asks if the enemy is recruiting children but Wolverine suggests brainwashing is more likely. Black Cat says she will handle this and goes up to the little girl. She bends down and asks the girl where the people are that are making her do this. The girl stares blankly at her and says to surrender and no one will be hurt. Black Cat says she heard her the first time but, before she can finish, the girl’s eyes glow blue and a pink gas sprays out her mouth. Wolverine tries to save the women but they are all overcome by the gas and they pass out.

Some giant bug-like robots carry their unconscious bodies and place them in stasis tubes, alongside Volcana and Mint. Overhead, a figure watches them getting put in the tubes. He has glowing blue eyes and is dressed in black. He mutters to himself that it’s perfect. He turns to some of the Martians who are working in a cockpit. He says the high command will be very pleased with the slave cargo. He tells them to start the launch sequence to Mars. Outside, as the giant, three-legged robots roam around, the jets on the giant spaceship ignite and it gets ready to take off.

Characters Involved: 


Black Cat



Carmilla Frost

Volcana Ash

Mint Julep

Unnamed members of Killraven’s gang

Martian Invaders

Overlord Omega

The Extractor

Story Notes: 

Last issue, Arcade and White Rabbit stole a teleportation device off an alien and then tricked Wolverine and Black Cat into using it, sending them into the future.

Overlord Omega is named in the next issue.

Issue Information: 
Written By: