Dark Claw Adventures #1

Issue Date: 
June 1997
Story Title: 
Face to Face

Ty Templeton (writer/breakdowns), Ruck Burchett (finishes), Linda Medley (colorist), Tim Harkins (letters), Darren Vincenzo (associate editor), Scott Peterson (editor), special thanks to Dan Slott

Brief Description: 

At Lenny’s Bar and Grill located in Gotham, Logan, in the disguise of Patches Malone, is attacked by cyber-assassins. After disposing of them quickly, he is picked up by his side-kick Sparrow and tells her that Talia has returned. In her lair, Talia recalls that Logan killed her father, Ra’s-A-Pocalypse, two years ago in an accident that scarred her as well. Inside his compound, Logan dons the costume of Dark Claw and runs through a strenuous program where he fights a number of his foes. At the end, the lights go out and Logan is attacked by Lady Talia. Logan doesn’t want to fight her but Talia is persistent. Eventually, Logan exposes his chest and tells her to go ahead; he won’t stop her. Talia proceeds to stab him through the heart. With her beloved dead, Talia goes to kill herself. However, the still very alive Logan stops her and the two of them begin to reconcile their differences while Sparrow looks on.

Full Summary: 

At Lenny’s Bar and Grill, there’s a poker game every night of the year. Stakes are low, tempers run high. Logan tries to make the game once a week. He can put his ear to the street there. Punks and lowlifes come to brag about what bad boys they are. He comes to listen and wait. He’s waiting for the man who shot his parents. This is the sort of joint he’d come to. So far he’s never come in on a night he’s been there. But so many other bad boys do.

In the middle of the poker game, two large men walk up and ask the man wearing a patch over his left eye if he’s the one they call Patches Malone. Tossing his cards across the table, Logan replies just his flamin’ luck. Cyber-ninja assassins and he’s holding a king-high straight.

Just then, one of the assassins remarks that the voice matches to 99% of the sample, target is confirmed. After slamming his body backwards into one of the assassins, Logan remarks he did it again. He opened his mouth and talked his way into something. Just then, one of the assassins shoots him with pure electricity. Recovering quickly, Logan determines that makes him his main concern. Lunging after him, he is shot in the shoulder by the other one. Picking himself up off the ground, Logan snarls that he hates getting shot. It always makes him killing mad. Only he doesn’t do that anymore. Then he remembers that he’s throwing down with cyborgs. Artificial limbs, no need to completely restrain himself.

Popping his claws, Logan proceeds to slice of the left arm of the gun-toting assassin. Kicking them both into the kitchen, Logan continues his attack on the wounded assassin. As he does, he notices that he’s nothing but replacement parts. His partner is nothing.

Walking out of the restaurant, Logan hears Sparrow singing “na-na-na-na-na-na Dark Claw.” The Clawmobile speeds to the rescue. After dangling the cyber-assassins from a nearby fire escape, Logan gets into the car and tells Sparrow not to call it that. When he gets into the car, Sparrow mentions to him that he looks beat up. Was he cheating at cards again? Speeding off, Logan answers no, real trouble – a pair of cyber-ninja assassins. They knew right where to find him too. Someone had to give him that kind of information. That means Lady Talia is back.

Inside her lair, Lady Talia observes one of the monitors and recognizes Logan, her beloved. Stepping away from the monitors, she remarks that he has grown careless. He forgets how many of his secrets are known to her. It happens tonight, then. After two horrible years, she pays Logan back for the murder of her father – Ra’s-A-Pocalypse.

Thinking back, she asks has it been two years. Since father’s virus? They were evenly matched that day. But they always were. As they battled, a scorpion came between them. Ra’s-A-Pocalypse immediately stops fighting and states that once again, the desert chooses his destiny. Calling his assistant, Ubuwong to follow him, Ra’s-A-Pocalypse tells him that they are going to go reshape a better world. As they make their way towards a nearby plane, Logan yells out no, turns to Talia and asks her what his game is. Noticing the nearby stinger missiles, Logan grabs hold of one of them and fires it at the departing plane. When it crashed, Talia remembers that she should have feared the flames, felt the heat. Instead it burned off 90% of her skin without ever finding his body. No matter, her new adamantium limbs and long sharp fingers are more than up to the task she has dedicated the reset of her life to – the killing of the Dark Claw!

As they arrive at Dark Claw’s secret lair, Sparrow tells Logan that he’s lucky she’s there. He always falls to pieces whenever that girl’s around. After Logan tells her not to exaggerate, Sparrow replies as if. Look at him. He’s so careless, he got himself shot. Logan says so, with his mutant healing factor he won’t even have a scar in ten minutes. Sparrow asks what they are doing there. Someone’s hunting for him and he comes back to the burrow? That’s literally crawling underground. That’s not like him. Logan replies that she’s right. He was careless before. To face Talia, he needs to be his best. He’s got to work some kinks out and he’s not in the mood to paint.

Donning his Dark Claw costume, Logan tells Sparrow to set up the Danger Cave, a strenuous program. As he begins to walk away, Sparrow asks him he’s serious? They’re hanging around there? They’re not going after her? Logan tells her this isn’t a democracy, kid. Go set up the programs. Watching him walk away, Sparrow remarks there he goes, falling all to pieces.

Walking the streets of Gotham, Talia informs one of her cyber-assassins THX 1138 that the bio-tracker implemented in Logan’s shoulder functions well. And his mutant senses have yet to detect it. THX 1138 proceeds to inform Talia that the subject has stopped travelling and asks her they could send a squad of… Talia tells him no, she does this alone.

Standing inside the Danger Cave, Sparrow asks Dark Claw if he has her in his headphones. Claw simply tells her yup, stop chewin’ gum. Sparrow replies allll-rightie then. All he has to do is make it to the exit while a roomful of life-model-decoy robots try to rip off his head. He has five minutes – enjoy.

Just then, Dark Claw gets attacked by Harvey Osborn, the Two-Faced Goblin and Cybercroc. No problem and he takes them out with ease. Bloodcrow appears behind him and after taking him out, Hyena, Spiral Harley, and the Omega Beast attack him. Claw remarks that they’re coming at him in threes now, good. At that moment, the lights go off. Claw says nice touch. Calling Sparrow on his headphone, Claw asks her if she thinks he’s afraid of the dark. When he gets no answer, he realizes something’s wrong and quickly heads down the hallway. As he does, he tests the air and hunts for the scent that shouldn’t be there. All he’s getting is metal and electricity. Must be all the L.M.D.’s…

Just then, Lady Talia drops on top of him and takes a swipe at Dark Claw’s chest. Deftly dodging her attack, Claw says to her “My God. Your arms!” Maintaining her focus, Talia tells Claw that it was so pitifully easy to break in there. His defense systems, his code words, all follow his private obsessions so closely. She knows his secrets, her love. Defending himself against her attacks, Logan tells Talia to stop, he doesn’t want to hurt her. Talia asks like he didn’t want to hurt her father. Logan tells her Ra’s gave him no choice. That virus would have slaughtered all the mutants on Earth. All of them, even her. Her father was willing to sacrifice her for his insane dream.

Talia asks him that he can’t stop his lies, can he. But she will stop them, she will stop him. Blocking Talia’s attack again, Logan tells her that she doesn’t want this, they loved each other once. Talia asks love?!? Is that what he feels for the one who murdered his father? Smacking her away, Logan tells her enough.

He then tells her he understands what she needs even if she doesn’t. She’s not facing him, tonight. She’s facing herself, she’s finding out what’s truly inside her. Darkness or light. Love or hate. Holding his hands to his side, Logan tells her to go on. Whatever she decides, he won’t try to stop her. He tells her to choose who she is, choose. With tears in her eyes, Talia jams her sharp claws through Logan’s chest while a shocked Sparrow looks on. Grimacing, Logan tells Talia that she surprised him there. He didn’t really think she had a deathstrike in her. With that, Logan collapses in a heap on the ground. Standing over him with a tear in her eyes, Talia tells her love good-bye.

Making her way over to Sparrow, Talia cuts the bonds from around her mouth. With tears in her eyes, Sparrow asks her now what. Is she going to kill her now? Talia tells her no, she’s an innocent. She still has that much honor. Her father is dead, now Logan is dead. There is nothing left to do but remove the last part of her still truly human, her heart. Snapping off her claws, Talia holds them out in front of her and prepares to jam them into her chest. Before she does, she states that she would give anything to change the last two years. To bring them back.

Just then, Logan asks her anything? Rushing over towards him, Talia asks that he’s alive? Logan says maybe… but they’re still… negotiating… She said she’d give anything…? Talia remarks that she sliced him through his heart, she felt it. Logan says tell him about it… it’s gonna… sting like crazy… for a week. But his… healing factor… makes it harder’n blazes… to take him… all the way out…

He always figured he and her were the same. And if he was ever face to face with the one who shot his parents, it could only go one of two ways. Either he wouldn’t kill him or he’d regret for the rest of his life that he had. His mind was nothing but fire and pain ‘til he sorted at least that much out. She needed to learn. He then tells Talia congratulations, darlin’. Now she’s ready for the rest of her life.

With tears in her eyes, Talia says to her beloved that her father still lies dead. Logan says he knows, he’d give anything to change that himself. As Talia continues to hold her love in her arms, Sparrow calls out and asks if someone can untie her.

Characters Involved: 

Dark Claw/Patches Malone/ [Wolverine (Marvel) + Batman (DC)]
Sparrow [Jubilee (Marvel) + Robin (DC)]

Lady Talia [Lady Deathstrike (Marvel) + Talia (DC)]
THX 1138 and various other unnamed cyber-associates of Lady Talia

Various Life-Model decoys fought by Dark Claw: Harvey Osborn [Green Goblin (Marvel) + Two-Face (DC)], Cybercroc [Cyber (Marvel) + Killer Croc (DC)], Bloodcrow [Bloodscream (Marvel) + Scarecrow (DC)], Hyena [Sabretooth (Marvel) + Joker (DC)], Spiral Harley [Spiral (Marvel) + Harley Quinn (DC)], Omega Beast [Omega Red (Marvel) + KG Beast (DC)]

Various unnamed patrons of Lenny’s Bar and Grill

In Flashbacks:
Ra’s-A-Pocalypse [Apocalypse (Marvel) + Ra’s Al Ghul (DC)]
Ubuwong [Wong (Marvel) + Ubu (DC)]
Dark Claw
Lady Talia

Story Notes: 

The Amalgam line was a joint-effort crossover event between Marvel and DC to combine the two universes. There were a number of different comics (one-shots) that came from this pairing that introduced a number of combo-characters.

At the end of this issue, it states that the next issue is called “Secret of the Waiting Phoenix Saga” That issue, as of current time, has not happened.

Some other titles in the Amalgam line were: JLX Unleashed, Generation Hex, Lobo the Duck, Bat-Thing, Super-Soldier: Man of War, Challengers of the Fantastic, Thorion of the New Asgods, Iron Lantern, The Exciting X-Patrol, Spider-Boy Team-Up, Magnetic Men featuring Magneto.

The art in this issue is reminiscent of the art that could be found in Batman Adventures comics and in Batman: The Animated Series.

In this issue, Dark Claw uses the alter-ego of Patches Malone. Patch was the disguise of Wolverine, specifically during his time spent in Madripoor, and Matches Malone, Batman’s secret disguise.

In this issue, where Dark Claw kills Ra’s-A-Pocalypse, there is a note that states that was from the TV episode: Legacy of Apocalypse. Don’t go looking for it though, as it never happened.

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