Along a desert landscape that exists outside of time and space the bodies of several would-be heroes arrive via teleportation, one right after the other. After recovering from their rough landings the newly arrived guests stand in a quasi-circle astonished by what they see: seven different versions of themselves (Wolverine)... plus a little girl.
The older-looking Wolverine, with patches of white going through his hair, is the first to comment on the absurdity of it all. Another Wolverine, apparently fresh from his breakout from the Weapon X program, sniffs menacingly with claws protruding at the young James Howlett still in his jammies. The young girl, Elsie-Dee, who is attached by some cables to another Wolverine, tells the Weapon X Wolvie to stop. A zombified Wolverine suggests to everyone that they calm down and try to figure out what’s going on. The older Wolverine realizes they’re in real trouble seeing as how the most sensible guy there is already dead.
The young James Howlett approaches the older Wolverine and asks him what’s going on. He tells him the last thing he remembers was his father getting shot and bones popping out of his hands. The older Wolverine tells James not to panic. James wonders how he knows his name, but gets his answer from a new figure that appears, the Timebroker.
The remaining Wolverines, besides James, pop their claws ready for a fight. The older Wolverine asks the new guy who he is. The Timebroker introduces himself, clad in flannel and hairier than ever, and explains that he brought them all together because there’s a job he needs them to take care of.
Weapon X Wolvie has heard enough and slices right through the Timebroker’s head. Of course the claws go right through since the Timebroker is only a figment of their collective unconscious and he, in turn, explains this. The Wolverine connected to Elsie-Dee tries to scan the Timebroker, but nothing registers. Elsie-Dee, calling this particular Wolverine, Albert, tells him not to blow a fuse, that the Timebroker will most likely give an explanation.
The Timebroker agrees and starts off with the introductions. He starts with the Wolverine with a patch over his eye. His name is Patch and he’s from Earth 181 and he deals with the gangs in Madripoor. Next up is the zombie Wolverine. A plague on his world turned everyone into flesh-eating zombies. Third are Albert and Elsie-Dee who are from Earth 5211. They were androids created to destroy the real Wolverine. Fourth is the Weapon X Wolverine who is from Earth 520 and just recently had his adamantium skeleton implanted at the Weapon X facility. James Howlett is next and he’s from Earth 1880 and had just discovered he was a mutant. Last, but not least, is Logan, the older Wolverine, who was from a world where Sentinels killed or enslaved all superhumans and mutants. Some of the Wolverines grumble in dissent, but the Timebroker assures them he has some very good incentives for them once they complete their job.
The new team of Exiles find themselves transported to an alternate Earth. James rubs the back of his neck and to no one in particular asks if they believe the Timebroker can do what he promised them. Albert explains that he couldn’t get a reading on the Timebroker’s voice or pulse due to his artificial nature. Patch voices his doubts out loud. Logan tells him that if there’s even a chance of getting rid of all the Sentinels on his homeworld he’ll go for it. Zombie calls him a sucker and guesses that’s why he got the magic walkie-talkie. Logan explains that it’s called a Tallus and it’s saying they need to head to town.
Elsie-Dee, continuing the conversation from earlier, says that her and Albert can be real people if they complete the mission and asks Zombie if going home cured wouldn’t be great for him. Zombie tells her that just puts him back on the menu.
During their walk James asks Patch what happened to his eye. Patch flips up the patch to reveal a perfectly healthy eye. He explains it’s just a disguise. Zombie overhears this and incredulously proclaims that nobody recognizes the hairdo. Patch tells Zombie he needs a breath mint worse than any man in history. Their conversation takes a quick stop as they find themselves on the outskirts of town. Lying sideways and slightly deteriorated is a sign that reads “ENTERING PHOENIX”. “Phoenix. That ain’t exactly reassuring”, Patch proclaims.
As the Exiles make their way through the city streets James questions the types of “buggies” these people use and asks where the horses are. Zombie asks him to explain the dress he’s wearing first. James tells him it’s a nightshirt, a bit offended. Patch chimes in that it’s still pretty swishy.
Logan pauses and puts his hand to his chin. He wonders out loud what happened in the city. Patch tells him he should know since he has a direct line to the boss. Zombie wants to know what the mission is anyway as the Timebroker was short on details. Logan surmises they may have never agreed to the mission if they knew what they were in for. As he fiddles with the Tallus a sudden surge of red energy comes pouring out. All of the Exiles are caught within its grasp as the energy reaches out to them, bathing their eyes in red electric fire.
The Exiles receive their history lesson then. Originally on this planet the Brotherhood of Mutants had a plan to make Magneto even more powerful than she already was. The original Wolverine was caught within a magnetic bubble and the Scarlet Warlock attempted to transfer Wolverine’s adamantium skeleton into Magneto’s body using his hex powers. Somehow things didn’t go as planned and Magneto, Wolverine, Quicksilver, Mesmero and the Scarlet Warlock were merged together. The merge created a mutant called Brother Mutant who shared all five of their powers. He has since sworn to kill every non-mutant on Earth.
With the history lesson over everything goes back to normal. James’ head hurts and Elsie-Dee is on the ground shocked. Albert asks if the voice they heard was that of the Timebroker. Logan points out that they’ll be taking on an upgraded version of themselves. Patch comments that he’s been battling himself his whole life. Weapon X sniffs something, which gets everyone else’s attention.
Amongst nearby shadows a chorus of “Bub” erupts. Out into the open come a plethora of various Wolverines. Albert can’t make sense of it. Logan does, though. He figures they’re not the first batch of Wolverines sent to this Earth by the Timebroker, which means the first ten to twenty teams weren’t successful. They all start popping claws and Weapon X loses to the beast within. He leaps with a howl at the advancing Wolverines. Then Albert, Elsie-Dee and Zombie join in.
Albert asks what’s wrong with them. Elsie, picking up an Alpha Flight Wolverine over her head, thinks they’re mind-controlled. Zombie figures it’s easy pickings for him and chomps down on an ankle. Patch turns to Logan and tells him they’re screwed and there’s no way they’re going to win. Logan agrees that the Timebroker has no idea what he’s doing. Patch joins the fray and tells Logan that he’ll keep as many of them off his back as he can. Logan takes off, but not before yanking James with him. He knows the kid wouldn’t last very long in that fight.
Logan and James take a turn down an alley. Logan calls out for the Timebroker to pull him and James out of there. He tells him his plan isn’t going to work and that he’ll help him create one that actually has a chance to work. He points out that just recruiting more Wolverines isn’t going to work.
The Timebreakers at the Panoptichron agree with his reasoning, but are afraid to bring him there. Their temporal scanners show the solution is Wolverine, but they have no idea why it isn’t working. They’re also afraid of causing transtemporal damage by removing too many Wolverines from the alternate worlds. One of the drones interrupts their debate to alert them that Logan and James are facing imminent death.
Logan and James are being converged on by four other versions of themselves. Logan takes some happiness in the fact they’ll go out fighting. They both pop claws with wicked grins on their faces. Their enemies grow closer. A sudden “Faassh” and a bright light nullifies the battle as both Logan and James are teleported into the Panoptichron.
Both of the Wolverines are a bit weirded out by what they see, a multitude of insect-like creatures. James thinks they’ve both died and have gone to hell. He picks up a blunt instrument nearby and smashes one of the drones into a pile of legs and green goo. One of the Timebreakers pleads with them to stop as they’ve accepted their offer. Logan asks him what he’s talking about. His offer to help them strategize to beat Brother Mutant and send all the other Wolverines home the Timebreaker replies.
Logan asks why they can’t do it themselves. The Timebreaker explains that they are scientists and are unable to commit acts of violence. So, Logan concludes, they sent team after team of Wolverines as each one failed. The Timebreaker admits that innovating and improvising is not their strong suit.
Logan asks how long they’ve been at it. One of the drones answers explaining that the Wolverines are new, but the other team of Exiles lasted for over one solar year. A Timebreaker tells Logan to ignore the drone, but Logan is interested. He wants to know more about the successful team of Exiles.
Department H, Canada
Guardian and Heather Hudson greet the original Exiles team with some good news. They’ve all been accepted into Alpha Flight and are free to join them. Heather chimes in that she wants them to have a home there.
Blink smiles awkwardly and tells them she appreciates the offer, but she doesn’t want to give up hope that they’ll be able to leave this reality. Morph chimes in that Power Princess isn’t a Canadian, but a “Le—“ and Spider-Man is able to web his mouth shut before he can finish the word.
Heather tells her it’s not a big deal and that they’ll keep trying to contact the Timebreakers. She hopes that they’ll at least consider having a life with them in the meantime. Power Princess asks what will happen to the damaged realities in need of repair. Spider-Man figures the Timebreakers put together a whole new team. Spidey is more than happy that saving the mulitiverse is no longer their responsibility.
The interior alarms start firing off around them. The sounds of “Intruder Alert” start ringing through the room. Guardian and the Power Princess take off to the air. They spot two figures down on the ground. One of them is yelling out to them. The remaining Exiles teleport in surrounding both Logan and James. Guardian questionably proclaims “Logan?!” Logan assures him he’s not the same Logan he remembers.
Morph takes on the three-headed distinction of the Three Stooges. “Moe” asks on what world does Wolverine’s sidekick run around in a dress. James, even more perturbed than before, tells them it’s a nighshirt. “Curly” points out that he has a doily for a collar. James pops his claws and Morph turns into a frightened clown and backs off.
Logan tells him to forget the shirt and explains to everyone else how he was just talking to the bugs over at the twinkly place. “The Crystal Palace?!” someone interjects. Logan tells them he’s learned of their past and how they are the best at what they do when it comes to saving realities. He asks for their help in saving him... a hundred times over.
Various Wolverines are roaming the streets. A majority of them are heading towards what looks like an abandoned theater. A voice tells them to bring him closer and that he wants the others captured too. Patch’s semi-conscious body is carried in on the shoulders of his diverse counterparts. The voice asks what that is covering Patch’s eye.
Patch takes a few sniffs and cries out weakly that it smells like a girl. The transluscent figure responds that Patch has no idea who he is, but will soon enough. It is Brother Mutant and he tells Patch that he is the form of perfection, and getting stronger with each new addition. As Patch is brought closer he threatens Brother Mutant not to kiss him. Instead, Brother Mutant’s eyes turn green and swirly and he tells Patch to stare into them and find the peace he’s always searched for.