James Howlett sweats profusely as he begins to have flashbacks to his past. He is standing in a forest, his hands covered in blood as bone claws protrude from his hands. Before him is a wild wolf, growling menacingly.
James snaps back to reality for a few seconds before having another flashback, this time though it is much later from when he was in the forest with the wolf. Now he is battling ninjas with Captain America, who hopes that Wolverine does not mind the help. He then remembers being held in a holding tank, and hears someone ask Mr. Hines to access Logan’s medical profile history. He then snaps back to the time he first attacked the incredible Hulk.
James’ flashbacks continue. Next he recalls the woman of his dreams, Jean Grey, become the Dark Phoenix. Next he remembers the love of his life, Mariko Yashida, telling him that he is not worthy. Towards the end of the flashbacks, James begins to remember more recent happenings. He recalls Professor Xavier telling him that he has gathered them all to discuss the fate of Wanda Maximoff.
Suddenly, his mind snaps back to Genosha, where he stands upon the skyscraper where Wanda Maximoff should have been sleeping. He watches as Cyclops and Emma Frost are carried off by the heroes who can fly, as they head to a church to find the missing Professor Xavier. “Let’s just grab Xavier and get out of here,” repeats Wolverine, recalling what Warbird said as she left.
Wolverine stands on the deck of the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier, premier defense of the House of M. In fact, James is the premier agent of the Red Guard unit of S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Darkholme runs on to the deck after Wolverine. She addresses him as James and asks him if he is ok. A bit angry, she demands an explanation for his actions a few seconds ago. James looks down at the city below, still soaking in everything. However, his reasons for being on a S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier with the sadistic murder turned lover Mystique, while Sentinels fly all around him, isn’t what stuns him. “I remember…” says James in shock, “My whole life. Everything.”
Confused, Agent Darkholme asks James what they are talking about. James asks Raven what they did yesterday. Confused, Raven asks if he means metaphorically. Yesterday, yells James, what did they do? Raven reminds James that the mission was successful, and then asks if this was about the casualties. This is not like him. He shouldn’t beat himself over the deaths. They were just human grunts. James asks Raven what happened in Genosha. Even more confused and worried, Raven tells him that she hasn’t seen the paper. Is Lord Magnus ok?
James snaps his head quickly to Raven in surprise to what she said. He then is overcome by another flashback, this time to a dark church in Genosha. In between pews in the shadows is a bald man sitting in perhaps a wheelchair. Behind the sinister looking man are three hooded and equally sinister looking figures, who stand silently in the dark. “Oh my God…” mutters Wolverine, “Xavier…”
Raven interrupts Wolverine’s flashbacks and asks him if he is ok. Did he pop a brain stitch? They can take him to Madame Web; she can set him straight. That is what she is there for. He would not be the first to see her for adjustment. It is nothing to be ashamed of. Wolverine, who now seems to understand partially what is going on, looks at Raven, then leaps off of the Helicarrier deck and plunges through the sky to the city below, much to the horror of Raven.
Raven looks overboard and sees Wolverine free-falling and looking back up at her. Wolverine builds up acceleration and crashes onto a skyscraper ledge, leaving him a bloody mess. He hands from the ledge by his hands and is able to pull himself up, but what he sees shocks him, as this is not the New York City he remembers. Pictures of Simon Williams and Mary Jane Watson, as well as former X-Man Alison Blaire cover the jumbo screens of Times Square. Many mutants fly through the air without any disruption, including one dragon creature. Passing by is a Spider-Man float. What is most shocking to Wolverine is a red and gold Sentinel that flies by and pays no attention to him, despite him being a mutant.
Some time later, Wolverine cleans up and finds a change of clothes. He walks through the streets and stops at a newsstand to pick up the latest edition of The Pulse. What he finds inside is even more disturbing than what he has seen so far. The front page shows Magneto, now known as Lord Magnus, and the upcoming House of M gala. Below his picture is a tagline about a story concerning trouble for beloved human hero, Captain Marvel, a.k.a. Carol Danvers.
Wolverine opens the page to The Pulse Weekend Extra and is exposed to even more oddities. First is a picture of Lord Magnus and… Ororo Munro, Princess of Kenya? Beside the picture of the two, which also includes Guido, formerly known as Strong Guy, in the background is an article by Betty Brandt about the House of M charity gala hosted by the British Royal Family in honor of Magnus. Prince Namor, King T’Challa, Lord Victor Von Doom, Kree Private Genis-Vell, Princess Ororo of Kenya and other world leaders are expected to attend. The event has been put together by his children, who are all expected to attend, despite security warning of humans using this event to stage their protests against human treatment under the House of M. The article then goes on to explain how Magneto gained control of Genosha in the 1980s and how the mutant population is expected to surpass humans by 2013.
An article below Brandt’s, by Kat Farrell, is about the new controversy over using mutant embryos to treat human sicknesses. One of the opponents of this research is Dr. Otto Octavius, who has created a new laboratory technique known as ‘altered.’ Below that is an article on a Hydra splinter group, which has kidnapped 11-year old Mariko Harada, daughter of Keniuchio Harada, rumored leader of the crime cartel Clan Yashida. The article by Ben Urich states that Madame Hydra announced responsibility for the kidnapping on the Internet, and wants money that Clan Yashida gains from illegal drug trade, though of course the Harada’s deny any involvement in the trafficking of drugs.
On the next page are a few more short stories, as well as a picture of celebrity and businessman Peter Parker and his son, Ritchie Parker. Other news includes Alison Blaire’s rare blood disease, which is making her lose her mutant powers, though her talk show has been picked up for three more seasons. Another article is about the sexy lawyer known as She-Hulk, caught kissing blink attorney Matt Murdock. Tony Stark may have gotten a supermodel pregnant, all the while averting a hostile takeover by Jason Wyngarde. Ralph Macchio has made the Marvel the largest publisher on the planet. Warren Worthington III is in the middle of a sex scandal that threatens to ruin his family’s empire, while the Hellfire Club finally shuts its doors for the first time since 1760. Meanwhile, human rights activist Lord Kevin Plunder gets asylum in the United States after speaking out, while Raphael Vega and Shang-Chi, leaders of the Wolfpack and Dragon gangs, respectively, are arrested for murder, attempted murder, racketeering, extortion, money laundering, and operation of illegal gambling businesses.
The newsstand owner yells at Wolverine and tells him if he touches the newspaper he is buying it. Wolverine’s attention, though, is called to a blonde man stopped at the corner on his motorcycle. Wolverine approaches the man and asks for his bike and tells him to get off quietly. The man is about to tell Wolverine to go to Hell, when Wolverine punches him in the face and steals the motorcycle.
Later that night at 1407 Graymalkin Lane, Salem Center, Westchester County, Wolverine sneaks over the gates in to the mansion grounds and hides in the bushes. He sneaks his way through the grounds and breaks into the mansion, sniffing around for familiar scents. He goes upstairs and passes a room with a little girl sleeping. He then enters the master bedroom and finds a couple sleeping. He covers the mouth of the husband and wakes him up. “Where’s Charles Xavier?” asks Wolverine.
The scared man asks who Xavier is. Angered, Wolverine tells the man that he doesn’t want any lip. Where is Charles Xavier? The other man stutters that he doesn’t know who Charles Xavier is. He thinks that James has the wrong house. Wolverine asks the man how long he has lived here, and learns that the man has been in the mansion for fifteen years. He then asks Wolverine to leave his family alone. Wolverine takes in the information, and then leaves the mansion, speeding away on his bike.
Sometime later at a local tavern, Wolverine calls 411 to get a phone number listing. The operator asks for a city, and Wolverine replies that he needs a listing. The name is Charles Xavier. The operator asks for a city again, but Wolverine does not have one. The operator replies that they need one. Wolverine tells the operator to try New York City, but there are no Charles Xaviers in the area, and there are none in Westchester either. Wolverine then asks for a listing for Peter Parker. “The fan club?” asks the operator. “What?” replies the confused Wolverine.
Wolverine then notices a group of mutant thugs harassing a human woman. The woman falls to the ground as one mutant shoots fire from his mouth and tells her that he isn’t done talking to her. The woman desperately tells him to stop breathing fire at her, while another drunk man tells his friend to torch her clothes. He wants to see a show. Wolverine walks over to the group, leaving the phone hanging and the operator asking if anyone is still there. The sound of Wolverine’s claws unsheathing is heard through the night.
The next morning in New York City, Wolverine drives to Stark Towers, which is thankfully still the same, for the most part. Inside the main lobby are hundreds of businessmen, workers and visitors. Someone starts talking about the reason why psytech won’t catch on to the latest upgrades, because low-grade psychics don’t really need them. While another man argues with the mutant inventor, Forge, a Stark employee, Wolverine approaches the front desk, where he is met by a blue, female receptionist.
The receptionist asks Wolverine what she can do for him. Wolverine tells her to tell Tony Stark that he is here to talk to him. The receptionist informs Wolverine that Tony Stark does not live in the city. He only owns the building. Before Wolverine can figure out what do to next, a woman comes up behind and asks what he wants with Tony Stark. Their bosses want Wolverine back, and they said any which way.
Wolverine turns around to see his fellow Red Guard unit S.H.I.E.L.D. officers: Agents Jessica Drew, Raven Darkholme, Mortimer Toynbee, Kurt Wagner and Anna Marie, better known to Wolverine as Spider-Woman, Mystique, Toad, Nightcrawler and Rogue. Agent Drew trains her gun at James and asks him what is wrong with him, while Agent Marie tells him that he scared the crap out of them. Agent Toynbee assures James that they are his team and if something is going on they can help. Meanwhile, Agent Darkholme calls S.H.I.E.L.D. command and tells them that they have Agent Howlett. She then tells James to do what Agent Drew says.
James simply stares at the group, not responding. Agent Darkholme raises her gun now and tells the group that he popped a stitch. A menacing Agent Wagner smiles and says too bad. Raven tells James that the yare taking him back to command and he should not get rough in front of civilians, as they cannot have that. Drew tells him not to make the street sapiens cry. He should just walk out with them. Wolverine then smiles and asks how they found him. Drew, confused, reminds him that he has a tracker. She then tells the others that perhaps he did pop a stitch. “If only,” says James.
Wolverine elbows Drew in the face, spilling blood. Agent Marie quickly calls S.H.I.E.L.D. for backup as Wolverine bolts, with Agent Darkholme shooting after him. Toynbee uses his toad-tongue to try and catch Wolverine, but he uses his adamantium claws to slice off Toynbee’s tongue, all the while evading Raven’s bullets. Agent Wagner teleports in front of Wolverine, blasting away, while saying that he never thought he’d see the day when something like this would happen. Agent Marie flies around a pillar behind Wolverine and tells James that he is ruining a good thing here. One step ahead of the duo, Wolverine grabs Wagner by his tale and flings him into Marie. He then runs off as Raven calls out that he cannot outrun them.
Wolverine jumps through the glass wall into the street, much to the shock of the pedestrians. The S.H.I.E.L.D. agents are right on Wolverine’s heels as he runs to his motorcycle. Raven shoots violently after him, screaming for him to not make her do this. Wolverine drives away through the traffic, while Wagner teleports to catch up to him. Wagner teleports right behind Wolverine is about to tackle him off his motorcycle, when suddenly he is overcome by immense pain. Agent Wagner falls to the ground screaming that he has been shot. All over his body are… arrows.
Wolverine jumps the bike on top of the cars in traffic and rides on them as pedestrians watch. When Wolverine reaches the intersection, he jumps off the last car, but does not notice a cloaked figure standing in the middle of the intersection, seemingly appearing out of no where. James sees the man at the last second, but is unable to stop. However, this does not seem to be a problem, as the man, known better as the hero called Cloak, opens his cloak wide open, revealing nothing but a black void. There is nothing that Wolverine can do as he and his bike enters the void at high speeds. Wolverine disappears into Cloak; all the while people on the streets stand and stare.
Wolverine reemerges in a dark room and crashes on the ground, rolling some feet away from his motorcycle. He immediately gets up and pops his claws, ready to attack Cloak and any other S.H.I.E.L.D. agents that are sent after him. However, what he sees is not what he expects. Standing before him are Misty Knight, Danny Rand, Felicia Hardy, Angela Del Toro, Marc Spector and Luke Cage. Cage tells the mutant to calm down.
Wolverine is confused to see Cage, and Cage is confused that Wolverine knows him. Wolverine asks what is going on, but Cage simply says that they cannot talk right now, because Wolverine must first crash the tracker. He needs to crash the tracker in his neck or they will do it for him. Wolverine is still confused, but hears a voice behind telling him that he should listen to Cage. Wolverine turns to see who is talking. He turns just in time to see Cloak as another figure emerges from his void… the dead avenger Hawkeye!
“Do it,” says Hawkeye, his bow and arrows trained on Wolverine.