Hunt for Wolverine: Mystery in Madripoor #1

Issue Date: 
July 2018
Story Title: 

Jim Zub (writer), Thony Silas (artists), Felipe Sobreiro (colorist), Virtual Calligraphy's Joe Sabino (letterer), Greg Land & Jason Keith (cover artists), Chris Bachalo (variant cover artist), Chris Robinson & Christina Harrington (assistant editors), Mike Paniccia & Jordan D White (editors), C B Cebulski (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (president), Alan Fine (executive producer)
Special thanks to Mike O'Sullivan

Brief Description: 

En route to Madripoor, Psylocke remembers Wolverine – the man that she, Kitty Pryde, Storm, Rogue, Jubilee and Domino are searching for, or his body, at least. Domino hasn't been given the complete story, however, and this causes some tension between her and Kitty. Upon arriving in Madripoor, they are met by Magneto, who Kitty thinks may have taken Wolverine's body. Magneto doesn't want to speak with them here, and instructs them to meet with him at the King's Impresario restaurant later that night. The X-Women start to leave, and no one notices that Magneto was merely a psychic illusion, courtesy of the mutant called Mindblast. The women venture to the Princess Bar, the old hangout of Wolverine's, under the alias Patch, when he was in Madripoor. More memories are evoked, before the bartender takes them to a secret bunker that Wolverine had built. They find all sorts of memorabilia inside the bunker. Storm locates a trinket that she gave to Wolverine early on when they joined the X-Men, and Rogue locates a letter that Ms Marvel sent to Wolverine, asking him to kill Rogue, which he clearly did not. Psylocke recalls her memory of Wolverine, where they spoke of death. The women change into clothes appropriate for the Madripoor night life, and once they arrive at the restaurant, they locate Magneto – only to discover the trap, as Mindblast reveals herself, and her fellow Femme Fatales soon appear with Viper. Mindblast takes out Storm first, while Knockout fights Rogue, Bloodlust attacks Domino and Snake Whip snares Jubilee. Psylocke prepares to take on Mindblast, before she is attacked by a woman called Sapphire Styx, who drains her life force, feeding on it. Realizing that they are in danger, Kitty grabs Domino and Jubilee and phases the three of them through the floor, escaping. Viper is annoyed, but the Femme Fatales plan to capture them, but in the meantime, Storm, Rogue and a severely drained Psylocke are now prisoners!

Full Summary: 

'I loved him. We all did' Betsy Braddock a.k.a. Psylocke thinks to herself, while remembering training against Wolverine long ago – her blade against his claws. She recalls that he was savage and primal, stoic and honor-bound – a hero. A warrior. But also a teacher and a friend. He was Logan – Wolverine. 'We all loved him' Betsy realizes as she sits with five others in a jet, flying halfway around the world in search of Logan's body. Sitting next to Betsy is Kitty Pryde, current leader of the X-Men. Across from Kitty is Ororo Munroe a.k.a. Storm, and next to Storm is Rogue, who gazes out a window. Jubilee sits at the back of the jet, away from the older women, while Neena Thurman a.k.a. Domino pilots the jet. Betsy reminds herself how Kitty brought them together, as she suspects Magneto was the one who excavated Logan's body and is planning to use it.

Betsy knows that Magneto has been slipping back into his villainous ways, keeping secrets, building power and creating division between them from his new home base in Madripoor. Betsy suspects that Magneto could have removed Logan's body from the ground where they hid it without disturbing Forge's high-tech detection system. She remembers Kitty trying to contact Magneto to allay her fears – but there was no answer – so he is now one of their prime suspects, in addition to being one of the most dangerous mutants in the world. Betsy looks over at Rogue, who still gazes out the window. Rogue was close to Magneto in the past, so she knows what is at stake here. Betsy reminds herself that the last time she and Magneto met, she plunged a blade through his chest and was sure she had killed him – but somehow, he survived – so, if he has taken Logan, they can't afford to hesitate.

Domino glances back into the jet and remarks that with all the mopey faces back there, she takes it this isn't a “girls' party weekend”. Domino tells them that she arranged this little flight because they said they needed travel “off the grid” and points out that they least they could do is tell her why. Kitty tells Domino that they don't have time for this. 'So you're saying I shouldn't turn this plane around?' Domino replies. 'You offered to help!' Kitty snaps, moving towards Domino, who scowls and points out that she is, but that since they won't tell her what this is all about, she is tagging along to “supervise”. 'Now get outta my face and let me land this puppy' Domino tells Kitty. Arms folded, Storm reminds Domino that they are allies. 'Do not wish it otherwise' she adds. 'You $#%& X-Men and your $%&*$$ secrets' Domino mutters.

Kitty looks at Betsy, who picks up her psychic instruction – that if things get out of hand, she is to knock Domino out and wipe this trip from her mind. Betsy telepathically reminds Kitty that Domino was Logan's friend as well. 'I'm not comfortable -'  she begins, to which Kitty declares that she doesn't care about her comfort level, and tells her to be prepared. 'Very well' Betsy replies, while deciding that distrust among friends is an auspicious start to the mission. Domino lands the jet, and Rogue is the first out, going wide-eyed as she calls out 'Uh, ladies... we've got a problem. Magneto already knows we're here!'

Indeed, Magneto is waiting on the runway for the X-Men. 'Welcome to Madripoor' he frowns. 'Erik...'Rogue calls out. 'How did you -' Kitty begins as she approaches Magneto, who asks her if she is honestly surprised, boasting that nothing happens in Madripoor without his knowledge. Betsy reaches out with her mind – but detects nothing – his helmet completely protects him from her psychic probes. Magneto tells the women that if they wished to set up a meeting, they should have just asked. 'I sent you messages, but you didn't -' Kitty begins, before sighing, and pointing out that it doesn't matter, as she is asking now – they need to talk about Wolverine. 'And we will – but not here' Magneto replies. He instructs them to meet him at 10 PM at the King's Impresario restaurant. 'You'll like the laksa' he remarks. Storm asks Magneto how they know they can trust him, to which Magneto points out that Psylocke is here, and offers not to bring his helmet to dinner. 'You won't?' Storm asks. Magneto tells her that he has nothing to hide, before he turns and levitates himself into the air, and floats away from the women.

Betsy watches Magneto depart, and thinks to herself that his confidence is eerie. She has bested him when she was by herself, but now she is not alone. She wonders what his game is. Domino looks up at Magneto and tells the other X-Men that in her experience, people who say they have “nothing to hide” have a $#!&load they're keeping under wraps. 'Yup' Jubilee agrees. 'We'll be careful' Storm declares as the women turn and walk off the runway – unaware that “Magneto” suddenly fades away, revealing the woman psionic woman Danielle Forte a.k.a. Mindblast.

'Not careful enough, Ororo...' Mindblast remarks, before sending out a telepathic message: 'My lady, the X-Men have arrived. Six in total' she reports. A response is heard over a communicator: 'Good. After nearly draining out guest dry, Sapphire is still quite hungry... she's insatiable nowadays'.

The X-Men visit the Princess Bar. Betsy knows that this was an important part of the secret life Logan led here in Madripoor. The women look around the bar, and Jubilee stops at a photo on the wall, of Patch and several of his associates – Jessan Hoan, Rose Wu and Mr O'Donnell and others. 'Good times... or at least, they were' Betsy remarks as she looks at the photo, too, and points out that of the seven in that photo there are only two of them left, her and Tyger. 'Crazy when I think about it' Betsy adds.

The man behind the bar tells the women that if they are friends of Patch's, then they are friends of his, and suggests that they knock back a few in his honor. Storm tells him that any other time they would be happy to, but they need to keep their senses sharp. 'Speak for yourself, Ororo. You pour as much as you want, Mister...' Domino declares. 'Halliday... Mr Halliday' the barman responds.

Domino and Mr Halliday raise their glasses as Kitty approaches them and informs Mr Halliday that Patch told them if they were ever in Madripoor and needed somewhere safe, they could come here and say the word “Yashida”. Halliday coughs and sputters, before he remarks 'More than friends, then... got it. Come with me'.

Halliday then leads the women through the bar, where he opens a secret door. He informs them that Patch had a lot of pals here, but that you can't stay in Lowtown without piling up a heap of enemies, too. They descend some stairs as Halliday reports that when Patch paid to have the Princess rebuilt, he requested this little addition. 'If you're family, then this is all yours' he remarks as they arrive in an underground bunker, where books fill a bookcase, photos line the wall, and armor is stored in a display cabinet.

'Oh, wow...' Kitty utters. Betsy reminds herself that Logan was a private man, and that he didn't seem the nostalgic type, so she finds it fascinating to see what he held on to. She looks at Storm and thinks to herself that she doesn't want to pry, but the memories are so vibrant, as Storm touches a book on the bookcase.

in Storm's memory:
'Wolverine, may I speak with you?' Storm asks as she finds Wolverine sitting alone. 'Free country, ain't it?' Wolverine scowls. Storm apologizes and asks Wolverine if he was meditating 'I'm full of surprises' Wolverine responds. 'I see that' Storm agrees, before asking him why he still wears his costume – whether he doesn't feel safe at the Xavier School. 'Between Baldy the Mind Reader, the Irish Screamer, Laser Eyes, Metal Head, the Blue Demon and you... no' Logan replies. 'It's a freak show, sister' he smiles. Storm suggests to Wolverine that his room should not be so barren, and hands him a small statue of a panther's head. 'Eh?' Wolverine utters, surprised. Storm explains that she brings a peace offering, in hopes they may be better allies in days to come. Storm adds that, like Wolverine, it can be savage, but that it is also protective of those it considers family ....

'' Storm utters, a sad look across her face as she holds up the panther trinket she gave to Logan many years ago. Betsy tells herself that it was a different time, and they all struggled to figure out who they were meant to be, while Rogue, sitting on a table, looks through some books, and comes across a letter from Carol Danvers, which she begins to read. Memories flood through Rogue's mind, as she reads the letter, in which Carol tells Logan that she is grateful for everything Charles did for her while she was recovering, but that she feels so betrayed right now – she can't believe Charles offered safe haven to Rogue after she stole her memories, powers and life. Carol's letter tells Logan that she was violated by Rogue, and now Charles is giving that monster a home, letting her join the X-Men – it makes her feel sick. Rogue remembers draining Ms Marvel's lifeforce, and a later encounter with Carol Danvers when she became a member of the Starjammers.

The letter continues, with Carol telling Logan that she knows what he has done in the past, the missions he has run and the bodies he has piled up. Carol's letter tells Logan that if he ever considered her a friend, ever cared about her, then she begs him to balance the scales and make it right. The letter ends with Carol telling Logan that whatever he chooses, honor or disgrace, she is gone, as the Earth holds nothing for her now, and given what she has experienced these past few weeks, she doesn't think she will miss it at all.

Tears fall down Rogue's face as she finishes the letter. 'Honor indeed' Betsy thinks to herself as she looks at some armor in a glass cabinet. Betsy recalls that at one time, Logan would have been judge, jury and executioner – but the Logan she knew had found something more to live for – a higher calling.

in Psylocke's memory:
As their training concludes, Betsy and Logan sit next to each other, cross-legged, as Betsy tells Logan that she assumes he has thought much of death. 'Now, why would I do a stupid thing like that?' Logan responds. 'You can't be serious, Logan! Have you never considered how you'll be judged for all your deeds?' Betsy asks. Logan looks at Betsy and tells her that is just her English-Catholic guilt talking, and remarks that he doesn't even know if he can die. He adds that every time he thought he was ready to kick off, something pulled him back from the brink, and whatever that is, whatever they want to call it – fate or God or something else – he is going to see how far it takes him and try not to worry about what happens after – and just be himself as long as he can.

'At his best... at his worst... Logan always knew who he was' Betsy tells herself, while looking at a photo. 'That clarity saved my soul more times than I can count' she thinks, before Kitty holds up an old photo of herself wearing an early costume and tells everyone that she is going to get pulled into a nostalgia vortex here. 'We've got places to be' she smiles.

Betsy is thankful that the Princess Bar has an extensive wardrobe for its entertainers, enabling her and the others to change into civilian clothing. As they do so, Kitty instructs Betsy to dig into Magneto's mind, while she and Storm pump him for information. Kitty tells Domino and Rogue that they are on guard duty and to watch their backs, before informing Jubilee to drop fireworks into the situation if things get out of hand, which will enable them go get into a defensive position. Betsy thinks that between this and the clothes they brought with them, they should be able to blend into the local nightlife – as much as women like them can blend in.

'Let’s do this' Kitty exclaims as she and the others, dressed for the Madripoor night scene, approach the King's Impresario Restaurant. Betsy thinks to herself that there is a different sort of power in being seen – if one knows how to use it – and they do. She suspects that they will need all the power they can muster. 'We are expected' Storm tells the bouncers outside the restaurant 'Of course!' one of them replies. The women examine their surroundings in the trendy restaurant, and head to a table, where Magneto is seated alone. 'Cheers' Magneto calls out, raising his glass as the women approach him. Magneto remarks that Madripoor is a city of many delights, and tells the women that he hopes they intend to stay long enough to enjoy them. 'That will depend on how well this conversation goes' Storm replies. 'I see' Magneto remarks.

Kitty tells Magneto that they don't have time for this. 'So you're saying we shouldn't order the chef's special?' Magneto jokes. Kitty asks him why he is stalling, to which Magneto asks Kitty why she is so tense. 'I don't know if they're gonna fight or #$%&, but something's gonna happen soon' Domino tells Jubilee, who is drinking a cocktail and suggests to Domino that she chow down while she can. 'If you know anything about Logan, you need to tell us right now' Kitty tells Magneto, who asks her if that is a threat. Betsy telepathically informs Kitty that they have a problem. 'Lay it on me' Kitty's thoughts tell Betsy, as Magneto announces that he doesn't take kindly to threats. Betsy explains to Kitty that it is the same as at the airport – she can't detect Magneto at all. 'No... he's not even here!' Betsy suddenly realizes, as her telepathic powers show her that Magneto is not sitting with them. 'It's a trap!' Betsy telepathically reports to the others.

Suddenly, the women are shocked as another psychic reveals herself, sitting among them pretending to be Magneto. 'Look at that, you figured it out!' Mindblast smirks, adding that they weren't fast enough. Betsy detects that Mindblast's mental shields are incredible, and wonders who she is, before Mindblast announces that she has seen what damage the Wind-Rider is capable of, and takes Storm down with a crippling psionic attack.

'Well done, Mindlbast' Viper calls out as she appears at the table, weapon in hand, and three other women standing behind her. 'Ladies, let's finish this, quick and efficient' Viper orders, as the X-Men look at her in shock. Betsy knows that Viper was a crime lord here in Madripoor for years, but that she has not been seen since the fall of Hydra. A tall woman with blocks over her hands looms over Rogue. Her name is Elizabeth Rawson, but she introduces herself as Knockout 'Lemme show you why' she offers Rogue as she slams her block-covered hand into Rogue, forcing Rogue into the table.

Viper opens fire on the X-Men and calls out to the Femme Fatale called Bloodlust and tells her that Domino is hers. 'Yes, my lady' the depowered mutant otherwise known as Beatta Dubiel responds as she slashes her spiked weapon across Domino's back, causing Domino to scream. Viper turns to a woman with long blonde hair and calls her Snake Whip, instructing her to capture Jubilee. 'Really, I get the kid?' Leeann Foreman, formerly known as Whiplash, mutters as she throws a coil around Jubilee's neck. 'Just do as you're told' Viper snaps, while Rogue's head is still slammed against the table by Knockout.

Betsy confronts Mindblast: 'Mass illusions, mental strikes and mind shields strong enough to resist my first attack... you are formidable, Mindblast' Betsy declares, before announcing that even she will not be able to resist her psychic knife – but before Betsy gets the chance to use her psi-knife against Mindblast, she finds herself under attack by a woman with short red hair wearing a purple dress, who sneaks up behind her and attacks her mind.

Betsy gets a whiff of perfume, then there is fire in her brain, as the new arrival exclaims 'Don't go anywhere, Psylocke. Not 'til I'm done with you'. Betsy is in anguish. She hasn't experienced pain like this – she burns. The woman introduces herself as Sapphire Styx, and remarks that Betsy's soul is her sustenance. Betsy grows weaker, she starts to drown, everything fades. 'What is this?' she wonders, unable to concentrate, unable to feel anything. Sapphire Styx looks very pleased with herself, and declares that Psylocke's life force is exquisite. 'I'm so sc-' Betsy starts to think, before losing consciousness.

'Dammit, dammit, DAMMIT!' Kitty Pryde shouts as she rushes forward, phasing through the startled Knockout. 'No fair!' Knockout exclaims as Kitty grabs Domino and pulls her away from Bloodlust. 'Don't look back' Kitty tells Jubilee as she grabs her and makes her intangible. 'Slippery little ghost!' Snake Whip snaps. 'What the -?' Viper exclaims, surprised as she opens fire at Kitty, too late though, as Kitty suddenly phases through the floor with Domino and Jubilee. 'Don't stop' Domino gasps. Snake Whip turns to Viper and assures her that they won't get far. Viper sighs and replies that she knows, but wanted it all taken care of in one swift strike.

'Even still... I'd say we've done quite well this evening. Wouldn't you agree?' Viper asks as the Femme Fatales gather around with the captured Storm and Rogue, and Sapphire Styx leans over Psylocke as she continues to drain her life force....

Characters Involved: 

Domino, Juiblee, Psylocke, Kitty Pryde, Rogue, Storm (all X-Men)

Bloodlust, Knockout, Mindblast, Snake Whip (all Femme Fatales)
Viper II
Sapphire Styx

Mr. Halliday
King's Impresario staff and patrons

in Psylocke's memory:
Psylocke & Wolverine

in photograph:
Mr. O'Donnell, Tyger Tiger, Rose Wu

in Storm's memory:
Storm & Wolverine

in Rogue's memory:
Ms Marvel / Binary
Colossus & Nightcrawler
Professor X & Lilandra

in photograph:

Story Notes: 

Wolverine died in Death of Wovlerine #4.

This story takes place after Hunt for Wolverine #1, in which the X-Men discover that Wolverine's body was missing from its secret burial place.

At this time, Kitty, Storm, Rogue and Jubilee are all based at the Xavier Institute, while Domino works with Weapon X. Psylocke has been maintaining a low profile.

Betsy plunged the blade into Magneto's chest in Uncanny X-Men (4th series) #19.

Mindblast first appeared in Amazing Spider-Man (1st series) #340, when the Femme Fatales made their debut as a team. They subsequently appeared in Amazing Spider-Man (1st series) #343, and Captain America (1st series) #389-391. She made minor appearances since then, including Uncanny X-Men (3rd series) #23, when she was shown to be residing in Madripoor, and most recently in Star-Lord #2.

Viper was last seen during the “Secret Empire” event.

Knockout debuted in Amazing Spider-Man (1st series) #340, and along with her fellow Femme Fatales went on to appear in Amazing Spider-Man (1st series) #343 and Captain America (1st series) #389-391. She also appeared in Captain America (1st series) #411 and #413.

Bloodlust first appeared in Marvel Comics Presents (1st series) #49-50, then joined her Femme Fatale teammates in Amazing Spider-Man (1st series) #340, #343 and Captain America (1st series) #389-391 and Marvel Kights Spider-Man #6. She was revealed to have been de-powered following M-Day, but much later appeared in All-New, All-Different Avengers #8.

Snake Whip, originally known as Whiplash II, debuted in Marvel Comics Presents (1st series) #49-50, and went on to appear in Amazing Spider-Man (1st series) #340, #343 and Captain America (1st series) #389-391. She later appeared in Heroes for Hire (1st series) #4 and Spider-Man's Tangled Web #13 This makes her debut as Snake Whip.

The Femme Fatales made their most recent appearance as a team in Marvel Knights Spider-Man #6 and receive updated looks with their return this issue.

Sapphire Styx originally appeared in Marvel Comics Presents (1st series) #1-9. She made one subsequent appearance in Marvel Comics Presents (1st series) #131.

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