Marvel Comics Presents (1st series) #51

Issue Date: 
June 1990
Story Title: 
The Wilding, part 1: Face Off (First Story)

First story: Rob Liefeld (writer, penciler, inker), Jade Moede (letterer), Brad Vancata (colorist), Paul Gulacy (cover artist), Kelly Corvese (assistant editor), Terry Kavanagh (editor), Tom DeFalco (editor in chief)

Brief Description: 

(First Story)
Wolverine is in Canada, where after a long drinking session at a bar, he comes across a savage Wild Child, who attacks him briefly, then runs away. The next day, Logan reads the paper and discovers that a stalker has claimed their ninth victim. Logan suspects Wild Child to be the stalker, as does Vindicator, who recalls Wild Child and the early days of Department H and Alpha Flight. Wolverine remembers a training session he had that was interrupted by a boastful Wild Child, and decides that Wild Child’s boast that the two of them will tangle, has now come true.

Full Summary: 

First Story:

Wolverine a.k.a. Logan is in his old stomping grounds of Canada, specifically Ottawa. Cigarette hanging out of his mouth, the powerful X-Man trudges down the street. He is the best there is at what he does, everyone knows that. And tonight? Tonight, that means drinking. Logan is hammered, sloshed, flat out drunk. He thinks to himself that he has never felt better, and that it is good to see some things don’t change. Logan decides that Ottawa makes a nice change of pace from the shores of Madripoor, before noticing how thick the fog is, and deciding that it is a good thing he is not behind the wheel of a vehicle. ‘In my present condition…fog…liquor…driving…lethal combination!’.

Logan decides that it is a spooky night - creepy even - the kind of night you have to watch your back a little closer - the kind of night you think twice about letting your guard down, as you never know what might leap out from the shadows. As if on cue, someone - or something - leaps out at Wolverine. ‘What the flamin -!?’ Logan exclaims as the feral creature smacks him to the ground. ‘Speak of the devil’ Logan thinks. ‘Literally’. Untamed hair flaps everywhere as the creature bears down over Wolverine, who is repelled by the stench emanating from his attacker.

Suddenly though, the attacker leaps off and rushes away down the street. Wolverine is surprised that his foe is taking off, and wonders what to do about it. ‘Get up? Go after him?’ Logan tells himself to quit kidding himself, as in his present condition, he can barely walk. ‘Heck, you can barely think!’. Logan detects that his healing factor is just starting to take effect on the booze, but even at an accelerated speed, it will take too long. Logan can still not get over the stench of his attacker, and remarks that there is only one man he has ever met that smelled that rotten, and that was a long time ago. Logan decides that it makes sense that this person is in town though, and makes sense he still stinks. The only part of the equation that doesn’t fit, is what he is doing.

The next day, Logan has a paper, the Ottawa Tribune, with the headline “Stalker kills 9th victim. Body count climbs’. Logan decides that it fits now, the boy has snapped, he’s gone - the rage has got the best of him. Logan recalls that the boy’s old man learned to control the rage, as did he, but the kid never stood a chance. Logan decides that by the way the kid looked last night, there is no turning back now.
Elsewhere, the eyes of Heather McNeil Hudson a.k.a. Vindicator go wide as she reads the same paper. ‘He’s struck again!’ she exclaims, before deciding that this has gone too far. Alpha Flight’s leader has a feeling she knows who it is, while the cops do not have a clue. Heather doesn’t think there is any modus operandi, no rhyme to the killers reason, as his attacks are too sporadic, too unpredictable. Heather thinks that her deceased husband would be sick, almost as much as she is.

Heather puts the paper down and goes over to the mantle piece above the fire, recalling how Mac had such high hopes for his dream. Alpha Flight. Beta Flight. Gamma Flight. ‘He was warned, countless times - especially about Wild Child!’ Heather recalls that Logan was strongest in voicing his misgivings. ‘Consider the source’ she thinks to herself, before remembering how Mac didn’t listen, how he insisted that Wild Child could be trained, insisted he would come around.

Heather picks up a photograph of Diamond Lil, Wild Child, Flashback and Smart Alec and thinks that if only Mac had known that they would all turn on him, unite to destroy the dream. Heather remembers how they were defeated, at the cost of her husband’s life, and they were rounded up and sent to prison. Heather decides that it was expected she would not hear the last of Omega Flight, even though that was months ago. ‘Wild Child - no other name could suit you better…so unbridled…so undisciplined…Logan would pale in comparison’.

(Flashback, takes place in between Alpha Flight: First Flight and Giant Sized X-Men #1)

Department H, the mid 1970’s…. Wolverine is in the training facility, battling an oversized red robot, when suddenly Wild Child approaches him, telling him to shake a leg, as they will all die of old age before he finishes this exercise. Logan tells Wild Child to back off, pointing out that this is not part of his training. ‘There’s a reason you ain’t out of your diapers - or Gamma Flight - yet!’ Logan adds.

Wild Child jumps up on top of the robot, calling Wolverine a runt and telling him that they will see who finishes this first. Logan warns Wild Child, ‘Take a hike, pronto!’ he orders. Suddenly the robot flings Wild Child off, sending him careening across the facility. ‘Looks like you go to the head of the class, kid!’ Logan remarks as Wild Child screams. Logan points out that this exercise is not about strength, but about wit, and that neither of them, on their best day, could over power this robot. ‘But with speed and cunning and a bit of instinct, we can reach the hidden mechanism!’ Logan explains as he touches a button on the top of the robot, shutting it down.

Logan approaches Wild Child, who calls him a runt again and thanks Logan for the tips, ‘Not that I’ll be needing them!’ he boasts. Wolverine tells Wild Child that they need to get one thing straight: if he ever pulls a stunt like that again, he will takes him down so fast that his head will spin. ‘You got me shaking in my boots, pipsqueak!’ Wild Child exclaims, jibing Wolverine. Logan tells Wild Child that there are some mistakes in life that you can bounce back from, but this isn’t one of them. ‘You’ve had fair warning, punk. Next move’s up to you’ Logan tells him, walking out of the training room as Wild Child calls back ‘News flash, runt. You don’t scare me, you’re just another little guy with a chip on his shoulder’. Logan tells Wild Child to have it his way, to which Wild Child warns Logan that they will tangle sooner or later.


Wolverine unsheathes his claws, thinking that no one ever told Wild Child to be careful what he wishes for, as it might come true!

Characters Involved: 

First story:

Wolverine (member of the X-Men, former member of Alpha Flight)

Vindicator II (member of Alpha Flight)

Wild Child (member of Gamma Flight)

In Flashback



In Photograph:

Diamond Lil, Flashback, Smart Alec, Wild Child (members of Beta / Gamma Flights)

Story Notes: 

The other features in the issue are:

2nd story: Comet Man in “A Family Affair” part 2 of 4

3rd story: a self-contained Iron Man story

4th story: a self-contained story featuring Le Peregrine

First story:

This story is told mainly through the thoughts of Wolverine and Vindicator II.

Wolverine’s appearance in this story takes place prior to Uncanny X-Men #246 and Wolverine (2nd series) #17.

Vindicator and Wild Child’s appearances this issue are slightly off-balance. Wild Child’s takes place probably during the period where he was released from prison and placed in the new Gamma Flight [Alpha Flight (1st series) #76], but when that happened Heather was in another dimension, and only arrived back on Earth when Wild Child was with Gamma Flight.

As shown in a flashback scene in Alpha Flight (1st series) #127, Wild Child became involved with the Flight shortly after the events of Alpha Flight: First Flight [Alpha Flight Special (2nd series) #1], for in that flashback scene, he had attacked Stitch, and Wolverine was still present to voice his concerns about Wild Child.

There are three errors when it comes to the photograph of Diamond Lil, Wild Child, Flashback and Smart Alec:

- Firstly, Heather addresses them as Beta Flight, when only Flashback ever made it into Beta Flight.

- Secondly, a photograph of them taken in the early days of Department H does not fit with established history in Alpha Flight (1st series) #11, where the angry members of Beta and Gamma Flight who merged together to become Omega Flight had to be introduced to each other, as they did not know each other. Though it is possible the photo was taken when they were grouped together as Omega Flight, but how Heather got it is unknown.

- Thirdly, at the time of this story, it is entirely out of character for Heather to have a photograph of her husband’s killers in her apartment.

Omega Flight fought, and killed Mac (well, Jerry Jaxon did, not any of the former Beta or Gamma Flight members) in the classic Alpha Flight (1st series) #11-12. They were later defeated by Alpha Flight in Alpha Flight (1st series) #25-28.

Wild Child is drawn towering over Wolverine in several panels this issue, when in truth, he is only approximately 5 inches taller.

Issue Information: 

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