Marvel Comics Presents (1st series) #52

Issue Date: 
June 1990
Story Title: 
The Wilding, part 2: The First Cut is the Deepest (1st story)

First story: Rob Liefeld (plotter, penciler, inker), Fabian Nicieza (scripter), Jade Moede (letterer), Brad Vancata (colorist), Rich Howell (cover artist), Kelly Corvese (assistant editor), Terry Kavanagh (editor), Tom DeFalco (editor in chief)

Brief Description: 

(First Story):
Wolverine is keeping tabs on Wild Child’s apartment, and watches Vindicator enter. Vindicator is disgusted by the state of things, and is unsure of her plan - should she try and help Wild Child, or “put him to sleep”. But Wild Child attacks her out of nowhere, ripping into her cybernetic battle suit, Heather is rendered powerless against him, and he guts her. Wolverine enters the apartment, too late, and throws Wild Child out into the street, where they battle. Wild Child continuously jibes Wolverine, who in the end has to let Wild Child run free so that he can tend to the badly wounded Heather. Later, after Heather has been operated on, a doctor informs Logan that Heather will be fine, and Wolverine departs, ready to hunt Wild Child and take him down.

Full Summary: 

First Story:

Ottawa, Canada. The X-Man known as Logan a.k.a. Wolverine decides that it is a cold night for a stakeout, but that things should be heating up any minute. Wolverine has been watching Wild Child’s apartment for hours now, he figured that the Wild Child has to come back to it soon, after all, an animal always brings the night’s hunt back to its home. ‘And that’s what I’m hunting tonight. An animal’.

Wolverine isn’t the only person out hunting tonight, so is Heather McNeil Hudson a.k.a. Vindicator, leader of Alpha Flight. Heather enters Wild Child’s apartment, thinking to herself that it is the last address they had in Alpha Flight’s records, hoping that it is accurate. Rats scurry past Heather. ‘Disgusting!’ she thinks, before reminding herself that is what Wild Child is - a disgusting, sadistic animal.

‘Whose crossed the line and started killing for fun, not survival’ Logan thinks to himself, before realizing that Heather went in twenty minutes ago, and that his dear friend does not know he is here - doesn’t know that he is even alive. Logan decides that he should do something to correct that, after all, he and Heather go back a long way, before thinking that here and now is not appropriate. Logan cannot smell Wild Child, and decides that if Heather is going to wait inside, she will be okay, provided she is wearing her battle suit.

Heather shines her torch around the dark rooms, thinking to herself that the smell is overwhelming - rats, urine, excrement, spoiled food - and wonders how Wild Child could have gotten this bad, not to mention, that if he comes back, how far she is willing to go to stop him. ‘Is he a sick man who needs help or a rabid animal who should be put to sleep?’ Heather wonders, when suddenly out from the darkness, Wild Child leaps at her from behind, cutting her across the back, Heather stumbles to the ground, dropping her flashlight.

‘Know you. I do. Hudson? Yes!’ Wild Child snarls. ‘Wife to die like husband. Metal and flesh, bleeding as one!’ Wild Child exclaims making reference to the death of Heather’s husband, Guardian. Heather realizes that Wild Child has ripped through the battle suit underneath her civilian clothing, as it is not responding to her cybernetic signals.

Wolverine realizes that Heather is in trouble, and wonders why he wasn’t able to smell Wild Child. ‘Ten seconds, all I need. Just give me ten seconds’ Logan thinks to himself.

Wild Child sings as he raises a clawed hand above Heather, while holding her throat with his other. ‘Whistle while you work, Heather’s such a jerk!’. Heather decides that Wild Child is crazy and that she needs to put him to sleep - but she can’t. She realizes that she is losing blood, and with her powers down, she is no match for Wild Child’s strength. ‘I don’t want to die like this’ Heather thinks to herself, ‘I’m sorry Mac, Logan, Madison. I’m sorry…’. Wild Child plunges his claws into Heather’s stomach. ‘Oooh, I bet that hurt. Yes? Alive. How about one more, eh?’ he snarls.

Suddenly though, Wild Child is tossed out of one of the windows, shattering the glass as he plummets to the ground below. Logan entered, undetected, which gave him the opportunity to do that. The stench of Wild Child’s place assaults Wolverine’s senses, but one scent is stronger than all the others. The scent of blood. Heather’s blood. ‘This ain’t a man in need of help…it’s an animal in need of slaughter - And I’m gonna be the butcher!’ Wolverine exclaims as he lunges out the window towards Wild Child, brutally attacking the younger man, but Wild Child retaliates with just as much ferocity.

‘Okay then, this is one cow that’s fighting back!’ Logan exclaims as Wild Child kicks the former Alphan in the face. ‘Wanted you. Oh, yes!’ Wild Child snarls. ‘Long time!’ he adds, lunging for Logan again. ‘Cow fights back but good’ Logan thinks, deciding that he can live with that as he smacks Wild Child in the face. Wild Child kicks Wolverine in the stomach, knocking him back as he calls Logan an old man, a soft man.

Logan decides that he has to keep Wild Child talking, but there is no problem there, as Wild Child doesn’t shut up, calling Wolverine human flesh, caring flesh. Wild Child asks what would happen if he turned and ran away, what would the old human man do? ‘Does he follow Wild Child? With fury in his heart and blood in eye, does he hunt Wild Child down?’. Wild Child declares that he thinks not, ‘Not with pretty Heather pretty bloody’ the savage mutant exclaims. ‘Pretty head, maybe?’ he asks, ‘Or still clinging to life?’ Wild Child remarks, before exclaiming that the hunter would finish the hunt.

‘Wouldn’t he, Wolverine?’ Wild Child exclaims, before disappearing, without Wolverine noticing. Logan is annoyed, but as the hunter, knows that he would also help save the life of his friend - a friend who needs him badly. Logan rushes over to Heather, blood is everywhere….

Later, Logan has spent three hours waiting in Ottawa General Hospital, laying low so no one sees him, as he cannot afford to be recognized. Logan knows that the doctor tending to Heather is Dr. Giloski, someone who has patched Logan up in the past, so Logan can trust him to keep quiet, as Giloski is a good man who knows the game. Soon, an unconscious Heather is wheeled out in a chair to Logan. Giloski informs Logan that Heather lost a lot of blood, and has some damage to her intestinal tract. ‘Took more stitches than we had thread it seemed!’ Giloski adds that Heather should pull through, before remarking that he supposes when Heather wakes up, she shouldn’t know Logan was here.

Logan leaves, lights a cigarette, thankful that Giloski knows the game. ‘And so do I’. Logan unsheathes both of his claws. ‘All right, Wild Child…I’m done playing the part of the man now…let the hunt begin!’.

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)

Dr. Giloski

Story Notes: 

The other features in the issue are:

2nd story: Comet Man in “A Family Affair” part 3 of 4

3rd story: a self-contained Rick Jones story

4th story: a self-contained story featuring the Hulk

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.

Wild Child having an apartment doesn’t really fit in with the current goings-ons over in Alpha Flight at this time. (But neither does most of this three-part story).

Indeed, Wolverine and Heather do go back a long way, as it was Heather and Mac who discovered Wolverine in the Canadian wilderness and Heather nursed him back to health. [as seen in the flashback story in Alpha Flight (1st series) #33]

Issue Information: 

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