Marvel Comics Presents (1st series) #53

Issue Date: 
July 1990
Story Title: 
The Wilding, part 3: Animals Under the Skin (first story)

First story: Rob Liefeld (plotter, penciler), Fabian Nicieza (scripter), Chris Ivy & Joe Rubinstein (inkers) Jade Moede (letterer), Brad Vancata (colorist), Fred Butler (cover artist), Kelly Corvese (assistant editor), Terry Kavanagh (editor), Tom DeFalco (editor in chief)

Brief Description: 

(First Story)
It’s been eleven days since Wolverine’s last encounter with Wild Child, and he has now tracked Wild Child from Ottawa to the Yukon. After killing some Wolves, Logan detects Wild Child, and attacks him, demanding to know why he harmed Heather. Wild Child’s simple reply is that he has to, which Logan doesn’t accept, and shoves his claws to Wild Child’s throat, only to be attacked by another wolf, as if it was protecting its father. This gives Wild Child the opportunity to flee, racing onto a fallen tree which lies as a link between two ledges, with a river below it. Logan follows, but the tree breaks, and both men fall into the river and are swept away. Wolverine emerges in a lake, knowing that he could search for Wild Child for hours and not find him. Wolverine is somewhat relieved at the outcome, as he doesn’t know whether he would have killed Wild Child or not, and deciding that you don’t have much choice in the matter until things come back around anyway.

Full Summary: 

First Story:

Canada…where for the past eleven days, the X-Man Wolverine a.k.a. Logan has been making like he is in a bad “Dudley Do-Right” skit. Eleven days of sniffing dirt and the stench of an unwashed mad-man, following a trail that led from one jungle to the next - from the concrete of Ottawa, to the forests of the Yukon. The former member of Alpha Flight guts two wolves that attack him, blood splatters all over his tattered costume as the creatures fall to the ground.

It doesn’t make any difference to Wolverine, as long as he gets what he came for - as long as he gets to nail the animal that hurt Heather, and as long as he can do it before he gets too hung up on the fact that hunting Wild Child down has been too much like hunting himself. ‘WILD CHILD!’ Logan shouts, knowing that the deranged mutant can smell the fear in the air, can smell himself. And so can Wolverine, so the powerful mutant takes advantage of that fact, and lunges towards Wild Child, who cries ‘No!’ and steps back, but it’s late, as Logan slams into Wild Child, ‘Why? I Just wanna know why!’ Logan exclaims, grabbing Wild Child by the throat.

‘Because I have to!’ Wild Child replies, to which Wolverine exclaims ‘Not good enough!’ and asks Wild Child if he wants to know why, and suddenly slams his fist down, with two claws popping out on either side of Wild Child’s neck, justifying it simply because he has to do this, but knows that he cannot let himself. Suddenly, Logan cries out as another wolf attacks him, lunging up on his shoulders and biting into his chest. ‘One whelp left to protect the father’ Logan remarks, while the fury rises inside of him, his blood is a boiling river. His heart pounds like a stampede, and he grabs the wolf, holding it above his body, he guts it with his other claws, and as blood pours over him, something inside Logan whimpers when the wolf sequels in agony.

Wild Child uses this opportunity to flee, but something inside Wolverine says “more”, and he says “okay”, racing after his prey. Logan thinks that this is a rather ironic situation they have got going on here, both he and Wild Child hanging on like a thread, walking a very fine line. Wild Child climbs on to a large tree trunk which has fallen to the ground, and acts as a makeshift bridge between two ridges, with water rushing beneath it. Logan gets on the bridge while, telling Wild Child as he backs away that there are only two ways to go. ‘Which way do you want it to be?’ Logan asks.

But Wild Child doesn’t reply, as if he is too afraid to make a choice. Logan decides that is a pretty human train for someone who acts more like an animal than a man, while noticing the spittle playing off Wild Child’s lips and steam rising from his thin nostrils. ‘Kill me or die! I won’t go to jail again!’ Wild Child snarls. ‘A man’s choice from an animals perspective’ Logan decides, when suddenly, the choice is taken out of Wolverine’s hands, though he isn’t sure whether to be mad or glad, as the tree trunk breaks and the two fall into the rushing river below.

‘Just when you think you have a say in what’s what in this world - the world puts you in your place’. Logan thinks as he lands in the water, muttering that sometimes you have just got to go with the flow - no matter where the current takes you. Soon, Logan emerges from the water, with no sign of Wild Child anywhere, Logan clambers onto the lakeside, knowing that he could search for hours and not find Wild Child, so the choice of killing him or sparing him is taken out of his hands.

For now though, which is good, Logan decides, as he does not know which choice he would have made. ‘But if there’s one thing men and animals like us know…things have a habit of coming back around in this life…and you just don’t have much choice in the matter…until they do…’.

Characters Involved: 

First story:

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

Wild Child (member of Gamma Flight)

Story Notes: 

The other features in the issue are:

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

3rd story: “Family Matters” part 1 starring Stingray

4th story: a self-contained story featuring the Black Widow and Silver Sable

First story:

This story is told mainly through the thoughts of Wolverine.

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

Wild Child’s appearances this issue are slightly off-balance, it takes place probably during the period where he was released from prison and placed in the new Gamma Flight [Alpha Flight (1st series) #76].

Wild Child gutted Heather in Marvel Comics Presents (1st series) #52.

Wild Child is presumably found by the authorities, and reinstated back in the new Gamma Flight.

Issue Information: 

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