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First Story: Michael Higgins (writer), Dave Ross (penciller), Dan Day (inker), Brad Vancata (colorist), Todd Klein (letterer), Kelly Corvese (assistant editor), Terry Kavanagh (editor), Tom DeFalco (editor-in-chief), Dale Keown & Bob McLeod (cover art)
Logan is about to be cut open and autopsied when his healing factor kicks in and revives him, to the utter shock of the coroner and his assistant. Logan leaves the hospital and scavenges some clothes. The Hulk is driving away from the scene of Wolverine’s “death” and feeling remorseful about the hirsute mutant’s fate. He turns on the radio and hears a report about a hostage situation at a pharmaceutical factory nearby. The culprit matches Logan’s description perfectly. The Hulk decides to check it out and clear Wolverine’s name. Wolverine’s “twin” is clearly desperate and just wants to escape. He tries bargaining with the police and thinks he has the upper hand until the Hulk arrives. The Hulk is shocked to see “Logan” alive but quickly realizes that this guy is an impostor. The fake Logan recognizes the Hulk and alludes to a previous encounter before launching himself at the Hulk in a murderous rage.
Logan lies dead on a coroner’s table after being riddled with bullets by a full SWAT team. The coroner Dr. Clancy tells his assistant, Sam that this looks like an open and shut case as he preps the saw to open Logan’s chest and perform the autopsy. Dr. Clancy tells his assistant that he doesn’t think they’ll find anything unexpected. He hopes they don’t find anything wrong that would indicate any wrongdoing by the police involved. Dr. Clancy hands the saw to Sam and tells him that he can do the honors. He then leaves the morgue. Sam is elated to finally get to do something he’s “dreamed of all my life”. But as he starts the saw, Logan’s hand jerks up and grabs him by the throat!
Logan realizes that this was a close call and he may not have survived being cut open and autopsied. He grabs the saw from Sam and tosses it away. Dr. Clancy sees it fly past him and turns to ask what has gotten into Sam. He begins to say “It’s not like the guy is gonna get up.” when he sees that this is exactly what’s happened. He is shocked by the sight and passes out cold. Sam is struggling to make sense of this as he gasps for breath. He tries to say “You can’t be alive” but Wolverine cuts him off and replies “Listen bub, don’t tell me what I can’t do!” He adds that they can both say they’re lucky to be alive as long as Sam sits tight and keeps his mouth shut long enough for him to get out of there. Logan grabs a dressing gown and promptly exits the hospital. He then finds a clothing donation center and steals some clothes from inside.
Not too far off, the Hulk is cramped inside Logan’s truck. He is thinking about Wolverine and feeling bad about what happened to him. He identifies with Logan as they are both loners. He tunes into the police band radio to make sure that no one in the area is looking for him. As he passes a motorist, the man sees him and declares “Sacre bleu”. He is so distracted that he rear-ends the vehicle in front of him. The Hulk breathes a sigh of relief that he won’t have to worry about the guy identifying him.
The Hulk hears a report that another nearby pharmaceutical factory has been attacked by someone matching Logan’s description and has taken hostages. He thinks to himself that this isn’t his problem and he should just steer clear of trouble. But he realizes that Wolverine isn’t around any longer to clear himself, so he stops the truck and leaps away to check out the situation.
At the pharmaceutical factory, Logan’s double has taken four employees hostage and ties them to chairs. He tells them that he didn’t want any of this to happen and he just came there to get what he needed. He thought there was no one there to sound an alarm. The police have the place surrounded and order him to come out. He shouts back to the cops “Would you like my prisoners to give their lives to show who’s got the upper hand?!”
They respond that he’ll never get away with this and he offers to release his hostages if they agree not to interfere with his escape. The cops are unsure how to react and presume they are dealing with a madman. Logan’s enraged doppelganger asks “What’s it gonna be, coppers?!” At that moment, the Hulk comes crashing through the ceiling. The Hulk tells him he might want to rethink who has the upper hand now that he’s there. He then gets a good look at “Logan” and asks the obvious question “How?!” But when he gets closer, the Hulk can sense that this isn’t Wolverine. The look-a-like confirms this and says that he isn’t surprised that the Hulk doesn’t recognize him. “I’ve changed quite a bit since we last met...” he adds. He then leaps at the Hulk and cries “…while I assure you I’m not dead… this time, you’re going to be!”
Hulk / Bruce Banner
Mimic / Calvin Rankin
Dr. Clancy and his assistant Sam
Unnamed police officers and SWAT team members
The other features in the issue are:
2nd Story: Werewolf by Night in “Children of the Beast “ Part 4
3rd Story: Sub-Mariner in “Neptune’s Eye” Part 1
4th Story: Black Cat in “The Crown Jewel Caper”
This story takes place between INCREDIBLE HULK #369 (in which Freedom Force appeared) and INCREDIBLE HULK #370 for the Hulk and just prior to the X-TINCTION AGENDA crossover in the X-Books.
The X-Men were believed to have sacrificed themselves to save the world from the Adversary as seen in UNCANNY X-MEN #227. Following their televised death, they were resurrected by Roma and took up residence in Australia where they operated clandestinely for quite some time.
Logan’s healing factor at this time was not as developed as it was at other periods in his life. His fear that he would not survive having his body autopsied is legitimate since up to this point, he had never sustained any critical wounds of that magnitude.
At this period in the Hulk’s evolution, his transformation from Bruce Banner into the gray-skinned Hulk only occurred at night. He also went by the name “Mr. Fixit.”
Logan’s “twin” is none other than Calvin Rankin AKA The Mimic. The mystery of this duplicate Wolverine is not revealed until MARVEL COMICS PRESENTS (1st series) #59. Prior to this revelation, Mimic was believed to have died in INCREDIBLE HULK #161.