Return of Wolverine #3

Issue Date: 
January 2019
Story Title: 
Chapter Three: Purgatory

Charles Soule (writer), Declan Shalvey (artist), Laura Martin (colorist), Virtual Calligraphy's Joe Sabino (letterer), Steve McNiven & Sunny Gho (cover artists), Declan Shalvey & Matt Wilson (variant cover artists), Annalise Bissa (assistant editor), Jordan D White (editor), C B Cebulski (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (president), Alan Fine (executive producer)

Brief Description: 

Jean Grey, Kitty Pryde and Storm review satellite footage of Wolverine and decide to send a small team to go to his location and talk to him. They wonder how he got to where he is and why he hasn't reached out to them. At the mysterious City, Wolverine and Ana discuss what they know about this island and wonder how they can find Ana's son, and Persephone. The X-Men arrive and are met with hostility by local civilians and police officers who don't want the mutants on their island. Wolverine picks up on the fight that breaks out and makes his way to the battle scene, while Persephone speaks with a soldier called Zagreus, telling him that she thinks they can learn a lot by what happens next, and that she is excited to see how this plays out. Wolverine has visions in his mind again, of earlier versions of himself who give him advice about the X-Men. He fights Nightcrawler and takes him out, before lunging towards Jean Grey, only Iceman knocks him backwards. Iceman overpowers Wolverine, so Wolverine releases the Berserker in his mind, which unsheathes his strange new hot claws, that break through the ice barrier Iceman has surrounded him in – and then he slices Iceman in half!

Full Summary: 

The Xavier Institute for Mutant Education and Outreach, inside the office of headmistress Katherine Pryde. With Kitty are Jean Grey and Ororo Munroe a.k.a. Storm. The three senior X-Men look up at a projection of their missing teammate Wolverine and a woman called Ana. Kitty states that Jean managed to find Wolverine using Cerebro, so now they finally know where he is. 'Now what?' she asks, looking at the projection. Ororo asks Jean 'Why now?' and points out that surely she has used Cerebro to look for Logan before. Jean tells Ororo that she has been searching since they began to suspect that he had returned to life, but she didn't think it would work, as the psychic blocks in Logan's head make it difficult to zero in on him under the best of circumstances. Jean explains that this time she got a flash, enough to give Cypher rough coordinates, he then hacked a surveillance satellite, which is what they are seeing here in the projection. Jean adds that she doesn't know why it worked, but is glad it did.

Kitty tells Ororo and Jean that they should be careful, as they don't know that the Logan who came back is the Logan who died – and everything they have seen suggests he isn't, as he is with Soteira now. 'And that witch Persephone' Storm adds. Referring to the woman walking with Logan into the strange city, Jean asks if this woman is Persephone, but Kitty tells her she has no idea, as they don't know what Persephone looks like – all they have is her warning – if they go after Wolverine, Soteira or her, she will kill X-gene carriers – mutant kids, before their powers manifest. Storm adds that from what she saw of Persephone, this doesn't seem like her, walking into some city in the middle of nowhere. She points out that it does feel like Logan, though – finding a woman wherever he goes. Kitty agrees, and admits that she is basing a lot on not very much information, but that this looks to her like Logan has escaped Soteira and now he is on the run.

Jean wonders why he hasn't called them, to which Storm reminds her that Logan is an idiot and doesn't call for help. Jean asks the others how they handle this situation. Kitty suggests that they will go, a very small team made up of people he knows well, and that they will just talk to him about what is happening. Kitty points out that Logan is only a part of this, and as much as he matters, there is clearly something bigger going on – Persephone, Soteira – they have to understand – and if it is as bad as they think, Perseophone has to be stopped. 'We may never get a better chance' Kitty adds, looking at the satellite projection.

Meantime, at the mysterious place known as the City. It is a strange place, with futuristic buildings built along the shore and into the mountain behind them. Signs that read “Soteira, the new world is yours to build” are scattered about the city. 'This is it, huh? Persephone's city?' Wolverine asks his companion. Ana tells him that it must be, that she has never been here, but it sounds like what people described to her – imposing and built on the sea. Several citizens of Soteira look ar Wolverine and Ana, as Wolverine asks Ana if Persephone is running an experiment here. Ana tells him that she heard that, but that she has no idea what it is. Wolverine wonders if Persephone is here then – he hopes so, as he has some questions for her. 'And my son? Perren? He's here somewhere too, and we must be running out of time' Ana remarks. Wolverine tells Ana that he knows, and that her son is the priority. 'Don't worry. We'll get him back' he assures her.

'But... how, Logan? This place is huge. He could be anywhere' Ana remarks. Wolverine suggests that they start by looking for Soteira, if they have billboards here, there must be an office or factory or something. 'We'll find them, then we'll ask where they took your son'. 'Ask them? You'll just ask them?' Ana enquires. 'Yeah. Nicely, at first. And if that doesn't work... not so nice' Wolverine frowns.

Shortly, one of the X-Men's Blackbird jets descends towards the island where the City has been build. Most of the island is seen to be covered in forest. The Blackbird lands at a clearing near the City, and accompanying Jean Grey, Storm and Kitty Pryde are Bobby Drake a.k.a. Iceman and Kurt Wagner a.k.a. Nightcrawler.

Bobby asks Jean if she can sense Logan here anywhere, but Jean tells him that she can't, not without a boost from Cerebro to help her break through his psychic blocks. Jean then reveals that she can't sense anyone at all. 'Which is – odd' she remarks as a bottle is thrown towards her, but she suspends it in the air above her before it hits her. Jean, Bobby, Kitty, Ororo and Kurt look up to a ridge where they see police officers and civilians looming above them and throwing bottles, bricks and metal pipes at them, all of which Jean suspends telekinetically before any of her teammates are harmed.

'Leave this city. You are not wanted. Mutants bring destruction everywhere they go' one of the police officers calls out. Kitty holds her hands up and tells the officer that they are not here for trouble, that they are just looking for their friend. 'You have no friends here' the police officer responds. Kurt notices more civilians moving towards them, blocking the X-Men from the Blackbird. Kitty tells Nightcrawler that she sees them, and asks Jean if there is anything she can do with their powers to diffuse the situation. Jean informs Kitty that she has already tried, but that there is nothing here – these people, it is like they are hollow, she isn't getting anything from them. Suddenly, the police officers fire smoke bombs down towards the X-Men. Kitty becomes intangible so one of the bomb passes through her as she tells the X-Men that this is getting out of control and to make sure that no one gets hurt. 'Including us, I hope?' Kurt remarks as the smoke engulfs them and the police officers rush in. 'Your hope is as good as mine, Kurt' Kitty replies. Another smoke bomb goes off. Some slams a plank of wood into Storm, it breaks against her arm. A bottle breaks, an officer readies a batton – then uses it ot beat Nightcrawler, striking him in the face. A brick is thrown at the back of Bobby's head, as a civilian moves in with another glass bottle.

Wolverine suddenly stops in his tracks and tells Ana that something is happening nearby – he can  hear it – smell it – and people are getting hurt. Logan looks at Ana and tells her that he has to go help. 'I know. Go' Ana replies, and Wolverine rushes off, while Ana tells him that she will be waiting.

Elsewhere, some Soteira soldiers are in a warehouse checking their tanks and weapons while one of them speaks with Persephone, who appears before him on a screen. The soldier informs Persephone that their drone surveilllance is picking up Wolverine heading towards the X-Men conflict in the park, and asks her if they should intercept. Persephone addresses him as Zagreus and tells him not to, as this could be good for them. Persephone is in a sterile purple room, sitting on a white chair, she tells Zagreus  that however it happens, Wolverine will kill them – they kill him, or even if it is just a big brawl, whatever way it goes it will be useful. She adds that something is happening with Logan too, and asks Zagreus if he saw how Wolverine got rid of Daken on the boat – those claws. 'I'd like to see more, to understand' Persephone explains. 'Fine' Zargeus replies, before reminding Persephone that the X-Men ignored her warning to call off their search, so they must pay the penalty. He asks her how many of the x-gene carriers she wants to die, as he can dispatch a kill team immediately.

Persephone smiles and tells Zagreus that she doesn't want any killed, and that he should let the X-Men go back to their mansion and wonder how many children they have condemned to death by coming here today. 'Maybe they'll cook up some valiant scheme to locate and protect the pre-mutants. Whatever keeps them distracted, really'. Persephone presses a button on some sort of holo panel that appears beside her and remarks that Kitty Pryde and her teams won't matter in a few days, anyway – and neither will those children. She adds that she would rather save resources for the larger plan, and that they will  be extremely busy for a while. The view screen before Persephone changes and she sees Wolverine running through the City. 'Wolverine versus the X-Men. Wow. I'm actually pretty excited to see this. Aren't you, brother?' Persephone asks. Zagreus doesn't answer her. 'Well. I am' Persephone declares, grinning as she sits back in her chair.

'Mm. Not good' Wolverine remarks as he gets closer to the battle, which is still engulfed in the smoke. 'You all right?' Logan asks as he finds an old man who has been struck in the head and is bleeding. 'What's happening down there?' Wolverine enquires. The old man tells him that it is mutants, that he saw Storm and the one made of ice, and the blue demon, and others, too – and they just appeared without warning. He adds that he thinks they must be with Soteira, another of their kill teams. 'Soteira' Logan scowls.

Inside Logan's mind, another version of himself, telling him that he can help him take out the people he is about to fight, as he knows their powers and their weaknesses. He adds that they are damn strong, and points out that it is five on one, but claims that he can help. 'Talk' Wolverine tells this other version who is trapped behind bars. 'Okay, first one you're gonna run into... is Nightcrawler, the Elf' the black and gray costumed Wolverine announces.

'Kurt, where are you?' Kitty's voice can be heard over communicator as Nightcrawler balances on a pole, clear of the smoke. Kurt explains that he moved away from the park as he cannot operate well in the gas. Kurt adds that he is thinking perhaps he can teleport up and see what he can do about the helicopters firing into the crowd. 'The authorities in this city are truly irresponsible' Kurt remarks. The voice inside Wolverine's mind tells him that he doesn't remember Nightcrawler, but they have a history, and he can use that to his advantage. 'Kurt' Logan calls out as he appears on the ground near the pole where Kurt is perched. 'Logan?' Kurt shouts, before teleporting down to his friend. The voice inside Wolverine's head informs him that he will only get one shot, as Nightcrawler is fast and can teleport, so he's almost impossible to hit – almost.

'How is this poss-' Kurt begins, before stopping himself from moving any closer as Logan pops his claws. 'Move' the voice in Logan's head tells him, but he's too slow, as Kurt teleports while Logan lunges at him, claws outstretched. 'He'll do his thing. And you won't touch him. That's all right. Nightcrawler has patterns. Just like anyone. When he's tired, when he's acting on reflect, or maybe when he's got a lungful of tear gas...he falls back on them. Not sure he even realizes'. Kurt teleports in quick succession, while Logan lashes out with his claws, while the voice in his head assures him that he knows Kurt's patterns, that he noticed them years ago – up, down, back, left...and up again. 'Mein g -' Kurt begins as he re-appears, with Wolverine holding his claws ready to strike – inches from Kurt's face – but suddenly, Logan retracts the claws, and instead slams a fist against Kurt's head, knocking him to the ground. 'You noticed them, and you memorized them. You know...just in case' the voice in his head points out.

Back in the park: 'Please... just stop this!' Jean calls out as knocks several civilians back with a wave of telekinesis. The voice in Wolverine's head tells him that she is a telepath, he doesn't have to worry about that, but she has telekinesis, which makes her a dangerous lady – pretty, though. Wolverine moves closer to Jean as the voice in his head tells him that he needs to get her while she is distracted, and that he should use the gas for cover, as his healing factor means it barely affects him, smells like chili is cooking, that's it. 'Get close, then take her' the voice tells Logan, who suddenly emerges from the smoke, lunging at Jean. Logan has memories of her – around the time they first met, and as Dark Phoenix, and before her most recently death. 'Logan?' Jean calls out, but before Logan can strike her, a powerful surge of ice slams into him and forcing him into a tree.

'Logan! What the hell are you doing?' Bobby calls out as he moves closer to Logan and continues to cover him in ice. The voice in Logan's head tells him that Bobby Drake is a tough one, and that he has him in the deep freeze. The voice in Wolverine's head is still trapped behind the bars as he warns Wolverine that Bobby will call the others, too – and that will be that. 'Not sure you've really got a play here' he remarks, before another voice behind bars calls out 'Bub'. Wolverine roars as he tries to block the ice barrage, while inside his mind, he goes over to the other cage, where a scarred, savage version of himself is held. 'Bub' that version remarks again, while in the cage next to him is the version of Wolverine known as Patch, who tells Wolverine that he needs to be really careful, as that is the Berserker, and he ain't known for his restraint, that he is a shark in bloody waters, that one.

The ice continues to increase around Wolverine, whose claws suddenly begin to glow hot. In his mind, Logan announces that he is not just going to lay down and die – not again. He holds the key out to the Berserker's cage. 'Yeah... yeah... yeah...' the savage Wolverine calls out. 'Just calm down, Logan!' Bobby shouts, but the key clicks in place in the lock, and Wolverine's claws grow hotter. The Berserker pops his claws – they are glowing hot, too. 'Been waiting for this' the Berserker announces as he shoves his flaming claws through Wolverine's chest. And at that moment, Wolverine breaks through the ice and with his deadly hot claws, slices Iceman in half!

Characters Involved: 


Iceman, Jean Grey, Nightcrawler, Kitty Pryde, Storm (all X-Men)







Citizens of the City

Soteira soldiers

Soteira police


in Wolverine's mind:

Wolverine at various stages

in Wolverine's memory:

Jean Grey at various stages

Written By: