Spider-Man #10

Issue Date: 
May 1991
Story Title: 
Perceptions, Part 3

Todd McFarlane (penciler/writer), Todd McFarlane and friends (inkers), Rick Parker (letterer), Gregory Wright (colorist), Jim Salicrup (editor), Tom DeFalco (editor in chief)

Brief Description: 

Wolverine saves one of the policemen that attacked Wendigo in the woods moments before the man was about to be slain by the beast. Logan fights Wendigo, in order to distract him and give time to the cops to flee while trying not to harm the beast after realizing that Wendigo is gravely injured after being shot by one of his persecutors. Just when Logan goes feral in battle, Wendigo suddenly loses interest and leaves. Wolverine realizes he must seek an ally in town. Meanwhile, Daily Bugle reporter Melvin Gooner wakes up his Bugle colleague, Peter Parker, telling him that some police officers who survived the experience with Wendigo are back in town. Despite the presence of countless reporters, the officers do not really offer any kind of debriefing on what transpired. Wolverine suddenly spots Peter walking in the streets. Barely coming out of the shadows, he addresses Peter by his superhero alias and tells him to meet him in a specific spot in the woods in two hours. Curious by the presence of another superhero, Peter rushes to the meeting point in his Spider-Man colors and finally meets with Wolverine face to face. Logan explains to him that his senses have told him it wasn’t Wendigo who slew the boys but a human adult. However, the local community won’t rest until they see Wendigo slain. Finally, Logan and Peter decide to join forces in order to bring an end to this nightmare and make sure no other children or animals are harmed.

Full Summary: 

Hearing Wendigo’s howling, Wolverine rushes to this direction. Running through the woods of British Columbia, Wolverine keeps wondering why those idiots would try and kill something when they don’t have all the answers. “A few dead kids and all sense of reasoning disappears,” Wolvie thinks. He knows that to go after the Wendigo is insanity - that creature will shred them apart before they blink. However, considering what people have done to the other animals – slaying dozens of innocent animals, that is – it’s their own problem. Wolvie sarcastically thinks that he happens to be running in the right direction right now by coincidence. “Curse my conscience,” he thinks.

Five hundred meters away, a nightmare is occurring. Led by the town tracker, six cops attempted to hunt and eliminate a creature that has been supposedly killing their children. Before they could get a jump on it, nerves got the better part of one of the posse: he fired a shot at the creature – the Wendigo. Like any animal backed into its corner, the Wendigo means to defend itself – to the death. These men previously had no idea what this creature was or even if it truly existed.

Now having a bullet in its bully, Wendigo carves a path through the hunters. With its superhuman strength, the beast fiercely fights the men. It has been hunted long enough. The forest is its home: a place of safety that has recently been shattered by the sound of motors and guns and men. The forest creatures have dealt with enough. The Wendigo is determined to bring about its own sense of order.

The posse is smart enough to leave Wendigo alone, after coping with its initial raging attack. Indeed, the cops run away as fast as possible. In their panic, they exclaim all sorts of things: “They can’t pay me enough…” “No way am I gonna die for some godforsaken monster,” “We’ve gotta tell the inspector.” Another one wonders where Eddie, one of their colleagues, is. “Did the chicken get a head start already? He better not have taken the wagon,” he adds.

Eddie is in a much more unfortunate position, actually. Left behind, he is lying on the ground with a berserk Wendigo standing above him, uttering the single word “Wen-Di-Go.” Trying to sound brave, Eddie urges the creature to go ahead and kill him; he wants to see if it’ll take it as long to slaughter a man, instead of children.

Wendigo just stares. Finally, it raises its arm for the deathblow. Eddie’s mind is gripped by fear. In the back of his mind, he thinks that this is what the children went through, too.

Suddenly, Wolverine appears, like some wild banshee. He growls: a sound reminiscent of a broken glass being dragged across sheet metal. Whether it is for bravado or instinctive, the sound accomplishes its purpose: to distract. And to save. Indeed, Logan throws himself onto the man, urging him to keep his head down and moving him away from Wendigo’s range. Wolvie tells the man he’s going to state the obvious: he thinks the man should leave… now! Terrified and boggled, the man mumbles “uh, yes, sir, right away, sir” and flees.

“Those Mounties, such a polite lot,” Wolverine thinks as he watches Eddie running away. He decides he won’t pop his claws: this whole situation isn’t Wendigo’s fault. He’ll just keep on the defensive till the men are long gone. As he starts fighting Wendigo, he thinks that the creature doesn’t know he is being so charitable and this will make things a bit more challenging.

Meanwhile, in a hotel in Chilliwack, Daily Bugle reporter Melvin Gooner knocks on the door of his colleague, Peter Parker’s, room. Without Peter having even opened the door yet, Melvin shouts they’ve got a story. Some cops are back in town and said they met the Bigfoot.

Peter opens the door in his boxers. “Jeez, what time is it?” he asks Melvin. “Who cares?” Melvin replies. He again stresses they are onto something big here. It’ll take twenty minutes just to drive to Hope so Peter should hurry it up. This could be the break the need: someone other than the Vancouver reporter who can verify this creature – plus, they know what side of the mountain the Bigfoot is on. Apparently, that thing doesn’t have a chance.

Suddenly realizing Peter’s boxers have faces of Felix the Cat all over them, Melvin remarks he didn’t know they made Felix boxer shorts. Peter jokes he’ll see if he can’t find Melvin a clean pair. He tells him to come in and sit down. He’ll be ready in a minute. He also thinks Melvin is such a jerk.

A little bit later, in the nearby town of Hope, Peter confesses to Melvin that he’s getting tired of this story. He didn’t realize it would drag on this long. Additionally, all the misinformation that’s been leaked out is just complicating things even further. Melvin argues that if they can befriend one of those injured cops, there’s a chance they can all go home soon and have a great story, too. He suddenly tells Peter he sees the cops up ahead.

Meanwhile, Wolverine continues fighting Wendigo, trying not the hurt the beast. While being beaten up by Wendigo, Logan thinks that the creature is exerting itself too much. Wendigo can’t afford to lose more blood; that bullet must have hit an artery. If the creature doesn’t stop fighting, it is going to be in serious trouble – not that Logan himself enjoys this, of course. He realizes he has to do a favor to both himself and the Wendigo and end this. In fact, Logan thinks he should get into town and find an ally – let the people know what he’s found out here.

In Hope, the cops that survived the encounter with Wendigo are surrounded by dozens of reporters who ask them all sorts of questions: “What’d it look like?” “How big was it?” “Did you find any other kids?” “Is there more of them?” “Was anyone killed?” “Was there a stack of bodies?” “Why are you still alive?” “Tell us what happened.”

It won’t be long before the papers report this. Headlines include: Los Angeles Post, “Bigfoot Attacks Adults,” Chicago Globe, “Mounties Escape Death,” Daily Bugle, “Sasquatch Dines on Cops.” <>

In the woods, as the battle continues, Logan goes feral. He realizes it’s time to join the beast at its level. With a growl, Logan rips apart his costume: it was bugging him. He needs to be as free as possible. He wants to see how Wendigo will react to something as savage, as animalistic, as wild as itself.

Wolverine drags his scream out for thirty seconds. Then he just stares at Wendigo. The beast doesn’t look at him. Wolverine believes Wendigo never had a showdown before and apparently, he doesn’t like it. “Maybe he’s lost too much blood. Maybe he’s just had enough of us stinking humans,” he thinks. Whatever the reason, Wendigo just leaves. Logan decides to get to town and straighten this mess up. There have been too many innocent deaths already – on both sides, implying both the children and the animals.

In town, Peter, carrying his camera, informs Melvin that he’s heading over to the police station. He can’t believe they let those officers just run off at the mouth without any kind of debriefing. He is then going to find Ms. Brooks and see if she has any leads. He tells Melvin he’ll catch up with him tomorrow back at the hotel. “Sounds good,” Melvin replies. He also tells Peter he has the address of the tracker who took these guys out to the mountain. Maybe he’ll be useful. Just as Peter goes, Melvin urges Peter to see if he can find out when the new forensic report will be back from Vancouver.

Peter is walking on the pavement when suddenly he hears a voice behind him: “Yo, Spidey, I think I could use a bit of your help.” Amazed, Peter turns back, exclaiming “uh?! What did you say?” With his face concealed in the darkness of an alley, Logan replies “You heard boy.” He tells Peter he’s got a slight problem with this “Wendigo fella” and believes Peter can help. He tells Peter to meet him a half mile due north of town in a couple of hours. He’ll get some answers then. Upon saying this, Logan disappears into the night. He’s just as surprised with Spider-Man’s presence here as Peter is with his.

Two hours later, Peter puts on his Spider-Man costume, thinking that even though he doesn’t know what’s going on here it’s time to find out. The stranger’s voice sounded familiar and didn’t set his spider-sense off. As he starts crawling on some buildings’ walls, Spidey reminds himself that he will have to go the police station tomorrow morning and then meet Melvin to see what he found out. He also tells himself he doesn’t need these complications in his life. It’s already hard enough trying to figure out this “Wendigo” mess without worrying about some night-prowling stranger. On the other hand, he also wonders what other good-looking superhero is in town!

Traveling above town via his webs, Peter also sees as a problem the fact that this stranger called him by his superhero alias while he was in his Peter Parker identity. He’s 3000 miles from New York and some guy in Canada knows his identity: it doesn’t make sense. Peter doesn’t know anyone in British Columbia; he hardly knows anyone in Canada. Mary Jane and the people at the Bugle are the only ones from the city who know he’s here. “More questions, that’s all I need,” Peter sarcastically tells himself.

Now moving through the forest, Peter thinks he’s certainly in no mood to go through another meaningless attack like he did with that Kraven-witch last month. She was something freaky. “Heck, all the villains are freaks” he thinks. And he’ll know if he’s dealing with another in about ten seconds. As he sees the clearing of the meeting spot just below him, Peter thinks he might as well make this a dramatic entrance. Finally landing on the ground, Peter happily roars “Never fear! Spidey’s here! In his underwear!”

“Real mature, schoolboy,” Wolverine comments on Spidey’s show, while standing amidst some bushes and having a smoke. “Wolverine!” Peter exclaims. Logan reprimands him, telling him he’d be face down right know if Logan himself were the bad guy. Spidey didn’t know if he was friend or foe, why would he give him an edge? “The fool who signals an enemy, isn’t long for this world,” he concludes his speech.

“Yeah, yeah, yeah!” Peter replies. “Thanks for the lecture, pops. I’ll have the car home by eleven.” He asks Logan what his problem is. After all, Peter has been in this business longer than him. His spider-sense told him he wasn’t hostile, so he thought he’d have a little fun. Seeing Wolvie in his old yellow and blue suit, he jokes whether he has a reunion to attend after. Wolverine explains that couple seams came loose on the other one, so he wanted to put on something that reminded him of a time when he didn’t know Spider-Man! Peter is delighted by his making a funny and remarks that this guy has some potential! “You never stop, do you?” Logan asks. “Nah! Besides, it keeps me young” Peter replies, in an equally mischievous manner.

Finally reaching the heart of the matter, Peter asks Logan what brings him here: it can’t be the crowds or the hype. Wolverine replies it’s the killings: the thought of dead animals and especially dead children sickens him. He has seen his fair share of sick situations but this one is contagious. Those hunters are determined to kill everything until they get it right and unfortunately Logan can’t stop them all. Which is where Spider-Man comes in.

“Great!” Peter exclaims. Now he’s supposed to stop the hunters, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the environmentalists and the reporters. Annoyed by his protests, Wolverine tells him to shut up. He doesn’t want Peter to mow them down: just remove their motivation; let them know their target is in town; keep them out of the forest. Peter insists he’s got to have something solid and asks for facts.

Logan explains he’s got a hundred innocent animals slaughtered out in the forest by some hyper-active weenies who think “Bigfoot” killed the boy. “I say he didn’t,” he adds. Indeed, Logan went to the road where the first boy was found, where the reporter first saw “Bigfoot.” The smells told him it was a Wendigo that carried the boy there. Thus, he followed the trail to where the boy had been buried. The stench of a human adult was still evident. The Wendigo didn’t kill the boy, he just happened to stumble upon the body. To verify his suspicions, Wolverine went to the field where the second boy, Billy Rice, was found. “Know what my senses said?” he asks Peter. “No trace of Wendigo anywhere. There was only the smell of that same human adult… and dogs.”

Eventually, Logan went back into the forest to track down the Wendigo. Before he could find him, he came across a couple of his kills. Both were deer: no human flesh ever near. Logan’s problem is that the hunters continue to kill the animals: that will not continue!

“Let me get this straight,” Peter says. What Wolverine is telling him is that those two dead boys have nothing to do with Wendigo. “That is a problem,” he realizes. They’ve got an entire town believing that a seven-foot monster is going to snatch their kids and drag them into the dark. And with the media blowing this thing way out of proportion, Peter can hardly blame them.

Peter also confides to Wolverine that Anna Brooks, the reporter who cracked this story, has told him that someone is leaking information that just adds fuel to the fire. Spidey assures Logan that, based on his own media experience, he knows very well that once the wheels of propaganda have been set in motion, reality becomes a moot point. These people want a Bigfoot; they’ll get a Bigfoot. It’s the only way they’ll feel safe again. Peter also has to admit that six officers getting attacked by the Wendigo doesn’t help at all.

Wolverine clarifies that they attacked him. Wendigo didn’t provoke anything. They hunted him and when he was shot he did what any injured animal would do: he defended himself. It’s not Wendigo’s problem those cops are easily scared. However, Logan insists they’re getting off the point: the hunters, the R.C.M.P. are armed. They can shoot back. It’s the innocent animals Wolverine is concerned about. And he reminds Peter it’s the kids he should be worried about. He thinks it’s time Spider-Man makes a choice. Ever-humorous, Spidey gives him the thumbs-up and states “I’m in like Flynn.” “Okay, then let’s go catch a murderer,” Wolverine replies and they both rush to their individual missions.

Characters Involved: 




Melvin Gooner (Daily Bugle reporter)

Eddie and other unnamed policemen


Images in Spider-Man’s thoughts:


Anna Brooks

Story Notes: 

Even though the guest inkers that helped McFarlane are uncredited and simply mentioned as “friends,” in the letters page McFarlane explains he enlisted the help of Rob Liefeld, Jim Lee, Scott Williams and Rick Magyar on account of his being ill for a week and thanks them all for inking some pages of this issue.

Felix the Cat is a cartoon character that originated in the silent film era. Felix became immensely popular in the 1920s and his career was later rejuvenated when his cartoons began airing on TV in the 1950s. Today, he is still used on a wide variety of merchandise, including clothing and toys.

The “Kraven-witch” refers to the villainess Calypso, former lover of Kraven the Hunter. She tried to slay Spider-Man in the course of a night in Spider-Man #1-5.

Wolverine has previously encountered two other hosts of the Wendigo: Paul Cartier [Incredible Hulk (2nd series) #181] and Georges Baptiste. [X-Men (1st series) #140]

Reporter Anna Brooks hit Wendigo with her car and found the dead boy the beast left behind in Spider-Man #8.

Wolverine tracked down the spots where the boys were found and where they were initially buried in Spider-Man #9. Also, in the same issue, Peter talked with Anna.

Issue Information: 
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