Spider-Man #11

Issue Date: 
June 1991
Story Title: 
Perceptions, Part 4

Todd McFarlane (story and pencils), Rick Magyar and Todd McFarlane (inks), Rick Parker (letters), Greg Wright (color), Jim Salicrup (editor), Tom DeFalco (editor in chief)

Brief Description: 

In his Peter Parker identity, Spider-Man again meets reporter Anna Brooks and confides in her that Wendigo is not the one who killed the two boys – someone in town is the killer. Anna heavily doubts that and accuses Peter of making this up in order to overshadow her story, since it was she who first encountered Wendigo in the first place. Upon hearing Peter’s refusal to produce his evidence and source, Anna angrily asks him to leave. Peter gives her food for thought on some of the inexplicable facts of this story before he departs. Peter also hands over a folder with his theory to the local police station, causing much concern to Inspector Krahn, who later asks from Thorpe – the local tracker – to find the beast and kill it. Thorpe has also heard of some rumors that the creature may not be the killer but complies with Krahn’s plan, since he wants the reporters out of the woods as soon as possible. Meanwhile, Peter also fails to persuade his colleague, Melvin Gooner, of the validity of his claims. Meanwhile in the woods, Wendigo loses blood from a stomach wound – after having been shot by one of the officers during their fight – and collapses. Wolverine finds him and extracts the bullet by use of his claw. Logan promises Wendigo he is going to save him from all those who wish to slay him. With his enhanced senses, Logan also detects another dead boy buried in the woods, which he digs out, intent on using this as evidence.

Full Summary: 

Hope, British Columbia

Day Ten of the whole “Bigfoot” mess. Reporter Anna Brooks writes her new article for her paper: It finally happened. Someone else has seen Wendigo. As a matter of fact, six people saw it. There were officers in the bush. Hunting down this savage baby-killer, when the monster attacked them. Two are in the hospital with injuries; the others are shaken emotionally.

I understand their fear. To face something eye to eye that you don’t believe exists is disturbing. It blows all your previous assessments of life to smithereens. If a creature like this can roam the forest undetected for who knows how many years… then what else could exist? What other horrors could be lurking just outside our window without us knowing?

But know we do know. From my selfish perspective that’s good. Ever since that first night when I ran into the Wendigo with my car, I’ve wondered if it was actually real. The blood, fur and flesh wedged into the grill of my now-crushed car said it was. So, even though the attack upon the R.C.M.P. is a horrible reality, their sighting now makes me feel like I’m not totally alone. The weight off my conscience will allow me to sleep, with some sort of peace, for the first time in ten days. As for the R.C.M.P. officers, luckily they were armed. Maybe that’s why the creature chose the children. They were innocent. Harmless. Easy prey.

While Anna continues writing her article, Spider-Man crawls the outer walls of the hotel she stays in. He is happy to see the lights of her room on, since that means she’s here. Crawling to the building’s rooftop, he quickly changes to his Peter Parker persona.

In her room, Anna continues: One officer reporter that they found the creature almost instantly with local tracker Luke Thorpe leading the way. When the monster viciously attacked, the Mounties shot back. They say the “Sasquatch” was hit but were unable to determine the extent of the wounds. Does this mean we may have seen the last of…

Her flow of thoughts is interrupted by a knock on the door. Peter’s voice is heard “Ms. Brooks, it’s me, Peter Parker.” Peter anxiously realizes she is not going to like this. In fact, from what Wolverine told him, Peter himself doesn’t like this.

Happy to see him, Anna invites him in and urges him to call her “Anna.” She informs him she was just writing her column for tomorrow. “I’m sure you heard about the attack” she adds. She asks him what he thinks about it.

Peter replies that is the reason he’s there. He has been given information that strongly suggests that someone in town killed those two boys: not the Wendigo. “What?! That’s absurd!” a shocked Anna exclaims.

“I wish it were,” Peter replies. However, the info he has gotten from his source indicates this whole “Bigfoot” thing has been a sham. Indeed, the Wendigo exists but the creature only happened upon the Neusel boy. For whatever reason, Wendigo was bringing the boy’s body closer to town when Anna ran into it. However, Peter clarifies that’s not the reason he’s there. He’s here because they have a madman running around, a madman who’s a possible child killer and no one knows. Peter believes they have to let the people in on this.

“This is crazy!” Anna exclaims. Peter came storming in there to tell her that the Wendigo who was crating around a poor dead child and who attacked the Mounties is innocent? “Give me a break!” she says, visibly upset by Peter’s statements. She has been busting her butt on this story, covering every angle; so far, nothing points to humans. She doesn’t know why Peter would say this but she expected better from him. She thought he was different than the other “shark” reporters! “What would possess you to do this?” she asks him. “Because it’s the truth!” Peter fiercely replies. He assures Anna he hates this as much as she does: what’s sick is that he wouldn’t have been sent here if this was only a murder – routine murders don’t sell papers. He’s not here to ruin her story. In fact, at this point, he wishes her story were true. However, the evidence he has says otherwise.

Anna demands he shows her his evidence. She also asks him to produce his source. Peter declines, however: he can’t tell her right now. Fully exasperated now, Anna tells Peter to take his so-called facts and shove them. She’s writing the story of her life and doesn’t have time to deal with professional jealousy – and then demands he gets out of her room. Peter is sorry she feels that way. “Now it’s me who would have expected better” he admits.

Before he goes, he urges her to ask herself a few questions since she seems to have all the answers: first, why did one boy have on clothing while the other didn’t? Wendigo wouldn’t change his habits. And secondly, why have the forensic reports been delayed? – save for a few facts that were leaked to help fuel the fires of confusion. Peter has plenty more unanswered questions in case she is interested. “You know where you can reach me,” he concludes and slams the door behind him.

In the deep forest, an innocent victim – Wendigo – struggles to maintain consciousness. The creature was shot by one of the officers to its stomach; the wound is bleeding profusely. Wendigo feels a burning pain deep in its belly, although it can’t rationalize why the pain is there: the word “bullets” has no meaning for the creature. What it knows is that it doesn’t feel right. Thus, instinctively, it does what it can to help itself.

Wendigo reaches a creek and kneels above it. The beast starts hurling some water on its face, trying to feel better. The fights with the R.C.M.P. and Wolverine have taken their toll – especially with gunshot wounds to even the odds. The creature cares about none of this: suddenly, it collapses face-first in the watercourse. Wolverine suddenly appears and approaches the unconscious Wendigo – a small pool of blood spreading in the water around his body. Wolvie swears someone is going to pay dearly. He hopes that Spidey’d better be doing his job because Logan himself is getting tired of waiting.

Meanwhile, in town, Peter – back in his Spider-Man costume – sits onto some building walls in his trademark “arachnid” posture and realizes time’s running out. He thought Anna could help him with the other reporters but apparently the hype has also swallowed her up. Peter thinks that he is obviously on his own now. The problem is that he can’t risk exposing himself right now – people shouldn’t spot him as Spider-Man – because that would complicate matters. He thinks that the R.C.M.P. is his next bet. “But why do I know they’re not going to welcome the news? Or the ramifications?” he wonders. The answer is simple: he knows that because he’s been down the same path too many times. Still, Peter hopes they’ll believe some of the evidence he gives them. If not, Melvin is going to become Peter’s buddy really fast!

A little bit later, in the police station, Peter, again in his Peter Parker persona is trying to convince an officer that the monster is not the killer. The officer replies that he is getting tired by guys like Peter, reporters who just make up their own answers if they can’t get their story the proper way. Still, he assures Peter he’ll take all his suggestions in a serious and professional manner. Unless, of course, Peter produces his source. Peter has already told him he can’t. Peter clarifies the officer that it’s all in a folder which he hands over him. Peter bitterly admits to the officer that he thought they might be somewhat concerned about the truth. “We’ll handle this,” the officer replies. Not really convinced, Peter states “Sure. Thanks for nothing” and exits.

Inspector Krahn approaches one of the officers that holds Peter’s folder. Krahn asks the officer to give him that folder so as to have a look at it. “What kind of twisted mind would blame a local?” a visibly annoyed Krahn asks the officer, addressing him as “Carl.” “Who knows?” Carl himself wonders. He adds that the guy was pretty hyper and said he was from New York. “Figures,” Krahn ironically replies. Carl explains that this guy said some interesting things to them – both himself and Frank, the other officer. The Inspector can read all of what he said in the report he left behind.

“God, if this gets out we’re in big trouble” Krahn mumbles upon reading a little bit of Peter’s report. He asks his men to get Thorpe for him. Krahn wonders where did Peter get this stuff.

In the woods, Wolverine notices that Wendigo’s wound is starting to soften up. He thinks that good old mother nature works every time. Logan intends to extract the bullet. However, he hasn’t done that for a while so he decides to make sure the area around the wound is numb: he doesn’t want Wendigo to flinch on him. Playing “Doctor Adamantium,” he finally starts picking at Wendigo’s wound with his middle claw and realizes how funny it is he doesn’t get to use these claws for positive reasons more often. “Nice to know that my veg-o-matics can do more than slice and dice” he thinks.

Wolvie finally extracts the bullet. Satisfied, he thinks the operation will be a success, as long as the wound is not infected and Wendigo doesn’t strain himself. “Here’s a souvenir, bub,” he jokes, tossing the bullet to the ground. He decided he’ll give Spidey two more hours, then it’s his turn to convince the good citizens of Hope. If Spidey doesn’t come bringing good news, then Logan will go into town and sniff down the bloody pig himself: no one else is going to die while he’s here. There’s a living cancer walking around killing and it’s Wolvie’s job to make him terminal.

In the streets of Hope, Melvin is shocked by what Peter confides in him. “You can’t be serious!” Melvin exclaims. Peter is just a photographer: how could he get that kind of information? Peter replies that doesn’t matter. “Are you kidding?” Melvin insists. Everyone’s on the path to the left but Peter claims the answers are on the right: he’d better believe it matters! Peter stresses the fact he wasted an hour just tracking Melvin down. Time is crucial: Melvin will get all his answers later. The cops are useless right now so Melvin and Peter will have to do this on their own.

Melvin insists that, even if this is true, they can’t stop the wheels of paranoia now. They are in this, whether they like it or not. “Wrong!” Peter angrily retorts. He corrects Melvin by stating he is in this: Peter is just a photographer, just as Melvin said. Peter has the luxury to make an idiot of himself – and, because his career doesn’t hinge upon this story, he can let the odd piece of doubt enter in. He’s not saying he’s got all the answers. However, Peter believes that neither Melvin does.

In the R.C.M.P. headquarters, Inspector Krahn is having a heated discussion with Thorpe, the local tracker. Krahn assures him he’s not going to ask him to go out with his men this time: he should do whatever he has to do alone. However, Krahn won’t need Thorpe’s services unless he can nail this creature in the next forty-eight hours.

Thorpe drops the bomb: there are rumors that could devastate the community; for instance, the possibility that the killer might not be the monster. “What?! How’d you know?” Krahn asks him, conspicuously upset. “Just a hunch, amongst other things” Thorpe replies, seemingly glassily aloof. Krahn desperately points to the fact that they need to give the people something… anything!

Thorpe understands what Krahn needs. Krahn is not concerned about this killer: he’s worried about his neck that’s about to be chopped. Thorpe assures him he will get him his “Bigfoot.” However, it will be on his own terms; his way. He doesn’t care about catching a sacrificial pig: he just wants those annoying reporters out of his woods. Krahn assures him he’s not concerned about his motivations. It’s been ten days: he wants this creature dead by day twelve. That’s how Thorpe can have the woods all to himself.

In the woods, Wendigo wakes up, once again uttering the single word it speaks “Wen-di-go.” Wolverine is glad to see Wendie’s feeling better. “Who says you’re wimpy?” he jokes. He urges the creature not to rip his head off but instead let him tell him what’s up. He explains that if they don’t solve this little case of mistaken identity soon, the odds of Wendigo surviving the year – or the week, for that matter – are not very good. However, they don’t have control over that. What they do have control of is “where” and “when” they go. The creature needs to follow Wolverine’s lead. Logan has to find another body: that’s the last piece of evidence they might want. He promises the creature it has nothing to lose and asks him to trust him. Though the creature can’t understand, it understands something: its instinct. Thus, Logan and Wendigo shake hands, marking their alliance.

“This stinks” Peter notes aloud, sitting in a rooftop in Hope. Anna won’t believe him, the cops won’t believe him and Melvin is an idiot. Peter just can’t understand them: just because Wendigo had the dead boy in his arms and attacked the Mounties… what kind of reasons are these to assume he’s guilty? On second thought, Peter realizes he wouldn’t believe himself either. However, he can’t bring Wendigo to town: he’d be dead before he hit the city limits. “What a story that’d make,” he realizes. Wolvie could hide Wendigo: that’s not really a problem. What bothers Peter is that a murderer is down there and he can’t do anything about it. He can’t let anyone see him in his Spider-Man costume, which hinders his daytime activity. Peter realizes he’s getting to be like that “bat fella”! He just hopes Wolverine was able to find something.

Indeed, Wolverine has been able to find something. With his enhanced senses, Logan detects another dead person buried in the forest. Logan digs out the body of a young boy and holds it in his arms. “Wen-di-go!” the beast cries. “It’s been a long night” Logan thinks. He realizes for the first time Wendigo howls not with pain or anger – but with anguish.

Characters Involved: 




Anna Brooks (Daily Vancouver reporter)

Melvin Gooner (Daily Bugle reporter)

Chief Inspector Krahn, Carl, Frank and unnamed officers (R.C.M.P.)

Luke Thorpe

Dead boy

Illustrative images in Peter’s narrations:


Unknown murderer

Body of David Neusel

Story Notes: 

Anna hit Wendigo with her car in Spider-Man #8.

Wendigo fought the R.C.M.P. officers in Spider-Man #9-10.

Subsequent to this issue’s publication, Wolverine has actually used his middle claw as an impromptu operation tool at least once more, when he inserted it into Cyclops’ body to extract a nanotech bomb in X-Men (2nd series) #70.

“Bat fella” no doubt refers to DC hero Batman.

Issue Information: 
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