Spider-Man #12

Issue Date: 
July 1991
Story Title: 
Perceptions – Conclusion

Todd McFarlane (writer, artist, inker), Rick Parker (letters), Gregory Wright (color), Jim Salicrup (editor), Tom DeFalco (editor in chief)

Special thanks to Scott Williams for inking two pages this issue

Brief Description: 

Spider-Man returns to the forest, where he informs Wolverine neither the police nor Anna Brooks or Melvin Gooner believed what he claimed – namely, that Wendigo isn’t the killer but someone in town is. Wolverine leaves Spider-Man behind to watch Wendigo while he goes to the town of Hope. Thanks to his enhanced senses, he finally tracks down the killer and starts weaving a plan of unmasking him. Logan sends in a false report that leads several officers and the local tracker to the woods to find Wendigo. While Spider-Man apprehends the officers by use of his webs, Wolverine forces Chief Inspector Krahn – the true murderer – to confess his actions after threatening him with Wendigo and tapes his confession. Indeed, Krahn was the one who killed the boys, after molesting them, and he tried to set everything up so as to make everyone believe Wendigo was the one who slaughtered the boys. Krahn runs away in the woods after confessing but he is accidentally shot dead by one of the hunters. With the papers no longer considering this story newsworthy, since the monster wasn’t the one responsible for the murders, Logan stays back to dig out the other boys buried in the woods, while Peter heads back to New York, deeply annoyed by Wolverine’s methods and considering whether there are better ways of solving things.

Full Summary: 

“The media won’t believe us. The R.C.M.P. won’t believe us. Cripes! Even Spider-Man’s partner won’t,” Wolverine thinks. Spider-Man has just returned from the town of Hope, informing Logan that no one was convinced by what he told them – namely, that the one who murdered the boys wasn’t the creature but a human, someone living in town. Logan thinks he’s given them all the clues they need but everyone seems caught up in the light show. He thinks that Spidey had his chance: it’s now time to alter their tactics. He’s tired of giving people a choice. From now on they’ll do things his way – period.

Wolvie angrily explains to Spider-Man that Wendigo is here because he wants him here and asks Peter if he has a problem with that. “No! No! Just… uh… wondering. That’s all,” Spider-Man explains. “Good,” Logan replies. He explains he and Wendigo just found another body. Logan has decided he’s going into town and needs Spider-Man to babysit Wendigo for a while. Spider-Man disagrees. That’s crazy! He says he’ll go get the Mounties and then he can…

His protests are cut short by a furious Wendigo unleashing his trademark scream “Wen-di-go!” Intimidated, Spider-Man mumbles “I’m not moving! I’m not moving!” Wolverine tells Peter he’s had his chance and now it’s his. Spider-Man again protests, hoping that Wolvie doesn’t expect him to… “Wait here? You bet your rear I do!” Logan replies. He’s got enough dead animals out here to dam a river – and that dead boy there is not the last, Logan can guarantee that. Spider-Man’s friends may not want to believe him but Wolverine can be very persuasive when he needs to.

Logan urges Peter to just enjoy some time with Wendie and he will be back to give him further orders. Wolvie doesn’t hesitate to blackmail Peter, reminding him that if he decides to change his mind, the media would be quite enthused with a couple of facts. “Get my drift… Parker!” Wolverine says, insinuating that he’s willing to expose Peter’s identity to public lest he disobeys his orders.

“Yeah, yeah,” Spidey says. He approaches the newly-found dead boy, only to remark, “Oh my God, what have they done to him?” shocked by the condition of the boy. “Wen-di-go!” the beast cries, obviously annoyed. “What now?” Peter wonders. He explains he’s just trying to help; he wants to cover the boy up. Wolverine disagrees: he needs the boy out in the open so he can get a confession. He wants the murderer to see the aftermath of his actions. Wendigo will keep any predators away from the body; Spider-Man’s job is to stop the humans; Wolvie’s job is to make them pay.

Wolverine also informs Peter that Wendigo’s stomach is still mending from bullet wounds so Spidey should make sure Wendigo doesn’t get too excited. “What if he tries to go for the boy?” Spider-Man asks. Logan reminds him what he has told him: this Wendigo doesn’t eat human flesh… not yet. The creature is hiding from the hunters and thinks Wolvie and Spidey are hiding, too: there is no point in changing his mind.

Logan is about to depart when Spider-Man grabs his arm and asks him how long he is supposed to wait. Logan provides a laconic response “As long as it takes.” He then asks from Peter to kindly remove his hand before he loses it. Spidey asks Wolverine to give him one good reason why he should listen to him.

“I’ll give you more than that!” Logan replies and grabs Spider-Man by the neck, hurling him to the ground. “One! We’ve got three dead boys and counting,” he says, unsheathing his far left claw on one side of Peter’s face. “Two! We’ve got hundreds of dead animals and counting” he says, unsheathing his far right claw on the other side of Peter’s face. “Two and a half…” he adds, unsheathing his third claw and pinching Peter’s nose with it in a menacing manner. “I’m a moody little cuss” Wolvie explains. He promises Peter he doesn’t want reason three.

Wolverine turns to leave thinking he’s made his point – or, should he say, points. He swears Spider-Man is one of the gutsiest – or stupidest – fools he’s ever met. Indeed, Peter proves it that very moment when he unleashes his web on Wolvie’s back, in a last-ditch attempt to force him not to leave. Logan thinks you’ve got to admire his persistence. This time, Wendigo makes Wolverine’s point for him. Breaking Peter’s web with his hand, Wendigo growls menacingly to his face, causing a rather fearful Peter to utter “my, aren’t we protective?” Peter can feel the danger in infuriating the Wendigo since it even set his spider-sense off!


Wolvie is walking through the streets of Hope. He thinks Hope isn’t such a bad little town – but it’d be a lot nicer if some of the “leeches” weren’t here. He can tell the residents have just about lost their patience so he’d better finish this hunt. He has already covered half of the town already: it shouldn’t be a problem to finish the rest. After all, the scent coming from the dead boy is telling him that whoever did this hangs around town. This is a good thing, because Logan didn’t have time to check those who live in the sticks. As Wolverine moves through huge crowds, he thinks that the pig that killed those boys will stink of death. “Sad part is, he’s not gonna make this too easy for me” he contemplates.

“Got ‘im!” Logan suddenly realizes after walking into a bar. With his enhanced senses, he now knows who the murderer is. “Now ain’t that interesting” he thinks. It’s about time the boys’ parents know the truth.

In her hotel room, reporter Anna Brooks is writing her newest article in her computer: As we enter this eleventh day, the tension is still unbearable. I can’t believe how consuming this whole affair has been. The speculations of the uninformed masses trying to bring you the truth even more difficult. Rumors abound. I heard about how Bigfoot attacked a couple in a cabin, but the woman talked the creature out of killing her when she showed him her husband’s chest. The Sasquatch was so impressed with how hairy the man was that they bonded. I guess both were half-man, half-beast.

Anna presses the “Delete” button, disgusted by her own article. “What a piece of junk!” she exclaims. “What am I writing for, the Enquirer?” She tells herself to face the facts: Peter has her confused. If even a little of what he says is true, she’s totally wasting her time and talents. However, this is a chance of a lifetime: she can’t screw up. How many times will she get to write headline news? Besides, all this stuff isn’t her fault. She can’t control the actions of others. Instead, she has to compete with them; look out for number one. She tells herself she’s a professional; she can’t let others get to her. She has a job to do and deadlines to meet. She hopes Peter and the others can learn to live with themselves.

The new Vancouver Sun comes out. The headline reads: “When Will Sasquatch Die?” Alpha Flight member Sasquatch is reading the paper. Sasquatch is furious they use his name so freely. “This is unreal!” he exclaims. “To use my name in vain. Is nothing sacred anymore?” Puck jokes whether Walter has got a patent on the name. He tries to calm him down by reminding him Wolvie has told them to sit tight: he said he can handle it. “Eleven days. I’m not sure” Sasquatch retorts. Rather nervously, Puck insists Wolvie’s a pro.

Back in British Columbia, Wolverine is waiting in the woods. He has just sent in a false report that will get the cops moving in their direction – a report that states that tracker Luke Thorpe has Wendigo pinpointed. The inspector sends out a posse of six, all armed to the teeth. Thorpe is supposed to lead them to the beast. Unfortunately, Wolverine has other plans for him. Watching Thorpe walk cautiously in the woods, Wolverine thinks the tracker is closer to the situation than he thinks; he’s a good tracker – but not that good. Indeed, Wolverine easily ambushes him and intimidates him with his claws, telling him it’s time the two of them had a few words.

A little bit later, Logan thinks that with Thorpe in his grasp he can settle this thing his way: quick and clean. He thinks Spider-Man’s methods didn’t get results and wonders why Spidey’s such a “goody two-shoes.” As Wolverine advances in the woods and approaches Spider-Man and Wendigo, both sitting down on the ground, he hears Spidey singing the “little piggy” nursery rhyme to Wendigo! “Aren’t we mature?” Wolverine ironically remarks. “Heck, old Wendie’s a pushover once you’ve gotten past the disgusting thing he calls a face,” Peter cheerfully admits.

Logan informs Peter there’re six Mounties about a half mile from here. Three are on the northeast side and the others on the west. Logan wants Peter to stall them for him. Spider-Man is curious as to what Logan’s part in this will be. “To end this thing tonight,” Wolverine replies. Spidey admits he may not know what’s going on but if Wolverine can somehow nail this creep, then he should just do it. As Spider-Man leaves to the appointed task, Wolverine thinks that, for the first time, he and Spidey look like they are on the same wavelength. He hopes it lasts.

Wolvie spots a different guest on the south side: it’s Inspector Krahn. Logan leaked a different location to the Inspector’s group. He has already taken out the other two officers in Krahn’s group. There was no need in having a crowd: it’s the Inspector’s presence that he needs tonight. However, he thinks he must first disarm Krahn.

A rather frightened Krahn is looking around in the woods for his missing officers, Marty and Jimmy. Wolverine steps intentionally on a dry branch to get Krahn’s attention. Krahn is momentarily startled and distracted by the noise, providing Logan the opportunity to show up and tear his gun apart in an exponential speed. “Cripes!” Krahn explains. Wolverine explains he is looking for a confession and needs Krahn’s help to get it. Logan orders him to follow him because there’s something he wants him to see.

Nearby, Spider-Man is using his webs to immobilize the remaining officers. Spidey doesn’t want to hurt these guys: he just wants to run a bit of interference. He can’t let anyone see him in his Spider-Man costume, though. Only six of the men remain now, although Peter heard one of them say that the hunters will be coming as backups. Peter realizes he has to do this fast: webbing them up is best since it’ll disappear in an hour and nobody will have any evidence of his presence here. Still, he wonders, how can he get the Mounties and media to believe his and Logan’s story?

Meanwhile, Logan has just led Krahn to Thorpe. The tracker has been tied up in ropes by Wolverine. Krahn is shocked to see Thorpe like that. Wolverine urges Krahn to stand where he is and promises he’ll make everything clear. He explains the first boy reporter Brooks found, David Neusel, wasn’t killed by “Bigfoot.” Wolverine’s senses found only human odors. The reason they sent out the autopsy to Vancouver was to verify the injuries. The boy wasn’t mauled: only decomposed.

The second boy, Billy Rice, was found at Nicholl’s farm. However, Nicholl never phoned in the report: it was a setup. That boy was different: he was indeed mauled, but by dogs, not monsters – plus, he was wearing clothes; the first boy wasn’t. In addition, reports of dead animals set the humanitarians against the hunters; yet another smoke-screen. And now Wolverine has found this third boy, naked and decomposed. Wolvie stresses the fact creatures don’t change their habits: people do. “You wanted the hills to yourself, didn’t you, Mountain Man?” Wolverine screams to Thorpe, grasping him. “But your sick plan backfired.”

Wolvie accuses Thorpe of kidnapping those boys after they ran away from home. He deduces Thorpe must have figured no one would miss them. Then, he kept them and abused them; he had to satisfy his twisted need for little boys. Wolverine remarks how funny it was no one noticed the victims were all young boys. In the end, Thorpe disposed of them when he has done, burying them to rot in the ground. “You’re sick! Do you hear me!! Sick!” Wolvie screams. “This is for the boys! Die, pig! Die!!” he howls, seemingly fatally slashing Thorpe with claws.

Meanwhile, Peter has webbed up all of the men. He wonders what he should do now. Wolvie said he’d get some results but Peter somehow doesn’t trust his methods. He seems to be even more reckless than Peter himself. Unfortunately, Peter hasn’t been able to do squat. He has been handcuffed into trying to hide his identity. He thinks it’s about time he forgets his own needs.

Nearby, Wolverine, holding Thorpe’s lifeless body, turns to Krahn. “Pretty sick, huh? Fact is, he didn’t kill the boys… you did!” he accuses Krahn! He explains he just didn’t want any witnesses to see what’s going to happen to him. “I… I don’t know what y-you’re talking about” Krahn mumbles. “Have it your way, but I think there’s someone here that says differently!” Wolverine adds.

Wendigo shows up behind Krahn, uttering his usual howling. Terrified, Krahn begs Wolverine to keep the beast away; he’ll do anything for him! Wolverine suggests he starts talking and not skip the good parts. Bordering on nervous breakdown, Krahn admits it was him. The boys were having problems; they were going to run away. Krahn didn’t mean to hurt them but what if they told?! Thus, he planted the Rice boy… He had the dogs chew him before he buried him… But forgot to take off his clothes… He thought no one would notice the first boy had no clothes on… Then, Krahn stalled the autopsy and sent it to Vancouver… He figured if they got the Bigfoot then he’d be safe but the reporters, they wouldn’t…

Wolverine thinks the guy is even crazier than he thought. Krahn rambles on for ten minutes before he does something stupid: he flees. “You’ll never stop me!” Krahn screams while running away. “Idiot, I don’t need to stop you,” Wolverine thinks. Indeed, he drops a pocket recorder on the ground while Thorpe stops faking dead. Thorpe had been awake the whole time. He had agreed on this setup together with Logan. Wolvie pulled his claws before slugging him. Thorpe had been playing possum so he could hear the truth: Logan needed a witness.

Furthermore, Krahn’s confession is on tape: Logan had stolen the pocket recorder from a reporter in town. He had figured it would take the word of Thorpe and Krahn’s own voice to convince the media. Logan thinks the people of Hope trusted Krahn but he abused that power. Krahn can run but he can’t hide: when the townsfolk learn the truth he’ll get what he deserves. If not, Logan will even the score himself.

Indeed, at that very moment, Krahn gets what he deserves: running frantically in the woods, he is suddenly shot dead by hunters mistaking him for the beast.

Twenty-four hours later

Wolverine ponders on how things developed: Thorpe managed to convince the cops about Krahn’s guilt. He gave them all the info they needed. The funny thing is that the media wasn’t too happy. Apparently, a monster-killer is more exciting than a human killer. Reporter Anna Brooks eventually wrote a legitimate article based on a copy of the tape but her editors didn’t consider it front page news anymore. Anna’s article (“RCMP Inspector Kills Boys”) ended up in Section B page 20 of her paper. Wolvie thinks this must be a pretty sick world when the truth isn’t worth printing.

He also thinks the boys’ families have been discarded. The reporters got their story, now it’s up to others to pick up the pieces. “At least, they’ve still got their Bigfoot mystery” he ironically thinks. He also ironically muses that it was kind of poetic how Krahn was shot and killed by hunters who were caught up in the hysteria he created. However, there are still a few more bodies out there in the forest. The least Logan can do is take them to town and give their parents some sense of finality instead of having them wonder if their boy will ever return. Of course, that will give the parents an answer but crush any hope they might have had. “Jeez, what a mess” he thinks.

Meanwhile, Peter is on a plane heading back to New York, with his colleague Melvin Gooner sitting next to him. Peter is quite broody. “Nice job, Pete” he tells himself. “You have dead boys, dead animals and a dead child molester. Seems like we achieved a lot.” Looking out of the window, he feels like he’s getting tired by these other so-called hero methods. He believes they have to find ways to solve these things better. Wolverine. Punisher. Ghost Rider. They’re starting to make him as sick as the villains. What is scarier is maybe that this is the best they can do. He hopes Mary Jane can convince him otherwise.

Characters Involved: 




Anna Brooks (Daily Vancouver reporter)

Melvin Gooner (Daily Bugle reporter)

Chief Inspector Krahn (R.C.M.P.)

Unnamed R.C.M.P. officers

People in Hope

Puck, Sasquatch (Alpha Flight)

Story Notes: 

Most of the issue is seen through Wolverine’s perspective.

The bodies of David Neusel and Billy Rice were found in Spider-Man #8.

Spider-Man tried to convince Anna, Melvin and the police that Wendigo isn’t the child killer in Spider-Man #11.

The National Enquirer is an American supermarket tabloid which specializes in celebrity news, gossip and bizarre (usually heavily questionable) stories.

Wendigo will next appear in Marvel Comics Presents (1st series) #113, although it was never made entirely clear if it was the same Wendigo with the one featured in the “Perceptions” arc.

Issue Information: 
Written By: