He was the Night Man! The Night Man! Then Lokie broke the barrier between his world and Vahdala and the Godwheel, seeking power. The Night Man then found the Infinity Gems, and made many Night Men. After the madness, there were two - one who learned that the night is larger and darker than he’d known, and he chose to gain Magick through Rhiannon - and one who rejected Rhiannon as a temptress and stuck with what had already made him one of the most heroic men in the Ultraverse - they are both the Night Man! But the second one is here - there is a burst of energy, ‘Stonehenge!’ Night Man exclaims. ‘What kind of circle is this?’ he wonders as he appears on a merry-go-round at an amusement park.
Night Man leaps off the merry-go-round and declares that he leapt for the doppelganger, and looking up at a house, decides that it looks like the Cliff House, which would mean he is home, in Playland. ‘And this is a much newer park’ he decides, examining his surroundings.
‘Excuse me, Sir, but you didn’t pay for the ride’ a security guard calls out as two of them approach the Night Man. ‘Listen, we can clear this up somehow! Take me to Eddie Domingo!’ Night Man asks. ‘Never heard of him! Just come along quietly!’ the second guard suggests. ‘Never - never heard of him? The park’s gone - my Dad’s gone - what did Rhiannon do to me?’ the Night Man shouts. ‘Don’t make it tough -’ one of the security guards begins.
Night Man responds by punching the guard hard in the face, drawing blood. Night Man then runs off, realizing that he has been sent to another reality. ‘Because I didn’t choose Magick, she wiped me completely off the world!’ he supposes, while deciding that this place looks real, and feels real, but that it is not real, not for him. ‘And Dad - and Gale - for God’s sake, I’m cut off from them! I need to think!’ he realizes, continuing to run through the strange amusement park, past park-goers, he supposes that he will have to find Magick here to get him back home - but he realizes that he doesn’t know a single soul here. ‘Is that a super hero? Look at that cape?’ a woman cries as Night Man, and his long, tattered cape rushes past her.
He runs into an alleyway with graffiti on the walls and rubbish on the ground. ‘There! That’s what I need right now!’ Night Man tells himself, for while he doesn’t know this particular park, he knows parks in general, and uses a pipe on the ground to break into a maintenance hatch. He drops down beneath the ground into the maintenance facility underneath. The hatch slams behind him. ‘At least for a moment, I’m safe’ he thinks to himself. But, around the corner of the maintenance space, a hand can be seen - and three bone claws pop from the hand. Night Man rests his head in his hand for a moment while leaning against the wall, when, suddenly, Wolverine a.k.a. Logan bursts forth, claws ready, ‘Never turn your back on a Wolverine, bub!’ he snarls. Night Man looks up and realizes that he should have expected that this world has its own “ultras”.
Wolverine’s claws strike Night Man’s arm. ‘Arcade usually sticks to mechanical toys, but you’re flesh and blood!’ Logan realizes as blood spurts from Night Man’s wound. ‘Lotsa blood!’ His face hidden mostly behind his mask, Night Man announces ‘I have nothing to do with you! Don’t make me fight you!’ Wolverine asks ‘Are you threatening me?’ ‘It looks like I am!’ Night Man declares as he throws a punch, and decides that everybody wants to fight in this place. ‘Ya hit real good with the arm that ain’t bleeding, Round-Eye’ Wolverine calls Night Man, adding ‘That’s why I’m giving ya a matched set!’ as he slices Night Man’s other arm with his bone claws. Night Man tells himself that even Apocaloff doesn’t have claws this sharp. ‘But I beat that werewolf, and I’ll beat this one!’ he boasts, as he grabs Wolverine by the wrist when Logan goes in for another attack.
‘You can‘t hold me, bub! I’m the best there is!’ Wolverine snarls. ‘Wrong! That’s what I made myself!’ Night Man retorts as he slams his fist into Wolverine’s face, drawing blood. The pain in Night Man’s arms is intense, but nothing compared to his face if he lets Wolverine connect. He holds back another lunge from Wolverine, who wonders ‘Who is this guy? He’s awful good to be somebody’s flunky’, but points out that he hasn’t got any claws. Suddenly, energy crackles around Night Man’s fists, and he slams one of them into Wolverine’s body, ‘Tasers! What kinda low-rent trick is that?’ Logan wonders as he is shunted backwards.
Night Man slams another first against Wolverine, who thinks ‘He wasn’t kidding about making himself. Bad guy by way’a 47th Street photo’. Another taser-charged punch, and Wolverine tells himself that it isn’t to say the shocks don’t hurt, but they would hurt worse if his bones were still laced with metal. ‘Hey, you about through?’ Wolverine calls out, but moving his arm back for another punch, Night Man replies that he is just getting warmed up. As he delivers the punch, though, Wolverine blocks his attack, ‘You must think you’re dealing with the old Wolverine. You think this is “winner take all”. No! When ya fight me now - winner lives!’ Wolverine replies, blood dripping from his face.
Night Man shoves a fist into Wolverine’s stomach, sending the taser charging through Wolverine’s body. ‘I don’t know the “old Wolverine!” I don’t know the new one! I don’t even know where the hell I am!’ Night Man declares. He tells Wolverine that if he wants to fight to the death, then he has caught him on a real bad day. ‘Bub!’ Night Man adds. ‘You like fists, I’ll give ya fists -without claws!’ Wolverine exclaims as he slams a fist into Night Man’s face, drawing blood. ‘Whaddya mean, ya don’t know who I am?’ Logan then asks, pushing Night Man up against the wall, Night Man replies that he is not from this world. ‘You ain’t lying. You’re too tough ta be trying to weasel’ Logan decides. He reminds himself that it isn’t like guys from other worlds haven’t dropped in before. ‘But man, I still wanna smash yer face in’ Logan declares as he holds his fist close to Night Man’s face.
‘If you don’t know men, then you ain’t working for Arcade’ Wolverine decides, adding that Night Man isn’t the sixth menace he has had to fight since Arcade trapped him here in Murderworld. ‘But you were more fun than any of his’ Logan tells Night Man. Wolverine explains that Arcade is an assassin who likes to play with his prey, that he rigs up these Murderworlds, deadly versions of funhouses, and he has been after the X-Men for years. ‘Who are the “X-Men”?’ Night Man inquires. ‘Bub, you really ain’t from around here, are ya’ Logan declares, narrowing his eyes.
At the same time, Arcade is observing Wolverine on various monitors in his control room. ‘Ain’t this a kick in the head?’ he tells himself, remarking that he set up Murderworlds because they are more fun than the real world, and then some sinister fella from another world drops in. ‘Everything down there’s built to do in Wolverine! That means this Night Man might upset the old apple cart!’ Arcade declares, adding that Wolverine just showed he is the tough one of the two. ‘I’ll still have my fun’ Arcade decides.
‘Okay, we’re in a Murderworld, but we’re not trapped’ Night Man remarks, announcing that it has maintenance hatches like any complex, so they can leave the way he came in. ‘If I can lift my arms after what you did to them’ he adds, looking at the claw marks on his arms. ‘I don’t think so’ Wolverine replies. Night Man releases a charge of taser energy from the device on his wrist, while Wolverine tells his new companion to follow him. ‘You don’t know what we’re up against - and maybe that’s a blessing - but I know ya can fight, so pretend you’re an X-Man recruit - and let’s go!’
‘Go where?’ Night Man calls out as he follows Wolverine down the maintenance tunnel, while Wolverine replies ‘If I knew that, I’d be sipping Canadian at the hotel bar by now’ and explains that Murderworld is a maze - you wander and hope you can find a way out before you get killed. ‘So you have a Canada in your world, too?’ Night Man asks, as he and Wolverine enter a “Test your skill” game. ‘Yes we do! Best country in the world, but we ain’t here for geography lessons’ Wolverine replies. ‘You’re right!’ Night Man replies, before explaining that this kind of thing didn’t used to be in his line - magick, dimensions - he is still trying to come to grips with it. ‘Grip this!’ Wolverine shouts as a large weapon, comprised of numerous firearms detonates, blasting towards Wolverine and Night Man.
‘Get down right here!’ Wolverine exclaims, telling Night Man that the weapon looks to be laying down a wall of fire, but there is still some gaps. ‘Arcade’s idea of a game - how do we get from gap to gap without putting gaps in us!’ he tells Night Man. ‘You are right’ Night Man agrees. ‘I need to get my head working again!’ Night Man calls out, while swinging a rope, he hurls it towards one of the weapons. ‘You’re gonna get it shot off!’ Wolverine points out. ‘No! Because the artillery is so deadly - if I can yank just one of them sideways, I can blast all the others to Kingdom Come!’ Night Man declares, successfully executing his plan, as one of the firearms topples into the others, knocking them all off course. But he cries out in pain due to the injuries his arms have sustained. ‘Man! You screwed my arms up!’ he declares.
Suddenly, ‘What the -’ Wolverine begins as a large clown leaps up at them, cackling away, it’s hideous appearance taking Wolverine by surprise. Night Man explains that it is called a “Laughing Sal”, a feature of old-time amusement parks, without the weapons of course, as they see blades where fingers should be and a drill-spike extending from the clown’s chin. Wolverine frowns and replies that he remembers them, adding that they are supposed to get on your nerves. ‘Gotta be a stand-in for Arcade’ he supposes.
Watching from his control room, ‘Too true. Ha ha ha!’ Arcade laughs as he watches on the monitors.
The clown continues to laugh, ‘Shut up!’ Wolverine exclaims as his claws slice against the clown’s metal body. Wolverine realizes that he can’t damage the clown with his bone claws, but that it isn’t attacking them either. ‘Just a little joke’ he supposes, when suddenly, the floor beneath he and Night Man gives way, and they plummet to a flowing river of bones beneath - only it isn’t water, but taffy. Night Man lands in it, while Wolverine shoves his claws into a wooden post on the wall, ‘Not any flavor I’d wanna chew’ he calls out, but continues to fall towards the taffy.
Night Man announces that there are motors underneath which are churning the taffy, and start to drag him under. ‘Can’t fight it! Too thick - too sticky!’ he tells Wolverine, unable to get his hands free or reach for any of his weapons. ‘Is this how it ends? In alien TAFFY?’ Night Man shouts, as only his head remains above the surface. ‘Not yet, bub!’ Wolverine tells him, as his bone claws slice through the taffy. Wolverine other set of claws are still stick in the wood - just. He tells Night Man that he can hang on with the one hand and slice the slime with the other. ‘I gotcha!’ he assures Night Man, cutting him free of the taffy. Night Man manages to reach up and holds onto a beam. Both heroes can pull themselves free. ‘Only now we’re covered in stickum and smell like -’ Wolverine begins, before Night Man sees a statue ahead, with a sign, that sees “This way to the egress”.
They look at the statue with the sign on it and Night Man remarks that it is PT Barnum’s old exit sign. ‘I wonder if it’s gonna start laughing…’ Wolverine begins, when suddenly, the clown statue’s mouth opens and a chemical pours out over the two heroes, some sort of taffy-dissolving chemical, which frees them from the sticky substance. ‘Your man Arcade wants us presentable for the final act!’ Night Man suggests.
‘The final act, indeed! And then - curtain!’ Arcade tells himself, frowning in the control room.
Entering the next room, Wolverine and Night Man are confronted by a clown standing in the middle of the floor, which is made up of brightly colored squares. “A game of chance” is written on the screen behind them, and the clown is cackling with laughter. ‘Sal, again. Listen to her laughter echo in here’ Wolverine tells his companion, who replies that he is more interested in the game. ‘Squares on the floor - squares on the wall. There’s a pattern marked on the wall squares’ Night Man points out. Suddenly, a child’s rubber ball drops to one square, and bounces to another, then another. ‘You get it? It’s marking out the same patter non the floor’ Night Man tells Wolverine, before asking what happens when it bounces too far? He gets his answer, when the ball explodes.
‘Arcade’s showing us a way out - but I guarantee ya, it won’t be as easy as it looks’ Wolverine declares. Eyes glowing in the darkness can be seen on the side of the game board, while Wolverine tells Night Man to follow him as he sees the first pattern, five squares. ‘Like night follows day’ Night Man replies, when suddenly, Wolverine tells him to stop, as the eyes in the darkness step forward - bombs - more specifically, Devil Dinosaurs. ‘Arcade pulled out all the stops on this one’ Wolverine exclaims. They leap over the Devil Dinosaur bombs, and engage in the next pattern on the squares. ‘I hate that laughing’ Wolverine mutters, while Night Man tells him to watch the dinosaurs. They land in front of the clown, ‘Knock it off!’ Wolverine shouts, but the laughing just increases.
‘I said watch the dinosaurs!’ Night Man declares as he knocks one back with a taser-charged punch. ‘That’s what I am doing! Can’t think with al these echoes!’ Wolverine replies as he slices away at the clown, while one Devil Dinosaur starts chomping into his leg. The laughter increases still, while Night Man tells Wolverine that they have to move onto the next pattern. ‘NOW!’ he shouts a he grabs Wolverine and pulls him away from the clown. Night Man’s arm is killing him, but realizes that Wolverine is starting to act like an animal and is likely to get himself killed. ‘This way - left!’ Night Man tells Wolverine as he leads on him through the squares. ‘Concentrate on me - only on me! Go where I go!’ Night Man calls out. Wolverine just growls, as the laughter continues. There is another pattern, and Night Man tells Wolverine to stick with him, as they are almost there. ‘Yeah! Fading - the echoes are fading’ Wolverine replies as the laughter starts to die out. The heroes make a jump for it form the squares, and find themselves in a drain, which leads outside of the Murderworld boundary. ‘Silence - the silence of the night!’ Night Man declares.
‘Pshaw!’ Arcade mutters, slumped over on his control panel, disappointed that Wolverine and Night Man escaped.
‘It’s over. Once you’re free of Murderworld, you’re free - until the next time’ Wolverine remarks, adding that what he is trying to say is thanks. ‘It had to be done’ Night Man replies. Wolverine suggests that Night Man come with him, for although he is no mutant, there are plenty of super groups in the world. ‘I can surely hook ya up with one’ he offers. Night Man hangs his head and tells Wolverine no, and that he has survived without joining the Strangers, so he won’t join anyone here. ‘Because I’ve lost my gather! My girl! Everybody in the whole wide world I knew! Even in a crowd, I’m more alone now than anyone has ever been!’ he explains. Night Man turns to walk away from Wolverine, explaining that if he leans on anybody else, if he doesn’t face it squarely, then he is finished. ‘But I’m the Night Man, and I will take charge of any night!’ he boasts. Wolverine watches his new ally depart, ‘Well then, hang loose… hero. And Godspeed’ he calls back, while wondering to himself “Strangers”?