Ultimate X-Men #38

Issue Date: 
December 2003
Story Title: 
Blockbuster - part 5

Brian Michael Bendis (story), David Finch (pencils), Art Thibert (inks), Dave Stewart (colors), Chris Eliopoulos (letters), MacKenzie Cadenhead (assistant editor), Nick Lowe (assistant editor), C.B. Cebulski (associate editor), Ralf Macchio (editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Bill Jemas (president)

Brief Description: 

Professor X examines Logan’s memories to find out the identity of his mystery assailants. It turns out that they are decommissioned Weapon X soldiers. Afterwards, Xavier appeals to Logan to stay at the school and try to earn the X-Men’s trust. While Xavier debriefs Nick Fury, Logan joins the X-Men in the dining room, but leaves again when he sees their frightened scares. Marvel Girl joins him outside and tells him she will never forgive him for what he did. She becomes distracted as a helicopter with some of Wolverine’s opponents is near by. She goes into full Phoenix mode and detonates the helicopter, while a shocked Wolverine and Xavier witness this.

Full Summary: 

Wolverine’s dreamscape:

Wolverine finds himself floating in a tank of fluid, cables and wire attached to his body. He screams in pain, getting out of the casket-like tank and unsheathing his claws. Shadowed figures surround the tank. There’s one person, however, he can perceive clearly; a person who doesn’t belong into this scenario: Charles Xavier.

Xavier apologizes for forcing Logan’s mind into this. But, seeing as how Logan has no ability to just come out and ask for help, Xavier went ahead and started without him. If this were just about Wolverine, he’d let it go and have let Wolverine go on letting himself be punished at the hands of his mystery assailants, but he fears that this might affect the rest of the X-Men.

Logan asks if this is Weapon X. Just his memory of it, Xavier explains. The exact moment Logan found out that he had been the victim of heinous experiments that give him his adamantium skeleton and claws. Thanks to the mind-wipe they performed on him, it would be his very first memory. Xavier’s already been busy the last days, skimming through Logan’s memories, as he had surmised that this woman and her soldiers somehow have access to Wolverine’s Weapon X file. Plus, they seemed rather put out that Logan didn’t remember them. So, Xavier thought a little trip to Weapon X might reveal something. So, does Loan recognize anyone in the room?

Logan studies the shadowy figures. One man stands out: The sadistically leering John Wraith, the man who ran the project. He will go down in history as the warden of the first mutant concentration camp, Xavier states bleakly, and for that he hopes Wraith rots in a hell more horrible than he has the imagination to conjure. He asks Logan to focus on the other people in the room. Logan looks harder and finally sees someone right behind Wraith. A blonde sharing Wraith’s sadistic smile, the same blonde who is the leader of the soldiers chasing him. Memories of the time she shot him with adamantium bullets come up. Xavier tries to snap him out of it and Wolverine screams.


Wolverine lies in a bed in the X-Mansion’s medical facility, Xavier sit at his side and apologizes. Putting a hand to his head, Logan states that Xavier got into his head pretty good. He thought telepaths couldn’t do that. Thanks to his Weapon X training and the mindwipe, Xavier agrees. But he has been sitting here with Logan over twelve hours and has quite the headache. But they have what they need. His mystery opponents do seem to be decommissioned Weapon X soldiers. Who does he think they’d assign for something as inhumane as Weapon X, Xavier asks and answers his own question: soldiers trained for nothing but dealing with Wolverine. Soldiers who are trained to hate him. And, all of a sudden, the program is decommissioned, they are decommissioned and Wolverine suddenly is on the cover of Time magazine. You could see where they might be a little upset…

Wolverine apologizes. Xavier sighs that he doesn’t understand him. He had agreed to come back to the X-Men. Cyclops came to get him. All was forgiven. And, the next morning, Logan was gone again. Why?

Wolverine keeps silent for a moment. He repeats what Xavier said: that they had asked him back and said they’d forgiven him. But he can hear the whispers. He can smell what they really think of him. And, to be honest, he doesn’t disagree. So he did them all a favor and took off. Xavier hesitates then reiterates that Logan is welcome here. But he is going to have to earn the X-Men’s trust and respect. He mustn’t forget that they are still mostly children. Unlike Xavier and Logan. They need reasons to trust him. So he should give them something more than running away. They can talk about this another day. Right now, Xavier needs to make a call on Logan’s behalf.

After Logan leaves, Xavier makes a call to General Fury. Fury assures him that SHIELD will take care of the problem Xavier wants to know how this could have happened, but Fury pulls the “National Security” card. He adds that Weapon X was the baddest of the bad and its leader, John Wraith, had damn loyal soldiers. They did a psych evaluation on most of them, but…

Xavier stresses that he’d like the situation to be taken care of immediately. He doesn’t want them to attack the school. So his X-Men will- Fury curtly says no and asks Xavier to sit this one out. This is a military problem. It’s a mutant hate crime, Xavier protests. Fury cuts him off and stresses that they don’t know how big the problem is. It could be anything from an isolated incident to a widespread military conspiracy, considering the hardware those guys had. A lot of that stuff isn’t in circulation yet. Fury asks Xavier to control Logan, threatening that otherwise they will do it, and ends the transmission.

Wolverine enters the dining room. The X-Men look at him wordlessly. Jean shoots him a filthy glare. Understandably, Logan chooses to eat his sandwich outside. Surprisingly, he is joined by Jean, who asks if he doesn’t have anything to say to her. He tells her that she is the mindreader. She can a pick a thought and enjoy it. Jean states that she came here to tell him that she does not forgive him and never will. He tried to kill the man she loves. She believes in Xavier and therefore stands by his decision that there is something of value in Wolverine. But, if he ever so much as entertains a romantic thought about her, even for a second, she will use her power to stop his heart. Just so they are clear.

She continues, but suddenly breaks off. Something distracts her. She looks into the sunset mumbling that there is something and floats upwards.

Close by, there’s a helicopter with some of Wolverine’s hunters. They are in contact with their leader, the blonde who warns them not to fly any close. The men protest, stating that she wanted them to get positive ID. Tara repeats that hey are not to fly any closer. Two of the most powerful telepaths on the planet are within that mutant school. One of the soldiers boasts that he has three CC-9 missiles on board. He can launch them from here. Why don’t they just vaporize that roach motel and fry the baby mutant filth? The other man suddenly stutters “uh”. Something’s coming at them. Tara shout at them to retreat. The man looks at the screen –: it’s coming right at them. “It” being Jean Grey surrounded by the Phoenix raptor.

Telepathically, she repeats the insult, “baby mutant filth,” telling them it’s the fact that they use words like that that really gets her. Their choice of words. The Phoenix raptor lights up the sky and it is unclear whether Jean is truly in control as the chopper catches fire and detonates. Logan can only watch from the ground as Jean gets caught in the explosion. Inside the mansion, a shocked Xavier whispers, “oh, no.”

Characters Involved: 

Beast, Colossus, Cyclops, Iceman, Marvel Girl, Professor X, Rogue, Shadowcat, Storm, Wolverine
General Nicholas Fury (director of SHIELD)

Tara and other former Weapon X soldiers
in Wolverine’s memories:

John Wraith

Tara and other Weapon X soldiers

Story Notes: 

The cover mistakenly states that this is chapter 4 of “Blockbuster”. Actually, it’s chapter 5.

The X-Men fought the Weapon X project in issues #7-12. At the end of that storyline, the project was decommissioned, thanks to Nick Fury.

Wolverine tried to kill Cyclops to have another chance with Jean, as shown in #31.

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