What If...? (2nd series) #62

Issue Date: 
June 1994
Story Title: 
What If Logan Battled Weapon X?

Kurt Busiek (writer), Ron Randall (pencils), Art Nichols (inks), Janice Chiang (letters), Steven Whitaker (colors), Rob Tokar (editor), Tom DeFalco (editor-in-chief)

Brief Description: 

On another world, Logan manages to defeat the agents that in our world transported him to the facility where he became Weapon X. The Watcher reveals a reality where Logan never had to undergo those horrible events in his life and what happened instead. Failing to kidnap Logan, the Professor, Dr. Cornelius and Dr. Carol Hines move over to their next target: a man called Guy Desjardine. They successfully apprehend him and transform him into Weapon X, complete with the adamantium skeleton and claws. In a full rage, Guy tries to escape, but the Weapon X soldiers shoot him down. Disappointed, the Professor deems Guy a failure and decides to transport him to James Hudson’s training camp, where he is training people who will possibly become Canada’s first super hero team. Despite Walter Langkowski’s warnings to give up on Guy, James refuses this. One night later, Guy escapes James’ camp and makes it downtown, where he kills several citizens. James and his trainees go out in battle, but unfortunately end up all killed. When Logan hears about this and that it was intended to transform him into this horror, he can’t help but try to end it. He locates the Professor’s lab and steals information that can prove their involvement, and later goes over to the confrontation with Weapon X. The battle is brutal, though Logan ends up victorious after sticking a sword through Guy’s chest. Logan runs away and, despite his heavy wounds, makes it back to his hotel room, where he watches the news, which reports that Department H has been shut down though the government keeps denying their involvement. Logan takes a final drink and cheers on absent friends, hoping they’ll stay that way. The Watcher concludes that, on this world, Logan finally found his inner peace, yet this world shall never known an X-Man by the name of Wolverine. Also, with Department H shut down permanently, there shall be no further attempts to start up any version of Alpha Flight.

Full Summary: 

On another world…

Logan leaves a bar, holding a beer bottle, and heads to his Lotus car, but it won’t start. Agents sneak up on him, and point their guns to Logan’s head. He quickly jumps up, and snikts his claws open, destroying their guns! He shouts at them that they, whoever they are, should try a little harder next time. Logan quickly defeats them.

He celebrates by drinking up his bottle and, after managing to start the car, he leaves, mocking that he killed just another soldier. One of the soldiers survived, and reports back to base, asking if he should follow. The base denies it, realizing Logan will be wary of them now. Instead, he orders the man to move over to the next subject.

- The Watcher’s reveals -

In the world we know, the man called Logan was drunk, bitter and self-destructive, and thereby an easy pray for the soldiers, who managed to capture him. But this is another world, an alternate reality where possibility and chance saw things occur differently. One of an infinite number of such realities Uatu has witnessed so far, which is his duty. And in this reality, he continues, Logan never became Wolverine, never battled the Hulk, and never joined the X-Men. This reality holds the answer to the question: what if, instead of becoming Weapon X, Logan battled him?
- End revelation -

On another world…

Some time later, the soldiers managed to capture their next subject, Guy Desjardine, and brought him back to their base. The Program is aware that Guy is ex-mountain police and a former member of the Canadian marines. He is an excellent fighter and in perfect health, which makes him an ideal subject for experimenting. Cornelius puts a helmet on Guy’s head, puts him in a stasis tank and continues the painful experiment. A few moments later, Hines concludes that they are successful, and shuts it down.

The Professor wants to know about the adamantium build-up in Guy’s arms. Cornelius explains that they aren’t sure if that was a software glitch or a hardware failure, but they are looking into it. The Professor is confused, as Cornelius told him three days ago Guy would be ready. Cornelius defends that he said that before they got Guy out of the tank. The procedure was too much for the man, and he is in constant pain. Guy’s mind has also snapped, and the only way to keep that together is by drugs. The Professor orders to do that, then.

Cornelius explains they already have. They have fitted Guy with a “regulator” that feeds him with adrenaline or tranquilizers as needed. But there’s still one problem: Guy has gone berserk and out of control!

Guy has sniked his spikes open, and slashes all of the attacking soldiers dead. The Professor, Cornelius and Hines move over to a viewing screen, where Cornelius activates the regulator, which gives Guy a powerful shock and knocks him out. That’s the best they can do. Guy’s either a complete murderous berserker or constantly unconscious. Nothing in between.

Cornelius tries to explain Guy’s adamantium spikes, but the Professor stops him, thinking the project was a complete failure. But, he is aware that they can still observe the man learn from it. Hines is worried that they’ll let the monster live like that. The Professor corrects Hines not to be so naïve, as there’s going to be an explosion. But first, he wants to make sure it blows up in someone else’s face.

Meanwhile, somewhere else in Canada, a team of super heroes train their powers. Saint Elmo battles both Smart Alec and Snowbird, confident that they all know their powers and have developed them well. James warns Elmo not to be too confident, as Snowbird can still dodge his light-transmutation powers, and he has the forethought to bring up a mirror as protection. Elmo shouts that Alec is the braggart, and asks Hudson’s opinion. However, James doesn’t seem to have heard Elmo, and walks right by them and goes inside his house.

There, he gets approached by Chantilly, who reports that they have just gotten the final approval from the government house on his uniform design. She shows James a picture of it, but he isn’t interested now and wants to discuss it later. He enters a lab, where Sasquatch sits behind his computers. James asks him to stop whatever he’s doing and to follow him, as they’ve got a new acquisition. Walter follows James deeper to the building, and discovers they have captured Guy!

James explains that they can’t tell him where they found Guy, or won’t. They just trucked the man off and told James that his codename is Weapon X, and that they’d better make use of him. Walter explains to James that this is the creature they sent him information on yesterday. And Walter has also reviewed the guy’s tapes, and is aware that Guy is a complete psychopath! They’ve got to send him back.

Walter thinks it’s already bad enough they took in Stitch, but at least her anger is inwardly directed. But he finds keeping Weapon X is complete madness. James defends that the decision is already made, and defends that the entire program of creating a super-team, just so that Canada can be like the States, is completely madness. But James knows that there’s a man behind those restraints they see, a lost mind desperate for help. And how can James turn away from that, he asks Walter. Walter fears that James’ compassion will be his downfall some day and hopes that, when that they comes, he hopes the cost won’t be too much.

Later, at night, everyone at James’ house can hear awful loud noises! Everyone wakes up, and James asks what’s wrong. Scientists explain that they were ameliorating the narcotics of Weapon X, but he broke free, killed Sasquatch and is heading west! They open a viewing screen and see that Weapon X has also killed a lot of security guards. James warns the scientists that he doesn’t care about the procedure and safety protocols, but wants the authorities warned. James recognizes the place Weapon X is in and panics, as he’s already in Kenora. He orders to activate the Flight. A scientist warns that they’ve just received orders not to do anything, but James ignores them and orders to do as he says.

A few minutes later, a helicopter has been prepared and heads towards Kenora. They arrive in 5 minutes, and ask Hudson if he wants to land. James doesn’t want to, aware that they can’t do anything for the citizens. Instead, he wants to head west at full speed, as they’ve got a maniac to stop. Below, a man walks up to a woman, whose husband Thomas has been killed by Weapon X. The man condoles to Rose, as Thomas was a good man, who shouldn’t have gone like this. Rose wants to know what kind of horrible creature could have done this. Logan doesn’t know, but he promises Rose that he won’t stop until he has found him and promises that, after that, only one of them is going to walk away!

At the same time, Alpha Flight has found Weapon X, and have the hardest time fighting him. Elmo’s powers are useless on him, thanks to the admantium. Stitch tries to control her power over metal to shut down Weapon X’ harness. Unfortunately, Stitch gets too close, and Weapon X kills her!

Weapon X escapes, and James orders Snowbird to follow him, but the group is too devastated over Stitch’s death. Alec asks if they don’t better call in the help of the Avengers, as this isn’t like training. James explains they can’t, as the moment they ignored their orders, communication has been cut off, and they are now on their own. Besides, he wonders, it will take long before the Americans can even get there, and many people can be killed in between. James now agrees with what Sasquatch said earlier, and the cost is too high. He orders Chantilly to call Johnson, as they need the Groundhog armor. Chantilly wants to, but they don’t have a pilot. James corrects, as he’ll fly the plane by himself.

Logan is meeting the Department’s Director but he refuses to tell him anything. Logan is angry at this, because many people are already dead because of this mess. The Director reminds Logan that he resigned from the base, so he isn’t cleared for the information anymore. And, he’s an accident waiting to happen. The Director thinks this is a national security matter and suggests that Logan lets them handle it.

Later, Logan goes to a bar and meets up with a guy named Jack. Jack remembers that he and Logan go way back and that Logan saved his life like a dozen times, but the heat has turned up too far and Jack claims he can’t help Logan on this case. Logan knows that, but he shouts that there’s a twenty-year old widow in Kenora who doesn’t know that. Logan grabs Jack by his clothes, threatening that he won’t turn away of this just because he doesn’t know the new secret handshake. Jack agrees, and reminds Logan that he didn’t hear this from him, but mentions that he might want to check things out at Department H.

Meanwhile, Smart Alec prepares to attack Weapon X. The others try to warn him to wait for the others, but Alec thinks that the others will just get in the way and let Weapon X kill them. Alec has been watching Weapon X move and thinks he knows how to defeat him. While dodging a claw attack, Alec thinks that Stitch was right and that Weapon X’s harness was feeding him adrenaline to counteract the sleepy-drug. So Alec thinks he only has to do one thing, and snaps the coils out of Weapon X’s feeding tank on his back! Unfortunately, Weapon X still stands and looks angry. Alec panics and thinks that Weapon X’s own metabolism is supplying the adrenaline now. Weapon X slashes out and kills Smart Alec!

Back at Department H, Logan finds pictures of both Dr. Cornelius and the Professor, though he doesn’t recognize the Professor. He doesn’t find any official Department H connection for the both of them, but their footprints are all through the system. Logan bets that the two scientist think Logan can’t find them either.

Elsewhere at their base, The Professor, Cornelius and Hines are watching the news reports about Weapon X, mentioning that nobody in Canada knows what’s going on and that the government keeps denying their involvement. The scientists panic. Suddenly, Logan walks up to them! The scientists panic and recognize Commander Logan, as the one that escaped. Logan matches the events, and freaks out when learning that they wanted to turn him into Weapon X!

Logan walks over to the control panels, but the Professor tries to stop him, as he’s not no warrant to do this. Logan tells the Professor to shut up, as what he has done to Weapon X’s skeleton and reflexes, the Department H soldiers don’t stand a chance against him. Maybe no one does. Logan gets up and thanks the Professor for the loan of his computer. He has downloaded some records and some evidence, which is at least enough to prove the government’s trying to cover up its own involvement in creating a psychopathic killer. As Logan walks out of the lab, Smith and another boss try to stop him, but Logan ignores them and warns that he’s going out to stop Weapon X- permanently!

Meanwhile, St. Elmo and the surviving Alpha Flight trainees try their best to stop Weapon X, but he is still at full rage. Elmo ignores his friend’s warnings to stay back, and picks Weapon X up and flies him high into the sky! They fight each other, but Weapon X tosses Elmo over his back, and throws him on top of a church roof. Elmo rolls down, and the dies because of the height.

Weapon X uses his claws to glide down the church walls and aims to attack Snowbird next. Narya transforms herself into a giant bear and attacks Weapon X. He points his attention towards James now and, despite him wearing the Groundhog armor, Weapon X has no trouble slashing through the armor. With his final breath, James blames himself that they weren’t ready, but Narya, hardly alive, tells James it wasn’t his fault and that it was a good dream. They die together.

Weapon X howls in horror. Suddenly, he stops, as he smells something. He looks forward, and notices Logan! He’s armed with tons of guns and says hi to Guy. Logan opens fire on Weapon X, but he manages to dodge all the bullets and keep on fighting each other. Neither of the two notice that they are being watched. Two agents are glad they have found both Weapon X and Commander Logan, but don’t know if they should help Logan, since he now possesses information that could harm the government. They decide to watch for a little while.

Weapon X slices Logan through his chest. Though he bleeds, Logan still stands. He notices that Weapon X doesn’t seem to like guns, which is fine to him. Instead, he chooses to go over to plain old knives. The two continue to fight each other for a while, until Weapon X slices Logan once again. Logan bleeds even heavier than before, realizing this won’t work. He notices that Guy is too far gone, and now more animal than man. And Logan himself, he’s doing what he always does: letting the animal inside him take things over. But, Logan knows that he doesn’t have to fight like an animal: he can fight like a man and use his brain.

He and Weapon X fight each other again, and Logan jumps close enough to Guy and rips his helmet off! Logan is surprised that there really is a man underneath that armor. Logan’s heart tells him to give Desjardine another chance, but his brain tells him otherwise. Logan takes out a sword he hid on his back and sticks it through Guy’s stomach. He falls down, and dies.

Logan runs away, followed by the two agents. They follow Logan for a while, and track him down to a river. They notice his footprints and it looks like the tiny man jumped into it. The agents think that, with the heavy wounds Logan had, the cold water of the river surely will kill him, so they decided to take off.

Hours later, Logan arrives at his hotel room and turns on the TV, drinking a beer. The news reports that the shadowy Department H facility has been shut down, though still nobody can confirm who the now deceased Weapon X was. And the government keeps denying their involvement in the murders. Logan cheers his drink to his absent friends, hoping they will stay that way.

- The Watcher’s conclusion -

Uatu reveals that there will be no Wolverine in this reality, nor another attempt at creating any version of Alpha Flight. But in this world and, in a few others, the man named Logan has finally found inner peace. Uatu is the Watcher, and this is what he has seen today.

Characters Involved: 


Weapon X/Guy Desjardine

Dr. Carol Hines, Dr. Cornelius, the Professor (all Weapon X scientists)

James Hudson, Saint Elmo, Sasquatch, Smart Alec, Snowbird, Stitch, (Alpha Flight trainees)

Chantilly, John, Smith and others (all Dept. H employees)

Weapon X soldiers (all unnamed)

Channel 5 news reporter (unnamed)

Through-out the Watcher’s revelations:

Uatu (Watcher)

Cyclops, Rogue, Storm, Wolverine (all X-Men)

the Hulk

Weapon X soldiers (all unnamed)

Story Notes: 

In the Watcher’s introduction pages, he opens several viewing screens, which show us important moments of Wolverine’s life. One shows his escape from Weapon X, as seen through-out Marvel Comics Presents #72-84. Another witnesses Logan’s first battle against the Hulk from Incredible Hulk (2nd series) #180-182 and another screen shows him as a member of the Blue X-Men strike force team, as of X-Men (2nd series) #1.

In the 616 Marvel Universe, Wolverine never escaped from the Weapon X facility and not Guy Desjardine, but Logan himself was bonded with an adamantium skeleton and claws. He eventually managed to escape, calmed down and joined Alpha Flight before becoming a lifelong member of the X-Men. [Marvel Comics Presents #72-84, Giant Size X-Men #1]

First appearance of Guy Desjardine, who doesn’t have a counterpart at this point in the 616 Universe.

Saint Elmo and Stitch were first introduced in the pages of Alpha Flight Special #1, where it was established they were Alpha Flight trainees. This issue further confirms that, though it takes place on another world.

Issue Information: 

This Issue has been reprinted in:

Written By: