Wolverine (2nd series) #106

Issue Date: 
October 1996
Story Title: 
Openings and Closures

Larry Hama (writer), Val Semeiks (pencils), Chad Hunt with Al Milgrom (inks), Derek Bellman (colors), Malibu (enhancement), Richard Starkings & Comicraft/KF (letters), Bob Harras (editor & chief), black and white cover by Adam Kubert

Brief Description: 

In the forests of Canada, Logan takes Elektra to the final resting place of Silver Fox. There he tells her that he is ready to love again. Afterwards, they hop a plane and head over to Greece to they meet Elektra’s family, Stavros, Theo, Cook and Athos. Sitting around a table, enjoying a meal, Stavros tells the tale of how he met a Canadian soldier during World War II. After he discovered that his mother was killed, he was bent on revenge. The Canadian soldier provided him with a knife to use, a knife Stavros still owns. He then tells Elektra that they have been hunting down the six that killed her father for quite some time. Out of all of them, only one is left – Sawyer – and they know where he is. Upon hearing that, Elektra asks that they spare his life. That night, Stavros and his men free Sawyer from captivity in the wine cellar below. As soon as he leaves, Logan grabs Sawyer by the neck and tells him that, if he turns his captors in, he will hunt him down. When Sawyer leaves, Elektra comes out to meet Logan, informing him that Stavros never learned how to read. In the cellar, Stavros looks down at the knife he got from the Canadian soldier. The name on it – Corporal Logan.

Full Summary: 

“Will ya come with me to Canada?” he asked me, “I have to make a pilgrimage o’ sorts.” “I’ll go on one condition,” I replied.

In the forests of Canada, Elektra informs Logan that they’re all around them. Logan tells her to take it easy and don’t be doin’ nothin’ rash. Elektra asks rash. It’s a tactical mistake to let themselves be totally surrounded by wolves. They need to take the offensive, they have to… Logan cuts her off and tells her don’t be makin’ any moves on ‘em even if she thinks she got no choice. He asks her if she hears him. Elektra tries to protest but Logan tells her this is the woods, this is his turf. He orders her to just say “yes” and don’t be throwin’ down no matter what. Begrudgingly, Elektra says yes.

At that moment, Logan lets out a howl to which the wolves reply in kind. Just then, they leap towards him and tackle him to the ground. Fearful, Elektra calls out Logan’s name but finds that the wolves are just licking Logan’s face. Logan tells the wolves to take it easy and asks if they are hungry. He then proceeds to feed them from his and Elektra’s food. Leaning against a tree, Elektra mentions that she can see that the animal inside him hasn’t been wholly exorcised. Logan replies not hardly darlin’.

The next morning, Logan and Elektra continue their journey. As they do, Elektra thinks to herself that the human seems ascendant within him but could this be the wile of the beast. Continuing to walk, they reach a stream. When they do, Elektra says to Logan that he gave all their provisions to those wolves and they are a hundred miles from the nearest store. Stepping into the stream, Logan tells her they don’t need no store out there. And where they’re goin’, there’s a salt lick where the deer come and the streams are full o’ trout. Stabbing a fish with his claws, he continues that there are squirrels and ‘coons in the trees, quail and pheasant in the brush. There’s huckleberries, purslane, chicory, dandelions, morels and as Euell Gibbons used to say, “wild hickory nuts.” So what do they need a store for?

Eventually, the duo approaches a cabin in the middle of a field, whereupon Logan tells to Elektra to smell the mountain laurel. He adds that on the shady side o’ the cabin, they had sassafras, mint and juniper. Elektra asks if this is this is where he lived with Silver Fox. Logan says yeah, they were sweet times. Trudging through the grass, he leads her around back and he’ll show her where she’s restin’.

Once they get back there, the headstone can’t be seen due to the high grass. Popping his claws, he does some quick mowin’. When the area around the headstone is cleared, Elektra notices that Logan’s name is on the marker too. Logan replies that they carved that together on their door. He thought it meant more than anything he could have got made by a stranger. Elektra then asks if this means that this is where he wants to be laid to rest. Kneeling in front of the headstone, Logan says this was the place she and he called home and they were happy there. He asked Nick Fury and John Wraith to bring him back there when it’s his time. Even when they were little kids, he loved her. He told her that what was between them was forever and she laughed. That pure laugh with no meanness or hurtin’ in it and she told him that nothin’ was forever and that everything had it’s time. And their time was now.

Gathering some flowers, he tells Elektra that there’s some pain ya think ya can’t live through and never get over. But livin’ is all about pickin’ yourself up and goin’ on. He gave his heart away a few times since Silver Fox. He guesses you could say the ol’ canucklehead’s unlucky in love. There’s an old temple near Tokyo that he burns incense at for the memory o’ Mariko and the torch is still burnin’ for Heather and Jean, although the fire’s been banked. More of a warm ember than anythin’.

Back at the headstone, he says that he made a promise that he’d come back there every spring to visit when the wildflowers are bloomin’ and the winds in the mountain laurel. He was late this year, he wasn’t himself. Rising to his feet, he says that he ain’t afraid o’ man nor beast and he ain’t afraid to love again. Fear is just the beginning o’ death and he ain’t ready to take that long walk into the dark just yet. Holding out his hand for Elektra, he says that he’s just about finished there and asks if she’s ready to start her end o’ the excursion. Elektra takes his hand and mentions that it’s a long walk back to where he stored his Harley and after that, it’s a long plane ride to Greece.

As Logan naps on the plane, Elektra looks at the window and thinks to herself what strange companions they are. Here she is and ex-assassin of the Hand, once considered one of the deadliest people alive, brought back from the very brink of death. Given a second chance at life and to cleanse the darkness in her soul. And Logan, as an X-Man, he is protector of a dream few believe is possible. A victim of his own mutation, struggling against his feral nature to maintain his grip on humanity. He’s short, he’s no Adonis, but he has an honesty and nobility that she has encountered only once before in a man. Is that why she has decided to take him to a place nobody outside her family has seen? Touching his hand, she wonders if that is why she is taking him home. Home to the house between the mountain and the sea where she grew up.

At the large palatial estate, Elektra introduces Logan to an older man named Stavros and a much younger gentleman named Theo, both of whom who tend the gardens and everything else around the place. She also introduces them to a matron cook and Athos, a large, muscular gentleman with only one leg and one eye. When Athos sees Elektra he release his crutch and drops to his knees. He tells Elektra that he is unworthy of his place in the household. He was her father’s bodyguard and he failed in his duty. Elektra tells him there were six armed men and they shot him as soon as they came in the door. He lost his leg and his eye for her family and as long as she is alive he has a place in her house.

Athos kisses her hands and tells her that she is too kind. Elektra replies by giving him a hug and tell him there will be no obeisance in the house. This is the house of her roots and all who dwell in it are her family. Stavros pipes in and tells Logan and Elektra that they have waited a long time for the “little one” to come home and Cook has made her special pastitsio and horikati. This is a time for being happy, no recriminations, no regrets. He then invites them to come to the terrace where the table is set under the grape trellis.

Later, as the five of them sit around the table, Stavros tells Elektra that the olives they are enjoying were picked from the sapling she planted herself. He asks her is she remembers when she was careless with the hoe. Elektra informs him that it was so long ago, but she remembers it clearly. She killed a sapling by accident and he helped her plant another to replace it. It was in that same olive grove that they first met Theo. Theo hangs his head and says that he was young and stupid; he thought he could change the world. Elektra places her hand on his and tells him that even as a child, she saw the goodness in him. Stavros turns his attention to Logan and says that they are talking of things that their guest knows nothing about. He says to him that the little one says he is Canadian. He knew a man from Canada once, during the war.


During World War II, the English sent them a corporal to teach them how to kill Nazis with explosives and the Fairbourne dagger. He wasn’t like Logan though. He was taller, better-looking. One terrible day, a runner came. He informed Stavros that the SS killed his mother and the pig who gave the order was a Luftwaffe colonel named Schlage. Immediately, Stavros picked up his rifle and exclaims then this Schlage is a dead man, he swears it. The corporal grabs him by the shoulder and informs him that if he does it with the rifle, it, he’s going to bring down the whole waffen SS regiment on them. He then pulled a knife out of his sleeve and handed it to Stavros and tells him to take it and do it quiet, the way he showed him. He’ll come along and cover his back. Holding a shovel he says that that he preferred the e-tool for closer work himself.


Stavros tells the rest of the table that they crept into the SS compound, but Schlage wasn’t there. He had transferred to the Russian front. They got all the other though, so many of them. He still has the dagger. When Logan asks him if he remembered the corporal’s name, Stavros replies they called him “Canada,” that’s all he knew.

Surprised, Elektra mentions to Stavros that in all these years, this is the most she’s ever heard him speak about the war. What little she knew, she overheard Athos telling Cook. Stavros tells her that there was a need to speak of revenge. They have been keeping an eye on the six who were responsible for the death of her father. The two who turned state’s evidence were later found floating in the harbor, victims of gangland retribution. One died of TB in prison and another was stabbed to death in the exercise yard. Two were paroled and one of them overdosed on heroin. The last one, Sawyer, is still alive and they know where he is.

Standing, Elektra tells Stavros that she appreciates what they have done, it is what the family would have expected. It is the old way. It is keeping faith and loyalty and honor and all the things that upstanding people hold dear. But she is done with vengeance and the cancer of the soul that it breeds. She tells Stavros that, when she was nine, he held her mother’s pistol to Theo’s head in the olive grove and she asked that he spare him and here he stands today, the son he never had. She adds that today they have eaten olives from the tree they planted in place of one that died. Are not the fruits of mercy sweet? Those six did not escape their punishment. They have been pursued by furies just as surely as Orestes was. She asks them all for the life of this Sawyer. She then heads off as she must help Cook with the baklava.

Once she has left, Stavros mentions to Logan that she is a rare one. Logan agrees that she is; a pistol and a firecracker. Stavros adds that he doesn’t want to hear that he break her heart or treat her badly. Finishing his drink, Logan replies not likely and walks away.

That night, Stavros, Athos and Theo arm themselves with rifles and head to a secret room in the wine cellar. There, is a man being held captive. Stavros stands before the man and pulls out his knife. As he does, he tells Sawyer that it’s over. Sawyer yells out noooo, but when Stavros takes a swipe with his knife, Sawyer finds himself freed. As he runs away, Athos mentions to Stavros that he will go to the police and they are undone. Stavros replies that it can’t be helped; they cannot go against the little one’s wishes.

When Sawyer reaches the top of the stairs, he calls for help, runs into Logan and asks him if he speaks English. Logan proceeds to grab him by the throat and slams him up against the wall. Claws drawn, Logan tells Sawyer to look him in the eye and tell him he don’t believe he’ll track him down like a dog if he turns the boys in. As Sawyer runs off in fear, Elektra comes out and asks Logan who that was. Logan informs her that it was just a runner in the night. Elektra says “oh” and then asks where Stavros is. Logan says probably curled up in the study with a good book. Elektra answers that she doubts that. Stavros was working in the groves when he was barely six so he never learned to read.

Down in the wince cellar, Stavros peers down at the knife from the tale he told earlier. Written on its scabbard, in letters Stavros cannot read, is Cpl. Logan.

Characters Involved: 



Stavros, Athos, Cook and Theo (Elektra’s “family”)


In Stavros’ memories:


Corporal Logan

Various soldiers during World War II (unnamed)

Story Notes: 

Euell Gibbons was an outdoorsman and proponent of natural diets. He was primarily famous during the 1960s.

Logan first revisited the cabin where he and Silver Fox shared back in Wolverine (2nd series) #65. He was taken there by John Wraith with the assistance of Nick Fury.

Stavros was mentioned by Elektra in Wolverine (2nd series) #102.

Issue Information: 
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