Wolverine (2nd series) #114

Issue Date: 
June 1997
Story Title: 
For the Snark was a Roojum, you see!

Larry Hama (writer), Leinil Francis Yu (penciler), Edgar Tadeo (inker), Richard Starkings & Comicraft/EM (letters), Joe Rosas (colors), Starfire (visuals), Mark Powers (associate), Bob Harras (chief), cover by Adam Kubert

Brief Description: 

In the East Village of Manhattan, Logan is trailing the unknown entity when he meets up with Daimon Hellstorm. After a brief conversation, Logan is attacked by Lady Deathstrike. As they face off, Storm and Jean are attacked in Logan’s apartment by a possessed Helen Bach, toting a machine gun and wearing a military uniform. Jean is able to enter her mind where she faces off against a demonic being. Using her abilities, she is able to defeat him and free Helen from their control. When she does, Logan and Deathstrike, arrive after calling a truce over possession of the mysterious box Logan looks after. Eventually, the entity that possessed Helen finds itself a new host – Lady Deathstrike. Before she leaps out the window, the entity tells Logan to look at their face. When he does, he recognizes it as belonging to his former teacher – Ogun. Unfortunately, he is unable to give chase as Deathstrike is gone… for now.

Full Summary: 

Moving through the streets of the East Village, Logan, wearing his yellow and blue costume, thinks to himself that he thought that movin’ there temporarily was a good step towards gettin’ his life back on track but his past has a way o’ sneakin’ up behind and catchin’ him unawares. Some evil thing has followed him there, a supernatural entity that’s capable o’ possessin’ a telepath as powerful as Jean Grey, his teammate in the X-Men. It’s somethin’ that’s already harmed one innocent bystander. The being he’s searchin’ for cat’s souls ‘cause it gave its own up a long time ago. There’s a whiff o’ nastiness waftin’ from down the street like some cold breeze from a musty ol’ tomb.

Just then, Logan notices Kristin and Clive – two friendly faces for him in this new environment. They don’t know that their pal Logan is also a mutant with a super-human sense o’ smell who goes by the name Wolverine or that he hangs out with an outlaw bunch called the X-Men. Approaching them, Logan asks if they are all right and if they saw someone or something strange go by. Kristin replies that somebody they thought was a good friend just knocked Clive out of his wheelchair and went on her merry way. Logan asks “friend?” to which Kristin asks him what he’s all dressed up for, is he a hero or something. She adds that it was some psycho in a costume who put Clive in a wheelchair.

Once Clive is safely back in his wheelchair, Logan asks if it was a woman named Helen and which way she went. Clive points down the street and says that he should have seen the weird look she had in her eyes. As Logan walks off, Clive asks Kristin if there was something familiar about his voice.

Continuing down the street, Logan senses somethin’ is in the alley, somethin’ not quite right. Like a familiar scent overlaid by another, more foreign one. Neither is good. Seeing a figure at the end of the alley, Logan calls out to him that he doesn’t know who he is, but he don’t smell so human. Revealing himself, the man tells him thought he has been called the King of the Underworld, he assures him he is all too human. He may call him Daimon Hellstorm.

Logan asks him didn’t he used to be with the Defenders, to which Hellstorm admits that he was in a manner of speaking. Logan adds that he used to sport a pitchfork back then and asks what’s the devil’s own doin’ lightin’ up footprints in an alley in the East Village. Did he sense the same evil entity that he’s trackin’? Hellstorm informs him that his scrying crystal revealed more than he cared to know. He teleported himself there on the trail of an arcane evil he had thought long since passed into the netherworld. Was even the veil of time transparent to the ancient one? Logan, confused, asks him if he is talkin’ to him.

Hellstorm then asks about the box, does he have it? Logan informs him that it is safe with friends and asks how he knew about the box. He then asks him what the significance is o’ the blasted thing. Hellstorm informs him that he must safeguard it all costs, if it should fall into the wrong hands… Logan quips that he ain’t too outgoin’ with answers, is he? Hellstorm tells him it is because the questions are as ethereal as faith and hope.

Just then, a large shadow appears on the side of the building. When Logan mentions it, Hellstorm tells him the light that cast that umbra faded many years ago. It is the mere shadow of a revenant, an aftertone of residual mystic power vibrating on the mortal plane long after the passing of the great mage. As he takes off, he tells Logan that other matters demand his attention but he is there to warn him. The one he seeks threatens his innermost being and those of his allies. Beware, for he cannot intercede. It is the curse and the blessing of mortals that they must make the choices that determine their ultimate fate. Logan tells him thanks for nothin’ and that he’ll drop in on him sometimes and recite “Jabberwocky” with his mouth full o’ marbles.

At that moment, a voice from above tells him that he made perfect sense. Seeing Lady Deathstrike, Logan mentions that his hyper-acute senses picked up her smell a few minutes ago and asks what she is doin’ there. Extending her cybernetic arms, Deathstrike informs him that she is claiming what is rightfully hers, that which once belonged to her father.

In Logan’s apartment, the female X-Men with the nom de guerre of Storm, asks her fellow X-Man, Jean Grey why they staid behind to guard the box. They should not have permitted Logan to pursue the evil entity alone. Now, more than ever, the general populace fears mutants, they must have a care. Jean replies that Wolverine’s feral regression has pretty much halted itself and he’s more competent now than he ever was. Storm reminds her that the being took control of her and that it wields an uncanny power.

Just then, the lights go out. Jean says to look outside, half of the lower east side is blacked out. Storm then tells Jean to look at the cube. It glows, as if lit from within. She then asks if Logan told her what it contained. Jean informs her no but, knowing that it was given to him by Zoe Culloden is enough to concern her. She’s not convinced she’s always had Logan’s best interest at heart. The organization she works for – Landau, Luckman and Lake – have their own agenda. They then decide together to open the box. When they do, they see the light emitting from it and Storm asks what it is.

On the rooftop, Lady Deathstrike grabs Logan by the throat and tells him that it is the key to her birthright as was the adamantium he cheated her out of. Logan tells her, Yuriko, that she was the one who cheated herself, tradin’ her humanity for cyber bells and prosthetic whistles. With that, he slices her across the chest. Continuing her assault on Logan, Deathstrike tells him that it was her father, Lord Darkwing, who invented the adamantium bonding process by which the rarest and strongest of metals could be adhered to the human skeletal structure, thereby creating a nearly indestructible warrior – a procedure that was stolen by whoever put that adamantium in him.

Grabbing a nearby wall after Deathstrike cracks him, Logan informs Yuriko that he keeps tellin’ her, the metal’s been leeched outta him, his skeleton’s nothin’ but bone now. Pulling himself onto the rooftop, he adds that he never knew all the particulars o’ how he got the metal in the first place. Turning to see Deathstrike descending on him, Logan is surprised and mentions that he thought he ripped her worse than that. Deathstrike tells him that he did, the mad cyborg Pierce updated her systems with a self-repair and reconfiguration program. She has a cybernetic healing factor now. Logan jokingly quips that Pierce should’ve tuned up her attitude while he was at it.

Several blocks away, Helen Bach enters her apartment. As she quietly rifles through her apartment, the entity possessing her thinks that the current host is strong for a woman. Could it be that they have stumbled upon a worthy warrior host by chance? Her memories are tormented and suppressed. The “fog of battle” has obscured her dreams and hopes. Interesting channels to explore, but for now they must find weapons, or anything else they can use to tip the scales in their favor now that Logan has two such formidable allies as those two women. Where would this one keep her… In a hidden cabinet, the entity sees through Helen’s eyes the secret she was hiding.

On the rooftops, Lady Deathstrike continues her assault on Logan. As she does, she tells him to give it up; the object is hers. Logan informs her not a chance, he gave his word that he’d keep it safe. As they fall through the ceiling into a young couple’s apartment, Deathstrike replies his word, what does he know of honor. While the young couple, Marvin and Sabine discuss why they moved from Duluth to New York, Logan tells Deathstrike that, where he comes from, honor means doin’ the right thing, even if it hurts. Deathstrike answers then, surrender to her the only legacy of her father left.

Preparing himself for further battle, Logan tells her that there’s somethin’ at stake here bigger than her claim to disputed property. Deathstrike yells at him that there is no dispute. He has the box and having the box is the same thing as having the metal. The secrets it holds are hers. While Deathstrike attacks Logan, he tells her to back off and proceeds to hack and slash away at her. Slamming her up against a wall, Logan tells her he knows it’s hers, it has her family’s marking’s on it and she can have it after Culloden an’ him have a sit-down about it. If the blamed thing has to do with her inter-dimensional “bosses” maybe they can find out exactly what together. With most of her face exposed as metal, Deathstrike tells him that she has heard whispers of this Culloden woman and those she serves, she would know more. Deathstrike then tells Logan that he is many things she despises, but he is not a liar. When she offers him a truce, Logan accepts it.

In Logan’s apartment, Storm mentions to Jean that if the box is what she thinks it is, and it has been traveling back and forth through various realities. The implications are unfathomable. Whoever possesses it would have access to resources untold. She adds that Jean had said it came from Zoe Culloden who is called an “expediter” from Landau, Luckman and Lake. Jean tells her that they deal in inter-dimensional security, whatever that entails. They have a past with Wolverine; he’s even worked with them. She wonders how far they will go to protect their “investments.”

Before Storm and her can ponder it further, Helen Bach, decked out in military fatigues and toting a machine gun, bursts into the apartment. The entity possessing her yells out fools! They’ve known him for years, yet know so little about him. They believe they’ve seen Logan in his most depreciated state. Only they have seen that, and it was they who raised him from the depths of depravity. But then he betrayed them and they will have long awaited retribution. While Helen opens up fire on them, Jean creates a force-field that protects them from the bullets while she tells Storm to neutralize the shooter. Using her mutant power, Storm enacts a force ten gale should be more than sufficient to subdue the mad-woman.

At that moment, Jean says wait; that was the woman they met on the steps. She adds that she’s been possessed by the same evil entity that took hold of the juggler and they can’t hurt the host to get at the parasite. After Storm asks her what she intends to do, the entity possessing Helen tells them that compassion in battle is weakness. It saps the will to combat, it clouds the killing mind, it dulls the urge to conquer. With that, Jean uses her power to zap Helen in the head. When she does, she says that there are some of them who believe that compassion is the seat of true power and that the judicious wielding of that power is responsibility and trust.

On the astral plane, the realm of the mind, Jean sees the entity for what it truly is in all its loathsome evil. Jean then tells the entity to let the woman go and she’ll go easy on them. The entity, wearing red armor, a cape, devil’s horns, wielding an energy sword, and Helen’s body on its shoulder informs Jean that they require no mercy from her. They have challenged death itself and there they are, a force untrammeled by the grave. Taking a swing at Jean with its sword, the unnamed entity asks Jean how they would fare against a force as strong as death. Jean catches the sword with her bare hands and says that death is not a force. It is just the absence of life.

Taking the sword away from the evil entity, Jean tells it that life is the true force, the one shining miracle of the universe and if you live your life to the fullest, nothing can stand in your way. Slashing the entity across the mask, the entity drops Helen and exclaims that they are undone, laid low by a mere woman. Jean tells it there’s nothing mere about them but she guesses they leaned that the hard way. She then frees Helen by cutting her chains loose. When she does, the entity leaves Helen and her mind is free again.

Just as it leaves, Logan and Lady Deathstrike arrive on the scene. As they watch it exit the room, Logan mentions that it looks like they called in an exorcist while he was gone. Seeing the duo, Storm is surprised that Deathstrike is with Logan to which he tells them that they have the white flag up for the time bein’. Seeing Helen in her camouflage uniform, Logan begins to ask her what…

Helen recognizes his voice and asks if that is him in the uniform. Logan informs her that he has a past he didn’t tell her about. One that way too often prevents him from keeping friends like her. Helen replies that she expected as much but she’s got a past that she’s been hiding also. She was an Army Blackhawk pilot during the Gulf War. She was on a resupply mission when she ran into a hail of triple-a fire and had to auto-rotate down into the middle of an elite guard unit. They amused themselves with her for a week before they shunted her off to a Baghdad prison and that’s where the real fun began. She had two cracked ribs, a concussion and a fractured ankle when she got to the prison and she had worse when she left.

They gave her a medal when she came home and a medical discharge – psychologically unstable. She made herself a little bunker in her apartment and collected the means to protect herself from anything. She guesses she was scared of being a victim again, of being at the mercy of others. It took years, but she put all that behind her and made herself a new life, a life where she builds things instead of tearing them down, a life where she doesn’t have to be afraid and armed all the time. Logan says yeah, ain’t that what we all want.

From outside the window, the entity thinks to itself not true. There are some of them with cravings beyond his simplistic ken. He was denied one warrior host, but there is another to take her place. There is one with electric fire in her veins, cold metal in her heart and deep black hatred in her soul. She is one who has mortgaged her humanity for a cold slice of vengeance; there is one whose very mind lies open to their influence. With that, the entity leaps into the mind of Lady Deathstrike herself.

Picking herself off the floor “Deathstrike” states this is no clumsy “possession” of meat and bone, this is a rebirth. This one is a warrior born with sinews of steel cable and flesh of metamorphic plastic. One who can take them to where they can gain a new life. Reforming Lady Deathstrike’s face, they tell Logan to look upon the visage, not with his eyes, but with his heart. When Logan looks upon their face, he is shocked by what he sees.

At that moment, Lady Deathstrike leaps out the window onto the street below. Looking out the window, Logan says that they’re gone and that he’s not even pickin’ up a scent. Storm asks who it was and Logan tells her it was Ogun. He was his teacher and showed him how to be a man, that a warrior’s soul and honor are his strength. An’ by his example, he showed him that even the most noble spirit can be corrupted if he, or she, gives in to humanity’s darker instincts.

Characters Involved: 

Jean Grey, Storm, Wolverine (all X-Men)

Clive and Kristin

Daimon Hellstorm

Lady Deathtstrike

Ogun (being that possessed Helen Bach and Lady Deathstrike)

Helen Bach

Various residents of Manhattan (all unnamed except for Marvin and Sabine)

On the astral plane:


Jean Grey

Helen Bach

In Helen’s memories:

Helen Bach

Members of an elite guard unit during the Gulf War.

Story Notes: 

Daimon Hellstorm was indeed, at one-time, a member of the Defenders.

“Jabberwocky” is a poem of nonsense verse written by Lewis Carroll in 1871. It was featured as part of “Through the looking glass and what Alice found there.”

Zoe Culloden gave the box to Logan to protect back in Wolverine (2nd series) #111.

One of the times Logan informed Lady Deathstrike that he didn’t have the adamantium anymore was back in Wolverine (2nd series) #77. Maybe the upgrades she received from Donald Pierce in the Domino limited series erased her memory of that event.

Part of Logan’s past with Landau, Luckman and Lake was shown in the Logan: Path of the Warlord one-shot.

Logan last faced Ogun in Wolverine (2nd series) #89. In that issue, he had Ghost Rider’s assistance.

Issue Information: 
Written By: