Wolverine (2nd series) #12

Issue Date: 
September 1989
Story Title: 
The Gehenna Stone Affair part 2 - Straits of San Francisco

Peter David (script), John Buscema (pencils), Bill Sienkiewicz (inks), Ken Bruzenak (letters), Glynis Oliver (colors), Bob Harras (editor), Tom DeFalco (chief)

Brief Description: 

In the courtroom, Wolverine (in his disguise of Patch), Burt Corrigan (dressed like Indiana Jones on a horse), and Archie Corrigan are holding their own against a horde of vampire beings. Jessica Drew arrives at the courtroom during mid-brawl and joins the fight, until Burt jumps out the broken window onto the streets of San Francisco, followed by Jessica and a car of “vampires.” Back in the courtroom, Patch hears the sirens and grabs Archie, after which they confiscate a police car and join the chase. Still on horseback, Jessica grills Burt about what exactly is going on here. Archie tell her about the Gehenna Stone, and how the followers of Ba’al want to assemble it. Said followers close in on Burt and Jessica, however Patch and Archie arrive as well. Patch has Archie to pull up alongside the car of “vampires,” whereupon he uses his claws and slices one of their tires, making them crash into a newly created comic shop. When a second car, driven by vampires arrives, Patch uses a few more tricks with his claws and Archie’s driving, to steer them into a trolley. The threat ended, Burt and Jessica catch up with Archie and Patch. Even though Archie isn’t happy with his brother, they all agree that they need to get out of San Francisco. Anyway, things can’t get any worse. Back at a secluded airport, lurking in the shadows, is things getting worse. The master of the vampires orders his minions to continue their pursuit, which will drive them to him, as he has foreseen – along with the reassembled Gehenna Stone.

Full Summary: 

The judge crashes into his chambers to the sounds of a fight going on in the courtroom. His robe is in tatters and he is in a major panic. He prays out loud that he lives to retirement. He collects himself somewhat and calls the San Francisco police, informing them that he is Judge Fenster down at the courthouse. He demands that they send some police down.

The cop on the other end of the line informs the judge that he can barely understand him and that he needs to calm down and explain to him what’s wrong. The judge replies with “Wrong?” “What’s wrong is, we were having a nice, simple sanity hearing when the defendant smashes through my window, riding a horse, dressed like Harrison Ford pursued by a horde of vampires.” The cop, unamused replies by asking the judge why the horse was dressed like Harrison Ford. The reply comes with a deafening tone - “Get your butts over here!!!”

In the courtroom, chaos rules. Court attendees are attacked by a host of vampires, through which Burt Corrgian, dressed like Indiana Jones and riding a horse, rides and brandishes a whip. In the middle of this is a man with a the man known in Madripoor as Patch, who uses bare knuckles to beat back the vampires. In truth, however, he is Wolverine. He tells people he’s the best at what he does. Sometimes, he’s not entirely certain what it means. This time he is, though. “No one’s better at getting into trouble than me,” he thinks.

Patch is knocking the vampires out as soon as they come up on him, thanks to his ability to have enhanced senses, and his fists of course. He notices that when he punches the vampires in the kisser, he breaks their fangs. Not a surprise however, as real vampires don’t waltz around in broad daylight. During this fight, Patch has tried to keep his claws under wraps, as the rest of the world believes Wolverine to be dead. However, he comes to the realization that if he doesn‘t keep pussyfooting around, we’ll end up with genuine dead people like Archie, his brother Burt, and Jessica. That’s right Jessica isn’t here yet, one less to worry about.

At that exact time, Jessica is walking through the halls of the courthouse, down to the courtroom where Burt’s competency hearing is happening. As she gets to the door, a body comes flying through it headfirst. In shock, she steps into the doorway. One of the “vampires” notices her and instructs the others to get her.

Through the streets of San Francisco, two cop cars rush down to the courthouse.

In the courtroom, the brawl continues. Archie, while fighting, yells to Burt that he’s going to get him for this. One of the “vampires” grabs him around the neck. Archie yells to Patch that he needs his help. When he’s in Madripoor, Wolverine goes by Patch. When he’s flying to and from there, he goes by the best pilot he’s ever known - Archie. And good help is hard to find. Lucky for Archie, he found the best. He makes it over to Archie and helps take out the “vampires” around him.

Patch notices that Burt, still on his horse, is in a bit of trouble as well. Only problem is he can’t be everywhere at once. Burt is flinging his whip around, trying to keep the “vampires” at bay. Patch thinks to himself that this was supposed to be a simple sanity hearing and it is all insane. Then again, he is the one with the adamantium-laced skeleton, claws, and a healing factor - so what does he know about sanity?

Jessica, as she cracks another “vampire” out, yells to the guy on the horse to hold it. Burt, ignoring her, jumps out the broken window on his horse, onto the streets of San Francisco. Undeterred, Jessica leaps out the window after him. As she lands on the street, she recognizes the guy on the horse as Burt. Burt, out of his gourd at this point, recognizes Jessica as Marion. Jessica corrects him by indicating who she really is and that she met Burt yesterday. Burt replies with “Oh, right.”

At that moment, a “vampire” pops his head out the window, shouting that he found him. Jessica jumps on the back of Burt’s horse and informs him that he’s not going anywhere without her. Burt replies with “all right” but asks her to not scream all the time like Willie did. All of a sudden, a car full of “vampires” arrives on the scene. One of the “vampires” leans out the car window and yells at his drive to slow down so he can get a clear shot. Burt and Jessica take off down the street followed by the car of “vampires.” In the car, the “vampires” are arguing amongst each other.

Back in the courtroom, Patch hears the sirens and realizes that they are about to have some company. The kind of company that you don’t want around; the type of company that you don’t want to have to give long explanations too. He then grabs Archie and lets him know that court has been adjourned. On the courthouse steps, the police rush towards all of the commotion. Patch looks out the window and notices that there is only one cop covering the window, and thinks to himself that it only takes one point five seconds to take one man out. No doubt about it, he’s getting old. Patch jumps out the window and takes the officer out. Archie follows course.

Patch informs Archie that he’s driving the police car they’re getting into. “Me?” asks Archie. Patch tells him that he’s the pilot. They take off after the horse. Following should be easy with Wolverine’s tracking ability. Out of the courthouse come another gang of “vampires.” They all pile into another police car and follow Archie and Patch. Their master will be pleased with them, one pronounces.

At a secluded airport, one of the “vampires” tells his master that he doesn’t understand. Why are they hiding out there, when they should be out pursuing the possessor of the stone fragments? He is standing over a young man, dead, with puncture holes in his neck. Besides, it’s not that he is doubting his mater, but... His master interrupts his train of thought. It’s because the job of pursuing is his minions, not his. They are to drive the ones they seek to him and they shall, he has foreseen it in the Gehenna Stone. As he says this, he holds up a spherical stone, which is missing only a few pieces.

Back in the streets of San Francisco, Archie is yelling at Patch that he can’t believe that he’s driving a stolen cop car. Patch replies by telling him that he should think of this as a test drive and also to turn left there. If he remembers Frisco right, they’re heading towards Fisherman's Wharf.

Up ahead, Jessica begins to grill Burt about what exactly is going on here. Archie responds that it is all about the Gehenna Stone. The followers of Ba’al want to assemble it. Jessica replies that sure, everybody knows that. Now what the devil is the Gehenna Stone? Burt answers - it’s an orb, about the size of a softball composed of several dozen fragments. One of which surfaced at the San Francisco museum of antiquities. The followers of Ba’al came to steal it, as he knew they would. So, he stole it first. Jessica is shocked and dismayed. As they continue to barrel down the streets, Jessica calls out to the fleeing pedestrians to look out, one side, nutcase on board. Burt asks if they can please refrain from name-calling please.

The first car of “vampires” is starting to close in on Burt and Jessica. Archie and Patch aren’t that far behind. Archie points out that they are close. Patch replies by saying he has eyes. Thinking twice about this, he corrects. “I mean eye. Skip it, just step on it.” Up on the horse, Burt mentions to Jessica that their pursuers are quite persistent, just like the Nazis. Jessica asks how he dealt with the Nazis. Burt responds that he used divine intervention. Jessica then indicates that the Lord helps those who help themselves and pulls the gun out of Burt’s holster. She turns and fires at the chasing car, blowing out their windshield.

Burt turns the next corner and the pursuing car overshoots the corner completely. Just then, the street goes sharply down. They hit it like a ramp and go airborne!!!! When they finally land, the cop car that Archie and Patch were in crashes into them. After the accident, the car with the “vampires” takes off, while Patch yells at Archie to get this crate moving. Only problem is: their car has stalled out.

Way up ahead, Burt and Jessica think that they have lost their pursuers when, all of a sudden, a car comes screeching around the corner in front of them. They take off again, and Burt mutters that there’s never a police car when you need it. Just then, Patch and Archie come flying down the street. Patch tells Archie to move it, show them life in the fast lane.

Oblivious to what’s going on, a man is on top of a ladder hanging a “Grand Opening” banner above his new comic shop, with Spider-Man on the window. A passerby asks him what type of store it is. He responds by telling him that it’s called “Page after Page” comics. He carries comics mostly. Used to have a store in Vegas. Got wrecked and his friend, Bill Liebowitz, suggested that he move out here. It’s quieter.

Back on the street, Patch and Archie are catching up to the “vampire” car, and Patch instructs Archie to pull up alongside them. He then hangs out the window upside down. Archie asks him what he is doing and the answer he gets is “Aerobics, now clam up and drive.”

Up ahead, Burt and Jessica are trying to get away. Burt tells Jessica that their pursuers are catching up and that it may be better for her to jump off, this could get ugly. Jessica declines. Miss all this fun, no way!

Back further, Patch pops his claws and shreds the rear left tire of the car filled with “vampires.” The car with the shred tire starts to lose control but somehow gains it back. Patch then shreds the front left tire. Without all of the left side tires, the car loses complete control and slams into the comic shop much to the dismay of the owner.

As Patch sheathes his claws and starts to pull himself back into the car, the second car of “vampires,” the ones in the police car, take a shot and hit Patch right above his eye. In the car of “vampires,” the driver tells the one with the gun to ignore the runt and to shoot out the tires. The shooter snaps back with the fact that it is his gun, and he can shoot whatever he wants. Another shot rings out, this one hits Patch in the shoulder.

At this point, Patch’s head is still ringing from the shot he took to it. He can’t think, Archie is yelling something, can’t hear him, head’s pounding, or is it hooves?

The pursuers have run out of ammo, but they have come up with a plan; they’re going to ram the car that Archie and Patch are in. They pull alongside the side that Patch is hanging out of. Patch thinks to himself that he refuses to die, upside down – it’s too stupid, got to get it together. Just then, the pursuers ram the car on the side, squishing Patch. They back off and notice that he is still moving. They hit him again.

In the car, Archie is panicking. The “vampires” are quite happy with themselves, the runt has to be dead at this point. The passenger yells to the other one to look out… there is an oncoming trolley. Passengers of the train start to jump off of the trolley in horror.

Patch is still hanging out of the car upside down and then pops his claws and sticks them into the side of the “vampires” car. Inside the “vampires” car, they are panicking; they need to veer off. The driver informs them that he can’t. Then they see why, there are claws sticking through the door, keeping them on course.

From the police car, Archie yells to Patch and asks him what’s going on. Patch tells him to keep going straight until he says so; trust him. As the trolley approaches both of the cars, Patch rescinds his claws and yells to Archie to veer off. As soon as he does, the “vampire” car slams into the trolley, exploding it. From up ahead, Burt and Jessica look back in complete shock.

Back in Archie and Patch’s police car, Archie asks Patch what the blazes just happened out there. Patch responds with they caught the trolley.

Burt and Jessica catch up with Archie and Patch. Burt mentions to Archie that he thought that was him behind the wheel. Archie angrily tells Burt that he would like to see Burt under a wheel, like maybe the front tire, you crazy son of a... Burt responds by telling him to calm his temper; ladies are present. Patch calms things down by telling everybody that they haven’t got time for this. Frisco’s about to get hotter than those vampires over there, they need to get back to Madripoor.

Archie, in complete shock, responds “Madripoor, with him????????” Patch lets him know that yes, with him. Either that or Burt spends the next couple of centuries in jail. Archie, fed up by this point, tells him that is fine with him. Patch says good, you explain it to him while I get us something less conspicuous than a cop car. He then jumps into a convertible and slices the lockbar with his claws and then hotwires the car. “Of course kids... don’t try this at home,” he thinks.

They all pile into the car when Patch says to Archie that he thought he was going to leave Indy behind. Archie, annoyed, tells Patch to clam it. Way he figures it, whether he’s along or not, things can’t get any worse.

Back at the airport, lurking in the shadows, is things getting worse...

Characters Involved: 

Patch (Wolverine)

Jessica Drew
Archie Corrigan

Various vampires (Maroney is the only named one)

Burt Corrigan (Archie’s brother)
Ruth (Archie's’ aunt)

Judge Fenster
Mr. Schoenfeld (Burt’s attorney)
Ruth’s attorney (unnamed)

Various residents of San Francisco (all unnamed)

Horse (unnamed)

Various police officers (all unnamed)

Dead worker at the airport (unnamed)

Story Notes: 

This is the second part of “The Gehenna Stone Affair” that runs from Wolverine (2nd Series) #11-16, during which the title went bi-weekly.

The title of the story, “ the Straits of San Francisco,” is most likely a pun on the on the 1970s television series, “the Streets of San Francisco,” which propelled Michael Douglas to stardom. The logo of the title is in the format of the logo to the Indiana Jones films, which are referenced through the story.

Marion was in “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” She was the daughter of the archaeologist who trained Indiana Jones.

Willie was in “The Temple of Doom.” She was a singer in a club that Indiana Jones went to and later accompanied him on his journeys.

Madripoor is a small island nation located to the south of Singapore. It is a haven for international criminals and where money can buy you anything.

Jessica Drew is the original Spider-Woman.

This Issue has been reprinted in:

Written By: