Wolverine (2nd series) #13

Issue Date: 
September 1989
Story Title: 
The Gehenna Stone Affair part 3 - Blood Ties

Peter David (writer), John Buscema (penciler), Bill Sienkiewicz (inker), Ken Bruzenak (letterer), Glynis Oliver (colorist), Bob Harras (editor), Tom DeFalco (chief)

Brief Description: 

In California, Burt, Archie, Patch and Jessica are all in a car, discussing the events of the day when they are suddenly pursued by cops, as they are driving a stolen vehicle. However, Patch makes short work of them, after which they again ask Burt what this is all about. Burt proceeds to tell them all about the Gehenna Stone, Ba’al, and his followers from ancient times. He tells them of how Ba’al was struck down by the Hand of God. Of how Ba’al’s spirit was put into a stone, which was then smashed by the Hand of God and tossed all over the world. He also tells them how the pieces of this stone have been turning up, slowly. When asked if they could see the piece of the stone that Burt is carrying, he flips out on them. They arrive at the airport, only to be met by Ba’al and his followers. During the melee that ensues, Burt is knocked out and his stone stolen from him. Patch confronts Ba’al, but finds that he is no match. After their battle, Ba’al leaves on a plane with his followers. Patch and his crew decide to follow him, wherever it may lead them. In Madripoor, twin brothers enter the Princess Bar. They are at each other’s throats the entire time. They also have a piece of the stone. They rent a room above the Princess Bar from O’Donnell, the bar owner. Up in the room, they continue to fight, to the point where they are killing each other. Down below, O’Donnell sits at a table when a drop of blood drips down from the ceiling. When he goes up to investigate, he notices the brothers are both dead, and the stone is glowing next to them.

Full Summary: 

“Hey O’Donnell - have I been drinking that much?” inquires the bartender “Or am I seeing double?” At that same time, twin brothers walk into the Princess Bar. “Someone else who thinks their funny” exclaims the one. “My brother and I killed the last funny man” interjects the other.

Feeling smug about themselves, they walk up to the bar and order two scotches, straight up. Not watered down either, or they’ll water the bartender down. O’Donnell comes over to them and informs them that this is a classy establishment. No funny business and they require their customers to guarantee payment. One of the brothers flashes a piece of the Gehenna Stone and asks how that is for collateral. The other brother yells at his brother, Larry, to stop waving around the stone like some sort of moron. He then informs O’Donnell that they have plenty of cash, and will have more once they sell the rock his idiot brother just showed him. O’Donnell, unfazed, informs them that he is the owner of the bar and then tells them to party hearty.

San Francisco:
Wolverine (in his disguise of Patch), Burt Corrigan and Jessica Drew, are all riding in a car being driven by Archie Corrigan, discussing the events that have transpired. Patch sarcastically says to Archie, “Come with me to San Francisco, Patch, meet my brother Patch, it’ll be fun Patch, you have a way with people, Patch” Archie, annoyed at this point says to him “All right already, how many times do I have to apolo...?” At that moment, he is interrupted by the sound of a police siren. The cop calls out on his bullhorn to them that they need to pull over by order of the San Francisco police. They are driving a stolen vehicle and they need to pull over to the side of the road immediately.

Patch turns around and agrees that that is some very sound advice. When Archie asks him if he should pull over, Patch informs him that is a no. Archie then asks him what he’s going to do. Patch responds with showing them what a way he has with people. He then does a back flip out of the car.

While he is doing so, he thinks to himself of the crazy things that have led him to this point. Crazy enough to let Archie drag him to San Francisco to help his crazy brother, Burt, who had a crazy story about vampires chasing him which turned out to be true, which was even crazier. Now he’s leaping out of a stolen car to stop a pursuing police car. That last part isn’t crazy though, comparatively speaking. That’s sane.

Patch lands on the hood of the pursuing police car. When the cop asks him what he thinks he’s doing, Patch responds with, “Is that a trick question?” The cop leans out of the car and shoots Patch in the shoulder, and Patch thinks to himself that doesn’t seem like procedure. He then pops his claws; they can deal with procedures, he thinks. He knows diddly about car engines, so he’s forced to take a crash course. He sticks the claws into the hood, which stops the car directly in its tracks. Patch then flies off of the car and does a flip, landing in the car Archie is driving. He informs Archie to floor it, but to watch the speed limit. He hates to attract attention. Archie asks him what he did with the cops and Patch informs him that he persuaded them to pull over.

Archie then asks his brother, Burt, if he’s going to fill him in what the devil is going on. Jessica interjects that Burt did tell her about some kind of stone, the Gehenna Stone, she thinks, but she can’t say that she followed what he was talking about. Burt responds by saying that she is right and there is no reason why she shouldn’t know what she’s up against.

Back in the bar, Larry, one of the twins, asks O’Donnell if he has a room. They only need it for tonight, as they head out tomorrow to Singapore to sell the gem for a lot of money. The other brother smacks him again; he’s not supposed to be talking about the stone. Is he completely stupid?

Larry, completely fed up at this point, lunges out at his brother and knocking him to the floor. He is out of his mind at this point, telling his brother that he’ll talk about what he wants to. All of a sudden, he comes out of his rage and offers to help up his brother, Gar, as he doesn’t know what came over him and apologizes to him. Gar responds with the fact that he hasn’t been Mr. Charm himself lately.

O’Donnell indicates to them that if they still need a room, there is one upstairs, twenty a night, as long as they behave. Larry gives O’Donnell the money as him and Gar make their way upstairs. In typical brother fashion, they pick at each other the whole way, but they’re still brothers and blood is thicker, especially with twins. They need to remember that.

As he starts his tale, Burt tells them to keep in mind that what he is about to tell them is legend, though they should take no consolation in that it’s also true

“In ancient times, the foulest place on Earth was Gehenna. Situated just outside Jerusalem, Gehenna was the charnal pit where the refuse was burned. A place of unspeakable evil, where in view of the holiest of cities, people with blackened, condemned souls committed hideous, unholy atrocities. Their leader was a man/demon called Ba’al. His name, it’s name meant Master and Ba’al led those loathsome beings in perverse rituals. Not the least of which was the consumption of human blood. The Lord was so disgusted by what he saw that he sent a fierce warrior. He was only known as the Hand of God, and he was armed with unbreakable steel and divine right. With both, he smote the demon Ba’al.”

Jessica interjects that she has heard that smoting can be hazardous to your health. Patch, with a smile, responds with the fact that he’s happy to see Jessica is taking this seriously.

Burt continues, “Even in his death throes, Ba’al perpetuated his evil. What passed as his soul, coalesced over him and entered a glittering multi-faceted gem that his followers had prepared for him. What they had not prepared for was the righteous wrath of the Hand of God. They fought that mighty warrior, but in vain. Finally, on a field that was bloody with corpses, the Hand of God stood before the last incarnation of Ba’al and smashed it asunder. The evil of Ba’al was trapped in a hundred fragments. Not content with that, the Hand of God hurled the pieces to the four winds, never to be reassembled, until doomsday, or so the legend goes. In recent day, however, pieces have been unearthed in archaeological digs and wound up on various museums and private collections. Of course, the legend is known in archaeological circles, but no one genuinely believes it.”

Patch asks if those pieces have been vanishing. Burt responds that they have, slowly over a period of two years. Apparently, someone doesn’t want to be noticed. Good news is, they couldn’t hide their evil from him. He pulls a pouch out of his jacket and then a small stone. From the moment he saw the stone, he knew he had to protect it. He was able to make it onto the board of directors of the museum using his money as leverage. Once he did so, it was easy to make the switch. Patch then asks Burt how he knew the other pieces of the stone have been disappearing. Has it been getting a lot of press? Burt responds with the fact that no, it hasn’t been getting press, he just knows.

Several miles away at the airport, one of the “vampires” asks his Master how he knows that they will be here shortly. His Master replies with it’s because it is his job, and to prepare himself.

Back in the car, Burt continues his story. Someone claiming to be descended from Ba’al himself has arisen and has gathered some new followers. He intends to create a new race of blood-sucking creatures on Earth, but he needs the full power of Gehenna stone to do it. Patch asks him if he can see the stone for a minute. Burt screams out “No!!! It’s Mine!!” “My stone, you can’t have it!!!” Jessica tries to calm him down. Patch and Jessica agree that Burt can keep his stone. Patch thinks to himself that he knows Burt is a few bricks shy of a load, but that outburst wasn’t normal

In the room above the Princess Bar, neither of the twins are sleeping. Gar asks his brother, Larry, if he’s asleep. Larry responds with, “You’d like that, wouldn’t you?” Gar responds with that, in 34 years together, they’ve hardly ever had a cross word to each other; they’ve always had each others backs, been there for each other. Now they have the stone and everything has changed. Larry shoots back that Gar is just jealous because he is smarter and older. Gar shoots back with the fact that Larry is only two minutes and twenty-eight seconds older than he is and that he is getting sick and tired of Larry harping about it. It’s not worth it, Gar is going to sleep. Larry shoots back that Gar would like that, wouldn’t he? Gar tells him to shut up.

The car, full of Archie, Patch, Burt and Jessica, pulls up to the airport. Through one of the buildings, a “vampire” is peering through the window at the events going on. He informs his Master that he was right: they have arrived. The Master responds by telling them to kill them and to get him that fragment.

Burt points out that this isn’t San Francisco International airport. Patch replies with the fact that he’s always preferred Logan Airport himself. Archie, oblivious to the reference, informs Burt that this is where he landed his plane. Little airports like this, with the right palms greased, you don’t have to answer a lot of sticky questions. Going through official channels can be deadly sometimes. On the other side of the door, the Master and his followers gather.

Back in the room, Larry has finally fallen asleep. All of a sudden he wakes up to find his brother, Gar, standing above his bed. He yells at him to get back!!!!! Gar tells him that all he wanted to do was to look at it. Larry tells him that it’s his. Gar shoots back with the fact that it’s theirs; Larry owes him that. Larry disagrees and lunges at Gar with a knife, dropping the stone. Gar yells to him that he always knew that his brother wanted to kill him and tells him to drop the knife. Gar pulls out a knife and begins to struggle with his brother. They begin to stab at each other wildly. Eyes wide, filled with rage... death...

Archie asks Patch what he means by death? This is an office. Patch responds by repeating that there is death beyond those doors and not to open them and to back away fast. All of a sudden, a horde of “vampires” crashes through the door. Patch yells to his crew to run for the hangars. He then pops his claws and proceeds to slice up the competition. He thinks to himself that, lately, he’s been trying to keep his claws hidden because the world doesn’t know Wolverine is alive. He’s starting to realize that being undercover doesn’t mean diddly if you wind up six feet underground.

He looks over to see that Archie, Burt and Jessica are doing fine. From the hangar, emerges another horde of “vampires” to stop them from doing fine. Jessica, remembering her Spider-Woman days, starts to take out the “vampires.” Archie isn’t doing that poorly himself, he’s holding his own so far. One of the “vampires” grabs Jessica around the neck from behind while another approaches her with a knife. All of a sudden, two shots ring out, taking out both of the vamps. Burt is standing there, quite pleased with himself. He hardly got to shoot at all in “Temple of...” Before he can finish his sentence, one of the “vampires” comes up behind him and cracks him in the head with a pipe. The “vampire” then takes the stone from around Burt’s neck and yells to his Master that they got it!!

Patch knocks out another group of “vampires” with one fierce blow. He then stops in his tracks. It’s him!!! He’s never seen him before, but he knows it’s him. The same death that he sensed from the other side of the door. All right then, he thinks. It’s time to see if he can deal death a death-blow. Patch lunges at the ominous creature standing before him, Ba’al. With the raise of his hand, Ba’al unleashes a bolt of energy into Patch’s body. Ba’al says that nobody has dared to raise a hand against him, or any of his kind for a millennium.

Patch gets up and dodges the next bolt coming from Ba’al. He responds by telling Ba’al that he’s overdue. Patch pushes aside the fear gnawing at his guts and tries to gnaw at Ba’al’s guts instead. He slices at Ba’al, but the only thing it does, however, is it makes him mad. Patch then lunges at him, claws extended. Doesn’t matter, Patch wrote the book on mad. Ba’al grabs both of Patch’s wrists like it is nothing. Patch realizes that, while he may have wrote the book on mad, it looks like Ba’al published it.

Ba’al tries to pull Patch apart by the arms, asking why he can’t do so. Patch says to himself that it’s because of his adamantium bones, but Ba’al doesn’t need to know that and proceeds to kick him square in the face. He then realizes that Ba’al has fangs, real ones, not like the fake ones his followers have. Ba’al then sends enormous amounts of energy through Patch’s body. Patch instinctively, responds by hacking and slashing his way out of Ba’al’s grasp. Ba’al responds by sending him tossing him away as if he was a rag doll.

“Come my followers, we waste no more time with them” Ba’al says to his “vampires.” As they leave, Archie, Jessica, and Burt run up to Patch to see if he is okay. They prop him up as he can barely stand after the punishment he has taken. Patch, one never to lose his sense of humor, informs the group that he’s okay. He’s always like this before he’s had his first cup of coffee.

Burt then notices a plane taking off and yells to Archie that they’re getting away. Archie responds with good riddance, they’re not their problem anymore. Burt pleads with his brother that they need to go after them, even if it’s over his brother’s dead body. Archie smacks Burt to the ground and asks him what in the blazes has gotten into him???? Archie proceeds to tell his brother, angrily, that he has had enough of his craziness, enough to last a lifetime!!!

Patch starts to help Burt up. As he is doing so he informs Archie that Burt is right. Archie starts to respond by saying “But,” until he is cut off by Patch. Save your buts, or I’ll kick yours. He informs Archie that nobody flash-fries him and gets away with it. Archie, realizing he can’t win, concedes and goes along with the crew. As they make their way to Archie’s plane, Patch is worried about how the enemy knew they’d be there in the first place. He doesn’t like the enemy having a leg up. Of course, when they do, he likes to hack them off at the knee.

In the Princess bar, O’Donnell is sitting at a table, relaxing. All of a sudden, a drop of blood falls from the ceiling and lands on his table. O’Donnell makes his way up the stairs to see where the blood is coming from. As he opens the door to the room where the twins were staying, he finds them both dead, lying in a pool of their own blood, with the stone glowing like the sun in the carnage...

Characters Involved: 

Patch (Wolverine)
Jessica Drew
Archie Corrigan

Burt Corrigan (Archie’s brother)

Various “vampires” (followers of Ba’al)

San Francisco police officers

O’Donnell (owner of the Princess Bar)
Bartender at the Princess Bar (unnamed)
Various patrons of the Princess Bar (all unnamed)

Twin brothers (Larry and Gar)

In flashbacks/Burt’s story:
Ba’al and his followers
The Hand of God


Story Notes: 

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

Jessica Drew is the original Spider-Woman.

Logan Airport is Boston’s international airport, the full name of which is General Edward Lawrence Logan International Airport. Patch’s jest, of course, derives from the fact that his real name is Logan, a fact of which they are supposed to be unaware.

When Burt begins to say, “Temple of...” he is referring to the second Indiana Jones film, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.”

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