Wolverine (2nd series) #134

Issue Date: 
February 1999
Story Title: 
Choice in the Matter

Erik Larsen (writer), Jeff Matsuda (penciler), Jonathan Sibal (inker), Jason Wright (colors), Richard Starkings & Comicraft/EM (letters), Mark Powers (editor), Bob Harras (editor in chief)

Brief Description: 

In New York, a possessed Wolverine takes down several heroes in small groups. The heroes include Warbird – Vision, Justice, and Firestar – Moon Knight – U.S. Agent, Falcon, and Black Widow – Solo and Cardiac – Rage, Darkhawk, and Speedball – Black Cat and Human Torch. After taking them all down, Logan demands to know what the alien’s agenda is. She eventually does tell him and says that they must leave immediately. Up in space, the Collector learns of his escapee’s plans from one of his followers and is determined to stop her.

Full Summary: 

“It’s my worst nightmare. Something snaps inside me, and in less time than it takes to think, I end up hurtin’ someone I care about real bad. I can see what’s happenin’ and I know what’s goin’ on but I’m powerless to stop it until it’s too late.” Possessed by a pointy eared female alien, Logan slashes Warbird in the stomach.

Logan then thinks to himself that this is not a dream though, it’s the real thing. The woman lyin’ wounded at his feet goes by the name o’ Warbird but he knows her better as Carol Danvers. As friends go, they don’t come much better’n Carol, which makes it all the more difficult for him to figure why he’d take his claws to her. To say nothin’ of how things must look to New York’s finest.

At that moment, a New York policemen points his gun at Logan and tells him to get his hands where he can see ‘em and to back away from the woman, real slow. He doesn’t know what’s gotten into him, but he’s not taking any… Without warning, Logan lunges out and slashes Sergeant Pierce across his stomach. Logan thinks to himself that what he just did doesn’t help much. But all of a sudden, he ain’t in control. It seems like he’s watchin’ himself. He wants to get away from here before he hurts anyone else, but it’s like he’s trapped in his own body. It’s impossible to control his own actions (depicted by the fallen police officers by his hand), difficult to even think. He wishes there was somebody who could help but… cripes.

Before him, Logan sees Vision, Justice an’ Firestar – three o’ the Avengers last he checked. The kids joined up an’ the media made a big flamin’ stink about their new roster. He doesn’t make it a habit to keep tabs on the guys but it was blamed near everywhere. Vision speaks up and tells Wolverine to cease his hostile actions immediately or they will be forced to bring him in on federal authority. Justice adds that they heard him and Warbird had a situation down there with some mutant woman named Powerhouse but, from the looks of things, they handled it okay on their own. He then asks him where he is off to in such a hurry. Logan ignores Justice, grabs Vision, and mutters must test this vessel. Vision asks him what he thinks he’s doing.

Just then, a policeman calls out to Vision to watch out; his attacker just flipped out and attacked his buddy Warbird. Levitating into the air, Firestar states that she knew something wasn’t right there and tells Vision to get away. Instinctively, Logan throws Vision into Firestar and they both crash into a nearby CBS van. While he does so, Logan thinks to himself this ain’t exactly gettin’ better as it goes on. He came down there to stop the evil mutant, Powerhouse from tearin’ up the United Nations’ building, but he might as well have signed up to help for all the good he’s doin’. If he could just clear his head…

Before he can figure out anything more, Justice blasts Logan with a burst of telekinetic energy. As he does, he tells him that Angel and Vision didn’t know what they were up against but he sees exactly what is going on and he’s not letting him put one over on him. His body frozen, thanks to Justice’s blast, Logan thinks to himself that the kid’s talkin’ tough but he’s scared. He also realizes that his blast seems to be doin’ the trick though, he can’ move. In his mind, he’s breathin’ a sigh of relief.

Reaching out to him, Justice tells Wolverine that no one is out to hurt him. They all know he’s a good man; they just want to find out what’s going on. Why did he attack them and what happened earlier with Warbird? Logan says help, he n-needs help. Justice begins to tell him that they want to help him and to calm down and try not to… Logan takes the opening to slash Justice and is able to escape. As he does, he causes a car crash. Lying on the ground in pain, Justice knows that was stupid. He shouldn’t have let up on his TK blast.

In an alley, Logan thinks to himself that whatever’s got a hold o’ him, he’s fightin’ it tooth an’ nail. Aloud, Logan asks what in blazes is wrong with him, he… At that moment, Logan realizes that he’s back in th’ driver’s seat, he’s in control again. The female alien inside of him asks by name if he really is. Struggling to get his thoughts together, Logan tells her that he doesn’t know what her game is but she picked the wrong head to jump inside. The female alien replies that on the contrary, she thinks she made an excellent choice. He is everything she needs and more.

While Logan goes back under the control of his possessor, a man rushes up behind him and yells at him for busting up his car and starts to threaten him. Logan proceeds to turn around and pop his claws. In his mind, Logan fights with the alien not to do it. The gut isn’t a threat; he’s all talk. The alien states perhaps and adds that claws are much cruder than she’d expected. Logan asks expected, what is she going on about.

As the man runs off, Moon Knight appears and drives both of his feet into the back of Logan’s head. As Logan picks himself up off the ground, Moon Knight tells him that he’s not certain what’s troubling him but he’s clearly not himself tonight. He needs to get off the streets. Extending his hand, Moon Knight offers Logan some help. Logan recognizes him and thinks to himself that this just keeps getting’ better by the minute. Seems every idiot with a pair o’ long johns is on patrol tonight. He can’t even warn the sucker that he just found himself one mess o’ trouble.

Logan then proceeds to grabs Moon Knight’s hand and slams him with extreme force on the ground. While he does, he tells him that he has no need for help and pity he can not. Before Logan drives his claws into Moon Knight, Logan tells the alien no and asks her what she is tryin’ to do, kill ‘im? He’s already unconscious for cryin’ out loud. He adds that the guy was just tryin’ to help, you just can’t run ‘im through without a second thought. The alien informs him that she will do what she must and if that entails killing, then so be it.

As a car drives into the alley, the alien states that for now though, she is finished there and Logan runs off as he is under her total control. Running down the street, Logan tells the alien that this has gone too far already and that mutants have a bad enough rep without her help. He then asks her what this is all about. She can jump inside other people’s bodies and control them, he got that much, believe him. But why, what’s the point o’ all this? She obviously knows a thing or two about him, but he doesn’t know jack about her. The alien tells him that it may not make sense to him now, but she doesn’t mean him any harm. She came there seeking his help, but she has to be sure she’s doing the right thing. So many are depending on her, she cannot fail.

In another section of the city, the Falcon asks U.S. Agent and Black Widow if they have a plan. U.S. Agent says, “Yeah, they move in and take Wolverine out as quickly as possible.” Based on what they’ve been hearing, everyone has been tracking the little runt solo. If they’re to succeed they’ll need to act as a team – got it. The Black Widow states that’s fine but their aim is to subdue him, she doesn’t want him hurt. U.S. Agent replies then don’t hurt him. Under the circumstances, he’s not so inclined. Widow says that she know Wolverine and he wouldn’t be doing this unless something was very, very wrong. Agent says he’s heard the same thing about the Hulk. He’s a real sweetheart when he’s not grinding cities to dust.

Just then, Logan leaps out of the shadows and on top of them. While Agent throws his shield at Logan, he tells Falcon to run interference, while the Widow and he… Before he can finish his thought, Logan slashes him across the face as the Falcon grabs him from behind. Effortlessly, Logan grabs Falcon, flips him over his shoulder and throws him into a nearby wall. Seeing the destruction before her, Widow calls out to Logan to stop.

Just then, Solo appears and tells Logan that he heard the lady and to get his hands in the air or he’ll fill him with enough lead to turn him into a statue from the inside out. Logan tells the alien that Solo has them dead to rights and there are about a hundred ways he could take him down if she wasn’t playin’ street hockey with his brain. He tells her to let him back at the throttle or he’s gonna do some real damage. He says to her that she needed his help, then let him help her. He can handle him an’ nobody has to die.

As Solo starts to open up fire, Widow throws herself into him and yells out to Logan to watch out. Enraged, Solo yells at Widow and asks her what her problem is. Is she as crazy as he is? Since when do Avengers-types like the Black Widow defend psychotic killers? That hairball’s lost it, he’s terrorizing an entire city. And while Solo lives, terror dies. Widow informs him that she won’t let him kill him. Logan thinks to himself good ol’ Natasha, at least someone’s pullin’ for him.

Before he can realize it, the alien makes him lunge out at Solo. Logan asks her that he thought he told her to ease it up on this guy. Throwing her voice through Logan’s mouth, the answer is that this fool must be eliminated. As Solo cracks Logan in the mouth with one of his guns he states that it doesn’t sound like the runt wants to be taken alive. He then tells Widow that her boyfriend’s got a screw loose and they need to deal with him by any means necessary. Widow calls out no, there has to be another way. Just let her talk to him. Solo tells her that it’s her funeral. Logan informs the alien that Natasha’s tryin’ to talk some sense inta him, she’s givin’ her an’ out. The alien replies “yesss” and makes Logan take her hostage as she will provide exceptional cover from the other one.

While Widow asks Logan what he is doing, Logan informs the alien that this has to stop. The alien tells him no, they have to use her to get away. Seeing Logan act that way towards the Black Widow hostage, Solo says that he heard he was freakin’ out, but this is ridiculous. Like talking to himself, He’ll give him something to chatter about. With that, he shoots Logan in the shoulder. The alien then witnesses the wound begin to heal immediately and is fascinated by it. Logan tells her it’s his mutant healing factor, about the only thing that’s gonna save his hide unless she…

Just then, Logan is hit with a large amount of electricity from a staff wielded by Cardiac. Cardiac then tells Logan that he hopes he’s proud of himself. He’s done a lot of damage tonight, both to the heroes of the city and his own reputation. When Solo calls out to Cardiac and tells him nice timing, Logan thinks to himself that he’s never heard of him. Somebody must be havin’ a pajama party. Cardiac asks Logan that he has nothing to say for himself. He had hoped they could reconcile this without more mindless violence. Solo pipes in and tells Cardiac not to get soft on him, there’s only one way to deal with him. Ignoring the request of Logan not to do it, the alien makes him claw Solo across the face. Seeing that, Cardiac tells Wolverine that he’s made his choice and raises his staff towards him. Logan immediately attacks him, cuts through his protective suit and knocks his staff away from him. As soon as the staff hits the nearby wall, it causes it to crumble, burying Cardiac in the rubble.

Peering down from a rooftop, Rage points out Wolverine to his teammates Speedball and Darkhawk and asks if they’re ready to take him. Speedball sheepishly asks if he can get back to him on that. It’s not like they actually stand a change against him. Darkhawk states maybe not alone, but together… Speedball says that there hasn’t been a heckuva lot of “togetherness” from the New Warriors lately. Nobody seems to make it to the meetings, they’re all too busy. They could sure use Nita, Thrash and Nova right now.

Further above them, the Black Cat hears their conversations and sees them shaking in their boots and realizes that they sure could use somebody. Speaking up, she tells Speedball that if it’s strength in numbers he’s looking for, the can count her in. This really isn’t her kind of scene but she knows what Wolverine’s capable of. The more united their front, the better their chances.

Before they can act, a wall crashes behind them, taking out Darkhawk, Rage, and Black Cat. Logan asks the alien if she is happy now. Some o’ them are people he knows and respects and she’s turned him against them like some kinda rabid animal. Along with his healin’ factor, he was born with a hyper-keen sense o’ smell, the claws, an’ a feral rage he’s spent his adult life keepin’ at bay. He tells her this has to stop. The alien agrees and tells him that she has seen all she needs to, he is worthy. Logan asks her oh yeah, “worthy” of what? He doesn’t get his answer as Speedball attacks him telling him those were his friends. Logan recognizes him as the kid whose kinetic field allows him to bounce all over the place and promptly proceeds to punch him, knocking him away. As Speedball flies off, Logan calls him a poor sap and adds that he’ll be lucky if he lands in the next flamin’ county.

Just then, Logan looks up to see the Human Torch, one quarter of the world’s premiere super-team, the Fantastic Four, throwing fireballs at him. The Torch then tells Logan that the farm league got him warmed up; now let’s see him go a few innings with the majors. He then asks him to explain just the heck what has gotten into him. Logan asks the alien if she sees what she has done. Even if she’s through with her hare-brained “test,” everyone is still gonna think he’s runnin’ around half-cocked. The alien tells him then they need to get away. Logan replies that it’s easier said then done.

At that time, the Black Cat leaps at Logan from behind and tells Torch nice goin’, Wolverine figured he had her on the ropes, but… Instinctively, Logan turns around and drives his claws through her stomach much to the horror of the Torch. He yells at Logan that he almost killed her in cold blood and asks him what’s gotten into him. Another few inches and she would have been history. Holding Black Cat in his arms, “Logan” replies that the human isn’t dead… yet and tosses her into the Human Torch. The force of the impact causes them to crash into a nearby water tower.

Surveying the destruction before him, Logan asks the alien if there is any chance o’ him getting an explanation for all this. The alien tells him that she doesn’t expect him to understand. Logan simply tells her “try me.” The alien begins to tell him that she’s traveled galaxies to come there, from a prison world that holds representatives of thousand races captive, many on the verge of extinction. They’ve committed no crimes, they’re being held against their will. She risked her life coming to earth, deserting her living body to find him. The longer she remained imprisoned in that nightmarish place, the clearer it became that they needed a champion to free them. She knew only one being could make it through the labyrinthine protective shielding that encircles the small planet and she’d heard legends of the outlaws who call themselves the X-Men and Wolverine – “the best there is at what he does.”

Logan replies that he’s gotta learn to keep his flamin’ mouth shut. So that’s it, she figured he was her “champion” but she still wanted to make sure, wanted to test the weapon. Well she get her test, he hopes she’s happy. The alien tells him that she’s sorry that she had to go about it like this but there’s a lot at stake, she had to be sure. Logan tells her that she could o’ just asked him, he might’ve agreed t’ help if she woulda asked. As it is, she didn’t even offer him a choice. The alien tells him there was no time. Logan says that he could’ve killed somebody. The alien says but he didn’t. Even under her control, he was able to keep himself from doing that. He is more than she could have hoped for but time is running short. Her captors may soon discover what she’s done, they have to strike soon. She then gives Wolverine a chance. She’s tested him, she knows what he can do. Help her: he’s her only hope. Logan tells her “of all the cornball lines” and states that she’s making this real hard on him. He’ll do it, but they need to straighten out the mess she made there first. The alien informs him no, they have to leave now.

Worlds away, another female alien tells her master that they’ve tracked the trajectory of the stolen ship that blasted out of the primary docking bay last cycle. Its destination was Earth. Her master states intriguing and asks about the Zennan woman. She tells him that her involvement is confirmed and that her body has been transported to a special holding cell on the other side of the facility for examination. Her master tells her good and adds that this matter should be beneath his notice. After all, this installation was built to deal with any contingency. Still, it helps break up the tedium. It would be good, after so long, to have a diversion.

Picking up a stone figure of a lady, he says ,that given recent developments, it ultimately matters very little that their Zennan friend has escaped or what her intentions are. They’re prepared to deal with whatever situation arises. She has no idea what she’s up against, who’s she’s up against. Nobody dares oppose the Collector! With that, as the Starjammers and his alien guards look on, the Collector crushes the stone figure with his hand.

Characters Involved: 

Vision, Justice and Firestar (all Avengers)
Moon Knight
Falcon, Black Widow, and U.S. Agent
Darkhawk, Rage, and Speedball (all New Warriors)
Black Cat
Human Torch
Ch’od, Corsair, Hepzibah, and Raza (all Starjammers)

Solo and Cardiac
The Collector
Unnamed female alien with the ability to jump bodies
Various unnamed aliens
Various residents, police officers, and medical personnel in New York City (all unnamed)

In the alien’s memories:
Cyclops, Colossus, Jean Grey, Nightcrawler, and Storm (all X-Men)

Story Notes: 

Wolverine and Warbird took on the mutant Powerhouse in Wolverine (2nd series) #133.

Nita, Thrash and Nova are of course – Namorita, Night Thrasher, and Nova – the other three members of the New Warriors.

“Help me Wolverine, you’re my only hope” is a take on the famous line uttered by Princess Leia to Obi Wan Kenobi in Star Wars episode three.

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