Wolverine (2nd series) #135

Issue Date: 
February 1999
Story Title: 
From Bad to Worse

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

Brief Description: 

Aboard a spaceship, Logan and the alien that goes by the name Aria make it to Prison World. Once there, they are separated and Logan is forced to take on a number of alien guards alone. Using his skills and wit, he is able to avoid capture by them and, after a while, meets up with Aria, who has taken over the body of another alien on Prison World. Unfortunately, their reunion doesn’t last long, as Torgo and members of the Sidri alien race arrive and take Logan into custody at the request of the Collector.

Full Summary: 

Aboard a ship in the middle of space, Logan wakes up and remarks that somebody’s been sleepin’ in his head. Sitting up, he is less than thrilled about being on a hijacked spaceship millions o’ miles from Earth. Despite the fact that it looks like he’s there by himself, he knows that really ain’t the case.

He asks the alien in his head, Aria, if she is still knockin’ around in there. Aria informs him that she is. Detached as she is from her corporeal form, she has no need for sleep. She tells him that she’s been monitoring his progress while he recuperated from their earlier ordeal. Logan says great and asks if that means there’s a chance she was stowin’ away somewhere else besides his noggin in the near future. Aria says, as a matter of fact, it does. They’re closing in on their destiny even now.

Moving to the captain’s chair, Logan tells her that he thinks the word she is lookin’ for is destination but he gets her point. Aria tells him that sleeping seems to have calmed him, she had hoped it would. She then asks him if he has fewer reservations about helping her now. Logan replies what? Does he have reservations about helpin’ someone who took control o’ his body an’ forced him to face off with a bunch o’ his friends? Testing his suitability for the mission she was draftin’ him for? Reservations – him? He tells her perish the thought. She asked him to help her free a thousand innocent beings from false imprisonment, fine. Let’s not fool themselves about their relationship or her way of askin’.

Aria tells him agreed. Based on what she saw in his mind while he was sleeping, she thought he was no longer angry with her. Logan angrily informs her that he might’ve agreed to come on this cornball crusade o’ hers, but that doesn’t give her the right to poke around in his head whenever she flamin’ feels like it. Aria states that she meant no harm. The way her powers work, his body is essentially hers while she’s inhabiting it, regardless of how much control she lets him have over his own actions. She can’t help but be privy to his deepest, most private thoughts, nor can she help feeling closer to him for knowing them.

Logan begins to tell her well, ain’t that just dandy before he is cut off by the rumbling of the ship. He asks Aria what’s goin’ on, the ship’s startin’ to shake like a flamin’ maraca. Aria tells him that they have reached the final part of their journey. They’re encountering the first of Prison World’s defensive barriers. She tells him that he should better secure himself before the turbulence worsens.

Looking out the window of the spaceship, Logan tells her that he doesn’t get it, all he sees is empty space. Aria replies that it seems she made an error while programming their landing sequences earlier. Making some modifications, Aria tells him that he should be able to see their destination quite clearly now. Looking out the window again, Wolverine opens his mouth to speak, but the words don’t come out. Even after living a life so extraordinary that even he often finds himself questioning what is real and what is imagined all he can do is stare in muted disbelief at a structure so colossal it defies description. Such is the awe-inspiring spectacle of Prison World.

Well hidden amid the vastness of space and protected by a complex and nigh impenetrable defense system, its mind-numbing size makes the fact that it was crafted by mortal hands all the more unfathomable. It’s difficult to tell where it begins or where it ends and peering out from the confines of the ship, Wolverine suddenly can’t help but feel as insignificant as a mote of dust. In shock, Logan says that he really put his foot in it this time.

Inside Prison World, the assistant to the Collector informs him that the ship has returned. The one stolen by the Zennan female, it’s back. The Collector is pleased with that news as all is going as he expected it to. He then asks if the vessel has been thoroughly scanned. His assistant tells him that it has and there is a terran aboard, although he appears to be some manner of genetic mutation. The Collector says one of Earth’s self-styled heroes, no doubt. He’s met his share and he pities the fool. The Collector asks Corsair if he heard that, he’s going to have company from home.

Aboard the spaceship, Logan tells Aria that he has a bad feeling about this. The ship ain’t respondin’ to any o’ his commands, something’s pullin’ them in. Aria tells him it’s a tractor beam and to relax. It will take them directly to the docking bay in the heart of the main complex. Everything’s going exactly as planned. Inside Prison World, one of the alien guards states that the trapping field has successfully locked in on the target vessel and informs all units to initiate landing procedures as per instructions.

On the ship, Logan tells Aria that everything’s workin’ out the way she wants it to but he’d kinda like to know what she’s got up her sleeve, any chance o’ her layin’ down the specifics of her strategy for him. He’s still in the dark about how or what he’s supposed t’ do there. Aria tells him their strategy will depend on what happens once they’ve docked but they have no time to discuss it now. He must be well-hidden before they begin boarding the ship. She doesn’t want any harm coming to the “canucklehead.” Logan responds by telling her that the next time she goes pokin’ around in his head, try not to stumble on that one again. He doesn’t know what he was thinkin’ when he came up with that.

Once the ship has been docked on Prison World, a gathering of alien guards are there to meet it. One of the guards, Marik, informs central command that they are preparing to disable the locking mechanism. Central command tells him proceed with extreme caution, the vessel’s occupant benefits from a form of genetic mutation and may be armed as well. When the door to the ship opens, Marik says they’re in and tells his guards to get on board with weapons drawn.

On the ship, Marik tells them to spread out. It’s a small ship; it doesn’t have the capacity to hide anyone for very long. Just then, one of the skinnier guards turns around when Logan tells him that he’d tell that blowhard where to shove it if he was him. On second thought, why not let him take it up with ‘im on his behalf? When Marik calls out the terran’s location, Logan tells him that he’s right about this place bein’ short on space. Attacking the red-skinned alien, Logan says what say they take it outside. Once outside, the group of aliens attack him as one of them opens up fire with his weapon. Logan tells him to cool it with the pop gun or someone’s liable to get hurt – namely him.

While he faces off against the aliens, Logan says to Aria that they’ve had their fun, now what say she clues him in on this brilliant plan o’ hers. When he doesn’t get an answer, he realizes that she musta jumped ship and taken over one o’ these stumblebums he’s mixin’ it up with – but which one? Just then, an explosion occurs behind Logan which tosses him in the air. Landing hard, he notices that it looks like their li’l buddy with the itchy trigger finger and the bad aim actually hit something. He realizes that he’s gotta clear outta there before the whole flamin’ ship goes… Before he can say anything else, the ship blows up.

In the Collector’s chambers, the robot named Torgo appears pursuant to his request. The Collector tells him that it appears there has been an unfortunate turn of events in the primary docking bay. Considering how thoroughly they’ve managed to botch this situation already, he doesn’t trust the attending guards to resolve this matter to his liking. So he wants him down there to make certain that ship’s passenger is found and he doesn’t care if he’s dead or alive.

Once Torgo leaves, the Collector tells Corsair that he wishes he could see this. Not only do they now have among them one of their fellow Earthlings but, if he’s not mistaken, it is the mutant X-Man known as Wolverine. Quite an addition to his collection, wouldn’t he agree? In their cell, Hepzibah says one of the X-Men there; could it be true? Corsair says that he thinks their own predicament is testament to the fact that anything’s possible where the Collector’s concerned. He’ll tell her this much though: if it is Wolverine, he’s in over his head and so are they.

After the guards run through Prison World’s corridors and past his location, Logan exits his hiding spot – an air duct. As he does, he thinks to himself that he never thought he’d actually be thankful for gettin’ caught in an explosion but it looks like it provided him with all the cover he needed to get outta that hangar. Findin’ the air duct was a stroke o’ luck too, he bypassed most o’ the guards. ‘Course that’s not gonna do him much good for long. This is one nutty situation. He wishes he could’a brought along some o’ the other X-Men on this little junket – he’s a little out o’ his element there. He bought himself some time, he oughtta make use of it. As if. Without Aria to guide him around there, he’s as good as lost. Still can’t figure why she skipped out on him back at the ship.

Hiding behind a wall, he thinks to himself that it’s funny. He’s pickin’ up a couple o’ familiar scents but he can’t quite place ‘em. Trouble is, he ain’t got that luxury with Aria herself. Since she was hitchin’ a ride inside his head, he doesn’t have a scent to match her with. Oh well, he can’t say he thought this was gonna be easy. He wonders what the girl is thinkin’ anyway, he’s totally in the dark there. He doesn’t even know what he’s lookin’ for.

Just then, he notices that the corridor branches off every few feet on either side and it’s crawling with guards – it should make things interesting. Logan deduces that it’s gonna be tricky gettin’ past all of the bozos without bein’ spotted. The goons they’ve got patrolling don’t have him too worried but this really ain’t the time fer windin’ up in a scrap.

At that moment, Logan picks up a familiar scent and determines that it ain’t the guard, it must be his prisoner. He knows the scent’s alien, definitely maybe Shi’ar. But who is it? He may as well check it out. After all, it’s not like he’s got a whole lotta other options at this point. With that, Logan quietly begins to follow them.

It doesn’t take long for Logan to stand corrected. He hears footsteps comin’ from behind him and he kinda doubts he can pass himself off as just another member o’ the goon squad out fer a stroll. Looking up to the ceiling, he thinks to himself never let it be said that he didn’t know when to exercise discretion, leastwise until he knows what he’s up against. Down below, four guards patrol the corridor. The guard that looks like a monkey says this is pointless. The Earth dog was clearly destroyed in the ship’s blast; they should be more concerned with the Zennan woman. The guard that looks like a large cat agrees. If she was in control of the Terran’s body, she may have escaped into another form at the time of… The guard that looks like an turtle interrupts and says no, he’s alive. The cat looks down and sees the air duct loose and states that he’s nearby.

Just then, Logan comes out of his hiding place and kicks the cat guard in the back of his head. While he does, he tells him that he’s actually on top o’ him but he’ll give him a couple o’ points fer tryin’. As another guard shoots his gun, Logan ducks out of the way and the blast hits one of his fellow guards. Logan thinks to himself another sharp-shooter and wonders why they always give the guns to the stupid guys. Before he can further react, Logan is knocked down with a punch from still another guard. Their prey on the ground, the guards begin to converge. Logan immediately gets up and slices his way past the guards. He then grabs one of the guards and uses him as a shield while the smaller guard with the gun continues to fire at him. When he sees the smaller guard give up and try to run away, Logan tosses his alien “shield” at him and cuts out while he has the chance.

Around the next corridor, Logan determines that until he finds Aria, he’s basically just chasin’ his tail. Just then, an alien holds his gun up to Logan’s head and tells him to stand where he is and not to make any fast moves. Logan informs the alien that he’s makin’ a big mistake. The alien replies curiously he doesn’t see it that way at all “canucklehead.” Logan then realizes that it’s Aria and turns around. Aria proceeds to put hand restraints on Logan and tells him to behave like he’s his prisoner and to hurry; they won’t have a second chance at it. Logan tells her that he hates to break it to her but she wasn’t the sharpest knife in the rack when she picked herself out this gem. Nobody’s gonna buy that this little creep could’a taken him in. Aria tells him not to worry about that, this form she has taken is only temporary – she’ll trade up. Now come on, she’ll fill him in on her plan as they go.

Before they can proceed, Torgo appears with two members of the Sidri and tells Aria that under the circumstances that hardly seems necessary. So, why doesn’t she turn the Terran over to him before things get ugly.

Characters Involved: 

Aria (alien with the ability to jump bodies)
Ch’od, Corsair, Hepzibah, and Raza (all Starjammers)

The Collector
Various members of the Sidri alien race
Various aliens aboard Prison World (Marik is the only one named)

Story Notes: 

Wolverine took on much of New York’s heroes while under Aria’s control in Wolverine (2nd series) #134. She took control of him at the end of Wolverine (2nd series) #133.

Written By: