Wolverine (2nd series) #138

Issue Date: 
May 1999
Story Title: 

Erik Larsen (writer), Jeff Matsuda, Steve Scott and Yancey Lablat (pencils), Jonathan Sibal, Scott Elmer and Scott Koblish (inks), Mark Bernardo (colors), Richard Starkings & Comicraft’s Oscar (letters), Mark Powers (editor), Bob Harras (chief)

Brief Description: 

On Prison World, chaos is the name of the game after the arrival of Galactus. Amidst the ruins, Logan happens upon a young alien child who can’t find his father and takes him to the Starjammers ship. Once there, Logan asks Corsair for help but is denied. Leaving there, he meets up with Torgo and, eventually, Aria. Together, they decide to try and attack Galactus’ converter in an attempt to stop him. Unfortunately, their plan is for naught and both Torgo and Aria are injured. Logan attempt to take out the converter himself, but his bone claws break while he strikes it. At that moment, Ch’od arrives via teleportation and pleads with Logan to come back with him. Logan denies until Torgo and Aria arrive on the scene. Torgo stays behind while the trio teleport away. Aboard the Starjammers ship, Logan watches the planet blow up and learns that Aria has died. Back on Earth, Logan meets up with Carol Danvers in an attempt at reconciliation. He knows Carol will forgive what he did to her but he will never forgive himself for what he did afterwards.

Full Summary: 

Trouble doesn’t come any bigger than this. His name is Galactus. He eats planets. He is Wolverine. He’s a mutant, born with enhanced physical senses and abilities, razor-sharp bone claws, the whole nine yards. And, speakin’ as a guy who’s considered ta be pretty bad news himself, he’s way outta his league. Truth be told, things hadn’t exactly been goin’ well up to this point. An alien woman called Aria tracked him down on Earth and enlisted him to help her free the thousands o’ aliens bein’ held against their will on a prison planet.

Things started gettin’ rocky almost from the moment they got there, but nothing could’ve prepared him for the revelation that this place wasn’t a prison at all but a sanctuary designed by the Collector to protect its aliens inhabitants, most o’ whom are the last o’ their species from exactly the kind o’ threat Galactus now poses. Problem bein’, that last little bit o’ information wasn’t brought to his attention ‘til after he’d shut down the entire planet’s defenses. For all the good he’s done, he might as well have sent the big G an engraved invite ta strap on’ the ol’ feedbag. And there he is, sitting smack-dab in the middle o’ the big guy’s dinner. Corsair and the Starjammers were around there somewhere and those guys just might be able to help out a friend in trouble. Findin’ them in the midst o’ this madness ain’t gonna be a picnic.

As Logan attempts to avoid Galactus’ blasts, he thinks to himself what a mess. The whole bloody place is comin’ apart at the seams an’ everyone and everything has gone nuts. Still, there’s gotta be some way to stop Galactus from makin’ a meal outta the place. Logan wonders how tough he can be. Torgo arrives behind Logan and tells him that Galactus is a force of nature, older than the universe itself. Defeating him is possible, but highly improbable. He’s lived under the shadow of Galactus before, as have many others on this world. They won’t give up without a fight.

As a spaceship flies towards Galactus, Torgo states that even now, the resistance begins. Logan says but that’s crazy. Attackin’ the overgrown kewpie doll head-on won’t do you a blasted thing ‘cept get you killed a little faster than you would otherwise. Before they can say another word, Galactus blasts the ship to smithereens with his eye blasts. Torgo tells Logan that they hope to stall the process, allow others to escape and survive. Logan says that the way he’s picking the ships off, he’s seen people use more effort ta scratch an itch. Torgo replies that the sheer power at his command is staggering.

Walking away from Logan, Torgo tells him that he should board a ship and leave while he still has the chance. Logan asks leave, but what about him, what is he gonna do? Torgo says that when he first came there, the made a vow to protect the aliens at any cost. He does not intend to shirk that responsibility now. Walking the other way, Logan thinks to himself that for a blasted tin can, the guy has a lotta guts.

Just then, he happens upon a small alien who is crying. Logan asks him what’s wrong and where his dad is. The alien tells him that he can’t find him, he’s lost, and he’s scared. Logan tells him to buck up. The odds are against them findin’ anyone in all this chaos but don’t worry, he’ll make every effort to track down someone who can help him. Thinking to himself, Logan hopes that at the very least, he has to get the kid to safety. When another tremor occurs, Logan notices that they’re startin’ to come more frequently.

Suddenly, he sees Ch’od on top of the Starjammers’ ship. Picking up the alien child, Logan runs full-speed towards the ship. While he does, he thinks to himself that it’s bad enough that the kid’s homeworld was destroyed by the Dark Phoenix, now he’s apparently separated from his family, who could be anywhere in this insanity. He’ll get him on board the Starjammers’ there’s no need for him to suffer a similar fate. Crying, the alien child calls out for his daddy. Logan attempts to calm him down and tells him that he said he’s gonna find his kin but fat lotta good that’s gonna do if he gets crushed by a piece o’ fallin’ debris in the meantime. Ch’od is one of the Starjammers, they’re good people, they’ll be able to help them.

Once they reach the ship, Ch’od calls down to Wolverine and welcomes him. He tells him that he’s trying to make some last minute repairs to the outer hull but the frantic aliens are crawling all over the ship, getting in the way. He adds that Corsair thought they lost him. Logan replies that he thought so too and asks where the walrus-faced old space pirate is. Ch’od tells him that he’s on board the ship, preparing for take-off.

Inside the ship, Corsair points out that the aliens are relentless, unstoppable. They’re overwhelming them with their sheer numbers, the ship can only hold so many. Rushing into the ship, Logan hands the alien child off to Hepzibah and tells her to take care of him, he’s suffered enough. He then asks them if they’re ready to rumble. Corsair asks rumble, the entire world is about to be sucked into Galactus’ gullet. The best they can hope for is to get out alive.

Logan tells him that’s quittin’ talk, he never pegged him fer a quitter. The Fantastic Four faced Galactus a while back ‘n ran him outta town. Is he tellin’ him he’s not even gonna give it a shot? Corsair answers that there’s no shame in backing out of a situation once it’s become completely unmanageable. He knows he feels badly about his part in this, but outside of helping as many stranded aliens off the rock as possible, there’s not much else they can do. Walking away, Logan tells him that he guesses he’ll just have to figure something out on his own and then sarcastically wishes Corsair to have a safe and pleasant flight.

In another location on Prison World, Aria looks out a window at the destruction below. She thinks to herself that the chaos is unbelievable. She never imagined this would be the final result of her bid to free those poor souls. She never thought that… Behind her, the Collector arrives with his crew and asks Aria if she is admiring her handiwork. He tells her he would love to hear her reflections on finally succeeding in the destruction of everything he toiled so hard to create. Aria turns around and angrily tells the Collector to not make himself out to be the victim, not after everything he’s done. He held them prisoners, treated them like dirt, bred them like cattle. The Collector replies that what he was trying to do was save countless endangered species from extinction. And he would have succeeded had she and her terran accomplice not interfered.

With that, he tells one of his aliens, Kerivak, to see to it that Aria is removed from the vessel. When Kerivak begins to make his way towards Aria, she rushes at him and tells the Collector that she’s not going to die on this world. She still has the ability to control the minds and actions of others. She’ll… The Ovoid alien tells her that she’ll do nothing, he’s afraid. Aria asks what is happening and the Ovoid informs her that her mind-control powers have been neutralized, she is no longer a threat to anyone. Before Aria can say anything else, she is tossed out of the building and into the chaos below.

Amidst all of the chaos, Logan watches Galactus work. He notices that he’s so flamin’ engrossed in settin’ up shop, he’s not even payin’ attention to what’s goin’ on down there. He guesses he saw the level of resistance and figured they weren’t worth worryin’ about. There aren’t even that many ships still making it off the ground at this point, so he guesses he’s not completely wrong on that count – blamed near everything’s covered in rubble by now. If that kid’s family is still on the planet, they’re more than likely smashed under a rock or some hunk o’ machinery.

Just then, Logan sees Torgo below him and notices that he’s found himself a ship o’ some sort. Heading down that way, Logan asks him what the story is, is he givin’ up already. Torgo tells him that time is getting short. Galactus has completed the assembly of his elemental converter, the device he uses to absorb planets’ energy. He tells Wolverine to leave him while he can, his battle goes on. What happens now is not of his concern. Logan puts his hand on Torgo’s shoulder and tells him that Galactus is gettin’ ready to eat this planet and last time he looked, he was on it so he thinks that makes it his concern. He’s in this whether he wants him to be or not, he wants to help.

Aboard the ship, Torgo tells Logan that he’s conferred with several of the other pilots and they’ve formulated a plan. It’s not brilliant but it has the best chance of success out of all the scenarios they’ve discussed. It’s almost impossible to stop Galactus from absorbing the world’s energies but there is a chance that they can prevent him from doing so immediately, buying time for the thousands still trapped there to find a way off-world. To do so, they’ll need to destroy Galactus’ elemental converter.

Logan replies “gotcha” and asks him how he plans on gettin’ them close enough to do that. Th’ big G can blow them away as quick as blinkin’ an eye. Torgo informs him that several of the other ships will run interference while others, their ship included, will attempt to… Just then, Logan tells him to wait a minute, Aria is out there. Reaching out the door, Logan grabs Aria and brings her onto the ship, much to her surprise. Once she is secure, Logan remarks that if everybody’s all nice ‘n comfy, it’s time for them to go and save the world.

As the ship they are on joins the rest of the fleet, Logan comments that his claws made short work o’ the doohickey that shut down Aria’s powers. They’re gonna need everything at their disposal if they’re gonna have a prayer against the big guy. They’re a rag-tag outfit, an assortment of some o’ the funkiest lookin’ ships imaginable all barely able to get off the ground in their current condition. But they get off the ground.

Other pilots start buzzin’ in, lettin’ the old rust-bucket know that the diversionary squad is all set ta go. Torgo gives ‘em the go-ahead, now it’s up to them. Torgo starts to tell them that they’ll lead a smaller group of ships from behind Galactus and attempt to strike the elemental converter. If they fail…

Logan catches that he trails off, mid-speech as the other ships are beginnin’ ta fire on the big G and besides, he think we all know what’ll happened if their band o’ ships doesn’t come up with the goods. Galactus makes short work o’ the diversionary squad, blasting them with his hand blasters. It reminds them all where the term “cannon fodder” came from. Things can’t possibly go any different for them, or can they? Watching what is happening, Logan says to Torgo that this is gonna sound crazy, but he thinks he just came up with a better plan.

Moments later, Logan has cued Torgo and Aria in on his plan and they’re off to the races. As Logan and Aria both strap on parachutes, Logan tells Aria that she’s a brave lady fer goin’ along with this hair-brained scheme o’ his. Aria says to him how could she not? He gave her the benefit of the doubt by leaving earth to help her there, she owes him. Logan then tells her that it’s time to get movin’ and gives her a kiss on her cheek – for luck. As Logan jumps out of the ship, he pops his claws and says let’s see what they can do about makin’ this hungry purple half-wit lose his flamin’ appetite.

Also jumping out of the ship, Aria begins to float towards Galactus and thinks to herself that he is too involved in destroying the approaching ships to notice her and proceeds to call out to him. Landing on top of the cosmic converter, Logan notices that Aria is in position which means it’s up to him to pull the cork outta the converter. Carve the sucker up like a thanksgiving turkey with his razor-sharp claws and save the planet an’ all that good stuff – piece o’ cake. He just hopes that Aria’s as good as she thinks she is.

Floating in front of Galactus, Aria continuously calls out to him until he directs his attention to her. Once he does, she attempts to use her powers on Galactus. Piloting his ship past Galactus, Torgo remarks that it’s incredible. Aria’s done it, she’s actually taken control of Galactus. Just then, Torgo notices that Galactus’ demeanor is suddenly changing and that he’s looking directly at his ship. Just then, Galactus blasts Torgo’s ship with his eye-beam and causes him to crash-land near Aria’s injured form.

From his vantage point, Logan states that for a second there, it looked like Aria had a lock on the big guy, but now it looks like both she and Torgo are out fer th’ count. Guess that means he an’ ol’ high pockets are goin’ at it one-on-one. And then it fell apart. Wolverine’s claws, though razor-sharp, are made of bone. There was a time that they, along with his entire skeleton was laced with unbreakable adamantium but that time has past.

Relentlessly, the savage X-Man slashes again and again at the unyielding surface of the machine, his claws shatter against it, breaking into splintered fragments. Only then, after hammering away for what seems like an eternity, does the gravity of the situation truly sink in. He staked too much on himself, on his own ability, he thought being the best there is at what he does was enough. Rage wells up as he realizes that not only has he failed but that an entire planet will die because of his failure. He interfered in a situation beyond his understanding and that interference will cost hundreds of thousands their very lives. In his own way, he’s as responsible for what happens to this world as Galactus himself. He came there to save them and he’s ended up condemning them to death!

Just then, Logan notices that Galactus sees him down there and that he knows what he’s up to. It’ll only be a matter o’ seconds before he… Before Galactus proceeds to blast Logan, the Starjammers ship arrives and fires at Galactus, drawing attention away from his initial prey. Logan smiles and says that he knew Corsair wouldn’t leave him in the lurch. Maybe now they can…

His thought process is cut off when Ch’od teleports in and tells him that defying Galactus is a hopeless proposition, he has to leave with them now. Logan tells him that if Corsair teleported him down there just to convince him ta turn tail an’ run, he can tell him that… Ch’od cuts him off and informs him that he has no other option. They have little time, Corsair wants him aboard the Starjammer when they leave. He then pleads with him to accept that he’s done what he could. Logan realizes the situation but tells Ch’od that he can’t leave, not without Aria and Torgo.

In short time, Torgo arrives carrying the lifeless body of Aria. He tells Logan that they are there. Aria is not well, he fears her attempt to control Galactus’ mind cost her dearly. She requires immediate medical attention. Taking Aria from Torgo, Logan tells Torgo to come on, they need to get outta there before… Torgo cuts him off and tells him no. Do as the Saurian suggest and take Aria. His work there is unfinished. He can still accomplish the feat he set out to accomplish. He can still forestall the inevitable and save the lives of thousands who seek to flee. Torgo proceeds to attempt to break the converter with his fists. Before he can finish though, he is blasted by one of Galactus’ eye-beams. While Logan looks on in grief, Ch’od tells him to come. Time runs short and their ship can’t evade Galactus forever.

In the blink of an eye, Ch’od, Logan, and Aria arrive on the Starjammer ship. Once there, Ch’od informs Corsair that they have returned. Corsair tells him without a second to spare and takes Aria away from Logan so he can take her to Sikorsky in the medi-lab. With Aria gone and being attended to, Logan tells the young alien that he’s afraid he has some bad news. The child says to him that his daddy isn’t coming with them, is he? But he looked, right? He did everything he could, didn’t he?

As the Starjammer ship blasts off, Logan looks out the window at the planet. In the end, he had to turn away from the alien kid, he can’t face him. All he can do is stare out at an image that’ll haunt him for the rest o’ his life. Watching Galactus prepare to destroy the planet, Logan looks on. He has seen plenty of death over the years more than anybody should ever have to see. Watching another person die, waiting for the spark of life to leave her body. As intense an experience as that was, it’s still impossible for him to fathom what’s happening on the world below.

As Galactus’ elemental converter hums to life, Prison World begins convulsing, as though going through its death throes. Even as the Starjammer pulls away from it, Wolverine can still see it burning bright, molten red in the distance. For a moment, it’s almost beautiful in a horrific kind of way and then it’s gone. Just then, Sikorsky flies in and tells Logan that he is sorry, he was unable to save the female Zennan. Logan tells him that he won’t accept that, he can’t accept that. There must be something he can do, he cloned Charley that one time. Sikorsky replies that it is impossible. The female Zennan’s soul is gone. Body only revived could be. Appearance only her would be. Hearing the news, Corsair tells Logan that he’s sorry. Unfortunately, words don’t make it any easier. He will spend the rest of the journey deep in thought. He’ll take comfort in knowing thousands of lives were saved thanks to his effort, little else.

In a restaurant, Logan, wearing a tuxedo, thinks to himself that he’s got the mutant power to heal most any wound. It’s an ability that’s come in handy more than once but it’s never been much help when it comes to bruised egos or broken hearts. Even though he’s hurtin’ inside an’ out, he figures it doesn’t have to be that way for everyone. Just then, a dressed up Carol Danvers arrives and tells Logan that he’s got exactly one minute, it better be good. Logan stands and tells her that he’s sorry ‘bout what happened. It wasn’t him that hurt her, but a real explanation is gonna run him way over th’ time limit. Carol stays, she knows him too well, knows he’s not one t’ make excuses. The rest follows, he’s certainly not short on dinner conversation this night. For the first time he can remember, the odds against him proved greater than his own will. Carol will forgive him what he did to her but he’ll never forgive himself for what he did after. Never.

Characters Involved: 


Ch’od, Corsair, Hepzibah, Raza, and Sikorsky (all Starjammers)


Aria (alien with the ability to jump bodies)


The Collector

Carol Danvers (a.k.a. Warbird)

Various aliens aboard Prison World (Ovoids and various other unidentifiable races, Kerivak is the only one named)

Story Notes: 

Aria brought Wolverine to Prison World in Wolverine (2nd series) #135.

Sikorsky cloned Professor X after his body was ravaged by the Brood in Uncanny X-Men #167.

Logan stabbed Warbird while under the control of Aria in Wolverine (2nd series) #134. He also took on many of the super-heroes in New York at the time as well.

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