Wolverine (2nd series) #14

Issue Date: 
October 1989
Story Title: 
The Gehenna Stone Affair part 4 - Flying Wolves

Peter David (words), John Buscema (pencils), Bill Sienkiewicz (inks), Ken Bruzenak (letters), Greg Wright (colors), Bob Harras (edits), Tom DeFalco (chief)

Brief Description: 

Above the Pacific Ocean, Archie, Patch, and Jessica are all in Archie’s plane, chasing after the “vampires” in their plane. Patch, realizing that this has gone far enough, goes in the back to change. In the meantime, Archie catches up to the vampire plane, whereupon Jessica leaps onto it. Patch comes out of the back, only this time he’s dressed in his black and tan costume of Wolverine. He also leaps onto the vampire plane to take them down, together with Jessica. In the process, he learns that Jessica was aware of “Patch’s” identity the whole time. They meet with some resistance but, thanks to Wolverine’s claws, short work is made of them. Up ahead, Burt drops a rope-ladder down towards the vampire’s plane. The vampire plane swerves, knocking Jessica out the door. She grabs hold of a vampire and then makes an attempt to grab onto the ladder Burt that dropped. Instead of Jessica grabbing the ladder, vampires do. They climb up the ladder and, one by one, are taken out by Burt. In the vampire plane, Ba’al is admiring his stone, all complete except for one piece, when he is interrupted by one of his followers who tell him about Wolverine. Ba’al transforms him into a gorilla-like form. Ba’al then proceeds to knock Wolverine around like a toy until they end up in the cabin. Wolverine ducks and the pilot is taken out. Wolverine then takes out the control panel and is able to escape through the roof of the plane. He leaps from the plane and grabs Jessica for the ride. They are able to grab onto the ladder from Archie’s plane as the vampire plane explodes in mid-air. As it does, Wolverine gets an ominous sign from Ba’al that he is getting stronger, and soon... unstoppable. In Madripoor, O’Donnell is questioned by the police about the brother’s murder. He shows the cop and Lindsay McCabe the stone that he holds proudly. Lindsay is drawn to the stone and, later that night, she goes to O’Donnell’s room so that she can see it. They end up in a passionate embrace until the door is busted down. The aide to the prince of Madripoor has heard that O’Donnell has something of interest to him, and he wants it now!

Full Summary: 

Somewhere over the Pacific Ocean:
“There they are” exclaims Patch – the secret identity of Wolverine. Archie Corrigan, the pilot, asks him if he thinks they have spotted them yet. Patch responds with the fact that they have to assume that they have spotted them; that way they can’t surprise them.

Archie calls out towards the back of the plane, informing his brother, Burt Corrigan, and Jessica Drew that the vamps have been spotted. As he does so, Patch thinks to himself about all of the weird things that have been going down on this caper. Like that it was bad enough when Burt Corrigan, decked out like Harrison Ford, crashes into his sanity hearing yelling about vampires. Seconds later, vampires really show up, or fake vamps and then they’re barreling all over San Francisco in stolen cop cars. That all leads to them meeting up with the “vampires“ leader, Ba’al who wants to assemble something called the Gehenna Stone and acquire ultimate power. After flash frying Patch, it’s not like Ba’al is a slouch in the power department. Then again, neither is he.

Patch, still smoldering from his encounter with Ba’al, informs Archie to close in on them. Archie inquires as to where he’s heading off to. “The little mutants room” indicates Patch, as he walks with a purpose past Jessica and Burt. When Jessica asks Patch what he means, Patch responds by telling her nothing, he just needs to change into something apropos.

Patch goes behind a curtain in the plane and looks down towards a case. Patch thinks to himself that he didn’t think that he would need it even though he automatically packed it for the trip. It’s a good thing he did, and a good thing he left it on the plane since they didn’t go back to the hotel. All of this because he wanted to help Archie’s crazy brother. Back in Madripoor, O’Donnell would be laughing himself sick.

Outside the Princess Bar, a Madripoor police officer asks an ambulance worker putting a dead body into an ambulance if O’Donnell is still inside talking with Captain Tai. The ambulance worker answers in the affirmative. Inside, Captain Tai is grilling O’Donnell about the evenings current events. About the pair of twins he’s never seen before, how they take a room upstairs and then proceed to kill each other.

O’Donnell agrees with everything that has been said. Captain Tai asks if he thinks if they were fighting about something. O’Donnell, in a sarcastic tone, points out that knifing each other isn’t the usual way of expressing agreement, so probably so. Captain Tai asks if he has any clue as to what they may have been fighting about. O’Donnell responds with that he couldn’t hazard a guess. Captain Tai then informs O’Donnell that his jacket pocket is bleeding. He then asks if he cares to show everybody why, if he could hazard a guess. O’Donnell then pulls out a stone out of his pocket, covered in blood.

Lindsay McCabe is in shock. O’Donnell informs them that he found the stone upstairs in their room lying in their blood and he just thought that... Captain Tai cuts him off and informs O’Donnell that he knew what he thought - finders keepers. He also orders O’Donnell to give him the stone. O’Donnell yells to him that NO - IT’S MINE!!!! Captain Tai tells him that if it’s that important to him, he can keep it. Besides, for the time being, as long as he knows where it is being kept, he will be able to find it, should it become necessary.

As Captain Tai leaves, Lindsay asks O’Donnell if she can have another look at the stone. There’s something about it, it’s pulsing or something. O’Donnell, as he heads up the stairs, informs Lindsay that she can see it later, much later.

Back over the Pacific…
In the plane, Jessica is thinking to herself about how Lindsay is doing and that she wishes she had the chance to tell her that she was running off. Ever since she’s started working for the prince of Madripoor, there is a select group of people he has asked her to stay close to. Patch is high on that list. When she found out that Patch was heading out to San Francisco, she had to follow. Jessica then looks over to Burt and notices that when they were being chased by the “vampires” he was very calm and collected. Now that he no longer has the stone, he’s very fidgety. She also knows that whatever that stone has, the prince will be sure to want it - which means that she will have to get her hands on it without letting the others know.

As Archie pulls his plane up close to the other one, he yells back to Patch that, whatever he’s doing, he better be done with it, they’re right above the other plane.

One of the vampires opens up the door of the other plane. Secured with a belt, he informs the rest of the plane that they are right above them. He then opens up fire with a machine gun. A couple of rounds fly through the window directly next to Archie. He yells to Jessica that they’re shooting at them! He turns around just in time to see Jessica opening up the side door and he proceeds to yell at her that she needs to get away from there! Jessica, ignoring him, leaps out of the plane towards to other one. The vampire in the other plane is switching out his cartridge when he notices that Jessica has landed on top of his plane. He starts to open up fire on her.

Back in the other plane, Burt is watching the action that is transpiring on the vampire plane. He notices that Jessica is clinging to the plane and now she is scuttling around to the other side of it like a spider. This is getting weirder by the minute, he thinks to himself aloud. Just then, Wolverine emerges from behind the curtain in his brown and tan suit. He informs Burt that the one thing that makes him edgy is weirdness. He then asks him what happened. Burt stammers that Jessica jumped down to the plane. Wolverine responds in kind by jumping out the plane after her, after all he can’t let her have all of the fun.

Wolverine lands on top of the vampire plane. The shooter is too busy paying attention to Jessica to notice him. He doesn’t see him until it’s too late for him. Then again, the moment he woke up this morning, it was too late for him. Wolverine slashes his gun but the gunmen is just a few inches beyond his reach. Problem is that bullets have a longer reach than he does. Someday he’ll learn to pack an Uzi.

The vampire then grabs a handgun and takes another shot at Wolverine, missing badly. Wolverine takes advantage of the situation and severs half of the strap that is anchoring the vampire to the plane. The vampire falls out and smacks his face on the side of the plane. On top of the plane, Jessica yells to Wolverine that it’s about time he ditched that Patch nonsense. Wolverine can’t hear what she’s saying because of all of the noise from the wind and the propellers but he thinks he knows what she’s saying. She’s known who he was all the time. That stinks.

Just then, another vampire flings out the door and takes a shot with a machine gun towards the roof of the plane. Wolverine puts a boot to his grill knocking him out of the plane. In order to save himself, the vampire grabs hold of the pant leg of the vampire that is hanging unconscious from his strap. The hanging vampire begs to be helped by his master, Ba’al. Just then, the pant leg that he is holding onto rips and he falls into the ocean. Wolverine, watching this, thinks to himself that the good news is that the shark broke his fall.

Because the wind and all of the noise is wrecking havoc with his senses, Wolverine doesn’t know what is in store for him when he will be entering the plane. Taking the motto, “You pay your money and you take your chances,” he enters the plane. Inside, he encounters two vampires with machine guns. They open fire on him, landing plenty of rounds into his flesh. Undeterred, Wolverine tells them that he can take it, but can they?

All the while taking them both out with a couple of good punches. After he takes them out he notices five more “vampires” coming towards him. Upon seeing them, Wolverine figures that whether they can take it or not, these vampires certainly seem capable of dishing it out in large quantities. Now that his healing factor has dealt with the bullets he just took, he’ll let his claws do the rest as he lunges towards the group that is now facing him.

While Wolverine is busy with the vampires, Jessica sneaks into the plane. She decides that while he is so busy, she’ll deal with the... Before she can finish, a vampire sneaks up behind her and takes a swipe at her with a machete. Jessica ducks just in time and nails him with a side kick directly to his jaw, taking him out. As soon as she takes that one out, another one comes after her. She picks up the machete and blocks another machete swipe with it. She then takes the next attacker out with a solid punch to the face, knocking him out as well.

Up above, Archie orders Burt to lower a rope ladder from their plane to the other plane.

Inside the vampire plane, the vampires have been able to gang-pile Wolverine. They think they have him taken out until Wolverine punches his clawed fist through the pile and through a vampire. Wolverine thinks to himself that this is taking way too long, and while he hates to say it, he could really use Colossus about now.

Back up above, Burt informs Archie that he’s going to go down and help out Wolverine and Jessica. Archie yells to Burt that, if he does, he will break both of his legs!!

At a moment’s notice, the vampire plane swerves wildly. Wolverine is far enough from the door that it’s not a problem for him, but Jessica falls out of the plane. Before she falls down to the depths of the ocean below, she grabs hold of the vampire that is hanging from the strap. He is conscious now and takes a swipe at Jessica with his knife, yelling at her to die. Jessica responds by telling him that she’ll pass.

While trying to stay hold of the vampire Jessica yells to Archie to lower his plane so she can grab the rope ladder. She doesn’t get the chance to, but that doesn’t mean it goes unnoticed. A few of the vampires from inside the plane grasp hold of it and begin to scale it up towards Archie’s plane. Burt notices this and informs Archie that he needs to cut the ladder loose. Archie tells him that he can’t, to which Burt replies that they have a BIG problem then.

Up in his room, O’Donnell is admiring the stone that is glowing like the mid-day sun in the darkness. Just then, a knock is at his door. He asks who is there when he gets the response that it is Lindsay. O’Donnell asks her what she is doing there at 5 in the morning? The response he gets is that she just wanted to see the stone, it’s the most beautiful thing she has ever seen. O’Donnell tells her that maybe tomorrow would be better.

Lindsay, ignoring him, enters the room and removes her coat. Underneath, she is in her slinky nightgown. She proceeds to tell O’Donnell that she was in her room, laying in bed, staring at the ceiling and all she could think about was the stone. She figured that, if she came down and asked very, very nicely, maybe he’d let her hold it for a few minutes. It’s not too much to ask, as long as she asks nicely. O’Donnell approaches her and tells her that it depends on how nicely she asks. They then embrace in a kiss.

Over the Pacific:
In the cockpit of the vampire plane, Ba’al is admiring his Gehenna Stone. It only has one piece missing now. He is interrupted by a vampire, who informs him that there is a madman with knives in his hands and that he is tearing them apart. They can’t stop him. Ba’al holds up the now glowing stone and tells him that he can stop him. He can do anything.

In the body of the plane, Wolverine is standing amidst bodies of dead “vampires.” He hears a scream coming from the front of the plane and he smells the same stench of black energy that he smelled before. Just then, a huge gorilla-like vampire bursts through the cabin after Wolverine. The gorilla vampire then takes a swing at Wolverine and connects, knocking him to the ground. He then grabs him by the neck and lifts him up. Wolverine thinks to himself that this guy is strong enough to crack concrete, and that’s only with his breath. Good thing his claws and bones are adamantium. He then takes a swipe at him to no avail. The gorilla vampire then grabs Wolverine in a bear hug squeezing him to death. Wolverine thinks to himself that it’s too bad that his neck isn’t made of adamantium.

Up above, the “vampires” have made it up to Archie’s plane. Burt is standing there to defend the plane. He informs the first vampire that he is not welcome on the plane and kicks him in the face knocking him off of the ladder. After he kicks the first one out, the next vampire grabs hold of his ankle. The vampire starts to drag Burt out of the plane. Archie yells at him to stop screwing around and to get away from the door.

As Burt informs Archie that he is working out, he grabs hold of a oxygen tank and takes this vampire out with a good shot to the face. The third vampire grabs onto the door opening to pull himself up. Archie yells at Burt again, this time asking him if he’s done fooling with the door. Burt slams his foot down on the vampire’s hand, taking him out as well. Burt then informs Archie that he is.

Down below in the vampire plane, Wolverine is still in the bear-hug of the gorilla vampire. He head butts him in the face, trying to slow him down. It doesn’t work. He then slices him again, this time from crotch to sternum. Any normal guy would be out. The gorilla vampire is unfazed. If it did slice him up, he’s putting up an excellent front, thinks Wolverine. The gorilla vampire then grabs hold of Wolverine’s arm and flings him around like a rag-doll, throwing him through the cabin door.

Ba’al stands above Wolverine and shows some respect to him telling him that he is a feisty little man. Wolverine quips back with the fact that Ba’al is a dead man. As Ba’al responds with “not today, and not by your hands,” the gorilla vampire grabs Wolverine by the back of the neck driving him to the ground. He takes another swing at Wolverine. This time, however, Wolverine ducks. It was a bad idea though; the gorilla vampire’s missed punch crushes the pilots skull.

Wolverine leaps to his feet and faces off with Ba’al. Suddenly, a feeling of déjà vu comes across him, like he’s met Ba’al before. Before he can place a finger on it, he is grabbed from behind by the gorilla vampire. He forces Wolverine forward and, by accident, Wolverine’s claws jam into the control panel. Electricity jolts through Wolverine’s body and into that of the gorilla vampires.

At this point, the whole cockpit is filled with smoke and the plane is about to go down. Ba’al is laughing and, while Wolverine would like to turn around and slice his throat, he realizes that he needs to find Jessica and save her life. He punches his claws through the roof of the plane and pulls himself onto the roof again. He calls to Jessica to which she responds with where she is.

Wolverine finds her still grasping onto the vampire hanging from the plane. He then asks her if she missed him. She replies with “Behind you!!!!!” Wolverine turns around to see the gorilla vampire lumbering towards them. Wolverine, realizing that fighting him will do no good, leaps off the plane in Jessica’s direction. He holds out his hand and grabs hold of Jessica. They fall from the burning plane together.

In his plane, Archie is able to maneuver above Wolverine and Jessica so that they can grab hold of the rope ladder. Wolverine thinks to himself that a lesser pilot would never have been able to pull that off, but Archie is the best there is at what he does. He gets it from him.

While they are holding onto the ladder, the vampire plane explodes. In the fiery blast, the face of Ba’al forms. In his head, Wolverine can hear Ba’al’s voice. “I don’t have the ultimate power yet, little man, but I will and then not even the Hand of God will stop me.”

In O’Donnell’s bed, Jessica and him are locked in a passionate embrace. Just then, guards burst through the door. O’Donnell asks what is going on???? A man enters the room and informs him that he is Jonah, the prince’s aide. He informs O’Donnell that the prince understands that he possesses something that may interest him and he wants it now!!

Characters Involved: 

Patch (Wolverine)

Jessica Drew
Archie Corrigan
Burt Corrigan (Archie’s brother)

Gorilla vampire (follower of Ba’al)
Various “vampires” (followers of Ba’al)

O’Donnell (owner of the Princess Bar)
Lindsay McCabe

Captain Tai
Madripoor police (unnamed)

Ambulance workers (all unnamed)
Various residents of Madripoor (unnamed)

Jonah (Aide to the prince of Madripoor)
Prince of Madripoor guards (unnamed)

Story Notes: 

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

Wolverine developed his “Patch” identity during Marvel Comics Presents #1 – 10, as a result of the X-Men supposedly dying in Uncanny X-Men #227.

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