Wolverine (2nd series) #149

Issue Date: 
April 2000
Story Title: 

Erik Larsen (writer), Graham Nolan (pencils), Jimmy Palmiotti (inks), Marie Javins (colors), RS/Comiccraft (letters), Mark Powers (editor), Bob Harras (chief)

Brief Description: 

After the High Evolutionary has negated all mutant powers, Logan has a cup of coffee at Marvel Burger. There, he is recognized by Richard Rider, Nova, who proceeds to follow him. Reaching a junkyard where the Skrull version of himself visited, Logan does some investigating. There, he runs into the Reanimator. Eventually, Logan finds himself in a desperate situation until Nova arrives and helps him out. Logan then sends him to get some help. Shortly, Nova returns with the New Warriors in tow – Aegis, Turbo, Speedball and Namorita. After a brief battle, they destroy all of the Reanimator’s robots. Later that evening, Logan tells Nova that the New Warriors need to have better teamwork but that they did well today.

Full Summary: 

Walking into the fast-food establishment known as Marvel Burger, Logan thinks to himself that it’s one o’ those days. Mutant powers worldwide have been neutralized, his included, the result of a megalomaniac’s attempt to peacefully eradicate the “threat” of mutantkind. In the High Evolutionary’s brave new world, there’s no more anti-mutant hysteria, no more genetic war loomin’ on the horizon. Still, he’s determined t’ keep fightin’ the good fight.

Black sheets o’ rain are comin’ down cold and hard like some angry god ripped the lid off the sky to punish them. It’s no kind o’ day to be out but there’s something about the city in the middle of a really nasty rain storm that makes him want t’ get out into th’ thick of it.

Walking into the restaurant, Logan notices that the lights are too bright. Not the kind o’ place he’d go under normal circumstances but these ain’t normal circumstances – he needs this. After getting his coffee and walking over to a booth, the kid that took his order mentions to his co-worker, Richie, that’s what he loves about this job. Few people really get the opportunity to spend a couple hours with a filthy, disheveled little guy planted in a booth, nursing a cup of joe and stinking up the place.

Richie whispers back to his co-worker, Bernie, that there’s no need to broadcast it. He thinks the guy might have heard him. The miserable wretch probably just wants to get out of the rain for a few minutes. Besides, it’s not like he’s scaring off any other customers – where’s the harm? Bernie tells him that’s fine and informs Richie that he’s in charge of refills.

Heading over to the table, Richie asks the man if he needs a warm-up. Logan holds up his cup and tells him ‘thanks bub.’ After seeing the customer’s face, Richie tells Bernie that he’s not going to believe this, but the guy is Wolverine from the X-Men. When Bernie asks if he’s sure, Richie tells him yeah, he met him as Nova back when the New Warriors first started up and then a couple times after that. It looks like he’s in pretty rough shape, maybe he’s in some kind of trouble. Bernie replies or maybe his cap is on too tight. Why the heck would Wolverine be slumming at this cheesy outfit? Aren’t there cool mutie dives for a guy like that to hang out at? Those X-Men are wanted, their identities secret, he’s not sure he wants him to know he’s been recognized. Richie says maybe he’s in this neighborhood for a reason, maybe he’s on some kind of mission. He doesn’t know why he’s there, but he’s positive that’s him. He’s gonna… Bernie asks him what, mop up his mess – he’s gone.

Out in the rain, Logan continues to walk the streets in the pouring rain. As he does, he thinks to himself that the coffee did him good. For th’ first time in his life, he had a headache from caffeine withdrawal. Seems he relied on his mutant powers more than he even knew. He couldn’t stay at the restaurant. The lights were killin’ him and he got better things to do than sit back and listen to his body thaw. Too much goin’ on for that, too many questions buzzin’ ‘round in his head. Nothing new really, on the best o’ days, his whole world is one nasty ball o’ confusion.

This ain’t been one o’ his better days, or better months for that matter. A shape-shiftin’ Skrull was posin’ as him for a while, runnin’ around, causin’ a ruckus. In th’ meantime, he went through a whole tangle of troubles, getting kidnapped by Apocalypse and turned into his Horseman Death, getting adamantium bonded back onto his bones. Now a whole lot o’ anything makin’ much sense these days and the latest set o’ circumstances ain’t exactly got him doin’ back-flips either. Having his mutant powers, super senses and an ability to heal from even the toughest wounds stripped away ain’t improved his disposition. His healing factor is the only thing that allowed him to survive havin’ the adamantium. Without it, he’s dyin’ – slowly, painfully.

And it’s not just him. The rest o’ the X-Men and mutants all over the world are in a similar boat. The other X-Men may be ready t’ throw in the towel, but not him, he’ll keep fightin’. Quitting ain’t in his vocabulary. There’s too many questions, too many.

Reaching a junkyard, Logan reckons this is as good a place to start as any. The blasted Skrull that impersonated him came there. His teammate Nightcrawler said “they” came out there one night, lookin’ for his least favorite evil mutant. Only instead of finding Magneto, “they” ended up mixin’ it up with a mess o’ robots. Not really what you expect to find at the local scrap yard. As he leaps over the barbed wire fence, Logan trips and falls on his backside. Picking himself up, Logan thinks to himself beautiful, he’s so reliant on his absent abilities, he’s stumblin’ around like a complete incompetent. It’s been worse, he’ll just have to be more careful.

Entering a storeroom, Logan shockingly discovers that the place is packed to the gills with a stockpile of old androids. Some of ‘em are designed to look like other heroes, some just designed to wreck havoc. In one corner Captain America, Thor and a headless Iron Man sit waiting to be roused from their slumber. In another, a mutant-hunting Sentinel gathers dust. Everything looks old, broken, battered. It’s all been through th’ mill, it’s all been trashed then rebuilt in a haphazard fashion. The big question there is why, why would anybody go to all the trouble to restore all this junk?

Just then, Logan comes face to face with a man dressed in all black with his face covered by a mask. The man sees Logan and remarks another derelict hoping to get out of the rain; can there be no end to his torment? He then informs Logan that he’ll find no shelter there, he will only find the Reanimator and death! He tells Logan to flee before he strips the flesh from his bones and uses his intestines to string his guitar. Logan replies that there’s no need t’ get his knickers in a knot, he’s not lookin’ for a fight. Truth o’ the matter is, a couple o’ his friends were attacked there a bunch o’ nights back. He came there lookin’ for the reason why. The Reanimator tells him that he’s wasted a trip. He was trespassing then, as he is now, do not try his patience. After calling Logan a speck, flea and mite he tells him to leave now or face his wraith, his terrible wraith.

Just as Logan starts to tell him that it ain’t that simple, he is cut off by an alarm sounding. Looking at the monitor, the Reanimator remarks that Logan’s presence there was but a ruse, his sensors have detected him, his most hated nemesis – Nova the Human Rocket! Turning his attention back to Logan, he informs him that he was prepared to let him leave unharmed but clearly his presence is but a distraction from a more insidious attack. His true scheme is undone. Calling Logan a maggot, worm and a gnat, the Reanimator tells him that it’s time to die. With that, Logan is shot upon by the Reanimator’s robots.

Dodging the blasts, Logan thinks to himself that he really stepped in it this time. That snot-nosed, pimple-faced, bucket-headed punk couldn’t have buzzed by at a worse time. What kind o’ nitwit goes on patrol anyway? This is gonna be a little tougher than he thought. Without his healin’ factor in workin’ order, he’s as good as gone if one o’ these blasts hits him. He can do this, he’s done this – piece o’ cake. He just has to keep movin’ and dodgin’. Before long, another robot begins to wrap Logan up in it’s tentacles made o’ coiled steel. Logan thinks to himself that it used to be, he’d cut right through these things usin’ his adamantium claws. But without his healin’ factor, poppin’ those puppies tears him apart worse than th’ bad guys.

Outside the complex, Nova sees a blast coming through the roof and deduces that it’s a good thing he tried to follow Wolverine after he wandered out of Marvel Burger. He hadn’t seen hide nor hair of him but he’s betting that blast isn’t just the result of an errant arc welder. Inside the complex, the robot continues to tighten its grip on Logan and around his neck. While it does, Logan tries to calm down and think. There’s gotta be a way to pry himself loose from this thing. Either that or use his weight against it, knocking the thing off balance. He determines that it’s no use. Even if he had enough leverage, it’s too blasted heavy and the Reanimator’s siccing even more of his androids on him, namely one that resembles the Hulk. Doesn’t leave him with much choice, does it? He begins to ready himself, this is gonna hurt…

Before Logan has the chance to do the inevitable, Nova bursts through the wall. As he punches the head off the “Hulk,” he mentions that he tangled with a mess of robots a while back, he doesn’t suppose this is the work of the same guy, does he? Struggling, Logan asks Nova what in the blazes he is doing there. Nova replies that he was going to ask him the same thing, what’s this all about? Logan tells him that there’s no time to explain and asks him to lend him a hand with this blasted overachieving paper-weight. Before Nova can assist Logan, he is punched out by another robot.

Upon seeing what has happened to Nova, Logan thinks that the kid’s in trouble and that leaves him in worse shape than he was before he showed up. This ain’t gonna be pretty but a this point, poppin’ his claws is the only chance they’ve got. That is if he don’t black out because o’ the pain! Once he finally does pop his claws, Logan screams out in agony. Ignoring the pain, Logan slashes himself free and takes out another robot. As a larger robot begins to topple over another robot, Logan rushes over towards Nova and tells him that they gotta move fast if they want o keep suckin’ air. Blasting off, Nova replies okay and that if it’s fast he wants, he came to the right guy.

Able to take a breather for a second, Logan tells Nova nice shot but any fool can see they’re in over their heads with this unruly mob. His mutant powers are history and he, Nova, is comin’ up short. He tells him to forget the heroics and to go get help. Get the Avengers, the Fantastic Four, his pals the New Warriors, anyone. Nova tells him that he doesn’t need to run off to do tha…

Realizing that his comm badge must have been busted during the fight, he’ll have to do this the old-fashioned way. Logan tells him to just do it, he’ll hold off these walin’ scrap heaps till he gets back. Blasting off, Nova tells him that he’s going but just for the record, he thinks he’s completely nuts for staying behind. Logan replies ‘you and me both bub’ but one of them has t’ make sure laughing boy over there doesn’t make a break for it. Now go, he’ll be there waitin’ for him – dead or alive.

At the New Warriors firehouse headquarters, located under the Manhattan Bridge in Brooklyn, Speedball is on the phone with an agent. He tells them that he thinks it all sounds great but what he really thinks they should do is play up Namorita’s role, at least in their first draft. She’d dating the Human Torch and that makes her a smoking hot property with all the tabloids. Once they sell the screenplay, they can pump up their own parts. That’s right, he and Nova are co-writing.

Just then, Bolt walks into the room and asks if he’s *kaff* *kaff* seen Turbo around. Speedball waves him off and tells him that he’s busy. Back on his phone call, he tells the agent that’s exactly what people want from a New Warriors movie. Bolt replies can’t he *kaff* put his extracurricular activities on hold for just a *kaff* second and let him know if he’s seen her or not. Before any further conversations can take place, Nova flies through the window and tells Speedball that he needs him to get everybody together fast and meet him over at that old junkyard on the west side. Wolverine’s in trouble and they’ve got to stop some guy called the Reanimator. He’s sicced a whole mess of killer robots on their tails, hurry!

Once he rushes out the window, Bolt coughs and asks Speedball is it just him or… Speedball replies that he doesn’t know but they’d probably better check it out, he’ll call ‘Nita.

At the junkyard, Logan continues to fight the robots and androids that are coming at him. While he does, he thinks to himself that the clock is tickin’. His claws are a big help but he’s lost a lot o’ blood and his luck can’t possibly hold out forever. The adamantium linin’ his bones, the metal in his claws is makin’ him sluggish and wearin’ him out. Seems there’s a lot more t’ him than a set o’ claws and a few pounds o’ metal bonded t’ his skeleton. All that other stuff, the stuff he took for granted – the enhanced senses, everything. Without it, he’s just not the same and pretending otherwise is gonna get him killed fast. If some kind o’ backup doesn’t make the scene real soon, he don’t know how much longer he’ll be able to hold out. Especially if this Reanimator creep can do what his name implies ‘cause if he’s rebuilding and reanimating his android army over and over, this may never stop.

In another location of the complex, the Reanimator asks himself why he didn’t realize that guy was Wolverine. Either way, it’s time to up the ante. The hairy runt’s dismantled far too many of his little pets. Their parts can be reused nonetheless, there is nothing that the Reanimator can’t make operational once again. Just then, Nova appears and takes out one of the Sentinels bearing down on Wolverine. When he does, he asks can’t a guy leave them in a room for two seconds without them trying to kill each other? Swooping down and grabbing Logan, Nova says to him that wasn’t too bad, was it? Logan says that those “two seconds” felt like two years with these tin-plated turkeys bangin’ on his bean. He then asks him where the flamin’ calvary is at. Nova tells him that they’re on their way. They’re not quite as fast as he is but don’t worry, help is on the way. Logan replies good, from th’ look o’ things, they’re gonna need it.

At that moment, the Reanimator notices that all of his robots and androids are dispersing into the street after Nova and that diminutive do-gooder but there’s something wrong. Somehow, he’s unable to restore any of the wrecked robots to working order and, without robots, he’s undone. Ruined, doomed – perhaps it would be best to flee. Rushing out the door, the Reanimator is met with Aegis, Speedball, Namorita and Turbo. Namorita stops him and tells him not so fast tall, dark and gruesome, they’d like to have words with him. Speedball says yeah, four-letter words.

Upon seeing them, the Reanimator says “oh no, the New Warriors.” Picking him up by his collar, Namorita tells him that he was right the first time. Now how about telling them what’s going on there. Where’s Nova and Wolverine? The Reanimator tells her that they’re fighting robots and that they could be anywhere. Namorita states that they shouldn’t be hard to find and tells the remaining New Warriors to spread out and take charge of the situation, she’s got things there well in hand.

When the New Warriors reach Logan and Nova, Logan remarks that he’s guessing they’re the new New Warriors. He remarks that it’s gettin’ to where you can’t tell th’ good guys from the bad without an official handbook. He then tells them to grab themselves a sparring partner, there’s plenty to go ‘round.

Before long, Namorita arrives holding the Reanimator upside down by his ankle. She proceeds to tell Nova and Logan that she’s tried convincing their friend there to shut off the robots and as they can see, she’s been really nice about it, but he’s just a babbling mess at this point. She figured they might want to give it a shot. The Reanimator starts babbling not Nova, anybody but Nova, Nova spoils everything. Coming face to face with him, Logan tells him that Nova’s the least o’ his concerns. Popping his claws and holding them to his forehead, Logan tells the Reanimator that he figured gettin’ laughin’ boy there to shut off his tinker toys was the way to go when he first stumbled onto this cozy little scene but he never could get close enough to invoke the right amount of persuasion – things should work out fine now.

Logan then tells Namorita to let him go. When the Reanimator falls to the ground, Logan picks him up and holds his claws again to his neck. He tells him that he didn’t come anywhere near him with his claws, but dear ol’ Mother Earth poundin’ his pretty puss. It’s gonna feel like heaven compared to the pig-stickers he’s packin’. Once he lets loose with them, well it’s never pleasant. And frankly, after the hurt he went through poppin’ ‘em out, he is more than inclined to share the pain so what does he say the cut to the chase and he shuts the flamin’ robots down.

The Reanimator exclaims that’s what he’s been trying to tell her, he can’t. He has the mutant ability to reconstruct and reanimate, to control and converse with anything mechanical. Ordinarily he can activate and deactivate robots at will but his powers are gone. He can’t shut the robots down just as he can’t reanimate any others. He’s helpless, completely defenseless, totally useless, utterly powerless. Nova states right, but they’re not. Sounds to him like all they have to do is waste the rest of these rampaging robots and everything will be just ducky, so what are they waiting for? Minutes later, the blasted back street looks like a battlefield with more flyin’ shrapnel than you can shake a stick at. Everyone pairs off like eager fresh-faced teenagers at some kind o’ demented prom and then before you know it, the dance is over.

Shaking hand with Logan, Nova says so much for the Reanimator’s robots. They won’t be good for much more than the scrap yard they came from after this. What a trip, looks like all of the mutants are without power now. Bolt had to stay back at their headquarters because his power was out, his (Logan) are on the blink and the Reanimator’s gave out as well. Only he didn’t know about it until it was too late. On that note, he’d better get back to Marvel Burger. He doesn’t want to lose his job because he had to battle some bad guys. Besides, Bernie’s a wreck without him. Logan tells him no problem; they can handle it from there and thanks him for his help. He’ll drop by after things have wrapped up there and give him the lowdown.

Speedball then tells Wolvie that he might want to ditch that costume of his for good. He’s got the worst case of “hat hair” he’s ever seen. Taking off, Logan mutters blasted smart-mouthed… As the cops arrive, Speedball asks Nova if he intends to give away his secret identity to that guy or did he just completely blow it and if he’s going to be like this in pitch meetings.

Later that day, Logan stops by at Marvel Burger and tells Richard Rider that, unless mutants all over the world get their powers back, the Reanimator clown is about as threatening as a kitten. He was buildin’ up to somethin’, that’s for sure. He did some snooping around, the guy had been using robots to pull off various heists and industrial espionage jobs so eh could afford to buy more spare parts. Logan guesses he had a mad-on for Nova for stopping a number of his heists.

Richard replies and now he’s in jail. Wearing a medical patch over his eye, Logan tells him that they stopped him but in the big scheme o’ things, a guy like the Reanimator’s a small fish. The fact that he gave them any kind o’ run fer their money is cause for some concern. If it wasn’t for every mutant on the planet being stripped of their powers, he doubt they’d have fared so well. Richard says yeah, ‘Nita said one of their teammates Bolt was having similar problems. Logan replies that he’s met the kid, hooked him up with an acquaintance o’ his a while back – he’s a good kid.

Getting up to leave, Logan tells Richard that they all are but, judgin’ just from the little he’s seen today, they could probably brush up on their teamwork. Nobody seems to be leadin’; they’ve all got their own agendas. It worked out fine this time with a powerless opponent but he doesn’t think he can count on getting too many breaks like that. In any case, he’ll be seein’ him. It’s been a refreshing change t’ take a break from his usual chorus line o’ ninja and super assassins.

Watching Logan walk out the door, Richard remarks to Bernie that it’s weird. Even after seeing him in the heat of battle all bloody and bruised, he thinks he actually enjoyed that. Bernie says what can he say, the man loves his job; just keep him away from his. As they all call it a night, Logan thinks to himself that the battle is over but the war never ends, life goes on.

Characters Involved: 


Aegis/Trey Rollins, Bolt/Chris Bradley, Namorita/Namorita Prentiss, Nova/Richard Rider, Speedball/Robbie Baldwin, Turbo/Michiko Musashi (all New Warriors)

Bernie (friend and co-worker of Richard Riders at Marvel Burger)

The Reanimator

Various patrons of Marvel Burger (all unnamed)

Various robots animated by the Reanimator (Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Thing, the Hulk, and Sentinels are among the most recognizable)

Story Notes: 

The High Evolutionary “switched off” the mutant genome worldwide. It happened in Uncanny X-Men #379 (part 1), X-Men 2nd series #99 (part 2), and Uncanny X-Men #380 (part 3). When he did so, Earth’s mutants were powerless for over a week.

Skrullverine and Nightcrawler battled robots under the employ of a shadowy Reanimator back in Wolverine (2nd series) #140.

Nova battled robots under the control of the Reanimator back in Nova (3rd series) #3. At the time, however, he didn’t know that.

Chris Bradley was diagnosed with the Legacy Virus back in X-Men Unlimited (1st series) #8. His transformation into Bolt can be seen in the Maverick series that lasted for 12 issues back in 1997-1998.

The first team of New Warriors were: Namorita, Firestar, Nova, Speedball, Marvel Boy, and Night Thrasher. They were first seen together in Thor (1st series) #411-412 and helped Thor take on the Juggernaut during “Acts of Vengeance.”

This is the last Wolverine issue before the “Six-Month Gap.”

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