Wolverine (2nd series) #159

Issue Date: 
February 2001
Story Title: 
The best there is (part one)

Frank Tieri (the best), Sean Chen (the best of the best), Norm Rapmund (the greatest), Richard Starkings & Comicraft’s Saida (the latest), Hi-Fi Design (brightest), Pete Franco (slightest), Mark Powers (mediocre), Joe Quesada (sucks)

Brief Description: 

Mr. X assassinates a random jogger in the street, and calls his secretary to have her find everything on his next prospective ‘client’ by next Thursday. Elsewhere, Logan is having nightmares, but doesn’t want to confide in his fellow X-Men just yet. He heads to a bar, where he notices he’s being watched. A group of soldiers attacks him, but Wolverine uses his experience and healing factor to wade through them with relative ease. Their major calls Mr. X, who is pleased that Wolverine will be a challenge to him. He decides to send his bodyguard, Blok, to see the major and has the major call two of his girls, T&A. They receive the major’s call as they are beating the crud out of a nightclub doorman. They’re happy to see even more action. Wolverine, meanwhile, finds the major and beats on him for information. As the major seems about to spill, Wolverine is grabbed by Blok, T and A. Meanwhile, a politician named John is assassinated when his car explodes.

Full Summary: 

(New York)

A well-groomed man sits in his spacious office on the top floor of a skyscraper. His secretary, Miss Pennyfeather, reminds him that he has a four o’clock appointment; something he almost forgot. He strides to the window and uses a pair of hi-tech binoculars to scour the sidewalk below. After discounting several people, he sees a fit young man jogging with his partner. He sings quietly to himself as he picks up a high-powered rifle. Taking aim, he fires, leaving the man below with a fatal head wound. Passers by scatter as he returns to his desk; thanking Miss Pennyfeather for her timely reminder. He now wants information on their next prospective client by Thursday. The man is Mr. X.

(Xavier Institute for Higher Learning)

Four X-Men lay dead, and there’s blood all over the place. Rogue, Nightcrawler, Cable and Jean Grey have been massacred. Wolverine turns and sees himself in the mirror, and realizes that the murderer was him! He wakes with a start, popping his claws instinctively as he screams.

Nightcrawler, Rogue and Colossus are there as he wakes, and his claws slice straight through Rogue’s pyjama top. Kurt asks if something is troubling him, but he replies that he’s fine. He can’t tell them that this isn’t an isolated incident. He’s been having these dreams for months. Kurt tries once again to discover the truth, but Logan isn’t having any of it. “I said I was freakin’ fine!” he snaps.

His teammates get the message and leave the room, with Piotr adding that they cannot help him if he won’t let them in. Logan feels bad, but he doesn’t want to worry them until he figures this thing out. He feels it might have something to do with his transformation into Death by Apocalypse. He sure could use a beer right now.

(later that night)

He leaves the Diesel bar after downing twenty-five beers. His healing factor ensures he doesn’t even get a decent buzz. He still feels bad about not letting the X-Men in on things, but looking for a shoulder to cry on just ain’t his style. As he walks through the empty streets, he sniffs the air and looks upwards. On top of the building, the
Major, along with his troops, realizes they’ve been made, and orders one of his soldiers to get the big man on the horn. He’ll want to hear about this.


Mr. X receives the phone call as he eats. Behind him is a huge bodyguard named Blok. The major informs him that they’ve been spotted. Mr. X isn’t surprised. He explains that he wouldn’t have chosen Wolverine as his next prospective client if he wasn’t worthy of the status. He orders the major to engage him. He then puts the phone down and calls the waiter. Unfortunately, having massacred everyone around him, there is no waiter available. He reminds himself to order dessert before he kills everyone in the restaurant.

The soldiers discover that Logan has disappeared, and abseil down the building to locate him. Logan hides under a car as the soldiers fan out. He slices the heel of one soldier, Riley, who accidentally shoots a fellow soldier as he screams. He is then dragged under the car. The major gives the order to destroy the vehicle and, despite Johnson’s concern for Riley, the car is riddled with machine gun fire. It explodes, and Logan is presumed to have been killed.

Logan watches from behind a nearby car. He realizes these aren’t the run o’ the mill goons, and are well trained. Unfortunately for them, so is he. He leaps at them with all six claws popped. Despite being caught with a flamethrower, he slices and dices his way through the squad and cuts the feed to the weapon. Flames engulf the soldiers and one comes running out, covered in flames. Logan puts a cigarette into his mouth and grabs the guy to use as a lighter. The major thinks he’d better inform the boss.

Mr. X is riding in his limo when he receives the call. It’s been some time since one of his targets managed to do this, but he is pleased that Logan seems to come as advertised. The major fills him in on the details, and explains how Logan appears to be an unstoppable, highly trained fighter. Mr. X decides to have Logan run through a few more hoops before he intervenes, and informs the major that he’ll be sending Blok over shortly. He also decides to send in the girls.

Outside a nightclub, the girls, T&A, prepare to enter but, after last time, T doesn’t think they’ll be allowed in. A tells her she has everything under control. She approaches the doorman, who recognizes them. He says he’s still dealing with the lawsuits from the last time they were there. A tries to play innocent and sidles up to Tony and tells him they’ll play nice. He looks down, and tells them it depends on how they define ‘nice.’ He runs his hands over her body, just before A knees him in the family jewels. “Take it away girlfriend,” she adds, as T comes flying over with her elbow ready to strike. She smashes Tony in the spine with it, and then follows up by stomping his head.

The phone rings, and A answers it. In between sucking on a lollypop, she speaks to the major, who gives her the job. She calls to T that they’ve gotta jet, but T is having fun pummeling poor Tony with her fists. A has to physically restrain her and lead her away, jumping into a convertible with a TNA number plate and screeching away into the night.


A politician named John gets ready for work, kisses his daughter and is handed a briefcase by his wife at the door. He explains that he’ll be working late tonight, so she needn’t make him dinner. He climbs into his car, turns the ignition key and is blown to pieces in a massive explosion.


The major takes a look at the scene of devastation below, and sees his soldiers lying dead or injured amongst the wreckage of the exploded car. No one responds to his radio calls, and he can’t find Logan with all the smoke down there. He swings around with his binoculars and sees a foot right next to him. He jerks backwards and drops the binoculars, as he sees Logan standing right beside him, smoking from the flames and looking rather displeased.

Like a true soldier, he acts quickly and pulls out two pistols, which he empties into Logan’s torso. He falls backwards over the edge of the building. “Ha!” laughs the major. “Never send an army to do a major’s job!” He looks over the edge, and is grabbed by Wolverine, who pulls him over. Logan wants answers, or the major will be taking a nosedive from the fire escape. As Logan grabs him by the throat, the major slips out a knife and plunges it into Logan’s shoulder. It doesn’t do much good. All it does is give Logan an excuse to smash his face into the steel grating a few times.

He turns the major over, and he looks just like he’s had his face smashed into a steel grating a few times. Logan demands to know who’s the head man he’s heard him talking about, and whether this is some kind of test. The major isn’t talking. He’s more fearful of his boss than of Wolverine. Logan pops one claw that slides up past the major’s cheek, followed by another on the other cheek. The major knows a third claw is waiting to come out and looks really frightened.

Suddenly, a whip lasso’s its way around Logan’s neck, and he is yanked backwards away from the major. It’s Blok, T and A, and Logan’s in trouble.

Characters Involved: 

Colossus, Nightcrawler, Rogue, Wolverine (all X-Men)

Mr. X


T&A (The Ladykillers)

Mr. X’s troops including the major, Peters, Johnson, Riley and Rogers

Mr. X’s potential victims and the actual victim

Passers By

Restaurant victims

Captive Police Officer

Nightclub doorman, Tony


John, his wife and two daughters including Nanci

(in Wolverine’s nightmare)

Cable, Jean Grey, Nightcrawler, Rogue, Wolverine (all X-Men)

Story Notes: 

These are the first appearances of Mr. X, T&A and Blok. T&A is of course a reference to Tits n’ Ass, and they certainly dress the part.

Mr. X is singing Mack the Knife when he kills his first victim, which was most famously sung by Louis Armstrong.

Wolverine was transformed into Apocalypse’s horseman, Death, during the Twelve storyline in 2000.

Wolverine using a soldier on fire to light his cigarette is reminiscent of two scenes in the 1989 movie, Heathers, in which both Winona Ryder and Christian Slater use each other’s misfortune to light their cigarettes.

Mr. X isn’t actually named Mr. X in this issue, but somehow Logan has discovered his name by the end of Wolverine (2nd series) #161. Presumably, he signed the note he left Logan.

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