Wolverine (2nd series) #160

Issue Date: 
March 2001
Story Title: 
The best there is (part two)

Frank Tieri (writer), Sean Chen (penciler), Norm Rapmund (inker), Richard Starkings & Comicraft’s Saida (letters), Hi-Fi Design (colors), Mike Raicht (assistant editor), Mike Marts (editor), Joe Quesada (chief)

Brief Description: 

Wolverine fights T&A and Blok; three of Mr. X’s assassins. They are real tough, but Wolverine’s healing factor allows him to recover from all they’re dishing out fairly quickly. The major recovers enough to grab his pistols, but Wolverine slashes them and puts him down for the count once again. The three assassins use Wolverine as a pinball, but he uses his experience to have Blok knock out A for him. Mr. X calls the major, who wakes long enough to inform him that Wolverine appears to be gaining the upper hand. Mr. X is pleased. Wolverine takes out T before crashing through a skylight with Blok. He then tries to get information out of the big guy before the major appears again to deliver a message. Mr. X wants to meet him that evening at nine o’clock. That night, Wolverine arrives at a warehouse, where Mr. X is waiting for him. They begin to fight but, strangely, Wolverine can’t lay a finger on him. Mr. X strikes with skill and ferocity, leaving Wolverine struggling in a pool of blood, almost unconscious. Meanwhile, Sabretooth makes his way to a potential employer’s house, where he is told he will be working exclusively for him. Creed complains but is soon made unconscious by knockout gas. Elsewhere, two of John’s former colleagues are murdered in a drive-by shooting.

Full Summary: 

(New York City)

Sabretooth, dressed in a long overcoat and hat, approaches a gang of thugs late at night. He asks where 1313 is, and the leader replies that it’s two doors down; but he ain’t gotta worry about that. He’s got bigger worries now, adds a fellow smug gang member.

The leader, pointing his gun at Creed, demands his money and coat, but Creed isn’t willing to give them up. He grabs the guy’s arm and literally pulls it out of its socket. The gun fires as the estranged finger locks onto the trigger. Sabretooth thrusts his claws into the guy’s neck, dropping him to the ground. He makes short work of the rest of the crew before strolling up to 1313. It’s time to get down to business.


Wolverine is being set upon by T&A and Mr. X’s henchman, the huge and powerful Blok. T yanks on the whip wrapped around Wolverine’s neck, and asks if he thinks he can handle the Ladykillers and Blok all on his lonesome. Logan thought that, after fighting a small army in the streets of New York, he’d be entitled to a little time off. Clearly not.

He figures T&A are the Stephen King version of Betty and Veronica, and wonders why they’ve shown up. He grabs the whip and yanks on it himself, pulling the much lighter girl over his head and crashing into a chimney. A unleashes three sais in Logan’s general direction, but he slices one of them in mid air. Unfortunately, it continues to strike him in the neck. A pulls out a couple of pistols and starts blasting away at Logan, who runs straight into T’s thigh-length boot heel. She then introduces him to Blok, who grabs him by the neck and lifts him high above his head.

Meanwhile, the major come to, and reaches for his own weapons. Wolverine shoves his elbow into Blok’s groin, and Blok, like any other man, really feels the pain. Logan then notices the major about to rejoin the party. He swings his blades towards him, slicing his pistols and then head butts the guy with his adamantium-laced skull. That takes him out of the fight.

Meanwhile, Sabretooth enters 1313, and inside it appears to be surprisingly plush compared to its derelict exterior. He approaches a large desk with a man seated behind it. Creed informs the man that, since being involved in whackin’ a presidential candidate, his price has gone up. The man replies that he’s well aware of his capabilities. Creed asks who he wants clipped, and he is told that what they want it is him. Whether he is aware of it or not, he is now working exclusively for them.

Creed stands and grabs the guy by the collar. “Ya tryin’ to be a wise guy with me? Nobody tells Sabretooth what t’do.” He then notices the man’s face, just before knockout gas seeps through the ventilation ducts. As Creed chokes, he is informed that the gas has been modified to his unique physiology. He passes out, and the man tells his colleagues that Sabretooth is a magnificent specimen. He should work out quite nicely.

Back with Wolverine, and T&A maintain their assault on him. Logan jokes that they’re his kinda dames and, instead of trying to kill him, maybe they wanna join him at his place for a couple ‘a brews. As his attention is diverted, Blok thumps him hard, and he lands in T&A’s arms. They throw him back to the big man who crunches his huge fist into Wolverine’s stomach, knocking the wind out of him. T&A then kicks him out through a door and back to Blok, who prepares to punch him again. Logan feels like a pinball. Just as Blok swings, A somersaults towards them, and so Logan ducks, making Blok land a powerful blow on her instead.

The major lies semi-conscious on the ground. His phone rings, and he picks it up. Mr. X is on the line and speaks to the major, as he wades acrobatically through a fresh bunch of sparring partners. The major admits he was knocked out, and so Mr. X enquires how the others are getting on. He looks over and thinks it’s too early to tell, though it doesn’t look too good. Mr. X asks the major to confirm that Wolverine not only took out his men, he now looks like he might do the same to three of the finest assassins in the world. The major says that is the case. “Splendid!” replies Mr. X. “It’s time I met this Logan. Set up a meet and greet.”

He hangs up and looks around at his sparring partners; all dead, despite their protective clothing. He feels he needs to pace himself better. He asks Miss Pennyfeather to send out the usual condolence package to their spouses, except for Sanderson, who he never really liked anyway.

Meanwhile, Wolverine has his jacket pulled over his own head by T, who then delivers another stiletto boot to Logan’s face. Logan uses his strength to rip the jacket apart, and deliver his own kick to T who is sent flying. Wolverine is left with just Blok to contend with, and the two men rush each other. Blok blocks Wolverine’s attack with a spear he’s carrying, and throws Wolverine to one side. He then charges him with the pointy end, but Logan manages to edge sideways, causing Blok to go crashing through a skylight behind him. Unfortunately, Logan follows him down.

They land with a thump, but Logan is quickly on his feet. He grabs the big man’s tie and chokes him with it. With Blok helpless, Logan demands answers from him, or he’ll pop his head off like a pimple. Suddenly, the major appears looking through the skylight down at him. “Good luck getting anything out of him; he’s a mute!” Logan says fine, and then throws one of A’s sais at him, which sticks through the major’s forearm. He drops a piece of paper he was carrying which invites Logan to meet his boss at nine. Logan says he’ll clear out his schedule just for him.


A man in an overcoat and hat sits reading a newspaper on the sidewalk. A second man, similarly dressed and sporting what looks like a false beard, approaches and sits beside him. The first man asks if he knows what happened to John. His colleague replies that they not only got John, but by his count there are seven of them down already. The first man asks if they’ll come after them next, or does he think they’re safe? As he answers, gunshots ring out as a car drives by with two gunmen opening fire. Both men are killed instantly.


Logan follows the instructions on the paper, and arrives at a warehouse in the industrial part of town. He has no idea why the man wants to fight him, but knows the guy has no idea what he’s in for. He enters the warehouse and meets his tormentor, sitting in front of his four comrades. Logan asks if he’s going to have to play with his goons again, or are they doing this man to man. Mr. X says he’s early. Logan replies that he likes to be prompt when he kicks somebody’s ass. Mr. X likes his confidence and sense of humor. He apologizes for putting him through those tedious tests, but his mother always did say he has a habit of playing with his food. He needed to know if Logan was worthy.

Mr. X stands, and removes his shirt, revealing a muscular body covered in scars. Logan has seen scars like this before, on serial killers. With some of them, it’s like a ritual. They make a scar for every kill. Now he’s really mad. He snikts his claws open, and prepares for battle.

Logan makes the first move, diving towards Mr. X, who is still wearing his shades. He misses and lands with a thud on the ground. Logan’s impressed. There aren’t many men who can sidestep him like that. He launches himself at him again, but this time Mr. X leaps above him with ease. Blok laughs at his attempts, as Mr. X informs Logan that this is getting boring. Perhaps it would have been more of a challenge to fight a schoolgirl?

He makes it easy for Logan by turning his back to him. Logan approaches him, but Mr. X blocks his attack with his hand, and thrusts his claws into the ground. He then smashes Logan in the face with a left, elbows him with his right elbow, kicks him in the stomach, punishes him with a left cross and finally uses some martial arts to send Logan sprawling and bleeding on the floor. Mr. X stands victorious over Logan and flexes his muscles. “The best there is, indeed…”

Characters Involved: 




Mr. X
The major


T&A (The Ladykillers)

Mr. X’s sparring partners - Campbell, Hampton, Johnson, Sanderson and Turnbull
Michael and Peter



Story Notes: 

In the opening scene, there is a shop called Chen Art, in honor of this issue’s artist.

Stephen King is a successful author from Maine in the United States. His best known books include The Green Mile, Carrie and The Shining.

Betty and Veronica are characters from Archie Comics.

The reference to 1313 could be a tip of the hat to 1960s horror-comedy show, “the Munsters,” who lived on 1313 Mockingbird Lane.

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