Wolverine (2nd series) #165

Issue Date: 
August 2001
Story Title: 
The Hunted: Part Four

Frank Tieri (writer), Sean Chen (pencils), Norm Rapmund (inks), Richard Starkings & Comicraft’s Solda! (letters), Avalon’s Raymund Lee (colors), Mike Raicht (assistant editor), Mike Marts (editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Bill Jemas (president)

Brief Description: 

In New York, Dr. Strange suddenly feels a severe pain via a premonition of a returning, ancient evil. At the same moment, inside the bowels of the Cage, Reb introduces his discovery to his buddy Axel. It is a partially decomposed being by the name of Mauvais. After accidentally awakening him, they cut a deal with him. In exchange for killing Wolverine for them, they will release him. Meanwhile, at the medical ward, a member of the Skulls goes to finish off an already severely injured Hank McCoy. However, before he is able to kill him, Hank is saved by Peepers, who snaps and kills the Skull. Elsewhere, still stuck in the Hole, Wolverine receives another note from “a friend.” Shortly afterwards, he is drugged by Reb and Axel and taken to Mauvais. Once there, Mauvais bits him numerous times and even eats his eye, gaining strength in the process. Finally with enough power to escape, Mauvais disappears. Infuriated, Reb goes to kill Wolverine himself but is taken out by none other than Sabretooth with a number of agents in tow, who proceed to free Wolverine, Hank McCoy and Peepers from the Cage. Meanwhile, Nick Fury hires the Shiver Man to trail S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Brent Jackson.

Full Summary: 

In the Sanctum Sanctorum of Earth’s Sorcerer Supreme located in Greenwich Village, New York, its owner, Doctor Steven Strange, yells out in pain. Checking on his master, Wong asks him if he is okay. Dr. Strange informs him that he is fine, just merely shaken from a terrible premonition. Wong asks a premonition? What manner of clairvoyance could possibly cause him such pain? Dr. Strange informs him the reemergence of a great evil. One that has not seen the light of sun for centuries, one that he is not certain even he can stop.

Inside a wall located in a secret passageway of the Cage, guards Reb and Axel gaze upon a motionless man, frozen in place, the decomposing man reels backward, what remains of his face locked in a visage of horror. Aghast at what he stands before, Axel tells his buddy, Reb, that he’s seeing it but he ain’t believing it.

This man frozen like this, his clothes, his appearance, he has to have been like this for ages. How is this possible? Who, what? Reb tells him to take it easy. He told him this here “forgotten prisoner” was a sight to see, didn’t he? Reb asks Axel if he’s noticed how the only super-powers they’ve ever had trouble with in there are magical ones. Even ol’ Crusher Creel has t’ get special treatments on account a’ his power bein’ based on Asgardian mumbo-jumbo. He figures this fella got himself whacked with some danged mystical whammy way back. One that even the super-power dampenin’ field they got ‘round this place can’t affect. He reckons it’s kept him stiffer than a swig a’ Arkansas moonshine all these years. An’ from the look on his face, he’d say he ain’t none too happy ‘bout it, either.

Looking at the partially decomposed man, Axel says that it’s unreal and asks that nobody else knows about this? Reb informs him nope, just them now. This here’s a part a’ the ol’ 18th century French prison that ain’t never seen the light a’ day. Believe it or not, not even when they first come built the cage over it. Ol’ Bill Caruthers brung him down there right before he done got himself stabbed t’ death in the courtyard that time. He stumbled across it one day an’ never told a soul ‘cept fer him. And with Bill dead… Axel remarks that it’s wild, freakin’ wild. One thing he’s not getting is how this guy is gonna off Wolverine for them. How do they even wake him? Just as he taps the man’s partially decomposed face, it suddenly reaches out and grabs him by the throat.

Inside the Hole, Wolverine thinks to himself that this is some mess he got himself into this time. Here he lies in the superhuman prison called the Cage on a murder rap he ain’t even sure he’s responsible for. One thing he has to admit though, it’s made fer a hell of an interestin’ few weeks. Him and his fellow X-Man Beast locked horns with a mysterious bounty hunter called the Shiver Man, got taken down by some trickery, courtesy of S.H.I.E.L.D., and then wound up there where they’ve been marked men since day one, with everybody right up to the freakin’ warden wantin’ them dead. An’ him without the use of his healing factor, enhanced senses, or claws sure ain’t helpin’ matters. His gut tells him this all has t’ do with the time he spent as Apocalypse’s Horsemen Death, that the “big A” still has some kind a’ hold over him. An’ if that’s really happenin’, then maybe he belongs in there after all.

Just then, Peepers calls out to him from the top of the Hole. A surprised Wolverine proceeds to ask him what he is doin’ there. Peepers tells him that he brings Wolverine food – yes, yes, yes. And… um… bad news. But first Peepers better lower hover tray fast, Wolverine not supposed to get food – no, no, no. As he lowers the food into the Hole, Wolverine asks him ‘what is it?’ Peepers tells him meatloaf he thinks, doesn’t look very good – no, no, no. Wolverine tells him not the freakin’ food, the bad news. It ain’t Hank, is it? Peepers tells him er… uh… yes, yes, yes. Hank was stabbed in the yard.

Shocked, Wolverine asks if he’s still alive. As he asks the question, Wolverine thinks to himself that he knew if he was separated from Hank fer too long this would happen an ya better believe head hack Reb Tillis knew it, too. Peepers informs Wolverine that Hank is alive and in the prison hospital. Wolverine then tells Peepers that he has t’ listen t’ him, he has to go t’ Hank. People are gonna try t’ finish him off, especially the Skulls after their fight in the cafeteria yesterday. Giving him the thumbs up signal, Peepers tells him that he will go to Hank now – protect Hank. He can count on Peepers – yes, yes, yes. As Peepers runs off, Wolverine hangs his head and thinks that Peepers better than nothin’, he guesses. Cripes, look what he’s gotten Hank into…

In the prison medical ward, Hank lies motionless inside a room while two guards are posted outside. One of them, Mike, mentions to the other guard that they left the mutie on the slab all night, didn’t even operate on him or nuthin’ – warden’s orders, can he believe that? His fellow guard asks him if he’s saying that he has a problem with that. Mike tells him nah. He’s a mutie and probably deserves it an’ all but it seems kind of excessive. He means, they even took Ol’ Yeller behind the tool shed to blow his brains out an’ put him out of his misery an’ he was a dog.

His fellow guard tells him that was a movie and besides, muties are worse than dogs – he knows that. He hopes that he’s not getting soft on him; he heard what Reb said if somebody decides to finish the job. Mike replies they’re Steve Wonder, he gets it. At that moment, a member of the Skulls arrives pushing a gurney and wearing medical scrubs. The guard mentions to Mike that it looks like he ain’t got to fret no more, the tool shed treatment’s arrived sooner than expected.

Inside the secluded hole in the wall, the creature continues to hold Axel by the throat and mutters ‘dis mois ou je suis.’ Reb proceeds to point his gun at the creature and tells him to ‘let him go Freddy Krueger’ or he’ll enter the twenty-first century with a bullet in his mug. The creature remarks anglais, vous etes anglais? Then he must excuse his English, mon ami, he has not practiced it in quite a long time. He asked that he said this is the twenty-first century. Is this still Le Prison de la Morte?

Reb tells him ‘sort of, Frenchie.’ They’ll get him caught up on everythin’ as soon as he lets his friend go. The creature replies ‘what is the word? Ah, in a moment.’ First, he must tell him why he’s awakened him. Reb informs him that they’ll play it his way, cards on the table that is. They want him t’ kill somebody fer them. The creature asks kill someone and he will release him if he does this for him? Then say the words, it is the nature of the spell that keeps him ‘ere. Reb tells him okay, they’ll release him. With his right eye partially popping out, the creature says then let it be a contract and to not be concerned. His English may be, ‘ow you say rusty, but there are some things you never forget ‘ow to do, non?

Elsewhere, Nick Fury is in an alley preparing to light up a cigar. As he does so, he mutters where the hell is he? He’s been waitin’ there… Just then, the Shiver Man appears behind him and says that he summoned him? Shocked, Fury twirls around and says to Shiv that he shouldn’t creep up on a body like that. Not unless he wants him t’ have t’ change his shorts. The Shiver Man tells him that was not his intention. Fury says yeah, whatever. More importantly, he called him there ‘cause even though the Wolvie mission he sent him on didn’t pan out so well, he’s got another one fer him. He wants him to follow S.H.I.E.L.D. special agent Brent Jackson. Something about this guy ain’t kosher and he wants him to find out what it is.

Deep inside the Hole, Wolverine sits and thinks to himself that, with all this time t’ himself, thinkin’ ‘bout Apocalypse an’ all, he realizes he ain’t never really come t’ terms with what he did t’ him. How it affected him. He ain’t even admitted this t’ himself, he doesn’t think but turnin’ him into a mindless killer like he did, it scared him. It showed him what he’s really capable of if he doesn’t keep himself in check, of what he never wants to become, of what…

Before he can finish his thought, Wolverine discovers that another note has been dropped down to him. Nobody’s up there fer him t’ see who sent it, par for the blasted course. It’s from “a friend” again, the mystery man that’s been feedin’ him info. Reading the note, Wolverine discovers that he’s cut right t’ the chase this time. He was wrong – it ain’t been Apocalypse behind this at all. He’d hoped it wasn’t them, but with this involvin’ his past, the government people gettin’ whacked – it makes sense. Now he knows who’s behind all this, but what can he do ‘bout it in there? He has to get outta there soon…

Just then, Reb drenches Wolverine with a liquid substance and tells him ‘rise an’ shine, mutie licebag!’ ‘Bout time somebody done gave him a proper bath. Standing defiantly, Wolverine asks Reb if a hose is the best that he has. Reb tells him to ask his friend McCoy, he knows he can do better. Wolverine replies that he heard about that. An’ nothin’ else better happen t’ him while he’s down there. Reb informs him that somethin’ gonna happen all right. In fact, he figure he’s already pushin’ up daisies right ‘bout now.

Before Wolverine can finish telling him he’s full a’ cr…, Reb tells him that he better watch his mouth. ‘Sides, if he was him, he’d be worryin’ ‘bout himself right now. Ain’t he findin’ it a little hard t’ concentrate? Newsflash – that ain’t water. At that moment, Wolverine begins to feel woozy and leans up against the wall. After seeing that, Reb tells Axel to head down and get him, the mutie’s got himself a date t’ keep.

At the perimeter of the Cage, a hovercraft arrives full of armed soldiers. The leader informs his commander using his radio that the target site is in range. After entering the access codes, a hole opens up in the field around the Cage and the hovercraft enters. As they begin to scale the wall and begins to head towards the Cage, the commander informs them to remember that their orders are to retrieve the subject, be out as quickly as they came in, and to keep the loss of life to a minimum, understood? The leader of the squad replies “if at all possible.”

Inside the medical lab, the Skull member walks up to an unconscious Hank McCoy, lying on a table. He mentions that it’s a shame that he won’t even know who did him in. He’ll just wake up with a knife in his heart. He shouldn’t have messed with the Skulls. They tend to play for keeps as his friend Wolverine will soon find out. Now relax, this won’t hurt a bit.

As he raises the knife over his head in an attempt to bring it down with his full force, Peepers arrives and slams the gurney into the back of the Skull and yells out ‘no, no, no’ which causes the Skull member to drop his knife. Standing over him, Peepers tells the Skull that h-he not hurt Hank. H-Hank and Wolverine are Peeper’s friends. Stuck up for Peepers when no one else would. The Skull notices that it’s Peepers and says that he’s gotta be kiddin’ him. Picking up the knife, Peepers tells him that he’s not kidding. Peepers got knife now – yes, yes, yes. Standing up, the Skull laughs at him and says to him to look at the way his hands are shakin’. Sure, he’s got the knife now but he’s only holdin’ it till he comes and takes it from him.

Entering the corridor that holds the prisoner’s cells, the squad reports that the subject is not in any of the cells. Just then, one of the Red Ghost’s apes, Dmitri, begins to make noise. Waking up, the Red Ghost tells it that it’s having another nightmare and to go back to sleep. When the ape begins to call out, two guards draw their weapons and rush down the corridor. As they turn the corner, they are taken out with rifle shots. One of the members of the squad remarks like he said – if at all possible.

Inside the hole in the wall, Wolverine wakes up to his face being slashed by a partially decomposed creature and tied to a chair. Thinking to himself, he decides that he’s gotta stop wakin’ up t’ crap like this. He then asks the creature who the hell he is supposed to be. The creature tells him one moment, it ‘as been a while since he’s tasted ‘uman blood. With that, the creature proceeds to lick the blood off of his fingers. Finished, he mentions that he’d nearly forgotten ‘ow truly refreshing it is. As for who he is, his true name no longer matters. But he may as well call him that which he has most often been referred to in his life – Mauvais.

Logan recalls that translated, it means “evil.” Guess that pretty much rules out him bringing him a cake with a file in it. Mauvais tells him that in truth he is a fellow prisoner, condemned for his crimes to an immovable existence by the sorcerer supreme of a past era. But another way to look at him is as his executioner. With that, he again slashes Wolverine across the face. Standing outside the hole in the wall, Axel asks Reb if he’s sure about this. Pointing his rifle inside the wall, Reb informs him sure he’s sure. He offs Wolvie, an’ then they off him. It’s nice an’ neat. No prisoners an’ no guards, just like the warden wanted, so what’s the problem?

Mauvais mentions to Wolverine that his friends behind the wall must take him for a fool. They believe he is unaware of their treachery they ‘ave in mind but it is they who are unaware of the powers he possess and the means by which he obtains them. With that, Mauvais attacks Wolverine and bites him in the chest, much to the shock and surprise of Reb.

Inside the medical ward, the Skull tells Peepers to be a good little freak and hand over the knife. He’ll make it quick and fairly painless for him, he promises – yes, yes, yes. Peepers replies that he makes fun of Peepers, looks to hurt Peepers. He wants the knife? Peepers will give it to him – yes, yes, yes!! With that, Peepers stabs the Skull in the gut with the knife and continues to stab him over and over, yelling all the while that Peepers is tired of being hurt, tired of being…

Just then, Hank wakes up and grabs Peepers arm, stopping him from stabbing the Skull anymore. When he does, a voice asks McCoy if Logan has been givin’ this pup lessons. Looking up in shock, Hank says oh my stars and garters – you?!

In Mauvais’ dwelling, Wolverine thinks to himself that his chest’s startin’ t’ look like a jigsaw puzzle, he’s taken so many pieces outta it. Normally, his healin’ factor would perk him right up, but now… Standing before him, Mauvais tells Wolverine that he must say that in all his years, he’s never come across flesh so invigorating. And believe him, coming from one whose mystical powers are derived from the consumption of ‘uman meat, that is a great compliment indeed. Wolverine says thanks but hows about they take a few chunks outta him fer a change. Laughing, Mauvais says if only they ‘ad time to finish their meal together. But sadly, he must bid him adieu instead. Now hold still, this will only hurt a great deal.

With that, Mauvais reaches into Wolverine’s eye-socket and yanks his eye out of his head. Holding the eye in his hand, Mauvais tells him that the special properties of his flesh ‘ave already partially rejuvenated his powers, enough that he can sense others coming. And since he is still weakened from his awakening, he’d rather… ‘ow do you say? “Eat and run.” Popping the eye into his mouth, Mauvais tells Wolverine au revoir, they will surely meet again and promptly disappears. Weakly, Wolverine replies great, he can’t wait.

Rushing into the dwelling, Reb exclaims that he teleported away. He thought he was just held there through magic, not that he was capable of that hocus pocus crap himself dammit. Following closely behind, Axel asks Reb what they do now, they ain’t got Mauvais to pin it on no more. Reb asks him what the hell he thinks they’re gonna do, they’re in too deep now. The warden’s gonna have their hides, but they got no choice now; they gotta finish him off themselves.

Wolverine tells him that it ain’t the warden that’s gonna have his hide, it’s him. Reb says to him that he’s in no position t’ threaten him. Wolverine replies that it’s not a threat, it’s a fact. Fer what he did t’ him, but most a’ all, fer what he did t’ his friend Hank. If he were him, he’d get used t’ sleepin’ with one eye open, ‘cause he ain’t gonna know how an’ he ain’t gonna know when but he guarantees him this – he’s comin’ for him.

Readying his rifle, Reb tells Wolverine that it’s gonna be some trick if he can do it from where he’s goin’. Pointing it at Wolverine’s forehead, Reb tells him ‘goodbye mutie dirtbag,’ he’ll see him in hell. Before Reb can pull the trigger, both he and Axel are slashed from behind and Wolverine is freed from his bonds. Looking at his savior, Wolverine thinks that of all the people t’ be savin’ him, it’s Sabretooth. Flanked by the military squad, Hank McCoy and Peepers, Sabretooth extends his hand. With a malevolent grin and chuckle, he tells Wolverine to come with him if he wants t’ live.

Characters Involved: 

Beast, Wolverine (both X-Men)


Caleb “Reb” Tillis (the warden’s right-hand man)

Axel (Reb’s buddy)

Doctor Steven Strange

Wong (Dr. Strange’s assistant)

Colonel Nicholas Fury

The Shiver Man


Unnamed member of the Skulls

Red Ghost and one of his Super-Apes – Dmitri

Various other unnamed guards at the Cage


Various agents supporting Sabretooth in breaking Wolverine out of prison

In Wolverine’s memories:


The Shiver Man

Wolverine as Apocalypse’s Horsemen Death

Senator Drexel Walsh

Story Notes: 

First appearance of Mauvais.

Wolverine killed Senator Drexel Walsh in cold-blood back in Wolverine (2nd series) #162.

Wolverine and Beast fought the Shiver Man in Wolverine (2nd series) #163. It was in that same issue that they got taken in by S.H.I.E.L.D. agents led by Brent Jackson.

Wolverine was transformed into Apocalypse’s Horsemen Death in Wolverine (2nd series) #145.

Old Yeller is a classic movie that was first released in 1957. It was about a boy, Travis, and his dog, Old Yeller. At the end of the movie the dog contracted rabies and was tearfully put down by his owner, a boy named Travis.

Freddy Krueger was the mystical serial killer antagonist from the Nightmare on Elm Street film series, who killed his victims through their dreams.

Issue Information: 

This Issue has been reprinted in:

Written By: