Wolverine (2nd series) #172

Issue Date: 
March 2002
Story Title: 
Stay Alive - conclusion

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

Brief Description: 

In the Arctic, Wolverine and Alpha Flight battle Mauvais who now possess the brute strength of the Wendigo. Thanks to the huge ice column he created, the Northern Gods are unable to participate in the battle. Using teamwork, Logan and Alpha Flight are able to fight Mauvais, monsters he reanimates and eventually the column itself. Eventually, it all becomes too much for Mauvais to control and he begins to lose. When the column is finally destroyed with a fastball special, performed by Sasquatch and Logan, the Northern Gods appear and banish Mauvais to the Realm of the Great Beasts. Before they do, however, Mauvais attempts to drag Logan along but, after receiving a vision of Logan’s miserable future, he laughs at him and lets him go. Once Mauvais has disappeared, Logan is left to ponder what Mauvais meant.

Full Summary: 

Barely conscious and in the clutches of the Mauvais-Wendigo hybrid, Logan thinks to himself that it seems t’ him he must’ve caught a worse beatin’ than this sometime in his life, though he’s hard pressed t’ think a’ one right about now. Sure, in all fairness, the odds aren’t exactly what ya’d call “in my favor.” What with him havin’ t’ stop one cannibalistic killer from turnin’ another into Sunday brunch all the while avoidin’ windin’ up as Logan stew on both their menus. But now that the smoke’s cleared an’ the worse of the two evils – the ancient sorcerer known as Mauvais – has come out on top, all of Canada may have t’ pay the price fer his failure.

When Mauvais turns to see who blasted him and asks what they ‘ave ‘ere, Logan hears Aurora’s voice telling Mauvais that she’d put him down if she was him, tall dark and wretched. After hearing her voice, Logan thinks well he’ll be, things could be lookin’ up fer a change. The cavalry’s finally arrive an’ wouldn’t ya know it, they just so happen t’ be ol’ friends of mine – Alpha Flight – Sasquatch, Aurora, Guardian, Puck, Snowbird and Shaman.

Mauvais remarks that Wolverine was not the only one lured by Les Dieux du Nord to fight their cause. Sasquatch asks his teammates if it’s him or does the Wendigo seem a lot more chatty than usual? Certainly more coherent than the usual “Raarrhh Wen-di-gooo! Raarrhh!” Puck agrees and asks what’ with Wendy’s Pepe Le Pew talk. Snowbird informs him that, if her senses ring true, this is not the same Wendigo they have faced in the past. Rather, she believes they are amongst the presence of an even greater threat, one long considered addressed by her people.

Mauvais says “malheureusement for them,” her people were mistaken and calls Snowbird a child of his ancient enemies. Does she not think he can smell their stench upon her, or that he won’t feast on her bones because of it? As Alpha Flight goes to attack, Guardian says that it’s an interesting proposition, Frenchie, but he thinks he can speak for Snowbird when he says she’ll pass, but thanks anyway. Mauvais says sill him, where are his manners, guests ‘ave arrived and he is without a welcoming gift. Tossing Logan in their direction, he says that he supposes that this will ‘ave to do. Leaping up, Puck catches Logan in mid-air and tells him to relax, he’s got him. Passing Logan into Shaman’s care, Puck leaps into the fray.

While the rest of Alpha Flight gang up on Mauvais, Logan tells Shaman that they are a sight fer sore eyes. Hell, he’s even glad to see Mac fer once. But how’d they know t’ show up there? Shaman informs him Snowbird. When she lost contact with her people, she summoned them there to the place where the connection between their world and theirs is strongest. That and the fact that this is being broadcast on national TV.

Logan replies yeah, that was a dead giveaway even fer him. Even so, it’s like some higher power wanted them all there like Snowbird’s people made sure they all answered the call. An’ with good reason too. No doubt about it, Mauvais has gotta be stopped. He lured the Wendigo there, chowed down on its ticker, an’ added its power to his own human flesh-filled hocus pocus, essentially becomin’ a new souped-up Wendigo himself in the process. Far as he can tell, his increased power’s feedin’ the mystical column behind them, enablin’ him t’ keep the Northern Gods locked out an’ givin’ him free rein t’ take over Canada. So, it’s there their point a’ attack should be. Way he figures it, they get rid a’ the column an’ they can just sit back an’ let Nelvanna an’ her gang take care a’ the mook for them.

Thinking to himself, Logan deducts that now, it’s just a matter a’ Alpha keepin’ Mauvais busy long enough t’ do the deed. ‘Course, the way things are goin’, they better make this quick.

During the struggle between Alpha Flight and Mauvais, Mauvais pins Sasquatch to the ground and tells him that one who wears the form of the Great Beasts such as him ‘as come to the rescue of their greatest foes. Biting his arm, he adds that that makes him somewhat of a traitor, non? Hearing Walter cry out in pain, Aurora rushes to his aid and tells “monsieur le monster” that she and Walter have just gotten back together and that she prefers her men all in one piece. Grabbing her by the throat, Mauvais tells her that he understands, just as he understands that which he senses within her. A mind, fragmented, split in two. They should make things less complicated then and send cocky, self-assured Aurora away and let Jeanne-Marie come out to play. Mauvais is able to knock her out of the air but before he can inflict more damage, Guardian hits him with one of his blasts. Falling to the ground and curling up into a ball, Jeanne-Marie repeats over and over “non.”

Near the magical column, Shaman asks Logan what their plan of attack is. Logan informs him that there ain’t no way in fer one, he tried that already. Pulling a small twig out of his pouch, Shaman replies then will just have to use other means. As Shaman begins to bury the twig into the ground, Logan says to him that he’s gotta tell him, he’s seen him pull quite a few tricks outta that bag over the years but this time he was hopin’ fer somethin’ a little more substantial than a freakin’ twig. Shaman steps back and tells Logan the he surprises him. For a man so attuned to nature as he is to not fully appreciate its power. Just then, the twig grows in leaps and bounds and wraps itself around the column, crushing the life out of it while Logan watches in shock. Once it is fully grown, Shaman sarcastically asks Logan if he said something. Logan scoffs and begins to chip away at the massive column with his claws.

Across the way, Sasquatch tends to the injured Jeanne-Marie. Even though he wants to stay by her side, he tells her that she will have to wait for him to be back by her side, he’s about to have a crazy ten-foot Frenchman on his back. As Mauvais begins to barrel down on him, Snowbird, in her snow leopard form tells Walter to tend to his beloved, she will halt his charge. For as she has the ability to change into any creature native to Canada, the Wendigo included, she can face the madman on his own terms. Transforming into a Wendigo herself, Snowbird attacks Mauvais with all of her might. As he fends her off, Mauvais tells her that is an impressive trick, but he’s afraid it will not be…

At that moment, Mauvais looks over to see Logan and Shaman working to destroy his column of magic. Pinning Snowbird to the ground, Mauvais unleashes a blast from his hand and tells Wolverine that he is very clever and that it appears that he ‘as underestimated him yet again. Falling to the ground, Logan notices that Mauvais’ bolt a’ magic not only destroyed Shaman’s tree, it made the column stronger too. They’re worse off than when they started. When the tree is broken, Snowbird is too weak to maintain the Wendigo form and collapses to the ground. As she does she utters that the connection to her people has been further weakened, as is she…

Observing Mauvais, Logan can’t believe his eyes when he sees him bring the Wendigo back to life. As Mauvais does so, he tells Wolverine that he’s allowed him to delay him for too long. And, while it is clear he must be dealt with first, he believes he ‘as come up with une solution with a petite lesson in history. Whether he knows it or not, Canada was once a far more interesting land than it is now. Indian mysticism was much more at work in those days and creatures other than just the Wendigo called it home. Much like he can call forth the fallen Wendigo from its slumber, so too does he summon the others.

As the massive mystical creatures surround Alpha Flight, Puck asks the other if anyone else thinks they may just be a tad over their heads there. Rushing to their aid, Logan thinks that he hates t’ admit it, but considerin’ he recognizes some a’ the nasties from Indian folklore, if Mauvais truly has the power t’ bring them back t’ control them, he might just be on t’ somethin’ there.

Concentrating on fortifying the column, Mauvais exclaims over and over that it’s just a matter of time. As Alpha Flight battles the creatures before them, Guardian calls out to the rest of the team that Logan’s idea is the best bet they have right now. Half of them will focus on the column while the other half keeps Monsters, Inc. occupied. Just as Guardian begins to tell Logan what his orders are, Logan tells him that he can take his orders an’ stuff ‘em, he ain’t with Alpha anymore in case he forgot. He should do what he has to do, but he’s already got his role picked out. While he rushes towards Mauvais, Guardian sighs and wonders how the X-Men put up with him.

While Logan attacks Mauvais from behind with his claws, Guardian heads off with Shaman towards the column. Once there, Guardian says to Alpha’s resident mystic that he certainly knows more about this than the rest of them, so how should they go about it. Brandishing a staff from his pouch, Shaman replies that help of the divine is in order. Saving Snowbird from the clutches of the revived Wendigo, Shaman states that surely the Northern Gods did not orchestrate her resurrection only to have her fall to the likes of them. Guardian proceeds to bring her over to Shaman and the column. Snowbird tells Shaman that she is weak. Shaman tells her, Narya, to gather up whatever strength she can and add her power to his. As one who is so connected to the forces at play, her power is relevant there indeed. Together, the three of them unleash their power upon the magical column.

As Mauvais continues to pound Logan as bad as he did the last time, he notices the attack on his column. Telling Wolverine that he is a hindrance, Mauvais adds that his friends act like mice. Forever raiding the cupboard while the master of the ‘ouse is away. He will tolerate it no longer. Speeding off towards the column, Logan picks himself up off the ground and notices that the attack on two fronts is actually workin’. For it to work completely, he still needs to do his part and keep Mauvais occupied just a little bit longer. With that, Logan plays pin-the-tail on the cannibal dirtbag and jams his claw into Mauvais tail. When he does, Mauvais screams out in pain and reacts by punching Logan off of him.

While Sasquatch continues to fend off the magical creatures animated by Mauvais, he asks his compatriots for a little help. Rushing over to Aurora, Puck tells her that she’s got to snap out of it. They need all the help they can get right now. In French, Aurora tells Puck that she’s afraid of the monsters. Puck yells at her that he doesn’t care if she’s afraid, Walter needs her. When Aurora asks Walter, Puck tells her yeah, the strapping ex-linebacker who turns into a shag carpet and who also happens to be her boyfriend. He’s going to die if she doesn’t do anything. Once Puck takes down one of the monsters, Aurora snaps out of it and uses her power to assist Sasquatch and Puck against the monsters. Seeing her in action, Sasquatch mentions to Puck that whatever he did seemed to work – partly anyway. Although Jeanne-Marie’s personality still appears dominant, she’s using Aurora’s powers so it’ll have to do.

Turning his full attention to Logan, Mauvais prepares to deliver the finishing blow to him and tells him that his time has come to an end. He must say though, in all his existence, he ‘as never met a bigger nuisance than him. He will take great comfort in finally knowing he is…

Just then, Logan pops his claw and jams it into Mauvais’ arm. Logan then tells him to “put a lid on it froggie.” It seems t’ him he’s startin’ to do a fade. Dodging his charging fist, Logan tells him that he made a mistake when he resurrected the dead beasts. That, coupled with maintainin’ the column an’ holdin’ him off looks like it stretched himself to the limit. As the beasts Mauvais created begin to disintegrate, Logan tells him that if he asks him, the only end that’s comin’ is his.

With the creatures gone, Sasquatch, Puck and Aurora head over to assist Guardian in his task. Guardian orders Sasquatch and Puck to help Logan keep Mauvais off their backs and Aur… he means Jeanne-Marie, to create a vortex around the column. As she does so, and Puck keeps Mauvais busy by dodging every swing of his fist, Logan sees that Mauvais might be on his last leg and that the column is startin’ to buckle. That gives him an idea. Heading over to Sasquatch, Logan tells him that there was an old bit he used t’ do with an old buddy of his. Picking Logan up, Sasquatch tells him to say no more – one fastball special coming right up. With that, Sasquatch tosses Logan claw first into the base of the column.

Flying through the air, Logan thinks to himself that his claws might not a’ had much effect on the column before but with it weakened like it is now, an’ with metal bein’ a bane t’ most magics, plus the speed at with ‘Squatch is tossin’ him, it might just be enough to put this baby t’ bed. When his claws hit the column, it explodes, much the horror of Mauvais. The mystic energy from the column begins to pour back into Mauvais an’ he begins to wallop Alpha Flight and Logan with it. Impressive as it may be, it’s too little too late. The big guns are there – the Northern Gods Nelvanna, Hodiak and Turoq.

Nelvanna informs Mauvais that it appears they were too lenient in his punishment those many years ago. It is an error they certainly intend to correct. Defiantly, Mauvais yells at Nelvanna that she allowed Canada to slip out of his ‘ands and into those of les anglais during the French and Indian War. She orchestrated his capture years later in the midst of La Revolution but he will not be defeated now. With that, he unleashes a blast of energy towards Nelvanna. Nelvanna blocks it and tells Jean-Pierre that he is an arrogant fool and to count his blessings it is not their way or else he wouldst become a dead man as well.

Just then, Nelvanna counters with a blast of her own which knocks Mauvais to the ground. Nelvanna then tells him that the nature of his last imprisonment was obviously insufficient. Therefore, a more formidable one has been deemed more appropriate. With that, Nelvanna opens up a gigantic portal that begins to suck Mauvais into it. Grabbing hold of the ground in front of the portal, Mauvais tries to save himself. Logan sees this and thinks to himself that ya gotta give this t’ him, he’s scratchin’ and clawin’ till the bitter end. But, just so he don’t get any bright ideas ‘bout not leavin’ Logan leaps towards him.

As he does, he is shocked to see Mauvais resort to gnawin’ his own arm fer a power boost. When Logan jams his claws into Mauvais, Mauvais grabs him by the neck and attempts to pull him in the portal with him. Mauvais proceeds to tell him that if he is to be banished forevermore once again, at least he shall take solace in the fact that he’ll be suffering avec moi. He then mentions to him that the last of his power ‘as provided a premonition, a vision of his future. It appears that he doesn’t ‘ave to take him anywhere, for the dark path his life is about to take is far worse than any place he can take him. Letting go, Mauvais flies into the portal and tells Logan ‘au revoir.’ Once inside the portal, Mauvais finds himself in the Realm of the Great Beasts and face to face with Tundra, Kariooq, Somon, and Tolomaq and is extremely frightened as the Great Beasts ponder his fate.

Nelvanna tells Wolverine and Alpha Flight that they are within their debt. But now, they must take their leave. Yet they do so knowing full well, should the need arise again, Canada shall be in safe hands indeed as long as heroes such as them are there to protect her. Once they leave, Logan remarks that all’s well that ends well except he has no idea what Mauvais was talkin’ about. Shaman replies that he’s sorry; he must confess visions of the future are not his strong point. Puck tells Logan not to sweat it. They should go and get a beer and forget the whole thing. Guardian tells Logan to listen to Eugene. After all, Mauvais was a beaten man, he was probably just looking to scare him on the way out. Looking off into the distance, Logan tells Mac that he’s probably right.

Characters Involved: 


Aurora, Guardian I, Puck I, Sasquatch I, Shaman I and Snowbird (all Alpha Flight)


Wendigo and various other Canadian monsters reanimated by Mauvais

Nelvanna, Hodiak, and Turoq (all Northern Gods)

Kariooq, Somon, Tolomaq, and Tundra (all Great Beasts)

Story Notes: 

Pepe Le Pew is a Warner Brothers creation. He was a French skunk who often times attempted to romance a cat with a white stripe across her back, thus making him think she was a skunk.

Mauvais killed the Wendigo and ate his heart last issue, Wolverine (2nd series) #171. In doing so, he turned into the Wendigo itself.

The original fastball special was invented with Logan and Colossus.

The French and Indian War occurred between 1754 and 1763. It occurred, primarily, in what is now known as the Canadian province of Quebec.

The French Revolution occurred between 1789 and 1799 and occurred in France itself.

While not mentioned in this issue, Nelvanna is Snowbird’s mother.

In this issue, Shaman mentions that the Northern Gods orchestrated Snowbird’s resurrection. See the notes section for Wolverine (2nd series #143) for additional, more detailed information.

Issue Information: 
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