Wolverine (2nd series) #176

Issue Date: 
July 2002
Story Title: 
The Logan Files: Epilogue

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

Brief Description: 

In the afterlife, Logan meets a redhead who takes him through a number of experiences in his life. Logan believes her to be Jean Grey, though she avoids confirmation of such. The redhead proceeds to point out to him that, in his life, he chose to either lash out or withdraw. She then leads him through a door where he can achieve happiness. Before he can start his journey, however, he is approached by Lord Shingen, Cyber and a number of other dead villains. Logan chooses to attack them, much to the redhead’s displeasure, and is assisted in his ordeal by Peter Rasputin, Colossus, who greets him warmly. Eventually, Colossus and the villains disappear before his eyes and the redhead tells him that, as a result of his choice, he has lost his chance at happiness. As she goes, she adds that she is not Jean, at which point Logan realizes that she was actually his first love, Rose. Now alive, Logan escapes his bodybag, kills the Weapon X agents transporting him and makes his way back to the X-Mansion. There, he is visited by Amiko, who was healed by the Weapon X program as a sign of good faith. Content for the time being, Logan goes to enjoy some time with his foster daughter.

Full Summary: 

Logan, walking in the middle of what seems to be nowhere against a blank white scenery wonders where the hell he is. The Weapon X compound? Yeah, that’s it. Just another Weapon X trick, that’s all this must be. A voice tells him no. Logan asks who’s there and what’d they mean by “no.” The voice replies that he, Logan knows what they mean. Logan then asks if he is really dead. A young, red-haired lady tells him yes, and no.

Upon seeing her, Logan asks if she is Jean and says to her that can’t be her, can it? It makes no sense her bein’ there, not if he’s actually gone an’ “bought the farm.” The redhead responds that that depends on how you define “buying the farm.” In actuality, it’s merely his physical body that has, how shall she put it – passed on. He, however, his essence, his spirit, his soul has not as of yet.

As he watches himself being zipped up into a body bag, Logan tells her that she could a’ fooled him and then asks if that is Amiko down there next to him. Is she still… The redhead asks alive – yes – saved by the Weapon X program believe it or not. Logan replies well thank God for that at least. That reminds him, there’s no St. Peter, no pearly white gates, an’ the man with the pitchfork an’ hooves ain’t come a’ callin’ neither. So what the freak is this place?

The redhead informs him that it is a place in between. It is where they say your “life flashes before your eyes.” Her role there is to help him to… Logan cuts her off and says let him guess, this is where she hits him up with the “it’s a wonderful life” routine.

The redhead tells him not quite. She thinks they both are willing to concede that his life was far from wonderful as the images of his last days on Earth certainly demonstrate. Images such as being brutally attacked by both Omega Red and Lady Deathstrike, Sabretooth holding Amiko hostage, and him ultimately dying. The redhead asks him, as he views them again, what is it about them that most disturb him. Logan replies that he doesn’t know, his friggin’ death, maybe? The redhead tells him that he can be as sarcastic as he likes but they both know it is more than that. What Sabretooth did by targeting his loved ones (Nightcrawler, the Hudsons, Yukio, and Amiko) was how he would put it “moved in on his turf.” And he, Logan, failed to stop it. In his mind, there is no greater failure.

Logan tells her okay, he gets it. He failed, no need t’ rub it in Jeannie. The redhead responds that was not her intention. She then points out that he has been a loner most of his life and yet family is very important to him, isn’t it. In fact, throughout that long road he’s traveled, he’s always sought out family at every stop along the way. But he didn’t find it in the Canadian army as a member of the Devil’s brigade or in Madripoor under the guise of Patch or through training with his pseudo-father figure Ogun. He also didn’t find it with bizarre love/hate camaraderie he experienced with members of Team X or even with friends like James and Heather Hudson or later, as a member of their super team Alpha Flight. No, it wasn’t until the X-Men that he finally found it, finally found that place to belong.

Logan angrily tells Jeannie enough with the creepy “ghosts of X-Mas past” stuff already. Yeah, the X-Men are his family and he’s never said otherwise. So what’s the purpose a’ showin’ him all this? If he’s dead, then throw some dirt on him, let the worms have their feast an’ let’s move on already. The redhead asks him can’t he see? This is why he hasn’t moved on. He has to come to terms with all this as well as with his feelings about. Logan asks his feelings, give him a freakin’ break. The redhead tells him that is correct, his feelings. Sadly, though there has only been two ways he has chosen to deal with them throughout his existence. By either lashing out, or withdrawing inside. Enraged, Logan pops his claws and tells Jeannie that he’s gettin’ a little sick an’ tired a’ this psycho-babble mindscrew junk. Seeing that he has popped his claws, the redhead thanks him for making her point for her.

From afar, Lord Shingen sees Logan talking to the redhead and points out that he can’t possibly be this lucky. Calling over Cyber, he shows Logan to him. Upon seeing him, Cyber asks what they are waitin’ fer. Shingen tells him to have patience. A moment like this is sometimes best shared.

From there, the redhead shows Logan a scene where he and his fellow X-Men are playing cards. She mentions that they, the so-called “new X-Men” have always held a special place in his heart. More so than even the subsequent line-ups that would follow, is she correct? Logan replies yeah, he guesses so. The redhead points out that after years of searching, there was that ready-made family he could finally call his own and bonds were forged that could never be broken. He gained a sister in the motherly Ororo Munroe (Storm), brothers in the fun-loving Kurt Wagner (Nightcrawler), the jovial Sean Cassidy (Banshee), and the naïve Peter Rasputin (Colossus). And even onetime rivals like Scott Summers (Cyclops) that he eventually made peace with. And of course, last but certainly not least, there was Jean Grey.

The redhead then asks Logan what it was about her that drew him to her so. Logan responds to Jeannie that she’s not gonna grill him about this, is she? Suffice t’ say, she knows full well how he felt about her an’ they’ll leave it at that. The redhead asks ‘felt?’ But that would imply emotions of the past and yet, doesn’t he begrudge her and Scott their happiness? Doesn’t he secretly wince whenever he sees the two of them together, even to this day? Logan says that, that ain’t true. He came to terms with their relationship long ago. He’s happy fer both of them.

The redhead asks ‘really?’ Then why didn’t he attend their wedding with all of the other guests? Why choose to sulk in the distance instead? Certainly a funny way of “coming to terms” with something, isn’t it? Throwing his hands up in the air, Logan concedes. He tells Jean that he loves her now and he’s always loved her. There he said it, is she happy now? The redhead replies that he’s missing the point. It’s the event she’s talking about, how he tends to avoid episodes that might elicit painful emotions.

The day of Peter Rasputin’s funeral certainly comes to mind. She points out that, once again, he was conspicuously absent from the services. Logan replies that’s ‘cause he was ticked off at Petey. What he did, sacrificin’ himself t’ cure the Legacy Virus – some of the others mighta found it noble, but not him. He didn’t have t’ go like that dammit. They would a’ found another way, a different way. The X-Men always do. The redhead asks to see if she understands this. All that he felt was anger? That’s the only emotion he can admit to? No sadness or feeling of loss? Lowering his head, Logan quietly says no, he means of course, he…

The redhead cuts him off and proceeds to ask him about Mariko’s death. Logan tells her to wait just a second. She ain’t gonna sit there an’ tell him he didn’t feel nothin’ when Mariko died. Poppin’ his claws to put her out of her misery was the hardest thing he ever had to do – period! The redhead replies that she agrees but it’s what came after that’s alarming. After all the time since Mariko’s death, despite many opportunities, why were there no other women in his life?

Logan tells her not to make him laugh. She knows full well there’ve been plenty a’ women. Ol’ Logan ain’t never had any trouble in that department. The redhead says to be sure. However, she’s not talking about the “floozy of the week.” She’s talking about an actual meaningful relationship. There hasn’t been a single once since Mariko died – why is that? When Logan doesn’t answer, the redhead points out that quite simply, it’s because he’s afraid to be hurt again, isn’t it? Afraid yet another relationship will end like all the others do – in death.

She tells him to think about it, isn’t there a pattern there? There has been periods of great trauma in his lifetime – the abuse he suffered at the hands of the Weapon X program, Magneto tearing the adamantium from his body, Apocalypse turning him into his servant Death. She asks does he not find it strange that his recollection of those events are fuzzy at best? Whether he wants to admit or not, Sabretooth was right. Logan angrily asks ‘right about what?’ That all this time, his lost memories are ‘cause of him? Creed was lyin’ as usual, dammit! The redhead responds not about this and as he pointed out, he knew it. He keeps emotional pain at arms length and whatever does manage to sneak through his mind heals over.

Putting his head in his hands, Logan says no, Creed was lyin’. Placing her hand on his shoulder, the redhead tells him that only he can stop it. When Logan asks how, she says to accept that it’s okay to fail, okay to hurt, unlock the door of his mind. Looking where the redhead is pointing, Logan sees a door. He quips that he wasn’t expecting somethin’ so literal. The redhead informs him that she can only show it to him, it is him who must walk through. Before he enters, Logan asks Jean what he will find in there. The redhead replies that he’ll have to see for himself.

Opening the door hesitantly, Logan sees a lush green field with blue sky and a couple of trees scattered about. Listening, Logan points out to Jeannie that he can hear voices over the hill, voices he vaguely recognizes. Some are laughin’ and some are cryin’. When he asks what and who they are, he is told they are the answers to everything, the origin to it all. She adds that he must now trust her and put aside his fear, his doubt and go over the hill. She promises him, her love, all will be revealed.

Before Logan can start his journey, a voice from behind tells him that it’s such a shame, gaijin dog, to come so close only to come up short in the end. Turning around, Logan sees Lord Shingen, Cylla, Geist, Mastermind, Stonewall, Silver Sabre, Stryfe, Cameron Hodge, Cyber, the Professor and Pyro standing together. Popping his claws, Logan turns around and heads towards them. The redhead tries to stop him, reminding him what she told him before about lashing out or withdrawing. She tells him now would be a good time for the latter and that he should go over the hill now before it’s too late. Turning towards her, Logan tells Jeannie not just yet. He ain’t never backed down from a fight in his life an’ he sees no reason to start now that he’s dead.

When he leaps at the horde of villains, they attack him and begin to overwhelm him with their numbers. Before they can inflict any more damage however, an old friend intercedes and knocks the villains off of him with a powerful blow. Looking up, Logan is shocked to see Colossus standing over him holding out his hand. Peter tells him that lucky for him, his enemies weren’t the only ones in the neighborhood. Before Logan even gets a chance t’ respond, Peter joyfully hoists him up in a big Russian bear hug. As usual, the big goof forgets his own strength. Still, Logan ain’t even gotta say one word ‘cause it’s plain as day, it sure is good t’ see the big dumb Ruskie again.

Once he is free from Peter’s grasp, Logan tells him that he can’t freakin’ believe it… Peter tells him to believe it, though unfortunately it appears their reunion may be a short-lived one. Seeing the horde of villains make their way towards them, Logan tells Peter that he’s got an idea. Picking Colossus up, he tosses him via the fastball special into the villains, knocking them down.

As Colossus engages them in battle, he tells Logan goodbye and to tell the others that he is with his little snowflake, with his family and that he is happy. Just like that, Colossus and the villains disappear into thin air. Exiting through the door, the redhead tells Logan congratulations. He’s succeeded in losing his one chance at peace, possibly forever. Logan calls out Jeannie but before the door closes, the redhead informs him that she’s not Jean. Rushing towards the closed door, Logan asks who she is. On the other side of the door, the redhead sniffs a rose and tells James, her love, farewell. Perhaps they’ll be reunited again someday.

In a Weapon X aircraft, Logan awakens and rips his way out of the bodybag he is confined in. As he makes his way to the front of the aircraft, the pilot asks the co-pilot why they’re bringing the stiff back to the compound again. The co-pilot says ‘who knows,’ maybe the Director wants to have him stuffed and mounted. Walking up to them, Logan tells them that somebody recently told him he deals with things in two ways – lashin’ out an’ withdrawin’. With a smirk on his face, he asks them to guess which one this is gonna be. Unleashing his fury, Logan proceeds to kill the agents.

At the X-Mansion, a bandaged Logan is in his room contemplating what has happened to him. He recalls that he was pushin’ daisies fer twenty-three minutes. What exactly happened during those twenty-three minutes is the question. Far as he can tell, his power loss was only temporary, so when his healin’ factor finally kicked in, it brought him back with it. But back from where? Was what he experienced real or just some sort a’ dream? Is he really the cause of his lost memories? And if so, what does he do about it? What can he do, fer that matter? And maybe most bafflin’ of all, that girl – who was she? He has a lot a’ questions but zero answers. Welcome back to his life. All he knows is that now he has to hunt down Amiko an’ hope she really is still alive.

Just then, the front doorbell rings. Wondering who it can be at this hour, Logan goes to answer it. When he gets there, he is shocked to see Amiko standing there, alive. Amiko asks if he’s going to just stand there gaping or is he going to let her in? Hugging her, Logan asks how. Handing him a letter, Amiko replies that she was told to give it to him. Opening it, Logan reads:

Experiment X – please accept your foster daughter’s safe return as a show of good faith on our part. I assure you, the Weapon X program did not sponsor or condone Sabretooth’s actions – and I offer my deepest apologies to you and your loved ones. Signed, from one father to another, the Director.

Amiko asks what the letter said and Logan tells her a joke and crumbles it up as they go to get something to eat.

Characters Involved: 



Various unnamed Weapon X agents

In flashbacks:

Logan/Wolverine in his guise as a member of Team X, a member of Alpha Flight, an X-Man, and as Apocalypse’s Horsemen Death

Angel, Banshee, Beast, Colossus, Cyclops, Havok, Ice-Man, Jean Grey, Nightcrawler, Storm, and Thunderbird I, and Professor Charles Xavier (all X-Men)

James and Heather Hudson

Mariko Yashida



David North/Maverick (member of Team X)



Omega Red

Lady Deathstrike

Sabretooth in his guise of Team X and also as a solo operative



The Director and various unnamed Weapon X agents (all Weapon X)

Those in purgatory:



Cameron Hodge, Cyber, Cylla Markham, Mastermind/Jason Wyngarde, The Professor, Pyro, Lord Shingen, Stonewall, Stryfe, and Super Sabre

Story Notes: 

Wolverine first faced the Wendigo and Incredible Hulk back in Incredible Hulk (2nd series) #180-181.

Jean Grey and Scott Summers were married in X-Men (2nd series) #30.

Colossus died in Uncanny X-Men #390 after he gave his life to cure the Legacy Virus. His demise wasn’t permanent, however, as he returned in Astonishing X-Men (3rd series) #4.

Mariko Yashida was killed mercifully by Logan and his claws to avoid a slow, painful death way back in Wolverine (2nd series) #57.

Logan suffered at the hands of the Weapon X program in Marvel Comics Presents (1st series) #72-84.

Logan had the adamantium ripped out of his body in X-Men (2nd series) #25 by Magneto.

Wolverine became Apocalypse’s Horsemen Death in Wolverine (2nd series) #145.

Cylla Markham was killed by Bloodscream back in Wolverine (2nd series) #78.

This is the first time we have seen Geist since way back in Wolverine (2nd series) #23. Obviously, his meeting with Magneto didn’t go very well.

Pyro died in Cable (1st series) #87 from the Legacy Virus.

Stonewall perished in Uncanny X-Men #255 at the hands of Donald Pierce.

Silver Sable was killed in New Mutants Annual #7 by Aminedi.

Lord Shingen was killed by Logan in Wolverine (1st series) #4.

The Professor was supposedly killed back in Marvel Comics Presents (1st series) #84 by Logan himself as he escaped from the Weapon X facility.

Mastermind, Jason Wyngarde, perished from the Legacy Virus back in Uncanny X-Men Annual #17.

Cyber was “killed” in Wolverine (2nd series) #96 when his flesh was eaten by mutant death-watch beetles. His death wasn’t permanent, as he returned in Wolverine Origins #11 as a spirit who took over a new body.

Stryfe last perished in Gambit and Bishop: Sons of the Atom #6 when he sacrificed himself. He too, returned, this time in the X-Force/Cable Messiah War Prologue.

Cameron Hodge died in Cable (1st series) #16. Surprise – he returned too after he was resurrected by the Purifiers in X-Force (3rd series) #3.

Rose died in Origin #6, accidentally killed by Logan’s bone claws during his fight with Dog.

Issue Information: 
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