Wolverine (2nd series) #179

Issue Date: 
September 2002
Story Title: 
Of Lesser Demons

Matt Nixon (writer), Ethan Van Sciver (penciler), Lary Stucker (inker), Avalon (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: 

Alpha Flight’s headquarters is under attack by a demon. Not only has he transformed the building into bones and animal cadavers, but also he has possessed Sasquatch, Snowbird and Puck. Shaman, the only one unaffected, encases the building in a protection field and calls Logan for help, as his metal skeleton provides some sort of natural shield against magic. Together, the two enter the transformed headquarters and are soon attacked by a swarm of flies. Shaman absorbs them all into his pouch and realizes that their opponent must have been a shaman too, before he left this world. They split up – Shaman needs to confront the villain on the astral plane, while Logan has to search for his physical manifestation and free the possessed Alphans with enchanted grubs Shaman gives him. Wolverine searches through the base and fights his ways through several enlarged insects until he is attacked by Sasquatch. Logan endures everything that Sasquatch throws at him until he finally sees an opening and can attach the grub to him. Now free, Sasquatch helps Logan, but the possessed Puck continues to evade them. Meanwhile, Snowbird has been transformed into a giant caterpillar/fly creature, as a mate for the demon’s physical manifestation. Logan engages in a fight. On the astral plane, Shaman learns that the demon plans to advance to godhood with the help of Snowbird and Shaman’s newest protégé. Shaman refuses to hand him over, so the demon releases another swarm of flies at him. Shaman opens his pouch, and the flies he absorbed earlier now emerge, enlarged and more powerful than the demon’s. As they eat away his flesh, Shaman says the he regrets it came to this, though now his spirit is free to enter the afterlife. Everything returns to normal, including Snowbird and Puck. Only the huge insect creature remains but, letting loose with their powers, the heroes easily defeat it. A few hours later, Shaman’s new protégé arrives at the headquarters, his name is Chuck Moss. Shaman explains that he will become very powerful, so they need to make sure that his potential will be guided in the right direction. He asks Wolverine for help in teaching him, and Logan agrees.

Full Summary: 

Shaman writes a letter to a young man. He is happy that he will begin his training soon, and has made the necessary preparations. However, Shaman asks the young man to delay his arrival by several days, as something unexpected has come up, demanding his full attention.

Deep in Alpha Flight’s headquarters in Vancouver, in the room of Shaman, there is a pit with pale blue smoke rising from it. A small fly comes out of it, circles rather disoriented and then waits. Then, more flies appear, dozens, hundreds, thousands.

Several miles away, Shaman is levitating in the woods, concentrating on his magicks. He pulls a small lizard from his pouch and dips it’s mouth into the bowl of brown liquid he is holding between his crossed legs. Then, he uses the lizard as a brush, painting a brown line on his forehead, before finally releasing the animal.

That moment, Logan is meditating in the woods near Westchester. He is approached by a lizard that has its mouth sewn up. Logan pops one of his claws, and cuts it free. Immediately, the small reptile talks to him with Shaman’s voice. He needs Logan’s help in a very urgent matter.

(several hours later)

Logan arrives at Shaman’s location and finds him still levitating in the air in front of a transparent blue energy dome. The X-Man asks why the animal had it’s mouth sewn up and Shaman explains that the lizard is very fast, but they will stop and chat with anybody they happen upon. Turning to the obvious matter at hand, Logan wants to know who or what attacks Alpha Flight’s headquarters. Inside the energy dome, the building is no longer visible as it has been buried by gigantic animal remains and skeletons. Shaman answers that he is not yet sure of the exact nature, but it’s some sort of demon, and he has taken Puck, Sasquatch and Snowbird hostage. Fortunately, Guardian and his pregnant wife Heather are currently occupied in other matters, so they are in no danger.

As the two approach the energy dome, Shaman warns Wolverine that once they have pierced the veil of his protection spell, the only way back will be victory. He also warns that the other Alphans are most likely possessed by their opponent and will work against them. Already inside the force dome, Shaman leads Logan through a door of what seems to be organic material. Logan wonders what happens if the demon tries to take him over, but Shaman excludes this possibility. Not only is Logan under his protection, but also the metal of his adamantium skeleton provides him with some special shielding.

Suddenly, the two heroes are sucked up a tunnel, which seems to consist of the same organic material. Halfway through, Logan wonders what that buzzing sound is, but he soon gets the answers when thousands of flies attack them, and soon Logan is choking on them. However, Shaman easily deals with them. One gesture later, the insects are sucked into his magical pouch. He explains to the curious Logan that flies are a very powerful totem, and that their opponent has to be a demon who was once a powerful shaman. Occasionally, when a shaman takes his journey into the next world, something draws him back. Logan thinks it’s unfinished business, but Shaman’s explanation is more metaphysical. It’s the hunger for darkness that he once embraced while living in this world. Until the shaman confronts this darkness, he can’t go on.

Popping his claws, Logan announces that if the demon is looking for a reckonin’ with darkness, it can be easily arranged. Shaman confirms that Wolverine’s approach will work on this world, but to completely eliminate the demon’s influence, he has to confront him elsewhere, on the astral plane. They need to split up. Shaman tells Logan in which direction he will find the three possessed Alpha Flight members, and hands him some grubs that, once placed on their friends, will free them of the demons possession. As Wolverine puts the insects in one of his pockets, Shaman suggests that he starts with Sasquatch and asks if Logan is ready for what lies ahead. He should not have asked, Logan replies. Wasn’t this why he sent him the gecko-gram in the first place. Shaman should know that Logan is always ready to kill something.

Wolverine cuts his way through an organic barrier and ventures into the direction that Shaman told him. He thinks to himself that he can smell Sasquatch and Snowbird nearby, but is unable to pinpoint them. He is interrupted by a spider, a scorpion and a crab all enlarged and as big as Logan himself. They complain about the mammal’s thoughts being too loud and disturbing, and they will show Logan what they think of him. Moments later Logan has sliced though his opponents and standing on top of their remains, he states that this is what he thinks of talking bugs.

Logan senses Sasquatch behind him, but before he has even the chance to turn around, an orange furred fist sends him flying over 50 feet away. He crashes head first into a wall and, before he can get up again, Sasquatch is upon him, holding him down with one fist and hammering him with the other. After several blows, Sasquatch holds up his prey by the legs. Now face to face, the upside down Logan greets Walter, quickly reaches into his pockets and swings up to place one of the grubs one Sasquatch’s hand. The beast gets even more angry and slams Wolverine once more into the ground, but then Shaman’s spell does it’s work and he snaps out of it.

Walter apologizes, but Logan says it’s okay. Now they have to find Snowbird and Puck. However, Puck finds them first. He surprises them by landing a punch in Logan’s crotch, placing him in great pain. Sasquatch is surprised – several blows of his did no harm, but one blow from Puck doubles him over ? Logan says that there is no adamantium there, but prefers they would discuss this later after Puck is detained. Logan gives Sasquatch one of the grubs, explains how they work, and then they take after Puck. They chase him through a narrow tunnel, and since the exit is too narrow, Sasquatch smashes his way through. They are shocked when they become aware of what is on the other side. Logan says “Snowbird”.

Elsewhere in the complex, Shaman is meditating. His astral self leaves his body and meets the demon on the astral plane. Shaman orders him to undo what he has done, but the demon says not until he has what he has come for; Shaman’s protégé. Shaman tells him that he cannot have him, but the demon says he is too powerful for Shaman, so he belongs with him, just like the godling (Snowbird). They will help him return to Earth as a god. With that said, the demon opens his mouth to release another swarm of flies. Shaman reaches into his pouch.

In front of Sasquatch and Logan is huge platform with a giant white creature on it - some sort of cross between a fly and a caterpillar. It is Snowbird. On her back is an equally huge animal, only it is male and its skin is grayish brown. That’s the demon’s physical manifestation and he gloats that the heroes efforts are futile. Wolverine knows he needs to get up there, so he asks Sasquatch for a fastball special. Walter responds immediately and throws Logan up to the demon. Logan manages to cut across his chest, giving him enough time to get to Snowbird. She is in pain, and Logan assures Narya that they’ll help her. Down below, Sasquatch is still chasing Puck. Logan leaps at the huge demon-insect and angrily yells at him that Snowbird ain’t supposed to be touched by the likes of him.

On the astral plane, Shaman tells the demon to look at what a true Shaman can do with the fly totem. He opens his pouch, releasing the flies that were earlier sucked into it. Only now, they are much bigger than before and easily defeat the demon’s flies and then take onto him. While the flies are eating away the demon, Shaman states that it will be the same with the boy. Shaman will maximize his potential, not pervert it like the demon would have. With the villain defeated, Snowbird and Puck return to normal and the bones and animal cadavers in and around Alpha Flight’s headquarters are pulled back into the pit in Shaman’s room. Shaman approaches the demon’s skeleton, places a gem on it’s forehead and announces that he is now free to return to the spirit realm.

In the physical world, Shaman’s teammates and Logan see everything reverting back to normal. All that remains of the demon is the caterpillar monstrosity, and they intend to change that. All four of them attack the beast, letting loose with their powers. The outcome of the fight is never in question.

(a few hours later)

Snowbird does as Shaman asks and takes off to patrol the border realm. She complains that it gets very lonely sometimes, though Shaman replies that, unfortunately, she might not be alone for too long, so she should stay alert and careful. As she departs she once more thanks Logan for his help. Once she is out of range, Logan asks Shaman if he is sure that she is already up to the task. The Indian answers that Narya is a demi-god, and that her presence is needed there. What happened today was only a minor threat to the tasks up ahead.

Logan asks what the demon was after. Shaman points to an approaching jeep and replies that he wanted him, his new protégé, Chuck Moss. The two watch a tall, strong-built young man get out of the car. Shaman says that he needs help to educate him. Moss is the natural equivalent of what Xavier calls an omega mutant. If not properly guided he could become very dangerous. Shaman asks Logan to teach Chuck the way of the warrior and he agrees.

Characters Involved: 


Puck, Sasquatch, Shaman, Snowbird (all Alpha Flight)

Chuck Moss

a demon

Story Notes: 

Xavier uses the term “Omega Mutant” to describe mutants whose powers can grow to an unlimited potential (Jean Grey, Iceman), while other mutations, for example mere physical ones like the Angel’s wings, at one point reach an end.

Issue Information: 
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