Wolverine (2nd series) #24

Issue Date: 
May 1990
Story Title: 
Snow Blind

Peter David (writer), Gene Colan (artist), Jim Novak (letterer), Mark Chiarello (colorist), Bob Harras (editor), Tom DeFalco (editor-in-chief), Jim Lee (cover)

Brief Description: 

In the streets of Madripoor, a street kid named Aldo steals a briefcase from a lady, who is actually an assassin known as the Snow Queen. A chase ensues until the Snow Queen grabs another child, Rose, threatening both of their lives. Aldo ignores her request and takes off. The Snow Queen, finding no use for her at the time, releases Rose. Rose yells for help, which arrives in the form of Patch, the Madripoor disguise of Wolverine, who then joins the chase. Meanwhile, in hiding, Aldo opens up the case to discover cash, as well as what he thinks is a radio. He turns it on, however the problem is that it’s not a radio - it’s a bomb and he has started the timer. Elsewhere, Patch catches up to the Snow Queen until she releases her “snow blind” power on him, confusing his senses. When Patch recovers, he decides that he needs to find out where Aldo is hiding. He then goes to a bar where he learns of a man by the name Granif, who would know where Aldo is. Patch goes to Granif’s hideout and quickly obtains assistance in finding out where Aldo is. Meanwhile, the Snow Queen finds Rose and makes her show her where Aldo is hiding. Soon after, the Snow Queen - with Rose intact - finds Aldo at an abandoned building. A chase ensues and on the roof, a fight breaks out between the Snow Queen and Patch, who has just arrived. It is pretty even and, in time, the Snow Queen fires a shot at Aldo. She misses and it inadvertently hits Rose, who starts to fall of the building. Aldo decides the case isn’t important to him and gives it to the Snow Queen. He then goes to save Rose from falling. With her case in tow, the Snow Queen bounds to the next building over where she reflects on the day. As she opens up the case, the timer reaches zero and the bomb explodes.

Full Summary: 

I've heard beggar children all over the world. Most of them have far more original lines than you.

Three street urchins run up to a man, clad in a business suit and hat. Trying their best to get his attention, they ask him for money. One asks f he can spare some change, while another pleads for just a dollar. Is he an American, the third asks. Americans have lots of money.

Would you like to hear my story? A charming fable? Once upon a time there was a very great lady from a very cold place. Her name… the Snow Queen. She has a great gun with a great silencer. She keeps it hidden under her great jacket. Same place she keeps her great knife. This however isn’t what you would call a Grimm Fairy Tale, it’s a Grim Very Tale. When the job is finished, someone will end up dead, and I’ll live happily ever after.

After she emerges from her hotel and onto the street, the children spot the Snow Queen and start to beg for money. Please lady, we’re hungry, please help us they say. The Snow Queen ignores them, trying to make her way along until one of the children gets greedy and grabs the her briefcase. He starts to run away as the Snow Queen yells at him to stop. He doesn’t and she then proceeds to pull out her gun and fires upon the young boy, for he has angered her greatly.

The Snow Queen does not wish to shoot the boy, for she used to be a beggar and has some sympathy for his kind. That and she didn’t want him to drop the briefcase he is carrying for fear of the ramifications.

The Snow Queen grabs a little girl and threatens to kill her if the thief doesn’t stop running. The little boy hesitates only for a moment, and then turns and runs away. The Snow Queen decides to let the little girl go… she is of no use to her. Besides, it was the boy who she’s mad at. She chases after him, getting angrier by the moment.

The little girl, now released from her captors grasp, begins to run around and ask for assistance. She asks a young tourist couple for help, but they don’t. Why would they help a common street urchin? The young girl starts to panic and begins to yell that she is going to kill him. Eventually, help does arrive in the form of Patch, the Madripoor disguise of Wolverine. When he asked her what’s wrong, she tells him that her friend, Aldo, has taken something from a stranger lady and now she wants to kill him. Normally, beggar kids will say anything for a scam, but Patch knows better; this kid stinks of fear. He finds out which way they went and takes off in that direction.

The Snow Queen has lost which way the child has gone with her briefcase. She indicates that her name is Gitte and that he has something that belongs to her and she wants it back. She’d rather give him a reward than shoot him... it’s tidier. As she is talking, Aldo is hiding behind a building. He doesn’t believe her and decides to open up the briefcase to see what is so important about this case. Inside the case he finds a lot of American money and a radio. He clicks the radio and it tunes to 3000. No music, battery must be broken, Aldo thinks to himself. The “radio” now reads 2999, and then 2998. Maybe he can fix it later. No wonder the stranger lady wanted the case back with all of that money

The Snow Queen yells that she is running out of patience... and time indicates Patch. Patch proceeds to tell her that while he admits that urchin kids are no angels, that doesn’t mean that you have to kill them.

She tries to shove past me. Somehow, she looks familiar, but I can’t quite place it. The whole world begins to go nuts, like I’m trapped inside a television screen filled with static, or snow. All of my senses are on edge. With my senses overwhelmed, I start to freak out.

Everything is gone, it was all in my head. I realize now why she was so familiar. Back when I worked for the Canadian government, there was talk of a hotshot assassin that was good with knives and guns. She also had the ability to short out the perception of the world, creating a kind of mental snow, like a messed up picture tube. Because of that and the fact that she is from the Netherlands, her name is the Snow Queen.

Aldo is looking at another item from the case, this one a picture of a man.

In a local bar, that same man serves Patch a drink. Patch proceeds to tell him about his “problem.” He can’t seem to catch a scent on her but doesn’t think it will take him long before he catches up to her. The bartender recommends that he speak with Granif, the ringleader for most of the street kids. He proceeds to explain to Patch that Granif is a father figure for these kids; he provides them with shelter and guidance. Patch wonders if that’s what he needed growing up. Maybe he could have been a pastry chef. The bartender pipes in… maybe a butcher. Nope, Patch says, that’s what I already am.

On the streets, a blind child has a sign and a cup begging for help. A coin is dropped in her bucket and she expresses gratitude. She is snatched up by the Snow Queen, who tells her that her thanks is not needed and, if the child plays her cards right, she can even save her life. The Snow Queen asks that child what her name is. R-R-Rose, she stammers. The Snow Queen admits that her favorite dead flowers are roses and asks Rose if she would like to be a dead flower. Rose responds by saying no. Good girl, you are going to help me find your little friend or I‘m going to make up for not icing you earlier. Rose accepts that offer and agrees to help the Snow Queen find Aldo. The Snow Queen also lets Rose in on a little bit of information In that case her friend stole was a bomb that could level a building. It wasn’t on when he stole the case but you never know now....

Aldo is still in his hiding place. This time, asleep. The “radio” now reads 999.

On a rooftop, a teenage child is standing guard. He doesn‘t understand why he is stuck on guard duty, just because he didn‘t give Granif that one stupid shiny coin. Guard duty is so boring. Suddenly, Patch comes up behind him and indicates that he will never graduate sentry school with that attitude. In the hideout, there are a bunch of street kids hanging out. Some are playing cards, while others are doing laundry. An old man, Granif, sits and counts the money. The take is low today, he says. And has anybody seen Aldo or Rose?

Suddenly, the sentry is pushed through the door by Patch. The guard yells to everyone to run, Patch tells everyone to stay put. Patch proceeds to go directly over to the old man and asks him for some assistance in finding Aldo. He explains to him that Aldo has stolen something from a very deadly assassin and that, if he wants to see him alive again, he should help him. One of the kids tries to go after Patch with a knife. One good backhand takes him out.

When Granif asks him why should he believe him, Patch pops his claws and tells Granif that if he wanted to slice and dice the lot of them, he could have. However, he’s not there to do that; he’s there to save lives and the ball is now in Granif’s court. Granif understands the severity of the situation and asks Patch what he needs from him. Something he wore recently, indicates Patch. Granif orders Rashi to bring him one of Aldo’s headbands. It’s the only thing he owns two of.

Aldo is awake now. The strange lady has to be gone at this point. He pokes his head out of his hiding place and narrowly misses being shot in the head as a bullet pings off of the wall he was coming around. Here comes the Snow Queen with Rose intact. Rose is trying to tell the Snow Queen that Aldo isn’t going to be down this way. The Snow Queen knew better and decided to check it out anyway and has now found what she is looking for!!

As Aldo runs through the house up the stairs, he slams a crossbar bolt shut. Undeterred, the Snow Queen takes off her earrings; they double as plastic explosives. She then removes her necklace that doubles as a detonation wire. She blasts the door open. Now that she has Aldo where she wants him, she ties Rose to the stair well. She isn‘t needed now but, if for some strange reason the boy escapes, the girl will be better off to her alive then dead. Truth be told, she has taken mercy on this girl. She then proceeds up the stairs after the boy who has given her so much grief.

Up on the roof, Aldo has no place left to run. The Snow Queen orders him to put the case down slowly. All of a sudden, Patch comes flying over the roof and goes after the Snow Queen. She takes a shot at him but misses. Patch realizes that if he doesn’t go after her fast, he will succumb to her static power again. The Snow Queen then connects with a roundhouse kick to Patch’s face, knocking him down the stairs. Patch is surprised; she is definitely more than human and incredibly fast, maybe faster than him. It’s not important to be fast, though, it’s important to be the best and the last one standing. As the Snow Queen goes after Patch, he connects with a kick to her gut.

In the meantime, Rose has escaped from the ropes. She goes to find Aldo to make sure that he is still alive, so she can wring his neck for putting her through this mess. Up on the roof, the Snow Queen is swiping at Patch with a knife. Patch is attempting to stay as far as he can away from her so she can’t use her static power. That doesn’t work and she is able to get close enough to unleash her “snow blind” power.

Should’ve used my claws when I had the chance. I’ve been trying to keep myself and my ID under wraps, and now it’s costing me. Got to keep a grip on myself, can’t freak out or she‘ll cut me to ribbons. Everything’s blocked. Can’t hear, can’t see, can’t smell.

The Snow Queen uses this advantage to stab Patch in the chest. He is staggering and she hits him with the “snow blind” again.

Another stab, something vital was cut that time. Enough is enough. That is it. Incognito or not, she’s chiclets now.

Patch is still blinded and starts to slash his claws around wildly. He finally connects with her arm, and the Snow Queen is bleeding now and she is furious. She picks up her gun and proceeds to shoot Patch with a direct shot to the chest. She hears the sound of small, running feet and turns around to see Aldo running away. She has had enough. No more warning shots. With his back to her, the case is not in the way. She shoots to kill. As Aldo reaches the door, Rose flies through it and gets grazed by the shot. It spins her around until she falls off the roof of the building. She is able to grasp hold of the roof, holding on for dear life.

The haze is starting to lift now, she thinks I’m dead. She thinks wrong. She’s somewhere in front of me. I swing blind, aiming where her arm should be.

The Snow Queen’s gun is slashed in a million pieces. Highly upset, she nails Patch with a swift upper kick to his jaw. She then yells at Aldo, ordering him to give her the case. Aldo, at this point more worried about Rose, gives the case to her. He runs and grabs Rose’s arm at the last second, keeping her from falling While the Snow Queen would love to continue the punishment on those that have made her day so difficult, she realizes that with her precious case at last, she has more pressing issues to tend to. She jumps to the other building and leaves Patch, Aldo, and Rose to tend to their wounds. Patch helps Aldo pull Rose onto the roof and rips a part of his shirt off so that they can get her to some help.

Over on the other building, the Snow Queen is looking back on her day. She decides that because she was too overconfident in her abilities, this was the gods way of testing her. She’ll remember that from now on. She then opens up her case. It reads 001. Her last words are “Oh No” before a huge explosion occurs.

Back on the other rooftop, Aldo asks what that was. Patch tells the kids that, if he’s not mistaken, the Snow Queen has just had an early thaw.

Characters Involved: 

Patch (Wolverine)

Snow Queen (Gitte)

Aldo, Rose, Rashi, various other street children.


Bartender (unnamed)

Bar patrons

Madripoor tourist couple. (Henry and an unnamed women)

Story Notes: 

Madripoor is a small island nation located to the south of Singapore. It is a haven for international criminals and where money can buy you anything.

First and only appearance of the Snow Queen.

A lot of this comic was told in a 1st person narrative form from Wolverine’s point of view. Some of this has been expressed above in italics.

Issue Information: 

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