Wolverine (2nd series) #25

Issue Date: 
June 1990
Story Title: 
Heir Aid

Jo Duffy (writer), John Buscema (artist), Ken Bruzenak (letterer), Glynis Oliver (colorist), Bob Harras (editor), Tom DeFalco (editor in chief)

Brief Description: 

In the area known as Wharfside, located in Madripoor, Logan makes his way to Morrow’s house to fulfill a debt he incurred years ago in Tehran. Morrow has asked him to look after his young son, Gabriel, while he goes and fights a turf war against a man by the name of Piggot. While he looks after the boy, Logan tells him a story of a young boy who was cast out by the humans for being weak and small and eventually, befriended by wolverines. He lived with the animals and became part of their family, saving them from human trappers. Just then, Logan senses an assassin entering the house and takes him out. Just then, the house is infiltrated by Piggot’s men and the return of Morrow and his men. Downstairs, Morrow is about to be killed by Piggot but is saved by Gabriel. When the dust settles, Logan knows that his debt is cleared with Morrow and knows who he wants to run this section of Madripoor when the next generation rolls around.

Full Summary: 

Madripoor – a small island nation in the Pacific Ocean. It is the land of “whatever you want, it’ll cost you.” It is home of the treacherous, less-than brave whose prince is blind and deaf when it suits him, apt to become a player whenever he smells a profit. His, Patch’s, kinda place.

He’s been hanging out there for a while since he “died,” taking with him his real identity of Logan and the name the world knew him by, as the mutant berserker Wolverine. Usually, in these parts, he hides one eye and calls himself Patch. Hokey, but it’s enough of a cover to suit him. But tonight, he’s left Patch home, tonight’s old business. Patch is part of Madripoor’s rich and famous – a barfly who hangs out with the toughest of the tough, with a major crimelord, and sometimes even with the Prince. Tonight he’s out among the small fry and the dregs.

The neighborhood’s called Wharfside, one of the oldest, poorest, most rundown parts of the island. Once it was the richest. That’s the way it goes. But to the people who live on it, any piece of turf, no matter how small, is worth fighting for. Wharfside has its warring factions. He wonders which side sent that pair of talent who think it’s possible to sneak up on him that he just walked by. It’s not; he’s got scent and hearing like an animal’s and a few other talents. To tell you the truth, long as they keep their distance, he doesn’t care who sent those clowns or what they want.

Reaching his destination, the doorman is tentative to let the stranger in. At that moment, Mr. Morrow appears and tells his doorman, Loo, to stand aside. Once inside, Logan says to the man that it’s Morrow now? He can’t say it suits him. The name he was using back in the old days in Tehran was more his speed. Morrow informs him that he expects to be Morrow ‘till the end of his days and asks Logan by what name does he now call him. Logan tells him that he already called him, names don’t matter.

He then adds that it looks like Morrow and his men are gearing up for a war. And if he’s worried about the guys who were trailing him, he might as well let them in. He won’t be surprised. Morrow exclaims they let him see them? Inept fools. Logan says they weren’t bad, he’s just better. Morrow then asks the two men what they are waiting for and to get in there and take their places. Once they do, Morrow tells Logan not that it matters but he sent them to see that he arrived there unmolested.

Logan states that he heard a rumor it was finally coming to a showdown, him and the man Piggot, once and for all to control Wharfside. It makes him wonder just why he chose now to call on him and collect that old debt. It’s no odds to him who ruled Wharfside. Whatever he’s heard, whatever he owes him, he’s not an assassin and he’s not in the business of putting crimelords, big or little, on thrones. Morrow remarks that he’s changed so little. He’s still a murderer, still so proud and arrogant in his “principles.” But he believes the favor he deserves is not one that will tax his conscience.

Just then, Morrow calls out the name Gabriel. When he does, two attractive young ladies come down the stairs and ask that he called? Morrow tells them not for them, for Gabriel. Logan informs Morrow that he’s held this favor he owes him over his head for years, always tantalizing and never calling it in and now he wants to waste it having him baby-sit his girlfriends? Morrow informs him that the young ladies are not his girlfriends, they are the attendants of Gabriel.

Coming down the stairs, a young boy bounds down the stairs with a teddy-bear in tow and calls Morrow daddy. Shocked, Logan’s cigarette drops out of his mouth. Standing there with his son, Morrow asks Logan if it was prescience then that led him to call this task he set him babysitting. Piggot has no family, no hostages. He knows, given the chance, he and his dogs would take gross and brutal advantage of that difference in their estates. Gabriel then asks his dad if something bad is going to happen. Morrow tells him that he hopes not. If his is wrong, he asks that he be a big brave boy and always remember that his daddy loves him very much.

Logan informs Morrow that he doesn’t know how to take care of a kid. Morrow informs him that Polly and Rebecca will see to all of the boy’s physical needs and that by dawn, the matter will be settled one way or the other. His fate and the fate of Wharfside are in his own hands and the hands of God. The safety of his precious child is in his. With that, he and his small army leave the house. As they leave, Logan thinks to himself that he doesn’t like Morrow, he never has, but he’s a man he has to respect.

Later that night, Logan is sitting in Gabriel’s room. As he does, he thinks to himself that Morrow was right. The two skirts, whatever he called ‘em, got the kid all settled in bed leaving him to watch him. Sitting up in his bed, Gabriel tells Logan that he can’t sleep. Logan asks him what he wants him to do about it to which Gabriel asks if he could tell him a story. Logan informs him that he doesn’t know any stories. Thinking about, he knows that it’s not the kid’s fault. He’s six, or however old he is, and scared.

Logan then tells Gabriel that maybe he does know one story. It’s about a place called Canada, on the other side of the world. It is a vast, beautiful place with trees and lakes and mountains covered with snow and clean fresh air, and fantastic wild creatures. A place with beauties and dangers, and all the wonders of nature.

Gabriel pipes in and asks Logan what snow is. Logan tells him that snow’s like feathers, cold as ice. Falls like rain and makes all the land white. Gabriel states that he doesn’t believe in snow. Logan tells him to believe it for now, it’s part of the story.

Anyway, one day, a long time ago, in the heart of Canadian winter, the snow time, there came a young boy. The boy was alone, afraid, and thought he was going to die. He had been cast out by his people because he was small and weak, and so their leader, his father, decided that they boy was a coward and useless and the boy believed his people were right about him.

Gabriel asks if they were right, was he a coward? Logan tells him this is what this story is about. Gabriel asks if the boy has a name. Logan thinks to himself that he could call him by his name but tells Gabriel that they will just call him the boy. When you’re away from people, names don’t mean a thing. Gabriel says ok and asks what happened to him.

Logan tells him that the boy ventured into the territory of the most dangerous kind of animal in those mountains, maybe in the world – wolverines. Gabriel asks if they attacked him and killed him. Logan replies that the boy expected them to. Wolverine’s are small animals but they can hunt down and kill things a lot bigger than them and that boy had stumbled into a whole pack of them, at the hardest, hungriest time of year. Gabriel tells Logan that he won’t like this story if the boy in it dies. Logan states that he wouldn’t have liked it much himself. And he doesn’t know for sure why things went the way they did.

The animals were so savage and dangerous that white men called them “injun devils” and the Indians had even less flattering names for them. They were capable of bringing down a full-grown reindeer on the hoof. So, what could one lost, lonely kid do to defend himself, especially a weak, little coward? As the boy cried in the snow, the pack of wolverines came up to him and befriended him.

Why did they adopt him? He doesn’t know, maybe it was that he was young and helpless. Maybe they were just more decent than the people who reared him. Maybe that was the day God was lookin’ out for weak little cowards. Or maybe those wolverines could sense what the boy would become. Over the years, sharing their life, the boy grew happy and strong. He learned that he was resistant to the weather and to time, his body could heal virtually any wound or sickness. He learned that his senses were as keen as theirs and they showed him how to hunt and live. The boy even saved them from the traps set out to capture them. It was the best life can be until human beings came back into the boy’s life.

Gabriel asks if they were from the boy’s family. Logan tells him no, they were strangers, fur trappers from one of Canada’s biggest cities. They came in the winter because winter is when the wild animals wear their finest pelts and, time and again, the men found their catches mangled and eaten by the wolverines, the fur ruined, and surrounded by some very odd-looking paw prints. The boy and his pack were worried and uneasy about the coming of the men and the men were worried about the wolverines and they decided to do something about it.

Eventually, the trappers caught the boy in a net and put him in a wooden cage. The boy was like a wild animal himself, strong and fierce but they were men, three against one. By morning, the boy was all packaged for a return to the human race and placed into a wooden cage.

Gabriel asks if the men were going to take the boy back to his family. Logan replies that they didn’t care if he had a family or not. They just thought they could get rich, selling the wild boy to a circus or a freak show. But the boy was part of the wolverine’s family by then and the animals wouldn’t let him go without a fight. As the men begin to take the boy away, the wolverine’s attacked them. After a couple of the wolverines got shot by the men, the boy freed himself and attacked the men. Once the men were defeated, there was joy, such as they knew, for the boy and the wolverines. And the pack wasn’t hungry for most of that winter, because wolverines eat carrion and the boy had given them plenty of that.

Gabriel proceeds to ask Logan what carrion is. Logan tells him nothing and to forget he said that. Gabriel asks that the boy wasn’t a coward anymore? Logan replies maybe he never was. Gabriel says but he was little, weak and afraid. Logan tells him that when you’re a runt, there’s plenty to be afraid of. All you can do is the best you can with the size you are and the guts you’ve got.

As Gabriel looks at him, Logan hears someone on the other side of the house on the same floor who thinks he can’t be heard and expects it to be kept that way. Logan then gets up and tells Gabriel that he has to check on something and to stay there and be quiet. If anything scares him, sing out an’ he’ll be back.

Once out in the hallway, Logan hopes that it isn’t one of Piggot’s boys come to call. Passing by Polly and Rebecca’s room, he tells them to keep the door closed and not to make any noise. Nearing where the perpetrator is, Logan realizes this isn’t good. He can smell machine oil and gunpowder. The sucker’s packing. Entering the room, Logan pops his claws and kills the man before he can do any damage. After taking the man out, Logan hears Gabriel’s voice and heads off in that direction.

As he rushes back down the hallway, he thinks to himself that Morrow was right; Piggot’s decided to bring the fight back there. Reaching the boy’s room, Logan finds him being held by two captors. Logan proceeds to leap at them and takes them out. Cradling the boy, Logan comforts him and tells him that he’s safe now ‘cause he thinks his dad’s home.

Downstairs, Morrow and his men rush into the house. Morrow knows that the vermin will be right behind them and that they have to make their last stand. When one of the man asks what their chances are, Morrow tells him that they may not see the dawn. After Piggot’s men take out more of Morrow’s men, Morrow tells his men to try and hold Piggot’s forces back. He orders them to give their men whatever covering fire you can manage and to save as many as they can.

Upstairs, Logan is with Gabriel, Polly and Rebecca. He tells them that he has to get downstairs and help Morrow and his men and that they need to come with him or they will be sitting ducks. As one of Piggot’s men rushes towards them with a sword, Logan thinks to himself that he meant what he said before about staying neutral and he’d have stuck by it if Piggot hadn’t sent assassins to do in two women and a kid and if he didn’t seem intent on slaughtering Morrow in his own home.

After taking out the assassin with his claws, Logan heads downstairs to see Morrow and his men against Piggot’s men in a massive brawl. Once Logan sees Piggot telling his men to hold Morrow there at gunpoint, Logan leaps the railing and joins the brawl. Logan is able to take out a few of Piggot’s men but realizes that he’ll never get clear in time to help him from Piggot’s sword. Seeing this, Gabriel runs down the steps, grabs a cart and proceeds to slam it into the back of Piggot, knocking him down. Piggot yells out for someone to kill the little maggot. When one of his men go to do just that, he is killed by Logan’s claws.

Later, when Piggot’s gone home and a stalemate ends in sight, the local police show up. Surprise, surprise. They take a lot of statements but make no arrests. He, Logan, doesn’t care whether Morrow wins it or Piggot or they go on like before. As of now, his debt to Morrow is cleared. But whatever the near future holds, when the next generation rolls around, he knows who he wants running this end of town.

Characters Involved: 



Gabriel (Morrow’s son)

Polly and Rebecca (Gabriel’s caretakers)

Morrow’s followers (all unnamed except for Loo who is his doorman)


Piggot’s followers (all unnamed)

In Logan’s story:

A young Logan

A pack of wolverines who take him in

Three fur trappers (all unnamed)

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.

Wolverine and the rest of the X-Men are believed to have died after what transpired in Dallas back in Uncanny X-Men #226.

The story that Logan tells Gabriel has a small boy in it that looks a lot like Logan himself. The story also has some similarities to the Origin limited series that was written several years later.

Issue Information: 

This Issue has been reprinted in:

Written By: