Wolverine (2nd series) #35

Issue Date: 
January 1991
Story Title: 
Blood, Sand and Claws!

Larry Hama (script), Marc Silvestri (pencils), Dan Green (inks), Pat Brosseau (lettering), Glynis Oliver (coloring), Bob Harras (editor), Tom DeFalco (editor-in-chief)

Brief Description: 

Logan arrives at a bar located in Vancouver, British Columbia. He is there to visit his old friend, Puck. He plans to relax for a little while and to hang out with some old friends. Over in Osaka, Lady Deathstrike is on the hunt to find Wolverine. She starts with the Yakuza warehouse, where Wolverine killed Dai-Kumo and his gang. From there, with the help of Gateway, she heads over to Madripoor to find out from Tyger Tiger where he is. Tyger reluctantly gives up Wolverine’s whereabouts - he is in Vancouver. Deathstrike uses this information and tries to convince Gateway to send her there. He is being stubborn, so Deathstrike requests that he send her to where Wolverine is gazing on at that very moment. Little does she know, but Logan and Puck are talking about Spain in 1937. When Gateway sends Deathstrike to where she requested, she is sent in a time vortex that sucks up Deathstrike, Wolverine and Puck. They are dropped in Spain in 1937, in the heart of the Spanish Civil War! There, Puck and Wolverine meet up with Ernesto and Inez. After a Nazi air raid, all four get into a vehicle and head off to the mountains. Deathstrike ends up in Spain as well, but she is greeted by a unit of Nazi soldiers who believe her to be Republican partisan. Because of that, they are more than ready to string her up at the next telephone pole!

Full Summary: 

The Gastown Bar located in Vancouver, British Columbia is not in a particular ritzy part of town. But, hey, Wolverine is not a particularly ritzy kind of guy. As he saunters up to the bar, he sees someone getting tossed out of it, face-first. Coming from inside the bar is a familiar voice, informing the man just tossed out, Freight-Train, to consider himself permanently eighty-sixed! Also to drop dead, not to bother to write, and to never darken the doors of the bar again. That voice belongs to the man known as Puck.

Wolverine informs him that was a nice toss and proceeds to ask him if he has been working on his upper body strength. Puck replies that they call him Judd around there and sarcastically asks Wolverine what he’s calling himself these days. Wolverine replies that Logan will do. Puck asks if “Wolverine” is keeping a low profile. Wolverine responds that he is - some. Off in the distance, Freight-Train indicates to Puck that he will back and calls him a sawed-off runt!! Puck ignores him and asks Wolverine if his visit is business or social. When Wolverine answers that it is both, Puck invites him into the bar and offers to stand him a tall moose breath.

As they enter the bar, Wolverine informs Puck that he had called the temporary Alpha Flight headquarters over in Ottawa and they gave him this address. He then asks Puck since when did he go back to bouncing for a living. Puck responds that he’s just filling in for a friend and introduces Wolverine to a young lady sitting at a table. She is the regular bouncer of the bar - Ms. Bambi Bolinsky. She is presently indisposed with multiple fractures. Wolverine sarcastically responds that he should have seen the other five guys. Bambi responds that it was more like eight.

She invites Wolverine to pull up a pew and join the game. She asks if he ever played split the fly. With that, she proceeds to spit on the table and covers it in sugar to sweeten the pot. While they wait for a fly to land on the pile of sugar, Puck asks Logan what brings him back to Canada. Logan responds that he came back looking for his roots and that he came looking for a little of that non-mutant healing factor. That he came to breathe the fresh air and to chase out the demons. Just then, a fly lands on the pile of sugar, to which, Bambi kills it with a knife. She indicates that the fly is in two pieces, but off center. It will take a clean split, dead center to beat it. Puck indicates to Logan that chasing demons is something he has first-hand experience in. Wolverine answers that is what he wants to talk to him about. When Bambi hands Logan the knife, he informs her that they play the game a little different where he comes from.

In Osaka, Japan, two cops are stationed outside the old Yakuza warehouse. One of the cops, Tetsuo, indicates that it gives him the creeps ever since that massacre when Dai-Kumo and all of his Yakuza were taken out. The other cop, Akira, responds by asking him that he doesn’t believe in ghosts, does he? Not a big strong Osaka cop like him. Tetsuo responds that of course not, but they way the Yakuza were killed - like they were ripped by claws....

Just then, he catches a glimpse of something walking in front of their car. He asks Akira what that was and that it looked like a ghost in ancient armor!! Akira gets out of the car and responds that it is more likely a prowler or a punk kid on a lark. He grabs his gun and informs Tetsuo that he’s going to go check it out. He orders Tetsuo to punch up the Dai-Kumo case number up on the computer and see what’s in the file.

Inside the warehouse, Lady Deathstrike notices the slashed open tank. She thinks to herself that the rumors are true and that he has been there. Only he could have slashed his way out of a stainless steel tank!! He slashed his way out with adamantium claws, just like hers!!

At that moment, Deathstrike is interrupted by Akira, who informs her that she needs to hold it right there. This is a crime-scene and the subject of an on-going investigation and that she is trespassing. He orders her to put her hands up and to turn around slowly. Deathstrike turns around and angrily asks that he dare give orders to her?!?! Akira indicates that he doesn’t care if she’s Astro Boy’s little sister and tells her again to put her hands...

Before he can finish, Deathstrike informs him that if he wants her hands, then he will have them. She then proceeds to extend her clawed fingers and rams them through Akira’s gut, killing him!! Out in the car, Tetsuo calls Akira on his radio and asks him what is going on in there. He asks if he wants to call for some backup. He gets no answer, until Deathstrike approaches him...

Back in Vancouver, Logan indicates to Bambi that, where he comes from, they pour the sugar on their arm. Just then, Freight-Train enters the bar with his cronies. They are armed with a crowbar, axe and chainsaw. Freight-Train calls out to the soon-to-be-dead half pint and asks where he is. He and his boys are going to trim him down to kindling!! Bambi watches Logan and indicates that she gets this dodge – it’s finesse. She asks if Logan is so good that he can split the fly and not even nick himself. Puck replies that that is not the case. Finesse is not a quality one associates with Logan. Logan replies that Puck is one to talk and asks him if he thinks that he’s Mr. suave and sophisticated these days.

With that, the fly lands on Logan’s arm and he stabs it with the knife, entering his arm in the process!! It is at that time, that Freight-Train and his gang come up behind Logan. Logan turns around with the knife sticking out of his arm and asks them if they are there to play or are they just going to stand around, airing their tongues out. Freight-Train and his boys don’t answer; they just turn tail and run out of the bar. When they leave, Logan laments that he thought they had some live ones there for a second. Puck replies that there is too much civilization around there. It turns big strong men into howling sissies.

Back in Osaka, Deathstrike is sitting inside the cop car with a cord coming out of her eye and into the mainframe of the police computer. She instructs it to interface modular coupling bypass codeword bypass lockout bypass security systems interface complete run search program. Key word: Logan. All of a sudden, the data flows into her. She exclaims that it is exciting, pleasurable, almost like... Before she can finish that thought, she finds what she is looking for. The cargo manifest for the supposed corpse of Logan W. Patch. The carrier is Southeast Asia Airways. The port of origin - Madripoor. The bereaved is one Jessan Hoan A.K.A. Tyger Tiger of hightown Madripoor.

Suddenly, Donald Pierce appears on the video screen and asks Deathstrike if she has found him yet. Deathstrike answers that she has found the beginnings of a trail and requests that Pierce teleport her away and to make Gateway bring... Before she can finish, Deathstrike is brought back to the Outback of Australia. When she arrives, Pierce asks her where Wolverine is. Deathstrike informs him that Gateway needs to send her out again and that the trail is warm. She needs to go to Madripoor!! Pierce replies that Madripoor is a snake pit and that it is dangerous even to the likes of them! Deathstrike responds that she will have him, if he will send her. Pierce retorts that she is straining the limits of the gears and that she should not forget that while Gateway is under obligation to them. He is not warmly disposed to their aims and that which is done under duress is of questionable quality and sincerity. He then informs Gateway to send Deathstrike where she wants to go for it is his will.

In hightown Madripoor, Tyger Tiger is in the process of throwing dice. One of the gentleman standing next to her applauds her ability to throw the dice. Tyger replies that the goddess of luck is smiling upon her this night. The recently arrived Deathstrike replies that was until now. Tyger asks her if that was a threat and then informs her bodyguards, Jade-Faced Lum and Three-Finger Fat, to cover her. They reply that, if she moves, she will die! Deathstrike informs Tyger that she knows that she is aware of the present whereabouts of one Wolverine, A.K.A. Logan, A.K.A. Patch and that Tyger will tell her where he is.

Tyger defiantly informs her that she will not and calls over the maitre-de to inform him that some cheap tart has wandered into the casino and is in violation of the dress code. She requests that he eject her from the premises. The maitre-de indicates that it will be done. Deathstrike comments that this is obviously a game of bluffs and proceeds to grab one of the waitresses by the neck!! She informs Tyger that she has just raised her one innocent life!! Tyger’s bodyguards inform her to let the waitress go. Tyger exclaims that she will not and that she thinks that she will die for her life means nothing to her. She demands an answer from Tyger.

Tyger leans in closer to Jade-Faced Lum and whispers to him that she would call her bluff, but she suspects that this is a cold one! Tyger’s advisor informs Tyger to give her what she wants. It won’t do her any good to know where Patch is, because as soon as she lets go of the girl, he and Three-Finger Fat will stop her clock!! Tyger decides that discretion is the better part of valor and pulls a postcard out of her dress and tosses it to Deathstrike. As soon as she catches the postcard, she lets the waitress go and disappears with the assistance of Gateway, much to the shock of all in attendance!!!

Back in the Australian Outback, Deathstrike examines the postcard. It is from Vancouver. On the postcard, Patch has written to Tyger that he is having a great time and wishes that she were there.

In Vancouver, Logan and Puck are on a boat out on the river. As Logan grabs another beer, he admits to Puck that it is good to laze in the sun and jaw about old times, old pains and old pleasures. It’s funny how, after a while, you can’t tell them apart. Puck replies that he has no problem telling them apart. Logan responds that Puck was able to cast out his demon - he, however, still has two conflicting things inside of him. It’s like they are tearing him apart sometimes. Puck replies that it’s what makes him who he is. He then quotes Arnold by saying, “Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” Logan corrects him by informing him that Arnold was paraphrasing Nietsche and calls Puck an illiterate midget.

Puck laughs at that and points out that Logan was the one who always thought Robert Frost wrote the “Fog.” Logan replies that he gets them wrinkly white-haired poets mixed up. He then verifies with Puck that it was Sandburg that wrote that. He then adds that he can’t stand poets and writers, or their work. Puck replies that this guy was different. He was a good writer. None of that sissy flowery stuff and that he was good company too in those days. He then pulls out a book entitled “For Whom the Bell Tolls” and shows it to Logan. Out of it, a picture falls. Logan notices that it appears to be an old photograph and picks it up to take a look at it. One of the first things Logan notices in the picture is that Puck is there and it was back when he was full size! Puck chimes in that he was a handsome devil - wasn’t he. Logan also notices that the great writer himself is in the picture at the table, and there is Inez on Puck’s lap. They are also flanked by four soldiers. Puck angrily asks Logan how he knew Inez’s name. Logan replies that it’s a poser and that he just looked at her and knew who she was.

In the Outback of Australia, Deathstrike is yelling at Pierce that Vancouver is a big city and that she is getting impatient! She can’t be wandering around for weeks! There must be a way for Gateway to find Wolverine right away! Pierce replies that if she could compel the old abo(rigine) to do exactly what she wants, they wouldn’t have any problems at all! He recommends to her that she must be indirect with him and that maybe a little creativity is in order. Deathstrike heads the advice and informs Gateway to take her to Vancouver and to send her to the place that Wolverine gazes upon this very moment!!

In Vancouver, Puck asks Logan if he was in the north of Spain back in April of 1937. That is when and where that photo was taken! Logan lays back and closes his eyes. He replies that he doesn’t know if he was there or not, but he can almost see the place.

In Australia, Gateway is twirling his bolo and is halfway in the process of sending Deathstrike where she wants to go. Pierce comments that apparently her methodology must have been indirect enough. He cautions, however, that she may be want to be more specific in the future! Deathstrike replies that there is no future or past for her until she redeems the honor of her father’s name...BY SLAYING THE GAIJIN KNOWN AS WOLVERINE!!!! At that very moment, Deathstrike appears on the boat in front of Logan!! Logan is shocked to see her but, before he can react, a whirlwind arrives and catches Deathstrike up inside of it. Deathstrike calls out to Pierce and asks what is going on!!! Pierce replies that it is a time vortex! Gateway hasn’t finished - she’s just making a stopover!! Puck calls out to Logan to bail out before the vortex takes them too! Unfortunately, Puck has called out too late as both him and Logan are now in...

…a bull-fighting ring!?! When they arrive, Logan makes the observation to Judd that they aren’t in Vancouver anymore, “Toto.” Judd replies that it isn’t even 1990 anymore and that they are back in 1937, in Spain during their civil war!! He also remembers this bullfight. It was like a USO show for the loyalist troops. Logan also notices that Judd is no longer a midget but that he has regained his size. Judd replies that he also has the spring back in his step.

From the stands, Ernesto is calling out to Judd and Logan that they need to get out of the ring and that this is serious stuff to these people!! Inez, sitting next to him informs him that Judd told her that he is a great matador, greater than even Maera! Ernesto replies that Maera is dead and that it doesn’t take much to be greater than a corpse!! Down in the ring, Logan indicates to Judd that they need to go - Deathstrike may be lurking behind the nearest picador...

Judd cuts him off and asks if he is to miss his chance to pick up the cape and sword one more time? He continues that he doesn’t know how he stepped back into his glory days, but he’s not going to pass this up - this is his moment!! His moment of truth!!! As the bull charges Judd, he executes a perfect ole and is able to stab the bull with the sword!! The crowd cheers what they are observing.

Up in the stands, Logan sits next to Ernesto and asks if he can take a slug from his jug of alcohol. Ernesto informs him to help himself. He then indicates to Inez that Judd isn’t half bad. Inez replies that he is magnifico!! As Logan takes a swig from the bottle, he indicates to Inez that she better not let Judd hear her talk for he’s liable to get a swelled head. Inez asks if it will be like his and calls him Logan. Logan asks her how well she know him and if he ever told her his life story. Inez asks what kind of question is that and takes it as an insult. Logan replies that no insult is intended. Inez then asks Logan how they appeared in the ring like that. Did they use a trapdoor? Logan replies that it was magic. Inez questions that last thought.

Back in the bull-fighting ring, Judd is continuing his mastery over the bull. The crowd is cheering his name - asking for him to finish off the beast! Judd replies that he is a brave bull and asks for his life! Just then, a plane arrives overhead and shoots the bull!! The crowd recognizes it as a Stuka dive-bomber and that it is an air-raid!!! It is the Legion Kondor - Nazis fighting for the rebels!! Logan calls down to Judd that they need to get out of the open and that there’s a full scale bombing going on!!

As they make their way out of the complex, Logan asks Ernesto if he remembered the name of this town they are in. Ernesto replies that he’s a war correspondent; it’s his job to remember details like that. When they reach the top of the complex, they look to see the city being bombed. The city’s name - Guernica. Logan replies that right now, it sure doesn’t look like the way Picaso painted it. Ernesto asks if he means Pablo and asks why would he paint Guernica. He’s still having a great time in Paris, hanging out with Gertie and Alice! At that moment, Judd whispers to Logan that he remembers this part, but that he doesn’t remember him being there! Logan replies that he got a little whiff of deja vu creeping up on him. Something is also telling him to... watch their backs!!! He turns around just in time to see that the Nazi buzzard has circled back to make another strafing pass at the crowd!!

He also notices that he’s flying low enough to see that there are women and kids in the crowd and that he doesn’t care!! Logan realizes that this isn’t a battle to him. It’s just meanness!!! Logan decides to do something about it and asks Judd to give him his pig-sticker that he is carrying. Judd gives the sword to him but questions the rational of a sword against a Stuka. As Logan tosses the sword at the plane, he informs Judd that it’s just another way to play split the fly!! It will be something to give that Nazi fighter jock his own personal moment of truth!! The sword meets its mark and pierces the cabin of the plane and into the Nazi pilot!! It causes the pilot to lose control of his plane and to crash into a nearby building, causing a fiery explosion!!!

Judd and Logan then take off into the streets of Guernica. Judd jokes to Logan that he is a regular pistol and that he did it lefty - no less!! Logan replies that he had to make it even, the pilot didn’t have a sword! Just then, a car pulls up driven by Ernesto. Inez is in the passenger seat. Ernesto informs them to hop in. He figures they can high-tail into the mountains and join up with Inez’s partisan band. He asks them if that is okay with them. As Logan and Judd hop into the car, they indicate that anyplace other than right there is fine!! In the car, Judd whispers to Logan that one of them must have rubbed a magic lamp. He’s had two of his most cherished wishes come true today. Logan replies that if Lady Deathstrike is mixed up in this, that magic lamp is more likely to be the monkey’s paw and that it’s the third wish you gotta watch out for...

From a distance, Lady Deathstrike is watching the current events unfold through a pair of binoculars. She laments that Wolverine was so close and that she almost had him! She then wonders where he has gone and, for that matter, wonders where this place is. As she looks down to see dead soldiers, she knows that it certainly is not Vancouver! From behind, a voice informs her that it certainly is not. Deathstrike turns around to see a large unit of German soldiers and a man perched on top of a vehicle.

When she asks who they are, the man replies that he is Kaptain Horst Schlachter of Legion Kondor. He is the acting commander of this intrepid unit of Luftwafre Feld Gendarmerie. He indicates to Deathsrike that there is no need for her to introduce herself. She is obviously a Republican partisan and obviously guilty of ambushing his motorized recon patrol. As a partisan, she does not even rate a military firing squad!! He orders his men to drag her to the nearest telephone pole and to hang her with a length of fencing wire!!!

Characters Involved: 

Wolverine / Logan

Puck / Judd


Tyger Tiger

Jade-Faced-Lum & Three-Finger-Fat (Tyger Tiger’s bodyguards)

Various patrons of a Madripoor casino (unnamed)

Lady Deathstrike (member of the Reavers)

Donald Pierce (leader of the Reavers)

Bonebreaker & Pretty Boy (members of the Reavers)

Freight-Train and his goons (unnamed)

Patrons of the Gastown Bar (unnamed)

Tetsuo and Akira (Osaka cops)

In Spain in 1937:

Ernesto (Ernest Hemingway)


Various patrons of a bull-fight (unnamed)

Nazi fighter pilot (unnamed)

Kaptain Horst Schlachter (Nazi commander)

Various Nazi soldiers (unnamed)

In Images:


Tyger Tiger


Ernest Hemingway

Full-sized Puck

Story Notes: 

Wolverine took out Dai-Kumo and the Yakuza back in Wolverine (2nd Series) #33.

Ernest Hemingway was indeed a reporter in Spain during the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939).

The Spanish Civil War lasted from July 17, 1936 to April 1, 1939. It was a conflict in which the Nationalists, led by General Francisco Franco, defeated the Loyalists or Republicans of the Spanish Republic. The Nazis were on the side of the Nationalists.

For Whom the Bell Tolls is a 1940 novel by Ernest Hemingway. It tells the story of Robert Jordan, a young American in the International Brigades attached to an antifascist Guerilla unit in the mountains during the Spanish Civil War.

Akira and Tetsuo are both names from the popular Japanese animated movie, “Akira.”

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