Wolverine (2nd series) #37

Issue Date: 
March 1991
Story Title: 
Fall Back & Spring Forward

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: 

In Spain in 1937, Wolverine slashes his way through the oncoming forces. He wonders why he is there but, before he can think about it too far, he catches the scent of Lady Deathstrike. Just as a mini-twister/time vortex shows up, Deathstrike and Wolverine begin to engage in battle. During the battle, Wolverine is able to knock Deathstrike into the path of the oncoming tank carrying Hauptmann Schlachter. Deathstrike is enraged by his incompetence and slashes his tank to pieces. She also mortally stabs him with her claws. When she does so, the time vortex gets larger and takes Wolverine, Deathstrike, and the now revived Puck on a whirlwind tour of important events in Deathstrike’s life. First stop is World War II in the Pacific, where her father’s plane crashes. Second stop is Spiral’s workshop, where she was turned into what she is now. Third stop is at South Street seaport, where Wolverine first faced the improved Lady Deathstrike. After a continued struggle, the battle is abruptly ended and Logan is back in Vancouver harbor with Puck. Puck remembers none of their adventure but, when he looks at his snapshot again, Logan is in the picture. Deathstrike arrives in Australia and in the lab where Donald Pierce is creating a duplicate version of Wolverine. He is also creating a little girl robot whose name is Elsie Dee. They will be the ones that will kill Wolverine!

Full Summary: 

As Wolverine shreds through the oncoming forces, he thinks to himself that the Red Wings are taking the Cup, the Yankees are clinching the pennant and he’s holding off fascists at the pass in the middle of the Spanish Civil War in 1937. He notices that their mouths are flapping like they’re screaming at him in German and Spanish. The only thing is, he can’t hear anything over his growling. Just at that moment, a wave of tremors hit the area.

Over in the south side of the pass, those same tremors are felt by the group of Inez, Ernesto, Vicente and Enrico. They are in the process of carrying a severely injured Judd (Puck) towards the medical attention he desperately needs. Inez indicates to Ernesto that the tremors in the high pass could bring an avalanche soon and that they should not have left Logan to hold the pass by himself. She implores him that they need to go back and...

She is cut off by Ernesto, who informs her that what she says is impossible and asks Enrico & Eric, for some assistance. Eric agrees with Ernesto and exclaims that Ernesto is right and that Logan has some kind of appointment with his own destiny back there. It is not for them. Ernesto adds that he will put it more bluntly. Logan’s pal Judd needs medical attention at the republican army field hospital and that Logan is buying them the time to get him there. He implores them to not make it a wasted gesture.

Over at the pass, all is pretty quiet. Wolverine figures it’s so quiet because he’s all howled out. As he takes out the one remaining soldier, he begins to think about the questions that are rattling through his brain like a runaway freight train. Like why did Gateway dump him and Puck fifty-three years in the past and what is Deathstrike doing there as well? And the twenty thousand dollar top-of-the-pyramid question - how do they get back? Just then the wind shifts and Wolverine smells the familiar scents of lotus blossom and eucalyptus - Deathstrike. Wolverine then calls out Yuriko and dares her to get this over with!

At the north end of the pass, Hauptmann Schlachter is viewing the battle from a safe distance through his binoculars. He thinks aloud that if twenty battle-tested troopers couldn’t kill that thing in there with rifles, grenades and machineguns, how is that Japanische teufelmadchen is going to fight him with her bare hands. He then laments that he has lost twenty men on a wild goose chase and that he should never have listened to her wild story about indestructible skeletons and claws of steel. He then notices Deathstrike perched on the sheer side of the pass and that she is going after her prey from above. At that instance, he realizes that perhaps there is something to her story. He then orders his associate Hegel to call headquarters for reinforcements. Hegel asks where he should say they are located. Schlachter informs him that they are at the pass code-named Eroica.

In the pass, Deathstrike is climbing down the sheer mountain. As she does, she knows that the hated one knows she is there and has called out for her. She also realizes that, in this occluding smoke, he is relying on his sense of smell and that, now, the wind is blowing away from him. With it, her scent before it can waft towards her. Now, Wolverine is unaware that she is right above him. He is unaware, luckless and lost in the stream of time. Just then, a mini-twister pops up out of nowhere over near Wolverine. He realizes that it’s not the wind that is twisting. It’s something else - like time. Aloud, Wolverine mentions that it’s the same time-warp that plucked him and Puck out of that rowboat in Vancouver and that somebody must be stirring it up again...

Before he can finish, he is interrupted by someone who indicates that it’s not just somebody - it’s Deathstrike! Deathstrike, claws extended, leaps down onto Wolverine and tackles him. With Deathstrike’s hand on Wolverine’s face, Wolverine indicates that she doesn’t give up - does she. Deathstrike replies that she will never give up, not while that which was stolen from her father lies bonded to his bones! As Wolverine slashes her with his claws, knocking her back, he indicates that is really rich. That she wants the stuff that makes him not human and in order to get it, she is willing to give up her humanity.

At the north end of the pass, Schlachter observes the battle. He orders his driver to move into the pass.

Deathstrike fires back at Wolverine with a claw slash of her own and exclaims to Wolverine that Spiral gave her the means to extract her vengeance. To this, Wolverine asks her what she took away. He also informs her that he didn’t ask for the adamantium laced skeleton and that he didn’t ask to be what he was. He just wanted to be human. Something she had and threw away. Deathstrike yells at him to shut up. Wolverine dares her to make him. As Deathstrike charges again, Wolverine head butts her and informs her that his skull is laced with adamantium too. He then gives her a kick to the stomach and tells her to get out of his face while his mutant healing power does its thing.

Deathstrike lands over near where Schlachter is driving up in his tank. He informs his driver to go over by the whirlwind. In the smoke, he can’t see anything. Thanks to it, he doesn’t see Deathstrike lying on the ground in front of the tank and runs over her arm. When they do, Deathstrike lets out a primal scream. Schlachter wonders what that sound was. He doesn’t have to wait long as Deathstrike lashes out at the tank and slices it to pieces. As she does, Schlachter indicates to her that they had a bargain. Deathstrike informs him that it has been cancelled and proceeds to stab him through his chest.

As she does, she informs him that is what he gets for coming between her and vengeance. With Schlachter’s death, the time-vortex gets bigger and disrupts the continuum again. Noticing this phenomenon, Wolverine calls out to Yuriko that they need to go for it and hop on the next twister back to Kansas. He challenges her to head back to the future with him.

Over at the south side of the pass, Judd wakes up and calls out for Logan. Inez is shocked that he is awake. Judd asks again where Logan is. Inez responds that he is back at the pass. Judd starts to take off down the path calling out to Logan for him not to leave him there. Ernesto replies that they’re not leaving him; they’re taking him to the hospital... Judd only tells them to get out of the way. Inez calls out to Judd to come back - there is only death back there. Ernesto holds her still and tells her to let him go. You can’t keep any man from his fate. As Judd continues down the path, he calls out to Logan. He yells that it’s the wind, the wind that blows backwards and forwards through time. They can go back home and be in their own time.

In a lab in Australia at present time, Bonebreaker informs Donald Pierce that her memory and logic circuits are being installed as they speak. Pierce replies that she is going to be a prize and that this one is a fine piece of work, cunningly wrought and marvelously appointed. She will be the perfect little partner for... He is cut off by the appearance of another time-vortex. Pierce exclaims that it must be that blasted Deathstrike still meddling with the continuum by changing the past. Angrily, he indicates that he’s going to fry her circuits when she...

He stops in his tracks when he notices the vortex is expelling paper. He picks it up and realizes that it is a map fragment entitled “Luftwaffe Feldvermessen Landkarte - 1937.” Bonebreaker adds that he has a hat with the nametag of Schlachter and that he also has a part of the map that has the name of a pass entitled Eroica. Hearing that, Pierce orders him to run a computer trace and to find him an anomaly during the Spanish Civil War. In a nearby holding tank is what looks to be a young girl with wires coming out of her head.

Back in Spain in 1937, Deathstrike stands over the wounded Schlachter. She accuses him of ruining everything and that she wishes she could make him suffer for eternity. Defiantly, Schlachter informs her that hasn’t she done so already. After all, what is damnation other than looking pure evil in the face! At that moment, Wolverine appears and adds that his German isn’t good enough to argue theology so they need to get this hockey match into the last period. Deathstrike leaps at Wolverine and tells him not to mock her and that this game is over. Wolverine pops his claws and responds with it isn’t over until Roseanne sings the anthem.

Over in Australia in the present time, Bonebreaker informs Pierce that Horst Schlachter was a military cop with the legion Kondor in Spain. Pierce asks if Schlachter was ever at a pass called Eroica. Bonebreaker indicates that he was and that his entire command was wiped out by an avalanche but he survived. He fought his way through five campaigns in World War II and walked into a sniper bullet outside of Kursk in 1943. Pierce is shocked to hear that Schlachter survived and that can’t be. He wonders why there would be an anomaly if... He then asks to see the printout. As he receives the printout, Schlachter dies as a result of Deathstrike’s blow.

As Pierce takes a look at the printout, he indicates that it has already changed and that it now reads Schlachter died in the avalanche. He then figures out what’s going on. Every one that the time travelers have killed so far were people who didn’t survive the avalanche or the Spanish Civil War. Schlachter, however, was supposed to have lived another six more years. His death could affect the continuum and force the vortex to snap back onto itself. Pierce then changes his train of thought and asks Bonebreaker if he stopped the logic circuit installment at the five year-old level like he told him to.

In Spain in 1937, Deathstrike and Wolverine are engaged in a struggle when Puck arrives on the scene. He calls out to Logan who informs him to close the door - he’s letting in the draft. At that very second, Deathstrike, Wolverine and Puck are pulled back into the future by the time vortex! The only thing is, this isn’t the express trip. They’re on the slow freight and it’s making all of the stops. First stop - World War II in the Pacific.

All three of them land on an aircraft carrier. Wolverine points out to Yuriko that that Zero coming in in flames is her daddy. As he crashes, he points out that was what barbecued his face. Deathstrike threatens him that she’ll tear his heart out for that, as they tumble off of the carrier and into the water. The salt sting sears Wolverine’s sinuses but there’s another taste in there as well. Something chemical - like electrolytes.

Second stop - Spiral’s workshop and the holding tank where Yuriko was turned into Deathstrike. From outside the tank, Reese asks Spiral if Yuriko is going to be a cyborg like him. Spiral informs him that she will indeed be a cybernetic organism but, when the nutrient bath has done its work and the bio-med transmutation is complete, Lady Deathstrike shall be nothing like him, Cole or Macon. She will be a living weapon, the true ultimate woman of war.

As she speaks, Deathstrike slams Wolverine’s head against the glass repeatedly. After time, it breaks and they tumble out of the tank and into their third stop - South street seaport. Wolverine recognizes that they are where he first fought the new improved Lady Deathstrike. Wolverine is finally able to get a strike in and notices that Puck has rejoined them. This time, Puck shrinks back to his normal size.

In Spiral’s workshop, Reese asks her if there is something wrong. Spiral takes a look at the tank that is now whole again and indicates that she thought she saw... Reese asks her what she saw to which Spiral replies nothing and that it was just a minor ripple in the continuum.

Back in the snow in South Street seaport, Deathstrike and Wolverine continue their struggle. As they tumble through a fence and down a hill, Deathstrike indicates that she remembers the last time they were there. Wolverine replies that he does as well and that he remembers what she did to him. She made him an animal again - an animal! Puck follows behind them and laments that it was a fine adventure while it lasted and calls out to Logan to wait up. Now that he’s small again, his legs aren’t as long as they used to be.

Over near the struggle, Katie from the Power Pack asks Mr. Wolverine if she can open her eyes now. Wolverine tells her not yet and continues the struggle with Deathstrike. As they battle on the pier, Wolverine informs Yuriko that she needs to give it up and that she can’t take much more of this. Deathstrike replies that she can take just as much as he can. Wolverine retorts that that may be, but that all he’s going to do is crawl under the porch and lick his wounds. She, however, will have to go into the shop. Deathstrike lashes out with her talons that are like surgical scalpels and Wolverine realizes that his last comment got to her pretty good.

On a cold December night, with an icy wind blowing off the East River you can’t even feel the skin and meat being sliced open. All you can feel is the warm wet and the chill in your gut like death was stepping on your shadow. Wolverine and Deathstrike continue to struggle and end up rolling off the pier and over the edge into the East River. Puck follows them in. When they land in the water, Wolverine thinks to himself that he is crossing the big river, passing on, darker than the end of time in that cold black river...

But he ain’t dead yet. Not by a long shot. He raises his head out of the water and pops his claws. He calls out to Yuriko that this is the last dance and that it’s going to be a rocker. Just then, Puck’s head surfaces and he tells him to put his claws away. He informs him that there’s no reason to get all riled up just because the boat tipped over. Logan then realizes where he is - Vancouver Harbor. Puck answers that that would stand to reason. Typically, if you fall out of a boat in Vancouver Harbor, chances are good you’ll bob to the surface in Vancouver Harbor.

As they get back into the boat, Logan asks Puck if he remembers Guernica, Ernesto, and Inez during the Spanish Civil War. Puck replies that of course he remembers them but that he doesn’t remember much of what happened the month his brains got scrambled by a Legion Kondor bomb. He adds that Inez told him he jumped off the stretcher and disappeared into the mountains for three days before he wandered into a republican field hospital. He also knows that Logan wasn’t there. How could he forget an ugly mug like... Puck then looks down to see his old snapshots getting all wet. Puck picks up the picture and takes a look at it. This time it’s different. Inez is still sitting on Puck’s lap and Ernesto is still there. They are also flanked by some troops. Only this time, Logan is sitting next to Ernesto. Puck is in shock. Logan asks him if he is okay and that he’s looking a little pale. Puck replies that he’s just fine.

Elsewhere, Deathstrike emerges from the water and sees what looks to be Wolverine face down in the water. She asks him if he is dead at last. Wolverine responds to her that he is sorry to disappoint her. Deathstrike lashes out at him but, before she can get in another shot, her arm is grabbed by Pierce! He informs her that she shouldn’t be too hasty and informs her that happens to be his new project she was just about to decapitate. Deathstrike is shocked to see Pierce and asks him if she is back in Australia. Pierce informs her that she is and that no great damage was made to the continuum either. He adds that nobody is going to miss that fifth ninja turtle.

Just then, “Wolverine” is raised and it looks just like him, only he isn’t finished. Only his upper half is. Deathstrike is in shock and asks what Pierce is building here. Pierce replies that it isn’t a cyborg. It has a totally synthetic, moly-steel laminated exo-skeleton and no human luggage like conscience or sense of self. It is pure killer. Deathstrike angrily asks if he thinks this mere construct can do to Wolverine what she could not. Pierce replies of course not. The killer construct is the bait. The real killing will be carried out by this one. He directs Deathstrike’s attention over to another tank where a little girl robot is being held. Her name - Elsie Dee.

Characters Involved: 

Transparent across many time-frames:

Wolverine / Logan

Puck / Judd

Lady Deathstrike / Yuriko (member of the Reavers)

Only in Spain - 1937:

Ernesto (Ernest Hemingway)


Enrico & Vicente (partisan followers)

Kaptain Horst Schlachter (Nazi commander)

Various Nazi soldiers (unnamed)

Only in World War II on the Pacific:

Various Japanese soldiers, among them Yuriko’s father - Lord Darkwind. Only his plane is seen.

Only in Spiral’s workshop:



Only in South street seaport:

Katie Power aka Energizer (member of Power Pack)

Only in present day:

Donald Pierce (leader of the Reavers)

Bonebreaker (member of the Reavers)

Fake Wolverine (will be known in future issues as Albert)

Elsie Dee

Image in Lady Deathstrike’s Mind:

A young Lord Darkwind

Story Notes: 

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.

Wolverine, Puck, and Lady Deathstrike were all teleported back to Spain 1937 by Gateway back in Wolverine 2nd Series #35.

“It ain’t over until Roseanne sings the anthem” is a direct reference to the controversial rendition of the Star Spangled Banner that Roseanne performed on July 25, 1990. It was before a Cincinnati Reds and San Diego Padres baseball game in San Diego. After being told by baseball officials to “bring humor to the song,” she mimicked the behavior of players by spitting and grabbing her crotch; barely singing the song. Instead, she screeched and screamed it. She was booed off the field.

Spiral turned Yuriko into Lady Deathstrike back in Uncanny X-Men #204.

This is the first appearance of Elsie Dee and the fake Wolverine, who will be known in future issues as Albert.

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