Wolverine (2nd series) #40

Issue Date: 
June 1991
Story Title: 

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 the basement of the X-Mansion, Forge informs Wolverine, Jubilee and Storm that Elsie Dee is a walking time-bomb and that her firing sequence hasn’t been cancelled; it’s only been put on hold. Wolverine is also undeterred and is dedicated to saving her. Meanwhile in a prison in Venice, California, Albert has been put into a property room after being brought to the prison. Over time, he has been able to piece himself together and also equip himself with Kevlar armor and a tracking system. When he finally breaks out of the prison, he makes his way over to Palmdale, California, where he hijacks a Stealth Bomber that he is going to use to find Elsie Dee. In New York, Elsie gets her electric power back and is able to regain contact with Albert. Upon learning that he is alive, she is able to convince Wolverine to go with her to a place where the reception will be stronger. They make their way to the top of the World Trade Center. Eventually, Albert meets up with them and proceeds to crash his aircraft into Wolverine, who not only survives the impact but grabs hold of the craft, which Elsie does as well. On inside the Stealth, a battle ensues between Wolverine and Albert, until Elsie steps in between them. She convinces Albert that he is making a mistake and that they are now free. When Albert hears that news, he is ecstatic, though the situation quickly turns dire when the jet is shot at by some fighters, who have been ordered to take the Stealth down. Ultimately, they are successful in making it crash into the river, with Elsie Dee, Wolverine and Albert still aboard the fiery wreck. Forge and Jubilee observe what happened and jump into the river to see if they can save Wolverine.

Full Summary: 

Deep under Graymalkin Lane in Salem Center, New York, Storm, Jubilee, Wolverine and Forge are standing on a platform, overlooking the form of Elsie Dee, who is strapped down on a table. As they observe her, Forge informs Wolverine that it was totally crazy to bring the construct right into the underground mansion. Replying that he never made any big claims about his sanity, Wolverine informs Forge that her name is Elsie Dee. Forge responds that it is an android. Extremely sophisticated and life-like and certain aspects of its composition are alarming to the max. He continues that the cute little automation is a walking bomb. Every square inch that isn’t computer, battery, or motor is plastic explosive.

As they look over a diagram of Elsie Dee’s construction, Forge adds that she has a tubular skeleton – packed with plastic explosives. Battery casing, motor housings and circuit boards – she’s molded out of the stuff. All of it tamper-proofed and triple booby-trapped. A chemical analysis says the stuff is C-13. Five times the bang per ounce as C-4. The clincher is that the firing sequence hasn’t been cancelled; it’s only been put on “hold.” It might not take much to jog that firing sequence back onto “detonate.” A freak electrical storm, sunspots – proximity to mutant energy resources, then it’s Xin loi Charlie. Instant Karma, white light city. Wolverine tells him that they already know all of that. What they want to know is how to get the explosives out of her.

As he says that, Jubilee pipes in that she’s not that cute. Forge indicates to Wolverine that she…it can’t be disarmed. The explosives are integral to h… it. Adding that that thing down there was made to blow up, he asks Wolverine what makes him think that it still won’t do that. Pierce built it and that doppelganger of his to terminate his sorry butt. Wolverine responds that she’s different and that the fake Wolverine got himself trashed by the Venice cops.

In a prison in Venice – California, not Italy – a guard is leading some federal agents through the halls. One of the agents asks him if he kept it in an ordinary cell. The guard tells him that they did not – you just have to go through the zoo to get to it. He then asks them what the beef is anyway. If the federal types want special treatment for their property, they should have taken it with them.

As they pass a cell that contains Jocko, Sally, Reno and Molokai, Jocko asks them if they are going to get their phone call. Sally pipes in and asks what is this… Russia? – they have rights. Their pleas are ignored as the agents inform the guard that they aren’t set up for storage. The guard tells him that they’re not set up for it either. That’s why they had to stash it in the property room. One of the agents is shocked and asks him if he locked it up all weekend right along with all the confiscated electronics, weapons and bulletproof vests. As the guard goes to open the door he informs him that the morgue wouldn’t take it. Besides, what was it going to do – fix itself?

Once the guard opens up the door, Albert indicates to him that’s *bzt* exactly what he’s been doing. The guard and agents look in horror as they see Albert sitting their, put back together. Albert thanks them for leaving him alone with all of this stuff. He’s been improving himself every *bzt* which way. He even gave himself a Blaupunkt. Now he can *bzt* go save Elsie Dee. One of the agents calls out to the others that it’s reactivated itself and orders them to take it down. Though they unload their guns into Albert, it has no effect. Albert informs them that handy stuff this Kevlar *bzt*. He then cuts himself free from the cords that were fixing him.

Outside the storage room, Sally notices all of the guards running down the hall. He asks them what is going on with all of the shooting. Jocko adds that they look scared. A few moments later, a form comes lumbering down the hall. Reno says that it looks like the Frankinsense Monster. Jocko agrees but points out that he looks familiar. Then it hits him. He calls out to Albert and asks him if that is he, with all of the stitches on his face. Albert stops in his tracks and goes to slice the cell door open. Jocko pleads with him to not do them bad for they were pals. He then asks him if he remembers. Albert replies that he remembers *bzt*. He then tells them to go. *bzt* Go wherever they want. He’s going *bzt* to Palmdale. As he lumbers off, Jocko asks what the heck is in Palmdale. Sally informs him nothing – just the Northrop plant.

Three thousand miles away in Westchester County, New York, Wolverine, Forge, Jubilee and Elsie Dee are in a diner getting something to eat. The waitress repeats the order. One pot roast plate, one California health salad, one burger deluxe and one “nothing for me, thanks.” She adds that, as good looking as her daddy is, she can’t be letting the kid sip elsewhere purchased beverages on the premises, if they catch her drift. Wolverine informs her that Elsie Dee isn’t drinking a beverage; it’s Mobil motor oil. Elsie Dee adds that she’s not his kid either; she’s his date.

With that, Jubilee hops up from her seat and grabs Elsie by the collar. She then informs her that she’s no date, she’s an appliance. The waitress informs Wolverine that he may want to muzzle the other kid. Wolverine then tells Jubilee to behave. When they have finished their meal, Forge recommends that they go downtown and knock some balls together. As they leave, they miss the television report that says, “Venice police have issued an all points bulletin.”

In Palmdale, Albert uses his claws to slice through a fence. One of the guards notices and informs the other guard that something is busting through the electrified fence. As the guards call in the alarm, they begin to shoot at Albert. He ignores the shots and says that he knows *bzt* she can’t hear him yet Elsie Dee, but he’s coming for her. They don’t know he has a radio *bzt* linkage and that he still can access security computers. He knows she’s in New York and *bzt* he knows how he can get across country without being detected – by *bzt* stealth. He enters into a hangar that houses a Stealth aircraft. He adds that he knows how to *bzt* save Elsie Dee from her own program. All he has to do is *bzt* kill Wolverine!

In a pool hall located south of Westchester in the Bronx, Elsie Dee is shooting pool. She tells the guys that she’s playing against that she’s cawwing six in the side, combo off the tway. Looking on, Forge mentions to Jubilee that if she makes this shot it will be her fifth straight rack. Unamused, Jubilee informs him that she can count. Within seconds, Elsie Dee makes the shot with ease. Wolverine then informs the guys they’re playing against to pay up. One of the guys says to him that she’s a mutant right? Wolverine tells him that she isn’t, but he is. The guy then asks what her power is – ugliness? Wolverine retorts that he should talk and calls him cone head.

As this is going on, Elsie Dee yawns and walks away from the table. As she walks away, Forge asks Jubilee why she doesn’t shoot a rack of “Chicago” with her. Jubilee yells at him that it’s a thing. He then tells him to not start anthropho… anthromopho… making it like it’s a human. As they continue to argue, Elsie Dee walks over towards a soda machine. She says that it looks pwomising. With little effort, she pushes the soda machine out of the way and finds a gwounded outwet. She points out that figuwing out twajectowies dwains her battewies wike cwazy. She then plugs her finger into the outlet. When she does, the pool hall goes completely dark. Some of the patrons opines that a fuse blew and that the rats must have been gnawing on the wiring again.

Forge indicates to Wolverine that he thinks that was Elsie Dee. Wolverine calls out to her asking if she is okay. Elsie tells him that when she pwugged herself in, the wiwing system of the whole building became a giant weceiving antenna. She picked up a message fwom Albert – he’s awive! Wolverine asks if that is his android clone. Elsie grabs him by the arm and leads him outside. She tells him that they have to go where the weception is stwonger. With that, they hop on a motorcycle and head off. As they do, Jubilee is beside herself with rage. Forge mentions to her that it looks like she got him to herself after all. Jubilee yells out that she hopes her batteries leak. Forge asks “her?” Jubilee screams It, It, It!

In Palmdale, California, a soldier is on the phone, informing his commander that it’s been stolen. He adds that the security guys said whoever did it was wearing really ugly armor flew it right out of there more than two hours ago. He indicates that this was the special model. Ultra black, banks of computers, commo gear and electronic counter measures. This one is so stealthy; they can’t even track it. It gets worse. This one is twice as fast as the old ones.

Over the skyline of Chicago, Albert is riding on top of the stealth plane, plugged into the top of it. He calls out to the non-present Elsie Dee to hang on. *bzt* He’s coming for her. He tells her he’s been *bzt* improving himself. He’s all *bzt* wired into a real powerful transmitter and now he can calculate all sorts of things he never knew existed like terminal trajectories and target bias.

In Manhattan, Wolverine and Elsie Dee are traveling through the streets on a motorcycle. Wolverine asks Elsie if that’s where she wants to go. Elsie informs him that’s wight. Wadio weception should be excewwent up there. Wolverine agrees that radio reception at the top of the World Trade Center couldn’t be any better.

In the pool hall, Jubilee is shooting pool. As she does, she tells Forge that it’s not like she’s jealous of that little sawed off talking toaster or anything but… She is cut off by Forge, who tells her to just shoot. In the background, a television report says that they have a special news update on that spectacular jailbreak in Venice. Earlier today, Pentagon sources announced that a Stealth bomber prototype has been stolen. Upon hearing that, Forge tells Jubilee to listen up. The report continues that from a security hangar in Palmdale, and that the hijacker bore a resemblance to they mysterious escapee. What may have been the stealth was spotted over Chicago less than an hour ago. It then asks if it’s headed to New York. If it is – why? Jubilee tells Forge that, if that’s Albert, the fake Wolverine, they know the answer to that question. She adds that they need to let Wolverine know. Forge asks where they would go for a stronger signal.

Perched on top of the World Trade Center, Elsie Dee receives an incoming message from Albert. When he asks if she *bzt* is on a high enough place so she can hear him clearly, Elsie responds as cwear as a bell. Albert asks if the *bzt* mutant is with her. Elsie again replies yes and that they’re on top of the World Twade Center, wooking straight west. Looking out into the night sky, Wolverine mentions to Elsie that there is some thunderstorm brewing over New Jersey. He adds that her pal, Albert, must have one heck off a transmitter to get through all that interference all the way from Venice. He asks if he is bouncing off of satellites or what. Elsie asks Albert if he is using a communications satewwite. Albert replies that *bzt* he is using a satellite. The navigational computer on the plane informs Albert that they are right over Elizabeth, New Jersey. It adds that the ETA (estimated time of arrival) at the target is 296 seconds and closing. They will be approaching the target from due west. Albert tells Elsie to look due east, to where *bzt* the sky is clear. From there she can see the satellite *bzt* moving.

Ten thousand feet above Elizabeth, New Jersey, a squad of fighter planes have been sent out to deal with the rogue stealth. One of the pilots informs the others that visibility is dropping to zero and radar shows zip. He adds that this is some bogus mission they drew, hunting for a stolen Stealth Bomber in the dark. One of the other pilots agrees and adds that it could be right below them and they wouldn’t know it. The final pilot pipes in that their only chance of finding that Stealth would be if somebody on it turned on its radar. The first pilot laughs and says there is a fat chance of that happening. That would be akin to lighting a match in a dark basement when you know Skin-Face is lurking behind the furnace with his chainsaw.

On top of the World Trade Center, Elsie Dee asks “Wogan” if they can go see the satewwite. Wolverine tells her that they can but then asks Elsie how did Albert know that they sky was clear in the east. In the distance, closing fast, is the Stealth with Albert aboard.

On a car in the streets of New York, Forge mentions to Jubilee that he thinks they made for one of the big skyscrapers. Empire State, Citicorp, Four Freedoms, World Trade… He is cut of by Jubilee, who tells him they have to lose this traffic. She instructs him to cut over to the Eastside highway. Forge responds that Logan has been set up, that he is walking straight into an ambush. Jubilee informs him that it’s not that easy to sneak up on him – she should know. Forge agrees but asks how Albert is going to sneak up on them in a bomber coming out of the open sky, it doesn’t figure. Jubilee replies that’s easy, he’ll just get them to look the other way.

On top of the World Trade Center, Wolverine and Elsie Dee are looking out into the night sky. Elsie asks him if what they see is the satewwite. Wolverine tells her that it is not, that’s a 747 in a holding pattern over JFK.

As the bomber approaches its target, Albert notices that Wolverine is standing too close to Elsie Dee. Immediately, he knows that this is going to be too tight to judge visually. He orders the attack computer to activate FLIR and SFPA. He wants a target solution accurate to .05 mm. The computer informs him that the Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) and Staring Focal-Plane Array (SFPA) are insufficiently precise for .05 mm margin of error - the parameters are obtainable only through pulse Doppler radar and microwave ranging. Albert orders it to activate all radar systems and patch into attack program. The computer activates the systems as requested but warns Albert that the radar systems are non-passive and that the stealth factors are severely degraded. Albert asks the computer who cares; just give him a target lock-on.

Once Albert locks on to his target, the stealth bomber is spotted by the three planes that have been looking for it. One of the pilots indicates to the others that the radar source just lit up like a searchlight. He asks the others if they have a directional fix. The answer he gets is yes – they’re heading for the World Trade Center.

Just then, Albert reaches where Wolverine and Elsie Dee are standing. He yells out to Elsie to duck. He then proceeds to slam the Stealth Bomber into the back of Wolverine. As the bomber continues on its path, Elsie yells out to them not to weave her there. She then grabs a hold of one of the wings and tells Albert that this is weally not wight.

Down in the streets of New York, Jubilee points out the bomber to Forge and tells him that it just buzzed the World Trade Center. Forge orders her to keep an eye on it.

On the bomber, Wolverine punches his way through the windshield and enters the cockpit. When Albert says to him that he should *bzt* be dead, Wolverine replies that was nothing, he gets body-slammed by giant aircraft every alternate Tuesday. He then challenges Albert to step in out of the breeze and fight him like a machine. Albert tells him that he may be a *bzt* construct but he feels things. He fears the *bzt* ending of his existence. He hates *bzt* Wolverine for being bio-chemically alive, when his consciousness is nothing but circuits and data banks.

Wolverine asks him if fear and hate is all he does or if he loves anything. Albert tells him that he loves *bzt* Elsie Dee. He adds that this is all *bzt* for her. Elsie can’t be *bzt* free of her program *bzt* until he, Wolverine, is dead. As he enters the cockpit Albert says that he *bzt* felt something else as he flew across the *bzt* country – a profound exultation, a cataclysmic ecstasy. He was free *bzt* like a bird. That’s what he wants for *bzt* Elsie. He had to *bzt* trick her into bringing him to a high place, but now *bzt* he can make her free too.

He is cut off by Elsie, who tells Albert that he is a dummy and that he wuined evewything. Albert tells Elsie that he’s not a *bzt* dummy anymore and that everything *bzt* is going to be better from now on. With that, he takes a slice at Wolverine, connecting. Wolverine commends Albert on the move and asks him if he’s been practicing. As Albert connects with another shot through Wolverine’s shoulder, he tells him that it has been more than *bzt* that. He’s been *bzt* reborn in many ways. He is *bzt* stronger and faster and *bzt* bulletproof. Wolverine finally connects with a claw to Albert’s stomach and tells him that he sure isn’t claw-proof.

Before they can continue to tear each other apart, Elsie steps between them and tells them to thtop it. She tells Albert that he is a dummy. He was fwee and that she don’t need to be wescued. She put her pwogwam on hold. Albert stops in his tracks and asks her if that means he doesn’t have to *bzt* kill the mutant for her. He can just *bzt* fly off like a *bzt* bird. Elsie tells him that is wight, fwee like a bird. Albert asks about Logan. Wolverine informs him that he has no bone to pick with him and, whatever the Feds have against him, is their get out. He’s been cut up before, and what he dished out was chump change compared to what a real slicer and dicer like Deathstrike could serve up. He tells Albert to set them down somewheres and they’re even – deal? Albert asks him if it is *bzt* a deal. Yes, yes, yes, *bzt* yes!! He climbs out to the roof of the bomber and holds his hands up. Three thousand miles *bzt* across the night sky he thought *bzt* he was riding to his doom, yet he was like the wind. Now he is fr…

Before he can finish his sentence, the fighter planes that have been following the bomber open up fire on them. One of the pilots informs the others that they are too close to the city to use missiles. They need to get up close and use the Vulcan cannon. Inside the cockpit, Wolverine and Elsie are taking on gunfire. As the fighter pilots continue to shoot at the bomber, they wonder what that thing is on top of the plane – a hood ornament. One of the pilots informs the others that it’s the hijacker and that he’s bailing out. One of the other pilots tell them to hose him down with 20 mike. As he continues to get shot at, Albert calls out to Elsie Dee and tells her that they’re *bzt* going down and for her to get out and save *bzt* herself.

Down on the streets, Jubilee points out to Forge that they shot down the bomber and that its going to crash in the East river. Up in the air, the fighter pilots continue their assault on the bomber. They decide that, once the bomber is low over the water, they’re going to light off a sidewinder on it. Inside the cockpit of the plane, Elsie drags Wolverine and straps him into the ejection seat. Wolverine informs her that there is only seat left. The other one is shot full of holes, just like him. On top of the plane, Albert apologizes to Elsie. He tells her that he failed *bzt* her and he failed himself. He is *bzt* so sorry. Elsie tells him that he’s a dummy. At weast he got to fwy. As the bomber nears the water, one of the fighter pilots releases a heat-seeker missile that cripples the bomber even further. As it catches fire and crashes into the water, the fighter pilots head home.

On the dock, Forge and Jubilee exit their vehicle. Jubilee asks Forge if he saw Wolverine jump clear. Forge tells her that there was too much smoke and debris and that he may still be on board. When Jubilee asks if even Wolverine could survive all of that, Forge replies that, if anybody could, it would be the old canucklehead. As he jumps into the river, he asks Jubilee if she is with him. Jubilee replies that she is, all the way.

Characters Involved: 

Jubilee, Storm Wolverine (all X-Men)


Elsie Dee


Sally and Jocko

Molokai and Reno (thugs working for Sally and Jocko)

Various federal agents (all unnamed)

Various guards at the prison in Venice and at Northrup (all unnamed)

Various patrons of a diner and a pool-hall in New York (all unnamed)

Various fighter pilots (all unnamed)

Story Notes: 

Xin loi means “I’m sorry” in Vietnamese.

Blaupunkt is a German electronic equipment manufacturer known best for its home and car audio equipment. It can also be considered the first manufacturer of a GPS (global positioning system) based in-car navigation system (the Berlin RC303).

Northrup is most likely an illusion to Northrup Grumman, the third largest defense contractor in the world.

A "stealth aircraft" is an aircraft, which has been designed to absorb and deflect radar. They are not completely "invisible" to radar, instead deflecting RADAR waves, making them simply harder to detect than conventional airplanes.

Skin-Face is most likely an allusion to the main villain in the Texas Chainsaw Massacre movies “Leatherface.” In those movies, he uses a chainsaw to carry out his brutal murders.

Albert was shot to pieces by federal agents back last issue.

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