Wolverine (2nd series) #42

Issue Date: 
July 1991
Story Title: 
Papa Was a Rolling Stone!

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

Brief Description: 

As Wolverine and Sabretooth continue their struggle, Elsie-Dee tries to convince Cable to shoot the lock off of the gate that she believes is holding Logan hostage. Cable is not interested but Elsie manages to knock the gun out of his hands when she tosses her own head at him. Her body then shoots the lock off the gate and frees Wolverine and Sabretooth, along with a torrent of water. All of them washed away in the water until they reach another grate that hasn’t been opened. Also swept and gathered there is a pile of trash, backing up the water. Oblivious to the conflict, the Morlocks find out that there is a flood in the sewers and that they will be flooded if the grate isn’t opened. Masque finds the controls and, when he does, the grates begin to compact the garbage. At the gate, Elsie realizes that, if she doesn’t do anything quick, they will all be crushed. She makes her way through the bars and up into the gears of the grate, where she formulates a plan. She removes her head again, tossing it away, and then initiates the firing sequence in her body. The explosion destroys the grate, freeing all stuck inside. The flood takes them all into the East River, where they are pulled out by Nick Fury, Jubilee and Forge in a S.H.I.E.L.D. helicopter. Once airborne, Cable tosses Elsie’s head over to Wolverine, who tells the still-functioning Elsie they will get her fixed up. However, Elsie tells him that it won’t matter. Once her battery runs out, she will lose all her memories. Sabretooth, hearing all of this and mocking the sentiment, breaks out of his restraints and goes after Wolverine. As they battle near the door, Elsie’s head pops free and lands on Sabretooth’s neck, sinking her teeth into him and knocking Sabretooth out of the chopper into the water below. Once they are gone, Wolverine mentions to Fury that Sabretooth said he was his father. Hearing this, one of the onboard physicians indicates to him that that is not possible and Fury confirms that there is something more to it that he can’t divulge. In the river, Sabretooth, is getting ready to crush Elsie’s head, but he is stopped by a pair of claws. Those claws belong to Albert, who then plugs Elsie-Dee’s head into his power source. When he does, she wakes up and recognizes him.

Full Summary: 

He’s gotta be crazy. We’re trapped in a flooded tunnel with a steel door at one end an iron grate at the other and Sabretooth is still intent on killin’ me. That’s as crazy as him thinkin’ he’s my father. He’d better be crazy, ‘cause he sure doesn’t have any reason to be lyin’ at a time like this. Crazy. This whole situation is crazy. As crazy as my old enemy Pierce sendin’ a cute lil’ android named Elsie-Dee packed full o’ explosives to blow me up. As crazy as Pierce buildin’ a doppelganger Franken-clone o’ yours truly to help Elsie-Dee. As crazy as Elsie-Dee changin’ her mind and decidin’ not to blow me up. Crazy.

On the other side of the door where Wolverine and Sabretooth continue their struggle, Elsie-Dee is pleading with Cable that “Wogan’s twapped behind that door and that he needs to shot the wock off.” Cable tells her that they can’t know that for sure. That is, until Wolverine sticks his claws through the door. When Elsie sees that, she informs Cable that yes they can.

Again she asks him to shoot the wock and let him out before he dwons. Cable tells her no way – that next tunnel is completely flooded. He may be half-bionic but he can drown just as easily as the next guy. Elsie is having none of that and goes to grab the gun from Cable. As she does, she tells Cable to give her that gun and she will save Wogan herself. With a quick backhand, Cable knocks her away and tells her that it just so happens that her pal Wolverine doesn’t exactly bring out the altruistic side of him. He adds that he can think of twenty or thirty million people he’d risk his neck for before he put it on the line for him. Elsie responds that she doesn’t need him, the big cweep, she just needs his gun. Cable turns his back to her, mocking, “Like you’re really going to get it.” To this, Elsie pulls her head off of her body and tells him that she weally and twuly intends to.

Cable informs her that he’s scared and asks her what is she going to do, kick him in the shins? Elsie replies no, she’s going to bonk him in the head. With that, her body throws her head at Cable, knocking him down. As he falls, Elsie says that then she is gonna bite his shin and calls him a cwummy buwwy. As her head does so, he lets go of his gun. When he does, it lands in the hands of Elsie’s body. Her head then informs her torso to “wock and woad and bwast that wock.” Her body reacts and aims towards the wall. Her head gives her directions – wower and to the wight. When the gun is in position, she tells her body to wet it wip! Her torso unloads and shoots the lock blasting it to smithereens. As it does, Cable calls out to wait, they don’t know what they’re doing…

With the lock shot off, Sabretooth, Wolverine and a torrent of water roars through the wall. Once they do, Wolverine asks Cable what he did to Elsie-Dee and asks where her body is. Cable replies that he didn’t do that to h… it. He adds that she beaned him with her own head. Underneath the water, Elsie’s torso is able to find her head and “pwaces it back on and weconnects the circuits.” When she finishes reconnecting her head, she looks around to find that nice Mr. Wogan. When she finds him, she calls out to him where she is. Even as Wolverine continues struggling with Sabretooth, he calls out to Elsie to hang on. Sabretooth hears that and tells him that’s sweet, that cute little thing gets to see him break his neck. Wolverine replies or him not to count his vertebrae before they’re cracked…

Before Wolverine can finish his thought, they reach the main causeway and are dropped through the drain. As they head down, Wolverine points out that Sabretooth got sucked under. Cable asks that that’s not a good thing? Wolverine informs him that he may or may not be his father. Elsie asks weally? Wolverine responds that he sure hopes not. He then looks towards the bottom of the causeway and notices that somebody has lowered the grate. He adds that they can’t get through the grate and that they’re going to have to get back up the flume. Cable replies that a romantically inclined salmon couldn’t make it back up that flume against this avalanche of garbage. Wolverine agrees and says that somebody lowered that grate, so if they can get their attention… Cable responds that it’s either that or they drown like those proverbial rats. With that, they begin to scream out for help.

Just then, Forge and Jubilee are walking down the street. Forge tells Jubilee to shake a leg. That friend of his is meeting them back at the river to help them search for Wolverine and Elsie-Dee. Just then, Jubilee hears screaming coming from the sewers. She tells Forge to wait up and asks him if he hears the screaming as well. Forge responds that it’s Morlocks – they must be drowning like rats down there.

In the sewers, one of the Morlocks goes up to Masque and tells him that they’re going to be drowning like rats down there. The main causeway that leads to the South Street Outlet is clogged at grate 23. Masque mentions that all of the grates have automatic self-cleaning mechanisms. The Morlock informs Masque that grate 23 doesn’t. It’s thoroughly ancient and ultra moldy-oldy. Masque replies that, in that case, the machinery will have to be switched on manually. He then wonders out loud where that switch is…

Over at grate 23, Wolverine calls out to Cable and Elsie-Dee that the garbage is getting thicker and deeper. Cable adds that the water is rising faster and they’re trapped but good. Elsie calls out to Elsie that she’s sowwy, it’s all her fault. Cable agrees with her and pulls out his gun and points it at her. He adds that the little robot got them all killed. Before he can fire, however, Wolverine slices the gun with his claws and tells Cable that the little robot has feelings and they’re not killed yet. As soon as he finishes that thought, Sabretooth pops out of the water and tells his son of his that that may be, but he’s fixing to do something about that right quick. Wolverine quips back that he’s about had it with him.

Over in the control room, Masque is looking for the controls to grate 23. He adds that, as he remembers it, it was big, like the electric chair switch up at the state pen… When he finds it, he flips the switch up to turn on the grate.

When he does, the grate begins to work on breaking up the trash and garbage. Elsie notices what is happening and calls out that they’re gonna be cwushed and gwound up like chopped chuck. She then calls out to Wogan to stop swicing up his father and wisten to her. Though Wolverine responds that he’s not his father, Elsie ignores him, instead noticing aloud that she’s small enough to swip thwough the gwate and find a way to stop the machinewy, or get somebody to help, or… Wolverine assists in pushing her through the bars of the grate and tells her that it’s too late for any of that and tells her to just get herself out of there and keep on going. He then tells her to think nice thoughts about him now and then.

Sabretooth tells Wolverine that he is so downright mushy it’s like to make him puke. He adds that’s gonna cramp his style when he chomps down on his jugular. Cable interjects and delivers an elbow to Sabretooth’s chest and tells him that, in that case, he can chew on that for an appetizer. He adds that he never figured a mean old cuss like him would have a sentimental fool for a son. Imagine getting all misty over a machine. Sabretooth answers with a punch to his face and then thanks him for reminding him, he hates him a bunch too.

Once Elsie makes her way through the bars of the grate, she is able to get up in the gears. She says that she’s not going to weave Wogan and that she’s been concentwating on her detonator fiwing sequence all this time. She adds that it weally is impossible to de-fuse it, but he was able to sepewate the detonation pwogwam into thwee sectors – head, torso, and wimbs. All individuawy contwowwable. She knows how to save Wogan. She pulls her head off and tosses it into the water, leaving her body to sit on the moving gears. She is going to control the torso and wimb detonators from her head. Once her head has made it clear, she initiates the fiwing sequence. When she does, her body explodes, destroying all of the gears to the grate. In the aftermath of the blast, Wolverine, Cable and Sabretooth are engulfed in the flood.

In the control room, one of the Morlocks tells Masque that the South Street Outlet is flood-city and that grate 23 must have done “the collapseroo.” Masque orders his followers to open all of the floodgates and vent everything to the East River.

Above the East River, a S.H.I.E.L.D. helicopter is monitoring the situation. One of the agents on board informs Colonel Fury that they are picking up three heat sources on the infrared scanner and that they weren’t showing up just seconds ago so they must have come out through the flood gates. On the helicopter, Jubilee tells Forge that, when he told her he had connections, he didn’t think it was Nick Fury. She adds that Wolvie’s told her all about him. Forge replies that he’s done a lot of favors for S.H.I.E.L.D. over the years so he thought it was time for a payback. A short distance in the way in the cockpit, Fury informs the pilot to bring them down on top of them.

As the helicopter gets closer to the water, Jubilee asks if Wolvie is down there. Fury replies that it had better be him – he’d hate to think there were two guys in the world as ugly as that. Wolverine tells Nick that he loves him too. Jubilee notices Cable in the water and asks him what he is doing there. Cable tells her that it’s a long story and then asks Fury to haul them into the helicopter before they all bleed to death. When Cable gets into the helicopter, Forge notices that they are torn up pretty bad and asks what happened down there. Cable replies that he might say they’ve been through the wringer.

As Wolverine is being pulled into the chopper, he recommends that they zap Sabretooth with a sedative dart and put him in restraints before they haul him aboard. One of the agents assures him that they will get him cooled out and tied up. Fury then orders a corpsman to get everybody a tetanus booster and to run a blood series on them. Fury informs them that, luckily, this chopper is the latest S.H.I.E.L.D. emergency rescue chopper and it has a complete lab and operating room. Once everybody has been confirmed as being on board, it takes off.

Once airborne, Cable tosses Elsie’s head over to Wolverine. He saved it for him since he seemed so attached to it. When Wolverine is holding Elsie’s head, the decapitated though still-functioning Elsie says to Mr. Wogan that she’s gwad he’s okay. Wolverine responds that she did a brave thing and he won’t forget it. He then tells her that they’ll get her fixed up and that Xavier and Forge can whip her up a new body and…

He is cut off by Elsie who tells him that it’s too wate. She’s wunning on auziwwiawy batewwies wight now. Her main power source was in her torso awong with her we-chargers. When her batewwies wun down in a matter of minutes, all of her momowy, everything that makes her her, is going to cwash. She then tells him that he’s not afwaid of cwashing anymore and that it’s not so bad once you’ve had a weal fwiend.

From across the room, Sabretooth says that all this sweetness is putting him into sugar shock and that just makes him mean. With that, he breaks free of his restraints and goes after Wolverine. The doctor that is looking out for everybody calls out to security that the prisoner is loose. He adds that Sabretooth should be out like a light. They gave him a valium-muscle-relaxant cocktail, the correct dosage for his weight. Cable informs him that he could have given him a triple dose and he would still go romping and stomping.

As they speak, Sabretooth moves Wolverine towards the door of the chopper and tries to push him out of the airborne craft. Cable goes to grab Sabretooth and tells him that the fight is over. Sabretooth responds that it’s not done yet, not by a long shot. Not until he tears out his son’s throat.

In all of the confusion, Elsie’s head pops up in the air and lands down onto Sabretooth’s neck. Once there, Elsie sinks her teeth into his neck. Sabretooth calls out in pain and starts to fall out the door. Cable notices this and tells Jubilee to hold onto Wolverine before he falls out too. As she does, Jubilee calls out to Elsie to let go. Wolverine indicates to Jubilee that he’s holding on, and just to grab Elsie. Before Jubilee can, Sabretooth falls out of the chopper with Elsie attached to him.

As they watch them fall to the water below, Jubilee says that she could have let go, she could have rolled clear. When they finally hit the water, Wolverine starts to go after them, but is stopped by Fury. Fury tells him that she told him her lights were going out in a matter of minutes and that she wanted to do this last thing for him. He then tells him to let her go.

Back inside the chopper, the attending physician asks Wolverine who was that crazy guy. Wolverine informs him that he said he was his father. Another physician tells him there’s no way. Both of their blood samples gave us some screwy readings but the basic blood-types are clearly discernible and, unless Gregor Mendel was dead wrong, that wasn’t his biological father who just took a dive into the East River. Wolverine is shocked and says he was lying? Fury replies that he wasn’t lying, he really thought he was his pappy.

Deep in the East River, Elsie is still attached to Sabretooth’s neck. She tells him that she doesn’t have enough power weft to wip his thwoat out, but she doesn’t care – she saved Mr. Wogan from him. Sabretooth is finally able to get Elsie’s head off of his neck and holds it in his hands. Elsie dares him to go ahead and cwush her head – she hopes he cuts himself on the bwoken pieces. However, from behind, Sabretooth is suddenly slashed by a pair of claws. Sabretooth screams in pain and lets go of Elsie’s head and retreats to the surface. Elsie’s head then floats into the arms of Albert.

On the chopper, Wolverine grabs Fury by the collar and says to him that he knew and never told him? He asks what the whole story is and tells him that he best give it to him straight. Fury informs him that he doesn’t know the whole story and, what he knows, he can’t tell. It’s classified ultra hush and he swore the oath. He apologizes and offers Wolverine a cigar.

In the river, Albert is holding Elsie’s head as he is still plugged into the Stealth Bomber. He mentions that he needs *bzt* a main power source for memory upkeep. He then puts surge protectors on *bzt* line for re-hookup and plugs a wire into Elsie’s neck. When he does, Elsie’s eyes light up and she immediately recognizes Albert.

Characters Involved: 

Jubilee, Wolverine (all X-Men)



Elsie Dee


Masque (leader of the Morlocks)
Various Morlocks (all unnamed)

Nick Fury
Various agents and physicians of S.H.I.E.L.D. (all unnamed)
Various residents of New York (all unnamed)

Story Notes: 

Gregor Mendel was a German-Czech scientist often called the “father of modern genetics.”

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