Wolverine (2nd series) #45

Issue Date: 
August 1991
Story Title: 
Claws over Time Square!

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

Brief Description: 

As Wolverine overlooks Midtown Manhattan, Jubilee tries to talk him out of what he is about to do, but to no avail. Shortly, Ronald Parvenue, along with Lady Deathsrike, appears in a helicopter toting a cage with a large tarp over it. Parvenue announces to the growing crowd below that he has a surprise for them. With that, he shows them the Hunter in Darkness, the creature in the cage. Meanwhile, an unknown shooter across from that location, attempting to kill the Hunter for causing all of the pain they have made in their life. The shot only nicks the Hunter, but it incenses Wolverine to the point of causing him to leap onto the cage. Down below, in Morlock Alley, Albert is attempting to put Elsie-Dee back together. To do so, he cuts the main power line, which causes all of Midtown Manhattan to go dark. Up on the surface, Sabretooth leaps onto the cage and is joined shortly by Lady Deathstrike. From there, they begin to fight with Wolverine on top of the cage. Jubilee, worried about Wolverine, uses her firework power to illuminate the situation. When she does, she blinds the pilot of the helicopter. He barely misses hitting a water tower, but the cage isn’t that lucky. It opens up and knocks off all three combatants onto the ground below. As Sabretooth picks himself up, he threatens Wolverine that he is going to kill him. However, Lady Deathstrike points out to him that he may not be the one who does it – because the Hunter in Darkness is loose!

Full Summary: 

Perched on a building, Wolverine, in his brown and tan costume, is overlooking Midtown Manhattan. From behind him, Jubilee tells him that she’s not following him or anything. She adds that she saw the story on the six o’clock news and she remembered what he told her about what happened in Canada. She was just hoping maybe he wasn’t going to do something he might regret in the morning. Wolverine quips back that he takes his regrets out every night and dumps them in the trash.

When Jubilee mentions that it looks like he is planning something, Wolverine responds that he’s not planning anything. There’s just something wild inside of him, pulling at him to do things he doesn’t understand. He can’t figure it; it’s like trying to explain desire. Jubilee then asks him what’s gotten into him lately. First, he lets that little robot Elsie-Dee get under his skin and that almost got him killed in Morlock Alley. And now, he’s getting all sentimental about something that lives in the woods and eats its dinner raw. As Wolverine walks away from her, he tells her to leave him alone. Jubilee ignores him and tells him that she won’t, it’s for his own good.

When Wolverine jumps off the roof and onto the billboard below, Jubilee says that she can’t follow him down there. Wolverine replies that that is the point; that’s the whole point. Jubilee then tells Wolverine that, whatever crazy clawed-critter bond he feels toward this thing, Ronald Parvenue hasn’t done anything wrong as far as the law is concerned. Wolverine replies that he knows that. Parvenue has every right in the world to spend his millions on a big huntin’ expedition into Canada to bring it back alive. Probably get himself a medal for riddin’ Buffalo Woods National Park of a man-killin’ menace. He has the right to use the Hunter in Darkness as an attraction to lure suckers into his casino. And he probably racked up brownie points with the city tourism board for displayin’ the “Hunter” right there on a billboard in Times Square before he takes it down to Atlantic City but he sure doesn’t have to like it.

In a room in an undisclosed location, a sniper rifle has been placed on top of an over-turned chair. The owner of it is sitting at a table, placing rounds into a magazine. Once they have completed that task, they place the magazine into the rifle and aim it out the window. Looking through the scope, they notice that there is a slight down-angle that can easily be compensated for. They also notice that the bunting isn’t moving which means there’s no crosswind. Smiling, they point out that this should be a turkey shoot.

Down in the bowels of the city in Morlock Alley, Albert is feverishly working on recreating Elsie-Dee. Currently, he has her hooked up to a number of power sources. As he works, he tells her to just wait and *bzt* see. She’s going to have a *bzt* fine new body that’s ten times *bzt* better than the one Pierce built for her. Stronger, faster, *bzt* more options, auxiliary data banks, high amperage linear drive motors, *bzt* third generation passive night vision.

On the table, Elsie tells him that all takes too much power and not even molten salt high density battewies can store enough to power all that and fit inside her wittle fwame. Albert replies that he’s going to build her a *bzt* strange-matter reactor – twenty million electron volts. Elsie informs him that he will need a particle accewerwator to pwoduce the stwange-lets. Albert tells her that he’s *bzt* building her one but he needs more *bzt* power.

Behind a wall, Masque and some of his Morlocks are watching the goings-on. One of the Morlocks asks Masque how much power do dey need? Dey alreddy diverted all o’ their power cables into dis lab. Another Morlock adds that this isn’t right. They can’t just let that ugly android waltz in there and just take over. A third Morlock tells Masque to eighty-six them and show them the gate. Masque tells them all to shut up. They haven’t seen him rip and tear and they haven’t gazed into his fluorescent eyes.

In lower Manhattan, under the shadow of the Brooklyn Bridge, a man wearing a shirt that says “no guns” is holding a young lady at knifepoint. He tells her to hand it over; his connection doesn’t have all day. Holding a little dog that is yapping, the lady tells the dog, Queenie, not to worry. Mommy won’t let the bad man hurt her. The mugger again orders her to just give her the purse or does he haveta… He is cut off mid-sentence when his neck is grabbed from behind by an unknown assailant. The assailant snaps the mugger’s neck, much to the surprise of the young lady.

Her dog continues to yap but the lady tells her to be quiet. The nice man just saved them from that nasty old crazed drug fiend. The lady then addresses the assailant and tells him that was terribly gallant of him. She says to him that, if he will give her his name and address, she will have her manager send him a nice check. As soon as she finishes her thought, she is punched out by the assailant. As he goes through her purse looking for money, he informs her that his name is Sabretooth and he don’t take checks.

In Times Square, still perched on top of the billboard, Wolverine thinks to himself that maybe Jubilee is right. It could be that he’s settin’ himself up for a big fall by lettin’ the wildness in him get the upper hand. There must be a reason why he can’t shake the feelin’ that there’s some real strong link between him and the thing they captured up in Buffalo Woods. It ain’t like he’s gonna’ jump down there and rescue the critter… Just then, Wolverine is shocked to find speakers rising up behind him. He also notices that the billboard is splittin’ up, turnin’ itself inside-out. He then realizes what is happening: it turned itself into the world’s biggest projection TV. Wolverine adds that Ronald Parvenue sure don’t cut any corners when it comes to slingin’ the ol’ bovine waste.

Down below, in amongst the crowd, Jubilee is attempting to make her way through. As she boisterously pushes through the crowd, she tells them that there’s a hero-type person coming through on urgent business. One of the men in the crowd points out that that is a familiar costume, but isn’t she supposed to be dead? Before Jubilee can respond, other people in the crowd point up in the sky towards a helicopter carrying a cage covered by a tarp.

In the helicopter, Yuriko Oyama says to Ronald Parvenue what did she tell him? Once he’s experienced the wonders of bio-technic improved life-forms, he can’t ever go back to the plain stuff. Ronald agrees that he’s impressed but right now he has to get back to his first love – making money. He then asks if he’s rolling, to which someone informs him that he’s on. Ronald then speaks to the crowd below. He tells them that he’s there to give the Big Apple a free peek of the wonder of the decade. In the crowd, somebody sarcastically mentions that Parvenue giving something away will be the day. Parvenue informs the crowd that he’s there – captured at great risk in the wilds of Canada, the legendary stalker of the North Woods. It has been feared by generations of local Indians as a quasi-mystical evil spirit of the forest.

In the crowd below, one of the patrons asks what the jive is all about. It’s just some furry thing with claws. Another replies that it’s some sorta Bigfoot. No big deal, it ain’t like he got the ghost of Elvis up there. Another asks what the deal is. Is it gonna do something or do they have something else for it to fight? Another tells him, “Nah.” As far as he can tell, they’re just gonna pull the sheet off that cage and let them look at the dumb thing. Another complains that he came all the way out from Bay Ridge to look at some hairy guy with claws? He coulda stayed at home and done that.

Up in the helicopter, Parvenue tells Yuriko to look at the crowd; they’re really eating this up. He can tell; he has a natural instinct for reading the reaction of the masses. Yuriko responds that he certainly does. That’s why she came to him with her business proposition. Parvenue adds among other things. Yuriko asks him if he likes the perks, to which Parvenue admits that he does. He then asks her what the secret name is that she likes him to call her? Death-wish? Deaths-head? Yuriko indicates that it’s Deathstrike, Lady Deathstrike. Parvenue replies that he loves it, it is “tres kinky.”

Down on the street, back from the crowd, Sabretooth, wearing the clothes of the mugger, notices that the downdraft from the helicopter is carryin’ a familiar scent. One of eucalyptus, lotus blossom and hate. He then knows that he came to the right place all right. In another place in the crowd, one of the patrons asks if that is Irina with Parvenue. Another tells him that he dumped her last week and that it must be some new bimbo. Jubilee immediately recognizes her as Deathstrike and wonders what she is doing there.

From the helicopter, Parvenue asks New York if they are ready for this. Are they ready for the Hunter in Darkness? With that, the tarp is removed, revealing the monstrous form of the creature. The crowd below is in shock and awe. Deathstrike scans the crowd and wonders where he is. If anything can bring him out, this will. Perched on top of the billboard, Wolverine points out that the crowd, the noise o’ the rotors, the cage, the flyin’ is all torture to the Hunter. He asks don’t they understand that?

Deep under the city, Albert tells Masque that the line he is in is a *bzt* secondary line. He told him that he needs to *bzt* tap into the main. Masque replies that he can’t just divert a main line. The system can’t handle a power drop like that. Albert tells him that he needs the *bzt* power. It’s for Elsie-Dee.

From the room where the sniper is, the shooter has the Hunter in Darkness in their sights. Once there, the shooter calls the Hunter a filthy murderous beast. It adds that he’s made him miserable his whole life and now he’s going to pay. When they pull the trigger, they are dismayed when the Hunter moves and all they do is nick him. Seeing the Hunter being shot makes Wolverine irate. From inside the helicopter, Parvenue orders his pilot to get them out of there. The pilot tells him that he told him this town was wacko-city.

As the helicopter goes to take off, Wolverine jumps towards it. While he does, he calls out to Parvenue that he’s gettin’ to the point where he don’t care about his rights anymore, especially when he’s stompin’ all over the rights o’ somethin’ that can’t even fight back. When he lands on the cage he adds that who knows, if somebody doesn’t stop this now, it might be folks like him in the cage next time. Observing the goings on from the street, Sabretooth removes his disguise and laughs to himself. He just knew that lil’ ol’ sonny-boy o’ his couldn’t stay away from this shindig.

In the lower depths of the city, Albert has found the main trunk line. Masque tells him that he can’t splice into that; he’ll cut off all of midtown Manhattan. Albert, ignoring his pleas, cuts it anyway – it’s for Elsie.

One the street, the on-lookers are watching Wolverine hang on to the cage. One of them asks if this is all part of the show. Another adds that it has to be. It’s all stuntmen and fake stuff, like they got down in all those parks in Orlando. Just then, all of the power goes out in the city. Inside the helicopter, Lady Deathstrike rips her outfit off, revealing her costume. Parvenue tells her that this is no time for that. Deathstrike informs him to get out of the way before she has to shove his face in; he’s blocking her access to the door. Down below, Sabretooth hops on a streetlamp and then leaps onto the cage. As he does he calls out to Wolverine to come back here, daddy wants to play with him.

Immediately, Deathstrike leaps onto the cage to join in the fracas. She notices Sabretooth and asks what is going on – an interloper, interfering in her revenge. When Wolverine notices Yuriko and Sabretooth, he asks what is this, old home week? From inside the room, the shooter notices that they can’t separate out their target in the dark and that they can’t get a solid bead on the Hunter in Darkness. They then ask where those other three came from and why are they trying to tear each others throats out.

As Wolverine, Lady Deathstrike, and Sabretooth continue their rumble on top of the cage, the pilot of the helicopter asks Parvenue if he is okay, as he looks like somebody shoved his face in. Parvenue orders him not to worry about that and just to get away from the buildings before they crash into something in the dark.

On the street, Jubilee climbs a light-post and calls out to Wolverine. When she realizes that she can’t see what her favorite mutant is up to up there, she decides to shed some light on the subject. She then uses her firework power to illuminate the dark night sky. Up above, Wolverine sarcastically thanks her for lighting up the sky so both of his assailants can see what they’re slashing at.

The fireworks have some other undesired effects as well, when they blind the pilot of the helicopter. With his night-vision gone, Parvenue orders him to watch out for the fast approaching water tower. He tells him to pull up immediately. The pilot asks what about the cage, to which Parvenue tells him to forget about it. Shortly, the cage crashes into the water tower, knocking it open and the three combatants off of the cage and onto the ground below.

As Sabretooth pulls himself up he tells his “sonny-boy,” Wolverine, that he’s glad to see he survived that one. He’d hate to think he got cheated out o’ the pleasure o’ killin’ him personal-like. Deathstrike informs him that he may still be cheated on that. Sabretooth angrily tells her that she can just try it. Deathstrike corrects him that it’s not by her, him – the Hunter in Darkness is loose!

Characters Involved: 

Jubilee, Wolverine (all X-Men)


Hunter in Darkness

Lady Deathstrike
Ronald Parvenue
Parvenue’s helicopter pilot (unnamed)

Unnamed sniper

Elsie Dee

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

Various residents of New York (all unnamed)

Story Notes: 

Wolverine came in contact again for the first time with the Hunter in Darkness back in Wolverine (2nd series) #34.

Sabretooth told Wolverine that he was his father back in Wolverine (2nd series) #41.

Orlando, Florida is home to many different theme parks. Some of them include the various Walt Disney Parks, and Islands of Adventure, which features Marvel characters.

There is one Wolverine galleries in this issue. It features Wolverine drawn in the sewers by Art Thibert.

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