Wolverine (2nd series) #46

Issue Date: 
September 1991
Story Title: 
Home is the Hunter…

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

Brief Description: 

On a rooftop, Wolverine is tussling with both Sabretooth and Lady Deathstrike when the Hunter in Darkness suddenly intervenes on Wolverine’s behalf. As a result, he suddenly remembers when he helped the Hunter all those years ago. Eventually, Wolverine stumbles away and is found by Jubilee. She implores him to stay out of the fight for a little while, while she checks out what is going on. On the roof, she sees the Hunter holding his own. However, before long Wolverine rejoins the fight, evening up the odds. As they continue to fight, the sniper returns to finish the job. She first shoots Sabretooth and then Lady Deathstrike, knocking her off of the rooftop. Jubilee is able to blind her with her fireworks, which drives the Hunter away. With the Hunter gone, the sniper tells her story, about her father and how he was consumed by the Hunter in Darkness. Wolverine recognizes her as a Doolin, but not before he is shot by mercury-tipped bullets. When they are struck, Wolverine and Sabretooth begin to hallucinate about Wranglers and the Project. Before Emmy Doolin can pull the trigger to kill Wolverine, Jubilee interferes on his behalf and knocks her down. Shortly, Wolverine is able to subdue Emmy and begins to wonder what his hallucinations were all about. At that point, he realizes that there has to be more to his relationship with Sabretooth than he first thought. Down on the street, Lady Deathstrike is met by Ronald Parvenue, who tells her that they need to “talk.” Deep beneath the city, Albert continues to work on Elsie-Dee. As he does, they, along with Masque, hear the sounds of an albino alligator. Masque thinks the gator has taken a victim, but Albert knows better. There is another hunter in the sewers - the Hunter in Darkness.

Full Summary: 

As Wolverine, Lady Deathstrike, and Sabretooth look at the oncoming Hunter in Darkness, Wolverine thinks about what brought him in this position. The way he figures it, somebody must’ve turned on a claw-magnet in the middle o’ Times Square. Here he is, drawn to another face-to-face meet-up with that shamblin’ thing from the North Woods called the Hunter in Darkness and who shows up to crash the party? None other than Sabretooth, who claims to be his father and still wants to nail his guts to the wall, and Lady Deathstrike, who would just as soon cancel his ticket as pass the time o’ day.

Wolverine mentions to the others that they should call a truce while they sort this all out. However, Sabretooth tells him that there ain’t nothin’ to sort out, son-o’-his. ‘Cept the ‘zact moment he rips his throat out. With that, Lady Deathstrike and Sabretooth converge on Wolverine. As they do, Lady Deathstrike tells Sabretooth that may be a favor she grants him after he tears her father’s adamantium from Wolverine’s bones. Hearing this, Wolverine tells them both that throat rippin’ and bone tearin’s somethin’ that neither o’ them is likely to do until they get the best of him.

While Wolverine continues in his struggle against they two, he notices that they are giving it their best shot. They’re on him like a steel trap and he’s strainin’ so hard there’s a sound comin’ out o’ the heart o’ him that can’t be heard by human ears.

It’s a sound that rings in the Hunter’s dim grey memory. It’s linked with a scent, Wolverine’s scent. All those years ago in Canada up in Buffalo Woods National Park. Wolverine was a wild thing then, but not so wild as to feel no pity for a sufferin’ beast. Because of that, he saved the Hunter from being caught in a bear-trap and then dragging the trap away from him, leading any followers away from the injured animal. Back in present time, Wolverine notices that the Hunter remembers… as he joins the fracas to help him out.

A few moments later, Jubilee is running up the fire escape. As she does, she hopes aloud that this is the right building. She noticed that it looked like Ronald Parvenue’s helicopter swung that cage with Wolvie on it, right into a water tower. As she gets closer to the roof, she remarks that she can’t see anything and sarcastically laments that this is a great time for there to be a total power blackout. When she reaches the roof, she calls out and asks Wolverine if he is up there. A tattered and beaten Wolverine stumbles towards her and tells her to keep it quiet; she’ll wake the neighbors.

Jubilee, shocked by how haggard Wolverine looks, asks him if he is all right. She then asks if that was Sabretooth and Lady Deathstrike on top of that cage with him. Before she can ask any other questions, Wolverine collapses on the fire escape below her. With concern in her voice, Jubilee says to him that she knows he’s got an adamantium-laced skeleton and a mutant healing factor, but this getting sliced up every other night has just got to stop. Wolverine replies by asking her if she thinks he enjoys this? He then tells her to just dust him off a little and push him back in the direction o’ the fracas. Jubilee responds by telling him to just chill out a for a sec and let her scope it out.

Leaving Wolverine there, Jubilee reaches the top of the building again and is shocked by the sight of the shadows she sees. Speaking to no one but herself, she remarks that whoever and whatever is out there are having one marathon slashathon. She knows it’s too dark to see what the score is so she decides to throw a little illumination on the subject. With that, she uses her firework power to see the Hunter in Darkness more than holding his own against Lady Deathstrike and Sabretooth. From behind her, a reenergized Wolverine tells her to move out of the way; he’s gotta go cut the Hunter some slack. Jubilee informs him that he doesn’t look like he needs his help.

Deep in the bowels of the city, Albert returns to where Elsie-Dee is laying with the main power cable in tow. As he approaches he tells Elsie that he *bzt* got it – the main trunk-line. They have plenty of *bzt* power now. Elsie asks Masque what Albert did and what happened to the wights. Masque informs her that he blacked out all of Manhattan. Albert interjects only *bzt* midtown. He then tells her that he made bypass circuits *bzt* before he cut the main line. He didn’t want to blow the *bzt* generators and transformers. He need them *bzt* all on line to run his particle accelerator.

When he removes the cover from his creation, Elsie asks Albert if that is a particle accewwerwator. She adds that it’s much too small. The ewectron positwon cowwedir the have at Geneva is 5.3 miles in diameter. Albert tells her that’s because *bzt* they don’t have a hyper-cryogenic electro-magnet at the center of theirs *bzt* like they do. Pretty soon *bzt* they’re going to be cranking out *bzt* strangelets to power her *bzt* internal reactor.

On the surface, up on the roof, Jubilee calls out to Wolverine that it’s really dark up there. She asks how he can see who to claw and who not to. Should she pop some more fireworks? While Lady Deathstrike and the Hunter in Darkness continue their fight, Wolverine tells Jubilee not to do her any favors. He then continues his assault on Sabretooth, who tells Wolverine that he got in some lucky licks there but he’s about had his fill o’ slashin’ and tearin’. As pleasurable as it may be, he reckons it’s time they got the main event. With that, Sabretooth grabs Wolverine by the neck and leans him over the side of the rooftop.

Before he can do anything further, he is hit with a rifle-shot. On the other side of the roof, the shooter curses to them self that they hit the wrong one. They then realize that they’re lucky they can hit anything at all in this light. It’s so dark and they’re moving so fast. As they look through the scope, they ask if any of them are human. Another shot fires and it hits Lady Deathstrike, knocking her off the roof. As she falls of the roof, the shooter exclaims that that’s the ticket! Knock them right off the roof! Clear the deck of the confusing targets! The shooter then sets up their rifle again and looks through the scope at the remaining targets on the roof, asking who is next.

Jubilee notices the shooter and uses her mutant power of fireworks to blind her. As she does, she tells the shooter to back off, “Annie Oakley.” That’s her Wolvie on her list of potential targets. The shooter tries to shield her eyes from the fireworks and laments the loss of her night vision. On the other side of the roof, Wolverine points out that Jube’s fireworks spooked the Hunter. That bright light only means fire to him and he don’t like getting’ burnt. Sabretooth adds that the dumb girl can’t shoot for beans.

He then asks why don’t she jes’ waltz right over there and blow that critters brains out the back of it’s head so’s he can get back to killin’ his son? He then notices the Hunter leaping off the roof onto an adjacent roof. Sabretooth asks where the critter is off to. Wolverine informs him that it’s survival instincts are kickin’ in. It knows when to back off and run from a fight. Nothin’ civilized standin’ in his way, like pride. Sabretooth replies that if he’s gone, they can call off that fool girl and her high-power rifle. As the shooter shoots again, narrowly missing him, Wolverine points out that he thinks she’s beyond that.

As the shooter reloads her gun, she asks which one of the howling animals is next. She’s going to kill him, just like they killed her father. He was the best dad a girl could ask for and they took him away. She shoots indiscriminately again and reloads. She continues her rant that it took him away, piece-by-piece, over half a lifetime. He was fine until that first encounter he had with him up in Buffalo Woods. He said he shot a forest spirit. Something the Blackfoot called the Hunter in Darkness.

As she shoots again, she says that it was bad medicine. He said that, whatever it was, it turned back to look at him after it was shot and all he could see in those eyes was something this side of pity. When she pulls the trigger again, she says that everybody else said the thing ate his soul. As the last shot hits Wolverine, he mentions that he knows who she is. He adds that she has the story all confused.

Sabretooth mentions that he’s feelin’ real bad, “son.” That ain’t no off-the-shelf ammo she’s pumpin’ into them. Ignoring him, Wolverine calls out to the sniper that her father was Doolin. Sergeant Doolin of the RCMP. The shooter replies that they’re both right. Her name is Emmy Doolin and she is shooting hand-loaded mercury-tips. Wolverine calls out they are poison bullets; no wonder his mutant healin’ factor is overloaded. No wonder his vision is goin’ bananas on him.

He then tells Emmy that he ain’t the hunter, but he knew her dad. Emmy replies that she knows but he was there when he died. Sabretooth then recognizes Emmy as a wrangler. A trank-gun totin’, electric cattle-prod pokin’ stinkin’ security goon Wrangler. Wolverine verifies with Sabretooth that he’s seeing the same thing. He asks what is this Wrangler that she turned into? How does he… At this point, Emmy has the look of a security guard. Not any security guard. This one has a helmet with the words X Security on it. On her armor, it has a serial number (5211) on her right breastplate and an X on the other breastplate.

As she continues to shoot, she says that her dad didn’t have influence in Ottawa like he did. He could have been promoted out of the field, but he stayed on out in the woods because he thought he might run into the Hunter in Darkness. He had to, you see, it was eating him up, his brief encounter with the unknown had been so unsatisfying. Emmy unloads another shot and continues. He had a full inspector’s funeral. They said he died a hero, bringing in Athabasca Ike. But her dad’s friends in the Mounties said that Ike had been ripped apart by claws. They said there had been a cover-up because somebody named Logan had been involved. Another shot and she continues. They tried to sweep it under the carpet, but she knew deep inside that it was the Hunter in Darkness who killed her father. Then, last week, she opened the paper and she knew what she had to do. She then unloads another shot.

As Wolverine begins to hallucinate, he realizes that he has to give his system time to filter out the heavy metal before the visual side effects get any wilder. Sabretooth then asks him where all the weird trees came from. Ain’t no trees… Before he can finish his thought. Wolverine tells him that they are visual analog of s-suffusion-chelation bath. Sabretooth responds “whatever” he says. Emmy tells them that she had to kill the Hunter in Darkness - it’s all his fault. Sabretooth informs Logan that this wrangler ain’t got his dial on sedation; he’s cranked up all the way to termination. Emmy repeats that she has to do this. It’s the only way she can make herself feel any better.

Sabretooth tells Logan that he can’t move and that if he keeps goin’ he’s buyin’ the farm this time around. Wolverine tells him that he can’t leave him he’s his, his p-p-p… Sabretooth implores him to say it. Emmy then holds a gun to Wolverine’s face and tells him that she is sorry and starts to pull the trigger.

Just then, Jubilee comes flying out of nowhere and lays her body into Emmy Doolin. As she does, she tells her that she’s going to be more than sorry. She’s about to be bruised, abused and contused. When the rifle goes off, firing harmlessly in the air, Emmy orders the little twit, Jubilee, to get off of her before she breaks her face. Jubilee then calls out to Wolvie to cut out the psycho-babble, get back on the reality program and give her a hand. She adds that she thinks she bit off more than she can ch…

Before she can finish her sentence, Emmy knocks her down with a rifle butt to the chin. Wolverine notices what is happening and begins to make his way over towards her when Sabretooth stops him. He tells him that they can do it, “partner.” They just have to get out of this place. He adds to blazes with their project. Wolverine tells him to let go but Sabretooth continues his rant. He knows a way to block the thorazine. If they can think straight they can’t… Before he can finish, Wolverine again tells him to let go and knocks him down with a backhand punch. As he does, he asks, “Partner? What happened to sonny-boy?” Sabretooth replies that it’s programming. Those project goons…

On the other side of the roof, Emmy rushes at Jubilee with her gun raised high to nail her again. As she does, she tells her that nobody stands in her way, nobody. Just then, Wolverine appears and slices her gun in pieces with his claws. As he knocks the rest of the gun out of her hands, he tells her it’s over. Emmy starts to beat on Wolverine’s chest, telling him that he’s not the hunter. Where is he? Where… Before she can finish, Jubilee takes her out with a solid punch to her chin.

As they stand over the unconscious body of Emmy Doolin, Jubilee asks Wolverine what’s with him. Is he zoning out or what? Wolverine informs her that it’s mercury, to which Jubilee asks if he is going astrological? Mercury, like in Jupiter rising with House in Scorpio? Wolverine tells her no, like in heavy metal. Jubilee asks, “Like Led Zep, Megadeth, Judas Priest?” Wolverine informs her like thermometers. His system overloaded from mercury-tipped bullets. It must be linked to the adamantium bondin’ process. He had some bizarre hallucinations. Pushed some real strong déjà vu buttons. “Wranglers.” “The Project.” Sabretooth seemed to be seein’ the same weird stuff. He’s part of his past in more ways than he knows. If he can get him to… When he turns around, he notices that Sabretooth is gone.

Down on the street, Lady Deathstrike pulls herself out of a dumpster. While she does, she points out that Pierce rebuilt her stronger than she thought. Of course, Spiral’s work was impressive to begin with. Just then, a car pulls up in the alley. As Deathstrike poises to attack, a man gets out of the car. The newcomer tells her to relax, “Yuriko, or Lady Deathstrike, or whatever.” He adds that she scammed him good. Deathstrike recognizes him as Parvenue. Parvenue then tells her that nobody’s ever taken Ronald Parvenue for a ride and he thinks that they need to talk.

Deep in the bowels of the city, Albert continues to work on Elsie-Dee. As he does, he tells her that as soon as he gets her on her new feet he has a *bzt* big surprise to show her. Masque adds that it’s gotta be enormous. The amount of electronics and scrap metal he’s been having them scrounge for him… Masque is interrupted by the sounds of an albino alligator. Masque informs them that something wandered into the wrong tunnel and became part of the food chain. Those gators can chomp through a large Morlock faster than…

He is cut off by Albert, who tells him that *bzt* wasn’t the sound of a *bzt* gator winning. Something else is out there, something that *bzt* hunts. Over in another section of the sewers a dead albino alligator is being drug along by the Hunter in Darkness.

Characters Involved: 

Jubilee, Wolverine (all X-Men)


Lady Yuriko Oyama (Lady Deathstrike)

Hunter in Darkness

Ronald Parvenue
Emmy Doolin

Elsie Dee

Masque (leader of the Morlocks)

In flashbacks/hallucination sequences:
Sergeant Doolin
A young Emmy Doolin
Wolverine, shortly after he escaped being infused with adamantium.
Hunter in Darkness

Story Notes: 

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

Led Zeppelin, Megadeth, and Judas Priest are all well-known heavy metal bands.

RCMP stands for Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Déjà vu is a psychological phenomenon, which describes the experience of feeling that one has witnessed a new situation previously.

Annie Oakley was a United States sharpshooter and exhibition shooter. She was alive from 1860 to 1926.

This issue also has a one-page sneak preview of Rahne of Terra by Peter David and Andy Kubert.

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