Wolverine (2nd series) #58

Issue Date: 
August 1992
Story Title: 

D.G. Chichester* (guest writer), Darrick Robertson (guest penciler), Joe Rubenstein (guest inker), Pat Brosseau (letterer), Ariane (colorist), Bob Harras (editor), Tom DeFalco (editor-in-chief)
*Helping an overworked Larry Hama! Thanks, Dan!

Brief Description: 

At the X-Mansion, Wolverine learns that a young girl has been kidnapped, actually the daughter of one of Xavier’s associates. Though Xavier says he cannot help, Wolverine decides on his own to take the job on for a personal reason and makes Jubilee tag along with him. Their travels take them to Oregon where they meet up with an unnamed eco-saboteur. After trailing him, they engage in a brief battle, until the man kills himself instead of giving Wolverine the answers he wants. In the morgue, Wolverine and Jubilee meet up with the enigmatic Terror, who tells them about the man’s past. They are interrupted by the rest of the eco-saboteurs group, the fanatic sect of the Nature Defense League. Their leader is a man by the name of Johnny Bloodcede, also known as Monkeywrench. Along with him are three woman collectively known as Pick Axis, and dwarf brothers Little Paul and Bunyan. Monkeywrench unleashes one of his spikes which explodes upon contact. Little Paul and Bunyan cut Terror in half while Wolverine is able to take out the Pick Axis. Over time, Terror and Jubilee take out Little Paul and Bunyan when Wolverine confronts Monkeywrench again. This time, Monkeywrench hammers an explosive spike into Wolverine’s chest and leaves. Wolverine isn’t worried about the healing, he’s worried about getting it out while staying in one piece in the process.

Full Summary: 

As he walks through the X-Mansion, Wolverine thinks to himself that Charlie X has got himself a pretty good spread out there in Salem Center, New York. Too bad it ain’t big enough so he can get away from what’s eatin’ him up inside. Through the good times and the hard ones, there’s always only been one woman he’s loved, he loves, Mariko Yashida. Now she’s dead, murdered, and the hard times don’t get much worse. Rippin’ apart make-believe threats in the danger room can’t take the edge off the rage he’s feelin’. He’s needin’ somethin’ more to sink his claws into.

Walking past an office, he overhears a man talking with Professor Charles Xavier. The man says that, from the charity committees they’ve served on together, he knows that Xavier is a man of his word and that he wants to believe that he’s the man who can help him save his daughter. He adds that this NDL, this Nature Defense League, who’ve got her, they call themselves “radical environmentalists.” He calls them terrorists.

Xavier asks the man, Barton, why Alice? Barton tells him that it’s to intimidate them, make him back off of his logging interests. The authorities are on it, but he’s scared and he’s hoping the rumors he’s heard over the years… of his connections… might provide for resistance beyond the ordinary. He brought a picture… Xavier tells him that he feels for him in this, the both of them but he fears that he’s been misinformed. All he is is the head of a school for gifted youngsters. Nothing extraordinary about that, nothing at all.

As Barton walks out he tells Xavier that he, he had to try. He’s sorry, he feels like such a fool. Xavier tells him not to, it’s his daughter they’re talking about. He tells him that he’s only doing what any father would do, what anyone who cares about another human life would do.

When the two of them walk away, Wolverine enters the office they just departed. He thinks to himself that Charlie is puttin’ himself through the ringer, bitin’ his tongue about his “students” – the X-Men, mutants every last one of them. Compromising that truth and team’s larger mission for one little girl lost could never be an option for Professor X. Someone’s got to keep a cool head, just don’t expect it to him. He’s been there when the gentle someone in your life gets taken away. That’s an evil he don’t wish on anyone.

On the desk, Wolverine discovers that Barton left his scrapbook. As Wolverine looks through it, he finds a tuft of Alice’s hair that still has a really good scent on it. When he leaves the office, he encounters Jubilee racing down the stairs. Jubilee tells him to get out of her way, there’s a shirtless Luke Perry doing a TV interview. Wolverine grabs her by the arm and tells her to put a tape in the VCR and pack a bag. He knows that successful tracking is equal parts keeping an eye out and keeping a low profile and that two travel more inconspicuously than one.

As Wolverine and Jubilee sit at the bar (Jubilee bored senseless), Wolverine notices that the cold wind outside the Oregon bar they are in ain’t got much on the chill comin’ off certain of its beer guzzlers. Jubilee asks her “big brother” when they are gonna make a move. Wolverine replies that he’s beginnin’ to regret the part a’ the plan and tells his “little sister” to be patient. He is workin’ on ingratiating themselves with the fringe of the NDL so they can find out more on what’s happened to Alice Hoff.

When they approach a table full of locals, Wolverine asks if they mind if they join… Before he can finish his question, the locals scatter. Jubilee points out that the natives are not friendly, to which Wolverine tells her that he’s had worse luck. Jubilee asks when but he does not answer.

In thought, Wolverine recalls that the scrapbook he saw let on to Alice’s own conservationist leanings. An opening the group sought to exploit against her father’s company, Hoff Amalgamated. The best way a’ doin’ that seems to have become an issue among the NDL’s founders, Jake Greenfire and Johnny Bloodcede. The word is they split over Bloodcede’s push for ever more radical ecotage – ecological sabotage to bring industry to ground. The question is, what camp did daddy’s little girl fall into? He’s got a nasty feelin’ the answer ain’t gonna be pretty.

As they sit at a table in the bar, Jubilee draws pictures of both Greenfire and Bloodcede. When she is done, she asks Wolverine what he thinks. He doesn’t pay attention to her, as he is paying attention to a man walking out the door. He informs Jubilee that he smells adrenaline coming from the chrome-dome, he must be plannin’ something. As he balls up Jubilee’s drawing, Jubilee tells him that’s the sort of thing that leads to sibling rivalry. Wolverine tells her not to advertise and to c’mon.

They leave the bar and follow the man into the woods, where bulldozers are parked in a clearing. From a secluded spot, Jubilee asks Wolverine what he is doing and notices that he’s handling grenades. Wolverine, in his blue and yellow costume, tells her that he is monkeywrenching. It messes up the works and hits the logging companies where it hurts. Jubilee asks what the plan is. Wolverine tells her that it is to monkeywrench him right back. Blind him, and then soften him up for the Q and A.

Immediately, Jubilee does her part and unleashes her fireworks power, blinding the man. Even though he can’t see, he calls out that they can’t stop them and pulls the pin out of the grenade. Wolverine recognizes this and realizes the guy is a fanatic, crazy. As he leaps towards him, he’ll be right down there in the madness with him. Except what he’s going to pull is their collective fat out of the fire. At the last second, he is able to tackle the man away from the explosion to safety. As they land on the ground, Wolverine thinks to himself that he’s not about to shed any tears if baldy gets himself a little singed around the edges.

Around them, debris hurtles towards them, Wolverine is able to slash one of the pieces and the man tells him nice move, it leaves him wide open for his. With that, the man connects with a kick to Wolverine’s face, knocking him down. Wolverine has bones shot through with a metal called adamantium, the strongest stuff on the planet. Nothing some ecoteur, this ecological saboteur, can do is permanent damage. It still hurts though. When he hurts he likes to give back with interest.

Wolverine gets up and tackles the guy from behind and smacks his face up against a tree. As the man turns to face him, Wolverine tells him to give it up. Both the tryin’ to prove what a hard-case he is and everything he knows about a woman named Alice Hoff. The man tells him that he will give him nothing and jumps onto a piece of debris, killing himself. Wolverine is shocked. Jubilee runs up and points out to Wolverine that the man threw himself on the shard and adds that it is a bad scene. Wolverine tells her that she has a gift for understatement. He tells her that it’s more than sand in crank-cases behind it, that’s for sure.

As he pulls the guy off the shard, Jubilee hears a chain snap. She picks up the chain with the double-end wrench on it and tells Wolverine that it is an accessory item they could all do without. Wolverine tells her unless you’re so deep into this bunch’s cult mentality you’ll die for it. Jubilee responds that she guesses so and asks Wolvie what he is thinking this is all about. As Wolverine walks away from the scene, carrying the dead man over his shoulder, he tells her nothing good…

Later, in the local morgue, Wolverine gives the night coroner a hundred dollar bill at the end of his claw, which is twice the convincing he needs to take the evening off. As they look at the corpse of the man, Jubilee asks haven’t they seen enough of this sorta thing for awhile and asks if this is any way for a girl to spend a night out. Wolverine tells her to get some air or whatever. He has something in the works to help what’s left of cueball to still clue them to the Hoff girl, and it’s not going to be pleasant. Jubilee points to the dead man and asks what’s going to be worse than this?

Just then, a creature with spikes coming out of the sides of his face appears behind her. He is wearing a coat and a fedora and his eyes are yellow – his right one bigger than the other. He tells Jubilee that there are many things that are worse. Upon seeing the man, Jubilee screams. Wolverine thinks to himself that she’s stubborn but he can’t say he didn’t warn her. Wolverine greets the man as Terror. Jubilee asks Terror who let him off his slab and asks Wolverine if this is his help. She adds something is right and asks where does he meet these people.

Wolverine thinks to himself that he doesn’t know much about Terror, just that he’s a gun for hire that more than lives up to his rep. A hardcase gettin’ the job done no matter how nasty, thanks in some degree to his “talent” a’ takin’ on the abilities an’ sensations of others body parts. Even knowin’ that much feels like too much. He’ll wash his hands a’ dealin’ with him later, right now he’s needin’ answers only his likes can get for him.

As Terror approaches the body, he tells Wolverine that it is a delightful specimen. He then asks if they should proceed and pulls out his right eye. Jubilee immediately yells out gross and says to Wolverine that he has a nice friend. Wolverine informs her that Terror is no friend of his. Terror shoots back that he wounds him. Wolverine replies that he’s just looking for an excuse. Terror ignores him and pulls the eye out of the dead man and trades it with his own. When he does, Wolverine asks him what he is seeing and hearing. Terror tells him a great deal. Wolverine holds up a picture of Alice and tells him that he’s only interested in what there is on a group called the NDL and Alice Hoff. Terror asks him for a moment.

Lance’s raw materials, that was his name… Lance, are thick with emotion. Those feelings must be focused part to get to the business at hand. As he looks off into space he tells Wolverine that he is looking at a ritualistic gathering, almost cult-like. Wolverine’s young lady is there, against her will. Words preaching the pain of nature, the agony of a blade of grass under a lawnmower blade, the howl of soil as tar covers it to form roads. Wolverine asks who is giving the sermon. Terror tells him that he’s acquired some artistic skills, five fingers from a well known illustrator.

As he begins to draw pictures of the men, Jubilee immediately recognizes them as the same drawings that she did back at the bar. Terror tells her that she has considerable talent but Jubilee begs him to stay away from her. Terror informs Wolverine that, from Lance’s observations, it would appear the “Reverend” Bloodcede has taken to calling himself Monkeywrench, establishing an extreme faction operating well beyond the tenets of ethical decency this NDL proclaims in their ecotage. Jubilee says that’s it then, find this bad boy Monkeywrench an’…

Just then, Wolverine catches the sudden smell of the deep woods in a room reeking with the stench of the dead, the two scents running one into the other. It’s death that comes out on top. He then tells Jubilee and Terror that he doesn’t think finding Monkeywrench is going to be much of a problem.

Just then, Monkeywrench and his followers come crashing through the door. He tells them that it’s like he warned, Lance’s corpse – desecrated. He tells two of his female followers, Pick Axis, to reclaim his body so it shall feed the worms and soil of their beloved planet. He tells two of his other followers, Little Paul and Bunyan to spill the unbelievers’ blood just for the fun of it. He then immediately throws the two wrenches he is carrying at Jubilee and Terror, knocking them both down. He then charges Wolverine and connects with his hammer.

When Monkeywrench connects his hammer against Wolverine’s stomach, the X-Man remarks to himself that he’s a fast little creep. He grits his teeth as he feels muscles twist and rip under the force of his blow. It ain’t pleasant but it’s nothin’ his mutant healin’ factor can’t fix up in no time. He doubts Bloodcede’s so lucky with his own personal recuperative powers, in fact he’s countin’ on it. With that he leaps towards Monkeywrench. As he does, he sees him hammering a spike into the ground. Wolverine knows that lots of ecoteurs are into “spiking,” driving thick metal spikes deep into trees, fouling up loggers chainsaw blades by snagging metal on metal.

Wolverine tells Monkeywrench that he took his swings, but now it’s his… Monkeywrench tells him that he’s right there and then moves away at the last second. When Wolverine takes a swipe with his claws, he hits the spike and it explodes. As it does, Wolverine notices that it seems Monkeywrench has added his own refinements to the idea of “spiking.”

Across the morgue, Jubilee begins to stir and holds her head. She laments that she’s going to break out from all of the stress, she just knows it. As she lies there, Little Paul and Bunyan rush towards her with their two-man saw between them. Bunyan asks Paul, since he’s the ladies man, if he wants her. Paul tells him that he ain’t greedy; he’ll share half and laughs maniacally. At the last second, Terror pushes Jubilee out of the way.

Unfortunately, Terror is unable to get out of the way and is chopped in half at the waist. Bunyan informs Paul, his brother, that weren’t no little lady they just chopped in half. Paul replies that there’s plenty o’ blade to go around. The force of the slice slams Terror’s upper half into the morgue wall. Terror pushes himself up with his hands and tells Little Paul and Bunyan that they risk the consequences of his making this a personal matter.

Fortunately, cooler heads will prevail, not to mention cooler bodies. He looks at the locker next to him and sees that it belongs to the body of James J. Chan. As he opens up the locker, he mentions that as it was, decay had marked those other legs as discontinued models. When he begins to pull the body out he mentions that he can indeed work with it.

On the other side of the morgue, the three ladies collectively known as Pick Axis, rush towards a smoldering Wolverine. The leader of them calls out for a three point attack. He can’t defend against all of them. As Wolverine pulls himself up, he says to them they’re kiddin’ right? He tells them that defense ain’t in his nature, offense is more his game. With that, he slashes one of the Pick Axis. The other two notice that she is not moving and rush with earnest towards Wolverine, telling him that he is going to pay for that. Wolverine hunches down and tells them to not waste their maneuvers on him, and to save ‘em for themselves. The Pick Axis from the right trips over him and connects with the other oncoming Pick Axis, taking her out.

Little Paul and Bunyan rush towards Jubilee, who is ready for them. Bunyan asks Paul if they can save her for later. Bunyan calls him a dawg and mentions that he’s the one that calls him the ladies man. Overhearing them, Jubilee tells them that no one talks about her like she’s a piece of meat, least of all midgets with a bandsaw and attitudes. When she unleashes her fireworks power, Paul and Bunyan stop in their tracks when they are blinded. Lying on the floor, Bunyan mentions to Paul that she wants to play hard to get. Paul replies that he can’t see a… He is cut off by Terror, who tells them not to be so eager; it’s not a pretty sight. As he connects with a kick to both of them he tells them that it’s nothing personal, just business.

As Johnny Bloodcede pulls Lance off of his slab and tells him that he is the first among them to see it through to the end. Humanity has never been more than anything else on the planet. Running towards the exit, he adds that man’s only real destiny is to return to the food chain and feed the maggots. Collecting the rest of his crew, he tells them that they have what they came for nature lovers and orders them to fall back.

Appearing before them and in their way, Wolverine asks him if he thinks it’s that easy. He tells Bloodcede that he has somethin’, someone he wants and he means to get it. Bloodcede pulls out one of his spikes and rushes towards Wolverine. He tells him that he could care less for his desires and calls him a heretic. He adds that never let it be said Johnny Bloodcede is anything but a giving man. With that, he hammers the spike into Wolverine’s chest. The force of the blow knocks Wolverine out a nearby window and onto the ground outside.

While Wolverine lays outside on the ground, he thinks to himself that it’s not a question of gettin’ back on his feet with the spike still there, he can already feel the healin’ factor doin’ it’s thing – repairin’ skin and tissue, sealin’ up around Monkeywrench’s explosive calling card. What it comes down to is gettin’ the thing out and managin’ to somehow stay in one piece in the process. As Jubilee and Terror look out the window, Terror remarks that this is a quandary…

Characters Involved: 

Jubilee, Wolverine (all X-Men)
Professor X


Johnny Bloodcede/Monkeywrench (leader of the fanatic sect of the Nature Defense League, NDL)
Lance, Pick Axis, Little Paul and Little Bunyan (all members of the fanatic sect of the Nature Defense League, NDL)

Barton Hoff
Various patrons of an Oregon bar (all unnamed)

Story Notes: 

Mariko was killed by Wolverine’s own hand in Wolverine (2nd series) #57.

The name Johnny Bloodcede is most likely a take on the famous name Johnny Appleseed, a famous American pioneer nurseryman.

“Spiking” refers to the practice of radical environmentalists driving metal spikes into old growth trees. While the spike will not harm the tree itself, it would cause damage to any chainsaw trying to cut through the tree. This action is radical beyond prevention as the impact can actually cause injury and death to the lumberjack.

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