Wolverine (2nd series) #69

Issue Date: 
May 1993
Story Title: 
Induction in the Savage Land

Larry Hama (script), Dwayne Turner (penciler), Chris Ivy (inker), Pat Brosseau (letterer), Steve Buccellato (colorist), Bob Harras (editor), Tom DeFalco (editor-in-chief)

Brief Description: 

In the Savage Land, Wolverine, Rogue and Jubilee are on a mission given to them by Professor Xavier. Once they set up camp, Rogue takes off via the air to find evidence of what they are looking for, while Wolverine takes to the ground approach. Jubilee is left at the camp by herself. After some time, Jubilee is kidnapped by a warrior flying a Pterosaur. She is taken to their village and dropped unceremoniously in one of the caves. In a hurry to leave, she doesn’t notice how high up she is and is left dangling on a ledge. Rogue eventually finds a building that houses what they are looking for. There, she encounters Brainchild and is ambushed by Gaza, who then strap her to a genetic transformer. Meanwhile, Wolverine follows a band of Barbarus, Amphibious, Equilibrious and several Savage Land barbarians to a throne room. Once there, he gets into a brawl with them and demands to see their leader. Their leader then appears in the form of Sauron, who challenges him to a fight. Wolverine gladly accepts.

Full Summary: 

As the Blackbird lands in the Savage Land, Jubilee, Rogue and Wolverine exit carrying heavy cases. Jubilee immediately begins to complain and asks if they can at least turn the Blackbird’s landing lights on. She’s tripping over her own feet. She also asks what is inside the cases – they weigh a ton. Rogue tells her to hush. They have to do it in the dark because their mission is a secret. Wolverine adds that the joker they’re lookin’ for isn’t supposed to know that they’re lookin’ for him.

As the Blackbird takes off on its own, Jubilee asks that, if he was alive, do they think he couldn’t tell that a hunk of metal as a big as a jet landed in his backyard? She mentions to Rogue that she knows him pretty good. Does she really think… Rogue cuts her off and tells her that she’s not in the mood to discuss it with a snippety minor. Wolverine informs them both that they’d best reconnoiter. The sun won’t be comin’ up for fifteen minutes and who knows what’s out there in the dark. With that, Wolverine lights his cigar.

At that moment, a large Tyrannosaurus Rex attacks them much to the surprise of Jubilee. Wolverine mentions that it must’ve sneaked up on him downwind. Jubilee takes the initiative and begins to unleash her fireworks power. Jubilee asks Wolverine and Rogue why they don’t do something super-powered. Wolverine asks Rogue if she wants first dibs. Rogue admits that she does.

As she takes flight and punches the T-Rex she mentions that the last time she was down there, you could say she was at a disadvantage. The T-Rex replies to her punch by smacking her with his tail. Seeing that, Wolverine heads to the back of the T-Rex while Jubilee yells at him to come back there. Wolverine tells her that he has to put an end to this. Jubilee asks why can’t he deal with him from this side, this is the side with all the teeth. Wolverine then sinks his claws into the T-Rex which causes it to run off into the forest.

As the T-Rex disappears into the woods, Wolverine says that he can go stomp on Tokyo with that big mouth. He then asks Rogue if she is okay to which she replies that she’s as good as she “evah felt after bouncin’ off a tree.” Wolverine asks if anybody has any damage. Jubilee tells him that only dinosaur slobber. Wolverine opens up a case and tells them both that he shoulda opened that case first – perimeter and diversions. Inside the case are computer games, CDs, and a Forge-built portable force-field generator. No sooner does he set the settings for a hundred feet diameter and twenty feet high, does a Triceratops crash into the invisible barrier protecting them. Protected from the outside world Wolverine tells Rogue to press the engage button on the shelter and environment case which encompasses them in an inflatable geodesic dome.

With that done, Rogue begins to unpack the communications and instrumentation case. Wolverine recommends that they check in with Professor Xavier first. Rogue does so and informs Xavier that they are on site and setting up their base. After they assemble the magnetic anomaly detection equipment, they’ll be ready to begin their search. Xavier tells her to remember that their mission is not to confront and engage. They are just investigating the rumors that their quarry may still be alive. He adds that he was hesitant to send her in light of her previous encounter with the object of the search - - squawk - - ause he fe - - squeee - - motional dis – pop!

As the transmission ends abruptly, Rogue begins to tell Xavier that she can handle it but doesn’t get the chance to. Wolverine informs her that electronic communications don’t work so hot in the Savage Land. Rogue tells him that she remembers and takes off into the sky. She tells them that she is goin’ to mosey on up to ten thousand feet and run an aerial scan for those ol’ magnetic anomalies. When she leaves, Jubilee asks Wolverine if they are gonna do the ground search. Wolverine tells her that he’s gonna go sniff around but she’s gonna stay home and guard the fort. Jubilee begins to protest but Wolverine tells her to do that English assignment like she’s supposed to.

With Wolverine and Rogue gone, Jubilee takes to her studying. Reading her book she complains that the book is almost as boring as Silas Marner. She adds that she doesn’t get it. She’s halfway through and he hasn’t done any magic tricks yet. As she looks outside, she tells the T-Rexs that are trying to get in the protective bubble to not get their hopes yet. They’re not getting their slimy claws on her as long as Forge’s force field generator is chugging away.

Just then one of the machines begins to make a strange humming noise. Jubilee begins to panic until she realizes that it was just normal operating noise. She looks into the sky and notices some buzzards. She mentions that they have a looong wait before she’s an hors d’oevure. Going back to concentrating on her book she reads the passage “Barkus is willin….” As she reads, it she wonders what that is supposed to mean.

Deeper in the jungle, Wolverine is runnin’ free. At least, as free as he can be when he has a job to do. The main thing is, he doesn’t have all them false memory implants clutterin’ up his brain anymore. He knows what his past really is now an’ he can deal with it. Now if only… Before he can continue his thought, he catches the whiff of Savage Land barbarians and more. He realizes that it’s a big group, a war party. They are movin’ quickly, but the scent is confusin’. Somethin’s not right. There’s more than the fall people there.

Looking into the clearing, Wolverine recognizes that his sniffer wasn’t wrong - mutates are part of the war party as well. Some o’ the ugliest, nastiest mutates o’ them all. Barbarus, Amphibious, an’ even Equilibrious with his hoo-doo eyes. He notices that they’ve captured two o’ the fall people. Wolverine then also notices that there’s all sorts o‘ different barbarians down there. They’re all usually feudin’ with each other and with the mutates. Somethin’ or somebody has united ‘em. Maybe that somebody is the fella they’re searchin’ for.

In another part of the jungle, Rogue thinks to herself that she knows that Professor Xavier was just bein’ concerned and he was right. There are so many dang conflicting emotions still rattlin’ around inside o’ her. Maybe she should’ve disqualified herself from the mission. After all, her eyes are still sensitive t’light. Maybe… She is cut off in her thoughts when her transmitter goes off. It tells her that a magnetic anomaly with intensity level nine bearing zero-zero. Rogue realizes that is right below her. She also notices that whatever it is, it’s hidden under a triple canopy jungle and it’s powerful enough to push her anomaly readin’ clean off the scanner.

Reaching her destination she is shocked. It must be one o’ the ancient citadels. Ka-Zar told her about the mysterious ruins but she never imagined ‘em to be that big. There’s room enough to swing a cat in there. Entering the building, she notices that the readin’ is strongest inside. She finds the source, whatever it is. She hopes it isn’t a case o’ somebody leavin’ their toaster plugged in a millennium ago. Rubbing her finger on the machine, she discovers that it’s clean like somebody’s been workin’ on it while everything around it is still covered in dust. She wonders if it could be the thing generating a wave anomaly.

Just then, Brainchild asks her “wave anomaly?” What does she know about wave anomalies? Looking in his eyes, Rogue realizes that he has lost his mind. Brainchild tells her that only he, the positive pole of the universe, the primal flux, as it were can make one and he’s not there, is he. He asks Rogue if he is there. When Rogue asks him what he is raving about, Brainchild tells her that she knows. While he has her distracted, Gaza comes up behind her and smacks her in the back of the head with a club. Brainchild then tells Gaza to strap her into the genetic transformer.

Back at camp, Jubilee continues to read her book and listen to her walkman. She reads that Steerforth shows up again. She wonders if he lives in the alternate universe of amazing coincidences or what. Hearing the T-Rex continue to poke and claw away at the bubble, she mentions to it that he really has an appetite worked up for Jubilee au jus, doesn’t he? She informs razor-mouth that it’s not going to happen. This is a Forge-built force field and that means it’s virtually impreg… impregnia… not-get-through-able. It’s sheer energy, so he can’t climb it. You would have to be a mutant kangaroo to hop over it. The only way you could get at her would be if he could fly.

Just then, Jubilee is swooped up by a warrior riding a Pterosaur. She thinks to herself that if her pafs worked on the Tyrannosaurs, they should work on this one. The warrior aims his spear at Jubilee and tells her that if she startles the soarer, he may drop her and she doesn’t want him to do that.

In another area of the Savage Land, Wolverine follows the war party to some sort of temple or throne room. He wonders who gets to plunk his butt down on the cold slab. Wolverine then smells that the mob is gettin’ ugly, the stench o’ blood-lust. The warriors untie the fall people they captured and try to hold him still. One of the warriors calls out to the others that they will make fitting adornments for his throne once they’ve been separated from their filthy bodies.

Before it gets to that, Wolverine makes his presence known and tells them to hold on, he can’t let them do that. One of the warriors calls him an intruder and orders his fellow warriors to get him; he is violating the sanctity of his hall. Wolverine pops his claws and tells him that’s too bad. He offers for them to invite ol’ capital “H” himself down for the brouhaha an’ maybe he’ll carve his apology across his face! With that, Wolverine begins to hack and slash away with complete and utter disregard.

High above somewhere, Jubilee is being carried by the warrior riding his steed. Jubilee asks him how they can discuss this. She asks if they are in a totally non-negotiable situation there. She then asks if she at least gets any frequent-flier miles. The warrior recommends that she not do anything the soarer wouldn’t like or he will… Jubilee cuts him off and tells him that she knows. He’ll do something she won’t like. She asks that they at least tell her when she can open up her eyes again.

At that moment, the soarer drops Jubilee off into a hole in a cave. As she gets up, she notices that she was just tossed in and left. Heading towards the entrance to the cave she figures that there must be some way out of there. Before she can realize, she finds herself clinging to the ledge in something that resembles a village. She calls out for somebody to help her and to get her down from there. From afar, some more warriors witness her plight.

In a building located deep within the Savage Land, Rogue wakes up and recognizes that somebody put a serious hurtin’ on her head and put some serious chains on her too. Rogue mentions that little, bitty links like them can’t… She stops in her tracks when she notices that a mark in the dust on the shelf has a familiar look to it like she could almost picture the shape o’ whatever was set down there. Brainchild informs her to not strain her feeble intellect on useless conjecture. There is no help for her in the dust.

Rogue shoots back by telling him that he is the feeb. She adds that she can snap the pathetic shackles faster’n a hog can chew corn. Brainchild tells her that he believes she can, that is why the chains are rigged to the genetic transformer. One broken link, and she will be devolved back to her primordial origins. Invertebrate, inchoate, viscous. He tells her that she won’t break free and that he’ll give her to him. He’ll be so pleased. A real mutant, not a mutate like Gaza and him. He might even reward him. Rogue asks who this “he” he is jabberin’ about. Is it…

Brainchild immediately holds his hands to his ears and tells her not to utter his name – it is forbidden. There are blocks. He has seen and he has forgotten but he has been in the presence. He feels that in his bones. Gaza, who cannot see, heard his voice and now is stricken dumb. It was not meant for them to know for certain at this time but he did leave his sign. Brainchild points over to a large fist statue poking out of the ground. Around the fist are cords of metal. Brainchild informs Rogue that it was molded out of ferrous metal wrung from the veins deep within the bowels of the earth – sculpted by forces unimaginable. Rogue mentions to him that the mark in the dust was made by a helmet. Brainchild tells her that he lives to which Rogue replies “Oh, Lord.”

Back at the temple, Wolverine continues to battle Barbarus, Amphibious and Equilibrious. Equilibrious takes the lead and tells Barbarus to hold Wolverine and pin his arms so Amphibious can cave in his skull and he can confound him with his dizzying waves of vertigo. Wolverine points out that it sounds like they’ve been taking teamwork lessons. While he flings Barbarus over his back and into Amphibious, who in turn knocks into Equilibrious, he asks them who their tutor is. Anybody he knows? He then tells them that he’s had it with buttin’ heads with the hired help. He wants the head honcho. He orders them to tell the boss-man that Wolverine is there to bust heads and take names.

From behind him, a voice tells him as he wishes. Wolverine turns to find Sauron standing before him. Covering his hands are sharp metal claws. He challenges Wolverine to do battle with him for he is lord of this domain. He is Sauron and his power is risen again. He has united the mutates and the barbarians and soon the fall people shall be his thrall. He tells Wolverine to tremble before him as he mete outs his doom. Wolverine responds the only way he knows how. He charges Sauron and tells him to see how them shiny new claws o’ his stacks up against adamantium.

Characters Involved: 

Jubilee, Rogue, Wolverine (all X-Men)

Barbarus, Amphibious, Equilibrious, Brainchild, and Gaza (all Savage Land mutates)

Various Savage Land barbarians (all unnamed)

Various Savage Land warriors perched on Pterosaurs (all unnamed)

Various Savage Land fall people (all unnamed)

On screen

Professor X

Story Notes: 

Chances are the person that Rogue, Wolverine and Jubilee are there to find is Magneto. Rogue was last in the Savage Land back in Uncanny X-Men #274-275. She spent some quality time with Magneto then.

Wolverine had most of his false memory implants removed back in Wolverine (2nd series) #68.

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