Wolverine (2nd series) #70

Issue Date: 
June 1993
Story Title: 
Tooth and Nail

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

Brief Description: 

High above the Savage Land, Jubilee defends herself against the rider by the name of Gronk. In doing so, she knocks him off his flier to certain death. Miraculously, the flier she is on saves Gronk before his certain death. Upon seeing this, the other fliers accept her as one of them. In another section, Rogue is able to break free from her bonds and takes out Gaza. She then learns valuable information from Brainchild and heads back to camp with that information. There, she discovers that Jubilee and Wolverine are nowhere to be found. She then witnesses a stampede of dinosaurs heading off towards a citadel. In that citadel, Wolverine continues his battle against Sauron. Each time, Sauron has the upper-hand, but Wolverine battles back. Sauron even takes to burying Wolverine with rocks, but to little effect. Sauron then orders for a stampede of dinosaurs to dive into the chasm. If sticks and stones won’t break Wolverine’s bones, the teeth and fangs can gnaw him.

Full Summary: 

While Wolverine and Sauron continue to slash away at each other, Wolverine thinks to himself that he thought this little excursion to the Savage Land was goin’ to be light stuff… but then, he has to go and have himself a throw-down with Sauron, who has just decided to make himself grand high muckamuck o’ this bailiwick.

Wolverine proceeds to ask Sauron what’s the matter – don’t his mutate and barbarian buddies like him anymore. Is that why they’re backin’ off? Sauron answers that his minions aren’t retreating; it is the floor of his citadel that recedes. Peering down into the fiery chasm below, Wolverine replies that is some basement he has there and that it must have some heck of a heatin’ bill. Sauron tells Wolverine not to mock the chasm of fire for it will soon be his tomb.

Realizing his position, Wolverine thinks to himself that Sauron sure has learned a few tricks about stagecraft. A new costume might win over a muscle-brain like Barbarus but it takes trottin’ out the whole dog and pony show to con a pair o’ weasels like Equilibrius and Amphibius. Trouble is, it’s not just for show. Standin’ on a solid floor, Sauron can only come at him from above. Now, he can attack from below, and that means he can get behind him in ways he’s not ready for.

With that, Sauron slashes the back of Wolverine’s leg. Wolverine immediately grabs his leg and knows that his tendon has been sliced and that he can’t stand. Struggling to get to his feet, he calls out to Sauron and, calling him “needle-nose,” asks if that was his best shot. Sauron replies by slashing Wolverine in the back and telling him not to mock. He adds that if his skeleton wasn’t laced with adamantium, he’d break all his bones. That last shot knocks Wolverine off of the bridge but he is able to hold on at the last second using his claws. As he hangs there he wonders ain’t this something. At least Rogue didn’t stumble into this brouhaha too and Jubilee is safe an’ sound back at the camp.

On the other side of the Savage Land, Jubilee is holding for dear life onto the ledge. She says aloud that she wishes she was safe and sound back at the camp instead of dangling off a ledge over a bottomless gorge. She wishes – she wishes the ledge wasn’t crumbling.

At that moment, the ledge indeed crumbles from beneath her grip and Jubilee proceeds to fall promptly on the back of one of the flyers, a flying dinosaur. From the side, one of the warriors witnesses Jubilee falling on the flyer and tells his fellow warrior, Gronk, that the little one is stealing his best flyer. Another jokes that he can’t hold on to his captive or his steed. At this, the flyer takes off with Jubilee aboard. Gronk follows on another flyer and tells Jubilee that she needs a mind-link to control the flyer. Jubilee tells him okay, just get her off it. Gronk informs her that she has shamed him in front of his tribe and that she must take the great fall and ride the forever wind into the void. Jubilee tells him lemme guess – is that another way of saying “fall down and go boom?”

Jubilee wonders to herself how she got into this mess. Right in the middle of reading David Copperfield, these flying geeks whisk her off to their cliffside hideaway. Then she wonders how she gets out of this. The sunlight’s too bright to paf ‘em. She could amaze them, but she doesn’t know when the next eclipse is, and she don’t have any impressive stuff with her like her lava lamp or her magic eight ball. She then remembers that she does have her walkman. With that she asks Gronk if he wants to hear something really cool. In the back of her mind she thinks this ain’t gonna work.

As Wolverine struggles to get to his feet, Sauron slashes him across his back and asks him who he is to stand between him and his total domination of the Savage Land? Who is he to interfere with the primal rites he employs to spur the fervor of his minions? Replying, “primal rites?, Wolverine then asks Sauron if that is what he calls human sacrifices. He adds that all those ancient bozos who went in for that jazz are extinct. Sauron replies by punching him in the face and telling him that he is living proof that extinction is never absolute. Wolverine shrugs off the blow and continues to stand. He then challenges chicken-lips that he’ll make extinction absolute for him.

Viewing the proceedings, Barbarus mentions that Wolverine should be dead by now. Equilibrius adds that he’s still standing, to which Amphibius tells them both that it won’t be long. Sauron continues his assault and tells Wolverine that his boasts are empty. There is nothing there for him, but death. Wolverine, ignoring the pain, replies that just might be. His mutant healin’ factor ain’t what it used to be these days but if the thinks a little thing like a hamstringin’s gonna keep him off his feet, he has another thing comin’. He then gets to his feet, pops his claws, and tells Sauron that it’s time to go to claw city, ya plucked turkey.

In another part of the Savage Land, Rogue is chained to the wall. She mentions to Brainchild that she wants to get this straight. Him and Gaza came snoopin’ around in this ancient citadel and saw somebody who didn’t want to be seen? And that somebody put a block in his brain so he couldn’t remember him and he struck Gaza, who’s already blind, speechless? Brainchild tells her to cease her jabbering, he’s trying to think. Rogue adds that it sounds like the fella Wolverine, Jubilee, and her came lookin’ for. This sounds like…

Brainchild yells at her that she mustn’t say his name. It is forbidden, it is blocked. He is the prime flux. He then accuses her of trying to distract him to facilitate an escape, a ruse that might succeed against a lesser intellect. One who hasn’t been touched by an entity who can raise iron from the bowels of the earth. He then tells Rogue not to forget that her bonds are wired his genetic transformer and if she breaks them… Rogue finishes his thought that she would get zapped back to a primordial state unless some little ol’ critter wanders between her and the transformer beam.

With that, Rogue breaks her bonds as a small lizard takes the blast meant for her. Free, Rogue mentions that she guessed right. That lizard absorbed the whole blast of the genetic transformer. Only, she sure didn’t count on it having such large ancestors. Before her eyes, the tiny lizard turns into a large dinosaur. Brainchild calls out to Gaza that the outlander mutant is loose. As Gaza heads towards to Rogue, she decides that dealin’ with ol’ ginsu-mouth takes top priority. While she punches out the dinosaur, she tells Gaza that just so he don’t think she forgot about him, here’s a little something to grow unconscious on. She then lands with both feet on the back of Gaza’s head, knocking him out cold.

Turning her attention to Brainchild, she flies towards him and tells him to start talkin’. She asks him who is the prime flux he’s been rantin’ about? Who drew the metal out of the ground to make that hand? Was it…? Brainchild replies that he told her. He can’t utter the name, the blocks. Even thinking about it is distressing. As he falls to the ground, he calls out that it’s too much. His brain is going to overload – the stress. First that other upstart stirring up trouble and now her. Rogue inquires other upstart? She asks if this fella put some blocks in his head too. Brainchild answers of course not. Rogue orders him to start namin’ names then.

In Sauron’s citadel, Wolverine leaps towards Sauron. As he does, he tells him that this waitin’ for him to bring the fight to him is just gettin’ him hacked to ribbons so let’s see how bad he is with a gut full o’ adamantium. Sauron tells him that he’s a fool – he’s tumbled them both into the chasm of fire. Wolverine replies well ain’t that just too bad. Sauron tells him too bad for him. It is he who has the wings to control his altitude to ensure it is he who strikes the chasm floor first. Wolverine tells him to not let his smug-glands go ballistic. He’s the one with the healin’ factor and the adamantium laced skeleton and don’t forget about the claws.

Sauron escapes from Wolverine’s grasp and hovers above him. He proceeds to inform Wolverine that a lot of good all that will do him at the bottom of this un-climbable chasm. As he flies higher, he tells his minions to stone Wolverine with shards and plinths, slabs and blocks, rocks and boulders. He wants Wolverine smashed and flattened, crushed and buried. At his command, his minions do just that, burying Wolverine underneath the rocks.

In another section, high above the Savage Land, Jubilee decides that there’s only one sure-fire way to make an impression with modern technology and that’s to dent somebody’s face with it. She then takes her walkman and uses it as a bolo to smack Gronk in the face. When the walkman hits him in the face, he falls off his flier into the nothingness below. Seeing what she has done, Jubilee is in shock. He’s gonna die and she did it. She wonders aloud what she has done. If only she knew how to control this thing.

Just then, the flier she is on plummets downwards at break-neck steam. Jubilee holds tight and closes her eyes. She doesn’t like this; she doesn’t even like the sissy roller coasters at the kiddie amusement parks. When they reach Gronk, the flier grabs him and saves him from certain death. Jubilee wonders how the shaved buzzard knew she wanted to do that. It’s like it read her m…

At that moment, all of the other fliers gathered around her, Jubilee thinks to herself “Uh-oh.” Maybe she should have “lit” out while the “litting” was good. She’s all out of walkmans and… Before she can finish her thought, one of the other fliers calls out all hail the little great-heart warrior. The little one defeated the rider in combat, yet spared his life. The little one has established a mind-link with a flyer. No more is this an outlander, the little one is one of them. He orders the rest to head back to the aerie and call out the wind-drums. Break out the festive kegs. They’re having a party. Jubilee thinks to herself a party – that sounds like fun.

In another area of the Savage Land, Rogue reaches their base. She calls out that she has a story to tell Jubilee and Wolverine. She then realizes that it’s too darn quiet – there’s no sign of Jubilee or Wolverine. She thinks to herself that Wolverine could have run into Sauron and his bunch if what Brainchild said was true but that doesn’t explain where Jubilee could have gone off to. The force field is still operational… She then begins to hear a bunch of commotion. It sounds like a stampede o’ dinosaurs. She then sees them crashing through the forest. Meat-eaters runnin’ amok, and they’re all headin’ for that citadel “over yonder.”

Buried, Wolverine thinks to himself that the weight is pressing. Can’t breathe. Gotta get the weight off. Gotta get leverage. Gotta lift this slab just enough to get somethin’ wedged under it. After some time, Wolverine escapes the rocky grave and smells fire and brimstone. A lake o’ fire. He wonders if he’s been to bad place or what. He calls out to Sauron that he’s still there. What is he gonna do about it?

Above, Amphibius informs Sauron that Wolverine yet lives. Sauron replies that inert power has no power over one such as this. Even as he ordered his stoning, he knew this which is why he ordered the thunder lizard drovers to stampede the Tyrannosaur herd. Just then, a herd of dinosaurs enter the citadel. Sauron orders them to drive them over the edge into the chasm of fire. Sticks and stones may not break his bones, but teeth and fangs can gnaw him.

Characters Involved: 

Jubilee, Rogue, Wolverine (all X-Men)

Barbarus, Amphibius, 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)

Story Notes: 

Chances are the person are 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.

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